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The Don Imus/Rutgers University Blog Round Up: Part One

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It’s about one o’clock in the afternoon in Chicago and I’m still thinking about those comments. It’s exhausting to read thousands upon thousands of blog entries discussing the subject. Some of the comments are insightful while others take the slightly immature route. This is my round up from doing a basic Google Blog search for Essence Carson, the captain of Rutgers University’s Basketball Team, who spoke at the conference on Tuesday regarding Don Imus and his “nappy-headed hos” comment directed towards the team.

Conservative Commentator Debbie Schlussel was the first person I discovered. I regret clicking the link. In her entry named “How Don Imus Got Tall Chicks Their 15 Minutes; Plus CAIR Gets in on the Act,” she claimed the women were attempting to use the situation in order to boost their sport (women’s basketball) which in her words, “no-one on earth cares about.” She takes it even further by suggesting that the strange irony in it all is that “these women weren’t even the champions.”

They lost so they could be called a disrespectful comment, which would bring their sport more revenue and advertising sales? I could think of easier ways of promoting a sport besides that. So what if they aren’t champions? They are bigger winners for not taking people such as you and Mr. Imus and giving them a natural born ass whipping. Travel back in time to the 1960’s and watch how you get outnumbered.

Moving on, folks should head on over to Leavethemanalone. The author there explains the context of what the words “nappy headed” means and points out in a selected photo she used that the players Don Imus was referring to had no nappy in their hair to begin with. She labels their real haircuts in the following order: “Freshly relaxed bob, freshly relaxed bob,” and so on. I applaud the site for explaining what the term “nappy headed” means to black people and why the Rutgers team didn’t have any of the type of cuts the term refers to.

Essbee of Objectionable Material questions why the team would want to meet Don Imus for the private conference they are holding with him (the date has yet to be determined) and that he cite the meeting with the Rutgers University team as a “hard-won friendship with the 12 Rutgers women and Coach Stringer, and he’ll hold it up as evidence that he is not a racist or a misogynist.”

Meeting with Imus shows that the team can face the ugly head of racism without cowering in fear for their lives. It shows that they are strong and that they are willing to keep it moving after losing the championship they wanted so badly. If there’s anyone who needs to be afraid, it’s Imus.

Today Show’s Al Roker chimed in on the Don Imus situation in two entries, but made a statement that I think fits with the definition of Internet communication: The Internet is colorblind, but that it’s easy to “figure out someone’s ethnicity by where they came down on this issue.”

I shall personally link you to my blog, Mr. Roker.

That’s about all for the Don Imus/Rutgers University round up. I will come up with Part Two of this when I find more entries of interest. In the meantime, someone ask Debbie if she and Ann Coulter are related. They seem to share the same blank face.

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About Matthew Milam

  • mia

    I just read a great column and it makes me wonder how Al Roker would feel if someone decided he said something objectional during one of his weather forecasts. I don’t like Imus, personally I’m glad he got his, it has been a long time coming. But when folks like Rev. Sharpton start talking about controling what goes out over the airwaves, I get concerned. Here is the column

  • This is nothing new. Consider these racist Imus clips from the late 70s.

  • big a

    The last people that should be judging any body are Al Sharepton and Jessie Jackson. They both have made various coments over the years and are very racist…

  • E. J. King, Ozark, MO

    Too bad your not more forgiving. You have brought Politically Correct scrutiny on entertainment, mostly harming rap, hip-hop, movies, comedy, and black entertainers. You’ll get the fame you crave, but it won’t be what you had in mind. Are you going to help kids with cancer, etc. Imus will benefit most from your selfishness. Yeah, you’ll get the movie/book deals. The WORLD is laughing at YOU! Your self-centered morals are appauling! You deserve the HATE you are getting. You might want to consider your appearance before you do more TV! GOD forgive you.

  • uh, who are you talking to? — number 4

  • Susan

    This is way over the top, beyond absurd. Shame on those who ever had a single sexist, racist, or deragatory remark, no matter the context, and casted the first stone.

  • Russ – NH

    I am not really a fan of Imus, but have we gone to far with this? Yes he said something he probably should not have, but when I heard it I veiwed as a joke, not as a attack. Was it racist? I don’t know. Should it be considered racist? probably not. I think the team has more than just black women on it. Is it because he used the word ho? I think Chris Rock says it, I think Eddie Murphy has done it, and has made other jokes against all races and religion. I think I heard Larry the cable guy call his girlfriend that, and about 1000 other people use the term. Is it because it could be thought of as a slam against women in general? I think I have heard more women use the term than men. Should I be upset because someone wants it called a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree like it has been called from the start? I think that the united negro college fund is good, but what if there was a united caucasion college fund? If this is allow to continue we will not be able to share our constitutional rights. We will be just like a communist nation, where everything is sensored. I think we should rename everything that could be considered racist.. The slippery ice in the winter will no longer be referred to as black ice – It will now be called non-caucsion ice. Why do we continue leeting things like this bother us. As a nation we should be moving forward, but things like this keep setting us back. It is not Imus making statements that is a disgrace, it is the fact that we spend so much time and effort making this the leading story on all news and talk show programs. Other countries laugh at us. These are the items they see when the view us. I think we should focus on what is important, like the gang violence, the senseless killings, the hunger, the homeless, lack of healthcare, and numerous other things that effect all of us. Why did Jesse Jackson get involved in this? Duke Lacrosse was an issue that was this big deal and look where that got us? I say us, meaning everyone in the U.S. or as the letters state (US) as in all of us. We need not to spend so much engery on this, but finding a way to band together. After 9-11 we banded together, well most of us did, but we did have the problem with anyone that possibly looked like they were from the middle east. I don’t remember too many people upset with this, well except anyone that may have looked like they were from the middle east. If we spent more time getting to know each other, and working together as a country, maybe we could solve the real issues.

  • Russ- NH

    Oh ya, and the next time anyone makes a mistake at work, plan on getting fired. That mean when you mis-spell on a letter, or puch in a minute late, or spill coffee, or maybe even trip while walking –> YOU ARE FIRED. Or the next time you speed while driving – Plan on the police calling you work so they can fire you. The next time you curse – Fired. Litter – Fired. Get sick – Fired.

  • Gee — I sure hope that somebody else leaves a long, rambling post on this subject. Nobody seems to be talking about this issue!

  • elizabeth

    I think it has gone too far, Don Imus should not be fired over this. He apologized and enough is enough. Why do the black/brown people in America talk so badly of themselves, calling themselves nigger and such and it be ok?? They say it so much that it feels/seems that it is ok to say those things. It makes it common that anyone can say. I don’t hear white/caucasion/flesh/whatever color say negative things about themselves. Maybe what George would call Archie Bunker- honky, whitey, those things. White people don’t call those names to other white people. Black/brown people do, they call themselves nigger and ho and it’s wrong that they say it. They should stop it if they don’t like to be called by those words. This should not be put on the shoulders of Don Imus.
    All of this talking about the race issue just keeps the wound open to fester and grow. The racial issue in America will never go away unless we stop bringing it up all the time. The next time a black/brown comedian makes a ho remark or a nigger remark he should be fired or publically beat up like they are doing to Don Imus. It is wrong.

  • True_Liberal

    Imus today – who’s next? Who will be the next talk host to fall prey to the PC po-lice?

    Don’t tell me there’s not an agenda here.

    And – if you can find it, listen to the Rev. Sharpton’s talk show – then tell us who the REAL racist is.

  • True_Liberal

    Imus today – who’s next? Who will be the next talk host to fall prey to the PC po-lice?

    Don’t tell me there’s not an agenda here.

    And – if you can find it, listen to the Rev. Sharpton’s talk show – then tell us who the REAL racist is.

  • Please, dear God, let it be Part One of 1.

  • Sorry Matt, it ain’t over till it’s over.

  • Jack Slade

    Imus is gone from MSNBC and CBS. I suppose what surprises me most is that the African-American activists/opportunists have chosen to ignore the emotional impact this whole ugly affair continues to have on nappy-headed hos in cities and towns all over this great country. True, such laborers may not make a living as “upright” citizens, but they are deserving of at least a sliver of consideration. These working girls doomed to walk the streets or loiter in shadowy recesses because they could mange a lay better than a lay-up may never be the doctors, lawyers or engineers that the Rutgers players will become, but the hos are certainly not genderless or motherless as was implied by one of the wounded athletes who said she was not a nappy-headed ho, but a woman and someone’s child. Ironically, real nappy-headed hos have probably entertained more doctors, lawyers and engineers (actors, preachers, etc) than the athletes are likely ever to meet. There were, of course, plaudits a-plenty for the dignity of the player who made the comparison, but no outrage, or objection, or interview with a prominent African-American to soothe the hurt feelings of nappy-headed hos. It is sad, really, since it is the downtrodden – those with little hope and little choice – who need men of the cloth…men like the Reverends Sharpton and Jackson, to speak for them. After all, what would Jesus do?

  • Chad H

    What happened to the first amendment? Does it only apply if it does not offend black people?
    First Kramer from Seinfeld and now Imus on the radio. What’s up, I don’t demand snoop dog’s resignation when says cracker. Get a grip america!

  • I don’t think it’s a 1st amendment thing…he got fired, not arrested. The 1st amendment doesn’t say that you don’t have to suffer the consequences when you put your foot in your mouth, just that anybody is allowed to taste shoe leather all they want!

  • George

    Don Imus described a girls basketball team as “nappy-headed ho’s”. Most whites had never even heard the term nappy-head until this. Apparently this term is taboo, another banned n-word in our society. But black comics like Chris Rock use the n-word every third sentence with total impunity, no one calls for his head on a platter? How about black rappers? How about the Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman. Ever overhear a group of black youths talking, they call each other the n-word all the time. So there is a triple standard, blacks can use words that whites can’t, but blacks can also use derogatory or racist words toward whites and get away with it. Black comedians use words like honky, cracker, white-trash, hillbilly, redneck, etc. all the time. Is nappy-head worse than honky or should I say the h-word? So how come only whites are the ones who get burned at the stake when they say something wrong? A man lost his livelihood because he exercised his freedom of speech. Anyone can make a mistake, especially a comedian trying to be funny.

    You want to talk about racists though, let’s talk about Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. These are two of the biggest racists on the planet. They have both made racist and off color slurs in their lives. Sharpton and Jackson are despicable, repugnant, hypocritical imbeciles. Their level of hypocrisy and stupidity is staggering. And yet they can stir up all this furor over a comedian. Why don’t they try and stamp out racist remarks from rap music? This is doing far more damage to their culture than a white talk show host that is listened to by mostly old white men. Rap music has wide appeal and enormous audiences among blacks. But no, they don’t want to tackle the real problems that are promoting negative stereotypes in their culture.

    Instead, the other week, Jesse Jackson was trying to organize national marches for people who were going to default on their mortgages because their payments were now too high because of adjustable rate mortgages. His rationale was that these people shouldn’t have to pay their loans back and that the government (i.e taxpayers) should bail them out. By the way, I find this personally offensive as a taxpayer and homeowner. My wife and I are savers and do not spend beyond our means. So why the hell should we have to shell out more of our hard-earned money to the government so that we can bail out all the people who are too stupid to understand their own finances and spend more than they can afford. These are the kind of causes these two lunatics pursue. They are black supremacists with racist attitudes and walk around with 20lb chips on their shoulders like the world owes them a life. Their lobby has become way too powerful and they have everyone running scared. There are many minorities in the country but only the blacks seem to feel like they should command the majority of attention on the national discourse. We have other more important things to deal with in the country than the use of the term nappy-head by a comedian, let’s get real here. Blacks represent only 12.8% of the US population but yet they seem to demand greater representation on issues, committees, corporations, politics and so on than all other minorities and even the majority. They have corporate sponsors and the public at large so scared that people are afraid to use any word or term that is the slightest bit politically incorrect. Whites basically have to tip-toe around blacks everywhere they go now. In the workplace, if you are assertive and treat blacks the same way you do whites, then you can be called a racist or be accused of racial harassment. Things have gone too far, the level of political influence in our culture is completely out of control and it is time that someone stick up for white middle class people. The white male is one of the most discriminated against groups in our society these days.

    Anyway, back to Imus, the guy is a comedian and said something that many comedians, rappers and others say and get away with all the time. Should we call for the firing of all the movie producers and directors who use in-appropriate words? How about banning Mark Twain’s books that use the n-word. The next time a black comedian uses a derogatory or racist term against whites, I urge every white person in the country to put so much pressure on the politicians, sponsors and corporations and let them know that we are so deeply offended that the person who made the remarks should be immediately destroyed and burned at the stake. Then finally we may achieve the utopian society we all desire where nobody says anything except bland, sterile, non thought-provoking platitudes that offend no one. Free speech will be truly dead and all the politically correct sheep will be very happy. Big question is, are those really the people we want making the rules in our society, those who stifle free speech in favor of trying to appease certain groups? This country has already been dumbed down enough.

  • missle

    Where is Imus’s dear friend Bo Dietl when he needs them now. Running for the hills can’t tarnish his rep. Come on Bo Imus made you.

  • John

    If your school or these Girls had a hair on its butt, it or they would stand squarely and critisize the firing of Don Imus. This country wont rebuild the World Trade Center, wont cleanup after a hurricane, wont secure borders, wont provide Healthcare to 50 million citizens, 3 million american families will lose their Homes this year, 30% of Highschool students dont graduate! But it will invade and murder sovereign nations under the guise of “Freedom” and attack an individual for words. You listen to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? They are Pimping you. WE ALL get called names! Get over it!
    And Start Focusing on the Important Issues!

  • Ken

    What I’d be interested in knowing is how this incident w/ Imus (which resulted in getting him fired and removed) is any different from Miss Jones (an infamous hip hop DJ) airing the Tsunami song (mocking/offending/denegrating Asians and Asian Americans). She was not fired. She only had to issue a written apology, and donate a week’s worth of her salary to a charity. C’mon now. Where’s the social justice in that?

  • The first amendment isn’t the issue here. He has the right to say it, but his employer has the right to fire him if he damages their bottom line. A nasty business. Imus is known for his racist comments tossed about like a trailer in a tornado. He was fired. One step forward. The Rutgers women handled themselves like decent human beings. Credit them with being grown ups about the whole ordeal.

    John makes some good points on what our country is doing and becoming, but the fact remains that to stem the flood of negative language it is best to start with the culture that promotes and pays for much of the prevalent hip hop culture.

    (Slavery doesn’t necessarily come with the actual physical chains.)

  • 4Sure

    1st comment: is that Al and Jesse are not judging they are the high profilers speaking up and making sure the proper actions are taken to correct the situation (IT).

    2nd comment: Whites say that IT is a double standard; blacks say IT historically is a form of comedy used in entertainment not to hurt each other but for laughs to keep from crying through the depressed and oppressed situations. Hard core rappers used IT to get out of the ghetto saying this is what they know; outsider pretenders get comfortable and familiar with IT to fit in but then IT usually slip out (IMUS). Blacks that get out of the ghetto don’t remember then they despise IT; Christian blacks know that there is a better way then IT.
    would like to add just one more perspective, another spin that many may not like but if you look at it you will see it. Let’s look at the re-airing of the mini series ROOTS that has aired since Easter Sunday (maybe Imus watched this and caught a flash back instead of getting IT from the black community hummm). Anyway, one of the greatest strongholds of oppression for slaves was to remain silent (muzzled) watching masa (master) do whatever ills he wanted to do to the slave or their family and they could not say or do anything about IT without getting punished, therefore, they where very very careful about whatever they would say and would wait until they got back to the cabin to speak on IT. The few bold ones who spoke up were fiercely punished mostly as an example to discourage all others slaves from attempting the same. Well, now we all know that familiar feeling of being quenched, a lose of basic human rights, to be painfully helpless and restricted from saying what we really want. We watch the big mouths lose control and say IT then they must suffer and bear the consequences as an example to discourage all others from attempting the same, shut up in public eye and not be able to do a darn thing about IT for fear of the consequences that may befall so you think before you speak very very carefully then you say what the masa wants to here, yesa masa. Then go to our million dollar cabin (or email) and say what you really feel about IT. So when is the standard double? Is IT when the chickens come home to roost?

  • Ken O

    Don Imus is the greatest. CBS should bring him back with a increase in pay for what he said. I support him 110%. Go Imus – You will find another job with a higher pay anyway.

  • 4Sure

    yes, all the slaves believe Kunta Kinte was the greatest! while all of us support him 110% he got the beatings and a better slave position driving carriages but humbled just the same and we are safe in our the cabins (email) with our comments.

  • sorryaboutthat

    Funny how some post feel whites get what they sow in not so many terms. Would you feel better if whites went through the same oppression as blacks and then we could “feel your pain dog”. This is about moving on and I don’t see slaves anymore and your ancestors went through alot no doubt, however so did ours. We fought for freedoms everyone shares today all races, we fought for this country long before slaves arrived. We can not take away the past but move forward. I really believe the issue for most blacks is they still feel oppressed and anyone who can be punished should. Your voice is heard as loud as whites now most of the time more so. Let me start W.E.T White Entertainment Television and see what happens, some would say we already have it every channel is all white! Please if you wish to stop being segragated then start in you own backyard. By the way am I still allowed to watch that channel or is it exclusively for blacks.

    Don Imus said some words that could be offensive if you let them but is forgivness just overlooked for those that offend the black community, I believe all deserve a chance at freedom. So Did Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King both men also believed in forgiveness

  • “but is forgivness just overlooked for those that offend the black community,”

    Those that Imus personally offended (Rutgers) did accept his apology last night. End of that particular point.

  • 4Sure

    In my observations African Americans are the most forgiving group (remember can’t we all just get along) and the victims have forgiven Imus. What you are not realizing is they have the right to expect (ask or demand) justice. Also, let me add for #26:
    1-they don’t have expectations for you to reap what you so that is just the reality dealt to man from a HIGHER POWER not blacks, and like the Jews when people slip up on IT you won’t forget IT so hopefully history does not in fact repeat itself against race (poor Mexicans).
    2-quoting the poet man #22 slavery doesn’t come with the actual physical chains and I won’t explain what that means because I’m sure you’re an apt pupil.
    3-just a short history lesson; blacks have been in this country since the 1500’s exploring the new world with others ancestors (80% of americans were indentured servants) and fighting to maintain freedom before the slave business became lucrative. it’s almost funny but ignorant when i here people say “why don’t the go back to Africa if they don’t like it here” this has been their home before columbus even. There is much to learn here about when and how things changed for their worst. Hint: money and fear, fear and money.
    4-finally, segregation is no longer a front run issue because most are playing in their backyard now (music, dance, clothes, etc). “Thanks for feeling the pain dog”.

  • Toni

    It seems to me that many of you are misconstruing the term ‘political correctness’. Employing political correctness ususally means one is attempting to obsure the truth or mitigate the consequences of erroenous behavior. Like calling garbage men ‘biological enginners’, or preventing one from making factual statemnents with more euphemistic sounding words.

    So, are you saying the the Rutgers basketball players are indeed whores and someone is attempting to conceal that fact?

    As far as I am aware these women are young 18, 19, and 20 year-old women who are attending college. These are not girls being featured in ‘Girls Gone Wild’ and rap videos.

    If you defame a person they have an absolute right to defend themselves. If you call me a whore then I will call you on it and you might even get punched in the face. I’m sure no one would call my reaction ‘politically correct’. Quite the reverse. In truth, NOT responding would be demonstrating political correctness.

    Feedom of speech and expression does NOT mean that you have carte blanche to say anything you damn well please with no consequences. It does not mean that I have to sit passively by and take any filthy, derogatory remark you might chose to dish out. I too have options. I can sue you for defamation of character, I can boycott your business, I can call you even viler name and even knock your teeth down your throat if I was willing to suffer the consequences.

    Freedom of speech simply means that the government cannot imprison you for expressing yourself. But, you are still held accountable for your actions.

  • Toni makes a good point.

  • Bob in Southern California

    Perhaps Imus should have been fired, …perhaps not. The conversation on this point is, for the moment, a moot one. Imus’ accepted apology by the Rutgers team shows that at least someone in this cacophony of angry conflict has maintained the proper perspective, and I include both the Rutgers team and Imus in this. Too many other voices over the past several days have attempted to speak for the Women, (after their endurance of all aspects of this issue we can no refer to them as ‘girls’) as well as all who listened to this hate filled conversation, whether they agreed with those voices or not.. At times it seemed more of a vendetta than a call to justice. Certain Christian leaders, spoke with such wrath against a man who admitted his grievous error and asked for forgiveness, but received none from any of them. These “:Leaders” are poor, shallow, shadowy reflections of both the man who was the basis for their religion, Jesus, and the man they knew as a modern, living example of that ability to forgive, Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King sought change, not revenge.
    I am also alarmed at performers, like Whoopee Goldberg, whom I have always admired, who dismissed the portion of responsibility due those who created as well as promoted the language Imus was fired for using. The use of such language by persons who freely utilize the media, whether as a spokesperson or as a performer, needs to be addressed fully, and not simply dumped on single individual whose use of that language was possibly far less intentionally offensive than those who create musical rhymes using the same language to degrade women and defy authority. They are not a, “different story”. If those same leaders who so easily pilloried a man for his use of the offensive words created by others, had sought out those others at their onset, there would have been no controversy
    to so distract us in this far too complicated world.
    Again, Perhaps Don Imus should have been fired and then again perhaps not. In either case that deed is done and he received, if not forgiveness, at least acceptance of his apology from those whom he had offended. Those who cried for it have received their pound of flesh. What will they now do to stop others from perpetrating the same offense?

  • #31, your answer is found in the news! The women are speaking for themselves! The perpetrator is sorry but wants to pay the consequences on his on terms and angry with the “good oh boys” for not shielding him from paying the consequences! Your so called pound of flesh seekers are making sure this outrage does not happen again and making it known there will be consequence! I’m not angry just stating and staying focused on the facts!

    POLL: here are the appropriate questions with out blame shifting since we are not children:

    Should there be consequences to the action? (Basic physics)

    If you do something that compromises and embarrass your employer, fellow workers, and creates a substantial lose of clients for your company will you get fired?

    If you commit a crime or offense will the judge let you choose your sentence or fine?

    CONSEQUENCES! the end

  • Matt Briggs

    Is it possible for any of these holier-than-thou blowhards to recognize the Imus audience understands the difference between lame attempts at humor and meaningful attempts to destroy people?

    Since this stroy began, I have yet to hear anyone speak of the millions of listeners and hundreds of thousands of viewers the Imus Show had.

    Why were all those sponsors there in the first place? Demographics? Well-educated adults with disposable income?

    Authors loved to come on the show because their book sales sky-rocketed. The same with musicians.

    As a long-time Imus fan and someone who cannot believe how this situation has spun out of control, I suggest all Imus fans boycott NBC and CBS/Viacom. We should also boycott those sponsors who over-reacted to the threats and tactics of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

    We were your target audience and you lost sight of that fact. The people that threatened you with mass boycotts of your products were not in your target audience to begin with. And I seriously doubt that millions of people that never listened to or watched the Imus show could ever be motivated to act on something he mistakenly said in passing.

    IMUS fans UNITE! Boycott these PC idiots at every turn.

  • 4Sure

    Funny how some think this situation just spun out of control. Shock jocks like comedians and hard core rappers have been out of control. They live real close to the line between shock and slander. Unfortunate for them when their victims are innocent it’s slander.

    In America we have laws to break them mean there will be CONSEQUENCES! Since he represents a company and did it on their time it’s CONSEQUENCES! for all of his listeners it’s also unfortunate he let you down when he committed slander instead of shock. CONSEQUENCES! CONSEQUENCES! CONSEQUENCES!
    not blame shifting!

  • scott

    The black elite community of Al Sharpton, Jessie jackson, Gwenn Ifel and Al Roker want to eliminate the white talk shows. I guess I am going to have to get used to Gangster Rap, and Al Roker doing the weather. Oh yea, I can listen to Gwen on NPR. It is a dark day in America.

  • jg

    Imus made a dumb, insensitive, cruel comment. That alone does not make hima racist, anymore than Jesse Jackson using a slur against Jews makes HIM a racist. Then Imus apologized, at length, to the women he wronged.

    Now, race profiteers like Al Sharpton (he’s not a racist, I don’t think, but God knows he a race profiteer, just like Dick Cheney is not a warrior, but he IS a war profiteer), Al Sharpton and his ilk are pivotal in getting Imus fired.

    But that’s o.k., because I’m sure Al Sharpton can raise the millions Imus will not now be able to raise for sick children, etc. Sharpton will raise that money and give it to the kids. NEVER HAPPEN. When will true leaders again emerge for the black community? We need a new Martin Luther King, Jr., and it ain’t gonna be race profiteer/pseudo-Christians like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. The last time Jesse Jackson helped anyone, it was the confused black woman who falesly accused the low-life Duke Lacross players of rape. They were morons and uttered racial slurs, but as everyone with a brain now knows, they did not rape her. So Jackson pays her way thru college, as if she was a victim of raped, as if those guys were guilty. That’s Jesse Jackson for you. And he should decide who is moral and racially just? Please.

  • If Rutgers has a problem with Imus why not attack the rapers which are far worse

  • And I do not even like Imus

  • B Ogden

    Iguess I had to read some of the other Blobs and find out they felt the same as I do. My husband and I watched Imus every day and we liked him for what he is doing for kid’s with CANCER.And jessy jack—and al should both go to church and ask for forgiveness for stickiking there noses in the buisness of the players that didn’t WIN!!!!I can’t
    believe that MSNBC could do that to Imus.We put a block on it and will no longer watch it.Now CNN get’s all our attention.Imus will be right back on TV and Radio because he is too good a person at heart to be treated like he has.And I’ll bet there will be some people that are sorry they jumped so fast without thinking thing’s over.And the
    Rapper’s song’s that are MUCH WORSE than the language that Imus used.

  • Maggy

    Look at it another way–this whole mess happened not because of what Imus said but because of Bush and Company. Why blame Bush? This is yet another example of the mind-set of this administration that has rubbed off on middle America. We might as well burn all the books and art now and go to a one state-owned media outlet. We could call it Pravda US.

  • Maggy

    PS: Not one darned person stood up for Imus. That is very sad.

  • sam

    Those fox news guys have been pointing out that Imus’ comments weren’t any more offensive then your average gangster rap song. While that may be true, I think it’s a totally week point and it’s totally typical of them (fox); when a white guy says something racist they stick up for him, saying that black people can be ignorant too. It’s that same type of attidue that encourages people like Ann Coulter. How about we tolerate NO ignorance?

  • sam

    I totally agree with 4sure. Imus was at work and he embarresed himself and every one associated with him. He had to go. It’s a shame, and I do feel for you if you’re an Imus fan (I’m indifferent) but you mess up, you get fired. I was happy to hear he’s gone, hopefully that’ll discourage the next biggot from opening his/her mouth!

  • Anonymous

    power 105.1’s “are you smarter than an asian?”

    The hits don’t stop… more racist radio news. Last week, around 9:00 am on Wednesday, the Ed Lover Show with Egypt and Ashy on Power 105.1 in New York aired a segment called “Are You Smarter Than An Asian?” Yeah. That title alone makes me scream that’s racist! But it gets a lot worse. In the segment, an “Asian” guy named Mr. Hung Lo spoke broken English with a stereotypical Chinese accent, with “Kung Fu Fighting” music playing in the background. A listener then called in and competed with Mr. Lo to answer jacked up questions like “How does an Asian pronounce ‘fried rice’?” That’s racist!

    Some needs to answer for this. This kind of stuff has happened more times than I can count now, and nothing seems to change. The Asian American community continues to struggle for respect, while the rest of America conveniently writes us off as the punchline for a joke. Or a racist, idiotic radio gag. Don Imus makes an off-the-cuff racist, sexist remark, the entire nation goes into an uproar, and he gets fired. Rightly so. He should have to face those consequences. But radio stations across the country purposely build entire segments and jokes around Asian stereotypes all the time, and no one does a goddamn thing. Where is the justice? They need to know that we will not allow this any more. If this is going to happen, someone’s ass is going down. That’s racist!

  • big Wes

    First, let me state that I m a African American. I have listened to the imus show a few times. Althoug I think he is a racist on a national level meaning he talks about everyone, I don’t know if firing him was the answer. It could have very well been the wake up call intended for him to make change. I strongly agree with the fact that our music as well as how we treat ourselves as a culture needs some deep reprogramming. I must say I do listen and watch some of the hip hop music and shows, but I am at an age where I can handle it, whereas our kids cannt. Something has to change and it doesn’t start with Imus.

  • In this composition I will not be addressing the whole of hip-hop and rap, but rather hardcore and gangsta rap. It is my assertion that the mainstream media and political pundits—right and left— have painted rap and hip-hop with a very broad brush. Let me be perfectly clear, hardcore and gangsta rap is not listened to, watched, consumed or supported in my home and never has. I will not be an apologist for anything that chooses to frame the dialogue about Black women (and women in general) and Black life in morally bankrupt language and reprehensible symbols.

    Now in the wake of MSNBC’s and CBS’s firing of Don Imus, the debate over misogyny, sexism and racism has now taken flight —or submerged, depending on your point of view. There are many, mostly white, people who believe that Imus was a fall guy and he is receiving blame and criticism for what many rap artists do continually in the lyrics and videos: debase and degrade Black women. A Black guest on an MSNBC news program even went as far as to say, “Where would a 66 year-old white guy even had heard the phrase nappy-headed ho” —alluding to hip-hop music’s perceived powerful influence upon American culture and life (and apparently over the radio legend as well) —and by so doing gave a veneer of truth to the theory that rap music is the main culprit to be blamed for this contemporary brand of chauvinism. However, I concur with bell hooks, the noted sociologist and black-feminist activist who said that “to see gangsta rap as a reflection of dominant values in our culture rather than as an aberrant ‘pathological’ standpoint, does not mean that a rigorous feminist critique of the sexist and misogyny expressed in this music is not needed. Without a doubt black males, young and old, must be held politically accountable for their sexism. Yet this critique must always be contextualized or we risk making it appear that the behavior this thinking supports and condones,–rape, male violence against women, etc. — is a black male thing. And this is what is happening. Young black males are forced to take the ‘heat’ for encouraging, via their music, the hatred of and violence against women that is a central core of patriarchy.”

    There are those in the media, mostly white males (but also some black pundits as well), who now want the Black community to take a look at hip-hop music and correct the diabolical “double-standard” that dwells therein. Before a real conversation can be had, we have to blow-up the myths, expose the lies and cast a powerful and discerning light on the “real” double-standards and duplicity. Kim Deterline & Art Jones in their essay, Fear of a Rap Planet, points out that “the issue with media coverage of rap is not whether African Americans engaged in a campaign against what they see as violent, sexist or racist imagery in rap should be heard–they should. …why are community voices fighting racism and sexism in mainstream news media, films and advertisements not treated similarly? The answer may be found in white-owned corporate media’s historical role as facilitator of racial scapegoating. Perhaps before advocating censorship of a music form with origins in a voiceless community, mainstream media pundits should look at the violence perpetuated by their own racism and sexism.”

    Just as the mainstream media and the dominant culture-at-large treats all things “Black” in America as the “other” or as some sort of science experiment in a test tube in an isolated and controlled environment, so hardcore rap is treated as if it occurred in some kind of cultural vacuum; untouched, unbowed and uninformed by the by the larger, broader, dominant American culture. The conversation is always framed in the form of this question: “What is rap’s influence on American society and culture?” Never do we ask: “What has been society’s role in shaping and influencing hip-hop?” Gangsta and hardcore rap is the product of a society that has historically objectified and demeaned women, and commercialized sex. These dynamics are present in hip hop to the extent that they are present in society. The rapper who grew up in the inner-city watched the same sexist television programs, commercials and movies; had access to the same pornographic and misogynistic magazines and materials; and read the same textbooks that limited the presence and excluded the achievements of women (and people of color as well), as the All-American, Ivy-league bound, white kid in suburban America. It is not sexism and misogyny that the dominant culture is opposed to (history and commercialism has proven that). The dominant culture’s opposition lies with hip-hop’s cultural variation of the made-in-the-USA misogynistic themes and with the Black voices communicating the message. The debate and the dialogue must be understood in this context.

  • Popular Culture’s Duplicitous Sexism & Violence In Black And White

    In a piece I penned a couple of years ago, titled: The Double-Standard Of Righteous Indignation, I endeavored to point out the clear ethnic and racial double-standards of the media and society as it pertains to sex and violence. My assertion was, and remains to be, that the mainstream media and society-at-large, appear to have not so much of a problem with the glorification of sex and violence, but rather with who is doing the glorifying. In it I stated that if the brutality and violence in gangsta rap was truly the real issue, then shouldn’t a series like The Sopranos be held to the same standard? If we are so concerned about bloodshed, then how did movies like “The Godfather,” “The Untouchables” and “Goodfellas” become classics?

    I then addressed the sexual aspect of this double-standard by pointing out that “Sex & The City,” a series that focused, by and large, on the sexual relationships of four white women, was hailed as a powerful demonstration of female camaraderie and empowerment. This show, during its run, was lavished with critical praise and commercial success while hip-hop and rap artists are attacked by the morality police for their depiction of sex in their lyrics and videos. The don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it appearance of Janet Jackson’s right bosom during [a] Super Bowl halftime show…. caused more of a furor than the countless commercials that (also aired during the Super Bowl) used sex to sell anything from beer to cars to gum. Not to mention the constant stream of commercials that rather openly talks about erectile dysfunction medication.

    The exaltation of drugs, misogyny and violence in music lyrics has a history that predates NWA, Ice Cube, Ice T and Snoop Dogg. Elton John’s 1977 song “Tickin,” was about a young man who goes into a bar and kills 14 people; Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska,” featured a couple on a shooting spree, and his “Johnny 99,” was about a gun-waving laid-off worker; and Stephen Sondheim’s score for “Assassins,” which presented songs mostly in the first person about would-be and successful presidential assassins.

    Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine” and the Beatles “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” (LSD, as well as almost anything by Jefferson Airplane or Spaceship. Several songs from “Tommy” and Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” are well known drug songs. “Catholic girls”, “Centerfold”, “Sugar Walls” by Van Halen were raunchy, misogynistic, lust-driven rock refrains. Even the country music legend Kenny Rogers in his legendary ballad, “Coward Of The County,” spoke of a violent gang-rape and then a triple-homicide by the song’s hero to avenge his assaulted lover. Marilyn Manson declared that one of the aims of his provocative persona was to see how much it would take to get the moralists as mad at white artists as they got about 2LiveCrew. He said it took fake boobs, Satanism, simulated sex on stage, death and angst along with semi-explicit lyrics, to get the same screaming the 2LiveCrew got for one song. Manson thought this reaction was hypocritical and hilarious.

    Other artists like Kid Rock have won commercial success easily and faced only minor battles with the FCC with songs such as: “F**k U Blind. Consider the lyrics of Kid Rock, whose piercing blend of hard rock, metal and misogyny has sold millions of records:
    Now if you like the booty come on fellas show it
    This is your last verse to wax so why would you blow it
    And if the ladies if you are tired of a man on your fanny
    Then f–k you go home and watch the tube with granny
    …Just look at all the girls that are dying to get some
    Man, just don’t be a wussy
    And I’ll guarantee you could get a piece of p—-

    Likewise, consider the lyrics of the rock song “Anything Goes” from Guns ‘N Roses:
    Panties ’round your knees
    With your ass in debris
    Doin’ dat grind with a push and squeeze
    Tied up, tied down, up against the wall
    Be my rubbermade baby
    An’ we can do it all.”

    The bad-boy, outlaw rockers have traditionally and consistently been marketed and packaged as misogynistic. Artists and groups such as David Lee Roth, Kid Rock, Metallica, Uncle Kracker, to name a few. Consider the following list of rock groups and some of the albums and songs that they have released: American Dog (released an album in 2001 titled, Six Pack: Songs About Drinkin & F**kin), Big C*ck (released an album in 2005 titled: Year Of The C**k—with titles like Bad Motherf***er, Hard To Swallow & You Suck The Love Out Of Me) W.A.S.P. (released an album in 1983 titled: Animal: F**ks Like A Beast, an album in 1997 K.F.D.: Kill, F**k, Die), Faster Pussycat (released album in 1992 titled Whipped—with a song titled Loose Booty, 2001 titled: Between The Valley Of The Ultra P**sy, 2006 album titled: The Power Of The Glory Hole—with such titles as Porn Star and Shut Up & F**k), Lynch Mob (released an album in 2003 titled: Evil: Live—featuring the song (Tie Your Mother Down) and a compilation album released in 2003 titled C**k’N’Roll: The World’s Sleaziest Rock Bands—displaying “hits” like: Dog Sh*t Boys – One Minute F**k, Sagger – The Closest I’ve Ever Come To F**king Myself and Hellside Stranglers – Motherf***ers Don’t Cry.

    In an article by Dana Williams titled, BEYOND RAP: Musical Misogyny, Ann Savage, associate professor of telecommunications at Butler University stated: “It’s the repetitiveness of the messages, the repetitiveness of the attitudes, and it builds on people….” “People say rap is dangerous. Yes, rap music does have misogyny, but there has always been an objectification and misogyny against women in music,” said Savage. “Yet we focus on the black artists, not the rockers and not even the white executives who are making the big money from this kind of music.”

    Savage further asserts that the race-based double standard applies to violent content in music as well.”There was the Eric Clapton remake of Marley’s ‘I Shot the Sheriff,’ and there was little to be said. But then you have the ‘Cop Killer’ song by Ice-T and it’s dangerous and threatening.”

    In this same article Cynthia Fuchs, an associate professor at George Mason University, affirmed that “the public seems far more disturbed by misogynistic lyrics in the music of rap and hip hop artists who are largely black than similar lyrics in rock music, perceived by most as a white genre.”

    “The flamboyance of rock is understood as performance, rather than from the perspective of personal feelings,” said Fuchs, who teaches courses in film and media studies, African American studies and cultural studies. “These guys are seen as innocuous. They appear to be players in the fence of accumulating women in skimpy costumes, but they aren’t necessarily seen as violent. The mainstream takes it (hip hop and rap) to represent real-life, so it’s seen as more threatening than some of the angry, whiney white boy rock, even though the same messages and images are portrayed.”

    Moreover, in an article titled C*ck Rock from the October 21-November 3, 2003 edition of the online music magazine Perfect Pitch, it was revealed that when the Hustler founder and entrepreneur Larry Flynt wanted to combine the worlds of porn (the ultimate god of misogyny) and music he did not turn to rap, but rather to rock. It was stated that since porn has been mainstreamed, they wanted a more “contemporary” look—and when they looked for a contemporary look, did they seek out the likes of Nelly, Chingy, 50 Cent or Ludacris? No. Rock legend Nikki Sixx was chosen to “grace” the cover of Hustler’s new venture along with his adult-entertainment and former Baywatch star girlfriend Donna D’Errico wearing nothing but a thong and Sixx’s arms.

    It is my belief that this paradigm; this unjust paradox exists because of the media stereotypes of black men as more violence-prone, and media’s disproportionate focus on black crime (which is confused with the personas that rappers adopt), contribute to the biased treatment of rap. The double standard applied to rap music makes it easier to sell the idea that “gangsta rap” is “more” misogynist, racist, violent and dangerous than any other genre of music. However, bell hooks conceptualized it best in her essay Sexism and Misogyny: Who Takes the Rap?: “To the white dominated mass media, the controversy over gangsta rap makes great spectacle. Besides the exploitation of these issues to attract audiences, a central motivation for highlighting gangsta rap continues to be the sensationalist drama of demonizing black youth culture in general and the contributions of young black men in particular. It is a contemporary remake of “Birth of a Nation” only this time we are encouraged to believe it is not just vulnerable white womanhood that risks destruction by black hands but everyone.”

    Part of the allure of gangsta or hardcore rap to the white young person is its (however deplorable) explicitness. The gangsta rapper says “bitches” and “hos”, defiantly and frankly (once again… deplorable) and that frankness strikes a chord. However, it is not the first time that white young man or woman has seen society “treat” women like “bitches” and “hos.” Like mother’s milk, the American male in this country has been “nourished” on a constant diet of subtle messages and notions regarding female submission and inferiority and when he is weaned, he begins to feed on the meat of more exploitative mantras and images of American misogyny long before he ever pops in his first rap album into his CD player. Young people, for better or worse, are looking for and craving authenticity. Now, because this quality is in such rare-supply in today’s society, they gravitate towards those who appear to be “real” and “true to the game.” Tragically, they appreciate the explicitness without detesting or critically deconstructing what the person is being explicit about.

    There have been many who have said that even with Imus gone from the airwaves, the American public in general and the Black community in particular will still be inundated by the countless rap lyrics using derogatory and sexist language, as well as the endless videos displaying women in various stages of undress—and this is true.

    However, by that same logic, if we were to rid the record stores, the clubs and the iPods of all misogynistic hip-hop, we would still have amongst us the corporately-controlled and predominantly white-owned entities of Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler and Hooters. We would still have the reality TV shows, whose casts are overwhelmingly white, reveling in excessive intoxication and suspect sexual mores. If misogynistic hip-hop was erased from American life and memory today, tomorrow my e-mail box and the e-mail boxes of millions of others would still be barraged with links to tens of thousands adult entertainment web sites. We would still have at our fingertips, courtesy of cable and satellite television, porn-on-demand. We would still be awash in a society and culture that rewards promiscuity and sexual explicitness with fame, fortune and celebrity (reference Anna Nicole, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears).

    And most hypocritically, if we were to purge the sexist and lewd lyrics from hip-hop, there would still be a multitude of primarily white bands and principally-white musical genres generating song after song glorifying sexism, misogyny, violence and lionizing male sexuality and sexual conquest.
    Now, where does the conversation go from here?

  • “Deracializing White Female Sexual Explicitness or Demonizing The Different, While Excusing The Familiar”

    Don Imus in his “apology” went on to say that the term “ho” didn’t originate in the white community, but rather in the Black community. As the term “ho” is a variation of the word “whore” (a word not foreign to the American lexicon and indeed has been used with great frequency in the white community), that assertion does not hold water. So once again, what is endemic in American society is viewed as a specific “Black” identifier or just a “Black thing.” That would be the equivalent of saying that the first person to call the television a TV undeniably invented it or the individual who first referred to the automobile as a car, now holds the patent to the creation. However, let it be understood, this truth does not excuse or exonerate sexist hip-hop from its shameful contribution to the debasement of women.

    In regard to gender, there has been two, pronounced, conflicting and unjust narratives concerning female sexuality in America. Although all women who were viewed or accused as loose or promiscuous faced the ire and consternation of a (predominantly white) male-dominated society, there has always been this duplicitous racial application of the penalties incurred for committing perceived “moral” crimes against society. Historically, White women, as a category, have been portrayed as examples of self-respect, self-control, and modesty – even sexual purity, but Black women were often (and still are) portrayed as innately promiscuous, even predatory.

    I will be treating the subject of the exploitation of the Black woman more fully in another installment in this series, so my focus in this piece will be the various ways White female sexual promiscuity has been viewed, recognized and oft-times celebrated in today’s media and in popular culture.

    In her publication, Female Chauvinist Pigs, New York magazine writer Ariel Levy argues that the recent trend for soft-porn styling in everything from music videos to popular TV is reducing female sexuality to its basest levels. In short: “A tawdry, tarty, cartoon-like version of female sexuality has become so ubiquitous, it no longer seems particular.”

    Kathleen Parker in her article, Girls Gone Ridiculous, further elaborates this point: “…the message to girls the past 20 years or so has been that they can be and do anything they please. Being a stripper or a porn star is just another option among many. In some feminist circles, porn is seen as the ultimate feminist expression — women exercising autonomy over their bodies, profiting from men’s desire, rather than merely being objectified by it. Self-exploitation has become the raised middle finger of women’s sexual freedom.” And that “raised middle-finger” in popular culture, rap videos aside, has largely been a white one. Society, by and large, has deracialized white female sexual explicitness while at the same time strongly accentuating what is perceived as Black female promiscuity and immodesty. That message has been communicated to us time and time again on the pages of Maxim, FHM, Playboy, Penthouse and Sports Illustrated—and this list goes on. Although these mags have, in the past 10 years, featured more women of color, they are still (overwhelmingly) a celebration of white female sexual explicitness.

    The ultra-celebrity accorded to white female sexual explicitness burst on the scene in the person of Marilyn Monroe. Can anyone argue that Monroe was more recognized for her acting talents than for her “natural assets?” Yet, she is regarded as a legend. The celebrity that has been granted to white women such as Anna Nicole Smith, Pamela Anderson, Carmen Elecktra, Paris Hilton and a whole host of others, is also given based upon sexual assets and not upon talent. This theme is consistent in today’s raunch-infested society, but the raunchiness, once again, is deracialized when the practitioners are white. WWE women’s wrestling has increased in popularity in the past few years with its predominantly white roster of sex-kittens and their highly sexualized plots and subplots. While, in contrast, one would be hard-pressed to name as many Black women (or any other women of color) —absent of talent— who enjoy the same level of celebrity and success.

    Even in, seemingly light-hearted (at least that is the impression that we’ve been given), popular movies we see this phenomenon played out. In Risky Business, the film that introduced Tom Cruise to mainstream America, was about a young man (with the help of a spunky prostitute fleeing her pimp, played by Rebecca De Mornay) who opened up a brothel in his parent’s home while they were away on vacation. Pretty Woman, the film that made Julia Roberts a megastar, essentially is a remake of the children’s classic Cinderella, except this time Cinderella is a hooker. The Woody Allen (that alone gives it legitimacy) film The Mighty Aphrodite stars Mira Sorvino in the “acceptable” prostitute role (for which she won an Oscar). In the recent film, The Girl Next Door (featuring another rising star Elisha Cuthbert) the movie centers on the relationship between an accomplished high school senior and his 19 year-old porn star (Cuthbert) neighbor. In the descriptions of the main characters in these films (the women) words such as, free-spirited, spunky, playful, spontaneous were used. I tried imagining these same films with Black main characters and I could not envision the same light-hearted response by the American public-at-large. There has yet to be a critically-acclaimed or commercially successful film, where a central character was a Black prostitute. So even when the “textbook” requirements of what constitutes being promiscuous is met, her whiteness saves the day. Even at her most licentious, she is made to appear innocent, wholesome and strangely virginal.
    These movies were huge box office successes, and if one subscribes to the theory that the lyrics contained in some hip-hop songs desensitizes individuals to misogyny and normalizes sexism, then that same ethos would have to applied to the films that have essentially “deified” and normalized white female explicitness and promiscuity. So when the same messages that are being demonized in hip-hop are also found in these popular films and white-dominated music genres (but couched in the safety and familiarity of whiteness), what society is essentially telling us is that it is better PR that hip-hop needs not a lessening of sexist themes in their music and videos.

    So it has to be understood that racism is at the heart of this current debate regarding misogyny and sexism. America continues to prove (day in and day out) that it has absolutely no problem with sexual promiscuity. So what is their problem with hip-hop? It is the sheer “Blackness” of it. Historically (as well as now), there has been a fear of Black (especially Black male) sexuality. This irrational and racist fear was repeatedly used in the countless lynchings of Black men in the history of this nation (which often included castration as well). Black equals dangerous; Black equals savage; Black equals barbaric; Black equals forbidden, infected and inferior.

    Therefore hip-hop, like Blackness, is something that society must be; should be; and has to be protected from. It is from this context that ALL things Black have been realized and it is from this context that white female sexual explicitness has been sanitized.

  • virginia

    the al sharptons et al went after Imus because they are part of the clinton machine. imus was a big critic of the clintons. so do the math. did they attack hip hop which is far more hurtful to women and is helping to destroy the morals of our youth? the speed in which they organized was incredible. they had a powerful organization helping them. ask yourself this question….if you were the clinton machine would you want to shut down imus and prevent presidential candidates from appearing on his show? the answer has to be yes.