Paul R. Lehman, Limbaugh’s ploy to make Obama a black president flops.

July 13, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Posted in American Bigotry, Media and Race | 4 Comments
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Rush Limbaugh seemingly reached the zenith of his fears and frustrations regarding President Obama recently when he made a statement that America elected Obama because he was black. As for as Limbaugh is concerned that statement was meant to conjure up in his followers and supporters all the negative connotations relative to so-called black people in America. The apparent intent of that Limbaugh statement was to be the most serious insult he could make regarding Obama in spite of all the other labels and titles assigned to Obama, and to show the ignorance of the Americans who voted for Obama.

                Limbaugh in his statement was apparently depending  on the negative stereotypes America created for the African American that included referring to them as negroes, blacks, colored, cuffy, and coons to mention a few. The ploy fell flat on its face because Americans did not buy into the stereotype Limbaugh was trying to invoke. To understand better the game that Limbaugh attempted, we need to go back a few years to 1906 and Oklahoma Governor Alfalfa Bill Murray. Alfalfa Bill was a very biased man who had a great dislike of Jews, Italians, and African Americans. The attitude he promoted regarding so-blacks was that they would be tolerated as long as they were separated from whites and kept in their proper field and factory jobs. He would state publically that he believed that “blacks were inferior to whites in all ways…and must be fenced from society like quarantined hogs.”Many Americans rejected that image and attitude regarding Africans Americans, but many accepted it then and still to this day. The use of the term black brings to mind the attitude and stereotypes popular during Murray’s day.

                Limbaugh’s statement shows that he does not want to use the appropriate term of African American for Obama because that term does not trigger all the negative stereotypes that were associated with so-called black Americans. America’s election of Obama proves the fallacy of Limbaugh’s statement. America did not elect a black man; America elected a talented, young, intelligent, educated poised and mature leader who just happened to be African American. America was focused on the issues, not the complexion of the candidate.

                Limbaugh, in spite of his claim to fame as having his finger on the pulse of America, knows that he continues to dwell in the past with his followers and supporters relative to progress regarding  American ethnicity and diversity. He also knows that by keeping his audience in the past he can keep control of their thoughts and actions. If he was to bring his audience into the 21st century he would refer to himself as European American, not white and so-called blacks as African Americans. He would also stop using the term racist and use the appropriate word, bigot, since all human being belong to one race—the human race. Unfortunately, Limbaugh will not make that leap of informing his audience, because to do so would cause him and them to lose face, power, and prestige they believe comes from being white.

                As long as Limbaugh can continue to create fear and frustration in his audience by using Obama as the whipping boy, he will do so. He knows that the unity of hate and the loss of empowerment serve as an addiction, and he can nurture it in his audience as their leader. He can continue to create fear and frustration in his audience by his ranting and raving of Obama and his actions. He creates frustration by forecasting the imminent destruction of America by Obama and his administration. He combines these concerns, fear and frustration, by referring to Obama and his administration as a regime. His use of that term is to somehow make an association with Obama and some un-American or foreign form of government. The term in and of itself is perfectly legitimate, but most people hear it used in association with a negative connotation.

                Limbaugh’s statement of Obama being a black president shows his bias. Limbaugh is not a bad person, just an uninformed one. He has every right to criticize the president, his administration and his policies. However, what Limbaugh attempted to do in his statement was to cast a shadow on the Americans who voted for Obama. In essence, he was saying that they did not know what they were doing in electing a black president, hoping they would recall the negative stereotypes of the past associated with a so-called black American. What Limbaugh fails to understand is that the American people who voted for Obama are years ahead of him in their thinking. They were voting for change in American. They wanted someone to lead them into the future, not remain in the status quo or worse, go backwards. America has changed and continues to change daily. When Obama’s term is over, then we will have an opportunity to evaluate his performance. To do so now would be premature. The fear, hate and frustration created by Limbaugh does  a great disservice to his audience, followers and supporters in that he is using these scare tactics to maintain unity and control of them.

                When some Americans discover they have been played for a fool because of their ignorance, loyalty and devotion to an individual or idea that created fear and stress in their lives needlessly, they might be able to find some comfort in the old saying that “everybody plays the fool sometimes,” but  do not bet on it.



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  1. While I generally almost always agree with you I have to take issue with a couple of points. First you are way to kind to Rush. He is not a nice person, and second he is very well informed. His purpose and agenda are all lined with pure gold. He could care less about those he offends or those that hang on his every word. His job is to get paid and to make sure his carriers get paid. There is only one way to get his attention…turn him off.

  2. We all benefit, sadly, from naming others as ‘different’ from us, with the understanding that the difference renders them inferior. I saw this interesting quote recently: “Institutionalized rejection of difference is an absolute necessity in a profit economy which needs outsiders as surplus people. As members of such an economy, we have all been programmed to respond to the human differences between us with fear and loathing….But we have no patterns for relating across our human differences as equals. As a result, those differences have been misnamed and misused in the service of separation and confusion.” [Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider] Rush plays up the fear and loathing, preserving the economic advantage of the European American in our culture. Or at the very least, his personal economic advantage!

  3. Great idea, thanks for this post!

  4. Hey, ok, I get it, I guess – but does this really work?

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