Opinion

Constitutional free speech or not, its still racism

To hear Rush Limbaugh opine, you’d swear that the constitution had specific language in it that protects the right of free speech for all blow-hards and bigots. It does, sort of. Pugnacious and unforgiving, Limbaugh has been quoted as calling women’s rights advocates “feminazis” and liberal activists “commie-symps.” Limbaugh’s simplistic and scathing assaults on all things liberal are broadcasted daily on over 600 radio stations. He is extremely popular with ultraconservatives and his “let’s take everyone out behind the woodshed for a healthy dose of discipline” approach has garnered him a faithful following. He has become a very wealthy man as a result. Newsweek magazine recently reported the value of Limbaugh’s nine-year radio deal to be $285 million.
His recent comments about Quarterback Donovan McNabb receiving special consideration from the media because he is black, and because the media wants a black quarterback to succeed, have led to several counter-volleys and accusations of racism. Limbaugh’s statements about McNabb presupposed that black quarterbacks need the help of a friendly media to justify the caliber of their play. By addressing McNabb’s race as the primary factor as opposed to his physical or mental ability to play, Limbaugh infers that quarterbacks who are black are inferior. Facts tell a different tale and by all accounts McNabb is considered to be among the top ten players at his position. If Limbaugh had done some homework, he would have surfaced countless incidents of racial discrimination in the NFL that would show that African-Americans have long been wrongfully excluded from positions of importance (i.e. quarterback and head coach). Fortunately, most everyone has realized that Limbaugh was likely pushing certain buttons and may very well have counted on the backlash for publicity’s sake. It seems that nowadays almost anything passes for news and/or entertainment. Regardless, Limbaugh unapologetically sought refuge for his comments in the 1st Amendment free speech guarantee.
As a staunch believer in the constitution and the many freedoms it bestows, I stand firmly behind Limbaugh’s right to express his views, even if they are ignorant and racist. The way I see it, even blow-hards are protected. I just hope that one day Limbaugh will avail himself of another equally profound constitutional right (contained within the 5th Amendment) and do both himself and us all a favor by remaining silent, because free speech or not, he is still a racist.
Octavio Ramos is a grad student in the Department of History. He can be reached at o.ramos@umiami.edu.

November 7, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami coach Jim Larranaga is staying on the Hurricanes while they keep piling up wins. Dewan Huell h ...

Shakey Rodriguez, the Miami high school basketball coaching legend, vividly remembers the first time ...

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

William W. Sandler Jr. Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education earns national recognition for it ...

Retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez gives "Major League" advice to UM’s fall graduating c ...

Becoming the Man of the Hour ...

Always a little bit of a flair for the dramatic. ...

A scholarship created by retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and born out of his love ...

Dewan Huell recorded his second double-double of the season as Miami improved to 9-0 with a 59-50 wi ...

The Miami Hurricanes football team hosted the 2017 Football Awards Show at Gusman Hall on the Univer ...

The Miami women's basketball team begins play at the Puerto Rico Classic Monday against Sacrame ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team capped its seven-game homestand with a 79-31 wi ...

University of Miami senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios earned 2017 first-team 2017 CoSIDA Academic ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.