By: Kevin Chiucchini, @kevincushing
Normally, I reserve my blog for Thursday’s show, but I was so moved by Friday’s open mic that I felt a duty to the listeners and the callers to repeat our message of brotherhood that rises above color and creed. We listened to each other as men and women, agreed and disagreed about our opinions, but in the end we all had a spiritual and emotional connection that only a person seeking virtue could experience. Breaking with tradition, Armstrong started off with the controversial question, “What does it mean to be white in America”? He cited a growing presence of whites expressing their concern of losing their cultural identity, especially in the form of public protests and online forums. As expected, the phonelines erupted with callers patiently waiting to share their insight and experience.
When we flipped the question on the callers, many of the issues that African-Americans face could be repeated when we replaced African-American with white or Hispanic. Everyone seemed to agree that there is a perceived notion that to be American means to be white. One caller suggested he’s fine with someone living across the street that won’t interact with him because of the color of his skin. I don’t want to single out the caller and say shame on him, but the apathy to racism is disturbing and truthfully should never be tolerated. The fear that whites supposedly feel comes from the fear of losing their status as a majority, and the benefits that come with it. What does fair representation mean in a melting-pot culture? Do we have to allow a minority of people dictate what is culturally appropriate or proportionate?
Fresh off the plane from my much-needed vacation, I had the pleasure of describing my travels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I don’t like using social analogies comparing us to other countries while trying to justify a perceived radical policy, but it’s hard not to see the parallels after observing a country or city as a complete outsider. As an outsider, I mean a human with no feeling about race or ethnicity, but only the improvement of humankind and global standards. A former Dutch and British colony with upcoming elections, an obsession with being light-skinned or appearing “white”, a native population living in reserved and government assisted territory, multi-cultural cities with a diverse population and religious freedom. It may sound like America, but I just described a very basic impression of Malaysia. While I see the similarities in our social construct, I also see and hear the same issues there that people feel strongly about here. Concerns about illegal immigration, cultural understanding and constructive debate, role of religion and government, and most importantly, what does it mean to be Malaysian?
While they have time to figure it out as their economy develops and grows, we need to agree on what it means to be American quickly. Our future depends on it, and the survival of this great nation will be based on it. Some callers feel the need to attack Armstrong when he talks about race or the lack of importance it plays in his success. Armstrong doesn’t allow the color of his skin to be an issue because he is well-educated, well-read, well-informed, and treats all people with respect. So, next time before you call in angry, remember that he means you shouldn’t allow it to be a problem. We all have legitimate reasons and excuses to give when it comes to moving forward, but we have no excuses when it comes to improving the lives of ourselves, family, friends, and thy neighbor.
By: Dr. Devon Smith, HSH Correspondent
Armstrong hosted last night’s radio show and was joined by myself (Dr. Devon Smith) and FMR CIA Director Jim Woolsey. Given the announcement of Rex Tillerson’s departure from the White House, the first topic of the show centered around Tillerson’s exit and Mike Pompeo’s new role as Secretary of State. Jim Woolsey’s first remarks focused on his hope that Pompeo would be up to the challenge of wrangling a State Department under turmoil. Pompeo has quite an impressive resume- he graduated first in his class at West Point and went on to serve in the Army prior to graduating from Harvard Law School. I also jumped into the conversation to point out that it appears that Pompeo and Donald Trump seem to be aligned regarding foreign policy.
Armstrong took some time to acknowledge that there must be a certain level of distrust that this constant turnover is breeding within the Trump administration. One cannot argue that this revolving door is a reflection of poor leadership. While everyone was able to agree that the turnover is due to leadership, I speculated that there may also be other factors that are causing people to burn out or be asked to leave. For example, this presidency has taken on more negative press than any other presidency that I can remember. I can only imagine how challenging and draining working in the White House and I’m not sure how one can be prepared for that pressure appropriately. On top of that, imagine taking on the negative mainstream media on a daily basis. I wonder how this MIGHT impact the longevity of someone of these positions.
The first caller of the show inquired about how other countries’ might feel about Pompeo being a former CIA agent and spy. Jim Woolsey fielded this question and explained that from his experience as FMR CIA Director, Nations are fairly used to individuals moving around in the intelligence field- it’s a fairly normal occurrence. He went on to provide an example during his time as FMR CIA Director. During a lunch meeting with a Russian diplomat, a KGB member was present who undoubtedly had tried to learn secrets about the US. It was also understood that the KGB agent likely knew the CIA was trying to learn Russia’s secrets. The men enjoyed lunch and went about their business regardless of that knowledge.
Another caller garnered interesting conversation when he mentioned the idea of loyalty. He felt that he wasn’t sure that Donald Trump was pro-America or that he had America’s best interest at heart! Myself, Woolsey and Armstrong all agreed that one thing is clear: Donald Trump is a PATRIOT above all else. Hate him or love him, America is his priority!
President Trump looked evil in the eye, and now Kim wants to meet. True grit. A lot of steps went into this meeting - candidly, long before the current administration - yet it took someone like this president to follow through.
I daresay not many presidents would agree to meet, which is foolish IMO.
By Karl Nelson
Karl Nelson is a social media manager for The Armstrong Williams Show.
The Armstrong Williams Show is special, not just because it delivers provocative commentary on everyday news, but mainly because it provides a platform for common people to share their perspectives and their pain with millions of listeners from all around the world.
This is a characteristic of the show that was on full display just days ago when the Broadcast Heavyweight, Armstrong Williams, spent the first hour of his radio broadcast interviewing Christine Yared, one of the survivors in the tragic mass shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The shooting is a topic that’s engulfed The Armstrong Williams Show since it occurred, and the new revelations about the shooter get more and more disturbing by the day.
On the show, Christine spoke openly about that horrific day and what she feels, as a millennial, needs to be done politically to ensure that gun violence in America diminishes significantly.
Many people believe that’s a conversation that needs to involve more politicians and less young students, but that’s not the approach Mr. Williams or his callers took when Christine showed great courage while speaking about the issue on the air.
“Most of our gun issues stem from the types of guns and accessories available to the public today, and the rollback of gun reform,” Christine told Armstrong and his listeners.
As mentioned in one of my previous columns, millennials have not created the problems we see today. Those who paved the way for young people must take some level of responsibility for what’s happening in society.
It’s important that the baby boomers of the world encourage individuals like Christine to not allow horrific incidents — like what happened at her high school —to prevent them from achieving their destinies.
“Christine, don’t allow this tragedy to stop you from achieving your destiny,” one caller told Christine during the broadcast.
It’s one thing to sit behind a microphone and give your opinion on events that don’t directly affect you, but when you speak one-on-one with a victim of a horrific event like a mass shooting, it almost forces your perspective to make a 180-degree turn.
I’m not saying Williams and his listeners made a complete 180 in their views on guns following Christine’s interview, but there was definitely a shift in the empathy for those affected by the current gun legislation and there was a call-to-action to see this conversation continue.
After all, media outlets can be used for more than gossip, provocative dialogue, and opinionated views.
That’s something that The Armstrong Williams Show proves time and time again, whether it’s a conversation about poverty in America, race relations, or, in this case, gun reform. | KMN
By: Kevin Chiucchini, @kevincushingc
After a brief hiatus, Kevin Q returned to Thursday’s SiriusXM show to accompany his big brother Armstrong in his pursuit of truth, knowledge and wisdom. The first hour of the show was dominated by Hope Hick’s admission that she occasionally told white lies during her time in the White House. Armstrong started off the discussion with the following question: “Why should anyone be offended at Hope Hicks for admitting that she tells white lies for the president?” Some callers were adamant that there is no difference between a white lie and a black lie. However, when questioned further many of these same callers admitted to telling white lies in their daily lives. Kevin also admitted that he has told white lies on occasion and used his time working in a restaurant as an example. He stated that people tell white lies to protect themselves and to protect other people, but called into question the use or admittance of using white lies by a politician or a journalist.
The second half of the show took a different turn as we discussed the NRA and gun control. Many of the callers, including Armstrong, were ready to defend the NRA. Armstrong stated that, “The NRA was one of the first organizations to support blacks being able to carry firearms”. After a short history lesson from AW and the callers, it became clear that the message of the NRA is responsible gun ownership. To have responsible gun ownership, we need to have responsible sellers and buyers. Most Americans would agree that it makes sense to close loopholes that allow criminals or individuals with a history of mental illness to purchase weapons. It sounds an easy enough take to take guns away from the mentally unstable. One caller reminded us, however, that someone can be stable for a few weeks and appear normal and then have a psychotic break the next week and become self-destructive and irrational. Instead of singling out the NRA or even glorifying it, it would seem more effective to put pressure on our lawmakers that are allowing these loopholes to continue. For the Trump administration, its beginning to look like the race has just begun.
By: Dr. Devon Smith
Given the heart wrenching and frankly draining news-cycle of the last few weeks, Armstrong decided to focus on other social issues that our country is facing on last night’s radio show. Namely the #metoo movement and the resultant “neutering” of the male sex. Armstrong was joined by me (Devon Smith) and Shelby Emmett, a constitutional lawyer.
Armstrong opened the show and talked about how, from his perspective and through his conversations with other men, the #metoo movement may be having unforeseen consequences on men and the workplace. Where workplaces used to be jovial and involved comradery between colleagues, they are now places where men come to work, engage with female colleagues in a limited fashion and keep their heads down. This is in part due to a fear of baseless, career-ending lawsuits. It seems that some women are using the #metoo movement to make false accusations to earn a meal ticket (via settlement) or career advancement. Lives and livelihoods are being RUINED as men are now presumed GUILTY based on accusations. Furthermore, accusers can, in some instances, remain anonymous. Is our society not based on the premise of innocent until proven guilty? In this day and age, specifically regarding the #metoo movement, this concept has all but vanished.
Many callers and I joined the conversation and agreed wholeheartedly with Armstrong. Unfortunately, as Condoleezza Rice mentioned in a CNN interview, society is turning all women into snowflakes! I expanded further on the Condoleezza Rice interview and brought up another concern that she mentioned- that men will no longer be willing to mentor, hire or work with women. I understand her point and have similar concerns- as frivolous lawsuits continue to ruin the careers of men, why would they want to work with us?
Certainly, there are men (and women in some cases) who have abused their powers and sexually harassed or assaulted their employees. These people need to be held accountable for their actions, through appropriate channels. However, as we discussed with our callers, it would be helpful if women learned to speak up when conversations or actions begin to take inappropriate turns- cutting off the behaviors before they begin and become “normal.” This can be hard to do, no doubt, but when done tactfully, they can strengthen work relationships while also setting appropriate and respectful boundaries.
The conversation stayed on this topic for most of the show but pivoted to discuss society’s role in sexual harassment. We spent a good deal of time discussing the idea of chivalry and whether or not it is dead. Shelby and I agreed with each other that having a man hold a door for you can ONLY be viewed as a sign of respect. Any other interpretation is foolish and frankly a waste of time. Armstrong expanded on this topic and reflected happily about how is father and siblings WORSHIPPED their mother. Her chair was pulled out, doors were held for her, etc. This did NOT make her less of a woman. Instead, these small gestures served as small reminders of how much love and respect her family had for her. People need to spend less time over interpreting small gestures, like door holding and begin to seem them for what they are: small acts of kindness and respect. Nothing more and nothing less.
Today, the leader at HUD isn’t some unrealistic, left-wing idealist but a brilliant, pragmatic, principled man who wants to empower residents, build human capital, restore more local control and introduce the concept of personal responsibility wherever it’s appropriate.
Dr. Ben Carson was nominated by President Trump to remake HUD into an agency that reflects these values and priorities. He is doing just that, and he needs the support to continue his good work.
Washington, D.C. is a town that is full of rumors. One could say that rumors fuel the media and the political class in the city. And you wouldn’t be wrong. One such story going around suggests that the Office of Management and Budget is planning on a disastrous budget with double-digit cuts for Dr. Carson’s HUD. I’m not sure who thinks of such things. It’s certainly not anyone who has the President’s – let alone the nation’s - best interests at heart.
Eighty-eight percent of the HUD budget is consumed by five housing programs, much of it contractual with appropriate legal protections. They can’t absorb such cuts without legal liability. Where would OMB have HUD cut? Perhaps veterans homeless assistance?
This, just as some communities have announced smarter strategies with HUD’s help that have completely eliminated homelessness amongst the men and women who have served our nation and risked their lives. Perhaps OMB would be more sensitive to this consequence if their leaders had been veterans.