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Crying Wolf

I previously posted about Digby equating referring to Obama as “presumptuous” to calling him an “uppity negro.” Well, she seems to be seeing racists under her bed again in Affirmative Fool:

I know this isn’t news to anyone, but Rush Limbaugh is a sexist pig and proud of it. If he didn’t have 250 million dollars there’s no doubt he’d be a very lonely guy.

But this racist statement is a doozy:

“This is the first time in his life there is not a professor who can turn his C into an A, or to write the law review article for him he can’t write. He is totally exposed. There is nobody to make it better,” Limbaugh said.

I think he’s probably speaking for a considerable number of people out there who truly believe that black people are inferior. But most of them are smart enough not to say so in public.

I loathe Rush Limbaugh and think he is a disgusting human being, so it pains me to be in the position of defending something he said. But there is nothing inherently racist in that statement.

I’m not saying Limbaugh isn’t a racist, nor am I addressing anything else he has said or done. I fully agree with Digby that he is a sexist pig. But suggesting that Barack Obama isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer isn’t racist, nor does it translate into a racist allegation about the intelligence of black people in general.

This isn’t racist either:

Sign at the NBC cafeteria

It’s a racial stereotype. Left Blogistan really needs to learn the difference between race, racism, racial stereotypes and things that aren’t racial at all.

Criticism of Obama is not racist.

Opposition to Obama is not racist.

Belittling Obama is not racist.

Mocking, jeering and/or making fun of Obama is not racist.

Racism is racist.

250 Responses

  1. If that menu is considered a stereoptype of black people, I should be black. I eat either collards, turnip greens, polk greens, or some other kind of greens, 5 days a week, and green beans or broccoli the other two. Why? Cause they are cheaper than other can vegetables and high in iron and folic acid. I also eat friend chicken, cornbread with pinto beans, and turkey and dumplings. All are SOUTHERN foods, and I am from the South. And the last I looked, I was still as white as they come.

    • Don’t forget grits.

      I never saw grits until I joined the army, but they were on the breakfast menu every single day in the mess hall.

      • I first saw grits in Navy boot camp. I thought it was farina (cream of wheat). It was not.

      • grits are actually Italian … it’s just polenta which now days is a highbrow yuppie food … we used to call it mush. Guess it depends on which part of the south you’re from

      • they serve them alot at the Orleans parish prison too … with cheese on top

      • I once had grits in a fancy southern restaurant so good I was smacking my lips. I asked the waiter about them and he said they mixed cream in the grits. I am southern and most grits are made with too much water.

        Now, have you ever had hominy grits, red-eye gravy, or black-strap molasses? O, and chess pie, yummy!

        jdona is right in saying that menu is southern.

    • One of my favorite cookbooks that I got from a friend who was doing a fundraiser for her local branch of The National Council of Negro Women back in the 1990s is The Black Family Reunion Cookbook. It’s got a to die for recipe for Mississippi Mudcake

      • Oh! I’ve seen that cookbook!

        My son went to first grade in Chicago’s South Side. His elementary school had a soul food dinner with a menu much like the above. MMMM I AM SO THERE. I’m almost pure Yankee but I do appreciate good Southern food.

        • Wanda Sykes last night on Jay Leno wanted to know if they were having watermelon for dessert.

    • Where I grew up, smack dab on the Mason Dixon line, we ate “mush” . It came in a loaf like velveeta cheese and my Mom sliced it & fried it up in bacon fat. We ate it for breakfast with maple syrup on it.

      Seeing the prices on ‘polenta’ these days gives me the giggles.

      • yeah, my dad made it for us when we we’re little, it was po’ folk food where I came from

      • I grew up in Kansas. In my family (German) our mush was also formed into a mold, sliced and sauteed in butter. Maple syrup or powdered sugar was optional.

    • jdona — Not only is the menu southern, it is also AFRICAN in origin. We used to frequent an African restaurant, with real African dishes: simmered collard greens/spinach with your choice of beef, chicken, turkey on white rice, sweet potato french fries with the best tomato-based spicy sauce I’ve ever eaten, and ginger beer. This was my usual order!

  2. Sadly, there is quite a bit of evidence that Obama did get a lot of special treatment along the way. I mean, he didn’t even write anything while he was president of the Harvard Law Review. I don’t think he’s the type who studies really hard. He likes to take trips, make speeches, play golf, go on vacations, and delegate the Presidenting work to others.

    • There was a story about a professor of Obama’s at Occidental College who said Obama complained that he got a C in the professor’s class.

      I wonder how many professors had similar experiences? I wonder how many times Obama succeeded in getting his grades raised that way?

      • Well, there was May 2008…

      • Here it is:

        Yet Obama honed his sense of right and wrong at Occidental. “He hung out with the young men and women who were most serious about issues of social justice,” recalls Prof. Roger Boesche, who taught Obama two political-science courses and knew him as Barry at the time. Obama also wasn’t afraid to stand up for himself, and perhaps had a righteous streak. In one instance, he politely confronted his professor over lunch at a local sandwich shop called The Cooler. “He’d gotten a grade he was disappointed in,” Boesche recalls. “I told him he was really smart, but he wasn’t working hard enough.” Other students might have backed off at that point. But not Obama. He politely told Boesche he should have gotten a better grade. Even today, Obama recalls the demeaning mark. He told journalist David Mendell, author of a recent book called “Obama, From Promise to Power,” that he “was pissed” about it because he thought he was being graded “on a different curve.” Boesche still insists he gave him the grade he deserved.

        How many students complain about a B?

        • Actually, lots and lots. Maybe not back then, but now, yeah. Especially if they need a certain grade to play or whatever. Limbaugh probably didn’t graduate on merit himself, it seems impossible.

        • According to the instructor he was not working hard enough.

          But Obama wanted a better grade anyway.

          I hear the Bells ringinging …….

        • He was also second string on his posh preppy basketball team (filled with shorter Asian/Hawaiians). He complained to the coach that the second stringers weren’t
          playing enough.

          I was second string myself on a team, and only sent in when the score was guaranteed (losing/winning, but with our coach, always losing). I was a not an upperclassman and not assigned the right position for my talents and got bored with the whole thing. Went out for another team where I could excel.

          It shows he has a high opinion of himself, which isn’t a bad thing. Shrub also was full of himself. Maybe having presidential candidates who are more reflective wouldn’t be a bad thing!

        • Even today, Obama recalls the demeaning mark.

          Poooooor baybee! How “demeaning” to be given an appropriate grade! Notice he takes the low grade as a personal insult, instead of realizing that maybe he was taking it too easy.

          Hasn’t change much in the interim, has he?

        • So he took matters into his own hands and gave himself a B+.

          That’s one way to solve the problem.

        • “really smart, but not working hard enough”. Well, there you have it. He hasn’t changed a bit.

      • I’ve been finding out what that is like this year. Sometimes I’m just tempted to change their stupid grades to get them off my back.

        • You know, it never occurred to me to hassle my profs over my grades in college. I figured it was pretty much on me if I got a grade I didn’t like.

        • My late father taught gen. ed. music appreciation classes. This was always a hassle since the class was filled with impatient accounting majors who resented paying for the class. One quarter he announced during the first class, “You have a choice. You can get up and leave and have a C for the quarter, guaranteed. Or you can stay and take your chances.”

          Half the class got up and left. “I had a great time with the other half,” he said, “and they all earned A’s. But I didn’t try that stunt again.”

    • Well, he got a Nobel Peace Prize for… you tell me…

      • …. for doing what he has always done in order get the big prizes ….

        N o t h i n g

        btw. I didn’t read Obama’s books but I do have a qs.:
        Did he write them himself or did a ghostwriter do it.
        I did read something like it some time ago. And that wouldn’t surprice me at all if it is true.

        And that is not racist either.

    • And he did a little drugs and alcohol-

    • Notice how he is back on the road campaigning for jobs now. You are so right bb—that is his forte. If you get past page 3, he is not there.

  3. “or to write the law review article for him he can’t write”
    That is pretty much what the woman who followed Obama as editor of the law review said. IIRC, she said that Obama would drop by the Law review Office, schmooze for a few minutes and then leave. Never actually did any work.

  4. You know, the people who make these absurd comments can’t be spending much quality time with black people. They don’t seem to be able to distinguish between black culture and society and white stereotypes of black culture and society. It has to come from observing black people from afar. That’s the only thing I can figure.

    • I was think the same. Digby might as well join the Chris Matthews club for racial sensitivity when it comes to Obama. No clue. The paternalistic flavor of it frankly makes me nauseous. And I’ve been on the receiving end of racial stereotyping and also racial prejudice in various forms at different points throughout my life.

      • It really does sound kind of conscending, doesn’t it? Like Obama can’t stand up for himself or something. It’s like they think he needs a racism police force. But wasn’t he supposed usher in the post-racial era?

    • I agree. They are patronizing little pieces of shit if you ask me. 🙂

    • Dkat ~ that is the best explanation I have read so far.

  5. Speaking of stereotypes, I’m going to need my pirogue to get to campus tomorrow. They streets here are quickly turning to bayous.

    • What is a pirogue?

      • It’s kinda like the Polish version of a Peking Ravioli, with potatoes as filling.

        • I think those are perogies.

          • Omg, that’s funny,I was actually just on another website where pIrogies (the dumplings) were being discussed, not even kidding! Lol Much confusion ensues when I have no clue where I am. My bad!

      • it’s a flat bottom canoe used by the cajuns down here

      • A flat bottom, shallow draft, single person skiff. The only time that I was in a pirogue was about fifty years ago and the lasting memory is that it wasn’t very stable. That seemed important at the time because we were fishing in a La. swamp and there were rather large reptiles close by. :>)

    • Maybe you can eat perogies while you’re paddling down in your pirogue.

  6. Please tell me that NBC is not the National Broadcasting Company.

  7. you know what’s racist? Believing that Black people should never be held to the same standards as the rest of us, never talking about some ones failings because they are black and therefor a protected species of hot house flower…. that’s racist.
    It is ridiculous and crippling to the black community that so many liberals still have so much quilt.

    • They’d experience less guilt if they’d actually get out of the suburbs and spend time with black neighbors and friends. Hyperbole is easy when you live in gated communities and highrises with doormen.

      • You couldn’t say it any better. I know Liberal people who actually talk about burning down the bridges that connect their area to the hood. And don’t get me started on how NO Obama campaign offices were located in Black neighborhoods, even on MLK drive. I was shocked about that. stupid I know, but I still was shocked.

  8. Election day is Saturday and I’m doing GOTV for Mitch Landrieu. I’m really hoping we can get some change down here. We sure need it because Bobby Jindal is wrecking the state and we need a strong mayor and city council to stand up to him.

  9. I have to agree with Limbaugh’s statement and the same could be said about Bush Jr. Compared to most of us, these politicians have coasted through life on being legacy admits and socially and economically privileged. It isn’t racist to question people who have been given more opportunities than the average human being to attend the best high schools, the best colleges and graduate schools, and given the best jobs without doing the necessary work to earn their position. This issue has more to do with Obama being raised in an upper class, privileged, and educated environment more than him being half African. When in Obama’s history has he ever been disadvantaged? I think it makes a lot of white liberals feel better to believe that Obama came from a disadvantaged background similar to an African-American from the inner city rather than someone who is as culturally white and corrupt as the majority of politicians in Washington. And it isn’t racist for people to question why no one has ever seen Obama’s grades from Occidental and Columbia.

    • Exactly. The same thing could be said of George W. Bush–he got the rich white guy’s affirmative action plan.

      • The mythologies around Bush and Obama derive largely from the stories of their fathers, whose names they share. I think this is the Dreams from Daddy nepotism plan.

  10. I read that the cook is black, and she wanted to prepare this.

    • On St. Patrick’s Day lots of places serve corned beef.

      • We always had ham and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, but it sure is hard to find if you want to eat out that day.
        I bought a ham when our nearest Sams’s Club closed a week or so ago. Throw in some cabbagge and some onions and potatoes and you have a nice boiled dinner.

        • We have a little tavern in our town ‘ The Cloverleaf” that celebrates St. Paddy’s day right. the best cornbeef and cabbage with Irish Sodabread and all kinds of beers

    • My school cafeteria would usually serve southern food like chicken, and cornbread to celebrate Black History month, burritos or enchiladas for Latino heritage month, corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day, and fried rice and egg rolls for Chinese New Year. And most of us were happy whenever we got to celebrate anything ethnic because the food was always better than what was typically served.

      • If they had French Canadian History Month, eveyone would have to eat Tourtiere (pork pie) and pea soup. I think I’d rather have the fried chicken and cornbread.

        • And poutine. Don’t forget poutine.

          • And gravy.

            Gravy is like a main course in the south.

          • Gravy is the absolute test of a cook in the South. “S/he makes gray gravy” or “That gravy’s got lumps are the ultimate culinary insults.

            Oh, and that menu has the drinks wrong. Sweet tea is the only acceptable liquid to serve with Sunday fried chicken.

    • It really sounds good to me.

  11. For Black History month I think they should serve steak tar tar and sushi, that way people have an excuse to fire up the grill

  12. OT

    Even more bad news about IL Dem Lt. Gov. primary winner:

    “Cohen Admits Steroid Use
    But vows he never “flew into a rage” or hit his family”


  13. This Limpbaugh comment taken out of context as Digby has done could seem racist. However, when it’s taken in context it looks like the other types of nasty comments he has made about Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as John McCain. Limpbaugh’s an ass for sure, but playing the race card at every seeming possibility is foolish and ultimately damaging as it distracts from real racism. Crying wolf, indeed.

  14. Racism” has became a joke like “terra! terra!” and the color code.
    Which is a shame, because it’s still a real and serious issue. That’s Obama’s legacy. He didn’t invent exploiting race for political benefits – but he raised to a new level.

    • The knee-jerk “omg raycist” reactions have diffused and diluted a very serious charge about a very real problem.

      • R@cist is the new communist.

        • I think “racist” is the new “anti Semitic”… or maybe they are both the new “fascist”. It is a left hurling the phrase over and over and the left doesn’t generally hurl the word communist around as a pejorative.

          What I want to know is when “sexist” becomes a legitimate complaint. When does the left make “sexist” the new “fascist”?

  15. Al Franken lays into David Axelrod over health care bill

    Sen. Al Franken ripped into White House senior adviser David Axelrod this week during a tense, closed-door session with Senate Democrats.


    • I love Al Franken.

    • Wow. Good for him.

    • I think it is amazing that this policy follow-up is a closed door meeting with 0’s political men and not with him, not with his sec. of hhs. Does this president ever get confronted by real people with reality? This is just like the whole topic of this thread—get beyond the cover sheet and there is no 0 there.

  16. The New Dems are looking very desperate regarding their focus on Limbaugh. Just as they tried to demonize Fox News, all they succeeded in doing was giving them a higher profile. Lately, they are making sport of taking almost everything Limbaugh says out of context in a transparent attempt to eliminate him. All they have to do is focus on creating a legitimate, helpful agenda for middle class Americans, and they won’t have to spend all their time looking for excuses to say, “B-b-but HE’S worse than we are!” Ditto blaming anything that moves on Bush.

    As you said, this is not a defense of Limbaugh or Bush in any sense, but a criticism of how pathetic the Dems look. Grow up and get something done, and leave the inane commenters to themselves.

    • They can’t because they never had a plan for governing, only a plan for campaigning. That’s still all they have. It wouldn’t be too late to develop one if they were capable of it, but they’re not. Or maybe they’re capable, but they really really don’t want to, because it might alienate their corporate donor overlords.

    • There were comments on the article about Cohen to the effect of why aren’t you covering Limbaugh’s comments about Rahm instead. Because an idiot blowhard making Yet more disgusting comments really is the same level of story as a major party lieut. Gov. Nominee’s domestic violence arrest record. Big equivalence there.

    • They’re laying off of Palin this week

  17. I think Digby, like many in the “progressive” blogosphere, can’t find any new themes that will interest their readers so they’re cynically rewriting the same old tired stuff: racism, racism, racism, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It’s very boring.

    • I’m really getting tired of being lectured on racism by white suburban dwelling liberals.

      • Me too. At least I live in a city that is racially and culturally diverse.

      • Ug, suburbs {{shudder}} Country or City or one of each. That in between thing is creepy.

      • the white city dwelling liberals are just as bad if not worse. I have lived in both places and in rural America and elitist city dwelling liberals are every bit as ignorant and self righteous. .

        • for the record ~ I live in very rural VA. And I live and work side by side with persons of many different backgrounds and races.
          And I do this as an openly gay woman who moved here from CA….and let me tell you I have NEVER been treated with any disrespect or insulted in any way. I cannot say the same about my experience in CA. Lately I have been disgusted from what I hear from folks back there and there insulting comments about working people and rural people. Someone actually posted in their FB that Taylor Swift’s win at the grammies was a bone thrown to the rednecks becuz we now have a black man as president. Just vile.

          The measure of a person around here is in their hard work and helping others. I am tired of the liberal bashing of southerners and working people.

          • I have the same experience from CA to rural VA.

          • That’s disgusting what they said about Taylor Swift! She is very talented. Doesn’t she actually write her own music? She reminds me more of Jewel, than a C/W singer, but I’ve heard that Jewel has gone that route as well.

            I like Beyonce, but I think that Taylor is much more talented and she’s not shaking her ass everywhere either.

            One of the reasons I transferred out of UW-Madison was because I was sick of the liberal people I knew trashing southerners, rural people, and religious people. I grew up with those people and while they were Republican they were good people at heart; many would give the shirt off their backs to anyone.

  18. I wish progressive, oh-so non-racist folks like DIgby, Yglesias, Bowers, etc would just leave the racism detection to people who actually know black people…wait, not just know black people, but those who have let black people know THEM so they can KNOW black people back.

    That’s how it works if you have real friends, not acquaintances. You share your sh12 with them, they share their sh12 with you. You get a real idea of what that persons experiences are in regards to other folks treating them a certain way based on some personal characteristic, some ‘ism’. Then you fight for them as they would fight for you.

    I really don’t think Digby et al has received a go ahead from her black friends to fight for them cause this kind of cry wolf sh12 ain’t fighiting for us no more than Al Sharptons antics. It holds us back just like any other ignorant, misguided progressiveness. Yes. I am a member of the ungrateful uppity negro club. Progressives, please keep it in your pants, or at least just on your own hard drive.

  19. unbelievable, there”s a debate about whether or not the National Inquirer should win a Pulitzer over the john Edwards affair … some of it involves Andrew Sullivan who wouldn’t know the definition of journalism if he looked it up in his Funk and Wagnall’s but still, how absurd!

  20. Wow, that claim of baptist missionaries rescuing children is getting weirder and weirder too


  21. Palin criticizes Limpboob:

    Palin Camp Rips Limbaugh, Hits His “Retard” Comment As “Crude And Demeaning”

    • “Our political correct society is acting like some giant insult’s taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards,” Rush said, adding that Rahm’s meeting yesterday with advocates for the mentally handicapped was a “retard summit at the White House.”

      Limbaugh is a scumbag.

      • your right Limbaugh for the most part Limbaugh is a scumbag..
        but he right about one thing this country has become way to political correct .

        • im not trying to defend what Rahm said in anyway we all know hes a scumbag

        • (S)electing Bush twice and then Obama is NOT politically correct! 😉

        • “Our political correct society is acting like some giant insult’s taken place by calling a bunch of people who are c*nts, c*unts,” Rush said, adding that Rahm’s meeting yesterday with advocates against violence against women was a “bit*h” summit at the White House.”

          There is political incorrectness and then there is plan ugly. Limbaugh is plain ugly.
          Let me be politically incorrect for a moment and say that there is a short list I keep in my head of people for whom I would not mourn should they get a sudden call to join Satan in hell. Rush is one of them. I do not think he believes half of what he says and he just says the things he does because that is what he is paid to do. I think he has caused a unmeasurable amount of damage to this country and caused MUCH of the divisiveness we find in daily life with people that, years ago, we liked but simply disagreed with.

      • Here’s Althouse talking about Rush Limbaugh and his media tweaks.


        Yes, he has a terrible reputation, but it seems to me that he gets unmitigated joy from it. He just sits back, predicts what the media will say about him and gets an incredible amount of amusement when it happens exactly as he predicts it will.

  22. Soul Food for Black History Month, how dare they.

  23. Independents in NH are telling Obama if he liked it then he should have put a ring on it:

    New Hampshire GOP voters never have approved of Obama. But the new poll shows his support among Democrats has slipped too, from 91% in October to 84% today. That’s still overwhelming support for someone not on any ballot for 33 months. But a bad trend if feelings about the Democrat in the White House carry over to the midterm elections this fall.

    Among the all-important independent voters in New Hampshire, Obama’s decline has been most dramatic. It now stands at 39%, a 28 percentage point drop since October, or about 2 percentage points per week.

    This despite Obama’s well-attended town hall in Nashua on Tuesday, a day that coincided with part of the polling.

  24. myiq2xu, where do you get these hitler vids at

  25. HotAir:

    Obama hints to Dems: If you don’t pass ObamaCare, you deserve to lose the midterms

    If you do pass ObamaCare, you WILL lose the midterms.

  26. I was in the uncomfortable position of listening to Limbaugh on his radio show when I was given a ride yesterday. Limbaugh disgusts me and I abhor his great talent for inflating the trivial to obscure the important issues, but he is unfortunately correct in many of his assessments of BO. I am now so worried about the future that I am starting to wish that BO would get his act together and begin to restore a place in our current socioeconomic system for average people. I anticipate that this i kind of thinking is only going to end in disappointment.

    When I look at BO’s past, he has tossed aside, or more appropriately shoved “under the bus,” the plain people like his mother and grandmother to chase the aggrandized father figure that I can only see him sidling up to the big corporations and the powerful elite to get the kind of acceptance he craves at the expense of the people he has promised so much hope and change to.

  27. This clip seems appropriate:

  28. I think many of you are missing ONE MAJOR thing in this whole story: The statement came from Rush Limbaugh, the ONE major public figure who has shown his contempt and disregard for Blacks over and over again. It’s just shocking how comfortable he is in doing it.

    What Rush Limbaugh is doing here is perpetuating the notion that we’ve never achieved anything and can never achieve anything on our own. It’s a prejudice we really suffer from, no matter how accomplished any one of us is (I know some paranoia has also come to play a role, but with good reasons).

    There’s nothing wrong with mocking Obama or being against Obama, but this is Rush Limbaugh who has a History of making derogatory statement.

    The meaning and the weight of a mockery or an insult heavily depend on the perpetrator.

    Maybe people have cried wolf way to often but to me, this is totally outrageous, especially coming from Rush Limbaugh.
    Then again, on related news, the sun rises from the East.

    • If Digby wanted to make that argument she should have connected the dots.

      She claims the quoted statement is a “doozy” of a racist statement, but there is nothing apparently racist about it.

      • He’s perpetuating a racist stereotype. That’s the problem.

        I really believe you particularly could say it just to mock Obama without even thinking of ANYTHING racial but you would be unwillingly perpetuating a racial insult.

        Don’t underestimate the fact that we don’t perceive things like this the same way. We (Blacks) go through life hearing stuff like this directed at us over and over. We’ve grown a radar for these kind of statements.

        Personally, I’ve learned especially here on this blog that things are never sanguine just because we say them without malice. Many things I used to considered just simple taunts have turned out to be serious insults towards women. I would have never learned it if there weren’t women here to tell me how THEY perceive my little “playground taunt”, even though it was directed to another guy.

        • What stereotype?

          The most powerful human on the face of the earth is stupid?

          Pretend you are Digby’s attorney and you have to prove to a jury that what Limbaugh said was racist or she loses a buttload of money.

          Prove it.

        • mablue, I don’t understand your point. Are you saying that it’s r@cist to point out Obama’s incompetence? No one has presumed that Obama is an ineffective leader, they’re judging his abysmal performance. Are we supposed to lie and applaud the mess the man is making?

    • Yeah, good points. Rush has a history of making outrageous statements, so even if this one is maybe a little iffy out of context, he brings it on himself and it’s really, really hard to feel sorry for him. Context is everything.

      • I’m not feeling sorry for him.

        I’m saying Digby hasn’t made her case.

        • I know you’re not feeling sorry for him, I’m just saying that IMO he brings scrutiny on himself because of his track record.

          • Scrutiny is not proof.

            If you had to prove that Limbaugh is a racist what evidence do you have?

            (The jury is a bunch of independents who don’t already agree with you)

          • Um, I have no proof. I also can’t prove Palin was singled out for extra crap because she’s a woman. So maybe it was just because out of all the idiot pols on Earth, she’s the dumbest to ever live. But, I can examine KO and Tweety’s pattern, and Rush’s too. I understand it’s complicated by the fact that Ovama did ask for a grade change, or whatever, but how many people have been told they got ahead because of AA, they got undeserved admission or whatever? A lot. So looking at Rush’s track record and how angry/irrational many people get over AA, why is it impossible to assume he knows exactly what he’s playing to and dogwhistling? Maybe he’s not, but it’s Rush Limbaugh. Maybe he is.

          • Then make a circumstantial case.

            Show how Limbaugh treated other Democrats differently.

          • Oh, if I had to prove Rush is a racist what proof do I have? I meant digby couldn’t prove it. I mean, Jeez, just for starters, how about McNabb, Dominic? How about his other football bs? How about playing The Jefferson’s theme everytime Carol Mosely Braun is mentioned? How much time you got?

          • Treated other Democrats differently? I don’t recall Sherrod Brown getting a “movin’ on up, to the East Side, to a Dee-luxe apartment in the sky-y-y” themesong.

        • There’s no “case to be made” here. It’s not a court of law. At best I could say language code. You believe it or you refuse to.

          As I said above, I’ve learned that some simple “taunts” I harmlessly used to throw at some people are serious insults towards women. I just have to believe the women who explained that to me and stop using those expressions, especially in a public forum. I don’t think anyone of those who explained that to me would have been able to “make a case that they lost a buttload of money”.

    • I’m not sure it’s about people necessarily missing anything. I think it’s more that there’s a fatigue factor from all the wolf-crying that went on before this Limbaugh statement, such that when anyone says “racist statement” in regard to a particular set of words from any particular person, people are looking at just that statement and saying well we know so-and-so is a creep but what about THAT particular statement makes it raycist? It’s not enough to say duhhhh his history suggests his intent was raycist. The reason it’s not enough anymore is because we’ve gotten to the point where many things that were NOT raycist have been maliciously parsed as such, many people who did NOT have a raycist history were accused of saying something raycist, without any basis in what they said or in their record. The result of these shenanigans has been a diminishing clarity on the issue ever since, imho. People are tired of the word “raycist” carelessly being used to describe nearly every criticism of Obama. The unfortunate side effect of which is that when a known creep like Limbaugh says something that, while it may be part of an ongoing narrative on his part that is ugly, simply looking at the context of what he said when he said it, there is nothing inherently prejudiced about that statement. It’s his history of ugly comments that makes us uncomfortable with it, makes us suspect he’s drawing a line between Obama and affirmative action there. But, what Limbaugh literally said about Obama–the same sort of thing could have been said about George W. Bush during his presidency. In fact, as someone who was a critic of Bush from before he became governor of my state, I have said similar things and heard similar things about him for the last two decades. That being said, I’m not aware of Limbaugh saying anything like that about Bush being a legacy student–and if he hasn’t, then that just goes to show it may be really more of a PARTISAN complaint than it is a racist statement.

    • MABlue,

      I agree with you that we have to take everything Limbaugh says in the context of his past history. I haven’t listened to Limbaugh very much, but based what I have seen and heard from him I agree that he perpetuates racial stereotypes–along with stereoptypes about women and other groups.

      That is the same reason I immediately assumed that the Cambridge Police were wrong in the Henry Gates case. Because I know the history of the Cambridge Police. It turned out that I was right when everything was sorted out. You and I, Seriously, and Dead Girl all knew the history and context, and we agreed on the issue for that reason.

      When Limbaugh had that show on ESPN and he made his famous remark about Donovan McNabb, he actually was simply telling the truth. People in the media (and the public actually) did want to see more African American quarterbacks. It was obvious that teams weren’t giving them a chance once they got to the pros. Limbaugh was also right that McNabb was overrated, IMO.


      But because of Limbaugh’s history, his remarks about McNabb and race triggered public outrage because of Limbaugh’s history of perpetuating stereotypes about welfare, etc.

      I agree that Limbaugh’s remarks about Obama are offensive for the same reason. But these same contextual issues also apply to Digby. She has shown herself to be untrustworthy and cowardly about these kinds of issues in the past. She needed to make a better case that these remarks by Limbaugh are explicitly racial.

      You also have to look at past history and context in regard ot Obama. It’s true that Obama has gotten special treatment throughout his life, and he was never really in need of that special treatment. In addition, Obama has no history whatsoever of standing up for the African American community. If anything he has used their loyalty and then betrayed them. So this is pretty complicated.

      I took myiq’s post as being a critique of Digby more than a defense of Limbaugh. Digby, like Obama, has betrayed the values she once claimed to support. Digby, like Limbaugh, has a history that needs to be taken into consideration. She overlooked Obama’s misogyny and went along with his race baiting. Therefore, she needs to make a much better case when she accuses someone of racism.

      Again, I think these issues are really complex, and Limbaugh deserves no support for what he said. Even if it is true, I have to assume that he deliberately used the racial stereotype.

      • Digby, like Limbaugh, has a history that needs to be taken into consideration.

        Boomer, I said the same thing just before you posted–The progs have earned themselves their own bad track records when it comes to stirring shit, not too terribly unlike Limbaugh.

        • That’s the problem for people like Digby, Josh Marshall, and Markos now. They no longer have any credibility when they talk about either race or misogyny. I think myiq tried to make very clear that he isn’t saying that Limbaugh isn’t a racist, sexist pig. I think anyone who listens to him can hear the dog whistles within minutes. But Digby has the same basic problem as Limbaugh. She is not trustworthy as a judge of these issues.

      • BB,

        it’s hard for me to argue with you here because there is sooo much I agree with.

        We can disagree on McNabb because his stats are much better than his reputation, I actually think he’s underrated although he always chokes when he’s supposed to show what he’s made off.
        Overall you’re right that this controversy ballooned because it was Rush Limbaugh who has a history of derogatory statements towards blacks, and women, and hispanics, and and and…
        (As a sidenote, just remember hat many Black players came out and he they didn’t want to play for a team co-owned by Limbaugh, and even some owners sympathized with that sentiment)

        As I said below, the fact that we have Obama and Digby in the middle of this certainly doesn’t help, but we can’t let that fact muddle things.

        I will end by quoting you on something else we agree on:

        I think these issues are really complex, and Limbaugh deserves no support for what he said. Even if it is true, I have to assume that he deliberately used the racial stereotype.

        • I think we agree on McNabb. He’s a great player. It’s just that we are using the word “overrated” differently. To me, it’s about coming through in the clutch rather than native talent. That’s why for so long Peyton Manning was a disappointment–he didn’t come through in the clutch. Fortunately, he has turned his reputation around by finally winning.

          On the other hand, Tom Brady managed to lead a not-great team to the Super Bowl in his first year as QB. Some players seem to have that ability to come through in the clutch and others don’t.

      • very well said (as usual). It’s not just about the context of Limbaugh, which myiq wasn’t ignoring, it’s about the entire context and history of race-baiting “progressives”. Digby’s history is a factor. Also, the fact that we had Obama’s credentials crammed down our throats 24/7 for 2 years — he’s so brilliant! He went to HARVARD! etc, etc. Actually, Digby is the one who said that just going to an Ivy (experience and accomplishments optional) made Obama more qualified than anyone else.

        You can’t really have it both ways; we’re bombarded with propaganda about Obama’s exceptionalism, but then any comment made anywhere at any time that is critical toward Obama is also a racial slur? That is the same bad logic that fueled the primaries and leads to the watering down of concern for real racism.

        And just because yes, coded language exists doesn’t mean that every bit of language is coded.

        • You also have to remember Digby’s history on her blog: every single day, at least one of her posts is sloppily done, and posted to throw her own audience a little bit of red meat for venting.

          Plenty of venting could be done about Obama’s ineffectiveness—regardless of his skin color– but Digby sticks to easy targets to keep her readers happy.

          She does it on purpose.

  29. Henry Gates tells Stephen Colbert that “You are the whitest man I ever met.”

    • True, but that’s because he had analyzed Mr. Colbert’s DNA and could find no trace of African heritage. Mr. Colbert does have some cousins, however, with a partial African heritage, one or two of whom Prof. Gates was able to identify.


      • Not every reference to race is racist.

        • Limbaugh once told an African American caller to “take the bone out of his nose and call back,” then hung up on him.

          I think the bone-in-nose reference qualifies as raycism direct. (I have no luck posting links, but if you Google “Limbaugh” and “bone in nose,” you’ll find several references.

  30. Obama’s “post-racial” stuff was part of his campaign rethoric to attract the middle-class white liberal constituency and get them to vote for him. The whole thing was opportunistic and manipulative to the max.

    But what it’s so puzzling is the fact that people, among them politicians like Dennis Kucinich, it wasn’t until after one year of Obama’s show-horsing, that he said during an interview with “Democracy Now” that people projected on Obama what they wanted to see, instead of seeing him for who he really was. I wish he would have said that back in 2008, when it really mattered.

    When people refrain from criticizing Obama because of the color of his skin, they are being racist..

  31. Hard times for people who are way past ready to move beyond skin color. I wish humans could move forward without prejudices. I agree about the dog whistles, etc., but Obama himself doesn’t seem to care. He chose Biden as his partner even after the neanderthal statement he made. People say stupid things. Lack of awareness, freaky breakdowns, or pure evil? Rush does have a history of stirring shit. He’s very good at it. That’s a major part of his icky hate-wing radio star status. He’s all slippery and smug. I believe he knows exactly what he’s doing and I don’t even want to prove it – although I probably could. It would require delving into many hideous things. Not going there. Not worthwhile.

    All’s I know is – unless you’re on the receiving end of things, most people won’t give the insulting stuff a second thought. Interesting conversation.

    • I probably could. It would require delving into many hideous things. Not going there. Not worthwhile.

      All’s I know is – unless you’re on the receiving end of things, most people won’t give the insulting stuff a second thought. Interesting conversation.

      Very well said.

      You managed to express want I was trying to convey much eleganter and conciser.


      • This is also very well said, and goes along with the points I tried to make above:

        Obama himself doesn’t seem to care. He chose Biden as his partner even after the neanderthal statement he made.

        Does Obama deserve to be defended against these kinds of remarks when he himself usually lets the offenders off the hook and when he himself doesn’t stand up for the African American community and instead constantly tries to please Republicans?

        It’s a difficult but interesting question.

        • Does Obama deserve to be defended against kinds of remarks when he himself usually lets the offenders off the hook and when he himself doesn’t stand up for the African American community?

          Hmm. This is more difficult for me. I think the issue of progressives needed to do a much better job making their case is more clear cut. The question you raise about whether somebody deserving to be defended even when he won’t stand up for others–

          This gets into similar territory of —

          Does Ann Coulter deserve to be defended from those who call her Mann Coulter, etc? Does Sarah Palin, Condoleeza Rice, etc. deserve to be defened from misogyny and racism launched from partisan enemies who believe they don’t stand up for women or minorities? I think the answer to both questions is yes. (Related: Was it okay for the activist left who disagreed with Hillary on policy/issues/etc. to use sexism to tear her and more importantly her supporters down? Was it okay for the Democratic leadership and the A-listers on the left to pretend like they didn’t have a clue this was going on? The racism issue wasn’t ignored the way the anti-women (and classist and ageist) campaign was ignored, so I won’t go into it, but obviously it’s equally abhorrent and wrong for those who differ with Obama on policy to have tried to tear him/his supporters chanting something racially equivalent to “When will that stupid bitch quit?” )

          I’ll call out racism against Obama. I won’t go out of my way to defend flimsy arguments by he and his supporters, though.

          • I’ll call out racism against Obama too. But I don’t want to be prohibited from calling out Obama when he uses racist charges to advance his corporate agenda.

            These are very difficult questions, and I am convinced that Obama was picked by Goldman Sachs and the rest of the Wall Street banksters for this exact reason. They knew that it would be easier for someone like Obama to completely eliminate the New Deal programs than for someone like Bush.

            Therefore we need to be always on our guard about what Obama is really doing, while at the same time calling out people who push the birther nonsense, etc. I’ll take my cues from The Black Agenda Report, since they are both very far left and can better sort out the racial issues than I can.

    • nuhuh, you put it nicely. I pretty much agree, but I still don’t like the way progressive bloggers go about things, blithely saying this or that statement is raycist. The progs have earned themselves their own bad track records when it comes to stirring shit, not too terribly unlike Limbaugh.

      This is what Limbaugh said before the part that Digby quotes, from the Politico link:

      Limbaugh said that he watched Obama deliver his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress last week, but “gave up after 50 minutes.”

      “I heard it all before. There was nothing new in it. The only difference was the tone,” Limbaugh said, belittling Obama “a young inexperienced guy, who is just mad.”

      “This is the first time in his life there is not a professor who can turn his C into an A, or to write the law review article for him he can’t write. He is totally exposed. There is nobody to make it better,” Limbaugh said.

      Singling out this particular statement as raycist–well that isn’t just attacking Limbaugh and the larger picture of his “hate wing radio” as you put it–it’s saying that it’s not okay to point out that Obama has gotten away with being a showhorse up until now.

      • Wonk,

        I guess we wrote our comments at the same time. The fact that Obama holds the most powerful position on earth has to come into this too. He is in a position to help African Americans and instead has hurt them. That, too, has to be taken into consideration.

      • I think the fact that Obama is in the middle of this doesn’t help.

        Nevertheless, the fact that I say something women generally consider insulting should not be dismissed or excused because it was “only” about Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin (whom I both consider vile), or about the most powerful woman in the world.

        The fact that you don’t consider a statement harmful doesn’t make it so, and it’s somethig I’m glad to have learned and I think we all should.
        Commenter Nuhhuh said it very well:

        All’s I know is – unless you’re on the receiving end of things, most people won’t give the insulting stuff a second thought.

        • MABlue,

          I agree that people in the group that is being maligned should be the ones to judge the deeper meaning of a comment like Limbaugh’s.

          But that is why Digby shouldn’t be the one to discuss the issues unless she goes the distance and makes her points explicitly.

          I would rather hear from someone like you who knows intimately what it feels like to be the target of comments like these–just as I can instantly recognize anti-woman language.

          I would be interested in your reaction to my longer comment above.

        • mablue–I just wrote about Ann Coulter above and said that she deserves to be defended from gender-based attacks. See above at 7:05.

          I did NOT say that I don’t consider Limbaugh’s comment harmful. I said there is nothing inherently raycist about the statement–i.e. there is nothing in the statement itself that talks about race.

          • You think it has to be explicit? I already addressed why it is rightfully consider racist.

            I just don’t want to hijack the thread or get into a circular argumentation.

          • The comment does perpetuate racial stereotypes though, and I’d be willing to bet that Limbaugh did that deliberately. But the point of this post is that Digby no longer has the gravitas to make that distinction.

          • MABlue,

            Of course it doesn’t have to be explicit. And you are not highjacking the thread by any means. I think myiq intended us to get into a real discussion of these issues. The point is that Digby is not credible on the issue, not that Limbaugh is not a racist. He clearly is, IMO.

          • How does someone express such an opinion without being offensive to others in that person’s demographic?

          • No, I don’t think it has to be explicit. What I have been trying to get at is that we are dealing in an environment where critics of Obama cannot be shut down by someone just saying “oh that’s racist” and that’s it. They need to back up what they are saying.

            Legitimate scrutiny of Obama has been shut down by calling the following things dogwhistles:

            1. fairytale
            2. it took a president to pass civil rights legislation
            3. a few years ago Obama would have been getting us coffee (even though it’s a paraphrase and not a direct quote, it was printed as it were)
            4. Etc.

            Those weren’t comments about race, but others said they were code comments about race.

            Meanwhile Harry Reid , Joe Biden, etc. made directly race-based comments and Obama forgave and Sharpton said oh no what Bill said is more disturbing, etc.

          • (and it goes without saying that the coffee comment came from a gossip book so who even knows what was or wasn’t said.)

        • mablue, thanks for your patience in explaining this.

  32. Thanks, and hi mablue2!

  33. Limbaugh in a loon and a goon, and he’s in no way above racial stereotyping or even bigotry at times. But he’s also someone with a talent for sensing the national political zeitgeist. That’s what makes him ultimately more dangerous than the plastic and packaged wingnuttery of Beck. What Rush understands is that the progs overplayed the race card to the extreme during the last election, and there is a sizable portion of the general electorate who are fuming right now because they’ve been personally and indiscriminately branded as being racist. If handled right, he knows that is political capital.

    So for Digby or Joan or any other prog to take issue with this latest supposed indiscretion is taking the bait. Digby is a political pundit not a social activist on race relations. Five years ago, was racial justice in America anywhere near the top of her list. She and other progs have convinced themselves that in supporting Obama, they have become the arbiters and guardians of racial progressivism in the land, though it’s not clear they know what that entails. BO was not a struggling inner city affirmative action student, he was a privileged prep school and ivy league educated kid who was more than a little spoiled and coddled. But the raycist labeling progs don’t have much use for those little distinctions. Obama criticism = racism is the first thing that clicks in their programmed minds.

    If people like Digby or Joan want to stand people up like Rush, they need to open their eyes and grow up. Just calling him a raycist and evil bogey won’t cut it. Progs have overplayed their hand on race as it relates to Obama, and wicked people like Rush know it.

  34. SOD,

    you asked a very good question:

    I’m asking this in all sincerity. How does someone express such an opinion without being offensive to others in that person’s demographic?

    I’ve been thinking about it and I think that’s the price we all pay in the society when certain expression have been compromised through stereotyping and stigmatizing.

    Believe me, I watch what I say so carefully when saying something disparaging now because of that.

    (I remember that someone here in the asked be to avoid a certain expression because it carries a very negative connation towards jews. I tried to hunker down and get into a big argument but s/he helpfully provided me a wikipedia link).

    • “I’ve been thinking about it and I think that’s the price we all pay in the society when certain expression have been compromised through stereotyping and stigmatizing.”

      I agree with you on that MaBlue, but I would also have to add I have a different perspective. The criticisms of BO being handed things and being lazy strike me as more classist…. a privileged individual expecting to be handed something rather than work for it, just like W.

    • I think that’s the price we all pay in the society when certain expression have been compromised through stereotyping and stigmatizing.

      I agree with that when it comes to “certain expressions” – things that even though they can be meant harmlessly, have a history of being a weapon.

      The problem is that we are often faced with not just certain expressions for which an alternate expression could and should be chosen, but with objections so broad as to be absurd. Some have decreed not just particular expressions, but entire swathes and categories of reasoned critique completely off-limits where a minority is concerned. One cannot in any way shape or form, no matter what language one chooses, say that he is unqualified, or arrogant, or coddled, or protected, or undeserving, or less than eloquent, or stupid.

      Anyone who has ever been in or observed a dysfunctional relationship is aware that while one should be sensitive to and avoid hurt feelings, the cry of “You hurt my feelings!” can and does become a weapon all its own in the hands of the manipulative. Passive aggressive controlling persons often key in on the very thing that is good about the other person (their willingness to avoid hurting), and USE that in a very calculated way to their advantage. It’s bullshit when an individual does it, and it’s bullshit when a group does it.

      There is a reasoned ground that lies between “Say what you want and who cares if it hurts” and “You are entirely proscribed by rules set entirely by whomever might be hurt.” Racial or gender sensitivity does not require me to check my brain or my own definitions of morality or guilt at the door.

      • It is one thing to believe that a statement was made with racist intent. It is another to declare that the statement itself is racist.

        In the latter case there needs to be some objective proof.

        • Rush Limbaugh’s racist tropes (like movin’ on up) are racist in precisely the same way that “Uncle Tom” and “House N**ger” jeers at conservative blacks are racist. In the same way that people throwing Oreos at Michael Steele are racist.

          I. e., the person doing it may not have any genuine animosity toward black people per se. Rush no more hates black people than the Oreo-throwers hate black people. The animosity is toward their politics. But they are using race as the vehicle by which to mock their politics, because it’s the most shocking way to do it.

          For many conservatives, liberal blacks are fair game. For many liberals, conservative blacks are fair game. BOTH justify it. BOTH are wrong.

          • You make a good point. It’s really difficult to know anyone’s motives in their use of stereotypes. I suspect that Rush really believes what he says though. Because otherwise why did he go off on McNabb and risk a lucrative gig. The only “political” point Rush could have been making is that blacks don’t earn their status. It goes over well with his base.

          • Rush does not attack conservative blacks. He’s fine with them. His producer is black. So basically I think he is using race as a political tool, albeit in the most sensational way possible. His scorn is for the race-hustlers, and he uses flamboyant race-talk to needle them. He’s deliberately shock-jock over the top, but it’s calculated to poke holes in that whole mindset, not a distaste for black people in general.

            That does not in any way make it right, or less offensive. Not at all. But if you think that his attacks are race-motivated at heart, rather than ideology-motivated, I think you are mistaken.

          • You make excellent points, and you are helping me understand my rush Limbaugh fan of a brother who does not exhibit racial bias on an individual level but rather in the political context. However, I go back to the McNabb example. Had McNabb been a white quarterback who was not performing well, I don’t think Rush would have said it was because he was white and, therefore, favored.

    • Just as there is a price that has to be paid for stereotype/dogwhistle messaging, there is also now a price being paid for the nonstop racebaiting over the last two years from the national media, the progressive blogosphere, and the Obama camp itself. It’s the price of wolf being cried so many times before. Whether or not there is a wolf now, a progressive simply saying there’s a wolf is not convincing.

      • Yup, can’t justify my progressive bias any more. Have to analyze everything for myself. Good that comes from the evil of having a candidate shoved down my throat by people I thought believed in Democracy and the rule of law (especially their own)?

      • Well Carly’s crying wolf about the Dems and their loose fiscal policies and the Progs are crying wolf about the Repubs and their racism. Guess both sides assume their constituents are sheep. The voters as sheep trope is puzzling. Who wants to be called a sheep. 🙂

  35. I am so sick of almost everything being filtered through a racial/gender lens.

    I am sick of the whining and hypocrisy on the left.

    I look at the above menu as more southern than specifically black.

  36. Black people aren’t inferior. Obama is inferior.

  37. OT ~ Damn the snow! We are getting hammered here in VA!

  38. MaBlue please do not speak for all black people. I’m black and I live in the south. I have seen real RACISM. Its not a joke and dont trivialize it. I have listened to Rush and I guess I miss all the hateful and racist remarks.

  39. Are people really implying that Obama can’t be criticized? That criticism of Obama is an attack on all African Americans? The man is president. He can’t be immune from opposition; the day that happens is the day that we live in a totalitarian state.

    I’m not quite clear why some are taking issue with Obama being called incompetent. Perhaps we should remind ourselves that, like Bush, Obama got his brains from his mother. Intelligence is an x chromosome trait. The only people who should feel affronted when Obama’s average intellect is called out are white people.

  40. Obama is protected from criticism because he is seen as a “cultural symbol” and he knows this and has exploited it from the beginning. But I also remember the “dog whistles” against Hillary. Just to name a few that came from the former messiah himself during the primaries: “She periodically becomes depressed and frustrated;” “She shows her claws,” “I dont think that her experience in foreign policy as first lady can count.” And from the messiah’s wife: “If she couldn’t take care of her own house, how can she take care of the White House? And of course sexist comments about Sarah Palin.

    It’s OK to disagree with anyone’s political beliefs and criticize them no matter who they are. Bigotry at its worst is to use people’s gender, race, or age against them, when all of these attributes ARE NOT CHOSEN but a given. These are also the “politics of personal destruction” that Hillary used to talk about.

    In conclusion: Barack Obama and Clearance Thomas are incompetent and arrogant people who happen to be Black. Rush Limbaugh is a politically conservative and opportunistic commentator who happens to be White. Sarah Palin is who she is and she happens to be a woman, which doesn’t and shouldn’t reflect on the rest of the female species.

    It’s sad that we still need to talk about this at all. If he was alive, MLK would say that his “dream” turned up into a f….g nightmare.

  41. Digby is the racist.

    I pointed this out from the article he/she wrote after the LA earthquake a couple of years ago.

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