Caught: Rush Limbaugh makes race baiting comment about Obama: ‘Gang’ making ‘graffiti’

By John Byrne
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 9:01 EDT
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Rush Limbaugh is adept with words.

In a little noticed comment on his radio show, posted Monday on his website, Limbaugh appears to race bait the president by linking him to a “gang” creating “graffiti” on the “walls of American history.”

“This guy is an utter wrecking ball all by himself on the world stage to the point now of getting embarrassing,” Limbaugh quipped, according to his own transcript. “This presidency of Obama’s, it doesn’t take much to irritate the left. Try this: ‘Barack Obama’s presidency is graffiti on the walls of American history.’” That’s what his administration is. No more than graffiti on the walls of American history. We have a juvenile delinquent for a president who has ruined so much public and private property, not even his gang is making much of an effort here to protect him. It’s an utter disaster.

Limbaugh produced the following graphic on his site:

Blogger Andrew Sullivan says the comments exploit “racial dog whistles.”

“Is any American more adept at exploiting racial dog whistles?” Sullivan says. “It’s always egregious enough to be calculatingly offensive, but never quite an open and shut case, because most of all the talk radio host revels in being called a racist so that he can throw up his hands and complain about liberal race-baiting.”

Adds Mediaite, “Rush Limbaugh is probably one of the few media superstars who doesn’t need to hide behind coy, impish disclaimers. Nobody’s ever going to fire him. Despite that fact, he continues to rely on these slight fig leaves as a way to disown his divisive intent.”

Limbaugh has made racially insensitive comments before. Speaking on his radio show last year, he said the United States needed to return to racially segregated buses.

Referring to an incident in which a white student was beaten by black students on a bus, Limbaugh said: “I think the guy’s wrong. I think not only it was racism, it was justifiable racism. I mean, that’s the lesson we’re being taught here today. Kid shouldn’t have been on the bus anyway. We need segregated buses — it was invading space and stuff. This is Obama’s America.”

A full transcript of Limbaugh’s comments about busing on his radio show is available at MediaMatters.org.

Limbaugh’s comments came after a called complained to say that local law enforcement said the attack probably wasn’t racially motivated. The incident had been hyped by the conservative Drudge Report, which posted a video of the fracas.

“Police initially said the beating of the white student by two black students appeared to be racially motivated,” the Associated Press wrote. “But police on Tuesday backed away from that.”

That didn’t stop Limbaugh from making his comments.

With earlier reporting by John Byrne.

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