With Rush Limbaugh trying to become co-owner of the St. Louis Rams, his racially divisive commentary over the last 20 years - some as fresh as last month -- is surfacing. When I studied Limbaugh while heading the media watch group FAIR, colleague Steve Rendall and I assembled some of Limbaugh's racist remarks in an L.A. Times column.
I've long felt that his dismissive attitude toward African-Americans was best captured by a 1994 comment he made on his national radio show about - of all places - the St. Louis area. The dialogue begins after a caller described St. Louis' new light rail system:
LIMBAUGH: I know St. Louis. Where does the light rail system go?
CALLER: It's running from downtown at Union Station out to the airport, and then there is one branch that runs to East St. Louis.
LIMBAUGH: (Laughing) East St. Louis? They got no light rail system to West County? They got a light rail system to East St. Louis where nobody goes . . .?!
At the time, East St. Louis was home to 41,000 people, 98 percent of them black.
A relevant statistic today: roughly 70 percent of NFL players are African-Americans.