There aren’t too many more vicious words one can utter — at least by the standards I have — than the one talk-show host Rush Limbaugh uttered about a young woman who wasn’t allowed to testify in Washington about a bill limiting access to contraceptives. Slut.
Sleep Train Mattress Centers today pulled its advertising from Limbaugh’s show, saying “we don’t condone negative comments directed toward any group.”
Sandra Fluke, a third-year law student at Georgetown University, who was the target of Limbaugh’s bombast, answered in the most appropriate way possible: intelligently.
NPR’s Two-Way blog says Fluke’s university has also issued a statement:
“In an earlier time, St. Augustine captured the sense of what is required in civil discourse: ‘Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth. Let us seek it together as something which is known to neither of us. For then only may we seek it, lovingly and tranquilly, if there be no bold presumption that it is already discovered and possessed.’
“If we, instead, allow coarseness, anger — even hatred — to stand for civil discourse in America, we violate the sacred trust that has been handed down through the generations beginning with our Founders. The values that hold us together as a people require nothing less than eternal vigilance. This is our moment to stand for the values of civility in our engagement with one another.”