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Con­ser­v­ative talk show host Stephanie Trussell came to campus on Wednesday. Andrew Dixon | Collegian

Con­ser­v­a­tives aren’t racist, says Stephanie Trussell, host of a political talk show on Chicago’s WLS 890 AM. 

Trussell, who spoke at a Hillsdale College Young Amer­icans for Freedom event on Wednesday, March 24, dis­cussed her expe­rience as a “black con­ser­v­ative.” Her radio show has made her a well-known figure in the Chicago con­ser­v­ative movement, but she wasn’t always that way. 

In her youth, Trussell con­sidered herself a Democrat.

 “Growing up black in Chicago, I’d been pro­grammed to believe Democrats care about me,” Trussell said.

Trussell’s family back­ground was dif­ficult. At the age of 17, Trussell’s mother almost aborted her.

“I think about my mom, sitting in front of that abortion clinic, and here’s my dad – smooth talker, handsome guy – and whatever he said to her I’m sure was his best work, trying to get her to get out of that car and kill me, and for whatever reason my mother didn’t grab that handle and get out of that car,” Trussell said.

But instead of getting an abortion, Trussell’s mother pro­vided for her, working hard to give her an edu­cation and a future. Later on, this decision revealed God’s plan for her life, Trussell said. 

As an adult, Trussell began lis­tening to a local radio station that rou­tinely broad­casted con­ser­v­ative, political talk shows. Hearing these dis­cus­sions prompted her to think about issues for herself. Even­tually, Trussell began to identify with conservatism. 

“I just remember hearing a voice in the car saying, ‘Tell ‘em, Rush,’ and I was like, ‘Wait, that’s me, and when did I start lis­tening to Rush Lim­baugh?’” Trussell said.

This real­ization pro­pelled Trussell to pursue radio herself. After winning a com­pe­tition to host a radio show for the day, she attracted so many lis­teners that the station asked her to come back again. Even­tually, she was given her own show on WLS 890, where she dis­cussed issues of the day from a con­ser­v­ative perspective. 

Not everyone, however, gave such a warm welcome to this new show. 

Those who balked at her new­found political views said there was “‘no help for a sellout  Repub­lican that voted against their own interests,’” she said.

At one point, her employer even had to send a security guard to walk her to her car. 

Trussell said she was afraid when she came out as a Repub­lican, but she didn’t maintain this mindset for long. Now, she boldly con­fronts ide­o­logical oppo­nents on her show. 

“That’s what I would always say to Democrats when I would invite them on my show,” Trussell said. “I’d say, ‘Oh, by the way, what’s your blood type? And I have an ambu­lance standing by, because I am going to shred you.’” 

Trussell said she is most pas­sionate about abortion, school choice, and border security. For instance, when people bring up slavery as a system of oppression, she simply points to abortion as the true source of oppression. In her speech, Trussell even referred to Planned Par­enthood as “Klanned Parenthood.” 

“We talk about street vio­lence that happens in Chicago,” she said. “How do you want teenagers to value life, if the most violent place in their neigh­borhood is that abortion clinic where more people die than any­where else? It’s the number one killer of blacks.” 

Trussell’s per­sonal expe­rience also influ­enced her stance on school choice. She said she is grateful for the sac­ri­fices made by her mother in order to send her to a good school. 

“It turned out to be the best decision. I had an amazing four years in a his­tor­i­cally racist neigh­borhood,” Trussell said. “Fast forward, I never miss a class reunion; every five years I’m there.” 

She is grateful for this edu­cation because it enabled her to pass good edu­cation on to her children. 

“My son was prom king, my daughter went on to get a full aca­demic schol­arship to Bene­dictine Uni­versity,” Trussell said. “And you’re trying to tell me that my kids would have done better at a failing school?”

Trussell is also pas­sionate about securing the border. In her speech, she recalled her expe­rience staying with Mexican Amer­icans who live in a Texas border town. 

“No one’s talking about what it’s like to live here,” Trussell said. “And these are Mexican Amer­icans talking about this, not racist white people. This isn’t about being mean to Mex­icans or illegals, it’s about pro­tecting the legacy of the Constitution.” 

Sean Collins, pres­ident of Hillsdale Young Amer­icans for Freedom, said he enjoyed hearing Trussell’s perspective. 

“Hearing how she came from a place where most people think the same way and have a very liberal point of view but got out of that neigh­borhood and realized the oppor­tu­nities that were available to her in America really opened her eyes to the way that things actually are,” he said. “I really enjoyed the event and thought she did a great job.” 

Carl Miller, the vice pres­ident of Hillsdale’s YAF chapter, is an acquain­tance of Trussell’s.

“I’m a huge fan of hers and just indebted to her for all she’s con­tributed to local pol­itics in the state of Illinois,” Miller said. “We’re on the front lines. The left has pretty much taken over the state, it’s a blue state, so we’ve got a lot of work to do to rein­troduce freedom and liberty. We’re really blessed to have Stephanie here at Hillsdale College to talk about racism. I think it’s really cool to be able to do that.”