What Took You So Long?: My Complicated Feelings on the Current Rush Limbaugh Backlash
Rush Limbaugh has been racist, sexist, homophobic… you name it, for years. It seems to finally be catching up with him. Over the past few weeks, people have been outraged over Limbaugh’s comments to Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke when she called to express her favor towards birth control access. On the air, Limbaugh called her a slut and a prostitute, and said, “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
Now, don’t get me wrong- I absolutely abhor Limbaugh’s comments, and I absolutely believe that he should be held accountable for the hateful, inappropriate messages he spewed over the air that day. What I don’t understand is why we let it get to this point. It isn’t as if this is the first time Limbaugh has said something inappropriate.
I am a Black woman, wondering where all of Limbaugh’s advertisers were when he told an African-American female caller to take the bone out of her nose. I want to know why no one spoke up when Limbaugh said that the NFL looked like a game between the Bloods and the Crips sans weapons. Where was the boycott when Limbaugh said that all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?
I’m glad that he’s finally being held accountable, but I’m hurt also that it took this long for people to realize that a bigot Limbaugh doesn’t belong on the air- radio, television, or otherwise. Why doesn’t it matter if Limbaugh insults me, but when he insults a White woman the world stops? What about when he said insulting things about gay people? He’s insulted plenty of other groups as well…do they not matter either?
Feminists are supposed to be dedicated to ending oppression across all axes and leveling the playing field for all. I’m asking that they take a look at their own playing field, because sometimes I don’t feel welcome in the feminist movement. My principles line up with those of feminism, but if an attack on me isn’t an attack on you, I want no part of it.
—Keir Bristol, www.andthenkeirsaid.com
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