Why Limbaugh Can’t Stop Talking About Slavery — NYMag
Limbaugh’s racialism does not especially distinguish him among conservatives. He does perhaps hold unusually strong zero-sum beliefs about racial politics, which is why he sees even such maladies as unemployment and contagious diseases, which are obviously bad for everybody, as left-wing plots to level the racial playing field.
The quality that sets Limbaugh’s racialism apart from that of most conservatives is its historical sweep. The typical conservative treatment of race ignores the past. Conservatives start the racial clock at 1964. This is one of the most important distinctions between liberal and conservative American thinking on race: The former regards slavery and Jim Crow as essential and still-relevant precursors to contemporary race relations. Conservatives treat the civil rights movement as having wiped out the racial debt owed to black America. The past is too distant for them.