Thursday, April 12, 2007

I wasn't going to go there....

Don Imus was fired from his radio talk show from the station MSNBC. During a show he was commenting about the New Jersey's Rutgers Basketball team calling them "Nappy Headed Ho's".

The conversation started talking about the Rutgers big win, when Bernard McGuirk, Imus' executive director, commented, "that's some hard-core ho's there." Imus replied "That's some Nappy Headed Ho's there". It was meant to be a joke. I can understand how being on the radio you are going a mile a minute and could say things in the heat of the conversation then go "shit did I just say that". Your live on air, can you take it back, no. Does that mean he should not have been He deserved the suspension. But it was the use of the word "nappy headed" that got him in trouble. It was okay for the executive director of the show to call them ho's. Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington got away with calling the gay community 'faggots'. Did he get fired...No! I guess the gay community doesn't deserve any respect or justice either.

I think because he was an old white guy with a cowboy hat, the fall out came alot faster and alot more damaging to him than would have someone of color. If the radio show host was black I don't think we would be having these conversations. There is a double standard. The fallout comes primarily through news outlets. Most people didn't even hear the context or inflection of the conversation. It was television that exploded the issue.

Al Sharpton, Reggie Jackson, heads of the NAACP and the Rutgers players have called way more attention to this than should be. Yes, as a talk show host, you have a responsibility to your public, but you also have free speech. It was meant as a joke, you could listen to it, and know it was a joke and not meant to intentionally harm anyone.
Last year's most critically praised comedy, Borat: won Sacha Baron Cohen a Golden Globe for playing a Kazakh journalist who calls Alan Keyes a "genuine chocolate face" and asks a gun-shop owner to suggest a good piece for killing a Jew.

As Imus pointed out, Al Sharpton is so quick to get him fired, but has Al Sharpton ever come out and apologized to the Duke Players that were prosecuted, judge publicly, and setenced before they even got a trial by Al Sharpton and others in the NAACP, for the alleged rape of a black stripper. They were released, charges dropped, and their lives ruined all because of a false accusation.

I hate saying it, but there is a huge double standard in America. I am sick of being labeled because I am white. I have been discriminated against because I am white. I have been punched for no reason by a perfect stranger in front of my 89 year old grand mother, because I was white. A woman in the African Museam in DC didn't want to help me because I was white, I have been called a white honkey, a white bitch. I had a gun pointed at my head by a black man in college and when the officer came to file the report, his reaction..."of course you would say it was a black man, your white in a black neighborhood, why are you even here". Most would never guess that my minor in college was African Literature or that my senior thesis was on African Tribal Ritual. My beliefs are assumed already because of the color of my skin. But the majority of my nationality is made up of some of the most historically racially prosecuted peoples.

I agreed with the suspension of Imus, his comments were insensitive and inappropriate. But to ruin the guy's career, over something that he really didn't mean to hurt or offend... I think goes a little too far. I hope CBS doesn't follow in the footsteps.

UPDATE: CBS decided to be pricks and get on the bandwagon and fired Don Imus. A man that is in the broadcasting hall of fame.
Wow. So when will Washington get fired for calling gays faggots? I guess that won't happen..he isn't an old white guy.


Jon Maines said...

I completely agree with you. The double standard in America is out of control. "Minorities" take advantage of every little thing they can remotely relate to as "racist". I mean hell, some people even get offended if you call them BLACK. Im not racist by any means, but I still think its funny how one little slip-up by a white person causes such a big ruckus, whilst a person of African decent can say whatever they please without fear of being criticized horribly for it. But thats the sad reality of America today, and I dont see it changing anytime soon. I dont have a problem getting in an argument about it. I'll say whatever I damn well please. I've served in the Marines next to plenty people of different races, and all of them were good friends of mine. But I guess ignorance is bliss for some people.

Jay said...

I get assaulted and made fun of because I am from Newfoundland and its done by white people, the same group I am from.

I think what's happening is a small percentage of white folk (past and present) are acting very inappropriately and the rest of us are paying for it.

For example I get slandered for being white because of whites and slavery. The fact is I am a Newfoundlander. We formed a colony in 1493. We were the first people other than natives to settle in the New World. In actuality we were dumped off by our British masters at the time and left to guard though everyone died year after year. In effect we were nearly slaves.

We have never had slaves or even took part in anything against anyone. Yet I feel ashamed sometimes for something my ancestors were never a part of.

Ellie said...

OMG!!!!! That was my brother Jon... I love you!!!! I am tickled pink right now..ya'll don't even know!

Ellie said...

I don't feel ashamed. I feel persecuted sometimes for the mistakes of our founding fathers. But I had nothing to do with that. My grandmother was born in 1900 and her best friend growing up was black. She got persecuted for it, but she didn't care. My family never partook in slavery. I didn't appreciate President Clinton's apology in my behalf.

Ellie said...

Snoop Dogg was quoted today:
"It's a completely different scenario. (Rappers) are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about hoes that's in the 'hood that ain't doing shit, that's trying to get a nigga for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain't no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them muthafuckas say we are in the same league as him. Kick him off the air forever."

Okay.. I can find several things wrong with that statement. More importantly, several things with his character and he has the gall to demand that Imus be fired. Point made.

BeckEye said...

Good Lord. I liked Snoop Dogg up until I read that ridiculous comment. So now we're getting a lesson in which women are allowed to be called "hos" and which men are allowed to call them that? What a bunch of horseshit.

Dick Small said...

You are RIGHT ON, Ellie!! The I-Man got a raw deal on this one.

RWA said...

Imus' downfall is undoubtedly at least somewhat a result of the sponsors who decided to pull their funds.

The dollar always.

Good points about Sharpton and his comments on the Duke lacrosse players, as well as Washington and his slur.

Variant E said...

You sure he said nappy headed ho's? I thought he said he was tired, needed a nappy, and headed home.

Ellie said...

you just made me day v/e

I almost pee pee'd myself I was laughing so hard.

Woozie said...

Excellent point on Sharpton and the Duke players!

Ellie said...

Woozie, I am glad you chimed in on the subject. You live in the same area as I and I would like to know how you feel on the subject. Maybe you could shed some light from the other side. I wouldn't ask, but I respect your opinion.

Do you think it was right that he was fired? And what do you think about Al Sharpton. I for one believe that he is a racist. I understand standing up for your race, but he does it by the personal condemnation and attack of another race. I think he is one of the most outlandish and crazy people I have ever come across. I have no respect for him b/c of his attacks.

Kiyotoe said...

I hope you don't mind me leaving my opinion, I found your place via lil' brother's page (a.k.a. Woozie).

Anyway, first off, let me say that my beef with Imus being fired is that the reason he's in the broadcast hall of fame, and was making tons of money is because of his "shock" appeal. It's not his sense of humor or his intellect. It's the fact that he shocks people with his outlandish behavior and over the top shows, a la Howard Stern. So for his employers to fire him for going too far while doing what they pay him to do, is a bit hypocritical. At least have the balls to stand by the guy that has made you so much money and don't bow down to corporate sponsorship and the pressure they put on you via Sharpton, Jackson or NAACP. You'd earn my respect more for making that kind of a stand CBS.

That being said, as a black man, I'm glad he got fired. The fact of the matter is that he went too far, he was doing the whole "shock, pushing the envelope" thing and he went one step too far and I understand that that's the risk you take when you choose such a career.

That doesn't excuse what he said. And I've had this discussion withseveral people, black and white at work who use the "rappers say it all the time" defense. My response to that is, so what. Two wrongs do not make a right. Personally it's crazy that Snoop would even try to justify the use of the word, just like I despise the use of the "N" word from anyone of any color.

My point is, it's all screwed up and it's all wrong but it sounds like too many people are getting caught up in what other people are doing. And in order to at least TRY to make a change then we have to start making examples of people. Unless people are afraid or uncomfortable with saying certain stuff, then they'll continue to say it. Forget about changing their views and opinions and prejudices because that, (in my opinion) is too deeply rooted in our society to ever change. But what we can try to change is our behavior.

You may think Imus got a bum deal but him getting fired will more than likely save a whole lot of other people their jobs.

Sorry if this got too lengthy. I usually avoid discussing race here in the blogosphere but you caught my attention over on Woozie's page and I got sucked in.

paz y amor said...

The point that everyone is missing is that people, regardless of their race, get fired from their jobs all the time for inappropriate words used at the workplace. I'm a teacher and if I got caught by a parent calling the girls in my class "Nappy headed hoes" I'd get the axe! As a real estate agent, if you called a Black client "Nappy headed ho", you'd be looking for a new client. Simple as that! I'm all for free speech but Imus got what he deserved because of what he said- AT WORK. There's a certain amount of decorum that folks in the public eye have to adhere to, especially people in the media and he should have known better- shock jock or not. If you don't like what Snoop says, don't buy his records (selling records is HIS job). Just like that sexy lunatic Ann Coulter who called John Edwards a "faggot". If you don't like what she has to say, don't buy and read her books. Lisa Lampinelli tells the most insidiously racist jokes I've EVER heard (she's funny as hell though), but again, she works for HERSELF and people have the choice to buy tickets to her shows or not. Imus is a completely different story because someone ELSE paid to keep HIM on the radio. Money talks.

I agree with you that Sharpton gets away with saying things, but like Snoop, Lampinelli and Coulter, he doesn't work for anyone but himself and thus, beholden to no one. Double standard? Maybe, but you know that America has always been FULL of racial double standards and contrary to popular belief, they don't always benefit Black folks. I'm sure you've heard by now of 14 yr old Shaquanda Cotton who was sentenced to 7 YEARS for pushing a hall monitor at school, but the same judge sentenced a teenaged White girl to PROBATION for burning down the family home. Double standard? Uhhhh definitely. Cotton was just recently released after a year in the can.

The point is that Imus' comments were tacky, racist, sexist and plain ignorant and his firing is justified. This issue isn't about free speech, it's about money. I'm sure he'll get a new gig somewhere else eventually, and all the bad publicity will make him more popular than ever. He might be a grumpily ignorant old fart, but his potential to earn money for some media outlet is too great to ignore, regardless of his faux pas. Money talks....

Ellie said...

I love the fact that you chose to comment over here. I am all about honesty.

So you say that it was right that he got fired, and someone needs to take a stand. But should it stop there. Should the likes of Al Sharpton just make a stand by getting people fired and not having to pay for anything he has ever said?

I hate the little dance Americans do when it comes to racism. It is more than getting someone fired and picking on the likes of a 'shock jock'...if you are going to set the example...set it higher.

I was watching a woman on television complaining that the broadcasting industry was a white mans ballpark. Well...the only way to change that is if more women and more Africans chose to go into broadcasting. I think that Sharpton is some what of a shocker himself.

So now what happens..? Imus was overshadowed by the weather in the news this weekend. Now that he is fired, is there no story, no lesson learned?

It wouldn't surprise me if Imus ended up on sattelite radio..that is where most of the shock jocks are going, b/c that is where sponsers don't matter. Sooo..where do we go from here?

Thank you so much for commenting. I do respect your opinion, and appreciate all that you have said!

Ellie said...

Paz.. I wish more people would do the talking instead of money.

My brother is gay and it seriously offends me when people talk about 'faggots' and such. What is hard is that people who don't know my background could talk and make gay jokes. It's hard. To know people hate my brother without even knowing him. Normally after all the jokes subside, I say..."I don't know about that, my brother is gay..." I hear a ton of apologies, but it doesn't make it better or easier. I can understand the Rutgers in that retrospect.

When it comes to the criminal system..I have no clue. I think that girl has the right to an appeal. And a better attorney.

My brother and I were talking about movements this weekend. He said the problem is the gay community doesn't have a leader. I said... "There is something to strive for"..he just laughed.
He said he hoped that the movement would be as hard as the black movement or the women's suffrage movement. Then he'd think we'd learn by now.

You would think.

Nicole said...

For me, as a woman I find his comments absolutely disgusting and disgraceful. I agree with alot of what Kiyotoe has said. Two wrongs don't make a right. These are young women that are on a college basketball team. Imagine how you would feel if a man in Imus's position called your daughter's "team" a bunch of ho's....never mind all the racial undertones as well.
I am glad that that disgusting pig got canned...perhaps it'll make others in your country pay attention that it is time to stop with the belittling for a bit of "fame".
It seems to be the big trend....Mel Gibson, Michael Richards

Nicole said...

ps...hey did you delete a certain post?

and incase you didn't notice I am officially back from my week off from HELL!!!!!! lol

Kiyotoe said...

Do i think the likes of Al Sharpton and/or Jesse Jackson get a free pass for the things that come out of their mouths from time to time? Absolutely not, I can be accused of being a lot of things, a hypocrite is not one of them. I believe strongly in accountability. I may not always do the "right" thing but I'm well aware of any consequences I may suffer when I don't. Everyone should be held to those same standards, Imus, Sharpton, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Rosie O'Donnell and whoever else.

I think it's really easy for us to say "set the standard higher" but in reality racism is so entwined in to the core of our society/world, that I'm not even sure we have the time or the compassion to do what it'd take to eradicate racism. If a woman believed that broadcast media is a white man's ballpark, well if she were correct then it's not as simple as more black people getting into the field. If there's a racial slant to it then it's hard to get in, even at the lowest level.

IF that were the case.

Now that Imus has been fired, yes, absolutely it will be come a non-story. As a member of the print media, I knew that once he got fired the story was dead. We went from discussing Imus 2 to 3 times a day and now it's gone. Except for the obligatory political opps (see: Hillary Clinton to visit Rutgers University Basketball Team).

I agree that Imus will eventually land somewhere, probably satellite radio and we won't know what he's learned if anything until he's on the air again. I guess it's really up to him what anyone gets out of this experience. If he jumps back on the air and gets worse then of course it comes across as him never doing anything wrong in the first place. Or at least that's how his listeners will interpret it.When people do "wrong" they show remorse at some point. If he fails to do so, (and I'm not counting the $$$ motivated apologies), if he doesn't show any remorse then all of this hoopla was for nothing and we're right back where we started from, if not worse.

Ellie said...

yes Nic.. I deleted it. I will email you and tell you why.

Thing about the Imus contra.. or my point...It has been going both ways for quite some time, but we can't have the double standard in America that says only one race should be held accountable.

I think what he said was wrong and I have never denied that..But he was the example...the executive producer didn't get fired and he started the whole Ho's conversation and said the word jiggaboo. (What is that anyway).

Ellie said...

kiyotoe...he already has done just that.. said that he was going to take the summer off, but that if he wanted a job tomorrow there would be one.

That was why they should of gone after someone bigger. I personally hope that Mel Gibson never breaks another movie record opening again. I despise him now.
And don't get me started on Rosie.. I can't stand her.

I wish that more people would look further than the color of our skin. When you look at me you see white, blond hair, blue eyes... but there are many different colors that make me who I am...and we all bleed red. I think that whites that are racist, are missing out on an entirely different culture a beautiful cultute. I think that others who are racist against whites, often misjudge us b/c we are white.

What you said about racism being in our core is correct. Maybe our newer generations will make that change. I will certainly teach my son to do so.

Hypersonic said...

Not having double standards, I'm behind CBS on this. The term was highly racist and highly inflamatory. Imus was wrong and so was his producer in his sexist expression of the Rutgers players. Then I believe that most Gangsta Rap is crap and sexist too.

Blogger said...

I have just installed iStripper, and now I can watch the best virtual strippers getting naked on my desktop.