Monday, April 09, 2007

I = Imus, I = Idiot

I usually skip over Imus in the Morning on MSNBC, mostly because he always sounds drunk and he never has anything to say that I'm interested in hearing. But, Imus was an idiot the other day and had the audacity to follow the lead of his producer in calling the women's basketball team--most of whom are African-American--"nappy-headed hos." I won't even begin to explain just how patently wrong that is because you'd have to be a few bulbs shy of a full chandelier not to understand just how wrong that is. In other words, if I have to explain it to you, you're an idiot, too.

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have both spoken out against Imus' slur. And rightfully so. Referring to people of color as "nappy-headed" is pretty low in the lexicon of racial epithets. I'm going to leave it to my esteemed friends and colleagues, some of whom have been subjected to that pergorative adjective, to comment on hair and its use as a slur. I, however, am going to comment on the last word--"ho."

To express indignation at the first part of the comment is completely the right thing to do and is more than justified. But I'm concerned that there has been no outcry (unless I'm a dolt and have missed it) from women's groups regarding the use of the derogatory label "ho" in describing a group of women. Basically, what Imus did was called these women whores.

That's right. Whores. Oh, sure. When we say "ho" it doesn't seem as bad and we can laugh it off, right? Wrong! It really isn't funny and it isn't as innocuous as it seems. Flat out, bottom line, and not putting too fine a point on it, Imus called women whores. And Imus was as wrong as wrong can be.

Calling women ho's makes me just as mad as having him refer to persons of African origin by a negative characterization of their hair. Both are... how shall I say it? Oh, yeah--WRONG. And not only does Imus owe the African-American community an apology, he owes women an apology, because as a woman, I am offended.

So, Don Imus and whatever the name of your producer is who first called the Rutgers' team "ho's," you guys owe us an apology. I'll take my straight up, in prime time, and would appreciate it if you'd follow it with some community service at a women's shelter or somewhere where the majority of folks are female and/or black.

As for derogatory epithets, when are we going to let go of these words and phrases that are harmful and are meant to be vile? Surely we're far more advanced in this day and age? Or maybe I'm living in a dream world?

10 comments:

Gunfighter said...

Time for that creepy old bastard to go away!

NG said...

Amen

CreoleInDC said...

You're living in a dream world. *sigh* But oh what a wonderful dream it would be!

What's shakin bacon?

JMK said...

GF: Him and Rush and Newt and all the other boneheads who make racist, sexist, homophobic, derogatory remarks. I mean, geez, come on Imus! You're old enough to know better, for cripe's sake.

NG: Ditto!

Creole: But I can still dream, right?

As for shaking the bacon, nothing much going on over here. Just work and gearing up to do a few home improvement projects. Looking for an inexpensive landscaping outfit. Otherwise, it's Dullsville in the 'urbs. How are you and the Robinator?

Anonymous said...

Do we know he is a "bastard"? I don't think two wrongs make a right. As we've learned from Imus, name calling only brings on more hatred.

JMK said...

Anon: You make a good point. Though I think the use of bastard was applied to mean someone who is unpleasant or who behaves despicably, which Imus did. I don't think his legitimacy regarding parentage is in question.

I suppose what could have been said is, it's time for that creepy, old, unpleasant man to go away...

Sideon said...

Anonymous - you're correct. Imus' parentage has nothing to do with the total asshole that he is today. The man is pure poison, and his ugliness goes way beyond race and gender. He should be fired. What's so incredibly frustrating is that none of his spewage is new. What is new is that people are paying attention and are not willing to let it slide any more.

Some of his "memorable" comments since at least 2000:

He called Gloria Estefan "this little Chihuahua-looking 'ho."

He called CNN female anchors "dyke-ie broads."

Four minutes of his hate, here.

JMK said...

Just for the sake of those who may not know this, the word bastard has multiple definitions. Here they are:

bas*tard (noun)
1. archaic or derogatory: a person born of parents not married to each other. (For what it's worth, the man who gave his entire fortune to the U.S. to establish the Smithsonian Institution--James Smithson--was the bastard son of a duchess and a commoner in England.)
2. informal: an unpleasant or despicable person

I think in the case of this discussion, we're leaning toward the latter definition. No one is questioning Imus' parentage. We're questioning his behavior, which is unpleasant and despicable, not to mention inexcusable.

Sideon said...

**insert happy dance that NBC cancelled the bastard's show**

Terri said...

He was a grumpy old man... I didn't care for him.