Racist Frat Boy Chant Would Be A Hit If Kanye Sang it, Says Rush Limbaugh
On Wednesday, Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski made asses out of themselves by suggesting that the racist chant sung by frat boys at the University of Oklahoma was actually the fault of black people themselves for writing rap songs with the n-word in them. As one might imagine, this did not go over well.
However–unsurprisingly–Rush Limbaugh decided to double down, insisting that if Kanye West had sung the song, it would be a hit.
“If this had been a song by Kim Kardashian’s husband and they had sung this song at the Grammys … it’d be a hit” said Limbaugh. After one of his staff members disagreed, he continued to push it. “But I’m telling you this stuff gets awards, and the people who sing it are portrayed as American royalty in terms of celebrity. You can’t deny that.“
You know what? I’m not going to say he’s right, but I will say that were Kanye to sing such a song, it would obviously take on a different meaning. Obviously. I’m going to say that pretty much anyone who has made it through elementary school levels of English is aware of a little thing called “context” and understands that the “context” of something can change depending on who is saying it.
Limbaugh, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski– they are all 100% feigning ignorance here. They’re all all full of shit, and let me tell you why. There is literally nothing hard about understanding that black people can use the N-word and white people cannot, because there isn’t anything hard about understanding how things work in similar situations.
For instance. I think we can all understand that there is a vast difference between me saying “Oh shit, I look like the wrath of god this morning” and someone else yelling at me that I look terrible. One is me saying something about myself, the other is a person insulting me.
To boot, I can call myself a dago all day long! I can, and do, refer to much of my jewelry as “dagofabulous.” You know who’s never going to call me a dago? Literally anyone else who is not Italian, and certainly not as an insult. Why? Because it’s weird and old-timey to call someone a dago as an insult. Which, you know, really should be the case in any situation involving a racial epithet.
Now, you may know or not know that Italians were lynched pretty often back in the day as well. In fact, one of the largest mass lynchings in history was of a group of Italians in New Orleans in 1891. Trust me when I tell you that at no point has anyone ever said to me “Well. You just joked about your dagofabulous earrings, so I don’t see why I can’t sing a lighthearted song about lynching you!” Has not happened. Ever. Not once! I think we can all agree that this would be an incredibly strange conclusion for anyone to jump to.
In no other social situation would anyone infer that a person saying something about themselves is a free license to insult them. Or, you know, suggest they be hung from a tree. Somehow, this particular facet of the social contract only confuses and bewilders people when it comes to black people. The second black people are involved, all these people turn into Chauncey Gardener and all previous understanding of normal human interactions fly right out the window!
Personally, I don’t buy it. There is exactly nothing complicated about understanding that people can say things about themselves that would be insulting if anyone else were to say it. Were this true, there would be no such thing as an insult, and words would cease to have meaning. I am willing to bet that there is no one on this planet who is so stupid that they cannot grasp this concept.
What these people want, desperately, for reasons that will never be clear to me, is the ability to insult people without anyone pointing out that they are insulting people. They want the conversation to turn from “Hey, some asshole frat boys did a racist thing” to “OH. But what black people do is worse, so how can we possibly criticize these darlings?”
What they’d get out of this, I cannot begin to imagine. Perhaps they all think that the second they are allowed to say the n-word free from fear of criticism they will magically have full lives, healthier, shinier hair and perhaps immediately gain the ability to play the harpsichord? I don’t know. What I do know is that there is little to no chance of this dream ever coming true, and to quote Martha Stewart, that’s a good thing.