The I-man Goeth

Today CBS announced that Imus in the Morning will be canceled. MSNBC had dropped the TV simulcast yesterday. Here at Vote Dorshorst, we enjoy a challenge every once in a while. So today, I am going to defend Don Imus.

Last week, the following was said during his radio show:
Imus: That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos,
McGurk: Some hardcore hos.
Imus: That’s some nappy headed hos there, I’m going to tell you that.

1. Imus (the I-man) has been singled out because he is an old white man, otherwise known as 'the man.' He is hardly the only person who has ever said 'nappy' or 'hos'. I do not believe that there would have been any reaction had any black entertainer said what he did. Like it or not, rap music has brought 'pimps' and 'hos' into mainstream usage.

2. A minor point: Imus' initial comment simply called them 'rough'. It was his producer McGurk who brought the word 'ho' into the discussion, effectively putting the word into Imus' mouth. Of course, this does not excuse him.

3. I'm pretty sure Imus was joking and was not seriously trying to convince anyone that the Rutgers women are prostitutes with dirty unwashed hair.

4. The remark has been labeled a racial slur, but it is not. It was a cultural slur. Granted, nappy headed is generally used only for blacks, but the discussion was not about them being black. I seriously doubt blacks being on a basketball team was any surprise to Imus. The discussion was about their appearance, specifically their tattoos. Imus was calling them thuggish and ghetto. I'm not saying that is any better, but that's what he meant.

The fact that many African Americans chose the inner-city thug life as their identity is a serious issue, but not one that can be blamed on Imus.

5. Al Sharpton does not speak for all blacks. He has never been elected ambassador of black America.

6. The Rutgers women's team needs to stop playing the victim. Now, while I'll defend Imus' right to say what he did, it was still derogatory. No woman should be referred to as a 'ho'. But there is no reason to get hung up on. As Imus said before he got pressured into kissing Sharpton's ass, people needed to relax about "some idiot comment meant to be amusing." The team made it to the championship game of the NCAA tournament; they should be celebrating that. If they don't want this issue to tarnish their season, as their coach has said, then they probably shouldn't be giving this the attention that they are.

Side note: if it weren't for Imus, no one would even know or care who won the women's championship game, much less who lost it.

7. Imus has since said that "you can't make fun of everybody, because some people don't deserve it." I disagree completely. Everyone is human, imperfect, subject to ridicule. Expecting to never hear a single negative comment from someone else is a pipe dream (sitting in a bar talking about how nice it would be isn't going to make it happen). Rather than banning free speech I would rather see people get over themselves and not get offended any time someone makes a disparaging remark. I hope someone now calls me ignorant, racist, or something similar so I can prove my point.

That all from me. Time has another look at the incident that I think is worth reading.

*Jason Whitlock has an article on this subject (HT to Erik at Hippie Perspective) that I completely support (although he is still no substitute for Wilbon on PTI).

*Phil Taylor from SI gives his take on how this should have been handled.

*Snoop Dogg tries to explain why he can be misogynist and Imus can't.

*And the last link. David Carr explains how the incident got to be the big deal it became.


Blogger Erik Opsal said...

The main reason why he was fired was because this incident was one of many in a long list. Here are some more:

On the New York Knicks: "chest-bumping pimps� the New York Crips."

On superstar Gloria Estefan: "this little Chihuahua-looking 'ho."

On serial gay-killer Andrew Cunannan: "Why are they bothering to catch this guy? He's just whacking off freaks!"

On Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a Native American: "The guy from F Troop."

On CNN's female anchors: "dyke-ie broads."

On media critic Howard Kurtz: "boner-nosed, beanie-wearing Jew boy."

He has a clear history of bigotry and this case, while I do see where you are coming from with some of your points, just adds to that long list. This is not satellite radio, comments like these do not belong.

12/4/07 21:49  
Blogger Erik Opsal said...

Two great columns from Jason Whitlock and Michael Wilbon.

12/4/07 22:33  
Blogger Erik Opsal said...

Hippie Erik, eh? You should look at the DC editorial today, I promise you won't be disappointed.

13/4/07 16:16  
Blogger Dorshorst said...

You named your blog Hippie Perspective. That's all I meant by it.

13/4/07 17:16  
Blogger Erik Opsal said...

Yeah I know.

13/4/07 17:44  

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