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Lowell Thompson Headshot

Newt Limbaugh's at it Again

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I've tried my best to restrain myself from frivolously posting my thoughts here on HuffPost. I admit I've been a little intimidated by the level of thought and writing I've usually seen here. Even when I disagree, I feel I'm not disagreeing with a moron.

But yesterday, when I read the comments of Rush Gingrich (or is it Newt Limbaugh) I said to myself, "Self, this will not ... must not stand". Not because their blathering weas so egregious in itself, but because right wingnuts everywhere so commonly use the same rhetoric without challenge.

The two headed tag-team reportedly called Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, a racist because she said her background as a Latina gave her unique insight into cases. They revived a tired old ploy Repubs perfected years ago, just about the time Nixon started speaking for the "Silent Majority".

That's when they came up with the cynical but amazingly effective tactic of calling victims of American racism 'racists.' It's the old "If I'm one, you're one too" trick, which was lame even when used in schoolyard debates. But in the grown-up world (I know, I'm being charitable), it's even lamer. It's like calling a man who shoots a burglar who broke into his home and pointed a gun at him a murderer. Or calling a little boy who defends himself against a big, fat bully a little, skinny bully. Besides, just on a logic level, anybody who calls a member of a historically attacked minority a "reverse racist" is by definition admitting they are responding to racism, not initiating it.

FYI: For those historically-challenged among you, real racism was when America instituted the policy of treating Africans, Indians and other "non-whites" as sub-humans and instituted the ideas of white supremacy. The reason people like Gingrich and Limbaugh feel they can still play the old "reverse racism" card is that they think many Americans are still under its spell. Obama's success threatens to finally prove them wrong. That's why Limbaugh said he wants him to fail.

I know, I know, some will think I'm saying what every decent American familiar with our nation's heinous racial history already knows. But if decency and knowledge of history was so prevalent in our country, how come we're just ending eight years of Bush/Cheney rule?

Acknowledging our nation's racist past -- and its by-product of inequality -- is not the same as being a racist. And only an ignoramus or an immoral blow-hard would say that it is.