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KEN: Political correctness and what many call “wokeness” now — being woke — has brought our culture to its knees, figuratively and literally. Think about it. It’s bringing the country to its knees. It’s making thinkers idiots. The people that think, now they back off a little bit. Think about all the teachers and the managers and the CEOs and the people that they knew how to think.

They knew how to use their brain, they knew how to make decisions for themselves, and then wokeness enveloped them and political correctness. And then they realize before they said, “Well, that doesn’t make any sense. Why don’t we do this?” Now, they go, “Uh, you know, what happens if someone’s offended?”

Well, first of all, it doesn’t matter if someone’s offended because offending someone is not illegal or unethical. It’s not unconstitutional either. We bought into it, though. We bought into it. We’ve been buying this ridiculousness from the left for too many years. “You hurt my feelings! I’m calling the police.” Grow up. That’s the problem.

But people have stopped thinking. “What if they email me crazy stuff?” Well, then don’t become a talk show host. There’s a high school in Portland, Oregon. They have postponed changing their mascot to the evergreen tree after a committee member raised concerns of racist connotations. An evergreen tree. It’s the Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School.

Now Ida B. Wells-Barnett is the Pulitzer Prize winning African-American journalist who reported extensively on and protested against lynching and that horrible era in our history. This according to the Portland Tribune. Now, Ellen Whatmore is on the mascot committee. She’s a member and a teacher at the school, and she said, “Evergreens are characterized by the life-giving force of their foliage, the strength of their massive trunk, and the depth of their roots — in an individual tree and as a forest of trees.” Now, I have never heard a mascot so eloquently described and thought about.

But then someone else said, “Well, don’t they bring lynching to mind?” and, you know, it went south from there. So how do you listen to what that woman said and said, but with that rationale, we would have to redefine and eliminate everything. This is how crazy things have become, and it wasn’t a Millie anything liky thing.

The committee didn’t just say, “How about a tree?” No. She had a beautiful definition, eloquence for a mascot built around journalist who is African-American. I mean, it’s just… To me, it just made total sense. But again, I’m not woke, and when you’re woke, nothing makes sense. Here’s Rush.

RUSH: FrontPage magazine. “Trees are America’s newest racist symbol.” To who? Who thinks trees are racist? “Trees are America’s newest racist symbol.” Who thinks this? I would submit to you nobody thinks it. Somebody with a fax machine and a logo sent out something that they’re offended by and the Drive-Bys pick it up because it fits a narrative they’ve already established. Okay, ready? You can’t think of why a tree would be racist. Wait ’til you hear this, then. If you’re really dumbfounded. This is not a joke.

“Mickey Fearn, the National Park Service Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance – made headlines when he claimed that black people do not visit National Parks because…” Because… of the trees. “The trees remind them of their slave ancestors being lynched by their masters.”

“Jellystone, (sic) the first national park, was created in 1872 in Wyoming. Slavery was over by then and no one had ever been lynching slaves around Old Faithful anyway. But false claims of racism die very hard. Now Alcee Hastings, an impeached judge, and a coalition of minority groups is demanding increased ‘inclusiveness’ at national parks. And high on their list is the claim that, ‘African-Americans have felt unwelcome and even fearful in federal parklands during our nation’s history because of the horrors of lynching.'”

Now, why is it only trees in our national parks where there wasn’t ever any racism or slavery? Why is it only trees in our national parks remind African-Americans of their ancestors being lynched? Why doesn’t every tree remind them of that? You African-Americans in the audience — and I know that there is a beaucoup bunch of you out there — I bet you, not a single one of you has the slightest reaction like that when you see a tree. You talk about a constructed media narrative.


“What do national parks have to do with lynchings? Many national parks have trees. People were hung from trees. It’s racial guilt by association. Trees are racist down to their roots.” That’s the Alcee Hastings group. (interruption) Cut all the trees down? Of course it’s insulting. Here’s the way this works. You have your average American getting up every day, going to work, living his or her life, and then all of a sudden hears that there’s a movement out there that trees in the national parks are racist because they remind people of lynching, and they think there’s a movement going on, better join up. This is a totally concocted, nonexistent event, or thing.

Classic example of a media narrative. I promised to give the details on this, the racist trees in our national parks story. Again, the story’s by Daniel Greenfield. It’s at FrontPage mag, David Horowitz’s publication. The origin of this bizarre racist lynching theory of national parks — if you’re just joining us, a story about how blacks do not like going to national parks because the trees remind them of their ancestors being lynched during slavery.

Never mind the fact, have you seen these PSAs on TV, black family after black family going to national parks, have you seen these? Well, I don’t know how recent they are, but there’s been a whole campaign of African-Americans going to theme parks, national parks. The reason for those PSAs to promote government-owned land, leftist PSAs and they’re designed to show wards of the state visiting government-owned lands, how great government is, how beautiful government can make things. And they’ve used a lot of black families, actors in these PSAs, so that’s why this story’s kind of odd.

“The origin of the bizarre racist lynching theory of national parks appears to be Carolyn Finney. Finney was an actress noted for an appearance in something called The Nutt House. Then she became a cause celebre for race activists when she was denied tenure by UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management because her work didn’t meet academic standards.”

So she didn’t get tenure at Berkeley. She was fit to be tied. She’s angry. She blamed racism for that, as did her supporters.

“These days she’s a diversity advisor to the US National Parks Advisory Board. What wasn’t good enough for UC Berkeley is good enough for national parks. She is also the author of Black Faces, White Spaces. In it she claims that ‘oppression and violence against black people in forests and other green spaces can translate into contemporary understandings that constrain African-American environmental understandings.'”

That’s gobbledygook. That’s leftist. She’s attempting to be an intellectual with that collection and assembly of words. But it’s basically this former actress and professor denied tenure at Berkeley who claims that trees are seen as racist in national parks because it reminds African-Americans of their ancestors being lynched.

KEN: Even if you wanted to make that up, you couldn’t. It would have to be a liberal brain to come up with that.

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