Three times Rush Limbaugh attacked the Latino community
A look back at just some of the slander spread by the newest recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
For his fans in the conservative community, Rush Limbaugh represents all of what President Donald Trump described when bestowing him with the country’s highest civilian honor in the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Feb. 4.
In many ways, Limbaugh found popularity doing what Trump did to get elected president.
His nationally-syndicated conservative radio talk show, The Rush Limbaugh Show, began in 1988 and has since been a mouthpiece for a brand of conservatism that thrives on conspiracy and has the boisterous claims to back it up, whether they’re based in fact or not.
Trump called him “the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet,” but if you ask most people outside of his sphere of conservatism, especially Latinos, Limbaugh represents the racism brought to light when Trump was elected.
A big part of viewpoint for Latinos comes from the way Limbaugh has discussed immigration and the Latino community throughout the years.
Here’s some examples:
Back in 2013, during one of Congress’ many failed attempts to pass comprehensive immigration reform, Limbaugh indirectly called Mexican immigrants lazy and government-dependent.
He did so under the guise of a comparison between two “immigration models,” the “Cuban exile” and “Mexican immigrant.” For Limbaugh, they represented two different generational attitudes of Latino immigrants coming to the U.S.
According to him, the “Cuban exile” model was the one of a strong work ethic, while the “Mexican immigration” model was one of “relying on the government for prosperity.”
For the record, Limbaugh’s rhetoric is revealed as baseless with a simple glance at the numbers. Immigrants in general are a boon the federal and local economies in the long run, and those from Mexico and Central America often play an important labor role in many industries along the Southern border.
Back in 2009, as debate around the formation of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act raged in Congress, Limbaugh questioned why Hispanic groups would lobby for the bill’s passage, considering undocumented immigrants wouldn’t get access to its benefits.
The problem is, most Latinos in the U.S. have legal residence and at that time constituted approximately 7% of the entire population.
Now, Latinos make up 18% of the total U.S. population or close to 60 million people.
The most recent statistics on undocumented immigrants in the U.S. from January 2015, put the population around 11 million people. The highest populations do still come from Mexico and other Central American countries, but the biggest increase was in immigrants from Asia.
Just a year ago, in June 2019, on the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Europe during World War II, Limbaugh equated the number of troops during the D-Day storming of Normandy to the amount of migrants trying to illegally cross into the U.S. at the height of the Central American migrant crisis.
“Same number of people, pretty much. Now they’re not armed, so it’s not a military invasion obviously, but it nevertheless is an invasion,” he said at the time.
It’s the same fear mongering used by the president to criminalize the same group of migrants from Central America.
Despite his history of speaking out against Latino immigrants, Limbaugh has attempted to connect to the community through his book, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, or as the Spanish-version goes: Rush Revere y los peregrinos valientes.
On his show, he described the effort as one to “assimilate people into American culture via American history and the American way of life.”