“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Imus and the "Ho"s

Don Imus said something that is wrong. It was an abhorrent statement, however it is not the first time that the "original shock-jock"has made sensitive comments. I will not defend him at all. He made a stupid statement, and is being punished for it. However, it seems that the media is hellbent on distorting this controversy out of proportion. Lets examine that.
I have watched and listened to many different views on this situation, and believe that some people will not be satisfied until Imus' head is served on a platter.
The world we live in today is completely two-faced. In an interview with comic Patrice Oneal, he commented that it would be acceptable for him to use the same "nappy-headed-ho " comment in a stand-up routine. He could not or would not substantiate this. I find this to be wrong as well. If this verbage is wrong, it should be wrong for all people and at all times. How can we teach a new generation to trust and love each other, if they continue to hear bigoted comments from within their own heritage. In the movie Coach Carter, the coach tells his inner city team that they must treat each other with respect (referring to names) if they expect the "white"folks to do so. I agree with this point and think it is imperative that this message is purveyed forward. In both directions..
Al Sharpton got irritated with Imus when he referenced "you people". Rev. Sharpton felt like Imus was generalizing against the black population - again. Ironically, Sharpton has used the same choice of words many times in referencing the Caucasian population in past speeches and interviews. Neither usage should be tolerated and neither should be dismissed as acceptable. Until all parties guilty of negative comments are unilaterally challenged, this will not start to change.
Look at the '08 Presidential campaign, and you will find a T-shirt with the slogan " BROS BEFORE HOES". This shirt is supporting Barack Obama and dissing Hillary Clinton. I find it repugnant that Mr. Obama is allowing this to go on on both fronts. I feel it is demeaning to both he and Clinton. However, it seems that the double standard is alive and well here also.
I listened to the Rutgers team interview. These girls were demeaned by the comments. They do not understand why they were labeled, they want to sit down discuss this and put it to rest. After watching that interview I watched a quick video from a Spelman College class of Violence Against Women. Spelman is a traditionally black female school in Atlanta. Every woman in the class agreed that they had used this same comment about another person at some time. One student volunteered that when the word "ho" was used it violated gender; when "nappy headed" was added it violated race; if poor had been added it would have crossed an economic border. I agree, but wonder how the Imus comment differs from Mr. Oneal's - since both are public and attacking.
I do not intend any offense by this commentary. I do not assume to speak for Ed on this issue. I just think it is time for this to be said.

UPDATE: If anybody is interested in reading a really spot-on article by a black sports writer on this whole Imus thing, go here and read Jason Whitlock's take. You may remember him from his numerous appearances on The Sports Reporters on ESPN. I highly recommend this to you.


Axel said...

"How can we teach a new generation to trust and love each other, if they continue to hear bigoted comments from within their own heritage."

Fantastic coming from you, Ed! This will be hard to top, even for you.

For the record:
Bigoted (adjective) - utterly intolerant of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.

Ed said...

I think you misunderstand. This post belongs to Reid. I agree with him on this matter and will add my two cents worth later.

Reid said...

It is 11pm thursday. I have spent the day at the hospital with my father. He had surgery. I just have spent a few minutes perusing the internet to catch up on todays happenings. Imus was fired. Not news to those of you in the world today, but I am shocked. All day long, apparently, TV and radio has discussed nothing else. His comments were compared to rap lyrics and rap artists took him to task for using their language. I now have another reason to despise rap.I obviously missed many demonstrations and threatened boycotts. I still have yet to hear from a Rutgers player stating anything other than hurt feelings. I wish this country would have remembered the age old adage:
"sticks and stones can break my bones, but WORDS can never hurt me"!
Oh well, I guess its too much to ask for us to act like we expect our kids too.

Ed said...

Here are my thoughts on the Imus hubbub:

-What he said was stupid and hurtful.
-That he was addressing college basketball players(not NBA thugs) constituted the line crossing, not necessarily the words themselves
-MSNBC and then CBS firing him is part of the free market at work. He should not have been fired for any other reason. That sponsors were abandoning the show is a perfect example of the market at work. And look how fast it happened. Government censors could not work that fast.
-It was very weird to hear conservative Hannity arguing for his firing for moral reasons, and liberal Alan Colmes arguing for the free market approach.
-When we start censoring speech on grounds other than economic, open-market grounds, ALL speech is subject to subjective censorship forces.
-Emboldened by his wild successes this week, Al Sharpton may decide to attempt to fry bigger fish using the heinous Fairness Doctrine. He'll go after Limbaugh, Hannity, Boortz, Savage, Ingraham, and others who he deems use hate-speech every day on the radio.

dupree said...

Democrats just lost one of their biggest cheer-leaders in Don Imus. Ironically, it was the biggest Dem. (Al Sharpton) who got him fired with racial hysteria.

billb said...

Rhetoric like Imus's should be purged from the public discourse. Whether it's by the free market that Ed loves so much, employers who fear public scorn, or the government (FCC) exercising censorship in the public interest, matters not.

Ed said...

Axel commented earlier:
Fantastic coming from you, Ed! This will be hard to top, even for you.

I went back and read it several times before I realized it was sarcasm...weak, but sarcastic.

His comment can be taken only one way. That is that I am a bigot. Nevermind that it was Reid who posted it. Show me Axel, in any instance, where I have been bigoted toward any group.

Just because I criticize members of some group, doesn't mean that I am critical of the group identity. Despite what mind-numbed, group-think liberals like Axel believe, people are individuals first, regardless of their stupid group identity.

Seriously Axel, I'd like to hear from you.

Reid said...

I guess that puts me in the racist category as well, Ed. At least I have good company.

Ed said...

You and I understand Reid, that the terms "racism", "bigotry", and "hate speech" no longer mean what they used to mean. In today's hyper-politically correct culture, they refer to any idea the liberals don't want us to hear or that dilutes their liberal message.

Today it's Imus, tomorrow it'll be conservative talk radio, and the next day it'll be bloggers who find themselves in the crosshairs of liberal censors.

billb said...

Ed, one only need skim your screeds against Mexican immigrants to get the idea that you are uncomfortable with anyone who is not American. While not outright racist, it is at least xenophobic to rail against people who are simply doing what your white ancestors did 500 years ago, seeking a better life. I do NOT accuse you and Reid of bigotry or racism, but aggressively clinging to your culture in the face of coming change looks like white elitism.

paula said...

My question is just how delicate does society think modern women are? Remember the Virginia Slims add, "you've come a long way, baby"?
Just how far have we come when society gets the vapors when a more or less harmless old man insults us? Who cares for goodness sake? The way to handle insults that aren't worth reply, is to not reply.

Women are either strong, independent, resilient, and street-wise, or we're weak, simple-minded, fragile wall-flowers who need protecting by the patriarchal media. We can't have it both ways. Anyone notice that it's the women of Rutgers' basketball team who have whined the least during all this?

dupree said...

paula has a point. Certainly society should not tolerate racially hateful speech, but who is the judge of what is "hateful" and what is simply incendiary? The government? Al Sharpton? Jesse Jackson? None of the above is the answer. Society is the judge and by applying economic pressure to Imus's advertizers, society censored him appropriately, and shockingly fast.

billb disdains the "free market" Ed is always extolling, but the free market worked to get rid of something we as a society decided we didn't want to tolerate, and without government intrusion.

Reid said...

Paula: Good call! The women of the Rutgers team, after a few whines and moans, have kept quiet, accepted Imus' apology and have moved on. They have showed class and decorum. The outsiders, while asking for Imus' head, have acted poorly. Maybe they should have talked to the Rutgers girls before flying off the handle.

billb: In addressing your comment, I do not see a comparision to people coming to an unexplored and undeveloped land and that of the millions of illegals who stream into this utopia of modernism. Yes both groups wanted a better way of life. One for the pursuit of freedom, the other to leave for financial gain. The latter group has none of the love of country exhibited by the first group. I do not beleive in closing our borders to any person wishing to legally immigrtae here. I hope that we always cling to the hope that this melting pot of a country is the greatest in the world. I, however do not accept the fact that there are people coming here, illegally, stealing jobs, food , etc. from citizens of this country. Play by the Rules and I will advocate for ALL people to have assylum here.

billb: Since you continue to stereotype me, let me clue you in. I will be sponsoring a young woman from Costa Rica and her grandmother as they move hear this summer. I am already stocking up on supplies for them and hoping that they can move i9nto this country and love it like I do. I hope that they can adopt its ways and that they will make it a better place to live. I am not xenophobic. Please refrain from casting future aspersions.

billb said...

Reid, just because you are sponsoring this family, which I applaud, doesn't mean they don't have the exact same desires as a Mexican immigrant and his family. The fact that 99% of undocumented immigrants are Mexican is simply a matter of geography. If Costa Rica were on our border, they would be 99% Costa Rican, and you and Ed would be miffed that we were being "invaded" by Costa Ricans. Your fetish with immigration "rules" is a technicality when taken in context with the fact that millions of third-world humans are desperate to escape poverty and despair for a better life. The statue of liberty doesn't say "Give me your educated and wealthy", it says "Give me your tired and hungry".

Reid said...

billb: I do not seperate the desires of any of the immigrants that wish to move here. I seperate the legality of said moves. I have no problem with the Mexican people. Again, if you knew me, you would know that I regularly venture into Mexico on mission trips. I know those people better than most. I understand the abject poverty they live in daily. I would not choose to live there in those conditions. My heart goes out to them, and I am puting my time, talent and tithe where my mouth is. However, I must still uphold the laws of my country. I do not feel that it is acceptable to skirt laws on this or any issue. If any person (regardless of race, creed, color, sex or national origin) truly seeks assylum or a change of domicile into this country, as long as it is done within the legal bounds stipulated in the Constitution - then I am for it. I do not fear that. I fear American people willing to allow some unknown and illegal persons to create havoc with the framework of Democracy that the USA provides.

dupree said...

Mexicans invading America. The clash of cultures--isn't that what this Imus thing is about too? African-Americans feel free to use the most vile language to describe themselves and each other but, a guy, not in that culture, pays a severe price when he tries to say the same thing. Double standard? You bet. Why is it that if you or your ancestors were ever the victim of anything, you can say anything you want against another race and nobody cares? But if you are perceived as being in the powerful majority, you are held to almost impossible standards and heaven help you if you make a mistake.

Reid said...

Well said, Dupree!