Much ado has been made about who is the head of the Republican Party, Michael Steele or Rush Limbaugh. When I first heard the issue raised, I thought, "How silly!" Now, after further consideration, I see the issue as racist, on the same level as the blackface portrayal of African-Americans by Caucasian-Americans during the days of Jim Crow Segregation.
During the days of Jim Crow Segregation, some Caucasian-American entertainers would use blackface to portray negative stereotypes of African-Americans. Black make-up on the face of a Caucasian-American soon became a symbol of vicious racism through insults. The current characterization by Democrats of Michael Steele as not being the leader of the Republican Party is in my opinion, an act of vicious racism through insults - the same as blackface.
Michael Steele was elected as Chairman of the GOP to present the platforms of the GOP to the general voting public in way that will advance the party's participation levels and win elections. Rush Limbaugh is a popular radio talk show host who voices his own version of Republican Party principles, but is not in any way responsible for helping the GOP increase its number of active voters or win elections. To compare Michael Steele to Rush Limbaugh is to compare apples and oranges.
What possible advantage could there be to raise such a controversy as the question of GOP head? The advantage would be to create an image of Michael Steele as an insignificant political buffoon. Nothing could be further from the truth. Michael Steele was elected as GOP Chair by a group of people who were well aware of his skills and talents as a politician. He is not a political novice, having been elected and honorably served as Lt. Governor of the State of Maryland. He has also served as the Chair of the Republican Party's action committee. Michael Steele has actively worked with state Republican Party leaders across the nation. They know Michael Steele well and by electing him GOP Chair, expressed confidence in his ability to promote and advance the party's platform and speak to the American public concerning the GOP's interests.
To insult Michael Steele by insinuating that he is not who he is because of the popularity of a radio talk show host is a thinly veiled attempt to degrade the man in the same way blackface was used to degrade African-Americans in general. The purpose of the degradation is to cause African-Americans to miss an opportunity to find out what the Republican Party truly stands for and the opportunity to understand how the party's principles could be beneficial to African-Americans. In essence, insulting Michael Steele is an attempt to "keep black folks in line" on the Democratic Party "plantation". After all, the black folks "have it good" in the Democratic Party. The Democrats certainly do not want Michael Steele "building no underground railroad to the GOP".
One would think that in this time of our nation's history, having elected the first African-American president, that such juvenile behavior would be a thing of the past. Instead, what this issue does show is that old habits die hard.