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.