By Leonard Pitts Jr.

Rush To The Defense? Not So Fast

February 20, 2013 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad 26 Comments A+ / A-
Rush To The Defense? Not So Fast

Dear David from Georgia:

I want to thank you for the email you sent last week. It made me laugh out loud.

It seems you were unhappy I took a shot at Rush Limbaugh a few days back. Limbaugh had argued that John Lewis might have avoided having his skull fractured by Alabama state troopers while protesting for voting rights in Selma, AL 48 years ago, if only he’d been armed. I suggested, tongue in cheek, that Limbaugh would have given the same advice to Rosa Parks, who famously refused to surrender her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, AL, bus.

Which moved you to write: “If Rush Limbaugh were on that bus that day, like so many of us, he would have insisted that Ms. Parks REMAIN seated. … Rush doesn’t need me to defend him from your silly assumption, but I just like to bring it to your attention that just because Rush is WHITE doesn’t mean he is not a gentleman!”

Ahem.

David, Rush Limbaugh is the man who once said the NFL “all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips” and told a black caller to “take that bone out of your nose and call me back.” So the idea that, in Alabama, in 1955, as a black woman was committing an illegal act of civil disobedience, this particular white man would have done what 14 other white passengers did not is, well, rather fanciful.

But then, it’s seductively easy to imagine yourself or your hero on the right side of history once that history has been vindicated. So of course “Rush” would have stood up for Rosa Parks. Of course “Rush” would have defended Jews who were turned away while fleeing the Holocaust. Of course “Rush” would have supported women agitating for the right to vote. Of course he would’ve defended human rights. Wouldn’t we all?

Actually, no. Not then, and not now.

As it happens, David, your email appeared the same week as news out of Flint, MI, about Tonya Battle, an African-American nurse who is suing her employer, the Hurley Medical Center. Battle, an employee since 1988, was working in the neonatal intensive-care unit when, she says, a baby’s father approached her at the infant’s bedside, asked for her supervisor and then told said supervisor he didn’t want any black people involved in his child’s care.

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Rush To The Defense? Not So Fast Reviewed by on . Dear David from Georgia: I want to thank you for the email you sent last week. It made me laugh out loud. It seems you were unhappy I took a shot at Rush Limbau Dear David from Georgia: I want to thank you for the email you sent last week. It made me laugh out loud. It seems you were unhappy I took a shot at Rush Limbau Rating:

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  • Pingback: Rush To The Defense? Not So Fast | PROGRESSIVE VOICES

  • nobsartist

    Just what everybody needs-

    advice from a drug addicited pedophile who favors pre-teen boys and viagra.

  • ORAXX

    Limbaugh and ‘gentleman’ are words that should never be used to describe each other.

  • old_blu

    Rush Limburger would have been leading the jews to the gas chamber, and helping burn crosses on peoples front yards, the only thing he has missing right now is the hood.
    He has already proved that he hates Americans that are different from him, including the middleclass, and women, so what makes David think he would be any different in 1955.

    • latebloomingrandma

      Yes, didn’t Rush invent the word “feminazis” to describe -gasp- feminists?

      • old_blu

        Hehehe, why yes he did.

        He is such a jack ass.

        • plc97477

          I do wish you wouldn’t malign jack asses like that

          • old_blu

            Let it be known that I apologize to all the jackasses.

          • idamag

            Yes, if I wanted an intelligent conversation, a jackass is preferrable to rush buttcheeks

  • elw

    I am moving into my 8th decade soon, and I have yet to hear a race hating person admit that they are racist. They all say the same thing, “I don’t hate (fill in your choice).” Whole communities turned their backs on minorities who were being abused many times through history. If that were not true we never would have had slavery, the holocaust, Japanese interment, the horrible things we did to Native Americans, do I need to go on? Rush is a racist and anyone who defends him is no better.

    • jarheadgene

      YOU are so right. When told by someone that they hate Obama…I almost always ask,”Why?” Most people don’t even have a reason…or they say, “Just because.” But we know why when that is their response. There are those that just believe the SH*T spewing out of Sean Hannity’s mouth. Sometimes you can turn them around with reasoning but often they take sides finally with the “white guy.” Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Rupert Murdoch…..prepare yourselves……your TRUE JUDGMENT will come all too soon.

    • rothgar

      I am not sure about most of the players in the extinction of the Native American cultures. We white folks were responsible but way too ignorant to understand or consciously do what we clearly did. Even among intentional genocide 95% death rates are rare but the unwashed disease infested Europeans managed this feat.

      • elw

        How ignorant you are! Native American cultures are not extinct. There are many Native Americans around who have managed to keep their cultures alive as well as many of their languages in spite of how hard the white man tried to destroy them. So what is your excuse for the interment of Japanese American during WWII, or the way gay people and people of color have been treated, or how so many people, including Americans, looked the other way when Hitler push 12 million people into death camps, etc. It looks to me that there are too many modern day examples of “man’s inhumanity to man” to simply use ignorance as a excuse.

    • idamag

      It goes, “I am not a racist. I don’t hate black people. some of my friends are black,”

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    Rush is a self-solving problem. He’s just one 5 Guys triple with a double side of fries away from a myocardial infarction. The problem is that he led the way for other monstrosities to claw their way out of the slime pit that is his anus and metastasize their cancer throughout the body politic. That cancer is now terminal in the Republican party. They are choking to death on the bile of hatred their cancer has produced. But they seem to be determined that if they are to die, they are taking us all with them into the pit of despair as well.

    The question now is whether they die the dogs death they so richly deserve before they succeed in strangling the nation with their dying grasp. And worse, after they kill their host, will the cancers that are Rush and Fox attempt to spread their poisons to the rest of is, or can they be rejected by the immune response of rationality and hope. I hope so, but there are always pockets of cancer even after successful treatment that await a chance to grow again . . . Evil never truly dies, it simply goes into hiding and awaits its chance to emerge and spread again.

    • jointerjohn

      I began many years ago recommending Rush’s radio show to people I knew who were politically uncommitted or ambivalent. My fellow liberal democrats thought I was crazy for doing that, but I assured them that Rush “reinforced” republicans but he “converted” switch-hitting independents into democrats. He took his assertions so far into absurdity they became repulsive. Many have admitted to me that indeed long-term exposure to Rush has turned them politically to despise the right-wing. Now, I’m not saying this was Limbaugh’s plan, no indeed, he is faithful to the masters of his enormous fortune, but consider this.
      I also know someone who was acquainted with him at the beginning of his current career as a far-right mouthpiece. My friend told me that over dinner one evening Rush told the intimate group at the table that he didn’t believe a word of his schtick, that he just believed in making money and that “ditto-heads” were the most gullible people in America for him to fleece. Why on earth would he have promoted that ditto-head thing anyway if he didn’t actually have disdain for them? Recall how in his early years he always said to his audience they need not read the papers, that he read them and would tell them what to think? That’s no compliment.

      • Siegfried Heydrich

        This is possible. However, even if he doesn’t believe the line he’s handing out, he has enabled an entire industry of hatemongers to sprout and proliferate, and that has had a devastating effect on the national psyche and political discourse. Though it’s really nothing new – Google ‘Father Coughlin’ for an earlier version of Rush. But this was the first time that a professional purveyor of rank hatred was able to capitalize on it so effectively that others copied him and created a hate industry. Hitler was a pioneer in the industry, but he maintained a tight monopoly.

        I will concede that many (most?) are just con men fleecing their marks, but when you get idolized and told that you could market your used toilet paper as sachets, sooner or later you’re going to start believing your con. That’s what brings down many flim-flam men – they start to believe their con, and get so attached to the con that they fail to note that it’s time to pack up the band instruments and catch the next train out of town. And then it all falls apart. There’s a wonderful movie called ‘A Face in the Crowd’ (Andy Griffith’s first starring role) that captures this perfectly. Glenn Beck has been compared to Lonesome Roads so many time that it fits almost perfectly.

        Of course, Rush is so well off that he could quit any time he likes, but I think he basks in the adoration of his marks and has become addicted to it. Sort of like L. Ron Hubbard. Of course, what would be really hilarious would be for him to retire, write a tell all book, and inform his dittoheads of just how gullible and easily manipulated they are, and how he’s been laughing at them all this time, which would blow up the right like the USS Maine . . . Not holding my breath waiting for it, mind you, but I would wind up laughing so hard if he did, I’d probably suffer from a prolapsed rectum . . .

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6SJHIXTNUI3LGFCQAL4BMUCCTY Theresa R

    Very appropriate and True article!! Well written.

  • deedee2die4

    The reality is that America did not have a welcome mat out to persecuted, poor Jewish people in Europe before and during WWII.

    • idamag

      That was racist. Over a hundred Jewish people escaped on a ship that was headed for America. When it reached our shores, we refused them. The captain took the ship back and the nazis got the people.

  • elw

    Oh they know why they hate the President; they also know that admitting it is not cool. If it is any conciliation, people like Rush. Sean, Bill and their followers’ hate is not limited to just people of different races. They spread their hate to White folks that make the mistake of believing in something different than they do. Don’t forget they also deeply dislike women libs, gays, Jews, liberals, the wrong kind of Christian, and those darn old folks who have the nerve to take the Social Security they paid into for decades. In other word, they mostly hate everything and everyone. Personally, I often wonder how they live with themselves and all that hate.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BOTZ4Z25EGDAK22QCXAQGKI45Y Donna

    Rush Limbaugh “entertains” the dregs of our society, the bottom feeders whose minds are demented. It’s a disgrace to our entire country that he’s even allowed on the nation’s airways. When does HATE cease to be free speech? It certainly seems to me that inciting violence, which he does, is the equivalent to shouting “fire” in a crowded theater. Have we lost all standards?

  • charleo1

    How many people are there, that can remember seeing their first African American? I can.
    I was not yet six years old. Having spent my first years in a very small, and rural corner
    of SouthWestern, Missouri. We had no car, or television, nor indoor plumbing, for that matter.
    Poor, but proud, described us fairly well. White trash, was a term I didn’t hear until later.
    and realized, it was a slur directed at people just like me. And that prejudice hurts, no matter
    what the color of one’s skin happens to be. On this particular occasion, some friends who did have a car, took us all to a church where our friends had probably discovered a new preacher they wanted my folks to hear. And, it was there, I remember, as if it was last week, seeing my first Black
    person. And wondered what it was that had befallen these people, that caused their appearance.
    And, if they had come, seeking out this new minister to be healed. And I tell you all this to explain,
    whatever answer came out of my parents mouth about these Black people, on that very day,
    all those many years ago, undoubtedly, had the power to influence how I perceived not only
    the African American, but all other races different from my own, to some degree, for the rest
    of my life. And, I would have no doubt, passed a good portion of that, be it inclusive, or exclusive,
    down to my children, and then, by the same process, from my children, to theirs.
    Racism is not a genetic disease. But it is passed from one generation to the next, just as assuredly
    as if it was. It is dying. As is demonstrated by the election of the first President of the United
    States to be any other color, than White. It says so many wonderful things about America, and the
    American people, and the progress of all peoples, since being the last Country in the civilized
    world to abolish the ugly specter of one human being owning another. But, the fact that race
    baiters like Limbaugh, have a following, tells us that although racism is dying, it has a ways
    to go. That it will linger, and be a hard death. And there is work to be done, and souls to be
    searched, and Rights to be defended. And we know this, because look how far we’ve come.

    • BDD1951

      I grew up with them as neighbors. I lived out in the country. Only 3 houses below ours were white. After that was what was call “The n****r colony”. As kids we played with the neighbor kids. However, we were never to associate with them in any other way. I remember seeing a neighbor on the street and Mother spoke to her. I kind of paused and Mother pulled me on. She said “well I wasn’t going to stop and talk to her.” Thankfully, before she passed at the age of 92 her attitude had changed.

  • idamag

    The voice of the Republican Party

  • Gambler2

    You are correct, Mr. Pitts. Bigotry and racism are alive and well in our country and can be seen every day. For example: Why do Republican leaders refer to Obama as the “Welfare President?” Can it harken back to their hero, Ronald Reagan, who lied about black welfare queens? Why do Republicans refer to the president as the “boy king?” Clinton was a young president too, but I never heard anyone call him a boy. And the list goes on and on until it makes a thinking person want to puke.

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