Rush Limbaugh and a female caller were patting themselves on the back today for their conclusion that minority women such as Michelle Obama and Sonia Sotomayor are angry. And that their anger is dangerous.
Limbaugh and his caller went on and on. Even after accomplishing great successes, they surmised, Sotomayor and the First Lady retain fundamental anger as minorities. They’re still angry because they were raised, taught and coached to be angry, and now, as successful minority women in a white man’s political world, they use that anger as a tool, as a wedge toward greater success, as a weapon.
I wanted to pound the dashboard with my fists. People of minorities are angry? Really? Thanks for the sociologist’s revelation. Of course they’re angry. Everyone is angry. Life is hard. It makes you angry. Mrs. Obama and Ms. Sotomayor probably aren’t any angrier than, for instance, the regiment of loud, frustrated middle-aged white men on talk radio who’ve been spitting vitriol at the two women constantly for the past two weeks. (I wondered if Sean Hannity was going to blow out an aneurism on air the other day, near the end of a 10-minute harangue against anything and everything about Michelle’s husband.)
Limbaugh was outaged that Obama and Sotomayor may hold burning anger about the historically disadvantaged lives of many people in minority groups. He said he’s alarmed about the anger and how it’s directed at the majorities. But how he could think his ongoing broadcasting crusade of racial anger against successful minority political figures on the left side of the spectrum is supposed to quell any animosity among formerly oppressed minorities, he didn’t explain.
I think he just wants to smash them. He wants to unite everyone against successful black and Hispanic women who rise to high places and have the temerity to speak of their background in any manner not deferential to the MAWGs (middle-aged white guys) who’ve always run our country. How dare those girls get hissy?
A constructive response would be for Limbaugh to relax in his superiority and brush aside his paranoia — and anger — about those uppity women from the other side of the tracks. How these two successful women can be considered a dire threat to the nation and the supremacy of MAWGs is impossible to rationally comprehend.
Ms. Obama and Sotomayor most likely aren’t plotting a rebellion against the white masters. It seems only that they’re continuing to try to make the most of their lives and they have the gall to rely on some of their past experiences to help shape their words and deeds. OK, they have sharp elbows. That’s not scary. It’s not dangerous. It’s normal. But fomenting fear and hatred against them with radio-blaring, blood-pounding class and race anger (yes, anger) must be a good way to keep your frightened listeners tuned in.
I should disclose that I’m a MAWG myself. It’s nice and safe. I enjoy safety in numbers. I do not fear. I’m not threatened by Michelle Obama or Sonia Sotomayor. They’re only achieving the American dream. Imagine that. They’re not going to cause any trouble for me. Why would they bother? I even spend a few hours a month helping a non-profit group that serves inner-city kids in Ogden. I guess that means I’m on their side, whatever that side is.
If I were Limbaugh or Newt Gingrich, who scream reverse racism as a Pavlovian response, maybe I’d get worried. Or I’d cynically identify inviting targets with which to rally my kind.
With difficulty, I refrained from bashing the dashboard. I turned off the radio and put in a blues-rock CD. People may make me feel blue, but I keep trying not to get too angry.