I'm really surprised, to be honest, that there's been so much backlash against the Imus comments. Not that I think they were okay, but really, they were par for the course in his work: he makes horrible comments about everybody, Hillary Clinton in particular, which personally offend me . . . as a human being.
However, why is it that when he says something about African Americans, suddenly, the gloves are off and he needs to resign? Moreover, why are people not calling for the resignation of the CEOs of record companies who produce the most atrocious and vile descriptions of black women and others?
Witness the following outrageous comment by the guy with the ridiculous name: "Snoop Dog" or whatever on earth it is. Apparently Mr. Dog was asked about the comparison between his own voluminous toxic vitriol and the cranky comments made by Imus. MTV then transmitted his response:
"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 ho's 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 mutha-----as say we in the same league as him."
From my perspective, people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton legitimate this kind of cancerous attitude by ignoring it on the one hand and on the other hand by going after every (specifically) white person who steps across the perceived line. I simply don’t buy as a socially acceptable reality that it’s okay for Mr. Dog to abuse women because he’s a black man. The irony is, Mr. Dog is a hero to many (obviously unfortunate) young people and his lack of apology for being so misogynistic actually validates his perspective among his followers and fans, whereas at least Imus has publicly apologized.
It doesn’t matter whether we “think” Imus means it or not, it’s a social gesture to apologize publicly and it reinforces, publicly (!), that we as a society do not approve of such behavior. Yet by contrast we publicly accept Mr. Dog’s anti-social behavior. I think the bigger part of the guilt here should be laid at the feet of the self-appointed media-hungry leaders of the African Americans, people like Jesse Jackson. The reason: because they’re in the best position to do something about it, but they don’t. In fact, when a real Black leader, Bill Cosby, attempted to address this very problem, he was criticized as some kind of Uncle Tom by Jesse Jackson, et al.
So what is Imus really guilty of? He’s guilty of saying a lot of bad things about a lot of people. But up until now, no one really cared what he said or about whom. So why now? Because he said it about some black women. But then so does Mr. Dog. So what’s the difference? Imus is white.
Sounds like a real red-neck cliché, “guilty for being white,” I know. But tell me, if a black man can make a filthy rich living by uttering the most profane things about black women and not be censured, and a white man calls some black women “nappy headed ’ho’s” and is publicly humiliated and protested against, I have to assume it’s because he is white. And tell me, when the Black man’s rationale is “well, the women I call ‘hos’ are ‘hos’” clearly we are a LONG way from anything approaching a reasonable treatment of Imus.
If Jackson weren’t so racist himself (that’s what it’s called when you attack another person because of his race in an attempt to gain power over that person), and protested against ALL such unjust and anti-social behavior (specifically including that committed by such intensely ego-centric black heroes as Mr. Dog, and P something and Phat someone, et al.), then I’d be right behind him, supporting him all the way.
For now, though, it seems to me that this is a situation in which a few people who smelled weakness and saw a chance to promote themselves went after it with all the ferocity they could mount in order to prop themselves up in the estimation of those whose adulation they crave. This in itself is anti-social behavior (just ask Hitler how it worked for him).
Apr 16 2007 - 6:59am