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Friday, May 6, 2016

Jones: Limbaugh's words led to lost dream

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rush Limbaugh's bid to become part owner of the St. Louis Rams became an exercise in futility last week when Dave Checketts, the leader of the group, informed the bombastic radio icon that he and his money was being dropped like a hot potato due to a protesting public that is worried that his views may not be the best for a business man in a sport that predominately employs minorities.

Racially insensitive remarks from the past brought down Limbaugh, who in 2003 was forced to resign from ESPN's Sunday night football broadcast team after saying of the Eagles' Donovan McNabb: "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well."

I'm not sure which is more embarrassing for the group led by Checketts, the St. Louis Blues chairman, that it had to drop Limbaugh this week from its list of limited partners, or that it obliviously included him in the first place

You think Checketts considered at all how Limbaugh's well-earned reputation for veiled racial bigotry might go over in a league where more than 65 percent of the players are black? I wonder if Dave was listening when Limbaugh said the NFL ``too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips.''

This is the same guy that has sung a song titled Barack the Magic Negro to his radio audience of millions under the guise of parody.

The man who preaches self responsibility immediately assigned blame to DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA and an "Obama-ite," and the Revs Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, whom he referred to as "race hustlers," for Checketts' decision to drop him. He said his dismissal was an example of the political clout wielded by the Obama administration.

Full of yourself much Rush?

It's not about Limbaugh's political views, it's about the polarizing influence and distraction he would bring to the league. I would urge him to step up and accept personal responsibility for contributing to his own demise in this particular venture.

The free enterprise system has spoken. Get over it.

For the record, I am not a big fan of Sharpton or Jackson. They are political figures famous for incendiary talk and not much else. Both are way too quick to jump in on any situation involving blacks and label it as a race issue regardless of whether or not race is even a factor. It seems that they are there to inflame but not to heal.

Tawana Brawley, Yankel Rosenbaum or the Duke Lacrosse players come very quickly to mind among a mind boggling series of mishandled situations over the years.

During the Brawley investigative process Sharpton accused prosecutor Steve Pagones of raping Brawley and taunted: "If we're lying, sue us, so we can . . . prove you did it." Pagones did sue, and eventually won a $345,000 verdict for defamation. To this day, Sharpton refuses to recant his unspeakable slander or to apologize for his role in the odious affair.

Jackson too, has had his share of bigotry exposed. On July 6, 2008, during the presidential campaign, he said that Barack Obama was "talking down to black people ... telling n----rs how to behave,'' but he apparently gets a bye because relatively little has been said by his peers or the mainstream press.

Both champions for racial equality and civil rights have made inflammatory racist comments in the past and continue to do so. It's getting to the point that neither man will be able to label a definitive case of racism and be taken seriously. They are marginalizing themselves and, by extension, their cause over time.

I bring these examples to the forefront not in an effort to stimulate mindless endless debate over racism. I am enough of a realist to admit that though we have come a long way toward equality in some areas, racism sadly still exists, knows no boundaries, and is not confined to just one race.

It is simply a matter of good moral hygiene that we must admit it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said: "I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream -- a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality."

I pray that one day we will make those words a reality.

We can not continue to believe that the majority is always right and that those that are different should be subjected to discrimination, exclusion, intolerance and hatred.

Racism is cruel and unjust. We all have a duty to denounce it.

Then, and only then, will we be truly free.

Jimmy Jones is a Times-Gazette sports writer. He can be reached at jjones@t-g.com.

Jimmy Jones
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