One of the most polarizing men in America is at it again. But this time one of the victims of his latest smear job is standing up to the bully in an essay on Salon.com.
Valerie Kaur and her dad used to be Rush Limbaugh fans. No more.
“In mid-May,” she writes, “I played an Iraqi prisoner in the opening night of the play Abu Ghraib, an original student production at Harvard University… My father called to wish me luck. Imagine his disappointment when I told him what Limbaugh had said about me in his radio program that day:
“‘Here you have these dunces … at Harvard now doing a playing on the travesties of Abu Ghraib, and you know this is going to get back to the people in Baghdad, the insurgents and this sort of thing. It’s just typical. These people hate the country, folks. I’m telling you: There’s an anti-American bias in the American left.'”
“My dad, who has voted Republican all his life, was shocked. ‘But this is beyond partisan politics!’ he said. ‘Has he seen the play?'”
“No, and Limbaugh still has not seen the show. Neither… has Bill O’Reilly, who lambasted the play on his television program… ”
Abu Ghraib, which has a cast of 15 students, was written and directed by Harvard sophomore Currun Singh. It tells the stories, “of a soldier whose friends were killed in war, of an insurgent filled with hatred for Americans, of the sergeant who turned in the incriminating photographs from Abu Ghraib.”
Kaur, who is studying ethics at the Harvard Divinity School, reports that these are “factual accounts.”
“My character,” she writes, “is based on a real Iraqi prisoner, Huda Alazawi, arrested by American soldiers in December 2003 after she inquired after her missing brother. They detained her at Abu Ghraib overnight, and in the morning they threw his dead body at her feet.”
Thanks to Valerie Kaur for her courage in standing up to Limbaugh and O’Reilly — and to Salon.com for giving her the space to tell her story.
UPDATE: Illinois High School Kids Challenge Rush to Debate.
Nationally syndicated radio demagogue Rush Limbaugh not only picks on college student productions of plays he has not seen, but he picks on high school students he knows nothing about. Kate N. Grossman, a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that Limbaugh recently claimed “that Evanston Township High School students ‘don’t know anything about World War II’ and ‘they’ve probably never heard the name Adolf Hitler’ because they’re so focused on a multicultural curriculum.”
“The comments prompted a response Friday from ETHS Superintendent Allan Alson, who wrote in a letter to the Review that Limbaugh ‘spoke inaccurately and unconscionably about Evanston Township High School and its students….'”
“Some Evanston kids want to show Limbaugh what they know. They want to debate him on American history.” [More]