Monday, April 09, 2007

Don Imus Under Fire - My Slightly Different Take

Are Black Civil Rights Elites Really Concerned About Their Young Black Women Being Degraded?

Don Imus has really caused a stir with his comments regarding the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. There is no good excuse for his “Nappy Headed Ho’s” reference used to describe the women.

Al Sharpton and others have come down hard on Imus (as they should) and are calling for Imus to be fired or resign from MSNBC. I agree with Sharpton that this kind of language should not be permitted over Federally sanctioned (taxpayer supported) airwaves. I couldn’t agree more. Which helps me build up to my point….

I support my fellow bloggers (especially the African American bloggers) up to this point in the discussion. Then we come to a fork in the road. I stayed at this fork in the road for a long time, debating which way I would go. Most of my fellow bloggers have chosen to take the route to the left, which comes down hard on Imus, calls for his firing or resignation, (and maybe calls the man a few deserving names)…and asks “How dare he call black women Ho’s”.. They support protests outside of the NBC stations, support boycotts, etc until Imus is fired. The Angry Independent is o.k. with that.
But then everyone goes home and lives happily ever after…. That seems to be the road most traveled in this debate.


Not So Fast Reverend Al, Jesse Jackson, Michael Eric Dyson!!!

Back at that fork in the road, I chose to go to the right. It was the road with no one on it…. This road leads to the Town of “Black Introspection”. The scenery along this road is clear. You see Black hypocrisy, and opportunist preachers …relics from the civil rights movement of 1 or 2 previous generations, who are desperate to keep their names and faces in the news. Every time one of these situations come up, there they are….taking the headlines.

But let’s put this thing into perspective. Here you have a White man, Don Imus, who utters the words “Nappy Headed Ho’ s” one time, and these “Black Leaders” want to send his ass to the gallows (Like Saddam). I don't know if he's a hardcore racist or not. His statements certainly could be called racist... Although he appears to have a track record of making comments that are out of order. I think the man is unbelievably ignorant for sure.

Sharpton has put this issue in the context of our Beautiful Black women should not be degraded and called “Ho’s” over the airwaves. O.k., fair enough, but in doing so, Mr. Sharpton and others have opened up a can of worms that they can’t put the lid back onto.

What I find strange in all this (and maybe I’m the only one) is that the so-called Black leadership seems to have selective amnesia on this issue. They want to scalp this man for saying “Nappy Headed Ho’s”? They want to do all of this organizing and protesting against this man??? When at the same time, within the so-called “Black Community” this kind of language, often from Black rappers, is par for the course. The use of the terms B*** and Ho’s, has become the standard for describing Black women. Not only that, but the rappers go even further and describe in graphic terms what they want these women to do (or what these women have done). And yes, this kind of sickness goes out over the airwaves via urban radio stations in Black Communities from Coast to Coast EVERYDAY!!!! EVERYDAY!!!! EVERYDAY!!!!

And even worse, the images that Black rapper thugs have perpetuated of Black women in rap videos is beyond deplorable. These images are 100 times worst than anything Imus did. His one offense doesn’t even come close to the severity or the frequency of offenses that Blacks perpetuate against other Blacks on a daily basis. No one has degraded people of color (particularly Black women) more effectively than other Black folks from the Rap/R&B/Entertainment world.

This is a very serious problem within the African American community.

When this kind of language is heard on a daily basis from often white owned (but Black operated) radio stations across the country-- playing songs that call Black women B****s, whores, etc…or that play material from rappers who are known to use this language and known to degrade Black women-- I don’t see the same kind of reaction from the so-called Black community. I don’t see the Rev. Al or Rev. Jesse Jackson reacting with the same kind of determination and vigor to get anyone fired or to have programs and stations taken off the air. The airwaves used by Hot 97 FM and the rest of these Cancers on the Black community are the same Federally regulated (taxpayer supported) airwaves used by Don Imus. The hypocrisy from “Black Leaders” could not be more striking.

I am still waiting for the protests of these Black urban radio stations that do this kind of thing EVERYDAY!!! I’m still waiting for Sharpton and his cohorts to demand that DJ’s and station managers be removed from some of these urban radio stations that push this poison EVERYDAY. I’m still waiting for Rev. Al to organize protests against BET, MTV and the record companies to get them to stop degrading Black women (and men) in the videos that they create and show. I’m waiting for the good Rev. Al to organize boycotts of the companies who peddle their products on the urban radio stations and on Empty V (MTV), and BET during the time slots when these kinds of songs and videos are being played.

Instead of coming out strongly against this kind of behavior, which is for the most part perpetuated by Black entertainers, the Black elite establishment (including the Civil Rights Royalty) has embraced this kind of nonsense. For example, Nelly, the St. Louis rapper behind the Tip drill video and controversy, was honored by the King family here in St. Louis just a few years ago (this was right after the Tip Drill Controversy heated up). The NAACP gives awards to these people every year….again, supporting the images and the messages that these rappers and entertainers perpetuate. The Black elite establishment is not really concerned about the image of Black women or the vile language that is used against them, otherwise they would not look the other way or condone it like they have been doing for so many years.

Just to be clear, I am not defending Don Imus. What he did was horrible. My point is, there are elements within the so-called Black community who do much worse than this on a routine basis, yet nothing happens to them…. They are not even mentioned for the most part. This kind of hypocrisy has to stop. If Black America is really concerned about the image (and the honor) of Black women then they shouldn’t start with Don Imus. If Black America is really concerned about Black women being called degrading names, then they shouldn’t start with Don Imus. If Black folks want to clean up the image of Black America and Black Culture, then they certainly shouldn’t start with Don Imus. They should start by looking at those within their own communities who are much more vile & more damaging than Don Imus, but who get away with their nonsense time and time again, because they are Black.

The so-called Black Community, and the Rev. Als and the Jesse Jacksons, should start by cleaning up their own house before burning down someone else’s. Maybe then, Black folks will get more respect. It’s much harder for Black folks to demand respect from those of other ethnicities (especially for Black women) when Black folks are not respecting their own.

Yes, let’s deal with Don Imus. But let’s not go home afterwards to live happily ever after as if this kind of thing is no longer a problem. It’s an even bigger problem within the “Black community”. So I hope these so-called Black leaders will be just as vigorous about dealing with this within their own community as they are now, when the target is Don Imus.



Watch/Listen to Hip Hop Critic Davey D as he talks about the "Clear Channeling of America" during a major conference on media reform, which was held in St. Louis back in 2005.

View the PBS Documentary Entitled "Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes (Scroll to bottom of page).

The Return of the Minstrels. Scroll to the Bottom and hear an interview with writer Lonnae O'Neal Parker. Also read her column regarding the problem of degenerate Rap music.

The Return of the Minstrels Part II


Story also reported at Rachels Tavern


Professor Howdy said...

Very good posting.
Thank you - Have a good day!!!

Anonymous said...

Great post. To Sharpton’s credit has as been speaking out against a lot of rap music for years. Also Imus has done of charitable work that has helped a lot of low income black kids.

Like you I am waiting for Sharpton to call for the end of every radio station that plays the music that says the same things that Imus said once on an hourly basis.

Vigilante said...

That Senator from Arizona, McLaime, McLame, McClame, McCant, McBlame, McStain (or whatever his name is) accepted Don Imus' apology and forgives him, so he must be okay.

Brian said...



Yeah, I was vaguely familiar with Imus's charity work for minority kids.

That's why I think he's more an ignorant white man (of which there are plenty who are TV and radio personalities) rather than a pure "racist". He's certainly no Limbaugh, Neal Boortz, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham or anyone on that level. THEY are racists to the bone.

I'm just amazed sometimes by how easy it is for boneheads like Imus to get radio and TV shows. It is yet another indication of how bad our radio/TV news media has become.

Ayatollah Mugsy said...

No one with a face like Imus' should belittle the heads of others.

Brian said...

LOL@ Mugsy!

Definitely a point that I should have mentioned.

Brian said...

I just saw Michael Eric Dyson and Jesse Jackson on Lou Dobbs, trying to make excuses for Gangster Rap.

They were trying to say that Rap music was a different situation and should not be held to the same standard.

I can't stand Michael Eric Dyson! Never have liked the man.

swillia84 said...

Excellent post! While I am one who hasn't been as hard on Imus (being a regular listener of his he is known for making insults towards every group on Earth, including his wife, just a part of the business), my take on his having to get on his knees in front of Al Sharpton is slightly different. How is Don Imus apologizing to Sharpton going to stop more young black kids from dropping out of school and having more and more children out of wedlock? I believe the black leadership today is ineffective, because they are not addressing the real problems facing the black community today, such as those. Check out Juan Williams' book "Enough", where he goes into all of that in detail.

Brian said...

Thanks Shaun,

And I agree.... Sharpton & Co. often waste their time chasing the wrong things.... not that the Imus issue is not important.... but there are more pressing issues.

And as far as Juan Williams is concerned...I am aware of the book... I actually covered Juan Williams and Bill Cosby here quite a bit.

There is a nice interview with him in the archives. You have to do a search.

Anonymous said...

Your point about Black Hypocrisy deserves much wider discussion. Chris Rock can go on national TV and say he will keep using the N-word, but if I were to say it once, I would be branded a racist.

No one here is a regular Imus listener, as I am. He is arrogant, egotistical, and sharp tongued. But he is sometimes funny and an equal opportunity insulter. I have heard him make fun of many different groups, ethnic and otherwise.

This time he picked the one group, blacks, that you can't get away with making fun of.

His comment was clearly meant to be strictly humorous. He is no racist, nor is he ignorant. He gets more out of the national figures that call in to his show than other interviewers. I don't like him, but he makes me think. Plus, I like his taste in music.

Anonymous said...

Radio host Don Imus, an entertainer and comedian, is being raked across the coals for a random racist remark.

That’s what the Media Ho’s at CBS, MSNBC, and CNN, would like you to believe.

In fact, Imus has been on their hit list for a long time. Read about the long-term attacks from for a repugnant look at a far left website.


Imus is a registered Republican, carrries a concealed weapon (legally, in New York City), and although plays the Devil’s Advocate perfectly, is in fact a — gasp! — Conservative who’s pro-life.

IMUS: “I used to support abortion — until I realized it was killing babies”.

IMUS TO JOHN KERRY: “Why not fill out the forms {releasing his Navy records] today, John?”

That’s the REAL REASON they’re picking on Imus. Imus is a CONSERVATIVE!

If it’s racism they want, let them start with Howard Stern, Snoop Dog and the rest of the ‘hoodniks.

Or Eddie Murphy, who’s movie “Norbit” contains some of the vilest attack on black women ever filmed.

Oh, wait — the liberals laughed at that film.

Here’s a sample from the review at

Nonstop sexually themed jokes and innuendo. Frequent gags about Rasputia’s sexual appetites and body (breasts set off car horn, cleavage is visible, bikini shows lots of skin, shots of nipples through clothes, she washes car in slow motion); pimps evaluate/disparage women and talk about “johns” and “bitches” one sexual scene shows a woman dressed as a chained slave and a man dressed as Abraham Lincoln; sexualized dance moves; sex game features “squealing like a pig” joke about adulterer’s erection; sexual allusions like “tap ya” and “power tap” several references to “titties” and “strip joint”/”titty bar” (to be called “Nippolopolous”); visual bikini wax joke (violent and sexual); joke about trying to “nail” a girl; romantic kisses between Norbit and Kate.

Abusive, mean-spirited bullies; blatant racial stereotypes prey on Chinese and Italian characters, African-American pimps, an overbearing African-American woman, and an elderly Caucasian woman; characters cheat, lie, and commit adultery; plenty of fart jokes and “gross-out” eating jokes.

I guess it’s better to have two hours of fat, racist black women jokes and Murphy in a fat suit and nappy wig than one 5 second remark from White Imus. — Al Czervic

Brian said...

Goldwater Dem,

I have to disagree with your assertion that this was just a harmless, humorous joke. If he wanted to tell a joke, why use the racial references? There was something more about this mans comment. And he's a sexist too.

I also have to disagree with your comment that he is not ignorant.
He definitely falls into the "ignorant" category for me.

What is he to you? A comic genius?

Brian said...

Mirror On America has been picked up by Slate...


Copy & Paste

Brian said...

I watched the Press Conference earlier today...and was impressed by these young ladies... although it was no surprise to me that they were so smart and inspirational... that was already known to anyone who was paying attention.

I also like how they understood that it was an issue bigger than them and bigger than Imus. They expressed and interest in standing up for all women of color and all women in general. They understand their larger symbolic role in this situation.

That's why I have been saying that this is bigger than Imus and has to be dealt with from that perspective.

I have to stand up against those who try to make excuses for the Rap Community.

Why shouldn't they be held to the same standard for doing far more damage than Don Imus on a daily basis?

This caravan of criticism & accountability shouldn't stop with Don Imus... We should drive this thing all the way to the doorstep of Hip Hop, urban radio, the record executives, the rappers, BET, and all the rest.

Anonymous said...

I had always listened to Imus, but was put off by his, and particularly his producer Bernard McGuirk's, offhanded comments about Black people. Yesterday I read that one reason McGuirk was hired was because of his ability to tell "..Nigger jokes." I hope they didn't tape the audition.
I agree completely about Jackson, Sharpton and Dyson. I saw Dyson on a special about the negative influence of Rap music. When the host asked him about the violence, misogyny, materialism, etc., he spoke for ten minutes about how all of this is in America. Do we need Trigonometry to figure out what 2 plus 2 is? How about a resounding "no, it's wrong"? I caught the NAACP awards show several weeks ago. Why award rappers? What happened to 'Advancement' in NAACP? (Then again, I could never understand why they showered awards on Michael Jackson when he obviously tried to physically distance himself from his presenters. Go figure.)

Sonya said...

The corporations that employ Imus are the same ones that promote the misogynistic and self-destructive images and characterizations of black people with the corroboration of sell-out rappers, comedians and entertainers.

NBC, CBS, et al, pay Imus to spew filth over the public airwaves. They like what he does because he appeals to a certain demographic that translates into dollars. Money overrules all, even basic decency.

Imus says what a lot of people think but are smart enough to keep to themselves, thereby inflicting their harm via stealth racism and misogyny.

He has a right to free speech, but he can't hide behind that right when confronted with the consequences of said speech. I'm tired of people using the right-wing phrase of "politically correct" as a slur to shoot down the notions of respect and consideration for fellow human beings.

I hope his wrinkled, unfunny ass gets fired, but I know that won't happen because racism, misogyny and downright cruelty sell, and Imus delivers that crap in spades, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Federally sanctioned (taxpayer supported) airwaves?
W.T.F.!! How is a privately owned radio or TV station using "taxpayer supported airwaves"?

Anonymous said...

I'm re-posting My comment from another blog I just left:

First, here's My "perspicion" (a word this brutha used on the evening news when asked his perspective)... Imus has every right to say what he wants no matter how racist, sexist, stupid or insulting it may be. BUT...when he abuses his right to the 1st Amendment in such a disgusting way, then dude gotta pay the piper. Plain and simple. Although MSNBC has now dropped his simulcast due to sponsors jumping ship, I hope that CBS drops his radio program completely. While I did not take personal offense (maybe I should have...I dunno), I was angry simply becuz he insulted young Black female collegiate athletes for absolutely no reason but to demean them. It was unwarranted, obnoxious, vile and hateful. Had he made nasty comments about Oprah (which he has), I wouldn't have been as angry for the simple fact that O has a platform for rebuttal. If Imus's comments hadn't received so much media attention, these fine young women wouldn't have had a chance at rebuttal or apology. I'm just salty about his target more than anything becuz he's picking on young women that have done him no harm in any way. If he was commenting negatively about Bush for this BS war and other numerous stupidities, then I wouldn't care becuz they'd be based on fact and have direct impact on US citizens versus a team of student athletes simply playing basketball. (And just for the record: Imus shouldn't be criticizing anyone's looks. Let's just make that clear.)

I appreciate Al and Jesse Jackass (yeah I said it) leaning on NBC and CBS. Now I think it's time they appoint a few cats to finish seeing Imus's removal all the way through while they focus their attention on misogynistic and homophobic music (gangsta rap and R&B). This is the time that W/we can actually get some serious stuff accomplished. I don't mean lean on the rappers and singers becuz that's a waste of time. They have the absolute right to say and write anything they so choose and W/we can't start banning words cuz then W/we will be limiting our 1st Amendment right. I curse and won't be told what I can and can't say becuz I carefully exercise discretion when speaking. Sadly, thinking is not a popular sport for most but since I do it frequently, I will not be challenged on My right to the 1st Amendment and nor should anyone else that speaks carefully. What should be done is this: Going after the media conglomerates and insist they stop playing music and videos that are degrading to women and the LGBT community. Lean hard on 'em and then lean on their corporate sponsors. When you hit mofo's in the pocket, they pay attention. I guarantee that those songs won't get played on the radio or TV when the loot isn't being funneled in. Simple: they gotta choose the booty they want, booty music or booty as in money. Then and only then will a difference be made. W/we can't change other peoples' perspectives or change the way they speak but W/we can change what the media conglomerates feature on their stations. Maybe then when these rappers/singers are getting material ready for their next release, they'll re-think their lyrics since they know BS will not be tolerated or put in rotation.

Brian said...


Yes... although Radio stations are private... the airwaves that they use are public. For an analogy, think of it as a traffic system- your car is private... but most of the roads you use are public roads.

Those airwaves, in order to work properly, are regulated by the FCC under the legal authority of the U.S. Congress. The FCC sets standards regarding what can be said over the airwaves, they assign frequencies, regulate spacing between frequencies, regulate equipment & power of that one source doesn't drown out or interfere with another, and they regulate everything from local police radio systems, to small community radio stations, to larger radio and TV stations. If there were no FCC or government regs.... it would be like running a large traffic system with no stop signs or traffic would be chaotic. The FCC also provides guidance and support in terms of maintaining the nations communications infrastructure... for instance, the government has to be able to communicate with you in case of emergency... they do this with the EAS system and other services.

All of this regulation and support costs money...which comes from the taxpayer....allocated via the Congress.

Brian said...


I could not agree with you more about Dyson. I am glad that I am not the only one who sees this nonsense. The man is an apologist for some of the main offenders in Hip Hop.

And the NAACP awards are a disgrace. They should be holding folks responsible rather than rewarding (and reinforcing) their behavior.


Your words are on target.

"I hope his wrinkled, unfunny ass gets fired, but I know that won't happen because racism, misogyny and downright cruelty sell"

Well, it looks like NBC didn't waste much time on this one. The pressure was just too much.

I never really liked Imus and have noticed him speaking out of order before.

I just wish that this same effort is repeated for those who have been even bigger offenders.


I think we finally agree on this issue :). Good plan also...

*(I think i'll check with the weatherman to find out what the weather conditions are in Hell)*. LOL

Anonymous said...

What a great roundtable you've created with this posting. As a girl with hair that gets nappy, I have to admit that currently I am more offended by the angry black bandwagon than I am by the Imus comment. He never should have said that and it was an incredibly stupid thing to do but he has gone on to apologize and stepped up to the plate like a man to accept the consequences of his actions. Yet, for these guys it's not enough and will never be enough. As a people we'll never get anywhere with publicity grubbing mouthpieces like Sharpton and Jackson beating the living daylights out of extremely double-standard issues within our community. They don't speak for me and never will. They should seriously all stop talking because this nappy girl is tired of hearing them whine.

Anonymous said...

I think W'we've always agreed to some extent. The difference was that I singled out gangsta rap and you lumped the sub-genres of hip hop as one, which I didn't think was particularly fair to the Coups or De La Souls of the world. But I gotta admit, the harmony is kinda creepy. As for that weather in hell...

Ross Jeffries said...

Let's get this straight: Don Imus sucks. Don Imus is an ass.

I never liked Imus. I always considered him an odd mix; Rush Limbaugh humps Howard Stern humps Soupy Sales(I loved Soupy Sales).

His comments about the collegiate women's basketball team being "Nappy headed ho's" were tasteless to say the least.

But is it all really cause for such utter activist(read: publicity whores) outrage?

C'mon people. We've got 3500 dead and a TRILLION DOLLARS(thats a thousand BILLION) down the tubes in Iraq with no end in sight. Our civil liberties are being eroded. I'm personally about to write a check to the Federal government for 1/3 of my income to fund the Pentagon massacre machine. Tens of millions of us have no health care, are afraid to walk the streets, we have no sense of community left(other than when huge lumps of loosely conglomerated people get together in sporting events)(or Myspace, a poor substitute for real flesh and blood gathering).

The American empire is awash in debt and sinking in a sea of red-ink, spilled blood, and religious fun-dumb-mentalism such that the President veto's scientific research that he deems to be anti-Biblical.

I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.


Excuse me, but is the lesson we want to teach our young people that THEIR FEELINGS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THEY POSSESS?

Or is it their vision, their will, and their ability to say, "That's nice, that old fart thinks that, but who gives a fuck? I'm gonna go win this championship and that lard-ass white-man can enjoy his testicular atrophy?"

I am disappointed that not ONE of those girls or ONE of their parents said, "Uh, excuse me, but life is a rough game and we are not babies. I don't need anyone to protect me but if Mr. Imus wants to say that shit to my face, he can bring it on."

And does anyone REALLY believe that the Al Sharpton's are REALLY that outraged? Or are they turning it on for the cameras so they can position themselves as champions and protectors to further their own personal career ambitions?

What would be a fitting punishment for Imus?

Make him write 1,000 times, numbering each one individually:


Calling young women "nappy headed ho's" is insulting. But treating them like they are 3 year olds who need to be sheltered from the cruel words that can be spoken in a cruel world is insulting their ability to handle life.

And distracting the American people from the REAL issues that ought to legitimately have us all so outraged that we are marching in the streets is playing right into the hands of people who are far more hateful than Imus could be in his worst moments.

Ho's my ass.


Anonymous said...

Sandworm... I gotta tell ya that I think you bring up many valid points; however, EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING. That 360 degree thing is more than just a circle, Mi amigo. A direct correlation to the war in Iraq? Nope but the Imus situation illustrates yet again how money is used and misused in the US. It also illustrates how citizens can make a difference if they stop being whiners, speak out to the white shirts that count and be proactive versus being reactive. Those illustrations can work in more than the Imus situation and should be put into effect. (I know I'm dreaming there cuz so many Americans are lazy and don't like thinking so acting is going way beyond the scope of reality for most.)

This Imus thing is about more than "hurt feelings". I gotta pretty thick skin so I understand your points but while this Imus debacle isn't the most serious issue in America today, it should not be overlooked. One of the themes here (I think) is teaching O/our young people about respect and restraint in language. No one's free speech should ever be taken away but learning about appropriate venues for certain remarks is obviously a hard concept for some to grasp.

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackass are indeed media whores and in no way speak for Me as a Black American, but W/we can benefit from *some* of the things they do (even if they do it for their own narcissistic reasons). In regard to some music, they have shown that if W/we lean on the right folks (radio & TV stations and their sponsors), the Black community can turn some BS around. I'm not sure of your race but Black America is indeed a serious concern for Me.

I take nothing away from you. It is the war. The war and so, so, SOOOOOOO many other things as well. That's why I love A.I.'s blog title. Put the Mirror On America and show how fucked up W/we really are on numerous levels. If W/we don't get to look at O/ourselves and see ALL of what W/we're doing wrong, W/we'll never get it. BE peace, Brother Sandworm.

Anonymous said...

The terminology under fire (nappy h*'s) was WRONG when rappers used it and it was WRONG when Imus used it.

SEVERAL Black leaders (Jackson & Sharpton included) have STEADILY protested negative rap lyrics ever since the early 90's, back then it was outrage against NWA & 2 Live Crew. To this day Sharpton still regularly speaks out against it - but whites don't pay attention because until now it didn't affect them.

As for Dyson, he needs to stop apologizing for negative rap - he sounds super dumb for doing it. But if you think this is the first outcry from blacks against this kind of language. Check your facts & check yourself.

Anonymous said...

I would like to Amen that last writer who alluded to Sharpton's consisten crticism of negative hip-hop that the mainstream media has ignored. You can find a list of his specific language right here.