Today, Rush Limbaugh began a new line of openly racist attacks on Barack Obama. According to Limbaugh, Obama is "stupid." The racist part is Limbaugh’s assertion that Obama "probably didn’t get out of Harvard without affirmative action."
As a college dropout, Rush Limbaugh probably doesn’t understand the use of blind grading in many law school classes. The idea that Barack Obama could not have graduated from Harvard Law School without preferential grading is one of the most ridiculous racist assertions made so far during this campaign. No one can possibly imagine that Obama’s success in law school, including selection to the Harvard Law Review, passing the bar, becoming a top teacher at the University of Chicago Law School, was all somehow granted to him by a conspiracy of Harvard Law professors to raise his grade. But to a racist like Rush Limbaugh, such nonsense becomes believable if it’s a black person who is succeeding.
Limbaugh has a long record of racism. Limbaugh lost his job at ESPN after claiming that there is a vast media conspiracy to help black athletes: "I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They're interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well."
Consider these other examples compiled by FAIR:
Limbaugh once told a black caller: "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back." A decade ago, after becoming nationally syndicated, he mused on the air: "Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"
Here is Limbaugh's mocking take on the NAACP, a group with a ninety-year commitment to nonviolence: "The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."
When Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL) was in the U.S. Senate, the first black woman ever elected to that body, Limbaugh would play the "Movin' On Up" theme song from TV's "Jeffersons" when he mentioned her. Limbaugh sometimes still uses mock dialect -- substituting "ax" for "ask"-- when discussing black leaders.
And Limbaugh has targeted Obama in particular for racist comments, referring to Obama as a "halfrican American" and playing the parody song "Barack the Magic Negro" repeatedly.
But this isn’t just Limbaugh. While critics reported extensively (and correctly) on media sexism, the racism in the media is largely ignored. From the start of his campaign, Obama has been falsely attacked as "inexperienced," a common double standard faced by African-Americans imagined by whites to have advanced due to racial preferences rather than qualifications. It is almost impossible to find anyone in the media who points out the fact that Obama has more foreign policy experience than four out of the last five presidents when they were elected, or the fact that his judgment about the war in Iraq was far better than nearly all of the pundits and journalists who find it so easy to dismiss Obama as "inexperienced."
Will the media give any attention to Rush Limbaugh for his racist attacks on Obama?