Rush Limbaugh to be honored alongside Dred Scott

Conservative shock jock Rush Limbaugh will be honored in May alongside Dred Scott, according to Missouri Republican House Speaker Steven Tilley. Both men’s busts will be added to the Hall of Famous Missourians in the Capitol rotunda.

One hundred fifty-five years ago to the day, Dred Scott lost his fight to win freedom in a ruling by the United States Supreme Court. The Chief Justice at the time wrote in his majority decision that blacks “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”

Today in black history: The Dred Scott decision 155 years later

Limbaugh, who’s been in the news recently for his crude attacks on a Georgetown Law School student, has led a career typified by controversy surrounding race.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that in 2009, Limbaugh said, “I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”

A Kansas City sculptor confirmed on his site that he was commissioned to create busts of Limbaugh and Scott, pointing out the contrast in the two men. “What do these two guys have in common you ask?” the sculptor wrote under pictures of Limbaugh and Scott. “Well, turns out that they are both in the process of being sculpted by E. Spencer Schubert for the Hall of Famous Missourians.”

Advocacy group, Progress Missouri, has launched an online petition urging Rep. Tilley to reconsider his plans to induct Limbaugh in light of his most recent scandal. Yet Tilley has no plans to call off the ceremony, where Limbaugh’s reportedly $10,000 bronze bust will be included to a gallery of other famous Missourians such as Negro League baseball great John “Buck” O’Neil and jazz icon Charlie Parker.

Follow Donovan X. Ramsey on Twitter at @idxr