Friday, April 13, 2007
My last word on Imus.
I’ve seen so many of his defenders say “so nappy is now just the same as nigger?” And they also seem to keep pointing to the word “ho” and saying how many times rappers use the word, as if this somehow excuses it’s use. For the record, most people who have criticized Don Imus, (including Al Sharpton) have also lead concerted efforts to get record labels and rappers to not exploit misogyny for profit.
However, Don’s words in this particular instance, taken as a whole, are racist.
I don't think you can parse his words and say it's not racist. It seems everybody wants to debate each word individually. If you read the transcript, and don't understand why it's racist, you really are living in denial.
IMUS: So, I watched the basketball game last night between -- a little bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the women's final.
ROSENBERG: Yeah, Tennessee won last night -- seventh championship for [Tennessee coach] Pat Summitt, I-Man. They beat Rutgers by 13 points.
IMUS: That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and --
McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.
IMUS: That's some nappy-headed hos there. I'm gonna tell you that now, man, that's some -- woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like -- kinda like -- I don't know.
McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.
McGUIRK: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes -- that movie that he had.
IMUS: Yeah, it was a tough --
McCORD: Do The Right Thing.
McGUIRK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Imus and his cronies racism has been well documented. He fired a guy for saying that Venus and Serena Williams were more likely to end up in National Geographic than Playboy. Then Imus hired the guy back.
When talking about Hillary Clinton speaking at a black church, they said she was gonna start wearing cornrows and gold teeth. Obviously an attempt at humor of her trying to "be black" because according to Imus and his cronies, that's what black people do.
In addition we have this little nugget from an interview with Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes March 31, 1997.
Imus: Give me an example--give me one example of a racist incident.
Wallace: You told Tom Anderson, the producer, in your car, coming home, that Bernard McGuirk is there to do nigger jokes.
Imus: Well, I've nev--I never use the word.
Anderson: I'm right here.
Imus: Did I use that word?
Anderson: I recall you using that word.
Imus: Oh, OK. Well, then I used that word. But I mean, of course, that was an off the record conversation.
I’ve heard repeatedly from Imus defenders that black comedians do the same types of jokes that Imus does, and yet they have not faced the criticism that Imus did.
Imus defenders seem to have no understanding of the difference between a joke that speaks to a particular race, and a racist joke.
The problem with Imus brand of humor is that he's using racial stereotypes to make his jokes. The jokes aren’t funny to members of that race, they’re just funny to “the majority” because white people tend to view non-whites through stereotypes.
For instance, Chris Rock does a long routine about how he “hates niggers.” Imus defenders seem to think this is somehow racist. First, let me ignore the argument that a member of the minority, making fun of the minority isn’t racism, which seems to be the argument most Imus defenders understand least, but use the most, and address the real issue.
Chris Rock doesn’t use the term “nigger” to describe “all black people.” Let me say that again, Chris Rock doesn’t use the term “nigger” to describe all black people. He uses it as a term of derision to mock black people who “shoot at the screen in theatres” who “rob people.” He even repeats the phrase “I love black people” over and over again, to make his point. However, Chris Rock has received a significant amount of criticism for his routine, so for Imus defenders to claim this is selective hypocrisy, is ridiculous.
Imus and his cronies on the other hand uses his jokes to denigrate the entire race. There is a big difference from what Chris Rock and most black comedians do.
His on air buddies say things like "if it wasn't for the grace of god (snoop dog) would be eating monkey carcasses in Africa." They regularly "parody" black leaders by using cartoonish Amos n Andy type voices. Imus admitted that they do "nigger" jokes. He called Gwen Ifill a "cleaning lady" and William C. Rhoden a "quota hire."
His brand of humor is the same kind that was used to keep black people in a subservient position and to denigrate their achievements. Just like he did with the Rutgers Basketball Team. There was nothing funny about what he said about them. That is why people are outraged. That is why he deserved to be fired. They should have done it a decade ago.
Now they need to fire Bill O’Reilly for calling Mexicans “wetbacks” repeatedly, and they need to fire Rush Limbaugh for his “blacks can’t swim” type comments and regular racist bullshit. And there's about 5 other jackass conservative commentators that should be held to the same standard.
So keep in mind, when you hear a joke that is based on race, sexual orientation, or gender, ask yourself this question, is the comic using stereotypes to denigrate the entire group? Is the stereotype used to denigrate the achievements of an entire group of people? If it is, it’s most likely racist, sexist, homophobic and shouldn’t be on the air.
Just my thoughts...
Hugs and Kisses,