In today’s white supremacy news, Wisconsin Senate Republicans earlier this week voted to honor conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, someone who is infamous for being a racist. These same Republicans also voted against recognizing Black History Month, which would have made someone like Limbaugh very proud.
Republican lawmakers said Limbaugh’s voice was “unforgettable” and said he needs to be honored for gaining support for conservative policies.
When Limbaugh died last month at the age of 70 from lung cancer, the response to his death was pretty controversial. Some people praised him, while others were happy that he was no longer walking this planet. I don’t believe in speaking ill of the dead, but I also don’t believe in honoring someone who unapologetically promoted the oppression of people of color.
During his radio career, Limbaugh went out of his way to fuel racism and rhetoric that helped keep white supremacy alive. He once said watching NFL games was like watching “a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons.” Also, during the time President Barack Obama was running for office, Limbaugh played a song called “Barack, the Magic Negro,” which suggested that Obama was not truly Black. Limbaugh was also well known for demeaning gay people during the height of the AIDS crisis. He would literally celebrate their deaths live on air.
How sick do you have to be to make fun of people who are gravely ill or have passed away? It’s even sicker that these Republicans want to honor someone who clearly lacked a moral center, all while refusing to recognize the rich history of African Americans. Holding Limbaugh on a pedestal is like praising a slave owner for his contributions to humanity.
This move by Wisconsin Senate Republicans might not be surprising, but that doesn’t make it any less problematic. It further proves that this country still has a long way to go before before Black lives and Black history really matter.