Rush Limbaugh did a lot in his short life.
Limbaugh not only became the poster child for mediocre white men boxing above their racist intelligence level, but he was also the king of radio racists, and on Wednesday after a battle with cancer, he died. He was 70 years old.
Below is just a short look at some of the outrageously fucked up things Limbaugh said when he was alive:
“The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”
“I think it’s time to get rid of this whole National Basketball Association. Call it the TBA, the Thug Basketball Association, and stop calling them teams. Call ‘em gangs.”
“Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”
“The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”
“If any race of people should not have guilt about slavery, it’s Caucasians. The white race has probably had fewer slaves and for a briefer period of time than any other in the history of the world ... And yet white guilt is still one of the dominating factors in American politics. It’s exploited, it’s played upon, it is promoted, used, and it’s unnecessary.”
Limbaugh was nothing if not a man who stood by his word, so it would behoove The Root to act as if a king had fallen on this day. But what America loses with the death of Limbaugh is just a run-of-the-mill racist with a microphone. And maybe that was a special thing when radio was all the rage, but we’ve got blogs, podcasts, and presidents, and members of Congress all willing to spout the same nonsensical racists babble that once made Limbaugh a shock jock. Basically, technology made Limbaugh’s brand of racism obsolete. But let’s not act like the man, in his death, was some gift to America. He wasn’t. He was just a racist with a platform, and we’ve seen how powerful that can be when other low-minded individuals fall in line.
CNN called him a “conservative media icon who for decades used his perch as the king of talk-radio to shape the politics of both the Republican Party and nation” because they don’t want to call him a racist. I get it. Sometimes it’s easier not to call a thing a thing. Especially in death. But what if the person you’re talking about made a living off saying distasteful things? Shouldn’t they be remembered for the legacy they left behind, especially if that legacy is a racist one?
This is not a beloved bread baker that America has lost: This was a man who accused Michael J. Fox of exaggerating his Parkinson’s disease. This was a man who claimed relentlessly that Barack Obama couldn’t be president because he wasn’t born in America. He helped push the Trumpian lie that the coronavirus wasn’t much worse than a “common cold.” He considered Donald Trump a friend and was awarded the Medal of Freedom before his death. The racist king literally knighted a racist for being a racist.
So a racist conspiracy theorist has died, and I’d expect Alex Jones to grieve the loss and the gaping hole that was left in his heart, but let’s stop normalizing hate, even in death. Rush Limbaugh was not extraordinary and if we’ve learned anything from the failed coup on Jan. 6, it’s that there are millions more just like him, and forgive me if I don’t give a fuck if we’ve lost one mediocre racist white man who can easily be replaced.