Apr 10, 2007

Don Imus and Slug-Brained Bigotry

Duct-taped mouth By now most of the electronically-connected world has heard the clip of Don Imus calling the Rutgers women's basketball team a group of "nappy-headed hoes". If you missed it, here is a brief excerpt of the inflammatory comments ("McGurk" is executive producer, Bernard McGuirk and "Rosenberg" is Sid Rosenberg from Sports Talk):

IMUS: So, I watched the basketball game last night between -- a little bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the women's final.

ROSENBERG: Yeah, Tennessee won last night -- seventh championship for [Tennessee coach] Pat Summitt, I-Man. They beat Rutgers by 13 points.

IMUS: That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and --

McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.

IMUS: That's some nappy-headed hos there. I'm gonna tell you that now, man, that's some -- woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like -- kinda like -- I don't know.

McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.

IMUS: Yeah.

McGUIRK: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes -- that movie that he had.

IMUS: Yeah, it was a tough --

McCORD: Do The Right Thing.

McGUIRK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

IMUS: I don't know if I'd have wanted to beat Rutgers or not, but they did, right?

ROSENBERG: It was a tough watch. The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the Toronto Raptors.

IMUS: Well, I guess, yeah.

RUFFINO: Only tougher.

McGUIRK: The [Memphis] Grizzlies would be more appropriate.
There have been, of course, many calls for Imus to be fired. Imus made several public apologies for his comments, although he added a bit of fuel to the fire with his "you people" gaffe yesterday on the radio show of the Reverend Al Sharpton.

I found the words of Imus to be offensive on many levels, especially in light of the fact that these are women who attend a prestigious university, and who have worked hard to excel both on and off the court.

While a good case can be made that MSNBC runs the risk of giving implicit support for racism if the company retains Imus, I think it would be best if people simply stop listening to the half-senile, word-slurring Imus, whose irrelevancy and bigotry is both pathetic and embarassing.

Advertisers would be well advised to pull the proverbial plug on this broadcasting buffoon, who has a long history of making similarly ignorant remarks while hiding under the coverage of "satire" and "free speech."

And - regardless of what MSNBC evetually does with Imus - this is an issue far greater than the racists and anti-PC wankers want to make it. When we as a society devolve to the point where we feel free to describe college-educated women as "nappy-headed hoes," I fear for our future.

Perhaps we should begin the cure by examining our own conduct. Imus is only a symptom of a larger social disease that diminishes human dignity for a few cheap laughs.


Evorgleb said...

If any of you care to read it, one of our writers over at Highbrid Nation worked with Imus over at WFAN for several years and recently chimed in on the whole situation. He also reveals some details that the media is failing to report on in regards to the suspension

Dariush said...

The fact that Imus is a foul-mouthed racist, and quite open about it, has been well-known in the industry for quite some time.

Why this particular comment became the straw that broke the camel's back I don't know. But if it becomes the reason for his being shitcanned then all I can say is goodbye, good riddance and it's about fu**ing time.

MSNBC has proven, time and time again, that they'll put any bigoted, foul-mouthed cracker on the airways, provided he can get ratings. I mean, Michael "Savage" Weiner? Come on.

Although, to be fair. It's not only MSNBC. CNN has Glenn Beck. And Fox has... well... if you take away all the bigoted crackers from Fox, all you'll be left with are empty chairs.

McCaskey said...

Oh, Dariush.
I agree with all you said, especially concerning Savage. I understand your opinions about Beck and the talking heads on Fox.
Must say, though, when you use the word "cracker" you put yourself in close proximity to some of those you criticize.
To me, any tossed-out, off-the-cuff slang term concerning someone's race is ill-advised.
You're a knowledgeable person and I enjoy reading your posts and opinions. You'd be best served to stay away from similar ill-conceived words as those you are critical of.

The Sarcasticynic said...

Maybe he said "Happy Wedded Vogues." Those who believe that the solution to the "Imus" problem is to simply turn him off are not considering one key point. Please visit "If you don't like it, turn it off" at sarcasticynic.blogspot.com if interested.


News Grinder said...

Imus should serve his so-called punishment now. The women of the Rutger's baseketball team should handle the fundraiser. I'll bet the dough would pour in. I don't mind Imus's ranch getting part of the money. He does good there. But postponing his penalty till after the fundraiser takes the punch out of it, what little punch there is.

microdot said...

I don't get to hear Imus very often. I saw him on cable TV the last time I was in the states and I could think of any number of ways to occupy myself than to listen to the mass of hot air expelled. I don't need to listen to a bunch of inflated egotistical white guys slap each other on the back and make lame jokes that revolve around insults and racial bigotry that are disguised as poliitical punditry.
I think Imus's biggest fault here was that he is just plain not funny.
The appeal of this kind of radio is that it seems to be an enabling factor for the average listener to feel it's okay to be prejudiced, it's okay to voice the darker impulses of your psyche...
It's like Howard Stern...listening to this stuff is like stuffing your head in the garbage can for a few hours a day...what does that accomplish?

MP said...

I have never listened to Don Imus in my life. In fact, before this thing went down, I was only vaguely aware of him. After this incident, of course, I still won't listen to him because I don't much care about what he and other shock jocks have to say. In sum, I didn't care about a damn thing that Don Imus did before, I don't care now, and I won't care in the future.

So can I bring up the question of what good it does to continue to plaster his face and his comments all over the media? Seriously, if it's true that Don Imus is, always has been, and always will be a racist, what exactly will change by plastering this story all over the media? Do we really expect this to change Don Imus?

Moreover, does it really do anything to cure the problem of racism to keep talking about this incident? Does it make society a better place to make an example of a racist? If anything, I think that it prolongs the embarrassment of the Rutgers basketball team to continue to bring it up. Notice that they didn't say anything until the boiling point of the story had been reached and Imus HAD to appear on Al Sharpton's show?

Some people believe that racism is a problem that will never be cured in our society. Some believe that it can be. I fail to see how prolonging this Imus mess helps anything.

Anonymous said...

What about the other guy? from the transcript:

McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.

This McGuirk used the "h" word first. He should be held just as accountable as Imus. They both should be reprimanded, possibly terminated.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Never patronize his show; life's too short...

maildad said...

you're right. These Imus comments are highly innapropriate. These are educated college girls, as you say. Demeaning discourse like this only diminishes radio broadcasting.
How is it then that rappers get to use words like these in their raps ? Is this a double standard?

Historychic said...

Imus's comments were inappropriate. However, what about Isaish Washington's use of hateful remarks against gays and lesbians? Washington was not fired from his job but Imus was? There seems to be a double standard in society where its ok to be bigoted against gays. Hate is hate is no matter who it is directed at. This double standard in society needs to be addressed.

Dariush said...

Washington was, however, forced to go through some sort of Stalinist psychological "social re-education" thing in order to keep his job.

I think Imus got the better deal.

historymike said...

The only group I think it is perfectly acceptable to stereotype and belittle are native Antarcticans.

These are some of the smelliest, most foul-tempered, and ill-bred people in human history.

A sample of my native Antarctican jokes:

Q: How many native Antarcticans does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: Two - one to insert the bulb, and the other to smear penguin grease around the socket to prevent the bulb from permanently affixing itself to the socket.

Q: What did one native Antarctican say to his friend on the ice shelf?

A. Nothing. With average temperatures approaching 100 degrees below zero, there is no talking outdoors, and most communication is done through hand signals.