Thursday, April 12, 2007

Imus Axed: What Did We Gain?



So the Imus in the Morning Show simulcast was cancelled by MSNBC as result of the comments that he made about the Rutgers Women's Basketball Team after the NCAA Women's Championship. CBS Broadcasting has also pulled the plug on his radio show which officially makes Imus unemployed.

For those of you who have been living in an Underground Nuclear Fallout Bunker for the past couple weeks, Imus is a radio personality that has been under fire for calling the Rutgers team "Hardcore nappy-headed hoes." This has created a hailstorm of controversy and outrage within the Black community.

Were his comments racists? Yes. Should he have been condemned for them? Yes. Should anyone offended have boycotted his show? Absolutely. Should corporate sponsors with ties to the Black community have pulled their advertising? Yes. Should others like Bill O'Reilly be held to the same standard? Fuckin' A! Was he one of the first non-Black radio hosts to blast the Bush Administration for not "getting down there and helping" the peope of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina? He was. Should he have been fired?...

If I offend anyone with what I am about to say, get at me on the comments section. How many times have we called our women “bitches, hoes, whores, tricks, jump offs, sluts etc.” in place of “sister” or “queen?” And even if you haven't done it personally, how many times have we supported artists who use the same language by buying their records or singing along with their songs? How many times have we danced harder in the the club, alongside other races, to songs with lyrics like "Fuck them other niggas, cause I'm down with my niggas," or "Ho, who is you playin' wit? Back dat ass up!"? Hell, back in January I heard Sirius' Hip Hop Nation Channel play Dr. Dre's "Nappy Headed Hoez."

How can we justify celebrating Snoop Dogg for calling Black women bitches and hoes, but hold anybody outside of our circle to a different standard? How can we justify rounding up our "leadership" (and the quotes are intentional) to go this hard about a comment, and not as hard about more pressing issues that we face like really holding our government officials accountable for not putting more money into minority schools? It seems like these events are the only occassions where Al and Jesse really flex their muscles.

I just think that it is hard to police others when we don't police ourselves. On any given morning, you can turn on the radio and hear Russ Parr clowning White people. There's even a cardboard stereotype character (voiced-over by a Black woman) called Mei Ling on his show that makes racists jokes about Asian people. On the Tom Joyner Morning Show, I remember Ms. Dupree saying that "white people smell like dogs when they get wet." And we all know about the Steve Harvey Morning Show. Could we really refute claims of hypocrisy from the other side?

By Imus being fired, what did we gain? In the long run all that we really gain is 1) the temporary satisfaction of having a notch under our belts as a race to offset past and present wrongs done to us, 2) the strengthing, reinforcement, and even creation of more hidden and covert racism, and 3)reinforcement of the stereotype of Black people as hypocritical.

Make no mistake about it. I am in no way defending Imus and what he said. Fuck him! But I am surprised about the level of outrage that we have expressed over this without looking in the mirror and being accountable for what goes on in our own House.

As far as this situation goes, I felt it would have been sufficient to condemn him for the comment, demand an apology, take it for what it was, and move on. We've got bigger fish to fry.

At the very least, after listening to him, I could get a real sense of what people were thinking about me when I walked down the street. The fact is that many people think like him and Imus has a large constituency. I personally think it's a good idea to know what that constituencey is saying and thinking. Imus will probably be replaced by someone who is politically correct but shares his ideas when the cameras are off. I would rather know that the knife was coming rather than finding out later that it was in my back.

Will his firing make things better? Is ignorance really bliss?

8 comments:

Gene said...

Snoops thoughts on the issue

http://www.hollywood.com/news/Snoop_Dogg_Rappers_Hos_Are_Different/3679198

beautifullife00 said...

B,
I understand your perspective. The words are wrong, regardless of who says them. I have a dream that the same African American people who feel that Imus is wrong and are willing to do what it takes to see him removed from radio forever would be the same people who will fight against certain rap artists and record labels. Some people will and are doing just that, but others will call black people nappy headed hoes and blast disrespectful music, but fight a white person for doing the same thing. Why would anyone respect us as a collective when as a collective we don't respect ourselves. Imus' white skin color and gender puts him with a category of people who have to power to be racist and oppress groups, but his words are no different than Dr. Dre's.

It's a cycle: Colonization led to oppression. African Americans internalized the oppression, which is why we can barely get along with each other. There's a new twist to the cycle: In order to feel better some tried to make the oppresive words terms of endearment, which backfired, because now everyone feels they can talk to us any way they please. Some call eachother hateful words in rap music which really backfired, because over 75% of the consumers of this trash are white kids in suburbia. Most barely know the history of hip hop; rather this is entertainment. Many don't even like black people, but they love the music. They still see us as a joke. They begin to leave thier hip hop years behind them as they leave the ivory towers to head to the courtroom, boardroom, class, or hospital, but I know those lyrics stick with them. Why would this group think the words that they say are racist when Snoop said it and he's black? My coworkers are testing theories that ovarian cancer and prostate cancer in the African American community are related to the fact that we are oversexed. Is that true. No, but that's what they see us doing in rap videos. Of course, these stereotypes go back to slavery.

This world is a mess, and there are so many battles to fight. I'm just glad that at the end of the day my battles are between good and bad and not black or white. We can't hate all white people because there are some pretty messed up black people out there too.

A Beautiful Life said...

the wrong name appeared

Rockstar said...

From Mr. Snoop Dogg...
"(Rappers) are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about hos that's in the 'hood that ain't doing s**t, that's trying to get a n**ga for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain't no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them muthaf**kas say we are in the same league as him. Kick him off the air forever."
I classify this as "Ignorance" and your post as "Intelligent". Hope you don't mind, but I placed a link to you from www.culturalconscious.com

Gene said...

From the BET founders:

"Sheila Johnson, owner of the WNBA's Washington Mystics and, with her ex-husband Robert, co-founder of BET, called Imus' comments reprehensible in an interview with The Associated Press."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_en_mu/imus_protests;_ylt=Akoh0RRTcG37EwnbEDtllbCs0NUE

Andrew The Asshole said...

Al Sharpton, the man leading this attack for the "Nappy-Headed" hoes comment.... Has F*cking perm.

Why isn't he going natural and have his hair nappy.

Al "Perm" Sharpton

the chairman said...

This is really not a race issue... there is more of a difference between the classes than races.

Gene said...

Bet News is airing a special round table discussion tonight to discuss the controversy. The special airs tonight @ 7:30pm.