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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Are right wingers endorsing the Black Panthers?

by digby

Eric Boehlert:

[L]ast week, spinning on behalf of gun advocates and continuing the far-right's convoluted attempt to equate Second Amendment supporters to modern-day civil rights protesters, Rush Limbaugh suggested that if civil rights activists had brandished guns maybe the movement could have better protected itself from segregationist foes:

LIMBAUGH: If a lot of African-Americans back in the '60s had guns and the legal right to use them for self-defense, you think they would have needed Selma? I don't know. I'm just asking. If (Rep) John Lewis, who says he was beat upside the head, if John Lewis had had a gun, would he have been beat upside the head on the bridge?

Basically Limbaugh, stretching to make an absurd point about guns in America, suggested it would have been better if Dr. King's non-violent crusade had embraced firearms as a way to advance its cause.
I think these gun fetishists are losing the thread. The idea that Limbaugh would have countenanced African American violence during the civil rights struggle is ridiculous. We know exactly how the average conservative, white jackass reacted during that struggle and they didn't exactly join the NAACP. Moreover, there was an organization that purported to do exactly what Limbaugh now says was the right idea:

Founded in Oakland, California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale on October 15, 1966, the Black Panthers  initially set forth a doctrine calling primarily for the protection of African-American neighborhoods from police brutality.
I'm fairly sure Limbaugh wasn't a fan. In fact, he still evokes the name with hushed tones, pretending that they actually exist in some threatening form. Here's a very recent blast on the subject:
The New Black Panther Party with a $10,000 bounty on a man who hasn't been charged. I think that's why there's the bounty. They're upset, Dawn, that the legal system is not being fair with them here. Still, it is a... I have to admit, I was shocked when I saw that. I was shocked that... See, I was shocked that there hasn't been anybody stand up and say, "Whoa, can we cool this down a little bit?" Everybody's speaking on this... Well, not everybody, but the people making hay out of this are inflaming it and making it bigger -- I mean, from the White House on down -- rather than try to cool this thing off and slow it down and wait 'til we found out exactly what happened here.

But a $10,000 bounty. And the New Black Panther Party, don't forget, is the group that intimidated voters in 2008 in Philadelphia and a number of other places, and lawsuits were filed against them for voter intimidation and the Obama Justice Department (the attorney general, Eric Holder) just threw the investigation out. He just brought it to screeching halt. And the assistant attorney general, J. Christian Adams -- who was prosecuting the case against the New Black Panthers -- quit. He resigned and wrote a book, and we interviewed him. His book was about what was going on in the Obama Justice Department, miscarriages of justice, justice not being blind or colorblind or anything of the sort...

This appears to me to be an open sanction to vigilante-type justice. I know the president's in North Korea, but he could still say something about this. And when he doesn't say anything about it, we're left to question why. And we don't know the answer to that, either. I remember the Rodney King circumstance. That was back in the nineties when the police officers in Simi Valley were found not guilty. I remember the riots that ensued after that. George H. W. Bush went into action. He mobilized the Justice Department do a civil rights violation investigation into Rodney King to find out whether the Simi Valley Police...

Of course, that caused its own set of circumstances that riled people up. But at least there was an effort back then to quell some of the anger. It wasn't successful. The riots happened. Reginald Denny was the guy yanked of the truck in LA in front of the helicopter camera. Everybody saw that. But it's just a puzzling thing to me. Just by virtue of asking the question: Where's the leadership? Where's the effort to slow it down, to cool this off, knowing full well it's a powder keg? I wouldn't think anybody, any reasonable person would want this powder keg to explode any further than it already has. Some people say that this speaks volumes about the kind of leadership that we have.

Yeah, he would have considered King and Lewis "patriots" during Selma if they'd mowed down some cops. Sure he would.

This is the kind of lugubrious bullshit that only Limbaugh can really pull off. He says it, he knows it's absurd and he laughs at the liberals when their gorges rise as they hear it. There is nobody better at this particular form of cognitive dissonance. I don't know if any of his listeners recognize it for what it is --- they aren't the brightest bunch. But at some point their brains will explode.