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JStuart
04-10-2007, 06:29 AM
Do you think the 2-week suspension is appropriate? Do you think Al Sharpton is correct in calling for his job? Or what?

Channing
04-10-2007, 08:25 AM
this is something that has really been bothering me - in no way do I support what Imus said. However, and PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong, but didnt Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton call out the duke Lacrosse players for being racist? Have either of them ever apologized now that it appears the only crime that was committed was the stripper lying to the police? Have either of them come out and said that she was out of line for lying? Even if Jesse and Al didnt say anything, they further divided a community - have they aplogized for that?

On a more personal note, has Jesse Jackson ever aplogoized for referring to Jews as Hymies, or NY as Hymietown or any other of his history of masked anti-semitic remarks?

Highlander
04-10-2007, 08:40 AM
It's a double standard for sure. There was a post a few weeks ago on the whole PC movement (by McGrupp maybe?) talking about how the purpose of the PC movement is not to find truth, but to create a victim and assign blame. Here, the people making the most noise around this aren't the victims, they are there to exploit this controversy to get their agenda across.

And these individuals will do everything they can to keep the focus on how much of a racist Imus is to garner as much sympathy as possible for the victim. Yes it was a stupid thing to say and yes it was entirely uncalled for and undeserved for the Rutgers team to be insulted like that. I hope Imus has learned his lesson. A suspension may be warranted, and will probably help appease the mob mentality out to get Imus. But I think it should end there. No more firings, no more boycotts, no more demonstrations.

Jfrosh
04-10-2007, 09:59 AM
Flipping around the radio dial listening to the "Shock Jocks" or "Morning Zoos" I hear a lot worse. What Imus said was wrong and he should be called out for it, but it is not on the level of termination. Imus, being on MSNBC is supposed to be more conservative than these other shows, but listening to these shows you know that they are going to test the limits of the 1st Amendment.

Bostondevil
04-10-2007, 11:01 AM
We expect a lot of frat boy - locker room mentality from Imus. It's what's gotten him his job and probably why he's kept it. Folks tune in, I'll hazard a guess that his listenership is overwhelmingly male, but still people listen.

What, IMHO, makes this instance different is who he went after. It's one thing to make remarks about Serena Williams, she's well paid and at this point probably used to public scrutiny. This attack was one the attractiveness of the Rutgers' women's basketball team. They aren't professionals, they are probably on scholarship, but they are not even a college program that garners much attention. How much have they even been on TV? Do their games sell out? I don't know. Perhaps they do but I'm going to guess not. I'm sure their season competes with New York sports teams for coverage in the local paper. Overall, what I'm really trying to say is, they aren't fair game. Black, white, doesn't matter, these women are not fair game. I'd put going after them in the same category as going after JJ's sisters. It's completely unacceptable, even in the context of shock radio, this is out of bounds. It's bullying of the worst sort.

The Gordog
04-10-2007, 11:21 AM
this is something that has really been bothering me - in no way do I support what Imus said. However, and PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong, but didnt Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton call out the duke Lacrosse players for being racist? Have either of them ever apologized now that it appears the only crime that was committed was the stripper lying to the police? Have either of them come out and said that she was out of line for lying? Even if Jesse and Al didnt say anything, they further divided a community - have they aplogized for that?

On a more personal note, has Jesse Jackson ever aplogoized for referring to Jews as Hymies, or NY as Hymietown or any other of his history of masked anti-semitic remarks?

I don't think Rev. Al has ever apologized for anything, but I do recall that Jessie apologized for the hymietown thing - could be wrong but that's my recollection.

rthomas
04-10-2007, 12:03 PM
Imus screwed up. And in a big way. He should probably be fired.

OTOH, I often play pickup with several black guys and occasionally several black women. And there has not been a single time have I not heard the black guys and women call each other alot worse racial epithets. They have even called me names too. It's seems to be part of the black culture to call each other derogatory names.

I am not a great supporter of Sharpton or Jackson, but I appreciate the effort these black leaders, like Sharpton and Bill Cosby, are doing to try to get black people, especially black entertainers, to stop using these racial epithets and set a good example.

gus
04-10-2007, 12:08 PM
I don't think Rev. Al has ever apologized for anything, but I do recall that Jessie apologized for the hymietown thing - could be wrong but that's my recollection.

Why is that everytime a white man says something racist, people always bring up Sharpton and Jackson? I realize they put themselves out there calling for opprobrium, but they are not usually the only two calling for apologies. Yet somehow any criticism of a racist like Imus is always met with "yeah, well Imus should apologize as soon as Sharpton apologizes for Tawana Brawley!". How far does that queue of required apologies go? Should David Duke and every other KKK member have to apologize before Sharpton apologizes? What Imus said is despicable independent of Sharpton's past.

But should Imus be suspended? He's a racist idiot - it shouldn't be a surprise when he says stupid things. If that's what his listeners what, why can him? Granted, it would be a sad commentary about how little progress the US has had, but getting rid of him won't fix that.

Here's a good op-ed from another target of Imus's idiocy:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/opinion/10ifill.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Duvall
04-10-2007, 12:28 PM
So what would you have Imus do?

I guess "stop making racist comments" is too much to hope for.

Channing
04-10-2007, 12:39 PM
Why is that everytime a white man says something racist, people always bring up Sharpton and Jackson? I realize they put themselves out there calling for opprobrium, but they are not usually the only two calling for apologies. Yet somehow any criticism of a racist like Imus is always met with "yeah, well Imus should apologize as soon as Sharpton apologizes for Tawana Brawley!". How far does that queue of required apologies go? Should David Duke and every other KKK member have to apologize before Sharpton apologizes? What Imus said is despicable independent of Sharpton's past.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/opinion/10ifill.html?_r=1&oref=slogin


I agree with your basic point, but I will say, that if David Duke starts calling for African Americans to apologize to white people then yes, he should first apologize. Wouldnt it be silly for him not to, if he were serious. As the saying goes - let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

tux
04-10-2007, 02:57 PM
I think the answer to your first question is: because Sharpton's and Jackson's mugs are planted on the TV screen every time something like this happens. Are they tireless crusaders for minorities or unabashed opportunists? I think most reasonable people tend to think the latter. (But I understand your annoyance; I agree that what Imus said should be judged independently from the past transgressions of Sharpton and Jackson --- I guess most would just question those two's moral standing to lead the charge, so to speak...)

The caricature that you paint of Imus ("racist idiot") does not IMO describe his radio/TV show. A week removed, I hate to stick my neck out and defend the show --- but, frankly, I find it of much greater value than almost anything on TV in the morning. He interviews authors, musicians, politicians, journalists... and he's a great interviewer. He's irreverent and his guests often make news b/c Imus prods them more than most. Yes, the humor on the show pushes the boundaries --- for example, the stuff they've done on Ray Nagin (mayor of NO) is probably worse than what was said last week. The producer of the show does a bit as a catholic cardinal (with a Fed-ex envelop on his head) that is very raw. But for every stretch of air time devoted to "humor", there's 5 times as much substance.

In short, I find it a good mix, and much more enjoyable than watching Matt Laurer interview Paris Hilton or talk about another teacher who's had sex with their student, or whatever. I don't think I enjoy his show because I enjoy hearing racist comments (speaking to your implication that that must be what listeners want to hear), but the show does skewer people broadly.

ehdg
04-10-2007, 03:08 PM
I think we all agree that Don was wrong. Personally I don't think he meant what he said. He was trying to make a joke, all but a very bad one. He does a lot of giving back to different charities. We all at times have made mistakes/bad jokes it's just we don't do it in front of a national audience like he did. Should be fired, NO! Reprimanded or suspended possibly. But I do find it kind of hypocritical the two loudest folks speaking out against him are Al Sharpton and Rev. Jess Jackson. Here's two men that have made many a mistake and never owned up to any of them!!

DevilWolf
04-10-2007, 03:35 PM
To answer the first question, his punishment fits the crime. However, I would hope that he (or his PR people) see an opportunity to help his image by doing community service, speaking appearances, donating money, etc. to help charities geared towards the advancement of black women. What goes comes out of it if Imus gets fired? Another week of attention?

That brings me to my second point, which has to do with the so called "leaders" like Jackson and Sharpton and others. My problem with them is this ... while they cite all the time that white people conspire to block the education of black people for the benefit of the white race, who benefits more from ingnorance among the black community than these "leaders"? It makes me sick how people disguise themselves as advocates of the black community, and then take advantage of them with every chance they get.

mapei
04-10-2007, 04:13 PM
I think Jackson and Sharpton are sincere and I think both have paid dues. I don't mind if they have the standing to get on the air and call out someone like Imus; they have become celebrities, and that's who people want to watch on TV. I admire a lot of what Jackson has done.

They also go over the line and are too knee-jerk.

But not in this case. I like Imus OK, and used to be a regular listener. But this time he went way too far. I don't want to be in a society where this is acceptable speech. Fired? Probably too extreme. Two weeks? Not enough IMO.

JasonEvans
04-10-2007, 05:00 PM
Imus should lose his TV show. Let him stay on WFAN. Shock jocks are common on radio. But he should not be on TV every morning.

That would be a proper punishment.

As for whether CBS radio would continue to sydicate his radio show, I don't really care. I think many stations would chose to drop it anyway.

-Jason "Imus has been an old-school sexist, biggot for a long time -- he just got in deeper than usual this time" Evans

A-Tex Devil
04-10-2007, 06:50 PM
Imus should lose his TV show.

He may not have a choice. People are cancelling on him in droves. Can't have a show if you can't get guests, and he's gonna lose his connections to regular guests like McCain who cannot afford to show up on his show anymore.

If MSNBC is cool with second tier guests, maybe it will survive, but I think the cooling off period to when top tier guests are gonna want to do Imus again may be too long for MSNBC to wait.

TNTDevil
04-10-2007, 07:14 PM
First things first, Imus is not a racist. He made a racist comment while attempting to be funny. He went way over the line but, that does not make him a racist. It's not like he went "Michael Richards" on the Rutger's ladies.

I've listened to Imus every morning for the last nine years and while he can be, at times, stupid, sophomoric, redundant and borderline tasteless he is NOT a racist. His ranch for kids with cancer does not discriminate. He aggressively promoted Harold Ford for Senate. His work for the Tomorrow Children’s fund, the Intrepid Fallen Hero’s fund and much more tend to indicate he has a good heart if not the biggest brain. So he may be many things but, racist is not one of them.

I also disagree with the lumping Imus in with other “shock” jock morning shows. As was stated earlier, Imus tends to interview serious power players in the news and politics and can often get them to provide more information than other “interviewers” can extract. His audience included many of the people in power positions in our government and media. Are there bits on the show that can be a bit racy- Yes. Are some of “Cardinal Eagan’s” comments outrageous- absolutely. But for the most part the show aims much higher than the “morning zoo” type shows.

What I can’t understand from this whole brew-haha is how does someone like “Reverend” Al Sharpton, who was a major player in the Twana Brawley hoax, and whose run for president was nothing more than a sham to allow him to use campaign contributions in order to live the “lush life” still command a public audience? I mean for crying-out-loud! Sharpton’s role in the Brawley scandal was to blame a completely innocent man of some very heinous crimes and, once the whole thing is proven to be a huge fabrication, Sharpton makes no apologies what-so-ever! (Sounds kinda’ like the LAX case, eh?)

Imus tried, six days ago, to make a lame, outrageous joke and a racist statement came out, he’s apologized at least 50 times and people want him to lose his job. Sharpton promotes and demagogues a bogus scandal and comes out without a scratch.

IMHO, with leader like Sharpton and Jackson, the black community is being ill-served and has more to fear from their leaders than “whitey”.

Even if Imus were to be fired (which will not happen) how long do you think he would actually be off-the-air? Two minutes is how long, some other cable outfit for XM or somebody would hire him in a New York minute. How much punishment would Imus firing provide?

JasonEvans
04-10-2007, 07:47 PM
He may not have a choice. People are cancelling on him in droves. Can't have a show if you can't get guests, and he's gonna lose his connections to regular guests like McCain who cannot afford to show up on his show anymore.

If MSNBC is cool with second tier guests, maybe it will survive, but I think the cooling off period to when top tier guests are gonna want to do Imus again may be too long for MSNBC to wait.


Giuliani said today he would continue to appear on Imus' show. Still, I think you are right that many guests will not appear on his show. Anyone to whom the black vote is important (ie: Democrats) will not want to be seen as sympathizing with him... at least not in the short term.

-Jason "MSNBC has a problem because Imus' show was very cheap to produce and filled a huge block of time for them" Evans

tux
04-10-2007, 07:53 PM
Jason, you're way off base here; a lot of people are weighing in who seem to have no first hand knowledge of Imus' show.

mapei
04-10-2007, 08:44 PM
Apart from the cheap shot at Jason, how does the fact that Imus's show has a serious component make his remarks less objectionable? Arguably it makes them worse.

A-Tex Devil
04-10-2007, 11:35 PM
The local afternoon radio show made an obvious statement about all this tonight, although I'd never really thought about it before:

When a white male says something derogatory/controversial about women or another race, and the only ones that are saying "things are getting blown out of proportion" are white males, there is likely a problem.

Not to say that this particular situation is or is not getting blown out of proportion, but, Sharpton and Jesse Jackson aside, other people who are not white males are upset, and that's a pretty key thing to remember.

gus
04-11-2007, 01:19 AM
First things first, Imus is not a racist.

I have a small sample size to work with - I don't listen to him. His comments about Ifill and now, several years later, his comments about the rutgers women, don't really help support your assertion.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/07/arts/television/07imus.html


And in 2001 he took a pledge, guided by the Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, to refrain from making further racist comments on his program.

Someone who "is not racist" shouldn't have to make a pledge to refrain from making racist comments.

If it quacks like a duck...

TNTDevil
04-11-2007, 06:06 AM
I have a small sample size to work with - I don't listen to him. His comments about Ifill and now, several years later, his comments about the rutgers women, don't really help support your assertion.

Someone who "is not racist" shouldn't have to make a pledge to refrain from making racist comments.

If it quacks like a duck...

Two comments, both intended to be humourous (but missing the mark), over 30 some years... yeah, he's a flaming racist. What about the other examples I cite, the ones you chose to ignore?

gus
04-11-2007, 07:47 AM
Two comments, both intended to be humourous (but missing the mark), over 30 some years... yeah, he's a flaming racist. What about the other examples I cite, the ones you chose to ignore?

Whether his racist comments were intended to be humourous does not change the fact that they are racist comments.

The fact that he had to take a pledge to stop making racist comments would seem to imply that he's had more than the two cited. That he had to make this public pledge surely must say something to you... and the fact that even *after* making that pledge he continues to make bigoted statements is even more damning.

As for your examples... well I'm not sure how supporting children with cancer refutes the notion that he's racist.

Supporting Ford- well, okay. People are complicated. Please forgive the cliche, but it's never black and white. I guarantee that Ford has support from other white racists as well. I don't know Imus's politics, but I imagine he supported Ford because they take similar positions on issues, and not because Ford is of african descent. My guess is that Imus agrees with his position on federal funding for stem cell research (pro), and based on the fact that Imus has also been criticized for repeated homophobic statements, his position against equal rights for gays.

feldspar
04-11-2007, 08:04 AM
I have a small sample size to work with - I don't listen to him. His comments about Ifill and now, several years later, his comments about the rutgers women, don't really help support your assertion.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/07/arts/television/07imus.html



Someone who "is not racist" shouldn't have to make a pledge to refrain from making racist comments.

If it quacks like a duck...

I would assume that with such a small sample size, you have no basis for passing such a sweeping judgement on a person. He made racist comments, yes, but I think you're over the line in calling him "a racist." You don't know Don Imus. I don't know Don Imus. None of us probably do.

I can think your comments are foolish, but that does not give me basis for calling you a fool. Why? Because I don't know you, gus.

The hyperbole being spewed forth as a result of Imus' hyperbole strikes me as incredibly ironic.

gus
04-11-2007, 08:26 AM
I would assume that with such a small sample size, you have no basis for passing such a sweeping judgement on a person. He made racist comments, yes, but I think you're over the line in calling him "a racist." You don't know Don Imus. I don't know Don Imus. None of us probably do.

I can think your comments are foolish, but that does not give me basis for calling you a fool. Why? Because I don't know you, gus.

The hyperbole being spewed forth as a result of Imus' hyperbole strikes me as incredibly ironic.

Well, I tend to believe that hyperbole will save us all. But your point is taken- I don't know Imus personally. I don't know that he's *actually* a racist. All I know is that he repeatedly makes racist statements, even after pledging not to. Whatever his motivation is, the results are the same, and I'm not sure a non-racist idiot spouting racism is any more deserving of respect.

JasonEvans
04-11-2007, 08:41 AM
My point would be this--

I don't care whether Imus is or is not a racist at heart. I don't care whether he does good things outside his radio program.

What I care about is that he has repeatedly made racist, biggoted remarks on his program. He's been warned about it in the past and has pledged to stop. Clearly, he has not stopped. Whether Imus believes what he says, his mean-spirited racist comments are not suitable to be broadcast to the masses. There are people out there whose own beliefs are affected by what they hear from someone like Imus. Racists hear Imus and think it is ok to feel that way. People who don't have clearly defined views on African-American women may hear Imus and be tilted a bit toward opinions that are destructive to society.

Look, you may say I am overreacting or whatever, but there is at least some real-life impact behind what Imus says on his program. MSNBC and CBS should not continue to allow this man on their air.

I suppose a zero-tollerance policy might be ok toward Imus, but my inclination would be to point out that he has been down this road in the past and there are certain things where you do not get 3rd or 4th chances.

-Jason "Imus has enough money-- his best move right now might be to retire and try a comeback in a year or so" Evans

MrBisonDevil
04-11-2007, 08:43 AM
I believe racist comments may be an indication of a racist mindset. But, the majority of racist people do not say anything racist in public. Most racists prove themselves by actions which the vast majority of the public does not see or detect. I feel words are the easiest indicator of a possible racist mindset; therefore I tend to think racist words lead to racist actions. :mad:

Ducks my friends…

Though I do believe most people can change if they start learning from a different flock. :)

I've become numb racism in the U.S. (in business, in education, in the media) because it’s a part of everyday life in most places. Therefore, I could care less about what happens to Don Imus. He isn't nearly as bad as the shock jocks...

That's all I have to say.

tux
04-11-2007, 10:24 AM
Well, you're right --- it was a cheap shot. (I editted the post.)

I was not reacting to the comments being called objectionable. They were way over the line. What I was reacting to was lumping Imus in with "shock jocks" --- it seems to me that people who don't watch his show have just seen or read one or two clips and are now drawing overly broad conclusions. Much of what is being said here and elsewhere does not capture IMO the essence of the show.

That being said, I'm in no way trying to give Imus a pass for what he said. He's been suspended for 2 weeks. He may very well be fired. I watch/listen for the serious component (which is quite good, for a morning show). That was my point. This is not Howard Stern talking to strippers and porn stars. Many democratic presidential candidates in 2004 made multiple appearances --- the interviews are usually quite good. Does that component make the comments worse? I don't know. Perhaps.

Duvall
04-11-2007, 12:12 PM
Well, you're right --- it was a cheap shot. (I editted the post.)

I was not reacting to the comments being called objectionable. They were way over the line. What I was reacting to was lumping Imus in with "shock jocks" --- it seems to me that people who don't watch his show have just seen or read one or two clips and are now drawing overly broad conclusions. Much of what is being said here and elsewhere does not capture IMO the essence of the show.

Come on - it's more than one or two clips (http://mediamatters.org/items/200704060005). At least admit that part of Imus' show is making forbidden and inappropriate statements for shock value. It's schtick, nothing more.


That being said, I'm in no way trying to give Imus a pass for what he said. He's been suspended for 2 weeks. He may very well be fired. I watch/listen for the serious component (which is quite good, for a morning show). That was my point. This is not Howard Stern talking to strippers and porn stars. Many democratic presidential candidates in 2004 made multiple appearances --- the interviews are usually quite good. Does that component make the comments worse? I don't know. Perhaps.

I guess that's what bothers me. Radio is a fetid cesspool of screeching morons and banal corporate music, and firing Imus won't change that one bit. But for some reason, Imus has this veneer of legitimacy that Stern and his countless imitators don't have - he has a show on MSNBC, a putative news channel, and he interviews presidential candidates, journalists and policymakers. They all treat him like a person of substance, and it's annoying.

The Gordog
04-11-2007, 12:41 PM
Why is that everytime a white man says something racist, people always bring up Sharpton and Jackson? I realize they put themselves out there calling for opprobrium, but they are not usually the only two calling for apologies. Yet somehow any criticism of a racist like Imus is always met with "yeah, well Imus should apologize as soon as Sharpton apologizes for Tawana Brawley!". How far does that queue of required apologies go? Should David Duke and every other KKK member have to apologize before Sharpton apologizes? What Imus said is despicable independent of Sharpton's past.

But should Imus be suspended? He's a racist idiot - it shouldn't be a surprise when he says stupid things. If that's what his listeners what, why can him? Granted, it would be a sad commentary about how little progress the US has had, but getting rid of him won't fix that.

Here's a good op-ed from another target of Imus's idiocy:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/opinion/10ifill.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Good question. I should have asked Steven myself.

tux
04-11-2007, 02:27 PM
Come on - it's more than one or two clips (http://mediamatters.org/items/200704060005). At least admit that part of Imus' show is making forbidden and inappropriate statements for shock value. It's schtick, nothing more.

Yes, that is part of the show. Usually, the cruel remarks are directed at bigger fish. The women of Rutgers didn't deserve to be targeted, for sure. Now, when he calls Cheney a "fat porkchop" and a "war criminal" --- well, that just warms my heart...


I guess that's what bothers me. Radio is a fetid cesspool of screeching morons and banal corporate music, and firing Imus won't change that one bit. But for some reason, Imus has this veneer of legitimacy that Stern and his countless imitators don't have - he has a show on MSNBC, a putative news channel, and he interviews presidential candidates, journalists and policymakers. They all treat him like a person of substance, and it's annoying.In some cases, he is a person of substance. He raised quite a bit of money and awareness for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which funded the Center for the Intrepid (http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123038584) in San Antonio; he also hammered away at the Walter Reed issue for several weeks --- casting blame in several directions, including at himself for not knowing how poorly the returning soldiers were being treated there. He has been an advocate for children with cancer and autism. So, those good deeds don't negate the "shock" elements or his recent comments, but they are legitimate and deeper than just veneer.

crote
04-11-2007, 04:08 PM
Please, someone, explain this to me. I must not be getting it. What did Imus say that was so racially appalling? Is "nappy" no longer an acceptable term for describing African hair? Is "ho" considered tantamount to the n-word? Would this situation have developed if Imus had called a predominantly white team "a bunch of blonde-haired valley girls"? If not, what's the difference between the two?

He didn't make sweeping generalizations about black people, or women, or even female college basketball players. He was simply comparing the two teams. The Rutgers women looked sort of rough, whereas the Tennessee women were pretty. He was trying to be funny by using words not usually in the vocabulary of a 60-something white man.

Imus is probably guilty of taking unfair potshots at amateur athletes, possibly guilty of objectifying female basketball players, and definitely guilty of making a somewhat questionable comment in a media and political climate that thrives on these kinds of trumped up, manufactured controversies. I don't think any of that merits dismissal.

g_olaf
04-11-2007, 05:05 PM
Please, someone, explain this to me. I must not be getting it. What did Imus say that was so racially appalling? Is "nappy" no longer an acceptable term for describing African hair? Is "ho" considered tantamount to the n-word? Would this situation have developed if Imus had called a predominantly white team "a bunch of blonde-haired valley girls"? If not, what's the difference between the two?
From the O.E.D.: ho (n.) 1. derogatory. A sexually promiscuous woman. 2. A prostitute.
Perhaps a more fair comparison would be if he said that the Duke team looked like a bunch of trailer park skanks, or a bunch of low-rent prostitutes. I would certainly find that offensive.

TNTDevil
04-11-2007, 05:29 PM
Jeez, does no one understand that words actually still have meaning or, is the point of debate just to make over-reaching statements in defense of one's position?

He (Imus) has made, and been overheard/recorded, two statements! He's never used the "N" word or other overtly racist statements. Is two repeatedly? Persons on his crew (namely Bernard McGuirk) have mad many, many more very “iffy” comments about EVERYONE. But other than Imus’ “cleaning lady” reference and the latest comment those are the only two directly attributed to Don Imus.

And to Jason's point:
"People who don't have clearly defined views on African-American women may hear Imus and be tilted a bit toward opinions that are destructive to society."

Really? If these statements are possibly going to damage society then why is no one, particularly the leaders of the Black community, working to rein in the various forms of music where the words “bitches, “hoes”, “n******”, “crackers”, “whitey” and, much worse are spewed over and over and over again to a target audience of black youth- a much different audience than Imus in the Morning. Yet no one seems to be railing against the likes of Fifty Cent or others who are actually profiting from these words and their “gangsta’” lifestyle.

Well, IMHO, the reason we’re going after Imus and not “Gangsta” rap music is because Imus is an old white dude and everybody feels the way to overcome racism is to punish the white man. What about the racism within the black community? Was Reverend Sharpton’s accusation toward the white police officers and prosecutor in the Tawana Brawley case far more damaging than the “nappy hair” statement? And Jackson's rush-to-judgment of the Duke LAX players- that wasn't based on the players being white?

I’ll stipulate that being born black in America can make life like running a race with a 50lb. sack on your back but, I fail to see how firing Imus will strike a blow against racism. Let's move past this manufactured controversy and get to a real dialogue on racism in America. And that can only start, IMHO, once the so-called black leaders take a good hard look themselves and get their own house in order.

crote
04-11-2007, 05:55 PM
From the O.E.D.: ho (n.) 1. derogatory. A sexually promiscuous woman. 2. A prostitute.
Perhaps a more fair comparison would be if he said that the Duke team looked like a bunch of trailer park skanks, or a bunch of low-rent prostitutes. I would certainly find that offensive.

First of all, I'm amused that the OED actually has an entry for "ho". Second, you know just as well as I do that the way a word is used in the vernacular doesn't necessarily correspond with its dictionary meaning. Even more so when a word originates as slang and when someone is borrowing it from a vernacular that is not his own. In my estimation, "skank" is a much more severe and much less ambiguous word than "ho".

I'm not going to go on a philological investigation of the word, but let it suffice that "ho" needn't mean "whore" in every instance. In this instance, when it was spoken by an old white man, it almost certainly didn't. I would definitely take offense at a commentator calling the Duke women (or any women's team for that matter) a collection of whores. To put what Imus said in that light would be to misrepresent what he was saying, from my perspective at least.

Imus was trying to make a comparison between two sets of girls, and in doing so he used language that could be construed as sexist and, with a little ingenuity, as racist. He should have been more careful. But I'm not convinced that that alone makes him a racist or a bad man.

[EDIT: added the second half of the second paragraph]

g_olaf
04-11-2007, 06:52 PM
He didn't know what ho means? I'm sorry but I have a hard time believing that. The usage has been around for 40 years. An old white guy is more likely to use it in its original meaning. We can argue about what the definition of 'is' is, but the bottom line is, he called their team a bunch of whores, and I'm 100% confident that he knows what the word means.

I'm not going to weigh in on whether Imus is a 'bad man', but he crossed the line.

crote
04-11-2007, 08:41 PM
He didn't know what ho means? I'm sorry but I have a hard time believing that. The usage has been around for 40 years. An old white guy is more likely to use it in its original meaning. We can argue about what the definition of 'is' is, but the bottom line is, he called their team a bunch of whores, and I'm 100% confident that he knows what the word means.

If you listen to the statement in context, I really don't see how you can draw the conclusion that that was his intent, and in my book its intent that matters on issues like this. But I guess that's just a matter of opinion.

In any event, it's not the sexist nature of his comment that is drawing the most ire, but the racist component. How does that figure in? If he had just called them "skanks" and left out the nappy headed part, would this be largely forgotten by now? Probably. It only continues to be an issue now because we have a media that feeds on controversy, and a legion of Sharptons and Coulters and Jacksons and O'Reillys that thrive over such mountain/molehill inversions.

JasonEvans
04-11-2007, 09:36 PM
MSNBC announced this evening that it has pulled Imus' show off their air for good.

As I stated earlier, I think this is an appropriate punishment.

It is still to be seen if this incident will cost him his radio show too.

The problem is going to be advertisers. MSNBC pertty much had to pull the show after a slew of really big companies announced today they would not advertise on his show any more. When Procter & Gamble, GM, Staples, and others are saying they won't have anything to do with you, you are in real trouble. I know radio advertising is a world apart from TV advertising, but I wonder if CBS is going to have trouble getting his syndicated radio show sponsored. I imagine that he wil stay on WFAN. He's an institution there.

-Jason "the only advertiser that stuck with him was GE-- which owns half of MSNBC" Evans

feldspar
04-11-2007, 09:37 PM
From the O.E.D.: ho (n.) 1. derogatory. A sexually promiscuous woman. 2. A prostitute.
Perhaps a more fair comparison would be if he said that the Duke team looked like a bunch of trailer park skanks, or a bunch of low-rent prostitutes. I would certainly find that offensive.

Or perhaps a better comparison would be someone calling a bunch of Duke LAX players rich lilly-white trust fund rapists.

Or something like that.

g_olaf
04-11-2007, 09:45 PM
Or perhaps a better comparison would be someone calling a bunch of Duke LAX players rich lily-white trust fund rapists.

Or something like that.

Yes, I agree (especially if those comments were made in the absence of any allegations). Likewise, what if Imus had made comments similar to those made about JJ's little sister. This is not 'Nam. There are rules. Imus was over the line, and he has entered a world of pain.

Personally, I find this less an issue a race and more an issue of incredibly bad taste. People like Stern and Imus have made huge amounts of money by pushing the line of good taste and decency. There is no reason to avoid punishing them when they overstep that line. Moreover, this should not be construed as the an issue of "political correctness". I can not think of a time when someone would not have been called out for making these comments.

feldspar
04-11-2007, 10:07 PM
Al Sharpton has the audacity to go on national TV and say that hopefully NBC's firing of Imus is a sign of taking a step in the right direction of making sure these kind of messages are not a part of the public airways.

I'm sorry. I just don't understand how anyone can take this man seriously.

Duvall
04-11-2007, 10:17 PM
Al Sharpton has the audacity to go on national TV and say that hopefully NBC's firing of Imus is a sign of taking a step in the right direction of making sure these kind of messages are not a part of the public airways.

What a horrible thing to say. He should be ashamed.

feldspar
04-11-2007, 10:28 PM
What a horrible thing to say. He should be ashamed.

Sharpton has had plenty of chances to speak out about African-American women being stereotyped and villified over the public airways over the last 20 or so years. Why he chose this time to be this outspoken about it I'll never understand.

Duvall
04-11-2007, 10:44 PM
Sharpton has had plenty of chances to speak out about African-American women being stereotyped and villified over the public airways over the last 20 or so years. Why he chose this time to be this outspoken about it I'll never understand.

What makes you think that he hasn't?

In any event, if you folks find Sharpton so odious, why do you keep bringing him up? Just ignore him like the rest of us.

feldspar
04-11-2007, 11:01 PM
What makes you think that he hasn't?

In any event, if you folks find Sharpton so odious, why do you keep bringing him up? Just ignore him like the rest of us.

I'd love to ignore him. But then I'd have to stop watching TV, reading the newspaper, listening to our public airways, etc etc etc.

Duvall
04-11-2007, 11:05 PM
I'd love to ignore him. But then I'd have to stop watching TV, reading the newspaper, listening to our public airways, etc etc etc.

You should do the first and third of those things anyway, at least for news purposes. And Sharpton doesn't get *that* much publicity, unless you're crazy enough to watch cable news.

feldspar
04-11-2007, 11:09 PM
You should do the first and third of those things anyway, at least for news purposes. And Sharpton doesn't get *that* much publicity, unless you're crazy enough to watch cable news.

Just saw him on my local ABC channel. And to say he hasn't gotten that much publicity over the last week is a joke.

Duvall
04-11-2007, 11:13 PM
Just saw him on my local ABC channel.

Watching local news was your mistake. Stop encouraging them.

feldspar
04-11-2007, 11:32 PM
Watching local news was your mistake. Stop encouraging them.

Ah. I see how it works. Perhaps the Rutgers women's team and Al Sharpton should simply quit paying attention to Don Imus. Stop encouraging him.

gus
04-12-2007, 12:48 AM
Jeez, does no one understand that words actually still have meaning or, is the point of debate just to make over-reaching statements in defense of one's position?

He (Imus) has made, and been overheard/recorded, two statements! He's never used the "N" word or other overtly racist statements.

You keep ignoring the fact that he had to make a pledge to stop making racist statements. This suggests he has made more than the two cited in this thread. His others simply haven't garnered the outrage that his latest has.

He also made one of these after making that pledge.

And I strongly disagree that he has never used "overtly racists statements". Two have been cited in this thread.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 07:08 AM
this is something that has really been bothering me - in no way do I support what Imus said. However, and PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong, but didnt Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton call out the duke Lacrosse players for being racist? Have either of them ever apologized now that it appears the only crime that was committed was the stripper lying to the police? Have either of them come out and said that she was out of line for lying? Even if Jesse and Al didnt say anything, they further divided a community - have they aplogized for that?

On a more personal note, has Jesse Jackson ever aplogoized for referring to Jews as Hymies, or NY as Hymietown or any other of his history of masked anti-semitic remarks?


I'm not sure whether Jackson ever apologised specifically for his remarks. I think he did, as I believe they surfaced during an election year, but I'm not sure. Whether he did or not has little bearing on Imus's situation in my eyes. At this point, I don't really care whether he gets fired or not. It's much more significant, IMO, that he has been humbled and the issue has remained in the public eye for so long. People shouldn't have their "ideas" squashed but this wasn't an "idea," it was a cruel, inflammatory, dismissive, belittling joke delivered at a time when its recipients had every reason to expect praise and admiration. I'm glad that people have now had several days of evidence that those types of attacks have consequences.

So if you want to debate jackson's words or a double standard, fine, but none of that discussion should draw any fire away from Imus and I am well pleased that it hasn't.

Duvall
04-12-2007, 07:14 AM
Ah. I see how it works. Perhaps the Rutgers women's team and Al Sharpton should simply quit paying attention to Don Imus. Stop encouraging him.

The next time Al Sharpton insults you, personally, on national television, you can start complaining about him.

I don't really care much about Imus myself - even if he's fired, two douchebags will rise to take his place. So it goes. I'm just amazed by the lengths to which people on this board will go to avoid acknowledging Imus for what he is.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 07:19 AM
First things first, Imus is not a racist. He made a racist comment while attempting to be funny. He went way over the line but, that does not make him a racist. It's not like he went "Michael Richards" on the Rutger's ladies.

I've listened to Imus every morning for the last nine years and while he can be, at times, stupid, sophomoric, redundant and borderline tasteless he is NOT a racist. His ranch for kids with cancer does not discriminate. He aggressively promoted Harold Ford for Senate. His work for the Tomorrow Children’s fund, the Intrepid Fallen Hero’s fund and much more tend to indicate he has a good heart if not the biggest brain. So he may be many things but, racist is not one of them.

I also disagree with the lumping Imus in with other “shock” jock morning shows. As was stated earlier, Imus tends to interview serious power players in the news and politics and can often get them to provide more information than other “interviewers” can extract. His audience included many of the people in power positions in our government and media. Are there bits on the show that can be a bit racy- Yes. Are some of “Cardinal Eagan’s” comments outrageous- absolutely. But for the most part the show aims much higher than the “morning zoo” type shows.

What I can’t understand from this whole brew-haha is how does someone like “Reverend” Al Sharpton, who was a major player in the Twana Brawley hoax, and whose run for president was nothing more than a sham to allow him to use campaign contributions in order to live the “lush life” still command a public audience? I mean for crying-out-loud! Sharpton’s role in the Brawley scandal was to blame a completely innocent man of some very heinous crimes and, once the whole thing is proven to be a huge fabrication, Sharpton makes no apologies what-so-ever! (Sounds kinda’ like the LAX case, eh?)

Imus tried, six days ago, to make a lame, outrageous joke and a racist statement came out, he’s apologized at least 50 times and people want him to lose his job. Sharpton promotes and demagogues a bogus scandal and comes out without a scratch.

IMHO, with leader like Sharpton and Jackson, the black community is being ill-served and has more to fear from their leaders than “whitey”.

Even if Imus were to be fired (which will not happen) how long do you think he would actually be off-the-air? Two minutes is how long, some other cable outfit for XM or somebody would hire him in a New York minute. How much punishment would Imus firing provide?


Despite what appears to be a common misconception in circles other than the african american community, jesse jackson and al sharpton are NOT the only leaders of black america. The black middle and upper class is growing people and there are black people in positions of power in politics, religion, entertainment, foreign affairs, business enterprise and any other field you can mention. If jackson and sharpton are flawed (and of course they are, like everyone else) the black community has many other people to depend on, so if worrying about whether that's the case is keeping you up nights, you can stop.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 07:24 AM
Two comments, both intended to be humourous (but missing the mark), over 30 some years... yeah, he's a flaming racist. What about the other examples I cite, the ones you chose to ignore?

We're not talking about two comments here. I don't know what goes on in his TV show but I've heard snippets from his radio show numerous times over the years and, while sexist comments/skits/jokes appear to be his forte, he has definitely had more than a few routines that took swipes at races in some way.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 07:28 AM
I would assume that with such a small sample size, you have no basis for passing such a sweeping judgement on a person. He made racist comments, yes, but I think you're over the line in calling him "a racist." You don't know Don Imus. I don't know Don Imus. None of us probably do.

I can think your comments are foolish, but that does not give me basis for calling you a fool. Why? Because I don't know you, gus.

The hyperbole being spewed forth as a result of Imus' hyperbole strikes me as incredibly ironic.

well yes, that's true, but it's also not the hot issue. If Imus moves in next to you, and he's not the same race you are, then the issue may be "is he a racist." But Imus is on the air on TV and radio running his mouth, so it's not enough that he not be a racist, however you define that. He must also refrain from making statements that are racially offensive. Why? Because we hold those who trade on our airwaves to a higher standard.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 07:37 AM
Please, someone, explain this to me. I must not be getting it. What did Imus say that was so racially appalling? Is "nappy" no longer an acceptable term for describing African hair? Is "ho" considered tantamount to the n-word? Would this situation have developed if Imus had called a predominantly white team "a bunch of blonde-haired valley girls"? If not, what's the difference between the two?

He didn't make sweeping generalizations about black people, or women, or even female college basketball players. He was simply comparing the two teams. The Rutgers women looked sort of rough, whereas the Tennessee women were pretty. He was trying to be funny by using words not usually in the vocabulary of a 60-something white man.

Imus is probably guilty of taking unfair potshots at amateur athletes, possibly guilty of objectifying female basketball players, and definitely guilty of making a somewhat questionable comment in a media and political climate that thrives on these kinds of trumped up, manufactured controversies. I don't think any of that merits dismissal.

I think the vast majority of american people would tell you that "nappy headed ho" conjurs in their minds a derogatory image of a black woman.

I also think the vast majority of americans would tell you that the words "a bunch of blonde-haired valley girls," while it conjurs up images of white women, not black ones, doesn't sound anywhere near as derogatory.

Someone else mentioned trailer-park trash. I think that comes a lot closer to a parallel insult.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 07:40 AM
I’ll stipulate that being born black in America can make life like running a race with a 50lb. sack on your back but, I fail to see how firing Imus will strike a blow against racism. Let's move past this manufactured controversy and get to a real dialogue on racism in America. And that can only start, IMHO, once the so-called black leaders take a good hard look themselves and get their own house in order.


So criticism of non-african americans, and specifically white americans, over racism is off limits until black america, in the eyes of some other community, is worthy of being allowed to engage in debate? I don't think so.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 07:42 AM
First of all, I'm amused that the OED actually has an entry for "ho". Second, you know just as well as I do that the way a word is used in the vernacular doesn't necessarily correspond with its dictionary meaning. Even more so when a word originates as slang and when someone is borrowing it from a vernacular that is not his own. In my estimation, "skank" is a much more severe and much less ambiguous word than "ho".

I'm not going to go on a philological investigation of the word, but let it suffice that "ho" needn't mean "whore" in every instance. In this instance, when it was spoken by an old white man, it almost certainly didn't. I would definitely take offense at a commentator calling the Duke women (or any women's team for that matter) a collection of whores. To put what Imus said in that light would be to misrepresent what he was saying, from my perspective at least.

Imus was trying to make a comparison between two sets of girls, and in doing so he used language that could be construed as sexist and, with a little ingenuity, as racist. He should have been more careful. But I'm not convinced that that alone makes him a racist or a bad man.

[EDIT: added the second half of the second paragraph]


With a little ingenuity? Honestly, this has to be a joke. Is there anyone on here who actually has the same feelings about the word "ho" as this poster? Anyone anywhere? Seriously, I'd really like to hear from them.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 07:44 AM
Or perhaps a better comparison would be someone calling a bunch of Duke LAX players rich lilly-white trust fund rapists.

Or something like that.

yeah, that's about right.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 07:48 AM
Al Sharpton has the audacity to go on national TV and say that hopefully NBC's firing of Imus is a sign of taking a step in the right direction of making sure these kind of messages are not a part of the public airways.

I'm sorry. I just don't understand how anyone can take this man seriously.


you have yet to make any statement on this thread about whether you think imus's words/actions were wrong or what his fate should be, so I'll ask directly, what do you think?

feldspar
04-12-2007, 07:50 AM
The next time Al Sharpton insults you, personally, on national television, you can start complaining about him.

I don't really care much about Imus myself - even if he's fired, two douchebags will rise to take his place. So it goes. I'm just amazed by the lengths to which people on this board will go to avoid acknowledging Imus for what he is.

The next time Imus insults you, personally, on national television, I'm sure you'll feel more than justified in acknowledging him for what he is.

This is between Imus, his employers, and the Rutgers women's basketball team ultimately. The rest of us are contributing to the political circus.

feldspar
04-12-2007, 07:51 AM
you have to make any statement on this thread about whether you think imus's words/actions were wrong or what his fate should be, so I'll ask directly, what do you think?

I think his words were foolish, stupid and racist. I think it's not up to us, but up to NBC and his employer what happens to his show. I don't really give a damn.

And, FWIW, I'm more upset about his use of the term "jigaboo" than calling girls "nappy-headed hos."

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 07:52 AM
The next time Imus insults you, personally, on national television, I'm sure you'll feel more than justified in acknowledging him for what he is.

This is between Imus, his employers, and the Rutgers women's basketball team ultimately. The rest of us are contributing to the political circus.

How can you say that? The man made his statements on a national TV show, about a team that was right in the middle of its 15 minutes of fame.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 07:56 AM
I think his words were foolish, stupid and racist. I think it's not up to us, but up to NBC and his employer what happens to his show. I don't really give a damn.

And, FWIW, I'm more upset about his use of the term "jigaboo" than calling girls "nappy-headed hos."

Of course it's not up to us what happens to Imus. I think part of the uproar about this is the timing and the targets. These young women were right in the middle of their moment in the sun, and here this old crotchety guy in their own back yard goes on national tv and insults them.

A previous poster was right, it was bullying of the worst kind.

TNTDevil
04-12-2007, 08:15 AM
There are many things in this thread that require my comment so I’ll take them in order of importance:

First Gus:

You keep ignoring the fact that he had to make a pledge to stop making racist statements. This suggests he has made more than the two cited in this thread. His others simply haven't garnered the outrage that his latest has.

He also made one of these after making that pledge.

And I strongly disagree that he has never used "overtly racists statements". Two have been cited in this thread.

Dude, with your selective editing and your ability to slightly turn a phrase you could work for the current administration.:)

I’m not ignoring anything because, he didn't (have) to make the pledge, he volunteered to the pledge. Allow me to quote Clarence Page, from his latest column in the Chicago Tribune.
"Back in 2001, I led Imus in an on-air pledge in which he promised to avoid humor that relied on inflammatory racial or gender stereotypes, including "simian references to black athletes" and other abuses of which he had been accused.

If my memory serves me this was in response to then WFAN and Imus in the Morning sportscaster Sid Rosenberg's comments about Serena and Venice Williams where he said:
they don’t belong in Sports Illustrated, more like National Geographic.

Imus suspended Rosenberg for a month.

And you can "strongly disagree" to your hearts content but you can't seem to actually cite other "overtly racist statements" that can be directly attributed to Don Imus. This may be splitting hairs to you but it directly refutes your statement that Imus is a racist.

Once again I will reassert that what Imus said, while inappropriate, was speech that is commonly used by blacks about blacks. Again allow me to quote Mr. Page:
After all, if Imus offended black folks with his use of words such as "ho" and "nappy head," it was today's black culture that gave him the vocabulary. I understand those who ask whether it is fair to condemn Imus for using language that gets a pass when black rappers use it.

What's so funny about the whole thing is that Imus refers to his own wife, Diedra Imus, as "The Green Ho" because of her fanatical efforts to bring non-toxic, "green", cleaning products onto the mainstream market.

As to g_olaf’s comment:
Moreover, this should not be construed as the an issue of "political correctness". I can not think of a time when someone would not have been called out for making these comments.

Really? Then why did it take almost four days for this controversy to erupt? Adam Gold, program director on our local SportsTalk Radio station (which carries Imus) stated just yesterday that (paraphrased) “no one was bothered by the comment at the time (Wednesday 4 April) and it wasn’t until Monday that (he) started getting the first complaints about Imus’ comments”.

Now on to Jason:
MSNBC announced this evening that it has pulled Imus' show off their air for good.

As I stated earlier, I think this is an appropriate punishment.

It is still to be seen if this incident will cost him his radio show too.

The problem is going to be advertisers. MSNBC pertty much had to pull the show after a slew of really big companies announced today they would not advertise on his show any more. When Procter & Gamble, GM, Staples, and others are saying they won't have anything to do with you, you are in real trouble. I know radio advertising is a world apart from TV advertising, but I wonder if CBS is going to have trouble getting his syndicated radio show sponsored. I imagine that he wil stay on WFAN. He's an institution there.

In reality dropping Imus will cost MSNBC more in the long run as Imus’ show brought viewers to MSNBC, MSNBC did not add to Imus’ audience. MSNBC was so thrilled with Imus' rating performance (up 50% over the previous year for the same time slot) they had actually just recently added and additional 30 minutes (from 5:30am to 6:00am) of “Best of Imus” programming. As for the list of advertisers that “wouldn’t” support Imus anymore, I don’t recall any of them actually buying the time on the show. GM consistently donates vehicles to the Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer and they occasionally offered one of their VP’s as a guest interviewee on the show from time-to-time but that’s about it.

In all honesty, I'm not looking to defend Imus, he certainly doesn't need my help. Imus, or his crew, often do/say things that annoy me as well. But I'm not willing to call him a racist because of one stupid phrase uttered without thought. My actual point that that I keep trying, and failing, to make is that what Imus said was wrong but, the controversy surrounding it is completely out-of-proportion to offense. It has only served to allow poseurs like Sharpton and Jackson puff up their chests a proclaim outrage (and avoid apologizing for thier actions/comments in regards to the Duke LAX case). In fact, my position can best be summed up by the excellent article by Jason Whitlock in The Kansas City Star and KansasCity.com. You can read the article yourself here (http://www.kansascity.com/182/story/66339.html).

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 08:21 AM
Once again I will reassert that what Imus said, while inappropriate, was speech that is commonly used by blacks about blacks.

This is entirely irrelevant.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 08:28 AM
In fact, my position can best be summed up by the excellent article by Jason Whitlock in The Kansas City Star and KansasCity.com. You can read the article yourself here (http://www.kansascity.com/182/story/66339.html).


Whitlock's column is a bit of copout, in my opinion. The fact that Imus's statements raised a furor does not somehow grant a pass to jay-z or anyone else in the black community putting other black people down. The two debates can and do go on in parallel. One in no way precludes the other. If Chappelle were still on the air then someone would be railing against his comedy, just as some did when it was on. Imus stepped in it last week, so this controversy is just the topic du jour.

feldspar
04-12-2007, 08:39 AM
If Chappelle were still on the air then someone would be railing against his comedy, just as some did when it was on. Imus stepped in it last week, so this controversy is just the topic du jour.

You're comparing apples to oranges. You do realize that, right?

feldspar
04-12-2007, 08:54 AM
Whitlock's column is a bit of copout, in my opinion. The fact that Imus's statements raised a furor does not somehow grant a pass to jay-z or anyone else in the black community putting other black people down. The two debates can and do go on in parallel.

No they don't go on in parallel. You name for me one time in the last 5 years where we've had a media circus such as this one regarding hip-hop culture and race relations. You name for me the last time a hip-hop artist was called out on the carpet for lyrics and/or statements and fired by his label or forced to change his lyrics or apologize.

Doesn't happen. This is the hypocrisy that Whitlock is pointing out. Only one debate is going on, not two in parallel.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 08:55 AM
You're comparing apples to oranges. You do realize that, right?

no, I don't. I see apples to apples. What do you mean?

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 09:04 AM
No they don't go on in parallel. You name for me one time in the last 5 years where we've had a media circus such as this one regarding hip-hop culture and race relations. You name for me the last time a hip-hop artist was called out on the carpet for lyrics and/or statements and fired by his label or forced to change his lyrics or apologize.

Doesn't happen. This is the hypocrisy that Whitlock is pointing out. Only one debate is going on, not two in parallel.


That's not true. The debate over how black people should comment on other black people rages incessantly in the black community. You can't find a time in the last 5 year, or the last 25 years for that matter, when it hasn't been going on. And in the case of rap, it's been done so many times now, I think someone would have to dip to a new low for it to get much attention. All of the major names of gangsta hip-hop (snoop dogg, tupac, 50 cent, dr dre and on and on) have had their turn in the hotseat, taking barbs from people like spike lee and bill cosby in serious debates that have taken place on black college campuses on tavis smiley's radio show, on the pages of jet and essence magazine, and on and on and on. Seriously, I'm not talking about just in the back rooms of parties, and it never stops. There's a reason the NAACP calls its event The Image Awards, you know. The black community in america has been obsessed with its image in the mainstream, pretty much forever. Bill Cosby, whose appeal crosses over into white america, got a debate going on the subject in mainstream media not too long ago. Those instances are not as common as something like this because mainstream media doesn't always latch onto items like this when only black voices (for the most part) are speaking on both sides of the issue.

If you doubt me on any of this spend one week listening to or reading any black media outlet you choose, then get back to me. I guarantee you this topic comes up.

And finally, doesn't the debate about what's appropriate for black people to say about other black people necessarily have to start and flourish in the black community? I mean it seems to me that any dialogue about how one group should behave toward itself that takes place outside of that group is by nature voyeuristic, impotent and/or condescending, right?

feldspar
04-12-2007, 09:11 AM
And finally, doesn't the debate about what's appropriate for black people to say about other black people necessarily have to start and flourish in the black community? I mean it seems to me that any dialogue about how one group should behave toward itself that takes place outside of that group is by nature voyeuristic, impotent and/or condescending, right?

Sure. Which is why I'm glad Jason Whitlock took the time to bring it up.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 09:14 AM
No they don't go on in parallel. You name for me one time in the last 5 years where we've had a media circus such as this one regarding hip-hop culture and race relations. You name for me the last time a hip-hop artist was called out on the carpet for lyrics and/or statements and fired by his label or forced to change his lyrics or apologize.

Doesn't happen. This is the hypocrisy that Whitlock is pointing out. Only one debate is going on, not two in parallel.


just one other note, no, i can't remember anybody getting fired over lyrics. then again, what prominent hip-hop artist has recorded a song that says something along the lines of "trailer park skanks" or something of that nature? There is hypocrisy or a double standard WRT who is allowed to get away with saying what in american culture but that's not what whitlock's column was about. He was trying to say that prominent black americans who ridicule other black americans were the real enemy to the black community, not don imus.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 09:17 AM
Sure. Which is why I'm glad Jason Whitlock took the time to bring it up.


yeah whitlock is hardly a trailblazer in that regard, as I tried to say earlier. He's saying something that voices in the black community say all the time. His just happens to be a voice that many white people get to hear. It's not wrong that they get to hear it and I'm not sorry they did but I really don't think it accomplishes all that much because that debate can really only take place within the black community.

feldspar
04-12-2007, 09:21 AM
yeah whitlock is hardly a trailblazer in that regard, as I tried to say earlier. He's saying something that voices in the black community say all the time. His just happens to be a voice that many white people get to hear. It's not wrong that they get to hear it and I'm not sorry they did but I really don't think it accomplishes all that much because that debate can really only take place within the black community.

I disagree when, as Jason is usually quick to point out, it's white kids who are buying and listening to a large share of the hip-hop stuff out there.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 09:26 AM
I disagree when, as Jason is usually quick to point out, it's white kids who are buying and listening to a large share of the hip-hop stuff out there.

i know i said i was going to bed but I saw this first and wanted to respond.
I don't dispute that young white minds are influenced by hip hop. I'm just saying that white kids and their parents and white members of the media can't really have an impactful dialogue about whether its appropriate for black performers to perpetuate black stereotypes. They can say whatever they want and some people will listen to it but it's never going to carry any weight in the black community because it can't. No more than a panel of men sitting around discussing what image they think is "the right way" for women to carry themselves in the business world.

OK, now I can go to bed. Night!

feldspar
04-12-2007, 09:30 AM
i know i said i was going to bed but I saw this first and wanted to respond.
I don't dispute that young white minds are influenced by hip hop. I'm just saying that white kids and their parents and white members of the media can't really have an impactful dialogue about whether its appropriate for black performers to perpetuate black stereotypes. They can say whatever they want and some people will listen to it but it's never going to carry any weight in the black community because it can't. No more than a panel of men sitting around discussing what image they think is "the right way" for women to carry themselves in the business world.

It seems that you think I think it should be a panel of all-white people, judging from your analogy. It also seems that you think it should be a panel of all black people.

I'm not clear why it can't be a mixed panel, AKA, the human race, that sits down together and talks about this stuff. We're all in it together.There are respected white leaders that are more than entitled to voice their opinions on these sort of subjects that I'm sure the black community would listen to.

gus
04-12-2007, 09:39 AM
...you could work for the current administration.:)

Ouch- there's no reason to sink that low.


I’m not ignoring anything because, he didn't (have) to make the pledge, he volunteered to the pledge.

I really don't see the difference. The point is, this pledge is evidence that Imus had used racial comments before. I had hoped simple logic would be sufficient to avoid forcing me to dig through google for more examples.


Imus suspended Rosenberg for a month.

Good for him. That's a point in his favor. However, you'd think he would have learned the same lesson he was apparently trying to teach Rosenberg. But you bring up a good point- it's not just Imus, it's his whole show that is despicable.



And you can "strongly disagree" to your hearts content but you can't seem to actually cite other "overtly racist statements" that can be directly attributed to Don Imus.

Interesting- I didn't think the provenance of the Ifill quote was in question.
Here's a contemporaneous account:

Celebrity Bigots (http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0028,goldstein,16350,1.html)

There are more examples if Imus's bigotry in there.



This may be splitting hairs to you but it directly refutes your statement that Imus is a racist.

Well, yeah, if you can show that Imus didn't utter the racist statement in question, and didn't say the other ones in the past, and didn't make a pledge about avoiding *more* racist statements, well then I suppose you might be right.


Once again I will reassert that what Imus said, while inappropriate, was speech that is commonly used by blacks about blacks.

I don't see how that's relevant, except that you agree that it was "inappropriate".


Again allow me to quote Mr. Page:

What's so funny about the whole thing is that Imus refers to his own wife, Diedra Imus, as "The Green Ho" ...

So he's also a misogynist? Please never come to my defense, okay?

johnb
04-12-2007, 10:56 AM
There is no monolithic African-American community. If someone who is actually more expert wants to correct this, please do so, but in the meantime...

There are the Grant Hills and Lindsay Hardings and Candace Parkers who are light skinned and speak and look more like Caucasians, and who, within the African-American subculture, are the kings and queens and are unusual. This group goes to Duke. Of course, as Chris Rock pointed out about himself, he's rich and young and good looking, and the elderly white janitor back stage wouldn't want to trade places (i.e., to many people, the lowest white on the American totem pole>the highest black).

With the Civil Rights movement, this privileged group left the old neighborhood and moved to the mostly-white suburbs or to middle class black enclaves in order to practice medicine or law or to run their store or to raise their children, leaving behind a progressively more entrenched underclass that is having trouble keeping up, largely because the middle class and successful people leave as soon as they can. This is an overgeneralization, of course, and some historically black neighborhoods are being gentrified, but there remains a widening gulf between the poor and affluent in African-American society.

The Rutgers women appeared to be tougher and less groomed than did the Tennessee (and Duke) players. "Nappy headed ho" places these women in the underclass, disparages them as athletes who are succeeding in college, sexualizes them in a way that connotes crack whores, and undermines them as they are doing their best.

This is NOT the same thing as dissing people for being white and rich. For example, "nappy headed ho" is far more abhorrent to me than using the phrase "Hymietown," an ugly term that connotes that New York City has a lot of Jews and, further, that much of NYC is run or organized by Jews. Hymietown does objectify a group that has historically had a hard time, but Jackson didn't utter the phrase in the Warsaw of 1939. Being Jewish means something different in this century, and so the epithet becomes tinged with envy and perhaps paranoia rather a proclamation of Jews being subhuman.

I live in New York, rarely drive, and so don't listen to the radio and hadn't realized that such comments are apparently common. If so, it's appalling, and I'm happy that people are pressuring sponsors to reduce the visibility and, therefore, to reduce some of the hate mongering, especially the sort of s**t that leads people in power to think that it is acceptable to disrespect, sexualize, and objectify the relatively disenfranchised.

You can criticize Harpton and Jackson for being narcissistic and pro-one-culture and short sighted, etc., but if someone is going to have those limitations, I'd rather they at least side with the little guy.

asbcheeks
04-12-2007, 11:23 AM
This is not 'Nam. There are rules. Imus was over the line, and he has entered a world of pain.

At least he never served 6 months in Chino for exposing himself to an 8 year old. Creep can roll, though.

g_olaf
04-12-2007, 11:24 AM
The Rutgers women appeared to be tougher and less groomed than did the Tennessee (and Duke) players. "Nappy headed ho" places these women in the underclass, disparages them as athletes who are succeeding in college, sexualizes them in a way that connotes crack whores, and undermines them as they are doing their best.


This really gets to the heart of the offence. Its one thing to use this sort of language an anonymous sense. Its quite something else to say this about a group of high achieving young women. We have gotten rather used to people making degrading remarks about famous people, and most acknowledge that it goes with the territory. However, these young, amatuer atheletes don't deserve this. As I said before, Imus and others have made small fortunes by pushing the limits of taste... I've got no problem with that. However, they should be penalized when they overstep.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 05:20 PM
There is no monolithic African-American community. If someone who is actually more expert wants to correct this, please do so, but in the meantime...

There are the Grant Hills and Lindsay Hardings and Candace Parkers who are light skinned and speak and look more like Caucasians, and who, within the African-American subculture, are the kings and queens and are unusual. This group goes to Duke. Of course, as Chris Rock pointed out about himself, he's rich and young and good looking, and the elderly white janitor back stage wouldn't want to trade places (i.e., to many people, the lowest white on the American totem pole>the highest black).

With the Civil Rights movement, this privileged group left the old neighborhood and moved to the mostly-white suburbs or to middle class black enclaves in order to practice medicine or law or to run their store or to raise their children, leaving behind a progressively more entrenched underclass that is having trouble keeping up, largely because the middle class and successful people leave as soon as they can. This is an overgeneralization, of course, and some historically black neighborhoods are being gentrified, but there remains a widening gulf between the poor and affluent in African-American society.




1. your characterisation of grant hill, etc. suggests that there is a high strata of black society in which everyone is rich and "light skinned and speak and look more like Caucasians". That's a monolithic stereotype every bit as troubling to me as the notion that all black people are the same, or all white people for that matter.

2. What does it mean to act white? Does that mean to speak good English, hold down a good job and be a productive member of society, not a criminal or ward of the state? And if it does, what does "acting black" mean?

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 05:25 PM
It seems that you think I think it should be a panel of all-white people, judging from your analogy. It also seems that you think it should be a panel of all black people.

I'm not clear why it can't be a mixed panel, AKA, the human race, that sits down together and talks about this stuff. We're all in it together.There are respected white leaders that are more than entitled to voice their opinions on these sort of subjects that I'm sure the black community would listen to.

If you are talking about standards of common decency then everyone, from all walks of like must be present to make significant progress. But if you are talking about how any one subculture should present itself, I think we'd all be kidding ourselves to suggest that someone from the outside is going to be taken in any way seriously by that subculture, especially when there is a centuries-old history of antagonism between the subculture and the culture at large.

I will return to my men/women analogy. How could any man possibly speak to a group of female peers about how to combat sexual harassment without it coming off sounding like "hey, all this crap you've taken over the years is all your fault"? The same dynamic is at work, here.

johnb
04-12-2007, 05:45 PM
"more like caucasians" is one reason that I'm glad I'm not a public figure. Sheesh. It's obviously not what I meant to say, and I'll go mull it over.

I also didn't intend to imply that there are two monolithic cultures within A-A society.

I did intend to say that there is a middle class within A-A culture that identifies more with the Anglo middle class subculture, that they go to better schools (like Duke), that they get professional jobs, and that their identification as A-A's tends to be complicated by the fact that they are relatively dissimilar to some of the stereotypes that are promulgated within our racist society or to members of whatever-the-current-term-is-for-underclass. This group doesn't consist only of Grant Hills, by the way, but lots and lots of middle class people.

Of course, within the A-A and all subcultures are many subsubcultures and identifications, and it is always specious to overgeneralize and now I sort of wish I hadn't waded into the discussion.

devildownunder
04-12-2007, 06:47 PM
"more like caucasians" is one reason that I'm glad I'm not a public figure. Sheesh. It's obviously not what I meant to say, and I'll go mull it over.

I also didn't intend to imply that there are two monolithic cultures within A-A society.

I did intend to say that there is a middle class within A-A culture that identifies more with the Anglo middle class subculture, that they go to better schools (like Duke), that they get professional jobs, and that their identification as A-A's tends to be complicated by the fact that they are relatively dissimilar to some of the stereotypes that are promulgated within our racist society or to members of whatever-the-current-term-is-for-underclass. This group doesn't consist only of Grant Hills, by the way, but lots and lots of middle class people.

Of course, within the A-A and all subcultures are many subsubcultures and identifications, and it is always specious to overgeneralize and now I sort of wish I hadn't waded into the discussion.

right. it's just way too convenient and easy to slip into generalisations and categorising. It makes everything so neat and tidy to do that but in the real world it's never that simple. I think the labels become a substitute for thought, unfortunately. that was my point.

Bob Green
04-12-2007, 09:10 PM
I am disappointed, but not suprised, that CBS caved in to the pressure of Al Sharpton who is one of the biggest hypocrites in our society.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan

calltheobvious
04-12-2007, 11:45 PM
I am disappointed, but not suprised, that CBS caved in to the pressure of Al Sharpton who is one of the biggest hypocrites in our society.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan


Bob, this is a crock. CBS doesn't give a damn about Al Sharpton. They give a damn about the likes of GM and Staples pulling their advertising.

Furthermore, Sharpton's moral consistency (or lack thereof) isn't the issue here; Imus's is.

Bob Green
04-13-2007, 01:18 AM
Why did GM et al pull their sponsorship? Because of political pressure spearheaded by hypocrites like Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson. It's amazing how the Liberal Left constantly hides behind the 1st Amendment, but throws it to the garbage pile as soon as someone says something that offends them. You can't have it both ways. What Imus said was wrong. He apologized. Get over it.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan

gus
04-13-2007, 01:23 AM
Why did GM et al pull their sponsorship? Because of political pressure spearheaded by hypocrites like Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson. It's amazing how the Liberal Left constantly hides behind the 1st Amendment, but throws it to the garbage pile as soon as someone says something that offends them. You can't have it both ways. What Imus said was wrong. He apologized. Get over it.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan

GM pulled its sponsorship because a significant amount of people beyond Sharpton and Jackson were offended.

Not sure what the first amendment has to do with this- I'm not aware of any government intervention here at all.

Bob Green
04-13-2007, 02:17 AM
Not sure what the first amendment has to do with this- I'm not aware of any government intervention here at all.

My point is that society is intervening...government of the people, by the people, for the people...government and society are one and the same.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan

gus
04-13-2007, 04:47 AM
My point is that society is intervening...government of the people, by the people, for the people...government and society are one and the same.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan


Society has intervened in the sense that advertisers are afraid that sponsoring bigotry will hurt their bottom line. I'm not sure why that's objectionable? It's certainly not a violation of the first amendment.

devildownunder
04-13-2007, 08:16 AM
Why did GM et al pull their sponsorship? Because of political pressure spearheaded by hypocrites like Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson. It's amazing how the Liberal Left constantly hides behind the 1st Amendment, but throws it to the garbage pile as soon as someone says something that offends them. You can't have it both ways. What Imus said was wrong. He apologized. Get over it.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan



First of all, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are hardly the only people complaining about Imus's actions. Why do you and others on this board seem to want to act like these two men conjured this all by themselves -- as if no one else anywhere has spoken out against Imus? I guess it doesn't really matter though, anyone I could name who was attacking Imus wouldn't be perfect, so I suppose that means no one should have the right to denounce him, then, right? I mean that seems to be the logical progression of thought you are taking.

And as for the 1st amendment issue, I have not heard a single soul saying that Imus broke the law or should not have the right to say what he said -- if they had, then you could argue they are attacking his 1st amendment rights. But nowhere in the 1st amendment does it say that you get to exercise your freedom of expression and then others aren't free to exercise that same right against you -- and that is exactly what has happened here.

devildownunder
04-13-2007, 08:19 AM
My point is that society is intervening...government of the people, by the people, for the people...government and society are one and the same.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan


Society, the people, have the right to do things the government cannot. Note the first five words of the 1st Amendment, which you posted: "Congress shall make no law"

Not a word in there about what the people can do.

TNTDevil
04-13-2007, 10:41 AM
I'm not sure I'm "supporting" Imus per say. Go back and read my posts and you will notice I was, while a fan, critical of many of his antics/bits. What I am supporting is the ability for someone to make a mistake, admit and apologize for said mistake and not be vilified and defined by the mistake.

Many of you have argued that Imus wasn't worth the support but, to me, this whole thing brought back the awful memories of what happened during the early days of the LAX issue. In the early days a great many people wanted the entire LAX team's collective heads on pikes. Now, after all the facts have emerged it would seem that something untoward happened but not enough to justify the outcry or the charges, much less the ruination of these young men's lives.

Many of you, who have probably never actually listened to Imus’ show for any length of time and, I'm certain, will continue to argue that because of his comments that he is a racist (..."quacks like a duck") and deserved what happened to him. I think a true racist would have made many, many more objectionable comments over 30+ years of public broadcasting. While Mr. Imus' comments were objectionable, I don't think there was any real, malicious intent on his part to harm or insult those young ladies. However, as even he has admitted publicly and frequently, that is what happened.

So I'll ask this: Would a true racist, who after being fired, still attend and spend nearly three hours meeting with these women in order to apologize?

As for Sharpton, Jackson, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, whom all wanted Imus fired, and continue to proclaim "let this be a beginning of the dialogue to address racism" (much as they did during the LAX fiasco) yet never actually work towards that end- my congratulations. Of course we all know that they will not “work to address racism” because without racism what cause would they champion?

Hooray. Imus has been fired. Racism is dead.:(

One last interesting article on this topic from the N&O (http://www.newsobserver.com/134/story/563679.html)

WeepingThomasHill
04-13-2007, 05:21 PM
Bob Green has made some good points here. I guess the constitution will have to be changed to allow free speech for some, but not for all. If the speech is offensive, then the person must be silenced. I did not realize we were in North Korea now.

On a more important note, I am waiting for an apology from Sharpton for (i) his role in the Tawana Brawley case, (ii) his role in the Duke lax case, (iii) his lifetime of anti-semtism and long record of Jew-hating remarks and (iv) the pogrom he started in Crown Heights, including the burning of a Jewish store and deaths of innocent people. Sharpton has blood on his hands and he is now splashed across the headlines and TV shows. He is a despicable monster.

Its unfortunate that Jesse "Hymietown" Jackson said most of his ugly anti-semtic remarks before the current era of blogs, 24/7 coverage and media scrutiny. Otherwise, as soon as he started jihad against Jews and whites(again, part of a long record of disgusting anti-semtism, including his support for Farrakkah), he would have been "Imus-ed" and completely marginalized. I loathe Jackson and everything he stands for. He is just a few steps away from Hamas.

g_olaf
04-13-2007, 05:54 PM
"In private talks we sometimes let our guard down and become thoughtless, It was not in a spirit of meanness, but an off-color remark having no bearing on religion or politics. However innocent and unintended, it was insensitive and wrong."

-Jesse Jackson, March 1984

OK, its been 23 years. Can we let it rest?

Jumbo
04-13-2007, 10:29 PM
My point is that society is intervening...government of the people, by the people, for the people...government and society are one and the same.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan


No, Bob, government and society are not one and the same. There are public and private sectors (thank goodness). Government did not intervene in this case. Individuals used their own powers of freedom of speech (and assembly) to force a change.

Please note that my response has absolutely nothing to do with my opinion of the resolution of this case. I tend to think Imus is not a hate-filled man, but merely and equal-opportunity flamethrower, who insults people in an attempt at humor. I believe the difference in intent between that and, say, David Duke, is important. My personal opinion is that in this case, justice would have been better served by individual objection -- change the channel. That said, I can't argue that CBS and MSNBC didn't have the right to pull the plug on Imus, just as someone will have the right to hire him at some point in the future.

When you make ridiculous, general statements about the "Liberal Left," it does nothing to bolster your argument and only comes off as simplistic. Contrary to your belief, the this isn't a left/right issue, the "Liberal Left" is not a monolithic entity, and this member of the supposed "Liberal Left" neither supported Al Sharpton nor believed listeners should have been denied the opportunity to make their own decision on the matter. So, next time, try not to choose such a broad brush when you decide to paint.

WeepingThomasHill
04-14-2007, 07:54 AM
G Olaf wrote:

OK, its been 23 years. Can we let it rest?

Nope. Never. Not as long as Jackson leads a crusade against all statements that are deemed offensive. He deserves to be called out for his hypocrisy and hatred. I will never forget or forgive Hymietown or his attempts to degrade the victims of the Holocaust. He is an ugly, loathsome man and he deserves more public condemnation, not less.

Bostondevil
04-14-2007, 09:22 AM
Despite the brouhaha caused by the media reporting on this incident and the intervention of Al Sharpton, I still think this was more about gender than it was about race.

g_olaf
04-14-2007, 10:55 AM
G Olaf wrote:

OK, its been 23 years. Can we let it rest?

Nope. Never. Not as long as Jackson leads a crusade against all statements that are deemed offensive. He deserves to be called out for his hypocrisy and hatred. I will never forget or forgive Hymietown or his attempts to degrade the victims of the Holocaust. He is an ugly, loathsome man and he deserves more public condemnation, not less.

I am intrigued by the vociferious nature of your response. There are two seperate issues that should be discussed (albeit perhaps more appropriate on the public policy board). First and foremost, the origins of the rift between African-Americans and American Jews, which Jesse Jackson helped to foment in the 1970s and early 1980s. As far as I have seen, Jackson has worked over the last decades to mend that rift, but that may be debatable.

Secondly, shall we ban anyone who has ever made an offensive statement (and apologized for them) for being involved in this dialog? If Imus wants to lead a crusade against offensive remarks, I'm all for it. He has probably learned a lot from this experience. I would not consider that hypocracy.

Finally, I don't consider myself a Jackson "apologist". He has been publicly condemned for the statements he has made. His public career has been severely impacted as a result of those statements. However, as many on this topic would disambiguate Imus' personal character from his comments (and I am one of them, I do not see him as an ugly loathsome man because he made these ugly loathsome comments), I wonder if perhaps it is inappropriate to define Jackson based on his comments and beliefs made when he was half his age. There are some that would argue once a racist, always a racist. Or once an anti-Semite, always an anti-Semite, and perhaps they are correct, but I would like to believe that humans are capable of growth.

johnb
04-14-2007, 12:10 PM
G Olaf wrote:

OK, its been 23 years. Can we let it rest?

Nope. Never. Not as long as Jackson leads a crusade against all statements that are deemed offensive. He deserves to be called out for his hypocrisy and hatred. I will never forget or forgive Hymietown or his attempts to degrade the victims of the Holocaust. He is an ugly, loathsome man and he deserves more public condemnation, not less.


When did he degrade the victims of the Holocaust?

g_olaf
04-14-2007, 01:55 PM
When did he degrade the victims of the Holocaust?

According to a 1984 Time magazine article:

"in an interview with Ted Koppel on ABC's Nightline. 'I've listened to many Jews say, looking at the Holocaust, that they went to the gas chambers much too silently,' Jackson said. He was trying to draw a parallel with the persecution and deaths of blacks since slavery days; like Jews, he said, blacks were vowing 'never again.' His remarks were taken by some listeners, however, as criticism of supposed Jewish meekness in the face of Nazi terror."

Also, in the 70's or 80's he stated that he was "tired of hearing about the holocaust". He later complained that his comments were taken out of context.

I'm not aware of any other public statements of Jackson's that could be construed as degrading to holocaust victims.

allenmurray
04-14-2007, 03:00 PM
The job of all comedians (and I put shock-jocks in that category, even if they do the occasional meaningful interview) is this: to go to the very edge of where we are comfortable, take one ginat step over that line, dance on that line, and dare us to join them. In that way Imus = Chris Rock = Lenny Bruce = Richard Pryor.

He made a big mistake - but he made it in the context doing his job - what his audience expected him to do and paid him to do. That is why it is diffrerent for Imus that it would have been if say Tom Brokaw had done the same thing. No one expects continuous serious even-handed commentary from Imus (or the other comedians named above).

Imus made his comment in the context of a comedy radio show - he didn't make it while talking with Doris Kearns Goodwin, or Harold Ford, or Joe Lieberman, or John Kerry, or David Gregory, or any of his other serious guests. He made it in the context of a comedy routine. If what he die is a fireable offense what would we do if a non-comedian made similar remarks - shoot them?