Women who achieve anything of note, who step into the limelight even for a moment, run the very real risk of being torn down for no good reason.
Mean-spirited men who devalue women — be it Imus or misogynist rappers or flaming bloggers — are everywhere, and some of them have bigger megaphones than others.
But your supporters are legion. People you will never meet — parents everywhere, athletes all around, women of all colors — are praying for you.
At the University of Memphis, students are marching — across campus.
Commercial Appeal columnist Wendi C. Thomas has written a figurative letter of support to the Rutgers Women Basketball Team. She knows about being denigrated. An excerpt:
Some prayers have been answered. Through the power of advertising, MSNBC kicked him to the curb. Now, so has CBS.
They'll regret it soon enough — and so shall we.
Did Imus and Bernard McGuirk cross the line? Yes.
They spoke ill of the underdog. That's what Rutger's Women Basketball team personified. No one expected them to be in that championship game against the Lady Vols, but there they were. Fighting to the last second, which is the basic requirement we ask of any American. For that, they didn't deserve to be denigrated.
Maybe, Imus and the gang thought that no one watches Women's basketball since only one or two can dunk. They're not flashy. They just grind it out. Fundamentals. Girls trying to be like the men, they perhaps thought, echoing what so many think. (More on that later.) No, these women are athletes. Pure and simple. Gracious ones at that.
But fire Imus? Whatever. He'll end up podcasting. Or on XM or Sirius Radio doing what Howard Stern's feeble mind only dreamed and has yet to fully realize. He'll end up simulcasting on FuseTV or Comedy Central.
So, yes, CBS and MSNBC will be sorry.
We will too because the censorship advocates have been emboldened. And that's the main reason why Imus's firing was a bad idea. Now, we'll be subjected to those who want to bleach our airwaves. We'll hear idiots — and yes, that's what they are — who say that Imus, who is in his 60s, was unduly influenced by hip-hop, which is the real target in all this.
In excusing Imus, there are those who will argue that rappers have said and shown worse in their videos. Tis true, but there's a difference.
In hip-hop music, the women — be they black, white, brown or yellow — are willing participants. Some are true entrepreneurs, building franchises on the natural resource God gave them, like it or not. People simply don't like it. We can argue all night over what women should and shouldn't do with their own bodies. But I digress.
More importantly, I don't believe in idolization. We all know women who are less than Godly just like we know all men aren't perfect. The world needs "hoes" and "bitches" — females and males, alike. You won't know "good" unless you have something to compare. Without the video chicks, we really couldn't appreciate the gracefulness of the Rutgers women.
(And if all else fails, what my Mama said still holds true: you are what you respond too. Kids, listen to your parents. Parents, be parents. But I digress again.)
Back to the main point, Imus needs to be on the air like Limbaugh needs to be on the air, like all those other ill-mannered SOBs need to be on the air. Because in a society that values a free exchange of ideals, censorship in any form is unacceptable.
The better response: demand that CBS and MSNBC develop shows with more diverse views.
Imus is gone. Yet, what do we have to show for it: nothing.