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Wisconsin GOP Votes To Honor Rush Limbaugh Right After Blocking Black History Bill

Wisconsin GOP Votes To Honor Rush Limbaugh Right After Blocking Black History Bill
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Wisconsin Senate Republicans passed a resolution to honor conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who died of lung cancer on February 17.

The resolution, which Senate Republicans voted 18-12 on Tuesday, would honor and commemorate the career and accomplishments of the divisive host—who was notorious for his bigotry, being a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump and for disseminating conspiracy theories on American airwaves—including Trump's false claims of a stolen election.

In the same session, Republicans blocked efforts for a bill that would require public schools to include teaching Black history, slavery, the Holocaust and other genocides, according to Channel 3000.

Last month, Republicans also rejected a Black History bill that would recognize February as Black History Month and honor prominent Black figures—including Vice President Kamala Harris, Democratic voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, and eight Wisconsin men and boys were who killed or severely injured as a result of interactions with police.

TheMilwaukee Journalreported White Republican legislative leaders took issue over some of the potential nominees and sought to modify the Black history bill—including removing Abrams and replacing her with Senator Julian Bradley of Franklin—the first Black Republican to serve in Wisconsin Senate.

Democratic lawmakers accused Republicans of being racist for rejecting the Black History resolution and embracing a bill that would commend a man who made fun of Black people.

One of Limbaugh's many "accomplishments" included writing a racist parody song called "Barack, the Magic Negro," about then-Senator Barack Obama.

No resolution for Black History was taken up since both parties reached a stalemate.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Republicans objected to some of the Black figures mentioned in the Black History bill however, the GOP caucus widely supported Rush Limbaugh.

Vos said in a press conference:

"We asked them to do [a Black History Month resolution] that was more generic, like the ones we had done in the past. They really didn't want to."
"So we never reached consensus."

Democratic Senator of Wisconsin Jon Erpenbach criticized the bill honoring Limbaugh, and wrote on Twitter:

"Honoring an oppressor while being critical of the oppressed is not a good look for someone that co-chairs a task force on racial equity."

Democratic Senator LaTonya Johnson of Milwaukee also lambasted the resolution.

After reading off controversial statements Limbaugh made prior to his death—including one in which he suggested the NBA call themselves the TBA, "Thug Basketball Association", and referring to former President Barack Obama as "halfrican American"—Johnson said:

"You own this. You own his rhetoric."
"You own his sentiment. The (GOP caucus) owns this—his racism."

Johnson added:

"The Republicans have issues with who we as a Black body choose to honor, but yet we have to sit in this body and honor somebody like Rush Limbaugh who was a homophobic, xenophobic racist."

Wisconsin's Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler denounced the Republican resolution on Tuesday and called it "another partisan political exercise aimed at further dividing our state."

Wikler said in a statement:

"Make no mistake: the GOP effort to lionize Rush Limbaugh is a naked attempt to legitimize the race-baiting and fear-mongering that Limbaugh pioneered and that Donald Trump built his political career upon."
"By honoring Rush Limbaugh on the floor of the Wisconsin State Senate, Republicans are once again showing us exactly who they are, and we should believe them."

Throughout his career as an American radio personality, Limbaugh made a slew of racist and homophobic comments.

In 2011 on The Rush Limbaugh Show, he "translated" Chinese President Hu Jintao, saying:

" 'Ching cha. Ching chang cho chow. Cha Chow. Ching Cho. Chi ba ba ba. Kwo kwa kwa kee. Cha ga ga. Ching chee chay. Ching zha bo ba. Chang cha. Chang cho chi che. Cha dee. Ooooh chee bada ba. Jee jee cho ba.' Nobody was translating, but that's the closest I can get."

He was also known for his serophobic statements about AIDS/HIV victims during the AIDS crisis throughout the 80s and 90s, calling the virus "Rock Hudson's disease" and "the only federally-protected virus."

Limbaugh was quoted in John K. Wilson's book, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason, with this homophobic statement made by Limbaugh:

"When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it's an invitation."

Two Republicans, Senator Dale Kooyenga and Eric Wimberger did not vote to pass the bill to honor Limbaugh.