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Sunday, December 2, 2007

If "Imus" Disagree

It appears as if Don Imus is back on the scene. Yes this is the man that called the African-American women on the Rutgers basketball team -"Nappy headed Ho's". The very same guy who all the furor was about. He has managed to get himself another radio show. He has a multi million dollar contract with WABC. After the public outcry, he eventually lost his job and multi-million dollar contract. He did a tour of contrition interviews and took a back seat for a spell. But alas, with America being the land of the free and all, someone is always rooting for the underdog and, drum roll please "he's back!"

So aren't black folk offended? I don't think many are asking the question. It's been done with such speed and secrecy that there was barely time to react. A quick story on CNN two days before his scheduled show and "bang" he's in. What I think black American folks should be offended at is not the fact that Imus is back; that was inevitable. It is the fact that some corporations believe that black America's dissenting voices and complaints and the indignities bestowed on us are so immaterial in the American landscape, that they are willing to blatantly and unabashedly rub our noses in the dirt and minimize our stature. We are evidently so second class that we do not even deserve a year off by Mr. Imus. In words that will echo for generations, Phil Boyce, WABC-AM program director said "Obviously we are doing this because we think we can make more money," There's an opportunity to charge more for our advertising rates. I am not ashamed of saying it is about the money. We are running a business."(taken from article announcing Imus' return).

So there you have it; public opinion caused the firing, but money resurrected Imus. What's worse, is that Boyce is probably right. I can guarantee you that Imus' morning show is probably already sold out of commercial spots. That's the American way. The same way someone actually sat down with O.J Simpson and wrote that dumb book, "If I did it"; or you actually have paparazzi following Kevin Federline (Britney Spears ex-husband), is the same way that someone could ignore common sense and bring back Imus. Believe me when I say, I have nothing against second chances, heck I've had some of those. But then again, "I did not have intercourse with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky." Does that ring a bell? If my memory serves me correct, we're not even a year removed from Imus' insult are we? "Man these guys move quick!" That is what America is all about, the movement of money. Even at the cost of cultural, social or moral injustice.

That he is back makes it just blatantly insulting and socially ignorant. At least give the wounds time to heal. Give the guy time to write a book titled, "If I hadn't done it". He's so buck ugly, he could have even had plastic surgery while he waited for us to forget a bit. There was even time for etiquette lessons on where and when it's appropriate to refer to women as Ho's. "That is never, Imus!" But as it stands, we are being told that they believe Imus has learned his lesson. Mr. Boyce says, "He'll obviously be wiser, smarter and a bit more careful. He's learned from this. I'm not concerned that he'll have a repeat." I can assure you that he has learned nothing and hasn't changed anything. He will just be a little bit more careful about what he says. He has always been controversial and many white folks like him just the way he was (is). He says exactly what some white Americans would like to say and are too afraid to do in public. So privately, Imus is the voice of some of white America, many of whom will be tuning into his show to welcome him back.

You see, demographic ignorance is our primary curse. As a united bunch of buffoons we call each other nigger and other such ignorant terms in the name of art, humor or anger and yet we scream blue murder when some blue collar white guy does so on the radio. This is why Imus is back, because we have trivialized the impact of these words in our social structure and embraced these derogatory terms as verse leading to cultural immunization. Our children use many of these terms like you would use "dude". So for my 'peeps' (slang for people) we might as well all take this one on the chin and realize just how powerless we are in this country. Unless we truly make ourselves heard in a lasting and resounding sort of way and maintain an altered sense of morality and cultural awareness. Jena, Louisiana happened in the year 2008, imagine that?

So welcome back Don Imus, and I dare you to utter the word "Ho" again!