Rush Limbaugh likes to portray himself as one who has more understanding than anyone else about how to solve America’s problems. The pitiful fellow may not realize that he himself is doing a very great deal of damage to America. It is possible — though highly doubtful — that he actually believes some portion of what he says. Most of it is simply too ridiculous for even Limbaugh himself to believe it.
I have a Limbaugh quote from 2011:
The problem “. . .is these wackos from Bill Ayers to Jeremiah Wright to other anti-American, Afro-centric, black liberation theologists working with them — and Barack Obama is smack dab in the middle of it. They have been training young black kids to hate, hate, hate this country, and they trained their parents before them to hate, hate, hate this country.”
Racism such as Limbaugh’s requires a very great deal of ignorance, with which Limbaugh obviously is well supplied. I had great- and great-great-grandfathers fighting in the Civil War, some on one side and some on the other. It wasn’t very long ago! The Emancipation Proclamation was issued just 152 years ago, a drop in the bucket of history.
So far as I know, my life and character have not been shaped by slavery or the Civil War or the lynchings that continued on long after that War or the racism that remains so rampant and so ugly today. But for the Blacks in America, it is a very different story.
I can trace my understandings of freedom, liberty, justice all the way back to the Magna Carta of 1215, not only because my racial background is English (King John and half the signatories of the Magna Carta were my direct ancestors) but because American democracy benefited immeasurably from the lessons learned in England over the five centuries after that. When does the story of liberty and equality and justice begin for American Blacks? Not 800 years ago but 150. And it was a rough beginning.
And who has opposed the Blacks nearly every step of the way in that century and a half? White people who love to proclaim America as the land of the free, the exceptional nation committed to this extraordinary ideal:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. . .”
Just six years later, our Founding Fathers wrote a constitution for the United States which specified that, for purposes of representation, slaves (nearly all of whom were Black, of course) were to be considered three-fifths of other persons.
Does Rush Limbaugh really believe Blacks hate America (no, I doubt that he does) and does he really believe that, if they do, it is because some people have been teaching them to do so? Again, I doubt that he is actually that ignorant. He is simply a hard-hearted racist. Simply a racist.
That means that Rush Limbaugh is part, a significant and loud part, of one of America’s major weaknesses: the strong strain of racism that thrives in America. We are, as the conservatives like to say, Exceptional. That is, we are to be listed among the count of nations one of the most racists societies on the planet. Some honor.
Rush Limbaugh is doing as much damage to America as a thousand Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wrights. He is a serious problem for us. Shame on him.