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Friday, October 16, 2009

Limbaugh's Denial into NFL Based on Politics, Not Race

First, understand that I don't personally care whether Rush Limbaugh owns an NFL team or not. That being said, when the report came out on Wednesday that Limbaugh had been dropped from a group trying to buy the St. Louis Rams, I was furious. Why? Because it’s an assault on free speech, it’s politically motivated, and it's based on lies.

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL players' union, urged players to speak out against Limbaugh. I wonder if the facts that Limbaugh is an outspoken, conservative critic of President Barack Obama, and that Smith is a stanch, left-wing political contributor who contributed over $3,000 to Obama's presidential campaign, has anything to do with that.

Of course, Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson had to get involved. Sharpton sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell arguing against Limbaugh, and Jackson said Limbaugh "should not have the privilege of owning an NFL franchise…”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell then made this statement: "We're all held to a high standard here and divisive comments are not what the NFL's all about. I would not want to see those kind of comments from people who are in a responsible position in the NFL, no. Absolutely not."

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay chimed in with his announcement that he would vote against Limbaugh saying that there have been comments made that are “inappropriate, incendiary and insensitive…”

Why such a campaign against Limbaugh? Supposedly, because he is a racist.

One Limbaugh comment widely used as evidence of his racism is the one that he made in 2003 as an ESPN commentator. In a discussion of Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb, Limbaugh said the following:

Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team.
Read that quote again. In it, Limbaugh is critical of two things: McNabb’s performance as an NFL quarterback, and the media. Everyone knows that for nearly his whole career Limbaugh has been critical of what he considers to be a liberal media. Whether we agree or disagree with that analysis, it was the media that he was being critical of when he mentioned McNabb’s race, not McNabb himself. The only criticism he had of McNabb was of his performance as an NFL quarterback. Once again, whether or not we agree with that analysis, there is nothing racist about criticism of an athlete’s performance.

Further alleged evidence of racism is the song “Barack the Magic Negro” that Limbaugh plays on his radio show. What the accusers don’t care to mention, however, is that Limbaugh’s “Barack the Magic Negro” parodies an L.A. Times piece by black columnist David Ehrenstein entitled “Obama the 'Magic Negro.’” In his piece Ehrenstein claims that Obama “lends himself to white America's idealized, less-than-real black man.” Ehrenstein states that Obama’s fame “has little to do with his political record or what he's written… or even what he's actually said… It's the way he's said it that counts the most. It's his manner, which, as (then) presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Biden ham-fistedly reminded us, is ‘articulate.’” Ehrenstein said, “The only mud that momentarily stuck was criticism (white and black alike) concerning Obama's alleged ‘inauthenticty [sic],’ as compared to such sterling examples of ‘genuine’ blackness as Al Sharpton and Snoop Dogg.” However, according to Ehrenstein, “as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him.”

Ehrenstein’s piece is the real racism behind “Barack the Magic Negro,” and that’s what Limbaugh is parodying, but somehow Limbaugh ends up the racist.

Maybe it’s not the misunderstood or deliberately misrepresented quotes like the McNabb quote or the parodies like “Barack the Magic Negro” that cause people to call Limbaugh a racist. Maybe it’s the quotes attributed to Limbaugh such as this one:

I mean, let's face it, we didn't have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I'm not saying we should bring it back; I'm just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.
This quote is not taken out of context, misunderstood, or misrepresented. It’s very clear. The only problem is that it’s completely fabricated. It’s made up. There is no record whatsoever of Limbaugh ever having made that statement.

The same is true of another quote being attributed to Limbaugh in which he supposedly praises the man who assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here's the quote:

You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed.
Again, it’s a completely fabricated quote. Limbaugh simply never said it. However, that does not seem to matter to those who want to paint Limbaugh as a racist.

This crusade against Limbaugh’s ownership of an NFL franchise is based on the twisting and misrepresenting of Limbaugh comments and parodies from his radio show, and on the spread of completely fabricated comments falsely attributed to Limbaugh. The leaders of this anti-Limbaugh crusade are politically motivated, and those who have fallen in line with those politically motivated anti-Limbaugh leaders are people who have chosen to believe what they’ve been told without checking out any of the facts.

I have listened to literally hundreds of hours of Limbaugh’s radio show, which I would be willing to bet is far more than anyone on this anti-Limbaugh crusade has listened to, and I can say that, while I do not always agree with him on every issue, one thing that I am sure of is that he is not a racist. It is sad that those of the left have once again played the race card to further their political agenda. They are the real racists. And it’s equally sad that others, once again, either don't care enough to learn the truth, choosing instead to follow those racists like blind sheep, or know the truth but lack the courage to stand up against the politically correct nonsense of the left, and as a result have allowed politics to take center stage in an area where it does not belong at all.

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