The Breakfast Club attempted to have a conversation with conservative talk jock Rush Limbaugh about the death of George Floyd, the protests that have erupted around the globe as a result, and white supremacy. The conversation was a joint broadcast for both audiences of the nationally syndicated radio show and Limbaugh’s nationally syndicated radio program that bears his name.
The chat between the Breakfast Club hosts DJ Envy, Charlamagne Tha God, and Angela Yee, and Limbaugh was intended to help bridge the gap between the vastly different audiences that both reach. Instead, what seemed to begin as constructive conversation devolved into disagreements over the existence of white privilege and differing opinions on the true American experience.
DJ Envy opened the conversation, explaining the reasoning behind having the discussion with Limbaugh, saying that “the dialogue has to be open beyond who we know or who we talk to every morning.”
He began with, “We are fed up, we are angry, hurt and tired. The country is wounded. The phrase ‘I can’t breathe’ is embedded into our minds forever. The inhumane treatment and senseless murder of George Floyd has to be the final straw. This was not the first time, but this has to be where it stops.”
DJ Envy continued with, “For almost 10 years, [The Breakfast Club] [has] been the voice of our community, working to push our culture forward…We have always had diverse guests, and are open to the tough conversations. In that spirit, today we are having a candid conversation with fellow broadcaster Rush Limbaugh. Why are we having this conversation with someone whose historical viewpoints differ so significantly from ours and who we represent? Because the dialogue has to be open beyond who we know or who we talk to every morning.”
The conversation touched on various points, starting with the death of Floyd, which Limbaugh said “sickens him” and also said he hopes to see the additional officers involved charged. “What happened to George Floyd sickened me and I wanted to reach out and tell you all this. I wanted to make sure you have no doubt, and I’m not the only American who feels this way, the senselessness of it.”
That seemed to be where the agreement between the show hosts ended. As the conversation continued and they broached topics like white privilege, the tone became tenser.
“None of this to me…to me this is not America.” to which Charlamagne injected “Oh no, it’s definitely America.” “It’s not what we can be,” Limbaugh replied. “It’s not what we have been.” Charlamagne pointed out that it’s easy for Limbaugh to take the stance that he does because he’s a white male, which comes with “a different level of privilege.”
“I don’t buy into the notion of white privilege,” Limbaugh retorted. “I think that’s a liberal, political construct right along the lines of political correctness. It’s designed to intimidate and get people to shut up and admit they’re guilty of doing things they haven’t done. I don’t have any white privilege.” he stated.
The conversation also touched on Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protests that Limbaugh spoke out against previously, the expectations of the president in the current climate, and media portrayal of the protests.
The discussion closed with all parties agreeing to another chat, but whether that will actually happen remains to be seen.