I was sincerely saddened to hear that the 69-year-old conservative radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, has advanced lung cancer. Being a cancer survivor, my heart goes out to him and his family, and the fear they must be experiencing. It’s a devastating disease.
I do not wish to see the end of Rush Limbaugh. I hope he fully recovers. I only wish to see the end of his wicked career that has spanned over a quarter of a century. During that time, Rush Limbaugh’s toxic words have polluted our airwaves with vile hatred, sexism, xenophobia, anti-gun sense, anti-LGBT rhetoric, racism, bigotry and extreme aporophobia.
Limbaugh has been generously cruel with the words he spews out to the public on a daily basis. He once attacked Michael J. Fox for faking/exaggerating Fox’s Parkinson’s Disease. He disparaged scientific evidence and minimized the negative effects of smoking on one’s health. He compared Chelsea Clinton to a dog when she was 12. He told an African American woman to call back when she took the “bone” out of her nose. Hundreds of malign Limbaugh quotes have been documented from his taped shows. Some include him calling children on government-assisted lunches “wanton little waifs and surfs,” or implying gay men are “pedophiles,” or calling women “semen receptacles,” and describing documented immigrants as “lazy,” “invasive species of mollusks” and “spermatozoa.” In 2012 Limbaugh called a then-unknown college student, Sandra Fluke, a “slut” and “prostitute” on the air for three days, while she was sitting in front of Congress advocating for free mandated birth control, especially in cases when it’s medically necessary.
After the Fluke rant, large grassroots organizations formed like Stop Rush, Flush Rush and Boycott Rush. For three years, they protested, petitioned and rallied against Limbaugh, causing thousands of his sponsors, big and small, to pull ads and causing radio stations to drop him. The movement cost him and his parent company iHeart Music (formerly Clear Channel) and Cumulus, far into the millions. Though he was stifled quite a bit, he found a way to climb back up.
A smug Limbaugh says, “free speech, folks!” But his words do more than just shimmy up and down the First Amendment. They are odious. Rush Limbaugh spews, peddles and propagates hate speech which can be more than dangerous. Hate speech promotes bullying, abuse, hate crimes, violence, and murder.
I have prayed for Rush Limbaugh’s health. I will not pray for what he stands for or the vicious, digusting and heartless way he has treated people for decades. His belief system is different from mine—and I will not lay those differences down.
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