By now you probably have heard at least a little bit about the comments radio shock-jock Don Imus made about the
What ever happened to free speech? Don Imus called the girls "nappy-headed hoes". It’s not like he used the "n"-word (which, it must be remembered, is said by more African-Americans than whites). Is expressing one's opinion no longer acceptable? Is joking, even in bad taste, no longer allowed? You ask me, this is making an aircraft carrier out of a schooner. People rushed to judgment about this so quickly.
Now, though, we have opportunists like the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson talking marches and revving up the country for race riots – that’s what they’re doing. That’s what they usually do – they don’t seem out for meaningful change. Any time they're worried people are going to forget about them, they manage to weasel their way back in. If I find it difficult to associate Rev. Al with anything but opportunism, that’s not my fault – it’s his.
It might be my particular problem with him, but I think in general he’s a counterproductive presence. I mean, you may have heard him some months ago railing about the fatal shooting of a black man by cops on the night of his own bachelor party in
Rev. Al and Jesse Jackson like to act as if they are this generation's Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks or Malcolm X – or all three rolled into one - when they are nothing like those figures...and never will be. It’s because they are the way they are, but also more because for all its issues,
Don Imus is no George Wallace. He's no David Duke. He’s no Howard Stern, either (Stern, at least, has had naked boobies on his show. God bless him). If Imus is worthy of any real opprobrium, it’s gotta be because of his hair. Talk about “nappy-headed”.
You know, it's too bad. The
And I don’t think that this undue attention on his comments is the fault of Imus himself.
Maybe since they'd just lost a national game they worked quite hard to get to, feelings at
Rutgers University has allowed Don Imus’s comments, made in jest, to determine the nature of what, years down the line, people will remember about the end of their season. That’s the last thing
If you ask me, if Don Imus must pay a price, get suspended and apologize, every rapper that has ever talked about shooting at cops or slappin' his hoes or bitches should be held accountable for their words too. None of this “it’s only entertainment” bullshit – not if it’s okay to vilify Don Imus but let 50 Cent off the hook. Don’t get me wrong – I like some hip-hop, to a certain degree.
But, but...if my saying "nigger" earns me an ass-beating, while Jamal gets a handshake or even a hug after saying the same word...that's wrong. Holding whites accountable for their words while letting blacks slide is…well, it’s racist!