Suppose I had the maturity of a 4-year-old, and also had that age level’s lack of ability to understand how the world works. Or suppose I was Rush Limbaugh. But I repeat myself. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
Limbaugh, the fading has-been of right-wing radio, keeps trying to prove that he’s still relevant. On his January 25th radio show, he made what had to be one of the dumbest comments he has ever made while weighing in on the current controversy about the fact that minorities are very underrepresented at the Oscars.
the great fascist gasbag Limbaugh had to say:
I have a question, folks. I really am bugged by something here. I’m watching all of this talk about banning the Oscars. And all these Hollywood liberals and Hollywood actors and actresses are running around saying, ‘We can’t go to the Oscars, there aren’t any black nominees. It’s a racist bunch, it’s racism, and we’re not gonna go support it.’ If that’s the case, then why aren’t all good liberals boycotting the Democrat presidential primaries? Which is whiter, the list of Oscar nominees or the Democrats running for president? Is there a whiter group among those two?
Is Limbaugh really that stupid or does he think his listeners are? He actually seems to think that there’s no difference between a field of political candidates and the Academy Awards.
Where should we start, Rush? Should we start with the fact that each year there are any number of films that feature any number of minority performers, but few of those performers are ever nominated for an Oscar, let alone win one. That raises legitimate questions about what is going on with the nominating process. Looking at the history of the Best Actor Oscar, since Forrest Whitaker won in 2006, there have only been four black actors who have even been nominated, and none have won (Will Smith-2006, Morgan Freeman-2009, Denzel Washington-2012, Chiwetel Ejiofor-2013). That’s a total of 5 actors, and one winner, out of 40 nominees. The Best Actress category is even worse: since 2006, only three nominees have been black women, and none have won.
Now in case you missed it because you were too busy listening to yourself talk, Rush, a presidential campaign starts with various people going “Hey, I think I’ll run for president.” (OK, it’s not really quite that simple, but you get the idea.) There’s not an organization that selects the candidates from all of those who are eligible. Presidential candidates pick themselves to run — actors can’t nominate themselves for Oscars.
Limbaugh totally ignores this one simple thing: Democrats have not only had black candidates running for president since Shirley Chisholm in 1972, Democrats nominated, elected, then re-elected a black man named Barack Obama. He certainly should remember that; he’s been bringing up race in the context of the president ever since before Obama was elected.
Limbaugh also ignores the fact that before Herman Cain’s short-lived 2012 campaign, the GOP had plenty of lily-white fields of candidates itself. And compare the black Republican candidates to the black Democrats who have run. Like or dislike them, there’s no denying that Shirley Chisholm and Jesse Jackson both had a lot more gravitas than Herman Cain or Ben Carson.
So stop with the nonsense, Rush. Nobody takes you seriously any more, anyway.
You can read the transcript of Limbaugh’s ridiculous comparison on his website.
Featured image via Donkey Hotey/Flickr