Published on April 12, 2007 By averjoe In Current Events
Part shock jock (highly irreverent and comedic radio DJ) and serious news radio DJ Don Imus was recently suspended for two weeks from his job and the simulcast of his radio program on the MSNBC network was cancelled because he called the players of the Rutgers University predominately African-American woman’s basketball team “tattooed… nappy-haired hoes”.

The outrage over these statements grew the days after Imus expressed his opinion about the young women of the Rutgers and Tennessee women’s basketball teams that were playing in the NCAA championship.

The description Imus used for these women was insulting and out of line and he should have been punished and voluntarily apologized for making such a statement.

Imus (and some of his producers) seem to have a long history (Imus has been on radio for over 30 yrs.) of being highly insulting to the African-American community (and many other minority groups in the US), so much so that what he consider as shock jock humor appears to be a more deeply held personal racism (and sexism).

This view of Imus as a racist and sexist is offset by his many charitable activities that seem to be forthcoming to all those that suffer some misfortune (such as childhood cancer or war wounded).

Whether Imus is a sixty-five year old white racist, just a good guy who misspoke, or a radio DJ trying to be an outrageous shock jock, I don’t believe he should be fired for this incident.

I believe strongly in freedom of speech even for vile racist and sexist, so I support Imus not because I like him (I never listened to his radio broadcast and only occasionally watched the simulcast MSNBC program when he interviewed someone I was interested in) or think he did not do anything wrong, but because freedom of speech is so very important.

Freedom must be maintained and part of being free means having freedom of speech. The human condition will never be understood if human expression in any of its forms is overly restricted.

The censuring of Imus could lead to an assault against all irreverent or so-called politically incorrect humor. The question is who is going to decide what is irreverent or politically incorrect?

One may be happy that someone that one disagreed with and thought was vile was removed from the air, but what if someone you thought was not vile was removed from the air.

There is a lot of racism and sexism (this is why Barak Obama cannot win the presidency at this date and Hillary Clinton would have an extremely tough time winning the presidency) in America and probably a large percentage of Imus’s audience are racist and/or sexist, which would partly explain his large radio audience (one of the largest in free radio – Howard Stern, the king of shock jocks has a significantly smaller audience since going to satellite radio).

Of course, businesses have the right to pay for the talent that they desire. They can hire or fire whomever they want to. Most business decisions are determined by forces in the “marketplace” (whether someone makes money for a company or not).

In many instances, a company’s public image will determine how it does in the marketplace; so public image is a factor some companies consider too.

Anyway, Imus (and a producer or two) may be racist and sexist but freedom of speech and an understanding of the human condition are so important that we should not so easily tread on them.


Comments (Page 1)
on Apr 12, 2007
I guess that is a pitty, I don't watch or listen to him and have not for decades so it is not something I will miss. I do find it sad that Imus, and Mahr lost thier jobs for sillyness. Kind of reminds me of the Nazi's and the Communists but those are the people the left support so it is not a surprise to me that they eat thier own.
on Apr 12, 2007
Who is not a rascist or sexist or otherwise prejudiced person in the United States or the world, for that matter? Imus addressed, with dignity and courage, those who he insulted. Far more than most of us would do, I dare say. While not excusing him, I do not think his behavior is *so* outrageous that it rises to the level of being fired.

Moreover, I wonder what part of the comment is the problem, "nappy headed" or "hos"? Nappy is just a reference to hair type, as Black is a reference to skin color. The "ho" is a Black slang word for prostitute that has found its way into the mainstream like a ton of other mediocre things and is heard a million times a day in rap music. Perhaps it is that Imus is white and a old man that makes this so offensive?

Where is the outrage against the Black "artists" who use these words and much worse on the media airwaves daily? When one Black person stepped up, Bill Cosby, and talked about getting the culture cleaned up, he was branded himself as a rascist.

My sense is that we need to take ourselves out to the woods and grow a few inches. We are acting like bratty children who have been pampered far too much.

Be well.
on Apr 12, 2007
Where is the outrage against the Black "artists" who use these words and much worse on the media airwaves daily?


If there is a silver lining to this whole thing, it is many voices are now starting to rise up and condemn those very same artists for trivializing the derogatory words used by those so called artists. IN that, perhaps this episode will do some good.
on Apr 12, 2007
Who is not a rascist or sexist or otherwise prejudiced person in the United States or the world, for that matter?


I know many that are not. In fact I only know two people that are both are liberal democrats. I find your statement insulting.

Moreover, I wonder what part of the comment is the problem, "nappy headed" or "hos"? Nappy is just a reference to hair type, as Black is a reference to skin color.


I will be happy to tell you what the problem is you apologist for the ignorant.

Liberal colored leaders are losing power and not being able to find anyone on the right to attack to build them up they attack and destroy the career of those on the middle left like Mr. Imus just to show they are still relevant. It has little if anything to do with race or bigotry. It has everything to do with political power gained by hammering political correctness and hinting racism.

Where is the outrage against the Black "artists" who use these words and much worse on the media airwaves daily?


When the right complained about it they were called racist and told since they were not colored they did not have the right to speak out against it. The liberal left supports such crap as "art" and freedom of speach. No one else is allowed to have freedom of speach because it might disagree with liberalsism. 2 live crew said some vile stuff in their day but I saw a side of them that never made the papers. The guy that uses the name Luuke Skyywalker paid for my niece to go to nursing school. Paid for her books and part of her tuition and got nothing out of it except the satisfaction of helping someone who wanted to better herself. My niece was not the only one he helped. I still say he had vile crap but at least he helped others with the money he made. My niece is a director of nursing in a Miami hospital, married with two kids and living the american dream. Where is my outrage? It is still there because I don't support that form of entertainment or "art" but freedom of speach says I can't do much more than not buy their products.

My sense is that we need to take ourselves out to the woods and grow a few inches. We are acting like bratty children who have been pampered far too much.


YES!!! I agree with you completely here.
on Apr 12, 2007
I'm not surprised at the punishment that was meted out to Imus and think it's fitting. What does bother me is that two of the countries most renowned racists, Mr. J Jackson and A. Sharpton were instrumental in the decision. I just don't feel those two would have uttered a word if a black personality would have made a similar remark about whites. Of course I don't think most white would have said anything either. "George Bush hates black people" comes to mind. Where was the out cry then?
on Apr 12, 2007
Jesse and Al. It always seems like al JU conversations about race, particularly African-Americans, it always comes back to those two. Can we all just hate them, let 'em be and realize that they in no way shape or form represent modern black people? Please?

Imus got what he deserved. I believe in the free speech that protects him and I think the process has worked. If you don't like what he is saying, don't listen. CBS and MSNBC believe that their contituents, sponsors and employees don't want to listen and now he's gone.

When it comes to rap artists, the same should apply. Don't like it, don't listen to it. There is outrage at what they do, it just doesn't get media play. There are groups that protest what goes on at various rap record labels. But the same dollar signs that kept Imus on the air as long as he was keeps rap music running. As long as there is someone to listen, someone is going to be foul.
on Apr 13, 2007

Jesse and Al. It always seems like al JU conversations about race, particularly African-Americans, it always comes back to those two. Can we all just hate them, let 'em be and realize that they in no way shape or form represent modern black people? Please?

I think the members of JU (in contrast to the rest of the population), realizes that,  And are very careful to aim their comments and scorn at those 2.  However, they (Jackson and Sharpton) still have a large following in the general population that hangs on their every word and believes it sight unseen.

In all the comments and criticism of both the Imus situation and the Nifong scandal, the people that are being most singled out for the old "lynch them where they stand mentality" are Jackson and Sharpton.  Other black leaders, indeed the very people that have the only beef with Imus, the Rutgers team, are not only condemning Imus for his comments, but the whole gansta rap community that perpetuates these derogatory and inflammatory words with no help from Shock jocks.  And in that, we can stand up in unison and support these ladies and their coach for not playing the victim, but using the whole situation as a way to speak out against an injustice being perpetuated on all blacks by a few members of their own race.

on Apr 13, 2007

I don't think that he was fired because the CBS and MSNBC were so offended by what he said or his actions afterward.  Why he got fired is because his sponsor pulled their ads (other than Bigelow tea) because they didn't want to get pulled into the whole fiasco.

We have a huge double standard in this country when it comes to race.  I heard a statement on the news from a Dean of an all African American Girl college who said: "the words have different connotations when spoken by a white man versus another African American".  That's just wrong.  Words are words and they should be viewed the same no matter who is uttering them.

If we ever want to get past race, then *all* races need to quit being racist.

 

on Apr 13, 2007
"I think the members of JU (in contrast to the rest of the population), realizes that, And are very careful to aim their comments and scorn at those 2. However, they (Jackson and Sharpton) still have a large following in the general population that hangs on their every word and believes it sight unseen."

Dude, I hear you but I think that is a huge misconception. Something that proves that was the number of Black publications hailing Barak Obama as the first 'legitamate' presidential candidate. Now I have grew up in Chicago and I know that he well supported there, but most other places I go he is not as well respected.

"We have a huge double standard in this country when it comes to race. I heard a statement on the news from a Dean of an all African American Girl college who said: "the words have different connotations when spoken by a white man versus another African American". That's just wrong. Words are words and they should be viewed the same no matter who is uttering them."

Please don't make this a 'black people get away with everything and white people are the victims' type thing. That's culture. It goes both ways. Let's see how love a black person would live if he were to go into Little Italy and utter Italian slurs. Yet the people who live there utter the same things at each other all day long. Yes, all races need to stop being racist, but don't make white people to be the true victim of racism. That, my friend, is wrong.
on Apr 13, 2007

Dude, I hear you but I think that is a huge misconception. Something that proves that was the number of Black publications hailing Barak Obama as the first 'legitamate' presidential candidate. Now I have grew up in Chicago and I know that he well supported there, but most other places I go he is not as well respected.

I am not sure I understand where the misconception comes in.  Are you saying I am wrong about the JU population(I could be), or the population at large (again, that was a very generalized statement that should not be construed as indicative of everyone in the general population, but enough of it that Jackson and Sharpton still have a following).

on Apr 13, 2007
That Jackson and Sharpton have a huge following. Most of the black people I know don't respect them. I have been to several black churches where they are disrected up front to a hearty 'amen'. Can I get an 'amen'?

I think it's regional. In Chicago, Jesse is revered. But in the past, he has done a great deal there. But I live in the Southeast now and even when I was out west, in both regions the men were seen mostly as clowns.
on Apr 13, 2007
That Jackson and Sharpton have a huge following


Not knowing who or how many listen to them, one has to wonder then why do they get so much press play and are always at the forefront of these trainwrecks. Imus would not have crawled to Sharpton if he (mistakenly perhaps) had not thought that it was a way to address the black community as a whole.
on Apr 13, 2007
Not knowing who or how many listen to them, one has to wonder then why do they get so much press play and are always at the forefront of these trainwrecks. Imus would not have crawled to Sharpton if he (mistakenly perhaps) had not thought that it was a way to address the black community as a whole.


I don't think he was trying to address the black community. I think he knew the press it would get and perhaps it may make him look not so bad by comparison when he sits with Sharpton. I seriously doubt that he wanted to address the black community as a whole. If that were true, an appearence with Tom Joyner or Tavis Smiley would have been his response. You could do a simple google search to find that out.
on Apr 13, 2007

If that were true, an appearence with Tom Joyner or Tavis Smiley would have been his response. You could do a simple google search to find that out.

If they are true outlets to the black community, then why are they not known more widely, and reported more widely than Sharpton and Jackson?  Google is yoru friend, yet I dont have to google the NY Times to know about it, or jackson and Sharpton. 

I am not trying to be antagonistic, but am looking for some insight into why those 2 are always at the top of the hit parade when it comes to trainwrecks.

on Apr 13, 2007
If they are true outlets to the black community, then why are they not known more widely, and reported more widely than Sharpton and Jackson? Google is yoru friend, yet I dont have to google the NY Times to know about it, or jackson and Sharpton.



But (I'm guessing) you also don't live in the black community. When I travel to another cith there is usually at least one black radio station in and more than likely it has the Tom Joyner Morning Show. I didn't have the first clue who Don Imus was until a week ago. I don't really fit into his audience. Perhaps you do not fit in with Tom Joyners.

Sharpton and Jackson are media icons. I think the perception from the media is that they are supposed to be modern day MLKs. The truth is, the get attention when they are a part of a story. Not because they are leaders. It's all hype.