Someone had the bright idea to ask conservative radio shock jock Rush Limbaugh to have a candid conversation with the hosts of Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club—Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy—about racism, white privilege and the Black Lives Matter movement. The nearly 30-minute chat took place on Monday, and it went just about as swimmingly as you’d expect.
“We are fed up, we are angry, hurt and tired,” DJ Envy says at the beginning of the conversation. “The inhumane treatment and senseless murder of George Floyd has to be the final straw...for almost 10 years, [The Breakfast Club] [has] been the voice of our community, working to push our culture forward...the dialogue has to be open beyond who we know or who we talk to every morning.” The episode was also broadcast on Rush Limbaugh’s self-titled, nationally syndicated radio show.
When Limbaugh began to speak on the show, he made it a point to voice his anger regarding the murder of George Floyd on May 25, and also said that more Americans are probably more upset than they let on. He also chastised all four cops who were involved in his death.
The conversation really kicked off when he and Charlamagne started having a discussion about if America is “really” like this. Limbaugh believes that the violence and racism we’ve been seeing are “not America,” nor does it display American ideals. Charlamagne disagrees.
“You’re a white male, and that comes with a different level of privilege,” he explains. “I think that America does work, but it works for the people it was designed to work for.” He then doubles down on how the system also hasn’t been working in (really) anyone’s favor recently, since 40 million people of all races are unemployed.
Around the 10-minute mark, things got spicy when Limbaugh claimed Charlamagne (do you see a pattern of who gets Rush most riled up here?) put words in his mouth regarding who in minority communities are allowed to be successful. (“I was trying to be complimentary of you...if you wanna try, you can succeed,” Limbaugh affirmed.)
Perhaps the most interesting part of the conversation pertained to white supremacy and white privilege. Does it exist? Limbaugh doesn’t believe so and “[doesn’t] buy into” it. While doubling down on what that means, he states that white privilege is a social construct created by the Democratic party.
“[White privilege] a liberal, political construct...it’s designed to intimidate, get people to shut up and admit they’re guilty of doing things they haven’t done,” he explains. “I’m not going to agree with any aspect of it as they put it forth. I’m not denying that there are certain individuals out there that think they are better than other people. But structurally, institutionally, white supremacy, that’s a construct.”
“You can’t see how white people are just treated better in this country?” Charlamagne asks, after calling Limbaugh “delusional.”
“I’ve had my car keyed,” Limbaugh replies. “I’ve had my tires blown. Of course.” Charlamagne explains that’s not even close to being the same thing, and he meant being thrown out of his car and being pat-down for no reason.”
“I’m a hermit, a recluse, and I don’t go out and do all that kind of stuff. No, that kind of stuff has never happened to me, I’ll grant you,” he responds.
I have a headache now trying to listen to the back-and-forth here, but if you’re interested in the full interview for yourself, listen below.