Friday, 29 May 2009

Rush: Republicans are Like Blacks in Jim Crow Era

I rarely pay much attention to the pile of bile that is Right Wing radio host, Rush Limbaugh. For me, it s kinda like a boycott - his product is outrage therefore if I buy into his deliberately outrageous provocations I become his customer. I have no desire to buy anything from El Rushbo.

But sometimes, even the picketers outside the store have to tip their hat when a retailer stocks an especially remarkable bit of merchandise. And so, I feel force to break my self imposed discipline to report to you that apparently Republicans in America are being lynched by angry mobs of Democrats. Or something:

If ever a civil rights movement was needed in America, it is for the Republican Party. If ever we needed to start marching for freedom and Constitutional rights, it's for the Republican Party. The Republican Party is today's oppressed minority. It knows how to behave as one. It shuts up. It doesn't cross bridges, it doesn't run into the Bull Connors of the Democrat Party. It is afraid of the firehouses and the dogs, it's compliant. The Republican Party today has become totally complacent. They are an oppressed minority, they know their position, they know their place. They go to the back of the bus, they don't use the right restroom and the right drinking fountain, and they shut up.

Ah. Right, then. If EVER a civil rights movement were needed, claims Signor Rush, it is needed for the mildly mentally repressed Republican party. Certainly it was not needed for the group of people who were actually being forced to the back of the bus, treated as legally unequal, deprived of voting rights and violently murdered in appallingly high numbers by men in hoods.

Indeed no. For THAT, you see, was merely an example of the glories of our federalism in which we recognise the inalienable rights of the state.

Rather, we should have held fire at the time and saved our organising for the inevitable moment when, 40 or so years on the Republican party would peacefully lose an election because they have so badly screwed up the country that almost no one still agrees with them about anything. That, apparently, is what it means to be an oppressed minority.

Ya know, Rush, just because you're a minority doesn't mean you're being oppressed.

But furthermore - why is language like this allowed to persist? Slavery and the later civil rights abuses perpetrated against African Americans in this country were an American atrocity - an original sin of the nation that we have fortunately begun to overcome. I'm not saying that we should hang our heads every day for shame, or that those of us who were born after the worst moments of oppression had ended necessarily bear personal responsibility for it.

But surely, we owe more to those who were its victims than this kind of glib comparison, yes? People were rounded up by angry mobs by moonlight and beaten then cut, then hung and then set on fire. Thousands of them were. In living memory. Even generations after we had to fight a war to ensure their ancestors could no longer be enslaved.

When people make these kinds of facile comparisons between whatever is the current Outrage Du Jour and the Holocaust perpetrated against Jews, the Anti-Defamation League has made it a habit to object in the strongest possible language, on the grounds that this cheapens the memory of the real victims. I can't see any reason why it should be acceptable to treat the real victims of the Jim Crow South with any less consideration. Even if you are a professional merchant of slime.

Oppression? I'll show you oppression. Oppression right on your behind. Crazy!

1 comment:

Julian said...

And Tom Tancredo is now claiming that the organisation leading the supposed persecution is La Raza, the nation's leading Hispanic civil rights organisation:

So much for the Latino outreach efforts that the GOP started in previous years. With such contemptuous disregard for Hispanics by the Republicans, I now agree that Texas will likely be brought into play in presidential politics in about a decade.