When I tuned into Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on Wednesday, Feb. 17, to see if he was back on his show, I heard the voice of his wife Kathryn saying that he had passed away.
Like millions of his fans, I felt like I had been kicked in the gut.
What the the "drive-by" media will never tell you is that Rush Limbaugh had many Black fans.
I not only heard many of them call-in saying they were supporters, but I also witnessed that support. I would often listen to his show while shopping with the volume lowered.
As I shopped, I noticed that several fellow shoppers who overheard his comments gave me a stern look which is no surprise in "deep blue' South Florida.
But what was most inspiring was that several Black (and white) shoppers gave me the "thumbs up" sign — with a smile.
I also discovered that a Black friend who works for the United States Post Office was a regular Rush listener and a big fan.
He said that many of his fellow Black co-workers were also fans — albeit quietly.
Rush had the guts and conviction to say what millions of Americans in "flyover country" believed, and many Republican elected officials and conservatives did not have the courage to speak.
On the issue of race, he pulled no punches and never tried to be politically correct.
One of his most famous and criticized moments regarding race was his audio clip parody about Barack Obama seeking the presidency in 2007.
There was much discussion in the media and political circles regarding whether Obama was "Black enough."
The Rev. Jessie Jackson had been criticized for making a crude reference to him after a television interview and reportedly accused him of "acting white."
The satirical parody was set to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon," and created an uproar and was considered racist by the left. An explanantion of the satire is found here.
However, that same left said nothing about then Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader saying essentially the same thing — that Obama was trying to "talk white" and appeal to "white guilt."
They were equally silent when another then- presidential candidate — Joe Biden — made a similar comment saying that Obama was "… articulate and bright and clean."
Many on the left derided him and called him a racist, even hours after his death.
However, few of them can "walk the walk" on racial inclusion and opportunity.
The "Drive-By Media" would not tell you, and it is not widely known, that his principal associate, known to listeners as "Snerdley," is James Golden — a Black man who was his producer for over 20 years and remains a key member of the EIB Network team.
To the best of my knowledge, Rush never mentioned that when accused of being a bigot.
Another example of Limbaugh’s letting his actions speak for him was having celebrated Black economist Walter Williams fill in for him on his show for many years.
That’s not the action of a racist.
Limbaugh broke down the national liberal media doors where conservative voices had been virtually locked out, revitalized AM radio, and ushered in a new generation of conservative talk radio hosts against whom liberal commentators could not compete — and who usually failed.
He not only gave a voice to conservatives, but he also made it possible for Black conservatives such as Larry Elder, Armstrong Williams, and David Webb to become talk radio stars.
I first heard Rush Limbaugh in 1988 while driving back to Tampa, Florida, from Long Boat Key.
"Who is this guy," I asked myself. "He’s fantastic."
Millions of Americans agreed.
Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations and training consulting firm in Florida. He served on the U.S. Senate staff, held several positions in the Reagan administration and Reagan presidential campaign, and was an adviser to the Angola Freedom Fighters ("UNITA"). He is a former co-owner of WTVT-TV in Tampa and a former chairman of the Florida Association of Broadcasters. His articles have been published in several publications including The Washington Times, Human Events Online, the Florida Courier and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. His media appearances include Newsmax TV and FOX News Radio. He is the author of "How Obama Failed Black America and How Trump Is Helping It." Read Clarence V. McKee’s Reports — More Here.
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