Rush Limbaugh entertained our troops around the world today on Armed Forces Radio by dropping N-bombs and spreading racism on the air, and worst of all your tax dollars paid for it.
First, Limbaugh warped CNN’s Rachel Jeantel interview in order to claim that using the N-word with an (a) at the end instead of an (er) meant the word wasn’t racist. He then used the word on the air.
Audio via Media Matters:
JEANTEL: People… The whole world say it’s a racist word. My… My you… Around 2000, that was not… They change it around, I think. It start spelling it n-i-g-g-a. Nigga!
MORGAN: What does that mean to you, that way of spelling it? What does that word mean to you?
JEANTEL: That mean a male.
MORGAN: A black male?
JEANTEL: No! Any kind of male.
MORGAN: Black or white?
JEANTEL: Any kind. Chinese could say, “Nigga!” “That’s my chino nigga.” They can say that.
RUSH: This was between nine and ten p.m. last night on CNN, who are in a quest to become the, again, most respected news organization in the country, perhaps even the world. So “nigga” with an A on the end… (interruption) Well, I think I can now. Isn’t that the point? ‘Cause it’s not racist. That’s the point. I could be talking about “a male.” I could be talking about a Chinese male, a guy at the Laundromat. You could be talking about a man.
That’s what she said it means. (interruption) Hey, new school! New school. (interruption) She IS the authority! This is the point, Snerdley: She is the authority. She was on CNN last night. She was presented as the authority, and the CNN commentators all day today have been wondering why this brilliant woman didn’t show up and say these things on the stand. They’re deeply troubled that they didn’t get this Rachel in the trial.
Limbaugh later had a caller on who used the word again, and argued that Paula Deen did nothing wrong.
Audio via Media Matters:
After his caller uses the n-word, Limbaugh essentially admitted that he knows that he is using a racial slur by telling the caller, “No matter how you translate it, I would strongly advise you not to try it on the street. I wouldn’t put this to the test anywhere. I wouldn’t go out there and utter the word n-ig-g-a, and see what happens.”
The Urban Dictionary describes nigga as, “A word a white person can NEVER say while a black person is present or they will be beat down. but they say it with fellow white people.”
I would argue that white people should never use that word in any context, because it is derived from the N-word. Jeantel was trying to describe a slang term that some African Americans use in reference to any kind of male. That doesn’t mean that it is okay for white people to use. Limbaugh knows that it is not okay, which is why he tried to walk it back with the caller.
In case anybody wants to argue that Limbaugh didn’t drop an N-bomb, here’s what the dictionary has to say, “Nigga is used mainly among African Americans, but also among other minorities and ethnicities, in a neutral or familiar way and as a friendly term of address. It is also common in rap music. However, nigga is taken to be extremely offensive when used by outsiders. Many people consider this word to be equally as offensive as nigg*r. The words nigg*r and nigga are pronounced alike in certain dialects, and so it has been claimed that they are one and the same word.”
A petition to get Limbaugh removed from Armed Forces Radio after his Sandra Fluke comments was rejected by the Department of Defense, ” AFN is charged with providing current information and entertainment programming to our Department of Defense audiences overseas, similar to what they could see and hear via the media in the United States. AFN acquires top-rated radio programs, as measured by audience ratings in the United States, and delivers them via satellite to our soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen stationed worldwide in 177 countries. AFN does not advertise on, provide any funding for, offer products for sale, or sponsor any of the programs (including the Rush Limbaugh Show) it relays to its audiences. AFN does not censor content, and we believe it is important that service members have access to a variety of viewpoints.
No one is suggesting that AFN censor Limbaugh. What is being suggested is that he doesn’t belong on a taxpayer funded radio network.
Here’s the problem, whether they are buying advertising or purchasing the show, the Armed Forces Network is giving Rush Limbaugh taxpayer dollars. Taxpayers are subsidizing Rush Limbaugh’s misogyny, racism, and partisan hate. Democrats have been trying for years to get Limbaugh taken off of Armed Forces Radio, but the Department of Defense refuses to drop him.
Racism and sexism didn’t get Limbaugh dropped from AFN, so maybe using the N-word finally will. Rush Limbaugh is spreading his racism and hate to the troops, and he is getting paid by us to do it.
Racism should not have a home on the Armed Forces Network, and taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for it. Before Republicans cut another dollar from the food stamps program, they need to vote in favor of dropping Limbaugh from AFN.
(Note: I don’t know of any petitions related to today’s events, but if anyone wants to start one, I will add it to the story. Email me, or leave the link in the comment section below.)
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association