Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hateful, But Probably Not Racist

I was going to ignore the whole Don Imus thing, but it is becoming impossible. The media is in full attack mode now and nothing will stop it until blood is drawn.

The problem is he was using language that has some acceptability in pop culture. The use of the term "hos" or "ho" is commonly used by the hip-hop culture. The question remains as to why a 60-something man would use the term in the first place. Of course Don Imus is not just anybody, he is probably the top morning on-air personality in the country and he is certainly in step with modern pop culture. His choice of words was poor, but no different than hundreds of other hateful statements he has made in the past. Can you be a bigot if you hate everyone?

Imus' stock in the trade is the insulting put-down. He attacks both sides of the political spectrum, he doesn't play favorites. He attacks everyone in the social order.

Mr. Imus plays to his audience and I think it safe to say that the vast majority of his listeners thought his statement about the Rutgers basketball team was funny. He knows where his money comes from.

The same thing can be said about Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, they too are playing to their audience and they must be outraged and demand retribution. Their problem is that they do not seem to be upset when African-American record producers and artists continue to use the terms; nigger, hos and bitches on records and at public events.
Either these terms are acceptable, or they are not.

The position that one group of people can use certain terms acceptably but another group's use is racist is by definition, racist.

It's time for some house cleaning and in this instance everyone's house is dirty.

Jim M
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

why would anyone care what al sharpton or jesse jackson think? MSNBC should have ignored them.

12:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your argument is that he listens to so much rap, his statements didn't really mean what they sounded like they meant?
I'm sorry, I've known too many biggots in the modern world, he is simply another. What happened was that he slipped. I believe he got caught speaking in public, like he normally speaks in private. I think he realalized it was a mistake right after he said it, and the other guy even tried to cover by saying something even more outrageous.
Now the term "nappy headed ho's" may or may not have been something he heard on a rap song and just found so funny that he started using for the end of many jokes, and here in lies the real problem, he finds these kinds of things are way too funny for a 60 year old white man.

12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Martin said...

I agree that racism can be a subtle thing but I disagree that Imus just heard something on the radio and it affected his subconscious. If you have listened to him then you know he keeps up with the industry.
The word "ho" is in common and acceptable use, it's wrong to call him a racist just because he's white.

1:12:00 PM  
Blogger Daniel DiRito said...

See a tongue-in-cheek visual of Imus and his newfound buddy, Michael Richards, hanging out and counting sheep...here:


1:41:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Martin said...

That's pretty good. There are a lot of creative people in the world. I wish I was one of them.

1:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

racism isn't a problem. there are no laws saying black peole can't do anything white people can't do. all this sanctimonius preaching about racism died in the 90's. get over it

3:31:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Martin said...

My take on this whole thing is that no one has the right not to be offended, but that seems to be what everyone expects.

3:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jim m- our culture has been taken over by punditry. If someone somewhere decided acorns were worth discussing, tomorow there would be 3 solid hours of acorn talk on talk radio.

There doens't ALWAYS have to be news!

4:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He called somebody's intelligent, talented daughters "nappy headed hos". That is NOT ok in any setting. It IS racist, hateful and ignorant and has no place here in the 21st century. He took away a glorious moment from those young women and turned it into something ugly and controversial. I am throroughly disgusted by his comments.

7:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt you really are.

3:09:00 PM  

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