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The New Lynching: Why I Must Defend Don Imus

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So Don Imus has been fired from his radio show, and all is well in the world. We all know about the maelstrom that developed around the aging shock jock, who has found out how loose lips sink ships, in this case his own. But even though his is a vessel I never would have christened, I find a certain conclusion inescapable here. I must defend Don Imus.

Lest I be misunderstood, I have no use for the man nor any for the rest of his ilk. I know him to be a poster boy for our cultural decay, a man who, along with innumerable fellow babblers, disgorges cultural effluent on a daily basis. He has been a willing participant in the defining of deviancy downwards and I normally would not lament his departure.

I also would criticize his comments. It’s most uncharitable to make sport of relatively anonymous college kids and mock their appearance. So, one may wonder, given my thorough condemnation of the man, in what way do I defend him?

It’s very simple: What really matters with respect to this issue has nothing to do with Imus. This is because this has everything to do with race, but not in the way many think. It isn’t what was said that has the sultans of slime (read: reverends without congregations, et al.) so upset, but the color of the man who said it.

Let’s place this in perspective. We now have a society in which virtually no comment, no matter how salacious, sardonic, crude, rude or lewd, is out of bounds. The only restriction is that politically incorrect people must confine themselves to politically correct comments; politically correct people can go further and utter some politically incorrect ones. And shock jocks and music pox, otherwise known as rappers, regularly exercise their tongues in ways that would make the Marquis de Sade blush. And these rappers, who, almost to a man, would be dead or in jail if quasi-literacy and incoherent, vulgar, hateful rambling weren’t handsomely rewarded by our beating-a-chicken-under-the-moonlight culture, drive around in limousines, even though no amount of money can take the gutter out of the guttersnipe. We see people who pass themselves off as artists creating uplifting works such as a crucifix immersed in a bowl of urine and then demanding tax dollars as funding. We have gratuitous violence served up with relativistic messages in movies and sexual imagery anywhere and everywhere; it so permeates our society that now we have fifth-graders having orgies in the classroom. Then, the Lord’s name is regularly taken in vain on film, although no one cares about that anymore because we now show obeisance to a new virtue, one of the vice-ridden’s design. Of course, the aforementioned is far from exhaustive, for how do you encapsulate a toxic culture operating 24/7 and beaming its poison to all corners of the Earth in a paragraph? Perhaps it can be done, but it’s beyond my capabilities.

Now let’s view Imus’ comments against the backdrop of the above. In an amateurish attempt at humor, he called some female collegiate basketball players “nappy-headed hos.” Not nice, no question there, but when placed in context, how bad do they seem to those who aren’t slaves of political correctness?

I know what some are thinking. You can’t excuse bad behavior by citing other bad behavior, and, in the same way that you apprehend and convict the murderers you can, the thieves you can and the rapists you can, knowing full well that others will escape justice, shouldn’t any traditionalist welcome the erasure of one blot on the American panorama? Doesn’t the journey toward a reclaimed culture begin with the draining of a single cesspool? Of course we would have to start somewhere, but the problem is that an overall war against immorality is not the basis on which Imus has been punished. Moreover, Imus may be replaced with someone more politically correct, but he won’t be replaced with someone better.

And now we’re inching closer to the point. Anyone who wants to combat immorality across-the-board will find a staunch ally in me. However, I will not, under any circumstances, be party to a process whereby a few politically incorrect instances of it are cherry-picked from a sea of immorality and the perpetrators punished harshly simply because they bear the wrong complexion.

The problem here is both simple and ominous: The firing of Imus further solidifies the precedent stating that, with respect to freedom of speech, the latitude one has is directly proportional to his epidermal melanin content. Plainly speaking, a white person risks his career when saying things for which black people are regularly given a pass. It’s the new lynching.

I said this solidifies the precedent because it’s not even close to the first such occurrence. Back in 1988, famous sportscaster Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder’s career was ended when, while inebriated in a restaurant, he asserted that blacks were better athletes and posited a theory as to why this was so. Contrast this with the case of Dusty Baker, a black man who, while manager of the Chicago Cubs, also said that minority athletes enjoyed some innate advantages in the athletic arena. Although Baker did have to endure some criticism, his job was never in jeopardy (nor should it have been).

Getting back to Don Imus, I’ll point out that music pox and black comedians regularly trade in bigoted, misogynistic, hateful material that makes him look like Opie Taylor. On Hannity & Colmes recently, they had as a guest a quite corpulent comic named Patrice O’Neal. O’Neal, a black man, unabashedly used the word “cracker” (a racial epithet referring to whites that is the equivalent of “nigger”) numerous times, while Sean Hannity just sat quietly and smiled. Then there’s the clip of black comedian Chris Rock (Michael Savage brought it to light on his show) wherein he talks about how he hates all “crackers” to the roar of an appreciative audience. “Oh, c’mon, Duke, that’s just humor,” you say? Yeah, so was what Imus said.

Contrast this with how white commentators have been cowed into not even uttering the word “nigger” for illustrative purposes; instead, they obediently say “the ‘N-word.’” It’s something they dare not even whisper. . . . To me, this one, solitary phenomenon perfectly epitomizes the neutering of the white male, as we genuflect at the altar of the race hustlers. In fact, it’s so preposterous it bears restatement: Blacks can use the word “cracker” to demean and express hatred, but whites cannot even utter the word “nigger” as an element of substantive commentary. I guess this is the affirmative-action of the tongue.

Speaking of the rotten fruits of our affirmative-action mentality, two of its worst products – and that takes in a lot of territory – Jesse Jackson and the bovine bloviator himself, Al Sharpton, were Imus’ two main inquisitors. I’m far from the first to make this point, but who are these two vile, vicious, bigoted mental midgets to be casting the first stone at anyone? Of course, many have spoken of their hypocrisy, but as bad as it is, it must be subordinated to something far more significant. That they apply a double standard that benefits themselves is bad enough, but that the media apply one that benefits them is far worse.

If we are going to root out bigots, why aren’t we applying the attention where it’s most needed? As to this, we can add to Jackson and Sharpton’s sins their bigoted crucifixion of the recently exonerated and always innocent Duke lacrosse players. Let’s look at what Jackson said shortly after the false allegation was made:

“. . . And the idea of white males fantasizing about black women is – is quite old, quite – and quite ugly, and now quite illegal.”

And,

“That fantasy is as old as slave masters impregnating young slave girls.”

Now, this seems curiously reminiscent of what was sometimes said a century ago about black men lusting after white women, something now viewed as a most egregious form of racial stereotyping. But not only has the media not criticized the race hustler for this prejudiced remark, it has been disseminated so little that I actually had trouble finding the exact quotation (you have no idea how long I spent searching for it).

Of course, this is just the latest from a man who is beneath contempt, a creature who has made a career out of using threats and intimidation to shake down corporations, all to enrich himself, his family and his cronies.

Even more of a thug is Sharpton, a man who has incited riots that have caused immeasurable pain and suffering and more than just a few deaths – he has blood on his hands. And this isn’t the first time he has been party to false rape allegations. In 1987 he perpetrated the Tawana Brawley hoax, an incident in which a 15-year-old girl fabricated rape allegations against six white men. Sharpton was only too eager to drag the men’s reputations through the mud, which included labeling Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney Steven Pagones a racist and a rapist. Sharpton never even apologized to Pagones, and to this day has not paid a price for his vicious slander. Of course, he did disappear from public view for a spell, but like a jerk-in-the-box, he popped back up some years later as if nothing ever happened and now is a favored guest on many news shows. (Shame on you, Bill O’Reilly, for giving this criminal a forum.)

Now, contrast the above with “nappy-headed hos.” Also, how does “nappy-headed hos” stack up against Jackson’s and Sharpton’s demonizing of the Duke boys? Imus made a rude racial comment about some college students; the two guttersnipes participated in a lynching that might have changed some college students’ lives inexorably. Thus, can anyone really say the media have their priorities straight?

Some would, it appears. Dick Morris said recently that taking Imus to task may herald a new era, one of increased civility in public discourse. Sure, Dick, if you believe that, your former employer, Bill Clinton, has some land to sell you in the Whitewater development.

Nothing will change, except that a further chill has been put on the tongue, especially when it’s wielded by one bearing a politically incorrect complexion. Yes, when you cut through all the posturing and sanctimony, it’s obvious that what was played to perfection here is a now old game: Beat up on whitey.

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About Selwyn Duke

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Selwyn,

    I don’t really disagree with what you’ve said here, though it might be a tad wordy. I’m expecting the black women commenters on this site to come after you like pit bulls once they’ve read this piece.

    What would really be nice would be, instead of them arguing with whites, to condemn in no uncertain terms the gangsters and thugs who defame their own image in America and dare call it music.

    “Nappy headed whore,” is a black man’s phrase and a white man was fired for daring to use it. But the gangster rappers were the ones who popularized it in modern American culture. The onus of the blame falls on them for not having any respect for black women.

    If the black women don’t get R-E-S-P-E-C-T from their own menfolk, maybe there is a reason. It is about time for them to speak up very publicly, condemning the gangster rappers who make blacks look like violent animals instead of decent people.

  • H. Lewis Smith

    Though cracker, hymie,etc. are classified as racial slurs you do not want to equate them to the n-word. Nor do you wish to go back into time and revisit the 17th, l8th and 19th centuries to learn the full evil meaning and intent of the n-word. Today its nothing more than a racial slur, but the true historical baggage that comes with that word can’t be denied. You can try, but then history is what it is which makes the n-word the most infamous word in the English language.

    Insofar, as your comments about the rappers I have no argument with you there. Most of white America isn’t aware of an anti-n-word movement presently building throughout the black community which is being directed primarily at black users of the word and other demeaning terms. Insofar, as Imus is concerned, everything is about timing and his was all wrong…of course this goes without saying that he had no business saying what he said in the first place…but he did get caught up in something that’s brewing within the black community. To learn more please go to:The United Voices

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    An interesting commentary with some good points raised, although I can’t buy it all–your misuse of the word “lynching”, for example.

    The bottom line is, of course, money. Imus, rightly or wrongly, was quickly drying up as a revenue-producing source; the vilest rappers make tons of money for the music companies. As long as it will sell to someone (Jackson & Sharpton included), it will be viable.

    As to those two opportunistic and self-aggrandizing individuals, I can’t believe that Dr. King and Rev. Ralph David Abernathy(whom I knew at one time)would tell us, “this is the kind of dream we had in mind.”

  • Servant

    This was the first thing I thought of when I heard about the Imus scandal. The first words out of my mouth were, “Well, he must be white.” And, big suprise, I was right. The only rule in political correctness now is “it’s alright unless your white”.

  • http://wonderlandornot.net cooper

    I think that a great many of the people who have now jumped on the “now let us get the rappers band wagon” simply do not have a very clear understanding of the issue at all.

    Don Imus, a long time rambler of disparagement towards everyone, was fired because finally some people in this country looked at Don Imus and saw what they themselves had become and didn’t like it.

    Whether or not African American women get respect from African American men, or where that phrase comes from is nowhere near the issue in the case of Don Imus. It has nothing to do with the issue.

    I fear for those who have yet to admit their culpability in placing this country – the greatest country on earth – in an abyss where disparagement and denigration ( most racist and sexist in nature) are part of the standard entertainment on a radio talk show which hosts some of their most public political pundits and politicians of the time.

    One day maybe they will see the difference. One day they will take another look in the mirror and realize that the easy way out is to start to refuse to look at what they have become and instead start finding fault in other things. It’s much easier that way.

    For now just please stop trying to blame the rappers for Don Imus’s racist, sexist blabbering. Despite the fact that it may make many people feel better to do so it is not going to solve anything.

  • Arch Conservative

    “Don Imus, a long time rambler of disparagement towards everyone, was fired because finally some people in this country looked at Don Imus and saw what they themselves had become and didn’t like it.”

    BZZZZZZZZZZZZ… Wrong!

    The real reason he got fired is because he is a white somewhat conservative male who happened to say something offensive about minorities. if he had been a black person who had said something racist about white people he would not have been fired. If he had been a white liberal who had something racist he would not have been fired.

    Can you please cut the fucking shit Cooper. Save your “we need to look in the mirror” bullshit for someone else.

    The current state of affairs in this nation is that whites and conservatives are not allowed to have opinions on race relations while minorities and liberals are.

    We all know it.

  • buddy

    Don apologised, he realized he stuck his foot in his mouth. Then we have that arrogant egotistical self appointed profit,Al i am the man Sharpton who never apologises to the different races of people who he has insulted over and over again.I wonder how much money or time he spends helping our wounded soldiers or giving children with cancer weeks of fun on his ranch before they pass on to the after life, or maybe we should listen to the other idiot mr Jessie I cheated on my wife, insulted the jewish people of newyork,have lied stolen,and cheated my own race JACKSON. oh wait those travisties are apples and oranges.It seems to me we have forgot about freedom of speech,and how to forgive someone who made a mistake, it seems to me i can forgive someone for 10 or 15 mistakes over the course of 30 years, by weighing them to the amount of good mr Imus has done for thousands of people and for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he and his wife have donated over the past several years. come on people use your brains if you dont like something dont listen, this is AMERICA.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Oh, Joy of Joys! Oh, Dream of Dreams! Oh, Cherished Hope of Cherished Hope! Yet another article on Imus! Now we can all, regardless of our ideologies, get back to pretending that this issue matters.

  • http://wonderlandornot.net cooper

    Wow, for some reason I thought that using words like “fuck” when one could not articulate what they really mean was frowned upon over here.

    White conservatives?

    Oh you mean white males between the age of twenty-five and fifty?

    Damn that’s too bad now isn’t it.
    What you are afraid of is not being “the boss” any longer.

    Well my friend, you aren’t the boss and seemingly from the fact that Imus the pig man was ditched you aren’t even the majority.

    I feel people can say what they want.
    No one was going to bother to pay for Imus any longer. That is the bottom line.

  • Nick Ames

    Don Imus was fired because he insulted some women. They are not victims. Want victims? Go to Virginia Tech. We are a society of victims, people who want and liked being insulted because of all of the attention they get. Hey, the Rutgers team is more famous thant hey would ever have been. If this is the worse thing they ever hear, they can be thankful. As for Imus insulting blacks, blacks insult blacks with some of the hip hop music and men fathering then skipping out on kids…Imus fired? BS!

  • Zedd

    Selwyn

    You are correct. The fact that Imus is White is HUGE!!! You are absolutely right!

    You also know that it is Whites with the history of severe and frightening racism in this land. To pretend otherwise would be insane and you are not. So YES it is a concern when a White man promotes racism over the airways because of the enormous history of White men doing so and all manner of vileness.

    Why is this an issue?

    It would be like a German born DJ making extremely “racist” comments about Jews on the air. It would have a different significance than that of Jews self deprecating as they do often in their comedy acts.

    It seems that it is you who are seeking political correctness. As if we are to ignore who we are and what we are in order to make ourselves feel comfy.

    The US has an extremely old and long standing problem which is as old as our conception and prior with racism being perpetuated against Black people by White men which still stands. Your views are that we should pretend as if EVERYONE is guilty of this same thing and should be perceived in the same way. That would be odd. That is simply childish and reveals the mindset of one who is in deep denial about reality for whatever reason.

    To help you understand some basic things…. I can say that my sister is lazy, fat and a bad parent. However YOU cant say that about her. I can say that my butt is too big but YOU cant. You know that. So why are you going on about what Blacks say to each other about each other? Its like poking your head into a family meeting and wanting to interject your opinions. Its none of your business now isn’t it? That’s the way it goes with any subgroup. You know that though. You can talk about how pink or pale you are but I cant.

    So YES off course the issue has to do with Imus’ Whiteness. Are you shocked by that?

  • Zedd

    Arch

    if he had been a black person who had said something racist about white people he would not have been fired. If he had been a white liberal who had something racist he would not have been fired.

    Prove it. Give us historical data to support your assertion.

  • Zedd

    Servant

    “Well, he must be white.”

    Off course he was White and off course you thought that. It would have been odd for a Black DJ to be given a hard time for being racist against Blacks. It would have been rare for an Hispanic or Asian to say a racist comment in public. You weren’t psychic or a genius in your conclusion. It was just common sense based on who we are as a nation to say the very least.

    If a Black DJ had said the same exact thing, it would have been a very bad sexist statement. If a White male makes that statement it is a Racist and sexist statement.

    Is anyone confused here?

    You do realise that White Southerners felt victimized and picked on when slavery ended :o)

  • STM

    “You can try, but then history is what it is which makes the n-word the most infamous word in the English language”

    What, outside of pommy … sorry, the p-word?

  • Zedd

    Nick Ames

    You are willing to dispense of your male shiverly to support and defend an extremely wealthy, rude, poisonous adult male simply because he is White?

    Wow. It is an interesting age.

    What am I saying Black women are the mules of American society. Their being female has never been considered. They get insulted and called hoers and you say it was good for them. You however go to the defense of the MAN that called them hoers (for no reason).

    WOW and you feel good about yourself?

    Sickness!!

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    How do mules hold a hoe so they can be ‘hoers’? I thought mules had no hands.

    Brrr. It’s cold in here. I feel ‘shiverly’.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Dave

    Feeling particularly tiny today?

  • Arch Conservative

    “Prove it. Give us historical data to support your assertion. ”

    There is a lot of historical eveidence Zedd.

    Here are some examples

    Al Sharpton.

    ….the man creates a racial hoax that ruins the lives of several white men including a police officer and Al Never has to say he’s sorry…….

    Al says :tell the jews to pin their yamikas back and come on over to my house if they want to fight” and no one cries for him to apologize… no instead people take him seriously as a Dem candidate for president

    I guess being a racist who creates fictiocious race crimes for personal gain is ok as long as you’re black huh zedd?

    Ray Nagin

    Tha man says his city will be a chocolate city and no one calls it racist or demands for himt o be fired… now we all know damn well if a white mayor had said “vanilla city” all the little leftist hacks like yourself would be calling for that mayor to resign Zedd

    Jesse Jackson

    the man calls new york city hymietown and no one asks for him to apologize or be fired… he’s still taken seriously to this day

    Jod Beiden

    “gets away with saying “you need to have a slight indian accent to communicate when you walk into a 711″ because he is a liberal

    Hillary clinton

    got away with saying “ghandi owned a gas station” because she is a liberal

    Robert Byrd

    former grand dragon of the KKK is elected to congress because he is a democrat

    what about all the liberal blogs referring to lt. gov of maryland michael steel as “an oreo cookie, little black sambo, and uncle tom”

    Is that enough historical eveidence of the double standard that exists for ya Zedd?

  • Zedd

    Arch

    None of that depicts racism.

    Hilary’s statement could be but I’d have to know the context.

    David Duke was a Republican…. so!

    You don’t know what racism is. Mentioning someone’s cultural identifier is not racist. You don’t get it.

  • Arch Conservative

    I noticed no left wing hypocrites have come along yet to dispute the truth with their warped perceptions.

  • Zedd

    Arch

    No one cares about sides like you do. Its childish. There are no camps like you think.

    Actually from your posts its clear that you don’t even know what the right wing stands for.

    You education about politics was obviously from a bad source. I suspect talk radio judging from your rhetoric.

    You go on and on everyday about things that don’t exist. How sad that is.

    You have deep passions about something that is nonexistent. Wow, that would depress me. How many hours you have waisted rattling away everyday about nothing not realising that people are just flagging you away like a fly.

    How about getting a real understanding of politics and political structure.

  • Arch Conservative

    You have to be one of the biggest hypocritical moronscurrently posting ont his site Zedd.

    All you do is bitch and moan about racism and then when someone gives you numerous examples that illustrate the double standard on racism all you can say is “oh well that’s not really racism.”

    I’m amazed that you can even tie your own shoes in the morning let alone know how to use a computer.

  • sb

    why is it that Don Imus can’t say “nappy headed ho’s” while at the same time there is a hip hop group called “nappy roots?”
    The Black community needs to stop with their double standards. The same goes for the whole “nigger” vs. “nigga” debate. How could a word be so heinous and a term of endearment at the same time?