But while Limbaugh was happy to call Floyd’s death as Minneapolis police officers had taken into custody for a minor crime “sickening,” he seemed unwilling to admit that systemic racism played a part in the tragedy.
He also claimed he didn’t think white supremacy is especially prevalent in the U.S., and denied the existence of white privilege.
That led show host Charlamagne Tha God to clap back: “You’re being delusional.”
The interview, conducted Sunday and aired Monday, ended with Limbaugh explaining why he asked to converse with the Breakfast Club.
“What happened to George Floyd sickened me and I wanted to reach out and tell you all this,” he said. “I want to make sure you have no doubt and I’m not the only American who feels this way. The senselessness of it. We’re only given one life, we’re not given a do-over. … George had his taken away from him.”
Charlamagne was curious why Floyd’s death affected Limbaugh enough to request the exchange when so many other cases have surfaced of police using undue force on Blacks, sometimes resulting in the deaths of the victims.
“I know that you’re going to disagree with me on this — to me (Floyd’s case) is not America,” Limbaugh said.
Charlamagne interjected: “Oh yes, it’s definitely America!”
The host later said it was easy for Limbaugh to praise the American dream because “you’re a white male and that comes with a different level of privilege.”
Charlamagne then said that America does work for the people it was designed to work for, but “doesn’t work for everyone else the way it works for you.”
Limbaugh danced around a lot of questions during the 26-minute interview, including why he calls for peaceful protests now but criticized former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the National Anthem at games ― a nonviolent gesture that prompted a barrage of attacks on the right, including from President Donald Trump.
Limbaugh responded with what he may have thought was a “gotcha” question: “If the Minnesota Vikings announced two nights ago that they were going hire Colin Kaepernick, would the riots have stopped?”
Charlamagne paused for a few seconds before bluntly saying, “No. Nobody gives a shit about that.” He then patiently explained to Limbaugh that hiring Kaepernick would “not stop white supremacy, it would not stop racism.”
Limbaugh said he didn’t buy into “white privilege,” which he described as ”a liberal, political construct right along the lines of political correctness [that is] designed to intimidate and get people to shut up and admit they’re guilty of doing things they haven’t done.”
When Limbaugh claimed, “I don’t have any white privilege,” Charlamagne quickly scoffed at that. saying “You’re being delusional.”
Limbaugh, a right-wing provocateur for decades who has made numerous racially charged statements ― in 2010, he said Re. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) who his black, could serve as a chauffeur for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; in 2016, he termed Black Lives Matter a “terrorist group” ― then made another statement many people will find delusional.
“I don’t feel like I am a white supremacist, and I don’t think there’s much white supremacy going on out there, and I need you to define it,” he said.
The Breakfast Club hosts then gave examples of white privilege and white supremacy, such as Black people being pulled over by police because they’re driving a nice car in their own neighborhood.
In response, Limbaugh said his car had been keyed.
Limbaugh, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom earlier this year by Trump, seemed open to continuing the conversation with the Breakfast Club at another time. Charlamagne seemed noncommittal.
“Not if we’re just going to dance the whole time,” he said. “If you’re going to have some honest conversation with us and stop telling us things like, ‘White privilege doesn’t exist,’ and you don’t know what white supremacy is. If you can do that, yeah.”
The complete exchange is below.
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