Rush Limbaugh’s interview yesterday on the black radio program The Breakfast Club was supposed to center on the George Floyd murder (by police), but in typical media fashion the interview degenerated into ideological rhetoric which, in my opinion, obfuscated the entire point of the segment.
You can listen to the interview in its entirety below:
The interview was not a total waste of almost 27 minutes of my life that I will never get back. I did manage to come away with some very interesting observations…
Firstly, I am impressed that Rush Limbaugh agreed to an interview on this particular program and even more impressed that he did not default to a position of defending former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s actions. I am even more impressed that Limbaugh actually called out the other three officers with Chauvin for their actions.
Secondly, I totally agree with Limbaugh that in this country, anyone can succeed if you try. A point that he adroitly illustrated by mentioning the success of each of the black hosts of The Breakfast Club program as a prime example.
And now, where I diverge with both Limbaugh and his three hosts…
Both Limbaugh and his main host, Charlemagne tha God proceeded to talk past each other with all of the typical ideological hot button points from both political and racial perspectives.
For starters, no politician or political party, in and of itself, is going to make your life better, especially without your active participation. Ergo, when Limbaugh started in on “why do you (meaning black people) keep voting for the Democrats”, he lost me. As if voting for Republicans would change anything, especially with regard to the police malfeasance disproportionately affecting black Americans.
Charlemagne tha God did not help his cause by starting in on victimology narratives centered on white supremacy and white privilege in response to Limbaugh.
This is not to say that white privilege and white supremacy do not exist and supported by far too many people in this country, even on a systemic level. However, within the context of this interview, it only served as a catalyst for both parties to talk past each other without coming to any semblance of understanding (not agreement, big difference).
My biggest problem with the content of this interview is that the exchanges between the parties completely missed the point…
Three points, actually…
1. The problem being protested is not just a “black problem”. A point that neither party in this interview seems to understand.
2. This interview squandered an opportunity to address why police officers who commit murder often never face consequences for their actions: qualified immunity.
I’m still waiting for people like Limbaugh and Charlemagne tha God to address the proverbial elephant in the room instead of servicing their own agendas.
3. Trigger terms that cause people to default to tribalism (white supremacy, white privilege, political ideology, etc.) will never allow what can be a substantive conversation to happen.
Qualified immunity and ideological hypocrisy from some in our country’s leadership are what enables unequal treatment of citizens under the law and protects those officials who abuse their power.
This interview is yet another missed opportunity and that is a shame.
-The Rational Ram