Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rush Limbaugh is a Lying Bigot

From Media Matters:

On the September 22 broadcast of his syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh baselessly claimed that Sen. Barack Obama is "not black," and went on to ask: "Do you know he has not one shred of African-American blood?" Limbaugh continued: "He's Arab. You know, he's from Africa. He's from Arab parts of Africa. ... [H]e's not African-American. The last thing that he is is African-American."

Think about it.

As of 2006, Arbitron ratings indicated that The Rush Limbaugh Show had a minimum weekly audience of 13.5 million listeners, making it the largest radio talk show audience in the United States.

Somewhere around 14 million Americans were assured today that Barack Obama is not African-American, but Arab-American. Here is the ethnic composition of Kenya, where Barack Obama's father came from (according to the CIA):

Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African (Asian, European, and Arab) 1%

Barack Obama Sr. was a member of the Luo tribe. They are not Arab. In fact, the vast majority of them are not even Muslim.

The Luo traditionally believed in an afterlife and a supreme creator, whom they called Nyasaye, and had a strong ancestor cult. Today most Kenya Luo are Christians, and a small number are Muslim.

In fact Barack Obama Sr. would not have been even nominally Muslim if his father (Barack's grandfather) had not converted.

His father, Onyango Obama (c. 1895-1979, buried at Alego),[1] belonged to the Luo tribe and was born Onyango, son of Obama (buried at Kendu Bay, Kenya) and wife Nyaoke, in one of their villages. Before working as a cook for missionaries in Nairobi, Onyango had travelled widely, enlisting with the name Onyango Obama in the British colonial forces during World War I and visiting Europe, India, and Zanzibar, where he converted from Christianity to Islam.

By all accounts, Barack Obama Sr. did not follow in his father's footsteps as an observant Muslim. He was not an Arab. And Rush Limbaugh just lied to his 14 million-strong audience about this for one simple reason. He wants to confuse people and frighten them by playing on their ignorance and fear of Islam and Arabs.

By all rights, there shouldn't be an advertiser in the country willing to associate their product with Rush Limbaugh's show. And for the record, Barack Obama Jr. is a Christian, raised by his white mother and grandparents in Honolulu, Hawaii. He spent a few years in Indonesia before returning to Hawaii to attend high school. He attended Occidental University in Los Angeles before transferring to Columbia University in Manhattan. He received his law degree from Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts before moving to Chicago to practice law. He also worked as a community organizer, helping people that had been laid off when the steel mills closed on the south side of Chicago.

In other words, Obama has lived in four major U.S. cities (five, if you include Honolulu). He has degrees from two Ivy League schools (just like George W. Bush). He's a Christian. And he was raised by white parents and grandparents. But Rush Limbaugh is telling people that he's an Arab and suspect as an American.

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