How To Respond To Rush Limbaugh’s Racism?

Posted in Editorials on March 2nd, 2011
by Elizabeth
Tags:

The New Black Woman wrote a post, asking, “Why are white feminists silent on Limbaugh’s attacks on FLOTUS?”

In case you haven’t heard, Rush Limbaugh called First Lady Michelle Obama fat.

I’m fairly new to blogging, and I didn’t write about it because while I think we do need to combat racist memes in the media, when I first heard about this I saw this more as juvenile name calling that blatant racism. After reading The New Black Woman’s post, I can acknowledge that this initial understanding was influenced heavily by White privilege – I assumed that any reasonable person would realize that Rush Limbaugh is a racist piece of garbage without the class that Michelle Obama has in her little finger. What I didn’t think about was how a Black person would see it differently. And I think that’s the heart of the reason that White feminists haven’t called him out for racism about this comment. It’s (wrongly) perceived more as spitballs than cannon fire.

I would agree that everything Rush Limbaugh says about the Obamas is tainted with racism, however subtle, and I have left it to organizations like Media Matters to shine the spotlight on his rancid pronouncements. They’ve called out these comments at least four times so far. Chris Matthews has also made an issue of this on Hardball.

I do not know what should be done about hate mongers like Rush Limbaugh. I dread the thought that ignoring him makes it look as if I agree with anything he has said. He has a huge amount of power and influence and I would be much harder to take down than say, Don Imus. I’m not sure how to go about any sort of activism in opposition to his vile rhetoric without rallying his supporters or wasting my efforts. Can his reputation be tarnished anymore that it is? He’s not exactly an uncontroversial figure.

These past few months, I’ve seen a lot of feminists using twitter as a way to spread awareness about issues. Sady Doyle started #mooreandme to bring attention to insensitive comments about rape victims by Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann, and #DearJohn to call out the Republicans for trying to take away access to reproductive healthcare. Amanda Marcotte started #ThanksPPFA to praise Planned Parenthood for giving women that care. Maybe there should be hash tag to call out Rush Limbaugh? Or to respond to racist attacks on Michelle Obama? On the Obamas in general? Racism in the media at large?

7 Responses to “How To Respond To Rush Limbaugh’s Racism?”

  1. links for 2011-03-02 | Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture Says:

    [...] you ignore either at your peril."(tags: via:cassz asianamerican mixedrace families identity)How To Respond To Rush Limbaugh's Racism | Political Flavors"After reading The New Black Woman’s post, I can acknowledge that this initial understanding [...]

  2. kushy Says:

    Well, we can start by pointing out that Limbaugh himself ain’t nothing to look at—-he’s got a lot of nerve trying to check Michelle abut how she looks when he’s overweight as hell himself—plus he’s been married and divorced like what, 4 times. plus he’s a former drug addict—-honestly if he weren’t a rich white man, nobody would be listening to a damn thing he says. He’s just a rich,fat, overpaid shill for the Republican Party who needs to STFU with his arrogant,racist ass.

  3. MissCherryPi Says:

    Hi kushy! I agree he’s a hypocrite for criticizing other people’s weight. However, I don’t really think another person’s appearance should ever be up for public criticism, especially as a way to discredit their political views. Women especially, cannot win in this arena – if you aren’t a model you are ugly and no one should listen to you. If you are beautiful like the First Lady is, people will point out your “flaws” (I don’t really think she has any physical ones…) to bring you down, or trot out the trope that pretty ladies have empty heads.

    You are totally on about the divorce and drug charges though. Lots of Americans use illegal drugs recreationally and get divorces. What really bothers me is the fact that he may have visited child prostitutes (to rape them) overseas. He might have only been visiting brothels full of consenting adult women. Either way the reason that this scandal was only in the news for about one or two days is because of how much power he has in the media.

  4. Turtleposer Says:

    I don’t know why the author is hoping for pan-racial feminist movement against Rush Limbaugh attacking Michelle Obama’s appearance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 99.9 % certain that feminists of all colors, including myself (a white gal, an unknown) agree that Rush has no room to stand on this, both literally and figuratively.

    Pointing out that Rush Limbaugh is an idiot for calling Michelle Obama fat is like pointing out that the sun is hot. While I think we all need to monitor Rush because he sends out dog whistles to the crazies, let’s not spotlight the ignorance that he’s already made known years ago. He has way too much publicity. There’s this saying, it doesn’t matter what they’re talking about as long as they’re talking. Monitor him, but don’t spread his virus.

  5. MissCherryPi Says:

    Hi Turtleposer. I agree with you that Rush doesn’t need more attention. I think what I took away most from The New Black Woman’s post was that even though I think I’m pretty attuned to racist dog whistles, privilege can stop a person from hearing all of them.

  6. a constitutionalist who disagrees with the obama's Says:

    You make no sense at all. I’m not sure you have ever listened to Rush. His #2 guy is black; he supports Thomas Sowell, Alan West, Larry Elder, Alan Keyes, etc. He just doesn’t like the left. He hates what they are doing to the country. So do I and so do lots of Americans.

    The fact about Michelle is that she is attempting to take away freedom. The food bill she pushed will spend tax money putting cameras in school cafeterias checking that kids are eating what she and her people have come up with as a healthy diet. It will decide how often schools can have bake sales. It is not her business. If she wants a cause, ghetto culture and the “baby-daddy” syndrome are causing much more pain to America than junk food — Why doeesn’t she come out on that?

    Despite your claim of moderation, you are a member of the left. It’s easy to tell — they can’t win on the issues, so they always discuess personalities. I just told you why people don’t like Michelle or Barak — they see that they are changing America to a less-free country. I used logical argument. You, on the other hand, with no facts other than “Rush called Michelle fat” have just slandered him by calling him a racist. Present your facts, please, or stop your slander.

    Millions of Americans are tired of your (the left’s) name-calling and slurring of good people (talk radio hosts, conservatives, tea partiers). Your number one epitaph is “racist.”

    Well, sorry, but not many people are buying it anymore. Why don’t you become more like MLK and judge people by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin? Because name-calling is dividing and destroying our country. If you guys don’t find a way to live with people who have different beliefs without denigrating them, you are going to be partly responsibe for the continuing dismantlement of the greatest country on Earth.

    So how ’bout we stop the hatred, bigotry, and stereotyping of people just because they don’t love the Obama’s. Got proof? Say it. Otherwise, saying “90% of what he isays about obama is related to race” is just name-calling. It’s childish. Let’s all grow up a little, eh? (

  7. MissCherryPi Says:

    Despite your claim of moderation, you are a member of the left.

    I suppose you have no reading comprehension then because it says right up there on the top of the blog, “Left of center”

Leave a Reply