Translating Lingua Limbaugh
I see this story percolating through the left side of the blogosphere today. It seems to be missing the context necessary to accurately interpret what Limbaugh was actually saying, which was a different kind of crazy than alleged, though just as explicitly vile.
If you’ve been following the movement Right’s reaction to this story, you’d understand that one of their central themes has been that this incident shows that in Obama’s America, white people are legally second-class citizens. In their bizarre world, this bus incident was a hate crime, and the refusal to consider it as such is proof that the law doesn’t apply with equal force to white people. As or even more disturbingly, they are also claiming that liberals are actively supporting the notion that the victim deserved what he got because he was trying to sit in the “black” part of the bus.
Given that context, and given the full transcript of Limbaugh’s insanity, it’s pretty clear that Limbaugh was not actually advocating racially segregated busing. What he was instead doing was claiming that the Left and Obama are advocating racially segregated busing of a sort.
This is yet another step down the Right’s obsession with creating totally unsupportable claims of racial victimization of white people. This obsession may well be a form of racism in and of itself, but it takes a different form than “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” The form instead is “Don’t let TEH BROWN PEOPLE impose segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever on us decent and law-abiding whites!” And yes, it really is that deranged.