Racist-Right Radio Commentary Perpetuates Old White-Racist Frame



A recent article by Casey Gane-McCalla at Nation’s NewsOne blog provides a list of the racist comments and commentaries of Rush Limbaugh. Because he is a major propagandistic shaper of the opinions of many Americans, most especially white (and disproportionately white male) Americans, these racist opinions are powerful in perpetuating the four centuries old white-racist framing of this society (with is racist stereotypes, ideologies, images, narratives, emotions, inclinations to oppress materially), as well as the systemic racism of which that framing is only part:

“Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”

“Look, 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.”

“The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

This idea of black criminality is very old, and here Limbaugh is parroting the modern version of the white racial framing of African Americans as criminal, which I have shown thorough actually dates back to at least the 1600s. Elite whites say this type of thing century after century so that what is a racist and highly stereotyped and BS imagery comes to be accepted by many people “truth.”

[To an African American female caller to his program]: “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.”

This imagery of African Americans as savage and uncivilized also dates back to the 1500s and 1600s, and was originally (and ironically) created by slaveholding, and highly savage, Europeans.

A bit later these were added to the NewsOne list:

Limbaugh Says Steinbrenner Was A “Cracker Who Made African-Americans Millionaires”

Limbaugh: Obama & Oprah Are Only Successful Because They’re Black

Limbaugh Calls Gov. Paterson A “Massa”

There are also many negative comments full of highly stereotyped white-racial framing of African Americans aimed at President Obama:

‘Limbaugh has called Obama a ‘halfrican American’ has said that Obama was not Black but Arab because Kenya is an Arab region, even though Arabs are less than one percent of Kenya. . . . . Despite the fact Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law school, Limbaugh has called him an ‘affirmative action candidate.’ Limbaugh even has repeatedly played a song on his radio show ‘Barack the Magic Negro’ using an antiquated Jim Crow era term…’

These and many other racist comments from Limbaugh regularly suggest and reinforce old racist images of African Americans, or variations on four centuries old racist stuff. White-racist commentaries are amazingly un-original and parrot-like. Conformity to past racist imaging is essential to contemporary racist thinking.

Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky argue that much U.S. opinion is shaped by the organized propaganda that comes out of the capitalistic mass media of the United States. This mainstream media propaganda model shows

how propaganda, including systemic biases, function in mass media. The model seeks to explain how populations are propagandized and how consent for various economic, social and political policies are “manufactured” in the public mind.

Radical-right talk show host like Limbaugh, with their millions of listeners, play a central role in this propagandizing and keeping the United States are foundationally and fundamentally racist society.

Large-scale and organized action to create alternative media networks of equal power are essential if this huge propaganda process is ever to be effectively countered.