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Rush Limbaugh clashes with 'Breakfast Club' hosts: 'I don't have any white privilege'

The LA Times logo The LA Times 6/2/2020 Tracy Brown
Rush Limbaugh wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a curtain: Rush Limbaugh in 2012. (Julie Smith / Associated Press) © (Julie Smith / Associated Press) Rush Limbaugh in 2012. (Julie Smith / Associated Press)

Conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh had a joint broadcast with a progressive radio show on Monday and said he didn't believe in white privilege.

The right-wing personality, who recently was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and announced he was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, joined "The Breakfast Club" hosts Charlamagne tha God, DJ Envy and Angela Yee for a "candid conversation" about the current unrest as people across the nation protest over the killing of George Floyd and other unarmed black Americans by the police.

Floyd, 46, died May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck until he stopped breathing. The incident was caught on video by a bystander. After days of protest, the officer was arrested and charged with third-degree murder. On Monday, an independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family found he died of asphyxiation due to neck and back compression, contradicting a local autopsy.

At the start of the show, Limbaugh expressed sympathy for Floyd and said he was sickened by how he was killed. He said that that was why he wanted to reach out to "The Breakfast Club" hosts despite any "preconceptions ... and biases we live under" to talk about it.

"George Floyd's story is being lost," said Limbaugh. "It sickens me what happened to him. Legitimate national outrage about a policeman's criminal brutality has been hijacked, and I don't want to forget about George Floyd."

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As "The Breakfast Club" hosts pressed Limbaugh to recognize the systemic issues that are responsible for incidents like Floyd's killing and asked him how he was going to use his "privilege as a white male" to combat such prejudices, Limbaugh said he did not believe in the existence of white privilege.

"I don't buy into the notion of white privilege," said Limbaugh. "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 ... I don't have any white privilege."

The conversation, which also included mentions of Barack Obama's presidency and Colin Kaepernick's peaceful protests, did not ultimately see the two parties resolve their different views.


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