Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Imus Overkill

By now I'm sure you've all heard about Don Imus' on-air blunder...he called the Rutgers women's basketball team a group of "nappy-headed hos" and was subsequently suspended for two weeks.

Now, I whole-heartedly agree it was wrong to refer to a group of female athletes as "nappy headed hos", and I guess (since white people can't really have "nappy" hair) it was a racially motivated comment (I have no idea whether the entire team is made up of Black women...)

Yesterday I heard a spokesman for the team say this incident "brought a lot of pain to the team members". Stuff like that always sucks away my sympathy. Should they have been angry? Yes! Be angry that he demeaned your womanhood, your talent, your hard work and reduced you to a bad-haired boy toy...but don't go the pain and suffering route. It just sounds disingenuous.

The fact is none of these girls have probably ever listened to Imus (I know I haven't and I'm older than they are) and probably hadn't even heard of him prior to this. I am quite sure there are hip hop lyrics out there that refer to all women as "nappy headed hos". I AM NOT sticking up for Imus or excusing his pronouncement...but I just can't jump on the "crucify him" bandwagon when rap songs and videos demean and demoralize women on a much greater scale than this statement. And Rappers are respected members of the Black community and icons to many young children, not some washed up old white dude that has no audience anyway...

"...We want to make sure he's no longer on the air," said Hazel Dukes, president of the New York State NAACP said in a phone interview Monday before the suspensions had been announced. "He's outlived his usefulness."

She added that Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP, will request a meeting with the presidents of both NBC and CBS. MSNBC simulcasts his CBS-owned radio show, "Imus in the Morning..." (source)

...When the NAACP has the same meetings with Jay Z, 50 cent and their labels, then I'll be onboard.

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