From Christopher Columbus to Rush Limbaugh
By Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Rush Limbaugh speaks to and for the “angry white man.” He says loudly, openly and arrogantly the things that they themselves all feel, believe, know to be true about the world and especially its “other” people but do not have the guts – or platform – to say, except, perhaps, in the “privacy” of their own haunts and hovels. And so for the last 20 years and counting they have given over the stage and platform to Rush Limbaugh, complete with a “golden microphone” and $400 million, to speak to them and the world without bothering to encode their toxic message in rhetorical niceties or engaging in semantic and syntactical gymnastics.
We – all of us – have just arrived at a most dangerous and foreboding moment in our freedom struggle’s long history. The “angry white male” is back. Actually, he never really left the scene, but has been underground, keeping his volatile and explosive anger under wraps over the last few years. Since Obama’s 2008 election, since Hispanics/Latino/Chicanos’ louder and louder refusal to accept “alien” status in the land that was once theirs, and since white women have refused to go back to the good old days of “Leave It To Beaver,” “Ozzie and Harriet,” or especially “Father Knows Best,” it has finally begun to sink in to angry white men’s imagination, into his “worldview”, and into his psyche that his centuries-long and complete domination of the world will soon end. He grudgingly has come to realize that that light at the end of history’s tunnel is not the warm sunlight of a new and promising vista, but the scorching, searing lazor beam affixed to the top of an unstoppable speeding train headed directly for him. The danger for us – and all humanity – is that like any cornered and wounded animal, these feverish men are striking out wildly, indiscriminately, at their perceived enemies.
This whole thing began when the first angry white man, Christopher Columbus, took his first step onto an idyllic Bahamian island some 520 years ago. He promptly enslaved and finally exterminated its native peoples. Ever since that day, October 12, 1492, angry white men have waged an unrelenting, no holds barred war against the whole earth itself, human and nonhuman, plant and animal. They have raped, robbed and pillaged, enslaved and murdered, colonized and exploited millions upon millions upon millions since they took those first tentative cruises from seaports of a remote and backward corner of the earth, namely, the coastal regions of northwestern Europe.
Just one generation before Columbus, however, the Portuguese stumbled upon the vast bulge of West Africa in the 1440s. The were struck speechless, bewildered and utterly awed at the golden grandeur of the boundless empires which stretched before them. Great cities and towns anchored the Ghanaian Empire and dwarfed anything these always lost seafarers had known in Europe. They marveled at these densely populated urban centers and bountiful rural vistas, all inhabited by peoples so unlike themselves — so BLACK, that is, that their whole bodies seemed to sparkle when sunlight touched their skin just right.
These European men were not yet “white”. They were Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, almost Italian, French or English. They did not become white until after Columbus’ “discovery” of – to him and “World” history — whole “New World” wherein those native and dark inhabitants flatly refused to accept enslavement.
Those first European “discoverers and conquerors” therefore came into their whiteness as a defense mechanism…a defense against a certain kind of darkness, an unfamiliar deepness of soul, of sensitivity, for which they simply had no model, and thus could not begin to understand what they were witnessing, let alone appreciate it.
Rush Limbaugh speaks for them as well. He is the direct descendant and beneficiary of Christopher Columbus’ outrages and depredations. But because we now know not only Columbus’ true history and his legacy as embodied in Limbaugh’s voice, again, we must be more careful now than Columbus’ victims. We know what they are capable of doing. We know them better than they know themselves. Indeed, as their position and power diminishes, the Limbaughs, the Judge Cebulls, the Pat Buchanans, the Andrew Breitbarts – all are prepared to take the whole world down with them rather than surrender to the sheer force of numbers.
Incidentally, but finally, that is why angry white men are all so rabidly anti-abortion. “Their” white women are not having enough babies to keep up with the white world’s population decline in the face of the surging, burgeoning Black, Brown and Yellow masses (the Red People having been already displaced and destroyed). So, their greatest fear is not simply losing power, but that at a point that is now clearly in view, there simply will no longer be any identifiable “white” men – angry or otherwise.
Herbert Dyer Jr. is an African American writer in Chicago. Herb also works at Roosevelt University’s “Life Skills and Re-entry Program” as a tutor in computer skills, language training, job-readiness skills to ex-offenders. He has a masters degree from Governors State University in Political & Justice Studies and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.