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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rush Limbaugh's Racism Toward Obama

Today, Rush Limbaugh made Barack Obama's race the center of his show and angrily attacked a caller who accused him of racism. In my new book on Rush Limbaugh, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason, I devote a lengthy chapter to detailing a few examples of Limbaugh's racism. The evidence is simply overwhelming, but Limbaugh refuses to see anything wrong in his racial language.

Limbaugh said today, “If anybody looks down at black people and has a condescending view of them, it's liberals.” But it's Limbaugh who is patronizing toward blacks through his regular racist insults. Today, Limbaugh asserted that it was blacks, not whites, who were racist in America: “what was the black percentage for Obama, 110%?” It's amazing that Limbaugh could call blacks racist for voting to elect Obama and then an hour later denounce leftists for having a condescending view of black people.

Limbaugh wondered today, “How many people really think of Obama as black?” Certainly, one of those people would be Limbaugh, since he is obsessed with Obama's race. Pointing out that Obama was raised by a white mother and white grandparents, Limbaugh today adopted a fake black accent and declared: “Barry Obama is not from the hood, he's not from the movement.” Yet Limbaugh declared: “I do not make fun of people's skin color.”

Even before Obama decided to run for president, Limbaugh was attacking him on racial grounds, declaring in 2006, “You are not African American, Mr. Obama. You do not share the heritage of this country that African American implies.” In January 2007, Limbaugh continued the racial attack, calling Obama a “Halfrican.” Rush even suggested that Obama, and all blacks, are not real Americans: “Obama is telling us he is a black American first and an American second.”

Limbaugh was fond of using racial insults against Obama, calling him “a Chicago street thug,” “a half-minority,” and even “the little black man-child.” It is difficult to conceive of any situation where a non-racist would call the most admired black man in America, a 47-year-old man serving in the US Senate, “the little black man-child.”

But while Limbaugh repeatedly attacked Obama for being black, he made bizarre accusations about his race. On September 22, 2008, Limbaugh said about Obama: “He's not black. Do you know he has not one shred of African-American blood?” Limbaugh became the leading figure in America proclaiming that Obama was an Arab, not black. And a poll after the 2008 election found that more Americans believed Obama was an Arab than thought he was a Muslim.

After Obama became president, Limbaugh called him "the greatest living example of a reverse racist" and accused him of “fooling white people.” Limbaugh called Obama "stupid" and asserted that Obama "probably didn't get outta Harvard without affirmative action." The notion that Barack Obama could not have graduated from Harvard Law School without preferential grading is amazingly racist. No one can possibly imagine that Obama’s success--including selection to the Harvard Law Review, election as its president, graduating Magna Cum Laude in the top 10% of his class, passing the bar, and becoming a top teacher at the University of Chicago Law School--was all somehow granted to him by a conspiracy of Harvard Law professors to raise his grades because he's black. Charles Fried, a Harvard Law Professor who served as Solicitor General during the Reagan Administration, wrote to me, “It’s paranoid nonsense. Grading is anonymous by a randomly generated exam number and it takes a vote of the faculty to change a grade.”

Even Obama's policies were guided purely by race in Limbaugh's eyes. Limbaugh claimed today that Obama has a “chip on his shoulder” about race and asserted, “It is a factor in every policy decision he makes.” It would be difficult to find anyone other than a white supremacist who imagines that race is a factor in every policy decision Obama makes.

Limbaugh has repeatedly attacked Obama's economic policies as “reparations” for slavery. Limbaugh declared, “Obama's entire economic program is reparations!” Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert noted about Limbaugh's comments, “Those guys aren't racist. They're just saying that a program that helps the poor is actually a secret plot by African-Americans to steal white people's money.”

Today, Limbaugh declared, “I just treat black politicians the way I treat white liberal politicians.” But he doesn't. Limbaugh often uses racially demeaning language, such as declaring that “Obama is essentially a primitive indigenous guy.” When Limbaugh describes the man who ran the most technologically sophisticated political campaign in history as “primitive,” race can be the only explanation. And there can be no doubt that Rush would never describe a white liberal politician born in America as “a primitive indigenous guy.”

One of most common racial stereotypes in America is that of the angry black man. Limbaugh called Obama, one of the calmest presidents in history, “an angry black guy." Has Limbaugh ever referred to a white politician, such as the notoriously hot-tempered Bill Clinton or John McCain, as “an angry white guy”?

Limbaugh has wondered: “Can this nation really have an African-American president?...Or does having an African-American president paralyze the process by which people with that kind of power in our representative republic are kept, quote, unquote, honest?” Has Limbaugh ever wondered whether America would be destroyed by having a white president?

When a racist caller declared that Obama was fighting “against white America,” Rush agreed with him wholeheartedly: “you're right down the line” and supported the idea that “Obama hates white people." Responding to a caller in 2009 who wondered “when will Caucasians become the minority,” Limbaugh didn't challenge her racism but instead shared her concerns about the declining power of the white race: “the problem is that you've got people running the show now from Obama all the way down through his administration through the House of Representatives who, regardless of their race, are racists.” In fact, Limbaugh asserted that blacks are already controlling America: “When I say does it really matter when Caucasians become a minority, what I mean by this is we already have a governing majority. He's gonna treat them that way. It's reverse racism.” Only the worst of the white supremacists imagine that America is controlled by non-whites. Sadly, Limbaugh is one of them.

My new book about Limbaugh goes into far more detail about Limbaugh's racism toward Obama, and the vast array of additional racist comments by Limbaugh. The evidence of Limbaugh's racism is simply overwhelming, and I invite Limbaugh and any of his defenders to try to explain how all of these bigoted comments are free from racial prejudice.

Crossposted at LimbaughBook.

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