Rush Limbaugh saying ridiculous things is kinda par for the course at this point, but this one definitely takes insensitivity and stupidity to a whole other level. It’s a little old, but I thought it was still worth it.
He begins by talking about the “un-Thanksgiving” and “Day of Mourning” that Native activist groups celebrate rather than “traditional, American” Thanksgiving, and that they “claim” it is their response to the democide (a new vocabulary word for me! it means any person or people killed by the government, including genocide) of Native peoples in the Americas. Then he goes on to this:
“Let’s check the scoreboard. How many Native Americans were killed by the arrival of the white man through disease and war…how many people have died since the white man arrived due to lung cancer, thanks to the Indian custom of smoking? Who are the real killers here?…Where are our reparations? I’m just saying.”
um, really? Yes, Natives introduced tobacco to the greater world. But Indians did not introduce Philip Morris and the other Big Tobacco companies, blend tobacco with a ton of toxic chemicals, pour millions of dollars into marketing to kids and adults, and deny the links to lung cancer. Shoot, if Indians had control of the multi-billion dollar tobacco industry, then things would be different in many ways.
Traditional tobacco use in Native tribes is also not the 2 pack-a-day western model. Tobacco is sacred to many communities, a gift from the creator, and used in ceremony and to commemorate important events, not to smoke back to back cigarettes.
Then to compare the outright genocide of millions upon millions of Native peoples to tobacco deaths? He wants someone to “do the math.” I’ll do the math for you, Rush:
Here’s the clip. Listen for yourself. Be prepared to roll your eyes.
The blog Pharyngula offers a great critique, definitely check it out.
I would also like to point out that in about 60% of his pictures on Google image search, Rush is smoking a cigar. I’m just saying.