Tuesday, May 17, 2011

He said WHAT?! or, Donovan McNabb finds a friend


Yesterday, a well-known media personality and political commentator chimed in on the Donovan McNabb-Bernard Hopkins controversy.

Here's what he had to say:
This is just the latest in what has been a long line of attacks on Donovan McNabb from black individuals and organizations. …They have accused -- and I can't use the term. It's a purely totally unacceptable term, but they refer to McNabb by using the N-word, and they say he's a sellout; that McNabb befriends the white power brokers of the Eagles.

[...]

This poor guy cannot, he cannot catch a break. And it’s disgruntled African Americans that are jumping down his case, about the way he was raised? It is horrible, it is distasteful. His parents are out there having to defend the way they raised him, and all they tried to do was give him opportunity after opportunity, expose he and his brother to various things. It’s just amazing to watch this.
So who could have said this? It's obviously someone white, and a male. It also seems to be someone who is rational and perhaps even has a reasonably firm grasp of American racial politics.

Any guesses? See who our mystery man is after the jump.



What would George Carlin say?
That's right. It was none other than that industrial strength shitbag, Rush Limbaugh. The same Rush Limbaugh who once said that Donovan McNabb was the creation of a media that longed for a successful black quarterback.

Less than a month into his new gig on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown in 2003, this is what Limbaugh said:
I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They're interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. I think there's a little hope invested in McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he really didn't deserve. The defense carried this team.



And a week later, Rush was gone. In his most recent comments, he preemptively defended against accusations of hypocrisy, stating: "I said nothing close to what Bernard Hopkins was saying. I never said a word about McNabb and blackness. I was talking about the media from start to finish."

In the most technical sense, this is true. McNabb was only the hammer that Limbaugh used to bang home his idiotic point. But let's consider the messenger for a moment; Limbaugh is a demagogue with a history of saying vile, (racially) inflammatory things carefully crafted to stir up his hordes of hateful, mouth-breathing listeners. True, McNabb was mainly just a football in Limbaugh's reckless assault on the media, but it is not hard to see the related implications of telling a black person that they are not good at their job and that the only reason they still have their job--and that anyone cares about them--is because a cynical media has a vested interest in their success. How is this supposed to make McNabb feel? How is this supposed to make black people feel? How is this supposed to make decent human beings feel? And in what world does this not qualify as a racially-charged attack on McNabb?

Which brings us to Limbaugh's most recent comments. Why the abrupt about-face? Has Rush had a genuine change of heart and finally seen the light? No chance in hell. I think he sees a controversy between two black people that has attracted a fair amount of public attention and he sees an opportunity to subtly interject with his racial poision. On one side he sees a soft-spoken, well-educated black man from a middle class background who has been nothing but an upstanding citizen. On the other side he sees an outspoken black man who comes from the projects and did a six year bid in Graterford. The fact that Hopkins's comments were completely off base and uncalled for is not relevant. For Limbaugh, this is a conflict between the unthreatening, middle class black population and the urban black rabble--the "gangsters", the "welfare queens", and the other members of the "underclass" who populate the lurid fantasies of right wingers. There was no doubting which side he would take.

This was never really about Donovan McNabb. Once again, McNabb is just the football in Limbaugh's running narrative on class and race in America.

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