“There’s a professor…a liberal professor named Noel Ignatiev, and he is actually teaching—and I am not making this up—he is actually teaching and telling white male students to commit suicide to benefit society.” -Rush Limbaugh

It isn’t uncommon for busy news shows to grab a false headline. So when Rush was told mid-show that he was reporting on a fake story from the Onion, I’m sure his listeners were willing to forgive him. The problem is that, over time, he has a clear pattern of reporting questionable stories of white victimhood. What is it that attracts Rush’s audience to that theme?

Ian Reifowitz has an opinion piece in the Daily Kos (see link below) discussing the history of what he calls “race baiting” on the Rush Limbaugh show.

“The days of them not having any power are over, and they are angry. And they want to use their power as a means of retribution. That’s what Obama’s about, gang. He’s angry, he’s gonna cut this country down to size, he’s gonna make it pay for all the multicultural mistakes that it has made, its mistreatment of minorities.” -Rush Limbaugh, on the election of Barack Obama

It is much to the interest of the  rich to channel the resentments of the poor against other poor people and not against the people who are really exploiting them. Reifowitz argues that the purpose of such tactics is to divide and conquer America’s poor. He concludes the article with what he thinks is the real fear behind such rhetoric:

“What the right-wing elites really fear is a multiethnic coalition of all Americans built around the notion of the common good, the idea that a society should operate for the benefit of the great majority of people, not the thin sliver at the top.”