On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh was speculating as to why First Lady Michelle Obama did not attend Sen. Robert Byrd’s funeral, and his speculation focused on Michelle Obama’s “pure slave blood,” and President Obama’s “lack of pure slave blood.” Limbaugh managed to not only take a shot at the deceased Byrd, but he also leveled a racial slur at the Obamas.
Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:
Limbaugh said, “I don’t know why Michele my belle is not there, but as has been said by several black civil rights leaders, Obama does not have authentic slave blood, but Michele does. We can only speculate. Maybe she is at a skybox at a baseball or football game, who knows?”
Limbaugh was trying to take a shot at another deceased Democrat, because picking on the dead is somewhat of Rush specialty, but the difference between Robert Byrd and Rush Limbaugh is that Byrd eventually abandoned the politics of hate, and worked hard as a champion of equality. In 2005 Byrd said of his association with the KKK in the 1940s, “It has emerged throughout my life to haunt and embarrass me and has taught me in a very graphic way what one major mistake can do to one’s life, career, and reputation.”
Sen. Byrd lived the rest of his life embarrassed and shamed by the racism in his past, whereas people like Rush Limbaugh embrace the racism in order to politically divide and as a path to greater financial riches. There was no reason for Limbaugh to talk about slave blood, when discussing the Obamas and the funeral of Robert Byrd. His sole purpose in doing so was to remind his listeners of the right wing myth that Democrats are more racist than Republicans.
It was also an easy chance for Limbaugh to reinforce the idea that the African-American president and his wife are not white, and thus inferior to himself and his white listenership. Limbaugh’s speculation combined the ugliness of hate politics with racism. When radio hosts start speculating about slave blood they are playing with a dangerous Molotov cocktail, or our nation’s ugly underbelly. Which each mention of slave blood and race, Limbaugh, who is the de facto leader of the GOP is reaffirming the notion of the terrified white racist Republican.