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Rush Limbaugh sets the world straight on blackness and Obama

ArabBarack ObamabigotryMuslimracismRush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh, Barack Obama, Arab, Christian, racism, Muslim Soul Brotha #1, better known as Rush Limbaugh, has clarified who is black and who is not. Seriously. He may not look like it, but Rush apparently has deep knowledge legitimate blackness. Taking issue with polls that say some white blue collar workers are leery of Barack Obama because he is black, Limbaugh choked and gargled and spluttered, and gave a quick lesson in blackology: "He's not black," he said of Obama. Not a "shred of African-American blood" in him, Limbaugh ranted. "He's Arab." Arab, Arab, Arab, Arab.

Honestly, where to start here?

Rush's point, apparently, is that bigotry and prejudice are fine (he's Arab! Arab, Arab, Arab, Arab), but it's important to be bigoted for the right reasons. So anti-Arab bias seems OK. Being anti-black? Well, in the snippet he doesn't say. But Obama has a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya. He was born in the U.S. and spent all but four years of his childhood in Hawaii. He's a long-time practicing Christian.

But Rush, let's address some of your points:

A: You say Obama is not black. He's disqualified from blackness as you define it because his father is from "Arab" parts of Africa. You mean, the Arab parts like Kenya? That's sub-Saharan Africa, Rush, and there are lots of black folks there. Besides, you've got ethnicity and religion all twisted up. A person doesn't have to be Black or Arab. There are Black Arabs; there are white Arabs,  Arab Christians (a big population in Israel) as well as Arab Muslims etc. But of course, that's not really what you mean. You're using code language for "Muslim" and your listeners shouldn't need more than that be scared of him. Clever. Ignorant, bigoted, fear-mongering and underhanded, but definitely clever.

B. Now for your assertion that Obama isn't African American. Who could be more so? He is literally of African and American descent. What's so funny about this is when the term African-American came into vogue, people like you, Rush, railed that it was ridiculous because the link to Africa for many black Americans is distant. Now you have a man whose link is recent and he doesn't qualify either. Oh please. But many people who call themselves African Americans, like Irish Americans or Italian Americans or Armenian Americans, are acknowledging not only ancestral connection, but the unique experience  of being from somewhere else, or having parents or forebears from somewhere else, and assimilating here in the U.S. Like Obama.

C. Shreds of blood? What the heck are those?

Photo: AP Photo/Gary He.


Comments () | Archives (23)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Don R. Smith

Just remember this even after all your wordy typed Blabber RUSH is still right.

Eric Carman

Rush Limbaugh is a self-proclaimed defender and guardian of corporate America. He stopped serving his listeners a long time ago.

His latest contract was $400 million. Not because his ratings are especially high, but because he is a savvy businessman who has figured out how to represent corporate interests while disguising it, thinly, as talk radio. Day after day, he hammers it in. For three hours a day. That's worth a lot to corporate America.

Obama is a clear and present threat to corporate interests as we know them today. Under an Obama presidency, corporations will have to, at long last, pay their fair share in taxes. They will be penalized for outsourcing jobs. And we may finally see a return to meaningful regulation of our markets and financial sectors.

Limbaugh is scared of this. But he knows that most of America isn't. So, the only thing he can do is make things up to be scared of.

That's the way these people control, through fear. And most of the time its completely fabricated.

Jon Healey

Don -- which part is Rush still right about? Obama not being black, Obama not being African American, Obama being Arab, or all three? Just curious. Or maybe you mean he's right that this is the kind of thing that matters to voters -- the sort of issue that should decide elections.


You know the neo-cons have really got their panties in a twist when they resort to parsing bigotry. OMG, I needed this laugh today. With the current financial crisis and the economic markets melting down around our ears, all that Rush can rant on about is whether or not Obama is really and truly *black*? This, from the same man who refers to progressive women as feminazis and now he pretends to question the bona fides of someone's minority status? Keep 'em coming, Rush, one day you might be able to sell this act off-off Broadway...


Isn't Obama an American? What if I was white and my ancestors came from Africa? Can I then call myself African-American? After all the rhetoric from the Obama camp, he is bad for America. Remember, corporations don't pay taxes, people do. So if Obama raises taxes on corporations or the wealthiest americans that own businesses, those costs are going to passed on the consumers. If Obama wins, we lose!


Does anyone still listen to this drug addicted limp jackass?


You soundlike McCain!! You just forgot to start off by saying "My Friends". You are ABSOLUTELY right when you say corporations don't pay taxes. IT'S ABOUT TIME THEY DO!

Mitchell Young

Or maybe you mean he's right that this is the kind of thing that matters to voters -- the sort of issue that should decide elections.

Yes, no doubt the 91% of African-American voters who voted for Obama over Clinton did so because of the candidates' stand on healthcare.


with all the trash talking between the two parties it kind of looks like the dems are gaining more ground on the gop. Of course , Obumer sends the media and his other henchmen out digging up what he thinks may hurt ol' john boy .Too many cars, too many house's. john invests in house's and cars , big deal . Let look at barak obumer. why don't we all get behind an investigation into the likes of fanny mae,freddy mac,AIG,leaman bros, and look into who got what kind of lobby money from each of them. Starting with Chris dodd, as he's supposed head that up.THEN how about barak obumer, even after just a short time in the senate he gets upward of $300,000.AND then you got obumers wife , who incidently is proud for the first time in her adult life to be an American, .....She got her salary doubled just because the massiha obomer got his promo. both sides throw mud at each other , but lets havea look see at these investment groups and see whats goi'n down there and get those multi-million $ bonus's out of their hands before they go to prison

Jon Healey

So, Mitchell, you're saying those 91% wouldn't have voted for Obama had they known he was -- gasp -- ARAB???? No question, race is a factor in this election. But you're often the voice of reason here, Mitchell. You're not suggesting, are you, that Rush should be helping voters discern their candidates' ancestry?


Don R. Smith sounds like the unthinking boob who believes Rush to be right, despite facts being otherwise,

I guess that makes him dishonest, ignorant or wilfuly ignorant.

Pick one, Don.



If you re white and your ancestors came from Africa, according to Rush, you'd be an Arab if you came from Kenya.

But if you wanted to identify yourself as an African American, you'd right.

Rush is a fear-mongering bigot, and he is dead wrong on this classification. If you believe that he is right that Obama is an Arab, and not African American or black, you are an idiot. It is best if people like you do not vote.

There is no other way to put it.


Just wondering, does Rush call John McCain, "Panamainian, Panamainian, Panamainian?"

Mitchell Young

No Jon, I agree Rush is generally a blowhard and in this case horrible ethnographer. (And I'll take that voice of reason stuff as a compliment, thanks!)

At the same time, Obama, until his college days or community organizing days, had very little in common with what is the typical, historical African-American experience. I think that is an objective fact. Interestingly, some say it's his marriage to Michelle, who is an African-American in the traditional sense, which seems to give him 'authenticity'.
“The fact that, as a successful black male, Barack did not choose a lighter-skinned woman, as most of them do, sends a message to me,” says a black female supporter at the Pontiac rally.

Barrack Obama. The Klan and the black female demographic unite in agreement over his choice of mate. Mr Unite US indeed!

Lisa Richardson

Mitchell, I would say that the experience of simply being black in America provides an automatic shared experience. And what is "typical" is always changing. You could say that the first black families to move into a white or Latino or Asian neighborhood aren't having a typical black experience, or that the one or two black employees in a company's department aren't having a typical experience. Nor are the A-students or the black entrepreneurs. But my great-grandparents, my grandparents and my parents had those experiences, as have I. Generations of not being typical. When I read Obama's book, "Dreams from My Father," I didn't think of how different his life experience was from mine, but how similar. Even though my family has been in this country since the Revolutionary War and I am a descendant of slaves, I know what it's like to have my "authenticity" questioned. But I would say that in fact, these atypical experiences have become a standard part of African-American life.

Mary lou

Mitchell Young, I am sorry to inform you, no ethnic groups live in a "typical environment". Or do you feel it is only "white" people who can live in different places and use those experiences to benefit all?

Gary Miller

When I saw this drug addict's byline on the Wall Street Journal editorial, I knew that Rupert Murdoch, a foreigner whose purpose is to dominate American media with his right wing ideology, had completed the debasement of that once fine paper.

sandra m

This is the kind of race sleight of hand that's been used before to label African-descended peoples. Since the Old Testament said that Ham's sons included Cush (Ethiopia) and Mizriam (Egypt), historians called these builders of high civilization hamites, not blacks. Yet, other Africans, allegedly cursed as descendents of Ham were nevertheless called black/negro/colored, not hamites, thus justifying their enslavement and later segregation in the U.S. But, whatever the label-hamite, black, negro, colored, African-American-these African descended people would have had to sit in the back of the bus in jim crow days. And, suffer racial indignities and discrimination that linger yet in the 21st century. This is what informs Barack Obama's identification as black. He is not Arab.


Rush has discredited himself more times than I can name. I don't have a problem with his opinionation, but I detest his hypocrisy. He heralds family values and derides others' fall from grace, but dismisses his own. For example, when he was caught with a sex enhancement drug, his defenders said that the media was out to discredit and embarrass him. Reportedly at the time he was divorced from his wife and not married. So why does a single man need Viagra? The Bible clearly teaches against sex outside of marriage, right Rush. Just ask any Bible belt conservative. I just want to know what Bible believing, family values church Rush attends that promotes singles having sex outside of marriage. Personally I don't care, but I do care that he prescribes his values and self-righteousness on everyone else but doesn’t live up to those same values. What a joke!


Rush has a contract for $400 million ? WOW LET'S TAX HIM RIGHT AWAY AT THE HIGHEST RATE.
We need to give some of that money to people less fortunate and we don't want him to be "tempted" to go "Doctor shopping" again and buy more pills.. Even more so, because Rush NEVER thinks of anyone but himself - just how to be mean for the day !!
Surely Rush is all heart and he would be happy to do that ... yes ??..


Who listens to Rush Limbaugh?...quick call a doctor..Rush is a viagra popping bitter impotent old man.....who cares what he thinks.....

Tio Wally

It should be noted that the prescription for Viagra® Rush was carrying when he was stopped by Customs upon his return from his Dominican Republic sexcapade was not in his name. However, the hundreds (if not thousands) of prescriptions for the hillbilly heroin OxyContin® were.


Uhhhh, I know this is an older article, and along with it the comments, but. . . Uhhh, yes, PIT KAINE, according to LOGIC (or ILL LOGIC), if you are of white African ancestry and you live in America than you are an African-American. But more than that, these are childish ways to describe people nowadays anyways. This whole breaking up the community along lines of tribalism is just shattering OUR ideals even more. Or maybe we should go ahead and admit that we've never had a common goal in this country. Maybe we should just go ahead and be the children we truly are and go ahead and take it out to the schoolyard. I for one am getting tired of all the veiled rhetoric being bandied about by all of the folks around the globe. You idiots keep arguing over semantics, answering one another in Non sequitur. Mean while they are divvying up your hard earnings and taxing you for their troubles. And now someone steps up who is just A BIT different and you folks either go rabid or present assup, this is ridiculous.



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