Rush Limbaugh, in commenting on President Hu's remarks last week, mimicked the Chinese language and Hu's possible comments for 20 seconds. Apparently there are a few Chinese American politicians, among others, who claim to have been offended by the comments.
California state Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco, is leading a fight in demanding an apology from the radio talk show host for what he and others view as racist and derogatory remarks against the Chinese people.Talk radio is first and foremost entertainment. Rush's success is due in part to his use of humor. Political parody is part of the American culture. Making fun of politicians, regardless of their nationality, is core to our national humor identity. Paul Schanklin, the Capital Steps and Saturday Night Live have provided us with some pretty good political parody over the years.
"The comments that he made - the mimicking of the Chinese language - harkens back to when I was a little boy growing up in San Francisco and those were hard days, rather insensitive days," Yee said in an interview Thursday. "You think you've arrived and all of a sudden get shot back to the reality that you're a second-class citizen."
"I want an apology at the very least," said New York Assemblywoman Grace Meng, a Queens Democrat. "Making fun of any country's leader is just very disrespectful for someone who says he is a proud American."
She added: "He was, in his own way, trying to attack the leader of another country, and that's his prerogative as well, but at the same time he offended 13 percent of New York City's population."
One can only conjecture about how offended these Asian-American politicians are. But one can probably conclude that this is nothing more than an opportunistic response by liberal Democrats hoping to pile on the "I hate conservative talk radio and their "leader" Rush Limbaugh" pile.
Everyone gets offended only on different subjects. But are we really offended? Are we really that thin-skinned? Does every "offense" -- intended or accidental -- require an apology? Absolutely not.
Rush should not apologize. We'll just let these California and New York politicians (shocking that this is where this is coming from) have their 15 minutes of fame.