I remember about twenty years ago, Rush Limbaugh had a short lived television show. I honestly forget what the format was but I believe it was about “pop culture”. The one thing that stood out to me was the stuffed gorilla he had on his desk. The gorrilla always faced the camera. At that time, knowing his extreme views on race, I wondered why he was allowed to get away with that. One could argue that the mood of the country was far right of center at the time. Bush Sr. had just gotten elected and Reagan had already gutted the ‘Fairness Doctrine’.
Rush Limbaugh has always made some outrageous remarks, mostly to rile the opposition and to rally his base.
- “The days of [minorities] not having any power are over, and they are angry.” On June 4, Limbaugh said, “This has been the argument the Reverend Jackson has proffered throughout my life — that it’s impossible for minorities to be racist because they don’t have any power. Well, president of the United States. We’re talking now about a Supreme Court justice. The days of them not having any power are over, and they are angry. And they want to use their power as a means of retribution. That’s what Obama’s about, gang. He’s angry; he’s going to cut this country down to size. He’s going to make it pay for all the multicultural mistakes that it has made — its mistreatment of minorities. I know exactly what’s going on here.”
- “[M]inorities never do anything for which they have to apologize.” On April 12, 2007, Limbaugh criticized Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson for refusing to apologize to three former members of the Duke University men’s lacrosse team who were accused of rape in March 2006 — all charges were dropped on April 11, 2007 — and asserted that “minorities never do anything for which they have to apologize.” Presumably referring to the decision by CBS Radio and MSNBC to stop airing Imus in the Morning following controversial comments by host Don Imus, Limbaugh stated: “Everybody’s demanding that everybody apologize in this country for simply breathing. It’s getting to the point some people are not allowed to breathe or exhale, or make syllables.” Limbaugh went on to complain about the protests Sharpton and Jackson led condemning Imus’ remarks, saying: “They’re members of the minority. Don’t ever forget that this is the case. Minorities, victims, members of groups, are allowed to do anything to address their grievances and to get noticed, because … they’re so oppressed.”
- Limbaugh: “The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.” In 2003, Limbaugh resigned from his job as an ESPN commentator after saying that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb hasn’t “been that good from the get-go” and “got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve,” because “[t]he media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.” After the Eagles reached Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005, Limbaugh returned to making racial comments about McNabb, saying, “There’s no question McNabb has improved and I’m happy to see it,” but that “when the defense … was propping the Eagles up,” the media “were still giving McNabb credit — because there’s this social hope.”
- Limbaugh says “NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips.” On January 19, 2007, Limbaugh stated: “Look it, let me put it to you this way. The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There I said it.”
- Limbaugh declares basketball “the favorite sport of gangs.” Discussing the government’s attempts to curb violence, Limbaugh told a caller on October 7: “It’s not reasonable that you should understand the insanity that local and state and federal bureaucracies are doing. It’s perfectly normal and understandable that none of what they do would make sense to you. My question — OK, a 1 cent sales tax to fight gang violence. What do you spend the money on to fight gang violence? Afterschool program — don’t we already have afterschool programs? Don’t we already have — what do you call it, extracurricular events? Midnight basketball — I mean, we’ve done it all. We’ve taken the favorite sport of gangs, and we put it at midnight to get them on the basketball court. We had 100,000 new cops with Clinton — we’ve done it all. And the problem still is out of control. Liberalism doesn’t work.”
- Limbaugh invented “racial component” to Hackett’s decision to withdraw from Ohio primary race. During the 2006 Democratic primaries, Limbaugh invented a racial element to explain Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett’s departure from the Ohio Democratic Senate primary race against then-Rep. Sherrod Brown, asserting, “And don’t forget, Sherrod Brown is black. There’s a racial component here, too.” In fact, Brown is white — a point on which Limbaugh was corrected later in the program.
- Limbaugh on Survivor series: “African-American tribe” worst swimmers, Hispanics “will do things other people won’t do.” On August 23, 2006, Limbaugh suggested that the competition in a season of CBS’ Survivor, in which contestants were reportedly divided into competing “tribes” by ethnicity, “is not going to be fair if there’s a lot of water events.” In support of this assertion, he cited a March 2, 2006, HealthDay article reporting that “young blacks — especially males — are much more likely to drown in pools than whites.” He later added that Hispanics have “probably shown the most survival tactics,” that they “have shown a remarkable ability to cross borders,” and that they can “do it without water for a long time, they don’t get apprehended, and they will do things other people won’t do.” On his September 29, 2006, show, Limbaugh claimed “[t]here can only be one reason” Survivor scrapped “segregated” competition after two episodes — “the white tribe had to be winning.”
- Limbaugh suggested Colin Powell only supported Obama because of race. After Limbaugh asserted that Colin Powell should leave the Republican Party because of his support for Obama, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that “[i]t’s not up to Rush Limbaugh to decide who ought to be in the Republican Party.” Limbaugh responded on his May 18 show that all Democrats “had to do was nominate an African-American and [they've] got Colin Powell.”
- Limbaugh: Gates is an “angry racist.” On July 27, Limbaugh said Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates is an “angry racist.”
- Limbaugh called illegal immigrants an “invasive species.” Referring to an April 1, 2005, federal court ruling that prohibited shipping boats from dumping of ballast water containing “invasive species,” including some types of mollusks, into U.S. waters, Limbaugh described illegal immigrants as an “invasive species” that U.S. courts willingly permit to enter the country.
- Limbaugh repeatedly calls Native Americans “Injuns.” Media Matters for America documented at least four separate instances of Limbaugh using this slur on his program.
- Limbaugh says Democrats’ interest in Darfur is securing black “voting bloc.” On August 21, 2007, Limbaugh claimed that Democrats “want to get us out of Iraq, but they can’t wait to get us into Darfur.” He continued: “There are two reasons. What color is the skin of the people in Darfur? It’s black. And who do the Democrats really need to keep voting for them? If they lose a significant percentage of this voting bloc, they’re in trouble.” A caller responded, “The black population,” to which Limbaugh said, “Right.”
- “The government’s been taking care of [young blacks] their whole lives.” On February 1, 2007, Limbaugh responded to a Reuters report about a University of Chicago study that found that “a majority of young blacks feel alienated from today’s government” by asserting, “Why would that be? The government’s been taking care of them their whole lives.”
- Limbaugh says that if “feminazis” had remembered to oppose “affirmative action for black guys … they wouldn’t face the situation they face today.” On May 21, 2008, Limbaugh said that “one of the objectives of the feminazis over the last 20, 25 years has been to dominate the public education system so as to remove the competitive nature of boys. You know, there’s a crisis of young man-boy education in the schools. And they did this on purpose, to eliminate male competition in the work force. This is part of feminazi grand plan.” Limbaugh then said, “They forgot affirmative action for black guys. And because of that, every bit of their plan has gone up in smoke now, because they — if — they had to come out in favor of affirmative action for black guys, and that’s — see, this is one of the things that really irritates the women. And there are women all over this country fit to be tied — trust me on this. … [L]iberals eventually are going to be devoured by their own policies. And it has happened here. Because Barack Obama is an affirmative action candidate.” He concluded, “So, it’s just — they just forgot that one thing: affirmative action for black guys. And if they had remembered to oppose that, then they wouldn’t face the situation they face today.”