You just knew he was going to have to discuss Nelson Mandela, And, just as anyone could have predicted, Rush Limbaugh made sure to say something offensive to blacks in this country. On his radio show on Friday, everyone’s favorite hatemonger discussed the life of Nelson Mandela. Essentially, he made sure to focus on Mandela as a docile man who apparently forgave all of the people who imprisoned him and treated him and his people as less than human for years. Here is an excerpt from the show:
LIMBAUGH: So here’s Nelson Mandela, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” Nelson Mandela actually lived through the indignities, the punishment, the discrimination, the horrors of the South African apartheid system. Came out of it — you realize when he was inaugurated president, he invited as his special guests the white jailers from his Robben Island prison? He literally did forgive everybody.
Twenty seven years of the prime of his life and he said resentment’s like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
Nelson Mandela would not qualify as a civil rights leader in this country with that philosophy. They can’t let it go. It’s become too big a business. They will not let it go. Mandela let it go. It just — amazing.
As predictable as the sun rising in the east, Limbaugh used the death of a great man who stood up for civil rights not only in his country, but the world, and used it to attack civil rights leaders in this country. And not only that, he used the death to completely paint the man and his achievements incorrectly. He portrayed Mandela as a man who just acted like everything that happened to him and his people was in the past and rolled over for the white man when he was released from prison. That he just embraced everyone that abused and oppressed him and his people like nothing ever happened. That he just had the mindset of ‘Ehh, forgive and forget. No biggie.’
Worse, though, is Limbaugh insinuating that blacks in this country are not subjected to racism anymore and that they all just need to ‘let it go.’ In essence, because Mandela said you should not hold on to resentment, civil rights leaders in America should just stop trying to fight against oppression and prejudice in this nation, because it just keeps bringing up the bad stuff in the past. African-Americans, and any other minority in this country, just needs to let the past (and the present) go. They just need to ‘literally forgive everybody.’
What Limbaugh, and other conservatives in this country, want black people to do is know their place and role. He would prefer that blacks just get over slavery and Jim Crow and redlining and workplace discrimination and move on. He would like for them to just trust that there is absolutely no racism in this country anymore. That we live in a post-racial society. And that if you perceive that he and other white conservatives happen to not like black people, or Hispanics, or gays, or Native Americans, or Muslims, or feminists or anyone else that just seems ‘different’…well, that’s on you. You are the bigot. You are the racist.
H/T: Media Matters