The new topic of the week is the ugly campaign by CNN's Rick Sanchez, the head of the NFL players union, a variety of loony left-wing blogs, Al Sharpton, and the George Soros crowd, to prevent Rush Limbaugh from being part of a group purchasing the St. Louis Rams based upon entirely fabricated racist statements attributed to Limbaugh.
The meme from the haters is that Limbaugh has to prove he did not make these statements, rather than the accusers proving he did make the statements. This is not a Van Jones situation, where Jones was run out of town based upon what he demonstrably did say as recorded on video and audio tape.
This is similar to the smear against Glenn Beck accusing him -- in the form of a question -- of murder and then demanding that he prove he didn't do it, and the smear against Robert Stacey McCain by Little Green Footballs accusing McCain of being a "white supremacist" based upon out of context and plainly insufficient accusations.
The point of this tactic is to repeat accusations frequently enough that fiction and reality merge in the public consciousness. And on the internet, all you have to do is repeatedly put someone's name in close proximity to the inflammatory words, so that the search engines associate the name and the accusation.
And it works. Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, has cast doubt on whether Limbaugh ever would be allowed to be a team owner based upon the controversy.
Unlike the pathetic kowtowing by NFL leadership to the Al Sharptons of the world, on the field the NFL, to its credit, is a meritocracy when it comes to player selection. The best players are selected by coaches, without regard to race. It so happens that the result is a vastly higher percentage of black players in relation to the percentage of blacks in society. No one suggests that there is racism involved in this process which results in racial disparity, nor should they. Let the best players play.
But it does go to show that racial disparity is not always the result of racial motives. When the percentage of blacks in the quarterback position was lower than one would expect given the percentage of blacks overall in the NFL, there were accusations of racism or racial profiling of black players. But why would we assume a coach would pick the best players for all positions except for quarterback?
And this situation regarding the quarterback position was the one situation in which Rush Limbaugh actually did make a statement attributed to him. Limbaugh stated many years ago that the media was going easy on Donovan McNabb's inadequate performance because the media wanted a black quarterback to succeed. I didn't follow the controversy closely enough at the time to state absolutely that Limbaugh was correct, but it was not out of bounds for Limbaugh to point out what arguably was true.
The use of false accusations of racism for tactical purposes is so pervasive that it is part of the political and social landscape. And now it is part of the NFL.
Unlike play in the NFL, however, there is no concern with reality and there are no challenges and instant replay. The truth matters on the football field, but not when it comes to the use of the race card.
Why not be done with it, and just make Al Sharpton Commissioner of the NFL? After all, someone told me that someone told them, that they heard that possibly, sometime, maybe, Roger Goodell said [insert false accusation here].... and Goodell hasn't proven he didn't say it.
Psychology Today: "Will Blacks play football for Massah Limbaugh?"
Charles Johnson and Robert Stacy McCain
An Allergic Reaction To The Race Card
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