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Should I be surprised that a man whose name is as synonymous with racism as the sky is blue wants to defuse frank conversations about race as it relates to the killing of Trayvon Martin?

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No, but Rush Limbaugh’s (pictured) transparency doesn’t make his defense of Martin’s killer and assailing of “the left” for its “obsession” with race any less baffling and irritating. The conservative commentator used his platform to peddle some delusional notion that George Zimmerman was just a guy who “loves law enforcement” that “wanted to protect his neighborhood, and he just got a little overzealous and so forth.”

Yeah, and the brick an angry woman throws through the window of her cheating man’s car is just a friendly reminder for him to get them tinted.

Rush also took issue with the New York Times referring to Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic” as “that fits the template” of a Black vs. White crime. Never mind the reality that the term only accurately denotes race and ethnicity for proper context. While he didn’t mean it in that fashion, there’s something supremely shallow and rather predictable about Zimmerman apologists citing his ethnicity as if that prevents him from harboring racist sentiments. One could also consider that viewpoint “mighty White.”

Speaking of such, the fellow racial epithet enthusiast had the gall to declare, “I don’t look at people and see a race or a sexual orientation or whatever. I mean, I’m a red-blooded American guy.” If you can hold in your laughter long enough, Rush also added, “I don’t see feminist or a female victim of some oppressive society.”

This is the same man who once quipped about Blacks, “They’re 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?” the one who just loved the hell out of the song “Barack The Magic Negro” (listen above) and played it numerous times on his show, and the guy who told a Black female caller to “take the bone out of your nose and call me back.”

But supposedly, “I [Rush] don’t see Black-versus-White or anything. The left is the ones who do this.”

Those with ears – including his ever-expanding lists of abandoned sponsors – know how great a crock that is.

As is this trite and faux sympathetic remark: “We have a dead 17-year-old, and this being looked at through a political prism by people is just something that escapes me, just really does.”

The political context of Trayvon’s murder escapes Rush because — as a White man free to spew any and all things patriarchal and prejudice for profit — the only political matters he has to concern himself with are those that boost his bottom line.

The rest of us don’t have the luxury to be so linear in our thinking, which explains why the political factors that helped create the Trayvon Martin slaying are all too apparent and deserving of our outcries. Fact is, the issue of race is one that consumes Americans independent of hue, and in Rush’s case specifically, hubris.

How that interest manifests itself is what separates us.

In one corner you have people like Rush Limbaugh, who pimp racial stereotypes and fuel the hatred of all things “other” to a certain segment of the population. The other corner consists of those who understand the dangerous consequences of their actions and speak out when tragedy strikes, hoping their words might finally make a difference.

Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer currently based in Los Angeles. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick


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