By Roland S. Martin
It’s always funny to get tweets and emails from followers of radio entertainer Rush Limbaugh’s. None of them ever actually thinks of checking the facts out before beginning an ignorant, vile and rambling rant. I suppose that’s to be expected, because all they are doing is following their feckless leader, Limbaugh.
Last week, I took to Twitter to express my disgust with the racist tweets sent to Joel Ward, the Washington Capitals forward who scored the game-winning goal against the Boston Bruins in the pivotal Game 7 of their first-round matchup.
Ward, who is black, should have been praised for great play. Instead, he was insulted, ridiculed and called the N-word.
As a result, I sent out the following tweets:
“It’s no shock that a Black hockey player is being called nasty vicious things for a game winning goal. Only folks in denial about racism are.”
“The reality is that weak-minded punks hide behind anonymous comments on message boards AND social media.”
“I had my arms crossed one day in an editorial meeting and was called ‘intimidating’ & ‘threatening.’ Thinking While Black, huh? LOL.”
“I simply accept the reality that racism is in the DNA of America. And when that button is pushed, the true feelings come tumbling out!”
“Trust me, I know the inherent bigotry in ‘we want our country back’ and ‘he’s not like us’ or ‘you have a different worldview.'”
?”Why do I love a changing America? Because the walls are tumbling down! One of the last bastions? Media. Some folks are still holding on!”
“Sports is great because talent ain’t subjective. It’s clear. You win or lose. I know from media history/experience that talent is irrelevant.”
“So to all of the soft/hard bigots, we ain’t going anywhere. Keep hatin, we’ll keep on fighting & winning. But do know we know who you are!”
Limbaugh was apprised of what I had tweeted, so when a young listener called in, Limbaugh brought up what I had written and said:
“Roland Martin is a friend of Obama’s, and here is his tweet: ‘I simply accept the reality that racism is in the DNA of America. And when that button is pushed, the true feelings come tumbling out!’ You asked me about racism and the media. Well, here is a black journalist at CNN. I don’t know what this is relating to, but again, Paul, ‘I simply accept the reality racism is in the DNA of America.’ So here he is, a mainstream journalist who just lives with the assumption that this is a racist country. Always there. And in his case, it’s personal, because he’s black. But he’s liberal first. All liberals are liberals before they’re anything else. If they’re Jewish, if they’re gay, if they’re female, male, they’re liberals first, Paul. That is their religion. And that religion requires loyalty. You must have faith in them. They are the equivalent of your higher power. You must have trust in them; you must let them manage your affairs. This guy tweeting today that racism is in the DNA of America, so we are, as a country, founded in a flawed, sinful way.
We are unjust as a country; it’s immoral as a country, and that belief allows Mr. Martin excuse to be able to have power over people, to be able to punish people he thinks are racist.”
Here is the key phrase out of all of the nonsense Rush spewed: “I don’t know what this is relating to.”
Had Rush and his crack research team bothered to get the context — is that a bad disease going around lately? — they would have realized that I was speaking about the racial slurs against the black hockey player.
That’s when all of the knuckleheads began to write me, and many said that I was inciting the issue by even bringing it up. Several suggested that by ignoring racism, all will be well and it will just go away.
Really? Is that how it works?
Look, there is no need for Americans to keep living in denial. Race has been in the DNA of America since its founding. Slavery. Formation of our precious U.S. Constitution. The Civil War. Reconstruction. Jim Crow. The turbulence of the civil rights movement. Integration. Busing.
Pick the subject and we’ve had to contend with the issue of race. I was only speaking truthfully to what so many Americans love to ignore.
But hey, don’t believe me. Here is what Republican star and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had to say about race in America on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in 2011:
“It is a birth defect with which this country was born out of slavery; we’re never really going to be race-blind. … I think it goes back to whether or not race and class — that is, race and poverty — is not becoming even more of a constraint.
“Because with the failing public schools, I worry that the way that my grandparents got out of poverty, the way that my parents became educated, is just not going to be there for a whole bunch of kids. And I do think that race and poverty is still a terrible witch’s brew.”
Earlier she discussed the advancements of African-Americans in the U.S. — whether it be a CEO or the president of the United States — yet even she concluded that “we’re never going to erase race as a factor in American life.”
So I say DNA. Rice says birth defect. Hmm, is it really that different?
Ignoring racism will do nothing to solve the problem. Calling it out, speaking against it and educating others are what’s important.
I find it hilarious that as an African-American, I’m told to ignore racism. I couldn’t imagine telling someone Jewish, “Anti-Semitism isn’t a big deal! Stop harping on it. It’ll disappear.”
The problem for too many of us is that we live in a world of denial. We choose not to confront the problem, because that would mean looking inward and confronting how we were raised, what our parents taught us or even our friends for their bigotry.
Racism isn’t just black or white. It can be a two-way street between any groups. I prefer not to be silent about it.
Have I experienced racism in my life, as well as in the media? Of course! Sure, I grow tired of having to fight battles that should have been long gone, but it is what it is.
So, Rush, I’m not going anywhere. I won’t back down. I won’t surrender. And when racism rears its ugly head, I’ll be right there standing up for righteousness and to rid our world of this wretched evil.
Roland S. Martin is an award-winning CNN analyst and author of the book “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as Originally Reported by Roland S. Martin.” Please visit his website at RolandSMartin.com. To find out more about Roland S. Martin and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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