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President Obama Calls Limbaugh A Racist!

Posted by on Sep 18, 2009

Okay, he really didn’t, but what a headline, eh?

Over the past couple of weeks, there’s been a lot of racial rhetoric, and frankly it’s getting on my last nerve. Let’s get this one out of the way; racism exists in America, and in other countries around the world. It’s not exclusive to America; there is story after story, if you care to read, talking about racist behavior in countries like Mexico, England, Australia, Germany, France, Zimbabwe, etc. Yes, I threw in Zimbabwe, which is a majority black African nation.

Colored Only sign
CPJ79 via Compfight

For people throwing around the word “racist,” it’s important to put a definition of the word out there so we have a starting point. This also will preface part of what I’m going to talk about later. There are three main definitions of the word from Webster’s New World Dictionary:

1. Belief in or doctrine asserting racial differences in character, intelligence, etc, and the superiority of one race over another or others.
2. Any program or practice of racial discrimination, segregation, etc, specifically such a program or practice that upholds the political or economic domination of one race over another or others.
3. Feelings or actions of hatred and bigotry toward a person or persons because of their race.

Now, you want to talk about things that are funny? I still have my Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary from 1977, the year I started college, and numbers one and two above have been switched. Pretty interesting, eh? How many definitions change like that? Almost none; I’m not overly happy about it, because it changes the connotation of things, but I’ll deal with it.

What do I mean deal with it? If you go by the second definition first, it pretty much limits who or what can be a racist in certain circumstances. With the original definition, only the people who are in power can be racist, because only the people who are in power can create programs of discrimination and segregation against others. In America, that would be the white majority; in South Africa before the mid 90’s, that would have been the white minority. In Uganda in the 70’s, it would have been the black majority.

With the new definition as number one, it starts to muddy the waters. With that definition, there are few people who really fit the category of being a racist. For instance, though I might think Rush Limbaugh is a racist, I can’t fit him into either of the first two. Race baiter maybe, but racist? Strangely enough, he doesn’t have the power, even though a lot of people listen to him and enjoy him (no one will ever be able to explain that one to me). He does easily fit #3, though, but how do you hold someone accountable for a #3 listing?

Now, Pat Buchanan is another story. How about this quote:

“White men were 100% of the people that wrote the Constitution, 100% of the people that signed the Declaration of Independence, 100% of the people who died at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, probably close to 100% of the people who died at Normandy. This has been a country built basically by white folks.” – Pat Buchanan

Now that’s racist, and incorrect, as Rachel Maddow pointed out:


https://youtu.be/6pAfyBXBcXQ

Okay, we’ve clarified that, I hope. Now, as a secondary conversation, there has been a lot of noise saying President Obama should be saying something about this stuff, yet he remains “strangely quiet.” Folks, let me tell you this. There’s absolutely no way President Obama can win on his particular issue. If he says something, it’s going to set off a firestorm. By saying nothing, the firestorm is just the water rumbling a little bit, but not quite bubbling yet. My imagination would definitely love to hear it, though:

Rush Limbaugh is a racist; did you hear what he said about me?”

Sean Hannity is a racist; did you hear what he said about me?”

Glenn Beck is a racist; did you hear what he said about me?”

“Fox News is racist; did you hear what they continually say about me?”

Unfortunately, he can’t say it, and it’s not necessarily true. They’re not racists, folks. They are race baiters, as I called Limbaugh earlier, and I don’t know that’s much better. When everything someone else has to say is followed up with by making a comparison between how a white person might think about something, or about assigning every action a minority does and assigning it as “getting white people back,” that’s race baiting. Just the admission that someone might have a reason to get white people back is interesting:

Yeah, we’ve treated you badly, given you lousy schools, won’t hire you because we don’t like your name, have segregated you, made you slaves, keep blaming you for bringing down the finances of the country and ruining the country because you’re not white like we are, and now you want to get us back because, in some fashion, you’ve proven to me that you’re something other than what I’ve been calling you all these years?”

Whew; glad I got that off my chest. 🙂 Anyway, just a short point I wanted to make. Every country has them, everyone has to deal with them. In America, yes, it’s hate speech, and I’ll say my peace against any of these people or entities when I feel it’s appropriate, which could be almost every day. It’s a shame that someone like me has to interpret every negative action that occurs and wonder if it’s because of race or because someone else just didn’t happen to be feeling me at that moment. Sometimes it’s both; now that’s scary!

Anyway, I think it’s time that, in some regard, we try to take a small step backwards, take a deep breath, then see what warrants a response and what doesn’t. Our politics and religion has gotten racial; I guess that’s the price minorities pay for progress. But I’m a little bit tired of it all; lots of noise, but nothing’s getting solved, no one’s trying to progress. If we continue just trying to hurt each other without trying to make ourselves and the world better, then it’s a lot of wasted effort. And frankly, I don’t need to have the words continually on my mind; I have other things to worry about.

What about you? Don’t y’all just love the new personal me? 😀
 

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14 Comments »

Mitch,

I am totally with you on this one. The sad thing is most people don’t see themselves as racist. They don’t get it. What sickens me is the fact that the media is paying homage to a small group of “taking my country back” americans who really need health care reform so they can afford some psychiatric care!
.-= Beverly Mahone´s last blog ..Baby Boomers and Health Care Reform =-.

September 18th, 2009 | 9:28 PM
Mitch:

Thanks for commenting, Bev, and I agree with you. It’s like the noisy people get all the press, but everyone else still wants some kind of health plan, and needs some kind of health plan. It just doesn’t make sense that the people who need the help would be so much against it. But the racial rhetoric has to end if there’s ever going to be a consensus, or even a conversation.

September 18th, 2009 | 10:43 PM

Mitch I have really fallen head over heels in love with the new you. Don’t however worry, I don’t swing that way. What I mean is, that I keep falling off because I cannot keep standing upside down but I get up again and again to do that.

Other countries have racism or some other ism of some sort. We have Casteism and Religiousism, if that is the word to use. There is however a major difference when it comes to colour. In our system, particularly in urban areas, the assimilation is different because, colour does not play any part in it. There are light coloured folks and dark coloured folks in all the castes and relgions and they all practice isms only after coming to know of some one’s religion or caste as visibly, there is no difference. The Muslim of course is a different category as he insists on differentiating himself by the skull cap, beard, above the ankle loose trousers, and keeps his women in buquas. He insists on not wanting to blend and assimilate. Let us now worry about that silliness, but if he does not do that, no one will be able to tell whether he is part of the gang or not. There was one Chief Minister (the equivalent of your Governor) of the state in which I live, who was known as A R Antulay. So far, so good. The minute he became known as Abdul Rehman Antulay, all hell broke loose! Can you imagine the scenario about how he was baited? The non Muslims called him the vote bank Muslim and the Muslims called him the show piece Muslim. Poor sod could not win another election again.

The point that you make is very valid. The differences are in perception and knowledge, and most of the ills are due to ignorant rabble rousers perpetuating differences for selfish, read electoral, considerations.

We need White, Brown and Black plus a few Polka Dot, ML Kings, MK Gandhis, Nelson Mandelas and many more such people who can lead this world into a better place. I despair that we shan’t see it in my life time.
.-= Rummuser´s last blog ..Hope And Renewal. =-.

September 18th, 2009 | 9:45 PM
Mitch:

I hear you, Rummuser, as I don’t think I’ll be seeing it in my lifetime either. The thing is, there are depressed people in all societies, and yes, most of the time they need a boost. I find it funny when the majority in any nation can figure out a way to make themselves victims. Kind of like men who beat their wives blaming it on the women for making them mad. Yet, those men aren’t misogynists; they’re just jerks. You deal with them almost in the same manner, but defining who they are helps to understand them, and possibly help them make changes.

September 18th, 2009 | 11:03 PM
Jake:

I’ll just speak on a standpoint from my little community here in the foothills of NC. It SICKENS me to hear the things I hear at times, at work or while hanging out with friends.

If I’m at work or with a friend playing golf or whatever, and a racist comment is made, I immediately start picking their brain to find out why they feel the way they do. After a few minutes of conversation (if you can call it that) it always seems to boil down to:

“they” come here and take our jobs.
“they” sit on there a$$ and won’t work and I have to pay for it.

These statements are from white people pointed towards blacks and mexicans. I can also tell from conversation that most of what the person feels comes from mama and daddy, grandpa and grandma etc etc…

This hatred is so deep in some folks around here, they don’t even have a clue as to what they are saying or why.

When the election was going on, I had more heated discussions on politics and racism than I’ve ever had. When I would hear statements like “i can’t believe somebody would vote for a “ni@@er” coming from the mouths of my co-workers AND family, it just blew me away.

and you can see just what kind of response I got from this post… NONE!
http://jakecpunut.com/2008/10/what-year-is-this-and-what-planet-do-i-live-on/

anyway.. timely post my friend… maybe someday people will open their eyes and see we are in the great big wonderful world.. all living together..
.-= Jake´s last blog ..Back On It! eXfuze Has Won Me Over! =-.

September 19th, 2009 | 6:21 AM
Mitch:

Strange as it seems, Jake, that’s one of the biggest problems with allowing everyone to vote, though I support that. People don’t vote because of issues; usually they vote against someone they don’t like, if they bother at all. Add race into the mix and, well, you captured it quite well. See, those folks are the true racists, not these faux celebrities on TV. At least not until we really get them with something overly egregious. Thanks for your comment here.

September 19th, 2009 | 10:02 AM

Why is so much hatred being hurled toward President Obama? That’s a no-brainer!

He’s a Kenyan born Arab terrorist who wants to bring DEATH PANELS to this grand and glorious land of ours so he can pull the plugs on Granny and Gramps.

HE’S A LEFT WING SOCIALIST whose education was funded by the American Communist Party, MoveOn.Org, Barbara Streisand and Ed Asner.

He named his daughters Sasha and Malia – WHAT’S UP WITH THAT???

He would prefer to have dinner with Mahatma Gandhi over Ronald Reagan.

He wants to start a TROTSKY FOR TOTS program for our children.

He’s just an evil person!

EVIL, I SAY! My fellow Americans, heed my warning,

The Big, Black, Bolshevik Bogeyman is gonna git’cha!

It has not a thing to do with race.

I am a white person. I would not lie to you.

But seriously, folks….

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

September 19th, 2009 | 8:53 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Tom; you’ve captured it all pretty well here.

For the rest of you, before you jump on Tom, he’s being sarcastic. What he’s written are some of the quotes people have written about President Obama over time, and he’s spot on with them. You should check out his blog, because he’s outing a bunch of folks for being openly stupid.

And we agree; thanks again!

September 19th, 2009 | 5:19 PM

Sorry Tom, I know that your sending the whole thing up, but what’s wrong with wanting to have dinner with Mahatma Gandhi over Ronald Reagan. 😉
.-= Sire´s last blog ..WassupBlog Alive And Kicking After Transfering To BlueHost =-.

September 19th, 2009 | 8:29 PM

I don’t think we will ever stamp out racism. It will always be there in one form or another, and a lot of it had to do with the way parents raise their kids. Yet sometimes it’s not the parents fault but peer pressure.

Someone always has a grudge against someone else and the easiest thing at hand is the racist club. It’s always someone else’s fault and it’s easier to blame them than to self incriminate.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..A Step By Step Guide Of Hosting Your WordPress Blog =-.

September 19th, 2009 | 8:27 PM
Mitch:

For sure, Sire. It’s also easy to pile on when people are in a larger group than someone else, and I hate that also.

September 19th, 2009 | 8:51 PM

Now that’s a daring post Mitch, no matter who you are. My respect for you just grew a little, not that I had a lack of it to begin with.

I hope you can stand one more post on the matter because it’s on my list of ‘posts to write’. I already have most of the draft and plan to voice my opinion on my personal blog any day.

My best friend is black and we’ve spent hours discussing racism and related issues. I’ve learned a lot and I enjoy the talks, even when they get heated. We’ve even talked about doing a blogtalk radio program but we’re both very busy right now. I think many people get mixed up with culture and race. I’m glad you defined racism.

I also think it’s important to recognize our cultural differences and respect each other. The answer isn’t really to be color blind, it’s to accept and respect each other. Ok, now I’m giving away my blogs content 🙂

I agree that Rush Limbaugh is a race baiter. He’s also a complete idiot.
.-= Brian D. Hawkins´s last blog ..Chasing The Guru Ghost =-.

September 20th, 2009 | 1:04 AM
Mitch:

Good stuff, Brian, and it’s a topic that I believe doesn’t get enough attention. I certainly could have said a lot more.

I just subscribed to your blog this evening; I thought I already had. So, I’ll now know when you write the post.

September 20th, 2009 | 1:19 AM
Mitch:

It’s a tough call, Marnell, and that’s why I wrote what I did. Thing is, some folks complain about political correctness, but I don’t. If people really want to be understood and taken for what they say instead of how they say it, they’ll take the time to state their message more clearly.

September 23rd, 2009 | 8:20 PM