On the Aug. 12, 2021 episode of The Hake Report, host James Hake argued with a Black caller about his decision to wear a Confederate flag shirt on air. During their back-and-forth, Hake defended Confederate soldiers as “patriots,” called Black people “underachievers,” and accused the caller of “racially profiling” Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The caller, identified as “Tyrone in Chicago, Ill.,” confronted Hake — who has made racist remarks and defended the Confederacy in the past — by claiming it was a “contradiction” for the host to wear a Confederate flag T-shirt while displaying a large American flag in the background.
“It’s not a contradiction,” Hake said, adding that because the Confederate states were allowed to rejoin the Union after the Civil War the “Confederate flag is an American flag.” Hake then told the caller that “You can’t call yourself a patriot and hate and reject the Confederate flag.”
When asked why he opposed the Confederacy, the caller pointed out that they “wanted to fight America” and “wanted to have slaves.” Hake responded by claiming the Confederacy was merely rebelling against an “oppressive federal government” and insisting that he has “no opinion” on slavery.
“There may be some problems [with slavery]. There may be some problems,” he conceded. “But it’s irrelevant to today.” The caller replied that the effects of slavery can still be felt today, and pointed to the wealth gap between Black and white Americans.
Hake told the caller that this gap exists because “Blacks are underachievers.”
“You guys are victim-minded people,” he continued. “You are angry, victim-minded people. No, you guys are hung up on your race. You’re underachievers. Including you. Including you. Yeah, you know why? Because you think Robert E. Lee was a ‘racist son of a prick.’”
(The caller had previously used that phrase to describe Lee after Hake called the Confederate general a “better man than you or I.”)
When the caller reiterated that Lee also owned slaves and didn’t view white and Black people as equal, Hake responded with “They weren’t. Duh.” Hake said this sentiment was “not racist,” and called the concept of racial equality a “communist idea.”
Hake continued to defend Gen. Robert E. Lee, justifying his ownership of other human beings by saying that Lee “inherited them” and “had to keep his slaves on [his estate], and keep working them.” And he praised Lee for siding with the Confederacy out of “loyalty” to the state of Virginia.
“The federal government wanted to impose its ideas and values and taxes and all of these things — and regulations — on the South. The South did not like that so they wanted to get away,” he explained. “That’s not a betrayal. And that’s not a traitorous thing, to try to leave the country.”
Hake also said that “great men were slave owners back in the good old days” and accused the caller of being a “racist” who “hate[s] white people.”
“How am I a racist?” the caller asked. “Give me one thing that I said that was racist.”
“Because you’re racially profiling Robert E. Lee as a racist just because he owned slaves,” Hake replied.