When it was first suggested I examine the overwhelmingly vitriolic comments generated by the “Don’t Let Limbaugh Off the Hook,” commentary I wasn’t 100 percent sold on the idea.

Then I began re-reading those comments and it seemed like a really bad idea; attempting to reason with the obstinate is almost always futile, attempting to reason with the ignorant is virtually impossible.

Case in point…

“Where’s your outrage when Maher called Palin a c–t and a tw–? You’re a moron, Fluke et al want free abortions on demand TO GET RID OF THE EXCESS BLACKS,” wrote someone identified as, “jpeditor.”

And, there’s more.

“You’re such a jackass, you’d vote for a Dem if he was wearing KKK robes as long as he gave you free stuff. HEY SCHMUCK, BUY YOUR OWN GD CONDOMS,” they said.

So…

Jpeditor assumes – among other things – because I’m Black I inherently want “free stuff.” As I said, how do you reason with the unreasonable?

But, there is a cogent point to be extracted from jpeditor’s vile rhetoric; the reader also assumes I side with television host Bill Maher I suspect because Maher is a “Progressive.” On the contrary, what the comedian said about Palin was reprehensible.

Although, I agree with him on some issues – and I’m certainly no fan of the former governor of Alaska – he’ll never get a pass from me on misogyny.

Jeditor’s views were pretty much an amalgam of the sentiments in response to the Limbaugh commentary, but the overarching theme seemed to be how I somehow injected race into the conversation.

First, my defense of Sandra Fluke obviously had nothing to do with race. But, the analogy of her situation to that of the Rutgers women’s basketball team is a ten-strike. You have Imus, another big-shot media bloviator who decided to objectify and diminish young women from his powerful platform.

I didn’t make Imus call those young Black women, “nappy headed hos;” he injected race into that equation not me. But, the truth is race is almost always a part of the American conversation – implicit or explicit – whether some people want to admit it or not.

And of course the 800-pound elephant in the room is…well, Limbaugh.

Rush Limbaugh has been a racial arsonist for more than two decades and has made hundreds of millions of dollars over the years for being an expert at his craft. But, his success is only possible because America is built on race; it is ubiquitous in our history. So, for Limbaugh, racism might be personal but it’s always a business decision.

I didn’t make Limbaugh refer to the First Lady of the United States of America as “uppity.” Limbaugh did that because that’s what he does.

It’s just business…

But, speaking of ignorance and race (in this instance disguised as religion) a poll released this week is perfectly illustrative of both.

According to Public Policy Polling only 14 percent of Alabama republicans and 12 percent of Mississippi republicans believe President Obama is a Christian. Forty-five percent of Alabama republicans and 52 percent of Mississippi republicans still believe the president is Muslim.

Given the current state of the GOP the overall response to last week’s Limbaugh commentary is not surprising; in fact it makes perfect sense.

But, back to Sandra Fluke.

I’m not concerned with the politics of contraception or the Catholic Church which has been around for thousands of years and is in no way imperiled. I’m certainly not concerned with the thoughts of recalcitrant racists.

My concern is for young ambitious women who have the right to thrive in this world and be heard without being dismissed as prostitutes and sluts with impunity because we disagree with them.

What are Limbaugh and his followers so afraid of?

 

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor