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.”