We are gathered here today in sympathy with our brother, Rush Limbaugh.
As you are no doubt aware, these have been difficult days for Brother Limbaugh. There he was, happily revealing that he was part of an investment group that had submitted a bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League. Next thing you know, Al Sharpton is on him like ugly on King Kong, urging the NFL to reject him.
And NFL players, not previously known for commenting on or even visibly caring, who owns a team so long as the paychecks clear, are saying they would not play for him.
And owners, who must vote to approve him, are telling reporters they will not.
It all came to a head last week as the talk show host was dumped by his fellow investors. Whose heart is so stony that it does not weep for Brother Limbaugh to find himself humiliated so? Put yourself in his shoes.
You're a college dropout and OxyContin junkie who somehow managed to climb to the top of the media pile. You've made yourself one of the most popular and influential voices in the national dialogue and that, in turn, has made you rich beyond dreams of avarice. How satisfying must that be.
And you're an avid sports fan, too, so naturally you jump at a chance to fulfill every sports fan's dream — to buy yourself a team. You picture yourself watching games from the luxury box with a babe or two on your arm, evaluating talent and signing off on trades, partying in the locker room, champagne stinging your eyes, at the end of a championship game.
How cruel to have it all snatched away from you. And why? Because a bunch of black African-American Negroes start making noise? What reason do they have to be upset with you?
Just because you once called Philadelphia Eagles star Donovan McNabb overrated, the victim of media too eager to see a black quarterback do well?
Just because you referred to Barack Obama and Halle Berry as "Halfrican Americans"?
Just because you told your listeners Obama's economic program is "reparations"?
Just because you called Obama "the little black man-child"?
Just because you said the NFL "all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips"?
Just because you once told a black caller to "take that bone out of your nose and call me back"?
For those trifles the sensitive pansies of the NFL don't want to have anything to do with you? Why do they even care? Just because 65 percent of their players are black African-American Negroes? Oh, the shame! Oh, the humanity!
So yes, the rest of us should rally around Brother Limbaugh. If they can deny one rich, racially inflammatory media lout his constitutional right to own a football team, what's to stop them from denying another? This is a clear and present danger. Pat Buchanan, Glenn Beck . . . none of us are safe while this injustice stands.
And besides, what lesson does this teach our children?
That there are things (like respectability) even money can't buy? That there are doors (like the one to the owner's box) even fame can't open? That you only have one reputation and it's not stain-resistant, so you'd better not soil it? That karma is a female dog?
Do you really want your children to learn that sort of socialist claptrap? I don't. How dare the high and mighty NFL act like the things we say carry consequences?
So let's stand up for Brother Limbaugh. Indeed, here and now, I am starting a legal fund to help him carry on the fight. I will make the first contribution — a shiny new Franklin Roosevelt dime.
What about you? Wouldn't you like to see poor Rush get what he deserves?
Please give generously.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla. 33132. Readers may write to him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. He chats with readers every Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT at Ask Leonard.