Thursday, September 17, 2009

Get On the Bus: Rush, Rabble-Rousing and Racism

First and foremost, I want to make it crystal clear that I IN NO WAY CONDONE THIS BEHAVIOR. If, in fact, this incident is just a cut and dry, unprovoked beatdown— then these kids and their parents should be ashamed of themselves. These kids are old enough to know how to keep their hands to themselves and use words to resolve conflicts. Basically, these kids suffer from NHTS—No Home Training Syndrome.

Mmkay... So, angry white Republicans are so desperate and angry that they now have to resort to blaming every crime committed by a black person on President Obama? Okey dokey then! A few things jump out at me here:

  • The video shown on Lou Dobb's show was zoomed in and edited
  • The original video showed many more kids screaming and cheering, several of them were white
  • If in fact this really were a racially motivated crime, wouldn't the assailants have beaten the other white kids, including the one who got between the assailant and the victim?

The entire incident appalls me—the kids who attacked, those who cheered, the driver who did not stop the bus, and the fact that there did not seem to be an aide on the bus to handle situations that arise since the driver's attention is understandably focused elsewhere.

The other thing that sets me off regarding this is Rush Limbaugh making it out to be President Obama's fault. Yeah, sure, every crime committed by every African American is done so on direct order from President Obama or as a direct result of his election. Yep, the secret is out!

While he was campaigning, Obama held secret Negro meetings where he explained that once he was elected, he expected each and every black person so to do their Negro duty and beat down white kids on school buses. He felt that would help make up for the hundreds of years of slavery, Jim Crow and racism. And boy oh boy was he right! Knowing that white kid got a bloody nose makes me feel so much better about the dilapidated conditions of inner-city schools, the unemployment rate in the black community, the educational gap between black and white students and the white woman who clutches her purse whenever my man and I walk past her.

Yes, those last two paragraphs were sarcasm and ridiculousness, but so is Limbaugh's assertion that somehow President Obama condones the aforementioned behavior and will come to the aid of the assailants. Obviously, this is not the first incident of school bus violence in America, or there would not be cameras on the buses. Also, do we know what actually happened there? Did the kids on the bus say that it was a racially motivated incident? Some published reports stated that the victim is not well liked by most of the kids and is a couple of years older than they are and known to have bullied kids himself. Could it be possible that the kids simply do not like one another and it has nothing to do with race? Believe it or not, there are a few people with whom I prefer not to associate and it has nothing to do with race and everything to do with their personalities.

This situation sheds light on one of the oldest forms of institutionalized racism: The One Drop Rule. Basically, it was enacted during the 1800's to deem anyone with any black blood in them black. That meant that any children born of interracial relations were, in the eyes of the law, black and hence, subject to the terms of slavery.

The One Drop Rule applies to this incident regarding the way it is perceived. According to Limbaugh and the rest of the Peanut Gallery, since these two black kids got violent on the bus, all black kids get violent on the bus. If one black man is threatening, all black men are threatening. If one black woman has nine children by eight different men, all black women do. You see the logic?

And it does not apply to white people. In 1999, two white teens shot 33 people and killed 12 at Columbine High School in Colorado. No pundits deemed all white teens dangerous; no media personalities blamed Bill Clinton for their actions. No one blamed George H.W. Bush for the death of Brandon Teena, who was killed by two white men for being a transgendered person, and the media did not tell people that all white men from Lincoln, Nebraska were evil and violent.

What Limbaugh, Dobbs and others like them do is unconscionable rabble-rousing. They take isolated incidents and spin them into lore for the uneducated and misinformed people who truly believe what they are told. They say that all black people are violent, unintelligent, hateful, un-Christian, etc. Sadly, the black characters they see on t.v. and in movies and music videos then reinforce their misdirected beliefs and hence, the stereotype continues and racism abounds.

A parting thought; Hundreds of black men, women and children were beaten and killed for no reason other than the color of their skin, in the times that led up to and included the civil rights movement. No one blamed any of the current or former presidents for those crimes. Ironically, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency saw record low unemployment, the advent of Medicaid and Medicare and increased educational funding, among other great contributions. LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which improved things for African Americans. The American people did blame him for that. Go figure.


  1. I think what you speak has great merit and truth to it. What is really unfortunate is that with Rush saying what he said, it has diverted our attention to what the ultimate problem really is...what the hell was wrong with those kids doing what they did?

    Should they have done what they did? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! But as you mention, do we know what provoked the incident? NO, we don't. Limbaugh did a fantastic smoke and mirror tactic and instead of making the matter about what's happening on our children's school buses, it has now become about what he said and the focus is on him. No press is bad press right?? Which is why unfortunately this individual is still on the airways being paid millions of dollars.

    What about the story of the young man SAVING kids from harm after the girl pointed the gun at everyone?? If this in fact is Obama's America that we live in, there are also HERO'S that exist...

    OH, but they were ALL black so it doesn't's for sarcasm!!


  2. I give up. Because I love Kyle, I read your blog and I still don't see your point. I even pulled the entire transcript of what Rush Limbaugh said. I invite you to read it. He was referring to an article that Newsweek wrote (which I already stated on Kyle's page) - he talks about Obama's America and how anyone that disagrees with him is considered a racist. I know I'd never be able to convince you otherwise, but wanted you to know that I read your blog. People spend way too much time going after a talk-radio show host. He isn't the leader of the conservative party. He isn't the leader of anything. If you really feel strongly about our government, then go after someone who is running our country.

  3. Well said Rachel! This was likely nothing more than two kids who did not like each other and fought over a seat on a bus. Was the act wrong, of course; violence in a situation like this is out of bounds.

    I listen to Mark Thompson in the afternoons; he and his guests pointed me to a couple interesting stories about how entrenched racism was/is in our society (below). North, South, East and West it does not matter.

    What I find most disheartening is that because racism is so entrenched in some parts of our society, it makes it almost impossible to have a real national dialog about it.

    It seems I can't post the links; one is the top story on by David A. Love JD and the other is on by Glen Ford.

    Take care,