“I’ve known these two individuals — the husband for more than 50 years and the wife for at least 35, 40 — and there’s not a racist hair on their heads or anyplace else on their bodies”....Rush stresses the image:
... the media is holding Charles Sherrod up as a paragon of virtue. And John Lewis said that there's not a hair of racism on his head or anywhere else on his body. It's the first time I've ever heard anybody say that. There['s] not a shred of racism any hair on his head, or the rest of the body. What's Lewis thinking when he says that?He pauses to let us try to picture all the body hair Lewis has strangely conjured up for us to contemplate the possible racism of.
I can't explain everything about The Sherrod Incident, but I can explain Lewis's linguistic mishap. He began by mixing up 2 common idiomatic expressions: 1. not a [blank] bone in his body, and 2. wouldn't harm a hair on his/her head.
Having said "not a racist hair on their heads," Lewis must have realized that it didn't work the way it was supposed to. It didn't say there's absolutely nothing racist about them, because people have a lot more hair than just on their heads. By going with hair on their heads instead of bones, it's as if he were saying: in the part of them we can see, there's no racism. To avoid creating the implication that there was hidden racism, he had to vouch for the racism-free nature of the rest of their hair. So he tacked on "or anyplace else on their bodies."
This is a good time to remember that great piece of advice about language: "Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print." Use original images or avoid metaphor, and you won't get into weird troubles of the "anyplace else on their bodies" sort.
Also: Don't be a racist.