Anti-racism activist Tim Wise gives his take on Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the perceived silence from Republicans on what Wise sees as the fanning of racial flames by these hosts.
From Crooks & Liars:
WISE: Right. Well like I said in the show before, it is the background noise of a lot of the opposition, not all of it but a lot of it. You know, when you have someone like Glen Beck saying as he did about a month ago that the health care debate isn’t really about that. It is just reparations for black people, where you have Rush Limbaugh yesterday on the air saying first that community service is the first step towards fascism, which is bizarre even for him.
And then almost immediately after that saying one of the problems with America is too much multi culturalism. You wouldn’t say that unless you are trying to stoke white racial resentment. And so when you say those things, I want to know when are Republican leaders going to condemn that kind of rhetoric because that is where race is being interjected. It is interjected by us, it’s interested by the leading talk show hosts in this country.
LEMON: I mean, but is it knowingly or is it maybe unwittingly they’re doing it and maybe they don’t realize they are doing it.
WISE: Well, two things, it may be either or but it doesn’t matter. I mean, racism needs to be evaluated based on outcome. If you do something which has a predictable consequence, you have to be accountable for that consequence. So for example, when Glen Beck lied and said that Van Jones was involved in the Los Angeles riots which was not true. That is a very clear, as David said, dog whistle politic moment.
You’re saying that because you know that the L.A. riots are viewed as this racialized rebellion and it scares white folks to death. So you say that about this man. It isn’t true. Glenn Beck had to know that wasn’t true. That is a way to scare white folks. Where race comes in, it is old fashion but it’s white racial resentment that they are trying to whip up.