Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I Told You "Race" Makes You Crazy

At least it makes you say crazy stuff. Three cases in point:

Rush Limbaugh:

".. Limbaugh said, “Black unemployment is terrible. The black frame of mind is terrible. They’re depressed. They’re down, Obama not doing anything for them. How’s that hoax and change working for ya? They’re all livid. They thought there was going to be an exact 180 degree economic reversal, and it’s done nothing but get bad for everybody, but they’re especially upset about it because they look at him as one of them, and now they feel abandoned, and I’m sure Tiger Woods’ choice of females not helping them out with their attitudes either.”'

What?! Why is this guy still employed? Why is anybody still listening to him? What non-sense!

Sen. Harry Reid

Okay... let's switch political aisles for a moment just to show that "race"-induced insanity strikes all political varieties. Check the comments from Sen. Reid re: health care reform and those who oppose it.

Really?! Not passing health care reform is akin to opposing abolition, women's suffrage, and Civil Rights legislation?! Wow. Health care reform is either very, very important, or two very sad things just happened. One: Sen. Reid used some very "race"-freighted comparisons to essentially demonize his opponents. Two: He just trivialized some rather huge social and political issues with an unwarranted comparison. I think the first is unkind. I resent the second.

As I've written elsewhere, the current "let's take our issue and make it the new slavery or the new Civil Rights" is both offensive to many and ineffective. The abortion=slavery, Civil Rights=gay rights analogies should be abandoned, if for no other reason than the sometimes tacit and other times explicit racial freight they carry. It's not helping us.

Tiger Woods and Racial Reconciliation?

Finally, Tiger Woods. If you've not read C.J.'s post, you should go there now. It's must reading. I've been pretty disinterested in all the Tiger mess. I'm surprised people are surprised, and I wonder if all the shock and horror are simply more respectable guises for our voyeurism.

Anyway, I was caught by one of Challies' A La Carte items (don't you love that feature!). In it, he quotes a section from an article at American Thinker. I don't really know this blog or this person, so this isn't aimed at anyone in particular. I just couldn't understand how this sentence about Tiger could be true: "...he was our first living embodiment of the collective hope for racial reconciliation."

The man defines himself as so "racially" or ethnically "other" that it's nearly impossible to see him as reconciling anything, or embodying any hopes for reconciliation. What exactly is a "Calabanasian," Tiger's self-designation? He has a right to that, and I don't begrudge him one bit. So, let's not make him "black" all of a sudden (an imposition and a false assumption from our one-drop rule past). But it's a huge stretch of the imagination to consider him "our first living embodiment of the collective hope for reconciliation." Heck. I'm not even sure there is such a "collective hope." Seems most are pretty comfortable with marginal interaction masking deep stratification.

Anyway... that's my mental health post for the week. Let's check the craziness at least through the New Year.


Jonathan said...

Why don't you like what Rush said? You labeled what he said as absurd without explaining why.

Corey S. said...

Thanks for this post. Sincere question, I'm not trying to set you up here. Other than the Tiger comment in the Rush quote, what is crazy about it? is it that he views race in a monolithic sort of way?


Hayden said...


I am no big fan of Limbaugh. At all! I heard you speak at the 2008 T4G and loved it!!

Yesterday, while I was eating lunch, I turned Limbaugh on and heard the whole context of what he was saying. You may want to check into it more fully because he was quoting and interpreting a Jesse Jackson interview where it was Jesse saying these things. (He then went on to read the articles that were saying that those who are unemployed and black are angry at President Obama)

It was Jesse Jackson that called urban America the 'canary in the mine'. Jesse has been all over TV here in the states peddling this to anyone that would hear. (Also be careful of using 'Media Matters" stuff. I believe they are not always 'above board', they cut and paste stuff. Look into their funding)

I think the Tiger Woods comment was off base though. (But sadly I have heard commentary from black commentators that said the same thing :-() (Samples can be found in the new york daily news, etc.)

Limbaugh is a buffoon at times, many times. He always pushes hard to get his point across, which is why I can only take so much of him.

I thought Reed's comments were over the line as well.

I loved the article by CJ as well.

Two of my favorite voices in the media on the 'race' issue are Juan Williams and Larry Elder. Two different viewpoint but always succinct.

Race does make people crazy!!!

ajcarter said...

Watch out for the sacred cows, my friend :).

Anonymous said...

The Limbaugh clip you posted is taken from the left-winged group Media Matters. They're notorious for intentionally taking his comments out of context in order to make him look like a racist. Please don't follow their lead.

FellowElder said...

Hi all,

Thanks (I think :-)) for all the Rush questions. Here's what I hear when I listen to this clip for the 10th time:

1. He's not quoting Jackson. He plays a clip of Jackson but leaves that pretty quickly. The thoughts are Rush's, no one else's.

2. When he does play the Jackson clip, Jackson explicitly defines the "we" in his comments as "urban" (read, poor black) and "Appalachian" (read, poor whites). Jackson is being populist, not racist, in his comments. Rush is the one who dashes to make the segment about Blacks.

3. Rush leaves Jackson and refers to "two more stories in the stacks on black unemployment." What happened to Appalachia? And that's when Rush begins with the "black frame of mind" nonsense. He makes sweeping statements: "they're all livid," etc.

4. And if all of that wasn't clear enough, then the Tiger Woods and white women comment. What was that about?

C'mon, guys. Drop this guy. He's not helpful and often ugly. I can't think of a time I've listened to Limbaugh and came away thinking Eph. 4:29 was evidenced in his speech.


FellowElder said...

Sacred cows make the best burgers, bro! :-)

wayner said...

As pointed out in other comments you seem to be unaware of the larger context outside of this snippet from Media Matters. Rush frequently talks about a subject over the period of multiple days, and then he will say something like this that Media Matters will take out of context from the rest of the discussion. Rush does this frequently just to show how biased Media Matters and other liberal "news organizations" really are. In fact if you listened to his show today he talked about how the snippet from Media Matters was jumped on by the liberal media just as he thought it would be, and taken entirely out of context.

FellowElder said...

Hi Wayner,
Thanks for commenting friend.

I think I'm fairly aware of media bias, both the left and right varieties. I'm also fairly familiar with the oft-cited refrains "left wing" this or "right wing" that.

But let me ask a question. What does it say of Mr. Limbaugh that he would say such things--even if he knew they were going to be distorted or taken out of context? How does that improve his credibility, respectability, trustworthiness, or anything?

And in what context are we to understand the assertion that "Tiger Woods' choice of females is not helping them [African Americans] with their attitudes"? Hard for me to understand how that's edifying or even sane in the best of contexts. Wouldn't you agree?


Hayden said...


I listened to the whole hour and not just the clip. (Which is a rarity)

I had a much different perception, my brother. Did you listen to the whole hour or just the clip from Media Matters?

His larger point is that it is always liberal politicians that bring up the race card.( I do not think this is wholly true, there is enough blame to go around) Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton traffic in 'racism' or 'perceived racism'. They both have an axe to grind.

In the whole hour he was talking he brought up the point that many people were excited about President Obama's election because they thought it would put and end to all the talk about racism.

He said au' contraire, it has just gotten worse. His point was that politicians and race hustlers are the ones that see color and bring it up when the 'chips are down' and then he went on to talk about Harry Reid's comments and how desperate they were. (They were also factually incorrect)

Rush is a pain, I will give you that. He says some very stupid things. I agree the comment on Tiger was unwarranted. It was not the first time I heard it unfortunately.

I do not listen to a lot of political speech because none of it is on the level of Eph 4:29. I just happened to catch the whole hour that contained this small clip by the highly unreliable Media Matters otherwise I would have seen it the same way that you did.

Chris said...

The thing I find wrong about all of this is the facination of Christians with the secular. I know so many "Christian Idealoges" that Quote limbaugh, hannity, coulter or beck that I am deeply troubled by the weight of the worlds oppinion in the matters of the redeemed.

Dave said...

I am a little taken back that a "Rush Limbaugh apologetic" is being articulated. Come on guys! He consistently makes offensive and racist remarks, and Thabiti is calling him on it.

Denny said...

Interesting post and comments. Couple thoughts regarding Eph 4:29. First, from the comments what seems to be unwholesome to one does not seem to be unwholesome to others. Each approach the clip/quote with his/her own political bias. How do we judge what is wholesome and what is not? Second, at this point in our political dialog/culture, I am not sure it is possible to not listen to anything that is unwholesome. The only way is to completely ignore the political stuff that are happening right now. I am not sure that is a good idea given the policies that are being debated.

wwdunc said...

Rush Limbaugh is still employed because a lot of people listen to him. Unfortunately, his listeners include a lot of evangelical Christians. In my opinion, Limbaugh is far more racially divisive than Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, and purposely so. In fact, I think whites who cannot stand Jackson or Sharpton pay far more attention to what they say than Blacks ever do (at least the Blacks I know). My question is why are some whites so concerned about them? Why the fixation? (I think I know the answer, but I'll leave that alone.)

As far as Tiger Woods being "our first living embodiment of the collective hope for racial reconciliation"--I wonder whose "collective hope" is the writer talking about? As far as I can recall, I've never thought there would be true racial reconciliation--in a collective sense--in America. The older I get, the more certain I am that it will never happen.

wayner said...


Rush does put his foot soundly in his mouth at times, and will not always be contrite in spirit when called on it. The biggest one I can remember was when talking about a congressman from Ohio who's first name was Sherrod. Rush obviously thought he was black based on his first name, even though he is white. I was disappointed that Rush would not fully take ownership of this mistake. I'm probably making the case against Rush for some, but I mention it only to show I don't blindly follow Rush.

However I was really asking if you had listened to the larger context of his Tiger Woods comment. You can actually come close to the context from reading through the previous comments. If after listening to the larger context you still find his Tiger Woods comment offensive, I can live with that.

As far as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton being less devisive than Rush, please read Juan Williams book "Enough".

Thanks Brother Thabiti for your blog, it is a daily read for me.