Rush Limbaugh is at it again, earning his paycheck from Premier Radio Networks. Recently on his show, he seemed to proudly celebrate the death of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner by referring to Steinbrenner as "the cracker who made a lot of African-American millionaires", I guess referring to Derek Jeter, Reggie Jackson and others. The comments got the attention of the nation, which surely increased Limbaugh's ratings. What it also did was remind the country that he is a person of weak character and almost no class.
Steinbrenner had a very powerful legacy through the years, helping the Yankees build and maintain their dynasty through selfless and determined investment. No, he wasn't an angel, for people at the top of the heap rarely are, but for Limbaugh to call him a cracker on the day he died is like calling Dorothy Height the N-word at her grave site.
By now, the nation has learned not to take Limbaugh seriously. We understand that he is nothing more than entertainment and should not be respected as any sort of serious political figure. He continuously works, like Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity (whom I call the "axis of ignorance"; I just added Beck this year), to do whatever he can and say whatever outrageous thing that will keep him in the media. That's what happens when you're nothing but an entertainer who has almost no responsibility for the things you say.
With regard to Steinbrenner's legacy, he did create quite a few African-American millions, but quite a few white and Hispanic ones too. Steinbrenner spent nearly $100 million more in his annual payroll than the next highest paying team, so he leveraged the Yankees to the point where anything other than a championship was simply unacceptable. His investment strategy seemed almost irrational and even irritating to his competitors. What I like about Steinbrenner's life is that it seemed fulfilled. We also must say, at the very least, that his life was incredibly impactful. To disrespect the legacy of such a well-respected man on the day of his death in a racially demeaning way is both embarrassing and uncivilized, but then again, that's what Rush Limbaugh is all about.
Click Here for the Complete Story
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and a Scholarship in Action resident of the Institute for Black Public Policy. To have Dr. Boyce's commentary delivered to your e-mail, please click here.