Now that Rush Limbaugh
has resigned from his job at ESPN we should take a long hard look at just
where America is in regards to issues of race and free speech. Certainly,
from a common sense viewpoint we are far from where we ought to be and sadly
moving rapidly in the wrong direction.
is we are moving towards a time where certain opinions are not only unwelcome
but also downright dangerous to those who dare to express them. Instead of
moving toward a truly color-blind society we are approaching a time and place
where color is infused into everything.
a look at what Rush said and compare it to the firestorm it created. Rush
simply made a statement about the sports media and their obsession with race
where quarterbacks and coaches are concerned in the National Football League.
He never even came close to saying the color of a player or coach had anything
to do with race. He simply opined that the media is desirous of more Black
coaches and quarterbacks. And given the amount of time the media has spent
focusing on the number of black quarterbacks and coaches in the NFL over
the past few years Rush clearly was right.
reaction to his statements branded him as some type of racist idiot, questioning
the ability of blacks to succeed in the NFL as coaches and quarterbacks.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who Rush was talking about
when he made his comments, felt compelled to call a press conference to deal
with the alleged racist comments about him.
Of course the odd thing here is that by blowing this story completely out
of proportion and making race an issue where it was not, the media proved
Rush to dead on target in his analysis. The media -- including sports media
-- has made an ugly habit of injecting race into every story possible
over the past decade.
is sad to see. Sports have done more to solve our racial problems than possibly
any other factor in our history. Fans have learned to root for players no
matter their color, and the players have learned to play together as a team,
despite different skin color. Sports has in many ways led the way to where
America should be, a color blind nation where qualifications, not pigmentation,
the sports media never figured out that skin color really does not matter
to players or fans anymore. Instead they have increased their focus on race
as its true importance has diminished. Perhaps to create controversy where
there is none, or to try to be social crusaders where none are needed, sports
commentators and writers have done their level best to make race an issue
as often as possible.
process they have helped to create the inane speech codes which now exist
in this country. Certainly we claim to be a nation which respects and adores
diversity. Yet only certain speech is considered deserving of a place in
this diversity according to the rules the media wants to force on us.
of race are especially tricky when one wants to offer opinions. Basically
if the commentator offers an opinion which can be possibly construed to be
racial in any manner then he or she is in danger of getting fired. Of course
there are some pretty extreme double standards which apply here as well.
speaking, a person of color, who is liberal, can say almost anything they
wish with no fear of consequences. Even if their speech is racist and inflammatory
they are pretty much free to say anything. A conservative, however, is on
borrowed time any time they attempt to address issues of race.
In fact, the situation is so bad now many conservatives sound as if they
are reading a prepared speech carefully worded whenever they discuss any
issue dealing with race. They have seen the examples of how a word or two
can be used to destroy careers and lives. And they have chosen the path of
conformity and less resistance.
so, of course, they have effectively lost the ideological war to their liberal
counterparts. And make no mistake; liberals are fine with that. Despite their
oft-made claims of loving free speech, it is liberals who have forced speech
codes and political correctness upon the rest of us.
have created a climate where expressing a conservative viewpoint, especially
where race is concerned, is not only unwelcome, but downright hazardous.
And in the ideological war in which America is in, there are two ways to
one can be correct and have common sense and reason to support their views.
Conservatives generally like to use this strategy. Second, one can simply
make their opposition afraid to state their views by putting in place speech
codes, which punish certain views. Liberals are using this strategy with
Don’t think so? Ask Rush Limbaugh.
Doug Hagin resides in Dallas and hopes to one day be a nationally syndicated columnist with his own radio show.