Glenn Beck came on Anderson Cooper 360 the other night about Don Imus and his nappy-headed hos comment. I think he, like Rush Limbaugh and the rest of them, are just loud. But their loudness is categorized as entertainment. This I find disturbing.
At one point, Mr. Beck made a statement on the show that deserves a slap to the face: "That would be like me saying, the Duke lacrosse team, nothing but a bunch of toothless hicks, and then Jesse Jackson coming on and saying, well, look at them, they're a bunch of toothless hicks, and then me saying, how dare you say that?"
The term "toothless hick" doesn’t apply to a race of people – if anything, it's geographical discrimination. If you are backwards and come from a small country town in the south, then in the north you will be considered a hick (or toothless if you don’t care for your dental needs). The term “nappy-headed hos” has more to do with a specific race – mine, which is African-American.
I don’t see how Glenn can think these terms are one and the same.
One thing that a lot of white people use against us, which to a certain degree works, is the old “You do it too” accusation. That is where they hear us use terms, such as the one Imus used, and incorporate them into their own conversations. Sometimes they even try to make them sound funny the same way we do. Where they mess up is with the tone and delivery of the language, not the actual words.
But for people like Beck, there is no gray area. If a black man calls someone a cracker, we should be able to accept the consequences of our actions and accept criticism from the other side when we say those things. That’s fine and dandy, but we live in the real world – not in utopia.
In the real world black people have been through more hell than any white person can imagine. That’s an uncomfortable and unchangeable fact to me coming from a generation that hasn’t had to deal with the racism of my parent’s, or earlier generations. It should come as no surprise that a lot of our own families talk about the old days with such fury and anger and frustration. It's not coming out of some lack of something to do, or just anger from anger – but from centuries of abuse and slavery.
If you were, as a white person, to call someone a "nappy-headed ho" in person, what do you expect would happen? These are things that get thrown to the wind when in the comfortable confines of the media. Out in public, you might not be so lucky.
How then, can “toothless hick” and “nappy-headed hos” be considered the same? I must be missing something. To me, there is a difference.
What do the rest of you think?Powered by Sidelines