What Rush Limbaugh doesn't know about black people could fill the empty cavern that is his brain. Many times over.
Top of the list would have to be his habit of placing all black people into one monolithic pile, as though we act and think as one. (Oh geez, I missed the last meeting of the black people of the world, Charlotte chapter. What will I do?)
Limbaugh's latest little item concerned a Super Bowl ad. In our house, the Super Bowl was mere background noise, so at first I didn't get it. The Pepsi ad Limbaugh referred to on his radio show – and which I watched later -- depicted a wife nagging her husband over things not good for him until they bond on a park bench over a tasty can of Pepsi with zero calories. Husband is distracted by jogger, wife throws can at husband, who ducks. Can smacks jogger upside head. Couple flees.
Oh, the man and wife are black. Jogger is white. In case the significance of those details elude you, here is what it means, according to Rush:
"One of the biggest pet peeves black women have, in recent decades, is black men marrying or pairing up with white women. It just bugs them, particularly if they happen to be blonde. I mean, that's lighting the fuse. There's already a bomb there but, if the white woman happens to be blonde, that just . . . They're taken off the market. Another black guy gone from the marketplace of available men. So the Pepsi ad has a white woman getting decked by a can of Pepsi thrown by a black woman. Home run if you understand the demographics here. So that was an ad that scored big with one of Pepsi's demographics."
I'm not sure what demographic he's referring to. The guy is a hen-pecked idiot, the wife a shrew and the jogger ends up on the ground and in pain, so no one comes out a winner. The only people who relate would be masochists or people who like really broad and stupid humor.
Where I saw silly, Limbaugh observed something much more profound. Well, maybe profound isn't the right word. (Does he really think all black women are filled with self-doubt and all white, blond women have that much power?) He gave much more thought to it than any TV ad deserves. He had already criticized U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) for denouncing the ad as "demeaning" African-American women -- overkill, I agree, for a statement on the House floor -- but then he couldn't help doubling-back for his rather twisted take. In Rush-world, a racial comment is a terrible thing to waste.
It's as though Rush Limbaugh is obsessed with black people in the abstract, as two-dimensional punching bags but not as human beings. I wonder if he actually knows any actual flesh-and-blood black people, living lives full enough not to worry about soda ads. Walk up to a group of three, Rush, and you might find they have three different opinions about a whole host of issues. Really.
Instead, he'd rather pontificate, our own Dr. Limbaugh (with a Ph.D. in Negro-tology?).
Sure, some people -- women and men of every race -- like or dislike, prefer or shun other individuals based on a lot of different reasons. But how do you go from there to stereotyping entire races of people?
Oddly enough, when I read about Limbaugh's latest rant, I was talking with a friend, a massage therapist, who had just finished 90 minutes of extremely relaxing bodywork. Oh, and she is a woman who happens to be blond and married to a man who happens to be black. We had a good laugh about it and I thought that -- according to Rush's rules -- she would be the last person I would ask to help me relieve the week's tension.
Then again, I am a woman who happens to be black and married to a man who happens to be white.
I always thought of it as individuals who end up with people with whom they share a lot.
But in Rush's world (and no one else's), I guess it would be considered getting even.
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