On his Thursday radio show, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh suggested that 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech at the March on Washington was about segregation of the races, not integration.
Limbaugh said that King’s 1963 message conflicts with the message of the modern-day civil rights movement.
“Martin Luther King Jr. was interesting,” Limbaugh said. “If you read a lot of what he said or wrote, Martin Luther King did not blame the Constitution. Martin Luther King acknowledged that the Constitution did indeed spell out the right thing for all people. He said that it was just not properly applied at first, but eventually it was and has been. He did not rip the Constitution. He did not think the founding of the country or immoral or unjust. He thought the implementation, in the early days, was flawed. It’s real simple. The 13 original colonies, in order to rebel, in order to form a union, had to accommodate the southern colonies.”
“In some of them, slavery was the thing for them, and they weren’t going to give it up,” he continued. “A number of the Founders knew it. Jefferson, Adams — they all wrote, ‘This is going to lead to trouble down the road.’ But they had to talk about compromise. They had to make compromise, accommodation, in order to found the country. Martin Luther King knew all of this, and he said that the founding was proper and actually a blessing, just improperly applied. He was about integration, not separatism, and not segregation. But that’s what was on stage yesterday. Everything about the civil rights movement today is back to segregation. We’ve gone back to pre-Martin Luther King days, essentially. It’s about a never-ending race battle.”
He explained that he and likely many others viewed Obama’s speech at the 50th anniversary event on Wednesday as a letdown, pointing to the president’s inability to resolve the problems he faces internationally and domestically, and the new message of the civil rights movement.
“It’s about segregation,” he said. “It’s about never wanting to be integrated and then after the integration has taken place, then segregate. It’s a bastardization of what he stood for. I don’t think there’s any question about it. But regardless, I was driving home yesterday, and I listened to Obama’s speech on the radio, and I know that people don’t attach much credibility to me when I’m commenting on Obama because they think my criticism is only political. That’s not true. It’s based entirely on substance. I just have to tell you — based on the expectations of what I know people were expecting — that speech yesterday was a disaster. I mean, it was a disappointment.”
“The media is all talking about seminal moment, greatest speech,” Limbaugh continued. “But I was literally bored driving home, listening to it. Anyway, that’s just a brief aside. We’ve got discontent. We had 100,000 people expected. Barely 20,000 showed up. African-Americans in this country are fed up. White people are fed up and depressed. Hispanics are confused. And Obama the Magnificent, who criticized Bush for not having a coalition in Iraq, seems ready to go help al-Qaida in Syria, but not too much. We’re going to do a limited strike just to show that you can’t cross Obama’s red line, but beyond that we’re not going to do much. The American people are ticked off. There’s high unemployment. There are high oil prices, stagnant wages, growing debt. Obama lives in a vacuum in Washington and Martha’s Vineyard. He’s living the life of Riley.”