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Tilting at Windmills

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April 11, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

HOS AND BITCHES....Now that Don Imus has been universally condemned for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos," the conversation is moving on, as conversations do, to broader questions. In the LA Times today, civil rights attorney Constance Rice joins in the condemnation ("Imus' remarks were racist, offensive and, given that these athletes are not fair targets, out of bounds. There is no excuse for what he said.") but then switches gears:

Imus should only be fired when the black artists who make millions of dollars rapping about black bitches and hos lose their recording contracts. Black leaders should denounce Imus and boycott him and call for his head only after they do the same for the misogynist artists with whom they have shared stages, magazine covers and awards shows.

The truth is, Imus' remarks mimic those of the original gurus of black female denigration: black men with no class. He is only repeating what he's heard and being honest about the way many men — of all races — judge women.

Atrios thinks this sort of thing is a leap of logic that makes no sense. But really, it's hardly much of a leap, and it sure seems to make sense to an awful lot of people, black and white alike.

A slur aimed at specific people is obviously different than a generic slur in a rap song, but it's not that different. If one is offensive, so is the other, and it's hard to argue that the cesspool of misogyny in contemporary rap has no effect on the wider culture. It's not that this excuses what Imus did. It's just the opposite. If we're justifiably outraged by what Imus said, shouldn't we be just as outraged with anybody else who says the same thing, regardless of their skin color?

POSTSCRIPT: Yes, Constance Rice is related to Condeleezza Rice. They're second cousins. "I admire Condoleezza," she told Pasadena Weekly last year. "I just think she's hanging around the wrong crew right now."

Kevin Drum 12:51 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (245)

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Comments

First, baby, UH.

Posted by: Boorring on April 11, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Atrios does have a point that using it as a defense of Imus does no good; just because thugs speak and act in a certain way doesn't make it acceptable for a talk radio host.

To the extent that this opportunity allows us to have a serious conversation about rap that glorifies abusing women, shooting cops, and doing drugs, it's as good a gateway as any. Imus, ultimately, is irrelevant. The fact that the hate and bile of rap has become an acceptable form of popular culture, on the other hand, is quite disturbing and could have many undesirable effects.

Posted by: Al on April 11, 2007 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

One big difference is that Imus interviews the elites of our media and government. When John Kerry and John McCain agree to be interviewed by misogynist rappers, you might have a point.

Posted by: DR on April 11, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, yeah. LATimes. That's the third one I couldn't immediately recall, Paul. Four with your forward from KC. The KC sports writer's prose is better and more coherent.

Sum: What's sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander.

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 11, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

I read the editorial this morning and stopped at "Imus should only be fired when the black artists who make millions of dollars rapping about black bitches and hos lose their recording contracts." While it's true that the black artists should lose their recording contracts, I think that the leap of logic is in the idea that their losing their recording contracts is a prerequisite for the firing of Imus.

Posted by: Don Hosek on April 11, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Most of the gangster rap songs that talk about "hos" are about urban street life, and are talking about women who actually work as prostitutes. By all means, condemn any rapper who randomly attacks female college basketball players with words like this, but not all uses of the word are the same.

Besides, Imus didn't just call them "nappy headed hos"; he also called them Jigaboos and grizzlies, and talked about how rough they looked. He went on and on.

Posted by: Joe Buck on April 11, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

UH, Al, it's not all rap we are talking about that does that, so please be careful about an art form that will not go away.

Posted by: Boorring on April 11, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

"I admire Condoleezza," she told Pasadena Weekly last year. "I just think she's hanging around the wrong crew right now."

Right, right. Because of her over-trusting nature, she just fell in with a crowd of ne'er-do-wells, instead of being a LYING SACK OF GARBAGE WHO IS A MAJOR ARCHITECT OF THE DEATH, DESTRUCTION AND DEVASTATION THAT IS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION.

I'm starting to have a grudging admiration for the backwashers, dead-enders, 30 percenters. At least they admit they were gung ho for Bush instead of now claiming that they were cruelly misled and have no idea how we got to this point.

Posted by: shortstop on April 11, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

and it's hard to argue that the cesspool of misogyny in SOME contemporary rap has no effect on the wider culture.
There, fixed that for you, old white man.

Posted by: Young White Man on April 11, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

"shouldn't we be just as outraged with anybody else who says the same thing, regardless of their skin color?"

No.

Deal with it, it's different when a white person uses a racial slur than when a black person does.

Posted by: joe p on April 11, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

"Imus Is A Racist Douchebag" is a "dog bites man" story.
The much more interesting story is the media perfect storm brewed up by people like...erp...us.

Imus' statements, we all agree, were heinous. But his bigger problems are:

1) Timing. There's been a bunch of these lately, and the public's patience is shorter than usual

2) Firepower. People have much louder voices now. When you stir up a shitstorm, it's a BIG shitstorm.

That's much more interesting to me than "Racist Douchebag Repents."

Posted by: cazart on April 11, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

LOL! Completely clueless late middle-aged cracker alert!

Most of the gangster rap songs that talk about "hos" are about urban street life, and are talking about women who actually work as prostitutes. Posted by: Joe Buck

No. "Bitches and hos" is "street" and "hip" the way certain young women are comfortable referring to one another as "sluts." "Ho" is not used exclusively in reference to what your generation might have called "ladies of the night."

Posted by: JeffII on April 11, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Booring-- My phrasing was ambiguous. However, I was referring only to rap that's misogynistic, glorifies killing cops, promotes heroin use, etc. The rest of it is not personally enjoyable to me, but I also don't object to it.

Joe P-- Saying words are different based on the color of the person who uses them is, by definition, racist. If it's wrong to call somebody an n-word, then it's wrong for everybody. What's it gonna be?

Posted by: Al on April 11, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that it doesn't defend what Imus said, but I think Rice made a really good point. I love hip hop, but so much of the mainstream stuff is incredibly misogynistic, lyrically and visually. It's incredibly sad that people won't stand up and demand better from the corporations who shamelessy bankroll that kind of stuff.

Posted by: Caitlin on April 11, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Imus's suspension comes conveniently just after a station fundraiser that allows him to funnel money to HIS OWN RANCH ostensibly for a childrens' retreat.

Posted by: shnooky on April 11, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

"If we're justifiably outraged by what Imus said, shouldn't we be just as outraged with anybody else who says the same thing, regardless of their skin color?"

Come on, Kevin. Although Fifty Cent is pretty clearly a serious misogynist, his skin color gives us pretty good reason to think he's not a *racist*. The point about Imus isn't that he said something *offensive*. He does that every day. The point is that he said something not only inexcusably sexist, but inexcusably *racist*.

As for for Fiddy's misogyny, well, he doesn't have a nationally syndicated radio show, does he? If Imus wants, after he's fired, he's perfectly free to put out an album of his own music. And then, if anyone likes his his special brand of racist misogyny as much as some people like Fiddy's non-racist misogyny, it'll get some some airplay. Fair?

Posted by: Scott E. on April 11, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

'If the past is any guide, that is a sure bet. Imus has a long and sordid history of trafficking in racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. And a lot of people who consider themselves reputable—both Democratic and Republican politicians, political consultants, journalists and pundits—have shacked up in this seedy AM radio motel as if it were a five-star forum for serious political discourse. They knew better, as did the advertisers who bankrolled this enterprise and the networks that broadcast it. They have no one to blame but themselves for the soil on their own images as a result, and for whatever consequences they face if they go back in.'
Imus And Beyond, Isaiah J. Poole

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/
2007/04/11/imus_and_beyond.php

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 11, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

I think that all decent people should boycott black gangster rappers as well as Imus. Almost all decent people are already boycotting the gangster rappers, so the work that needs to be done is in the Imus area. Imus gets a lot of respect from politicians and other serious-minded people that 50 Cent doesn't get.

We should stay vigilant, though. If John McCain starts kissing 50 Cent's ass the way he kisses Imus's, we should come down on him hard.

Posted by: John Emerson on April 11, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

If Al Sharpton is considered a black leader, then he is at least one who has called for cleaning up the language of hip-hop, and said so to Imus. Many of Al's guests advocated the same, though I don't recall if any wanted contracts yanked.

Posted by: Martin on April 11, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

The misogynistic language should be condemned whether it comes from Imus or from some rapper. You are frivolous if you condemn only one, without condemning the other(s).

Nonetheless, that doesn't mean shunning of Imus must or should wait until all the rappers have been shunned.

Posted by: jack on April 11, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Caitlin is so right on... if you old fogies want to get all crotchety over anything, aim your ire at the multinationals that bankroll and encourage misogyny/general idiocy and less at individuals who happen to see a gravy train to wealth and fame.

Do you think its simply a coincidence that the majority of black musicians you see are of the misogynistic/idiot variety (especially if their music is aimed at a primarily young black audience)? Perhaps its because that view of blacks is precisely the one that the dominate culture would like to perpetrate.

Posted by: Young White Man on April 11, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Man-o-man, do I agree with her. I HATE rap for this terrible misogynism. Why ANY black woman puts up with this SHIT I have no idea.

Posted by: POed Lib on April 11, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Joe P-- Saying words are different based on the color of the person who uses them is, by definition, racist. If it's wrong to call somebody an n-word, then it's wrong for everybody. What's it gonna be?

No, Al. Racist slurs get their racism from the person using them...against people of another race.

Used by and against people of the same race, they're merely insults -- depending of tone of voice, intentions, context, etc.

Try this (if you are visibly white): Call another white "a honkey". See if that gets you slapped in the face. Then call a black womon a "ho." Best if you do this in front of her boyfriend. See if that gets you slapped in the face.

Report back to us from the hospital. We'll wait right here.

Posted by: bob on April 11, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

There is one quibble, however. Black gansta rappers say "Ho this and ho that." Repulsive - yes.

However, Imus IDENTIFIED SPECIFIC INDIVIDUALS as hos. That's a more serious problem.

Posted by: POed Lib on April 11, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Most of the gangster rap songs that talk about "hos" are about urban street life, and are talking about women who actually work as prostitutes. By all means, condemn any rapper who randomly attacks female college basketball players with words like this, but not all uses of the word are the same.

Bullshit, ever seen the video for "Tip Drill" by Nelly? That's pretty much par for the course as far as artistry in mainstream rap these days.

90% of mainstream rap music marketed towards young men, the stuff that's shown on BET and MTV, is misogynistic, frat boy club bumpers, not some gritty depiction of street life.

Posted by: Old Hat on April 11, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Artists songs are placed on media that is not part of the public domain. Radio stations that play misogynist artists' songs use the public domain and should be subject to the same standards radio personalities are.

Imus uses public radio waves to communicate his prejudices.

M & M and 50 Cent use mylar to communicate their prejudices.

Tim LaHaye uses paper and ink to communicate his prejudcies.

Posted by: Brojo on April 11, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, to me the "nappy-headed" made it more of a racial slur than if he'd just called them hos, which still would have been unacceptable. And, as others have said, there are quite a few issues of context to consider.

But I will agree that I think a lot of the misogyny in hip hop is pretty offensive, which is the main reason I don't listen to much hip hop, much like the offensive idiocy of Don Imus is the reason I don't listen to Imus.

Posted by: Royko on April 11, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

I think people will have a different view of Imus when they discover he is in therapy. Check out the details on my blog - "Necessary Therapy".

Posted by: Pistol Pete on April 11, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

So which of these establishment people trying to throw Imus a lifeline are pushing the idea that hip-hop is or should be mainstream like Imus?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on April 11, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

"I admire Condoleezza," she told Pasadena Weekly last year. "I just think she's hanging around the wrong crew right now."

"Right now"? She's been hanging with the wrong crowd clear back to the 1980s when she was on the fringes of the Reagan administration. She's been an idiot from the git-go.

Posted by: JeffII on April 11, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

To me, it sounds like the difference between when a white man says something compared to when a b;lack man says the same thing.

People want to display their outrage when a white man racially slurs non-whites, but look the other way when non-whites slur their own race. That's the point.

But, Imus' slur didn't come-out in a rap song--a place where racial and gender slurs are common--it came-out during a talk show. Some people are right to notice that's par for the course for Imus, but if MSNBC values their diversity image they should do whatever the public expects a media company to do.

Posted by: rusrus on April 11, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know Imus from Oprah, and I couldn't care less if he gets taken down a bit, but all this ginned up outrage seems a bit funny (peculiar) to me.

By all accounts this guy has made millions from saying outrageous things, the more outrageous the better. So why are we shocked, shocked, when he says something outrageous?

And yes, he was certainly mocking the rap artists when he said it -I mean, who else talks like that?

(What does "nappy-headed" mean, by the way?)

Posted by: Virginia Dutch on April 11, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Scott E.

I have to agree with Al above. Who says something isn't enough to determine how they meant it. I see plenty of white kids who are inundated with hip hop culture enough that they think if N--- as a common way to greet another friend. Sometimes this gets them into trouble, which in turn confuses the heck out of them. Similarly, I know plenty of black people who use the term to denigrate a certain type of black person. Heck, Chris Rock did a whole stand-up set about it several years ago.

All in all, one of the things I consider most dissappointing about the overuse is that it has robbed the word of most of its original import. I asked some of my HS students today what they thought of the whole issue. Several of them claimed that it was okay for black people to say it and not white people because we didn't understand the pain it brings. Then again, one of the things we all agreed on is that the idiot kids running around the halls calling themselves N-this and N-that weren't exactly reflective about the import of the word either.

In the end, most of my class agreed that this sort of language was generally problematic and it was dissappointing that there was this entire culture built up around saying it was okay. Similar points were made concerning the fact that in much of rap women are always B-s and Hos.

Anyway, while at first this rankled, the more I have looked into it, the more it looks like Imus was trying to be "hip to the street lingo (which is also to say to street "sensibilities") and got burned. Sure, his own bigotry and misogyny may have been the background, but so is the bigotry and misogyny that the vast majority of the "street" culture is built around.

Posted by: socratic_me on April 11, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

What makes you think that black critics of Imus endorse rap lyrics? If anyone is endorsing rap lyrics it's Don Imus.

Even aside from that, on the one hand we have a set of pop music artists, a genre always known for its vulgarity, using mysogynistic language towards women. On the other hand, we have a pillar of the media establisment, as well connected and as influential as any, a white man broadcasting derogatory comments about a specific group of black women. Do you truly not see the difference and that it's not a small one?

Posted by: Horatio Parker on April 11, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Any way you look at it, there's a serious disconnect when the sort of language used regularly in rap -- which language is far, far more extreme than anything said by Imus -- is considered actually cool but the language used by Imus is in effect regarded as hate speech.

I realize that Imus is a white guy who's on talk radio and rappers are black male singers on radio. But the difference in sources and contexts goes only so far -- and can't cover the light years in distance between the infamy of the former and the supposed coolness of the latter.

At some point, caring only about the sources and not what's actually said becomes truly Orwellian. We are, I think, well past that point. Give a big hearty thanks to Identity Politics for getting us there.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 11, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

SOME contemporary rap

Some?

Try nine-tenths of the top forty rap songs for the last decade.

Do people like you honestly think if you deny reality people won't believe their ears?

Posted by: Middle Age Black Man on April 11, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

LOL. Second Out of touch late middle-aged geezer alert!

So which of these establishment people trying to throw Imus a lifeline are pushing the idea that hip-hop is or should be mainstream like Imus? posted by: Carl Nyberg

Anus, er, I mean Imus may have 10 million listeners a day (a patently non-falsifiable claim - they aren't called Arbitron ratings for nothin'), but rap/hip-hop is, lamentably, about as mainstream a slice of youth culture as you are going to find. Not been to the mall or turned on TV in the last ten years? In fact, last year was the first down trend in rap/hip-hop music sales (mostly to suburban white kids) for like fifteen years.

Posted by: JeffII on April 11, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Also what Royko said. I like some rap. But I don't have much patience for the overwhelming majority of it because of the way it portrays all participants in its culture, men and women alike. Similarly, I don't listen to Imus and am even less likely to now. The only part of this I tend to find compelling is that I would prefer that my preferred politicians also shun him for similar reasons. I consider this somewhat less important than not invading other countries on false pretexts.

Posted by: socratic_me on April 11, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "It's not that this excuses what Imus did."

Baloney. The entire point of this sort of discourse -- "rappers say the same things" -- is to excuse what Imus did.

And of course, as we all know, each and every one of those misogynistic rappers has his own talk show that is broadcast nationwide by CBS and MSNBC and frequented by major politicians and members of the corporate media, all of whom give legitimacy to the rappers' steady stream of racist, sexist, bigoted comments by appearing on their nationally broadcast talk shows on a regular basis.

So, Imus is no different from them. He's only being persecuted because he is a member of America's Victim Class, namely rich old white men.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 11, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Atrios is God.

Posted by: gregor on April 11, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

It's not much of a leap at all. I can turn on the radio and hear the same language in a song that Don Imus said on the air. That doesn't make what he said ok. It makes both sides wrong. Further, we should condemn outlets like MTV and radio for playing this garbage in the first place.

Posted by: Shawn on April 11, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Al: Saying words are different based on the color of the person who uses them is, by definition, racist.

Um, no. It means that different people's experiences provide context for what they say and how they say it. The bogus equivalency you're basing your "argument" on would only exist if black people and white people were treated the same by the society in which they live.

That black folks and white folks tend to have had different bases of experience is an obvious fact - one which IS the result of racism. But saying "racism exists" isn't "in itself racist". That's ridiculous.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

The truth is, Imus' remarks mimic those of the original gurus of black female denigration: black men with no class.

WTF? The original gurus of black female denigration are white slave owners who treated black women as chattel. That's where it all started. Certainly rap artists and black comedians who denigrate black women should also be condemned, but while we're at it, let's not forget the mostly white music and media companies that exploit these kids by paying them to spew trash--they should not get a pass either. What Imus's has shown us is that this problem is pervasive, and we all need to step up and put it to an end.

Posted by: Alan on April 11, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Virginia, "nappy-headed" is an old-fashioned word for the natural texture of the hair of many people of African descent. For example, in Stevie Wonder's I Wish.

Looking back on when I
Was a little nappy headed boy
Then my only worry
Was for Christmas what would be my toy
Even though we sometimes
Would not get a thing
We were happy with the
Joy the day would bring

I actually think that there is a distinction between using a derogatory word in referring to an anonymous character (possibly fictitious) in a song, and referring to an actual group of people. But I agree that the use of derogatory language by rappers is not a good thing, either.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 11, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Although Fifty Cent is pretty clearly a serious misogynist, his skin color gives us pretty good reason to think he's not a *racist*.

Woah! Wait a minute there. That a total non sequiter.

For example, are you seriously expecting me to believe that someone who is an apologist for the American internments of Japanese Americans is not a racist because she's of Pacific Islander decent.

Pure.undulterated.bullshit

In the same way, if Fifty Cent were an apologist for Jim Crow, he'd be racist regardless of his skin color.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 11, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

It seems to me that Imus is one of those people who finds insults inherently funny. Didn't Chevy Chase get into trouble for some off-hand remark about someone being a "homo". His defense was that it was a funny word and therefore a funny thing to say. But at least he's a comedian.

"Nappy-headed ho" sounds silly to a white boy like me. So I can see the good faith behind the whole "What? I was kidding! Look, lots of people use these terms lightly" argument.

But insult humor is weird and doesn't cross contexts well. And a radio talk-talk-talker should have that instinct deep in his bones after 30 (?) years of talk-talk-talking. Why he, or Limbaugh ("Odumbo"?), or O'Reilly ("pinhead"?) feels the need to be funny by insulting people is beyond me. And they deserve to get dinged for it when they do it. Or else they won't stop. And they really need to stop. Because it's not funny, it's really offensive, and they are representatives of the professional culture that educated and hired them.

Posted by: brent on April 11, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

To put my point above another way, if the sort of language in rap is considered cool -- and let's not pretend to ourselves that it isn't so regarded by the many people who listen to it -- how do you prevent its slippage into the mouths of others who, for various reasons, aren't supposedly entitled to use it? What's too extreme for them to say, given who they are? What kind of "guidelines" could really be imposed, which wouldn't seem artificial, arbitrary, and Orwellian? How do you expect such guidelines could be successfully imposed with no deviations in impromptu speech?

Posted by: frankly0 on April 11, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Why did Imus say what he said?????????????????

Posted by: TruthPolitik on April 11, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Try this (if you are visibly white): Call another white "a honkey". See if that gets you slapped in the face.

Hey Bob, I've got a better test. If your Jewish try calling another Jew "a hooked nose money lender". See if you get slapped or if they're still friends with you.

I can guarentee that if they don't slap you, they'll definitely not be your friend anymore.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 11, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

rusrus on April 11, 2007 at 1:46 PM:

People want to display their outrage when a white man racially slurs non-whites, but look the other way when non-whites slur their own race.

There are some things that, as a white man, you don't get to say without showing off your racism or misogyny. There is no possible justification for way Imus expressed himself. Period.

"B-b-b-ut they do it too" is not a legitimate excuse for your (not yours necessarily, rusrus) own bad behavior.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 11, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Drum and Rice are dead-on with this one. The old "black people can use those words but white people can't" thing is just not working, folks. The mainstream acceptance of black musicians, stars, and kids using derogatory racial epithets on their own people sends a clear message: black people don't respect each other, so why should anyone else? Time for the self-serving civil rights leaders and academic ethnic-studies navel-gazers to stand up and do something useful: tell EVERYONE that these words are filthy and rude, no matter the forum.

But Imus should be canned regardless. One less moron talk radio host is all good. Let's dump Stern and Limbaugh while we're about it.

Posted by: Shag on April 11, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, are you serious? Imus using the term "hos" is not like rappers using it.

I’m a white girl. If dumb-ass white rock bands denigrated white women and called them whores, I wouldn’t like it, but I wouldn't die of shame or humiliation.

But I would probably die of humiliation if my high school principal called me a “whore.” Or my soccer coach. Or my dad. Or a college admissions officer. Or a TV anchor. Or the President of the United States.

Imus is a national figure who interviews senators, congressmen, and some of the most important people in America. He’s not a rapper. When he calls young college students “hos,” it carries a different weight.

Imus, who interviews senators and congressmen, is saying that rap lyrics are RIGHT. Women are hos, and wild nappy scary black ones play on the Rutgers team. That's what it means, coming from Imus.

Yes, misogynistic rap lyrics are bad and everyone should say so. But comparing Imus and rappers is just lame. Surely there are different standards in political discourse and popular youth entertainment.

Posted by: lupe on April 11, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Race and racism are all about power, that's why when whites use the n-word or other derogatory terms its different from when blacks do. Its all about history and power. In an abstract, level-playing-field world maybe that would not be true, but that is not this one.

Posted by: shoebeacon on April 11, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, a big, So What?

Firstly, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson regularly denounce and boycott gangsta rap and the record companies that produce and distribute those "artists" vile filth. Sadly, you and the rest of your Beltway cohorts don't seem capable of sticking your finger in the air to get a clue about any of that, let alone write about it.

Secondly, the sychophantic Beltway press elites that shape our nations discourse, be it Tim Russert, Andrea Mitchell or Tom Oliphant, regularly appear on Don Imus' show, giving his racist and sexist "shock jock" program an imprimatur that no Beltway press corp elite would ever give gangsta rap. If you've seen anchors or correspondents from any of the big networks or news dailies that appear on Imus' show grinding their asses on gangsta rap videos the way David Gregory did to Karl Rove's rapping, then tell us about it. Until then, your double-standard whinge is irrelevant and pathetic.

Posted by: Bob Richardson on April 11, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

There are some things that, as a white man, you don't get to say without showing off your racism or misogyny. There is no possible justification for way Imus expressed himself. Period.
Posted by: grape_crush on April 11, 2007 at 2:11 PM

I would strike "as a white man" and replace that with . There's no discount for color or gender when you want to disparage another group of people. If that's your choice, then you (not necessarily you, Grape Crush) have to live with the consequences.

I guess the larger picture is: who gives a shit? Imus is getting his just desserts. Advertisers are leaving his show. He'll be marginalized like other haters. And in the end, he'll die (sooner than later) with a footnote on his tomb: "...once called female round-ballers Nappy Headed Hos...and hosted a long-running lame-ass radio show..."

Posted by: rusrus on April 11, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting, but it is a lame excuse. Those words came out of Imus's mouth and he was targetting a powerless entity. The fact that he got called on it, and is now attempting to deflect the blame on the hip-hop/rap culture as originates of slurs and insults is a lame, and I'll repeat a lame excuse. Imus should be fired.

Hello Tipper Gore, where are you now?

Posted by: Nell on April 11, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, I have serious problems with this statement:

The truth is, Imus' remarks mimic those of the original gurus of black female denigration: black men with no class. He is only repeating what he's heard and being honest about the way many men — of all races — judge women.

He was being honest about the way men judge women?? And she has the nerve to say that black men have no class? That is an absurd statement. I see and agree with her larger point (Selena Roberts made a similar point in today's NYT sports section), but she loses more than a shred of credibility when she makes excuses for Imus's behavior.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on April 11, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

I want to point out that I believe that what Imus did was inexcusable and that he should be fired over it.

He's proven over and over again that he's a racist and shouldn't be given "a second chance".

But I don't think that the use of "n*" or "ho" is excusable either. And, if I'm not mistaken, several black leaders have spoken out against it too.

Reverand Jackson, I believe, said that the use of "n*" in rap lyrics was not excusable.

So all you apologists for gangsta rap should shut the hell up.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 11, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Al: Imus isn't important, but those rappers...!

Your bigotry undies are showing, Al.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on April 11, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

There is a distinction between Imus and rappers.

With Imus his racist responses are like an involuntary tick, an direct expression of derangement. He actually can't stop himself.

It's a fundamental part of his character exactly as if he had a brain lobe devoted to racism, it's how he defines who he is as a living person.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Yo bitches, "bitch" and "ho" is part of the lexy-con, and don't mean its dissin. It's just what my niggaz call me. So drink some Gin n Juice and chill...

Two in the mornin and the partys still jumpin Cause my momma aint home I got bitches in the living room gettin it on And, they aint leavin til six in the mornin (six in the mornin) So what you wanna do, sheeeit I got a pocket full of rubbers and my homeboys do too So turn off the lights and close the doors But (but what) we dont love them hoes, yeah!

Dre got some bitches from the city of compton
To serve me, not with a cherry on top
Cause when I bust my nut, Im raisin up off the cot
Dont get upset girl, thats just how it goes
I dont love you hoes, Im out the do

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK
shouldn't we be just as outraged with anybody else who says the same thing, regardless of their skin color?

Yes, if they are actually saying the same thing.

What Imus said and what is said in rap songs are not the same thing, even though there may be some overlap of particular words. Even though both may be objectionable, the reason is not the really the same except perhaps on a very zoomed-out, nonspecific level, and what is said is not at all the same.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

It's a fair point that rap misogyny is odious and another fair point that Imus's spew was completely disgusting in any number of ways. It has been mentioned that the most offensive rap makes millions for corporate entities as well the "artists" themselves. What hasn't been mentioned is something I heard this morning (someone correct me if it is wrong), that 80% of the audience for rap is young white men. If true, it is those white kids who are driving the millions made by both corporations and rappers. No demand, no millions--might be a place to start (after Imus resigns, that is).

Posted by: Claire on April 11, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Here's some more sweet words of kindness...

Now this, this, is, one of them occasions Where the homey's not doing it right I mean he found him a hoe that he like But you can't make a hoe a housewife And when it all boils down you go find in the end A bitch is a bitch, but a dogg is a man's best friend So what you found a hoe that you like But you can't make a hoe a housewife

Now there's bitches of all kinds, races and creeds
Bitches ain't shit, bitches eat dick
Take a second look, I can't stand a hoe that can't cook

While you betting on niggas, setting on niggas
And you tell 'em all this bullshit, you so in love
Hoe please, I know you didn't think I didn't, no tease
I'm a G, hoe, you should have know now
I'ma holla at you, feena get my dick blown back
And you can do the same thing, the homies don't mind
Just give 'em the word, and they'll be waiting in line (I'm next)
I can see right through you, do you, cause you want to do me
Besides right now I'm in the bitches eating coochie
Psychadelic high, bitch!
Real G's do it like this, and I'm coming through with
A fifth of some bomb ass sticky
Just to get a bomb ass quicky
Niggas like fucking hoes that give 'em hickies
Really? Nigga that's silly, you can't make a hoe a housewife
And I ain't got to tell you twice
How could ya respect ya bitch, before you check ya bitch
Niggas like me and the homies might connect ya bitch

Got diamond studded pimp rings, hoes on the strip man
Lots of cash to get man, lots of game to spit man
It's a pimp thing

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Do any of you people that are trying to equate black rappers with Don Imus' comments have any examples of a black rapper calling a specific identifiable person a "ho'"? I mean other than Eminem dissing his wife and mother. I'm pretty sure I heard some disaproving comments about that. This is the aspect of this that you all seem to be missing. He called these specific women "ho's" on national TV. Can you not see the difference between a rapper talking about un-named or generic "ho's" in a song and what Mr. Imus did?

Also, the format of Imus's show breeds these sort of racist/sexist comments. He has a buch of crusty old white guys sitting around dissing people. He chooses the format that he uses. He chooses the people that he shoots the bull with. He chooses the topics. Quit defending this guy for being anything other than an angry old douchebag because that is what he is.

Posted by: squid696 on April 11, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

I think people will have a different view of Imus when they discover he is in therapy. Check out the details on my blog - "Necessary Therapy". Posted by: Pistol Pete

Hmmm? Let me think. Nope.

Posted by: JeffII on April 11, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

shoebeacon on April 11, 2007 at 2:18 PM |

..all about power, that's why when whites use the n-word or other derogatory terms its different from when blacks do. Its all about history and power. In an abstract, level-playing-field world maybe that would not be true, but that is not this one.

Exactly.

rusrus on April 11, 2007 at 2:19 PM:

I would strike "as a white man" and replace that with .

With what? I'm curious...The Intertubes ate your text...you mean asshole or something like that?

There's no discount for color or gender when you want to disparage another group of people.

Ideally, yes...But we live in less-than-ideal world, no?

Posted by: grape_crush on April 11, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Yo ho, here's some mo...

Take sensual kisses with identical sisters

(And they better give up the ass)
Celibate bitches
Are gettin' held under water like developin' pictures

Incredible spittin', got your skeleton twitchin'

Your head'll be twistin' like a demonic medical condition

'Till you vomit and your body is liftin' off of the bed

In position of a crucifixion with your arms spread (You're all dead)


http://www.lyricsandsongs.com/song/814735.html
Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Morpheus: But I don't think that the use of "n*" or "ho" is excusable either. And, if I'm not mistaken, several black leaders have spoken out against it too.

You're missing the point (and shoebeacon said it much more succinctly at 2:18 than I did earlier). No one is "apologizing" for gangsta rap, or saying that it's "ok" when black folks use anti-black racial epithets. We're saying it's different than when white people do it.

A lot of people on this board are trying to say that both black and white use of racial epithets have identical meaning, subtext, and power - and, as shoebeacon says, that would only be true in some mythical utopia, not the real world.

And just to be even more clear: I think that gangsta rap's use of this kind of language certainly doesn't help things, but the difference in intent is stark. White use is and has been historically used as a tool to promote racism and oppression. Whatever else hip-hop is, it's certainly not the goal of most rappers to keep the black man down. I think it's beyond silly to make that argument.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Think of this whole incident as a market correction. Yes, the common discourse of hip-hop is just as offensive as Imus' in terms of quality and a million times more offensive in terms of prevalence.

But this fact has already been digested by the social 'market': 50 Cent & Co. have no sway in American 'mainstream' political discourse, and are basically treated as pariahs.

Imus, by contrast, is very close to the top of the pyramid: he's like a super-pundit, and people not only give weight to his opinions, opinion-makers like Kurz and Oliphant grovel before his feet.

By his comments, Imus has demeaned himself, and decreased his status and clout. The noise you hear now is the sound of him slipping a few steps down the ladder, as the market adjusts.

No adjustment in our social valuation of rappers is necessary; they're already pariahs. Wealthy and famous, but socially marginal.

It's crypto-racists like Limbaugh and Coulter whose position needs to be re-evaluated.

Posted by: lampwick on April 11, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the false equivalency and for providing evidence for Dicely's earlier 'use of overlapping words' comment, Heddy.

The point you are attempting to make here has already been refuted. Come up with something else.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 11, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever else hip-hop is, it's certainly not the goal of most rappers to keep the black man down. I think it's beyond silly to make that argument.

Posted by: DH Walker

So you're saying misogyny is OK if it comes from a black man?

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

That's deep, Nappy Heddy.

It doesn't alter the contextual distinction or the specific and wide variety of racist slurs, comments and gags Imus has put on over several decades.

He doesn't confine his malice to black women, he can't manage anyone who isn't a stupid old white guy.

He's gotten away with it this long only because no one who isn't a stupid old jerk ever listens to him.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 2:48 PM:

So you're saying misogyny is OK if it comes from a black man?

Of course, you choose to ignore that Walker is talking about racism in his post. Why am I not suprised?

Posted by: grape_crush on April 11, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Imus doesn't believe that the Rutgers players are prostitutes with frizzy hair, and he wasn't trying to tell anyone that. He used the n-h-h words because the expression itself is dated, ridiculous, and comically evocative of rap bullshit. The conversation started with basketball and spontaneously diverged into a spoof of pop language. Because he knows it would be absolutely useless to explain that, he will eat shit instead.

What Imus did was idiotic and hurtful. The microphone should have given him a clue that he wasn't bullshitting with a pal on the porch.

Posted by: n-h-h on April 11, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Yea, take Imus down. That'll fix the whole misogyny against women (especially black women) thing. Cure it once and for all.

Riddle me this, batmen...do you ever think Imus would have referred to the women's basketball team as nappy headed ho's if phrases like that hadn't entered the lexicon through rap? All you have to do is watch an hour of Yo MTV Raps and you'll be "throwin' down bitches and hos" like Ja Rule.

Imus is a symptom.

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

NH: So you're saying misogyny is OK if it comes from a black man?

Um, since I was referring to the use of racial epithets by different races, um, no.

And since I specifically said that I didn't find any of this to be "ok" in the first place, um, no.

Why not read the posts you respond to, first, before posting?


Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, you choose to ignore that Walker is talking about racism in his post. Why am I not suprised?

Posted by: grape_crush

If you google on "problem", "bitch", and "ho" you'll find the issue is more with misogyny, not racism. unless Imus is the one who said it. Then it becomes racist.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&as_qdr=all&q=ho+bitch+issue&btnG=Search

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK
…...it's hard to argue that the cesspool of misogyny in contemporary rap has no effect on the wider culture…—Kevin Drum 12:51 PM

This is a classic red herring. The issue in this case is not crap rap, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, or Michael Savage. If you want to discuss those separately, that would be valid, but in the context of Imus, it's simply a diversion to change to topic until the heat on Imus cools down.
More Imus material @ TomPaine.
Perhaps if more advertisers leave Imus, boycotts or threats of boycotts, of some of the advertisers of other radio slime will be effective.

Imus is a symptom Nappy Heddy at 2:56 PM

Imus is a disease.

Posted by: Mike on April 11, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Um, since I was referring to the use of racial epithets by different races, um, no.
Posted by: DH Walker

So what was the racial epithet? Nappy Head? Because "ho" isn't. That's sexist.

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

When rappers do it, it's vulgarity. When Imus does it, it's racism because of who he is, because he's been all about racism for his whole professional career.

He used the n-h-h words because the expression itself is dated, ridiculous, and comically evocative of rap bullshit.

I really don't think he used it because it was dated! The next day he told Al Sharpton he (Sharpton) was "talkin' jive".

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

NH: If you google on "problem", "bitch", and "ho" you'll find the issue is more with misogyny, not racism.

Oh, my mistake then. How silly of me not realize that when you referred to me specifically by name, and quoted directly from my post verbatim, you were actually responding to some stuff you pulled up on google rather than my post.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

It's a racial epithet because of who Imus is, he takes an ethnic vulgarity and re-contextualizes it as something the average guy could say.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Rappers write songs about their world, where prostitutes walk the streets and may even be members of their families. Rappers come from a world where women have to whore themselves to survive. Rappers come from a world where poverty and filth are commonplace. Imus knows nothing of this world but is happy to use words that describe it to insult the people who live in it.

Posted by: Brojo on April 11, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

NH: So what was the racial epithet? Nappy Head? Because "ho" isn't. That's sexist.

The post I initially responded to made reference to "the n-word". But then, you'd have to be following the posts (by actually reading them) to know that.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, my mistake then. How silly of me not realize that when you referred to me specifically by name, and quoted directly from my post verbatim, you were actually responding to some stuff you pulled up on google rather than my post.
Posted by: DH Walker

You said...
You're missing the point (and shoebeacon said it much more succinctly at 2:18 than I did earlier). No one is "apologizing" for gangsta rap, or saying that it's "ok" when black folks use anti-black racial epithets. We're saying it's different than when white people do it.

You're missing the point. Calling someone a "nappy headed ho" is more a misogynist epithet than it is racist one.

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Rappers come from a world where women have to whore themselves to survive.

So all black women are Ho's/whores?

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

The post I initially responded to made reference to "the n-word". But then, you'd have to be following the posts (by actually reading them) to know that.
Posted by: DH Walker

O-tay

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Calling someone a "nappy headed ho" is more a misogynist epithet than it is racist one.


Not if its Imus.

Similarly, Yid means Jew in Yiddish, but if I call someone a Yid it's offensive, unless I'm Jewish.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

But really, it's hardly much of a leap, and it sure seems to make sense to an awful lot of people, black and white alike.

Yes, blaming racism on black people makes sense to an awful lot of people -- most of whom are white.

By the same token, blaming homophobia on gays and lesbians makes sense to an awful lot of straight people. Blaming sexism on women makes sense to an awful lot of men. Blaming poverty on the poor makes sense to an awful lot of rich people. Blaming colonialism on the people who live in undeveloped countries makes sense to an awful lot of Americans and Europeans. Etc.

Sometimes, Kevin, you come off as being about as liberal as Joe Klein.

Posted by: Alan Bostick on April 11, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

But I'm probably wrong about that, since I don't think anyone under 60 actually speaks Yiddish.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 2:56 PM:

..do you ever think..

Yes. Do you?

..Imus would have referred..if phrases like that hadn't entered the lexicon through rap?

Only, they didn't. Use your Googling skills to check the etymology of those words, and then realize that you've failed to make your point.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 11, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Fun fact: Colin Powell speaks Yiddish.

This proves nothing and adds nothing to the conversation, but still, it's interesting.

Posted by: shortstop on April 11, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

NH You're missing the point. Calling someone a "nappy headed ho" is more a misogynist epithet than it is racist one.

In your opinion, but that's irrelevant to your response. I made a statement about racial epithets, and you responded by trying to apply what I said to misogyny, which I said nothing about.

My point really isn't that hard to understand. It's about the differences in use of derrogatory terminology by the empowered vs. the disempowered relative to those terms. If I was making a statement about misogynistic terms, uh, don't you think I'd be talking about their use by, I don't know, men compared to women, maybe? Or does this entire issue just baffle you?

I'm sorry, but if you can't tell the difference between race and gender, then that's you missing the point.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Use your Googling skills to check the etymology of those words, and then realize that you've failed to make your point.

Posted by: grape_crush

I did Google. Did you? You get about a hundred hits that are either rap lyrics or articles about rap lyrics. Hey, here's a nice piece of rhymin' by Trick Daddy that I got off the first page of searching...
http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/trickdaddy/walkinlikeahoe.html

Now first off all ya'll ho's should know a nigga don't work fa' ya'll
My dogs don't give a fuck and we'll fuck you sluts on coconal
Bitch it ain't no need fo' no skeezy ho, cause bitch I feed 'cha ho
Young greasy ho, you sleezy ho, put a nigga don't need 'cha ho
Believe me ho, bitch you don't know nann nigga like me
How you gone play a nigga like me
Straighten that thug nigga like me
And I know I shouldn't say this,
but just take the dick and I slang this dick for days (ho)
Try to explain this shit away
I'm 24/7 like Triple A, so shut up

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

NH: "Calling someone a "nappy headed ho" is more a misogynist epithet than it is racist one."

Not sure where you get the idea that it's more misogynist than racist, when it's clearly both. Apparently, you're trying to make a point by freighting them the way you do, but I have no idea what that point is.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 11, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Why are you guys even responding to Nappy Heddy? Do the Internets have a shortage of self-satisfied, would-be clever trolls incompetently debating in bad faith today?

Posted by: shortstop on April 11, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ask Bill Cosby what he thinks of
1) Don Imus' comment and
2) derogatory rap lyrics

I think he would be clear that both are not proper ways for human beings to communicate and lack dignity. I don't think he would tolerate long discussions on which one of the two is worse.

And I think we should think about this in the same way.

Posted by: david in norcal on April 11, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, shortstop, and a village is missing its idiot.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 11, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

My point really isn't that hard to understand.

Mine isn't either. This argument needs to be about misogyny rather than racism. The language Imus used came from the male rappers, and they primarily use it in a misogynist fashion that demeans women. By focusing on racism angle, it gives the male rappers a complete pass.

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

... or Richard Pryor, for that matter, david. He never again used "ni**er" in his act after having been to Africa.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 11, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: Why are you guys even responding to Nappy Heddy? Do the Internets have a shortage of self-satisfied, would-be clever trolls incompetently debating in bad faith today?

Both excellent questions. Guilty as charged. :)

Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

NH: "Calling someone a "nappy headed ho" is more a misogynist epithet than it is racist one."

Not sure where you get the idea that it's more misogynist than racist, when it's clearly both.

If he had just called them ho's would it still have been racist?

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Two wrongs don't make a right.

I read that somewhere.

Spewing this kind of crap on the radio is not good. It's bad and I hope all Imus' advertisers pull out and private enterprise lances this boil itself.

As for racism v. mysogynism (sp?) we need a new word for the denigration, specifically, of black women. Racgynism? something like that, because Imus certainly seems to be full of it. His comments about Gwen Ifill were absolutely horrible.

But what really gets me about this whole thing is not that Imus said something really hurtfull and stupid, but that virtually every white male liberal DC pundit is defending him. David Gregory, Craig Crawford, Howard Fineman, What's-his-face Oliphant. Come ON.

It has been a treat to watch Clarence Page tear Imus a new asshole.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 11, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

It's the social context of who Imus is and who his audience is, versus the social context of who the rapper is and who his audience is.

Jay! You don't have to hide behind your nappy head.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

"it's society's fault, not the I-Man's"

Give me a frakking break. He needs to take responsibility for his own actions and own up to them. This has nothing to do with what rappers do or don't do. The man has proven that he should not be entrusted to our national trust, the air waves. It is as simple as that. Done. End of story.

Posted by: Bubba on April 11, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, it would still have been racist because of the ethnic origin of the term and its expropriation by a racist.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

No, it IS a big leap.

Rappers who talk about 'hos don't effectively own a spot on the public airwaves. Imus does.

Posted by: RT on April 11, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

It's not that this excuses what Imus did. It's just the opposite. If we're justifiably outraged by what Imus said, shouldn't we be just as outraged with anybody else who says the same thing, regardless of their skin color?

Imus has insulted everyone. What is it that excuses all his other insults? Why is there no outrage for all the ugly language directed at the Duke Lacrosse team, or at Condoleeza Rice? Why didn't Gwen Ifil (to pick one example) write about the left-wing racist invective directed toward Republican Blacks?

Imus, like Jay Leno, professionally insults just about everybody. That's his bag, and has been for decades. He apologized for this once, and he has received a punishment. People should now consider why he alone, of all the public users of filthy, abusive, insulting and racist language is the only one to be punished.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 11, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Jay! You don't have to hide behind your nappy head.
Posted by: cld

That is a racist comment.

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Only if you're not Jay.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

"If he had just called them ho's would it still have been racist?"

cld pretty much cleared this up, but I'd simply point out that "if" doesn't enter into the conversation... unless you're one of those ass-clowns who wants to stretch context to (inadequately, as it's been demonstrated) suit your purposes.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 11, 2007 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

"If he had just called them ho's would it still have been racist?"

cld pretty much cleared this up, but I'd simply point out that "if" doesn't enter into the conversation... unless you're one of those ass-clowns who wants to stretch context to (inadequately, as it's been demonstrated) suit your purposes.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 11, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

There seems to be nothing but complete incoherence in the "rules" that get applied to determine whether a piece of language is cool, on the one hand, or hate speech, on the other. No one can seem to come up with any kind of account on which it's fine, even cool and edgy, for a black man to call a woman a "ho", but, for a white man to do so, it's hate speech.

The principle usually applied, that it's OK to use a derogatory term if it applies to oneself, just doesn't work here. Black males aren't "hos": it's a term of denigration for another group of people.

Really, you look at this, and you realize that the "rules" just get made up for the occasion, and to suit our well entrenched prejudices. Black males get a pass with the term "ho" because we choose to give them a pass. Imus must be fired because we decide to see hate speech in his remarks. Now I'm not arguing that either of these decisions on our part is wrong. I am arguing, though, that BOTH of them can't be right.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 11, 2007 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Nappy Heddy:

So all black women are Ho's/whores?

Are you this intentionally obtuse in person as well?

I did Google.

Good, then you saw that 'hoe' is a shortening of the word 'whore', which is centuries old...and 'nappy', used in colloquial or derogatory reference to the hair of black people, is from the 1950's.

Honestly...Or did you think etymology had something to do with insects?

This argument needs to be about misogyny rather than racism.

You need it to be, because you haven't yet found a leg to stand on.

...Apologies to shortstop...

Posted by: grape_crush on April 11, 2007 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

My radar is buzzing...this person calling themselves "nappy heddy" reminds me of a fellow named "Chuckles" who is supposed to be banned here.

Here's a great article that clears everything up for you. After you read this article, the matter is closed and we can all go back to talking about things that interest ME.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sick Relationship: Media Stars, Racist Imus

By Philip Nobile

It is not David Remnick's style to play ball with bigots.

Remnick is the editor of The New Yorker, a biographer of boxer Muhammad Ali, a friend of the legendary writer Ralph Ellison and a race writer of deserved renown. You would not catch him accepting a book award from a lug like John Rocker, even if it carried a large cash prize. Hypothetically again, he would refuse to plug the 75th anniversary of his magazine on Rocker's radio show, despite an audience of millions.

But high-end media create unexpected bedfellows--including Remnick and Don Imus, the Rocker of morning radio and MSNBC, who makes routine sport of race, sex and physical minorities, while buying off powerful, straight white journalists with lavish national air time to sell themselves and their products.

Among the cream of the press who regularly beat a path to Imus' golden door are Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert, Dan Rather, Cokie Roberts, Howard Fineman, Frank Rich, Jonathan Alter and Jeff Greenfield.

Since Imus paid Remnick $50,000 last year under the cover of the Imus Book Award, Remnick is compromised more than his peers. Still, it behooves one to wonder why he stooped to appear on Imus' show last week. Surely he knows that Imus is a lowbrow smear artist--far closer to Roy Cohn than H.L. Mencken--who revels in speech that would be banned from The New Yorker.

Remnick would never print a David Denby review comparing "the gorilla special effects in Instinct" to "the starting line-up of the Knicks." Nor would he permit his tennis correspondent to call Amelie Mauresmo a "a big old lesbo"* or the Williams sisters "two booma-chucka, big-butted women" or an Indian men's doubles team "Gunga Din and Sambo." If Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker's press critic, handed in copy scorning sports columnist Bill Rhoden as a "New York Times quota hire,"* PBS anchor Gwen Ifill as a "cleaning lady,"* and Talk as a magazine for "liberal homosexuals,"* Remnick would suspend him on the spot and maybe recommend therapy. Yet all the vile words quoted above were broadcast via Imus in the Morning (the asterisks indicate emanations from the host himself).

Remnick may believe that his hands are clean because Imus was polite to him.

Wisely, Imus knocks off calling the Knicks "chest-bumping pimps" with C-SPAM's Brian Lamb and stifles lesbian references to Hillary Rodham Clinton with Doris Kearns Goodwin. But when the respectables are out of the room, the hoods are donned.

For example, within minutes of Remnick's guest shot, Imus ridiculed a cable commentator at the Westminster dog show as a homosexual, not once but twice, and kidded his producer's propensity to mock blacks, as in the jibe, go "make fun of more Negroes." But the latter remark was no mere jibe. In 1997, Imus carelessly told a 60 Minutes staffer off-mike that Bernard McGuirk, his program producer, was tapped to do "nigger jokes." Mike Wallace exposed this incriminating usage in his 60 Minutes profile. Trapped in a Mark Fuhrman moment, what did Imus do? He lied, that is, he denied the staffer's word. When Wallace redoubtably called Imus' bluff on camera, Imus partially relented, insisting that his remark was off the record but nonetheless failing to apologize.

Regrettably, last Tuesday in these pages Noel Rubinton missed the real story behind Imus' red-hot role in presidential politics, which is: How does a shock jock who says "nigger" in private and analogizes blacks to apes in public, get White House aspirants like Bill Bradley, John McCain, Al Gore and Alan Keyes eating from his unclean hands?

In fact, each of the above moral leaders were faxed transcripts of Imus' un-American utterances before recent appearances on the show. Yet none was deterred, not even Bradley who is running on his puffed-up race and gay-rights record. All politicians are reputed to be scoundrels. So they have found their scoundrel time on Imus in the Morning. Coincidentally, Newsday employs the only clear-eyed Imus critic in the press.

Les Payne, columnist and assistant managing editor, has consistently accused Imus of slinging night soil on the least of the brethren. After lampooning Rubinton's valentine last week, along with previous softcore tributes in The New Yorker and Newsweek, Imus rendered Payne a backdoor compliment. "Who's the racist guy out at Newsday who always is attacking me?" he said. "Les Payne. I much prefer his columns because he's a flat-out racist. The guy accuses me, of course, of being one.... The guy retains some dignity, even though they're essentially racist columns, not essentially, they are racist."

Being labeled a racist by the I-Man--how sweet the sound! Too bad Payne is the only journalist in America to hear it.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Hmm, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent are now compared to Don Imus? Imus hates rap and hates rappers and so do all these other pundits that are saying, "well rappers do it too!" Imus was making fun of rap music, basketball players stereotypes and black women when he made his nappy headed hoes comment.
He hates these people. These women aren't people he would ever invite over to his house. He's grovelling and pleading to meet with them now to save his job, otherwise, he'd never give them a second thought.

Posted by: D. on April 11, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

It's the social context of who Imus is and who his audience is, versus the social context of who the rapper is and who his audience is.

Excuse me, what the hell does that even mean?

This "explanation" pretty much allows you to make up anything you want. Black males can call women "hos", because of "social context"?

Posted by: frankly0 on April 11, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Come on folks. "Nappy Heddy" is American Hawk trying to paint Imus as a victim of black rappers. Don't fall for the troll.

Posted by: Disputo on April 11, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Bad analogy Kevin.

How a racial minority talks among themselves has no bearing on what is appropriate when it comes to how the racial majority should talk about the racial minority that they oppressed the shit out of for 400 years, only ending in legal terms about 40 years ago.

Also, playing the recordings of absent musicians is different than being the live host of an often politically-oriented talk radio show.

Posted by: The Fool on April 11, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Don't fall for the troll.

Exactly! Don't fall for the troll. Plus, I think that moron was banned as well.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, indeed I stand corrected. Dumbass Imus says "nappy headed ho" to a bunch of old white folks in cars and it warps the fabric of society. He must be hung at the yardarm until he goes through the seven stages of apology (which I am cool with).

While Ja Rule (who has sold how many million albums to the most impressionable age groups?) can get props from his homeys and send checks to the whiteys who own the companies (hey, I almost rapped!) for lyrics like this off his platinum selling album...

Acting like you so innocent
When you in the six
Usually that bring the freak right out of a bitch
I knew something was wrong
Lesbian I go on
Ain't nothing wrong with bump n' grinding right
I like mines tight
You like yours licked
And we both like bitches to get high high wit
You opted to leave a nigga with no options
You freak hoe dance topless baby
What's ya sitcho
You ride dildo
Plastic nympho
Only see dick in porno
Hun lidten
I can make your life a world of difference
Throw me in the mix of your sexual experiences
See what happens
In like two weeks
These hoes is freaking
Making about two g's a piece a weekend
That's what I'm saying

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever else hip-hop is, it's certainly not the goal of most rappers to keep the black man down. I think it's beyond silly to make that argument. Posted by: DH Walker on April 11, 2007 at 2:44 PM

It may not be their goal, but that's the outcome.

As my last comment on this, let me quote a black friend of mine who said, "Language like this keeps black people down because it provides racists tools to say, "Look how ignorant they are."

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 11, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: wow, u just keep missing the point.

Posted by: GOD on April 11, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Don't listen to or buy rap or hip-hop. Rap lyrics have always been offensive and violent to me and I can't stand the genre. I find the Bush-Cheney regime enough of an obscenity to contend with.

Imus' insult is one of a series of racist, sexist smears on his show. I posted some others yesterday on the Imus thread but you can find more at Media Matters via other sources. He's a serial offender whose pattern is to go too far, apologize, go too far, apologize, and then do it again. Over and over. In 2000, Imus promised to "stop using racially insensitive language" to Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page. Yeah, sure. That pledge was not honored. Imus can't help his racist, sexist self.

In July 2000, Imus had the audacity to call former Sec. of Defense William Cohen "the Mandingo" and his African-American wife, Janet Langhart, "a ho" and "brown sugar." Yeah, I'm sure Imus learned "Mandingo," a 1975 movie title, from rap artists. Bullshit.

Via a Village Voice article from MM:

The muckraker Philip Nobile has been tracking Imus's racist rap in a series for the webzine tompaine.com. When you take this patter out of laff-riot context, it's strikingly similar to the drollery of David Duke. Imus and his buds have called O.J.'s lead attorney "chicken wing Johnny Cochran," Sammy Davis Jr. "a one-eyed lawn jockey," Patrick Ewing "Mighty Joe Young," ...
When the NYTimes hired Gwen Ifill to cover the WH, Imus said, "Isn't the Times wonderful? It lets the cleaning lady cover the White House."

I agree with Bob Steele of the Poynter Institute who said on NBC's Nightly News, Apr. 9: "For a journalist to be part of that shtick is irresponsible and unethical."

Imus hails from the same barking mad punditry class as Rush and Ann Coulter. Rush got his walking papers from ESPN when he made his racist innuendoes about Donovan McNabb. Newspapers are dropping Coulter's column. Good riddance. It's been long overdue for Imus to get the pointed end of the boot.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 11, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Why is it acceptable for (some) black males to call women "hos"?

My answer: simply because they have done so and we have chosen to accept it.

I don't think there's anything deeper to it than that; I don't think there's any other honest answer.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 11, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Black males can call women "hos", because of "social context"?

The point was that when they do it isn't racism, because of social context.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

oops, forgot the link, for those who want to read the whole woman-hating thing. Lyrics are to "Bitch Betta Have My Money"

http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/rushhour/bitchbettahavemymoney.htm

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of good points have been made so I'm not going to reinvent the wheel here, but rather make a narrower point regarding Rap Music.

It's not monolithic. Ever since the major labels cannibalized Hip-Hop, the crap has consistently risen to the top. This has made a lot of money for rich white executives and a few young black entrepreneurs, and made for a LOT of strongly principled criticism by real hip-hop artists.

Meanwhile, barely-known hip-hop artists scrap out local fame all over the country and the world unrecognized, many of whom make legitimately creative, substantive, original music that you just MIGHT find on Amazon. Those artists that cash in and are not true to the spirit of hip-hop are scorned by true artists and fans of the genre.

No art form worth a damn is going to be P.C., but the substance-free misogynistic egotistical crap that most people think of as rap music is not art - it's just the corporate-driven exploitative suburban-titillation fake side of rap.

Quit trashing rap music.

Posted by: biwah on April 11, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Here's another problem with the "logic" of the "rapper defense". When you use a racist term like "jigaboo" you insult the entire black race, not juts the rappers. Why is Imus supposedly justified in insulting the entire non-rapper black population because of what the rappers said? If Imus wants to put down rappers for their language, then he should talk about rappers, not college girls and not every other black person who is not a rapper.

Face it people. Get over yourselves. There simply is no defense for calling black people "jigaboos" on the radio.

Posted by: The Fool on April 11, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

cld: Moreover in this case, Imus was referring specifically to a group of people that we can all identify, not in some generic sense like a rapper.
Not to say that what the some rappers say are not offensive, but this is not on the same level whichever way you look at it.
franly0, what would you say if I went on Meet the Press and called your wife, mother, sister or daughter by name and then say she is s coke snorting slut. You're not going to be making the stupid argument that people use those same words on T.V. all the time, will you?

Posted by: GOD on April 11, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Black males get a pass with the term "ho" because we choose to give them a pass.


I don't give them a pass, and you can make an excellent argument that it is hate speech, but because it is misogynistic.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

The issue isn't exactly that Imus is out of line, since Rush and Savage say things just as awful nearly every day. For the record, I don't think it is important for Imus to be fired, just that he become so radioactive that pundits and pols (especially Dems) don't think it's OK to go on his show anymore.

And that's the only place where the gangsta analogy applies: if Joe Lieberman and Maureen Dowd want to guest-rap on ATL's next record, I'm against that, too.

Posted by: kth on April 11, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: wow, u just keep missing the point.

And all I see are convenient, contrived explanations people come up with to justify what they otherwise want to believe. I mean, "social context"?

Sorry, but Bullshit is Bullshit, even on Judgment Day.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 11, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

cld: racism ≠ mysogyny

Posted by: Bubba on April 11, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Don't listen to or buy rap or hip-hop. Rap lyrics have always been offensive and violent to me and I can't stand the genre.

I actually didn't realize what a cesspool of woman-hating it was until I googled today. And it sells by the millions upon millions of records. Gotta go, here's some more delightful rhymings from our favorite rapper, Trick Daddy...Song titled Ho But You Cant Help It.

I figure you'se a ho but you can't help it
'Cause being raised by a ho is kinda hectic
Old material bitch
Gold-digging for them tender dicks
A real nigga never give you shit Biotch
Born and raised in the motherfucking projects ho
Getting money by at the pak Jam, by the back door
Wearing them shorts up your ass with a tube top
Letting niggas stick they fingers all in the cock
Pussy all big and wet, looking good and shit
Smelling like dead fish
And every week it's the same shit you and that lil shit
And every time I see you, you got to have dick
You wants mo' respect
You gets no respect
And all you want is some hardcore sex
1, 2, 3, yes you know
4, 5, 6, 7 niggas in your hole
Back-to-back from the back, head and all
Doo-doo brown and licked his hairy ass balls
In the streets late-night me, you, and all my boys
What I'm thinking 'bout honey bun (honey bun)
You got the nigga running up in you
Shake it like "Naww, I'm not trying to do you"
No good freak, is the same but I love you
I'm off in you skin-deep motherfucker let's do it again sometimes you like that, huh?
The next nut going out for your grandma

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0,

If you don't have a social context I don't know what you're doing here.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

As music, for what it did with vocals and rhythms, hip hop was interesting and innovative. And sometimes the words were thought-provoking, politically conscious etc. Nowadays it's mostly a social phenomenon, a fantasy culture for white suburban kids to feel "ghetto" and for ghetto kids to feel tough and celebrate the tackiest consumerism. All the "bitch," "ho," "nigger" nonsense is just laughable macho tripe. These words mean what they mean and they're insults no matter what the context or who the speaker is.

Posted by: rakhia on April 11, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0 on April 11, 2007 at 4:05 PM:

Why is it acceptable for (some) black males to call women "hos"?

News Flash: Black Rappers Invent Misogyny! Entertainment personality Dom Imus reportedly relieved, saying, "Now that I have that monkey off my back, I just gotta worry about not pissing off all the other ones."

My answer: simply because they have done so and we have chosen to accept it.

Or, that, on the whole, we have accepted a 'background level' of sexist behavior as the norm, and not limited to a particular segment of the black community.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 11, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK
The issue isn't exactly that Imus is out of line, since Rush and Savage say things just as awful nearly every day.

This seems to rely on the premise that Rush and Savage are, themselves, not out of line, which I certainly would not accept as a given.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 11, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Socratic me,

I think I generally agree with most of what you say. There's a lot of complexity in how different words egt used and what they can mean in the mouths of different people. This is especialy thorny with derogatory terms that have been reappropriated by the groups they were emant to describe (nigger, fag, dyke, bitch, etc--words given here as examples, and really, really really not intended to give offense to anyone).

My point was that specifically in the Imus case, the case of a grown man who plays a prominent role in public discourse (even if not a role that's especially high-minded), there doesn't seem to be a lot of complexity. Imus isn't your HS kids, trying to find an appropriate way to express adolescent dissatisfaction with authority while looking cool doing it. He's a rich, middle-aged white guy. If--*big if*--he was aping hip-hop vernacular, he was doing it with contempt for black culture. We *know this* about the guy.

Anyway, that was the point I was driving at.

Posted by: Scott E. on April 11, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

You want to complain about violent video games, mindless reality tv, offensive radio disc-jockeys, talentless rappers, and bad government.

Blame the people who buy the shit!
And then blame the parents that raised the people who buy the shit!
I personally don't care about Imus because I don't listen to him. You people who would have him fired/censored are fooling yourself. If you think that removing him will change the minds of the bigots who listen to him, then I have a oxycontined Rush Limbaugh to sell you!
By the way, rap music stinks because it stinks, not just because it's perpetrators are criminals.
Condoleeza Rice is a whore, just like the rest of the Bushies are traitors.

Posted by: William on April 11, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Outkast sexism:

Verse Three - Andre 3000] (Repeating "Shake it" in background)
Now while Beyonc้ and Lucy Lui
And baby dogs, get on the floor
(Get on the floor)
You know what to dooo..
Yooooouuu.. know I do

Beatles sexism:

Well, she was just 17
You know what I mean
And the way she looked was way beyond compare
So how could I dance with another (Ooh)
When I saw her standing there

Big Bopper sexism:

Chantilly lace and a pretty face
And a pony tail hanging down
That wiggle in the walk and giggle in the talk
Makes the world go round
There ain't nothing in the world like a big eyed girl
That makes me act so funny, make me spend my money
Make me feel real loose like a long necked goose
Like a girl, oh baby that's what I like

Don't blame that boogie woogie on the king of rock 'n roll.

Posted by: Brojo on April 11, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Whether you're talking about rap music or radio jocks, the issue is not how can anyone say this, but how is it that these people can say this and be paid and adored for it? You can make the case that bothe the rappers and the jocks are in some kind of parodic mode, just a reflection of the uglier side of real society, that we need to see & hear. In both cases that line of argument has become stretched very thin. And in Imus' case, given the personal nature of the attack and his pretense to political significance, it is pretty much gone. That's why people may not know exactly where that line has been crossed, but know viscerally that Imus went further past it than the people he's being compared to.

And yeah, it matters that Imus crossed race AND gender AND went personal AND had no factual basis AND is mainstream media. We all do a few of the above from time to time, but that's a virtual grand slam of offensive speech.

Posted by: biwah on April 11, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo:

Are the Outkast lyrics supposed to be offensive? It's about dancing. You could have found much naughtier just off the same album.

Your efforts are weak, and of course you confuse sexuality with viciousness. It's a hallmark of "you people" (social conservatives that is).

Posted by: biwah on April 11, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Your "social context" does not excuse you from the need to be a decent, respectful human being.

Posted by: david in norcal on April 11, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Atrios is wrong; it's not a leap at all.

The YWCA said pretty much the same thing in a press release.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on April 11, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

I choose the lyrics to demonstrate much of popular music uses sexism, even if it is not vicious. There are vicious sexist songs that some rappers/hip hoppers sing, but most of the sexism in popular music is not of that variety, like so many military supporting and Iranian hating moderates assume.

Posted by: Brojo on April 11, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Imus - denigrated - Smart athletic, sucessful, college Women. These Women deserve Respect.

Imus is an talk show host -
A Rapper is a Rapper

TOTALLY different.

Imus should be Fired.

People should refuse to by bad lyric albums.
And on another topic - Comedians are saying some Vile Stuff - under the umbrella of Comedy.
Give me a break.

Posted by: skibumlee on April 11, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

These are about the most offensive lyrics I could find:

Can't Get There From Here

When the world is a monster
Bad to swallow you whole
Kick the clay that holds the teeth in
Throw your trolls out the door
If you're needing inspiration
Philomath is where I go by dawn
Lawyer Jeff he knows the lowdown
He's mighty bad to visit home
I've been there I know the way
(Can't get there from here)
I've been there I know the way
(Can't get there from here)
I've been there I know the way
(Can't get there from here)
I've been there I know the way
When your hands are feeling empty
Stick head jumpin off the ground, 'round
Tris is sure to shirr the deers out
Brother Ray can sing my song
I've been there I know the way
(Can't get there from here)
I've been there I know the way
(Can't get there from here)
I've been there I know the way
(Can't get there from here)
I've been there I know the way
Hands down, Calechee bound
Landlocked kiss the ground
Dirt of seven continents going round and round
Go on ahead Mr. Citywide hypnotized, suit and tied
Gentlemen, testify
If your world is a monster
Bad to swallow you whole
Philomath they know the lowdown
Throw your trolls out the door
I've been there I know the way
(Can't get there from here)
I've been there I know the way
(Can't get there from here)
I've been there I know the way
(Can't get there from here)
I've been there I know the way
Thank you, Ray.

Tris is sure to shirr the deers out? What the billy blue blazes?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

The controversy over the racist commentary of Don Imus continues to boil over in the liberal blogosphere. But while there is general agreement with the calls by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for Imus' firing by CBS Radio and MSNBC, there is a disappointing silence when its comes to Sharpton and Jackson's own histories of hate speech and racial intolerance.

For the details, see:
"Don Imus' Troubled Future, Al Sharpton's Troubling Past."

Posted by: AngryOne on April 11, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Imus knows the drill....

An "appology" for outrageous, shameful behavior quickly followed by the "announcement" that he's entering rehab.......

The old goat relapsed again.......

Posted by: JerseyMissouri on April 11, 2007 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

No Imus must not be fired. He must be made to stand on a corner in, say, Houston's Fifth Ward and carry on a rant about nappy-headed hos.

We could start a pool on how long he lasts and stream the whole event.

Those magnificent women and their families worked their tails off for years and the pay-off for all that effort is this?

And so many are saying its no big deal?

Y'all make me sick.

Posted by: Keith G on April 11, 2007 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Imus - denigrated - Smart athletic, sucessful, college Women. These Women deserve Respect. Imus is an talk show host - A Rapper is a Rapper. TOTALLY different.

Why is it "totally" different? Why is it ok for someone who fills concert halls for a living to insult young women but not for someone who sells radio ads?

Posted by: Saturn 5 on April 11, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Oh and Angry One....I am tired of your relentless blog whoring.....get some talent, get a following, and get a life.

Posted by: Keith G on April 11, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Why is it "totally" different? Why is it ok for someone who fills concert halls for a living to insult young women but not for someone who sells radio ads?

You ninny. One pays cash money to be admitted to the concert to hear the performance--one is buying the art and is buying the product. You can choose to do so or not to do so--but if you PAY for admittance, you get the art that you just paid for, reprehensible or otherwise.

Imus should be fired because he used the public airwaves--licensed for use by the FCC and granted to the broadcasters for use--to make racist comments.

Concert Hall? Not free. Broadcast television and broadcast radio? Free, but owned by the people.

Now, you can choose to listen, you can choose not to listen. But the fact of the matter is, the man is a pig and he should be forced to try to make a living on satellite radio like all the other pigs who are unfit for the public airwaves. Let the free market sort it out.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Why is it "totally" different? Why is it ok for someone who fills concert halls for a living to insult young women but not for someone who sells radio ads?


I don't think that rappers or comedians are right to do this.

but Imus is paid by CBS and CNBC and should be fired for his abusing public airwaves.

Posted by: skibumlee on April 11, 2007 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Imus should be fired because he used the public airwaves--licensed for use by the FCC and granted to the broadcasters for use--to make racist comments.

So if he had made the comments at a dinner, for example, it would have been OK?

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Radio waves are available to anyone to modulate and listen to. They belong to the public. Songs and concert tickets are purchased by individuals. They are not owned by the public. Radio waves are regulated. Speech, written or sung, is not, or should not be, regulated.

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson do not have radio programs, so they cannot be fired for making sexist and racist remarks. You may choose not to donate to them or their causes.

Posted by: Brojo on April 11, 2007 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, delete "OK" and replace with "not a fire-able offense".

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Condoleeza Rice is a whore, ... .

Why is that acceptable? Is there a presumption that no one reads that far down the comment thread, whereas Imus has (had) millions of listeners? Is it because he didn't write "nappy -headed" (which would be untrue in this case), or didn't use the short form: ho?

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 11, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

William, maybe Hillary Clinton is a whore and Nancy Pelosi is a whore/traitor for selling out our troops. 'Pends on how you look at it.

One thing for shur, Imus is cooked and ready for the proverbial fork.

Posted by: daveinboca on April 11, 2007 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

msnbc drops Imus.

Posted by: cld on April 11, 2007 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

biwah wrote: "Ever since the major labels cannibalized Hip-Hop, the crap has consistently risen to the top [...] Meanwhile, barely-known hip-hop artists scrap out local fame all over the country and the world unrecognized, many of whom make legitimately creative, substantive, original music that you just MIGHT find on Amazon."

You know, the very same thing can be said about country music, or rock & roll music for that matter.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 11, 2007 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

"'Condoleezza Rice is a whore...'

"Why is that acceptable?"

One answer is that it might not be. The other answer is that it may very well be acceptable, if someone's making the point that she's traded her principles for career advancement. It's what's called a metaphor. The point is that Imus wasn't using metaphor when he called those women hos. But you already knew that. You just keep swinging and missing.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 11, 2007 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

msnbc drops Imus. Posted by: cld

Now if we could just make him cut his hair.

Posted by: JeffII on April 11, 2007 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

MRM wants to know why writing "Condoleeza is a whore" is acceptable.

First of all, Rice is a well-known public figure, whereas the players on the Rutgers women's basketball team are not.

Second, the poster was speaking figuratively. Imus was not.

Third, the poster used the word "whore" which doesn't have racist connotations. OTOH, Imus used "ho", which most certainly does.

Fourth, you elided the context. The poster wrote, "Condoleeza Rice is a whore, just like the rest of the Bushies are traitors," grouping men and woman Bushies as "whores", mitigating its sexist connotations, unlike Imus who targeted women.

All that being said, personally I avoid the use of the word "whore" even in its figurative sense, simply because it is crass and there are other less offensive descriptors. However, unlike you, I can distinguish between when it is being used as a racist and sexist term and when it is not.

Posted by: Disputo on April 11, 2007 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Fourth, you elided the context. The poster wrote, "Condoleeza Rice is a whore, just like the rest of the Bushies are traitors," grouping men and woman Bushies as "whores", mitigating its sexist connotations, unlike Imus who targeted women.

Huh? Traitor = whore? Looks to me like it singled out Condi for whore-hood, while reserving traitor for the hungones.

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

I don't care what happens to Imus for his vile remarks, and I would have preferred that the networks had been forced to buy radio spectrum at auction (btw, MSNBC is a cable show that people have to pay for in their basic package, so the public airwaves aspect doesn't apply), as opposed to the give-away they received in the 90s. What is interesting to me (besides the lunacy of anybody issuing apologies on a radio show hosted by Al Sharpton) is noting how many politicians hung out for a week, with their finger in the wind, before chiming in with their opinions as to whether Imus should go. There is nothing in the universe more useless than a United States Senator.

Posted by: Will Allen on April 11, 2007 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

MSNBC drops the Imus show. Congratulations for doing the right thing. Now if CBS and WFAN follow suit, it will be a blow for ending the racist hate speech of Republican supporters and sympathizers. Cry little missies: Rogers, Marler, 'Heddy,''saturn5,' etal, bawl away, one bigot down, dozens to go.
Apparently it was a decision taken by MSNBC management after discussions with their employees according to Steve Kaplan. Finally, enough was enough.

Posted by: Mike on April 11, 2007 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I meant Steve Capus of NBC.

Posted by: Mike on April 11, 2007 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Cry little missies: Rogers, Marler, 'Heddy,''saturn5,' etal, bawl away, one bigot down, dozens to go.

You are the stupidest commenter I have ever seen. And I've seen some real dumbasses come through here.

Once again, with feeling, let me say again:

Imus should be fired because he used the public airwaves--licensed for use by the FCC and granted to the broadcasters for use--to make racist comments.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Norman
Imus should be fired because he used the public airwaves--licensed for use by the FCC and granted to the broadcasters for use--to make racist comments.

How dare you argue he should be allowed to use the airwaves to make racist remarks. Cry little missy.

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently it was a decision taken by MSNBC management after discussions with their employees

I found that very interesting. Sounds like the suits in the exec suites were feeling a bunch of heat from within their own organization. I like hearing that.

Posted by: Disputo on April 11, 2007 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

How dare you argue he should be allowed to use the airwaves to make racist remarks. Cry little missy.

Okay--now you're the dumbass.

Poor little liberals--one of your own goes over the side and takes the reputation of the liberal NBC News with it and you're all bitchy and ready to make wild accusations that don't stick.

You wear the patina of pathetic so well...

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Okay--now you're the dumbass.

Maybe I was being sarcastic and you're just too stupid to get it.

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe I was being sarcastic and you're just too stupid to get it.

Hmmm. Let me think about that. First of all, I'm the most intelligent person who posts here. Second, I'm far and away the most hilarious person who posts here. Third, I'm usually right and when I'm right, there is a tendency from the unhinged liberals to continue to attack me and to "spoof."

This is the burden of being rich--a lot of people ask you for things. Are you asking me to ignore your unfunny attempt at sarcasm? Sorry, chumley. I think I'll reserve the right to hit you like a ninja hits his enemy--from a distance you cannot imagine and with a force that devastates you and with a grace you cannot comprehend.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

While it is always regretable anyone looses a job, weep not for Don Imus. The man was a walking, talking, bigot, antisemite and homophobe who made millions off offensive, inflammatory humor. I remember him over 20 years ago on VH1 mocking the late Ed Bradley as Booker T. He never grew up, he kept playing with fire and he finally got burned. Now he is a matyr, victim of those racist race baiters Sharpton and Jackson. He'll be back on the air in six months.

Posted by: ALINE on April 11, 2007 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

Are you asking me to ignore your unfunny attempt at sarcasm?

There was a moment...now lost...when we could have laughed *with* each other. I tossed up a softball, but you used your pitching wedge and hit it in the water. I can only say now that your ninja skills will be no match for my dragon style Fu. HaaaWAAAH!

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 11, 2007 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo, do you think it would have been ok to call the Rutgers women's basketball team "hos" if they had been famous? Maybe like the Supremes? Of course not.

However, unlike you, I can distinguish between when it is being used as a racist and sexist term and when it is not.

Probably not.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 11, 2007 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

I can only say now that your ninja skills will be no match for my dragon style Fu.

Are you telling me a ninja cannot kill a dragon?

Oh, and Mike?

You can apologize any time you like. Please do so before the thread shuts down in a day or so.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Imus' show has been discontinued. He'll pop up somewhere else

Ann Coulter uses the word "traitor" for everyone who disagrees with her. It's neither racist nor sexist, but it is stupid, insulting to readers, and annoying. It is equally stupid to refer to the members of the Bush administration as traitors.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 11, 2007 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo, do you think it would have been ok to call the Rutgers women's basketball team "hos" if they had been famous? Maybe like the Supremes? Of course not.

It's responses like this that make me realize what a waste of time it is to bother ever responding seriously to you in the first place.

Thx for the reminder.

Posted by: Disputo on April 11, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Gilliard often talks about this. The point he makes is that you can find just as mysogistic lyrics and attitudes in rock 'n' roll but no-one ever complains about that.

For some reason its only black rappers that get pulled up on this.

And as for the rest of the substance of his argument, well the problem with Imus is not really the comments, but the comments combined with his endorsement by the mainstream political establishment and media. Free speech means you can't stop people saying this, but society can decide if these views will be an accepted part of the mainstream , or relegated to the fringe. The criticism was not about Imus but his enablers.

You don't see Chris Dodd hanging out with 50 cent.

Posted by: swio on April 11, 2007 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

besides, i saw a picture of the basketball team and not all of them are nappy-headed. some have nice conk jobs.

your pal,
blake

Posted by: blake on April 11, 2007 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

On the off chance that Scott E. will actually come back and sort through this drivel (especially this last fun "ego"-compensation battle from NH and NR) to continue a conversation, I humbly offer a response.

I think we agree more than we disagree. The sticking point for me is the difference between Imus-the-man and Imus-the-entertainer. I don't like his schtick, but I don't think one has to be a racist bigot to think it is funny. Also, the more I read about it, the more I think the context actually makes it a sadly unfunny attempt to mock rap culture than anything else. And rap culture definitely deserves that mocking.

However, out of context, it is turned into this nasty streak of hate that just doesn't seem to be there. Take for example, the jigaboo comment. It was part of a direct reference to a movie that is fairly prominent in black culture. But you wouldn't know that from the hysterics people have worked themselves into over the mess. Heck, if you read through the comments above, you will even find at least one person arguing seriously that "ho" is more racially loaded than "whore". I have to think there is some level on which people just want to yell at the white guy because, let's face it, white guys have a lot of yelling coming to 'em.

So I find myself thinking that he is an idiot. And I won't be dissappointed if he loses his job (I guess now that should be "that he lost his job"). But I can't get myself too worked up about how vile an act it was either. I see worse on a regular basis amongst both white and black members on my community. So it is one where I feel like going "yes, this is bad" but wondering why I have been reading about it for 2 solid days now (longer, really) and why this, of all the terrible terrible things occuring in the world, is really what gets everyone upset.

Then I remember all those rightwing memes about how liberals just love to be outraged about things and the actual import of the offense matters less than the outrage it can be used to muster. It makes me shake my head. He is worth our dissapproval. Maybe even our disgust. But outrage? There are plenty bigger fish to fry that need that outrage a whole lot more.

At least, that is my thinking after a really long day at the school. Maybe if I weren't so tired, this would hit me, too.

Posted by: socratic_me on April 11, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

I don't like his schtick, but I don't think one has to be a racist bigot to think it is funny.

Wait--are you actually saying that you think perfectly non-racist people are legitimately allowed to think of the remarks as "funny" even though the point of the whole routine they were doing was to denigrate the appearance of these women? The context of Imus' remarks was this--the Tennessee women, who won the title and the game that night, were clean cut and "cute." The Rutgers women were the losing team, and they had tatoos and braided hair and were not as "cute" or "presentable" as the Tennessee women's team and looked more like the Toronto Raptors.

That's funny? No, it's not funny. For that to be funny, you actually have to agree with the premise of the bit and you actually have to be ready to say that black women who look "gangsta" or "hardcore" like the Toronto Raptors might look are "ho's" and are unacceptable.

Context is everything and in just one phrase, you skate past the context. Oh, and nice dodge, sir--you make it clear that you "don't like his schtick" because you aren't comfortable saying what you REALLY think, which is this--

I'm white and making fun of black women is funny to me! Especially if it denigrates them sexually and also makes fun of the black men who dominate the NBA as well!

You're a dishonest fraud, sir. And I've exposed very carefully what is going through that melon head of yours.

You continue with:

Also, the more I read about it, the more I think the context actually makes it a sadly unfunny attempt to mock rap culture than anything else. And rap culture definitely deserves that mocking.

Once more, your white guilt and your desire to denigrate black culture shows through. You straddle the fence when you say that it is "sadly unfunny" but have to counter that with "rap culture definitely deserves that mocking."

Which is it, sir? Is it not funny or is it high time we stick it to these "uppity blacks" who are making money with an artform you can't participate in? That is the crux of any criticism of this art form or medium called rap music. It is largely created by blacks for a white audience that cannot, with only a few exceptions, perform it or make money from it. It is something the blacks have over the whites--this ability to create something that has value and is accepted in the marketplace. That is why whites denigrate rap music--they know that they can't rap but that the marketplace has embraced rap music. I saw this with Motown in the 1960s. It got to the point where whites had to literally destroy Motown in order to get back their power in the music business.

What? Weren't expecting to be "called on your bullshit" this evening, sir?

Too bad.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: It's responses like this that make me realize what a waste of time it is to bother ever responding seriously to you in the first place.

you're the one who mentioned fame. All I did was point out that even you who mentioned it did not find it a mitigating factor.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 11, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

What? No apology from Mike?

Another liberal with no class.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 12, 2007 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Frankly, we are fast becoming the epitome of a Jerry Springer society. It seems to have become more important to have an audience and notoriety when confronting conflict than it is to attain resolve and mutual respect. That model seems to serve the needs of the exploited and those who seek to exploit; reinforcing all that relegates objectivity to the outhouse while making the frailty and imperfection of the human condition a spectacle that harkens back to the Coliseum.

This situation isn’t and shouldn’t be about whether liberals or conservatives, this race or that race, hip hop or honky-tonk, one group or another, are more offensive and therefore more responsible for all that is wrong with America. I am not capable of judging the whole of Don Imus nor am I capable of crafting a recipe to fix all of America…and neither are the countless pundits and partisans who have sought to frame it so.

I’m not a religious person…but I often find kinship with the imagery surrounding the portrayal of one called Jesus and his teachings of understanding and forgiveness. For all the banter I hear about the Bible and Christian values, it certainly seems to me that we are fast abandoning what many view as the sacred “tablets” in favor of the sacrosanct tabloids. If I’m right, all I can say is heaven help us.

Read more about the dynamics that lead a situation to become larger than the sum of its parts…here:

www.thoughttheater.com

Posted by: Daniel DiRito on April 12, 2007 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't know 50-cent provided the standards and vocabulary for Imus.

Posted by: Mooser on April 12, 2007 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

I've listened to Imus a few times over the years, and he never struck me as a rascist, just an ass.
This is what bugs me about the Imus situation: Rush Limbaugh said on his show that watching an NBA game nowadays is like watching the Bloods vs. the Crips. THIS is racist--implying that there is something wrong with a predominance of black males in a certain sport, and making the generalization that blacks are criminals.
Glenn Beck asked our first Muslim congressman to assure him he was not a terrorist.
The thinking of Limbaugh and Beck is dangerous. Imus did a lame imitation of a hip urban rapper.
Imus should be lambasted, but what about Limbaugh and Beck?

Posted by: smuggler on April 12, 2007 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Damn, you sure did se through me, Norman. Too bad, I really was trying to slip that slap in the face to all NBA players past everyone, too. Though, to be fair, the raptors don't really stir my blood. Floppy heads, the lot of 'em.

Which is to say that I am clearly not Kevin or any other moderator, but I do have to wish that ad hominem attacks in the form of mind reading annoyed those guys as much as it does me.

For a little more on my sense of humour, let me point out that when I saw the little tiff between Mr. Hedder and Mr. Rogers earlier, some deep dark part of yelled "Troll Fight!!!" in a distinctly Cartmanesque voice. So there you have it. I hate the handicapped as well. Damn me. Damn me to hell.

Posted by: socratic_me on April 12, 2007 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

Wait--are you actually saying that you think perfectly non-racist people are legitimately allowed to think of the remarks as "funny" even though the point of the whole routine they were doing was to denigrate the appearance of these women?

Imus's comments about the Rutgers women weren't part of a "routine." The words were part of the jocular, but in this case awfully stupid and offense, ad-lib banter among the regular crew while the sports report was being read. The use of this language would have been far more offensive had it come with the forethought that goes into writing a script. As regular listeners will know, the show makes use of regular characters who perform skits or bits that satirize this or that public figure (Alberto Gonzalez, Bill Clinton, Ray Nagin, etc.). They vary in their humor quotient, but they're fairly sophisticated in terms of their understanding the subtleties of the American political and media scene (at least in comparison to what's on offer on radio). Anyway, the bulk of the Imus show's use of crude humor and language comes in these bits critiquing the rich and powerful. It's not really very different from Norman Lear's use of a bigoted character and offensive script language to make points and entertain us in the 1970s.

As to whether "non-racist" people can find Imus's Rutgers remarks funny, well, I'd say "no" about these remarks in particular (they really were sickening). But usually when Imus or his crew are riffing in this manner, the humor isn't in the remarks themselves, the humor rather is to be found in the absurd spectacle of, you know, middle aged men talking like seventh grade boys, and then often "exposing" their highly respected, dignified (and often very pompous) establishment figure guests to their crudities.

Last week for example, Imus was stating that he'd be happy to offer his extra testicle (he was claiming he'd been born with three) to the poor chap in the news who apparently had had the wrong one removed in surgery. Anyway, the moment he finished this utterly inane commentary he went to Andrea Mitchell, the highly respected NBC foreign affairs correspondent and wife of Alan Greenspan. It was made clear as Imus introduced the unfortunate Ms. Mitchell that she had had the audio feed for several moments prior to his finishing his testicle joke, and that, therefore, the audience knows she has had to endure a minute or two of Imus's utterly idiotic and embarrassing spiel. Again, the banter was utterly sophomoric, and not particularly funny per se; the humor, for those who found it funny, lay in the fact that this is a nearly seventy year old dude talking in this fashion, and in the fact that in the very same breath he says "ball" he introduces this elegant and highly respected grande dame of the establishment. Get it? Tee hee -- a seventy year old acting like a fourteen year old in front of an elegant and articulate "grownup" who now has to segue into a discussion of North Korea.

Bigwigs like Andrea Mitchell or Tom Friedman usually don't have their grandeur compromised by exposure to frat boy antics. It's this sort of absurdist spectacle -- to be found almost nowhere else in the American media landscape -- that I, at least, find pretty amusing.

Finally, underlying much of Imus's stick is a fairly blatant wink-nod of self-deprecation and self-mockery to the audience from the host, often effectuated via the use of proxies -- his "crew" -- who expose, via the show's dialog, their boss's numerous disagreeable traits, and the self-parodying nature of his persona. From Imus there's often a palpable air of "look at me folks, I'm a fucking idiot who doesn't know how to behave like a normal, civilized person."

Don Imus is an American original, and I at least take some comfort in the certitude that he'll survive, though it looks like it will most likely be on pay radio or cable. I can't say I'm eager for yet another addition to my various entertainment subscriptions, and I'm not sure I'd pony up cash for XM. We shall see.

Posted by: Jasper on April 12, 2007 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

when I saw the little tiff between Mr. Hedder and Mr. Rogers earlier, some deep dark part of yelled "Troll Fight!!!" in a distinctly Cartmanesque voice.

Finally a comment on this thread I don't want the time back it took to read!!!

Every now and then, just for giggles, out-of-the-blue, I text message my three college-age kids two words:

CRIPPLE FIGHT!!!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 12, 2007 at 2:22 AM | PERMALINK

Try nine-tenths of the top forty rap songs for the last decade.

But this misses the point that several people on this thread have tried to make, and biwah has made the most eloquently: there's plenty of great rap out there--smart, racially conscious, politically sound. The problem is that it never gets played on corporate radio or BET, and the artists don't get signed to the major labels or, if they are, they aren't given the promotional muscle the labels give to, say, 50 cent. Of the truly talented rappers, Mos Def and Talib Kweli have come closest to hitting it big recently, but somehow they never break through. But to judge the entire genre based on what you hear on the radio is like dismissing the entire history of rock 'n' roll because you've only heard Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" and seen a few Molly Hatchet album covers...

Just one example, since others are quoting the worst that rap has to offer: Akrobatik's "Remind My Soul," which to me is folk poetry on a par with the best of Langston Hughes:

Yeah, it's gettin' wild out here
It makes me wonder how a black man could ever raise a child out here
You know we all crumb snatchers in this land of decay
So why we killin' for the crumbs when there's so much at stake?
We're no longer suposed to be slaves
I bet Harriet Tubman would be turnin' in her grave
Like remind my soul

Of the time we were great before the self hate
(Wait, we still great, but...)

My elders all feel the same--there's no bravery
We're suposed to fight for freedom not just the end of slavery
Are we too selfish to even bless the kids with jewels
So our youth don't get played out for fools?
Will they get programmed how to behave?
Malcolm X must be turnin' in his grave
Like remind my soul
Of the time we were great before the self hate

I met up with this dread, said "Peace, Respect"
He said "Respect? I not seen that around here yet
Black man kill himself for limited amount of wealth
And him disrespect him woman so him disrespect himself"
I agreed with what the dread had to get off of his chest
Bob Marley would be disturbed from his rest
Like remind my soul....

Posted by: Shane in Utah on April 12, 2007 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

Finally a comment on this thread I don't want the time back it took to read!!

Do I win a prize?

Posted by: socratic_me on April 12, 2007 at 6:41 AM | PERMALINK

'Imagine if the same kind of blanket coverage that's currently conferred on loopy astronauts, bratty rehaboholics, and, yes, outrageously slandered basketball teams, were afforded instead to the silent coup abrogating the Constitution now underway in America. Would we watch it the same Pavlovian way we watch tits, twits and tornadoes?' - Marty Kaplan

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 12, 2007 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

Damn, you sure did se through me, Norman. Too bad, I really was trying to slip that slap in the face to all NBA players past everyone, too. Though, to be fair, the raptors don't really stir my blood. Floppy heads, the lot of 'em.

"Floppy heads" means what? Do you even know what you're writing? Because I figured it out, and I don't even care that much. I just think it's hilarious that someone could be so transparently dishonest about what they really think. Interesting that you did not CLARIFY what you thought, you just issued this bitchy reply.

Which is to say that I am clearly not Kevin or any other moderator, but I do have to wish that ad hominem attacks in the form of mind reading annoyed those guys as much as it does me.

It doesn't. I didn't read your mind--I sorted your comments and gave my opinion. It's called analysis and it is devastating in the hands of a master of it, such as myself. This is what stings--not the ad hominem, but the clarity of my comments and the accuracy of my comments.

For a little more on my sense of humour, let me point out that when I saw the little tiff between Mr. Hedder and Mr. Rogers earlier, some deep dark part of yelled "Troll Fight!!!" in a distinctly Cartmanesque voice. So there you have it. I hate the handicapped as well. Damn me. Damn me to hell.

I don't fight people; I comment very capably on their expressed ideas. If you can't handle that, too bad. I have to move on and take care of other issues. Consider yourself called out on your comments. I don't care who you are, what's in your head--you, personally are of no concern. It is your commentary that has been analyzed. If by your comments you reveal things about yourself, how is it my fault that I called you out on it?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 12, 2007 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Don Imus is an American original,

Sir, you're an idiot and a world class moron.

Imus is not an innovator, not a pioneer, not even a responsible contributor to the field of broadcasting or to the medium known as radio. He is one of the many who arrived on the scene in the 1970s and merely plowed through the same drug-addled commentary and the same morning zoo shenanigans that hundreds of others did. in roughly the same way and in the same manner as all of the others. There is nothing original about a grown man acting like a petulant child or a grump in public.

When Imus leaves broadcasting, he'll be recalled about as often as Arthur Godfrey.

Who was Arthur Godfrey, you ask?

Exactly.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 12, 2007 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Rice is allowing the best to be the enemy of the good. Why did she write "mus should *only* be fired when the black artists who make millions of dollars rapping about black bitches and hos lose their recording contracts" instead of
Imus should be fired and the black artists who make millions of dollars rapping about black bitches and hos should lose their recording contracts ?

The argument that no one should be punished until all guilty parties are punished is crazy and has caused a lot of trouble for Ms Rice's second cousin. It is exactly the "two weights and two measures" argument used by, for example, opponents of desert storm to argue that something should be done about Saddam Husseins occupation of Kuwait only after ending Israel's occupation of the Gaza strip and West bank (and allowing all Palistinians who chose to migrate to Israel and and and and).
[I opposed desert storm, but for different reasons]

Rice's argument is an excellent argument for doing nothing about a problem until doomsday. It is not an argument which serious people should take seriously even if all rappers were ten times as bad as Imus in every way.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on April 12, 2007 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

Hi. Shut the fuck up already.
This whole thing is a nonstory catapulted to the forefront by a slow news cycle. Lawsuits? Firings? Public humiliation? What a bunch of thin skinned fools we've become.

Posted by: chris on April 12, 2007 at 8:54 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and for you Imus defenders--take note. He is decidedly non-apologetic or contrite now that his MSNBC show is gone.

I believe he called everyone who criticized him for his racist comments and who called for him to be fired "bastards" this morning.

So Barack Obama, Al Roker, the coach of the Rutgers basketball team, Al Sharpton, Michael Wilbon, Jesse Jackson, and whoever else are now "bastards?" Does that sound like a man who is sincere about anything?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 12, 2007 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

Who was Arthur Godfrey, you ask?

Exactly.
Posted by: Norman Rogers

I have retrieved a memory of the first national appearance of Streisand, then a relative unknown, standing under a lamppost on an otherwise empty set, singing 'Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?'...

That and Tennessee Ernie Ford singing 'Sixteen Tons'.

"Sixteen tons and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
St. Peter, don't you call 'cause I can't go,
I owe my soul to the company store."

Which I propose as our new National Anthem...

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 12, 2007 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

First of all, I think Nappy Heddy needs to post 10 or 20 more examples of offensive rap lyrics that he's Googled, because clearly no one has gotten the point that many rap lyrics are objectionable. Thanks for adding so much to the discourse.

I think part of the issue here is that the misogynistic and racist elements of Imus's comments are being treated as equally offensive. Clearly, it's the racism that has created the furor, even though so many people are jumping on the misogyny bandwagon. I'm sure you can hear many references to women being ugly, fat and a host of more objectionable terms on the radio every day. Just listen to some American Idol discussions, or talk show hosts' comments about Rosie O'Donnell. "Nappy headed" and "jigaboo" were the most revealing comments, because of their racist nature. Yes, much of rap is filled with misogyny, but I don't think that's something society objects to unless it crosses over into advocating violence against women. I'm not advocating misogyny, just describing the situation as I see it.

The reason this is important is because people who are excusing Imus's comments point to the misogyny of others, and claim that Imus is being scapegoated. Other than the fact that Imus was classless enough to humiliate these young women at a time when they should be enjoying the pinnacle of their athletic careers, I do think you could find many examples of similarly misogynistic comments on the airwaves every day. But every one of his comments, including the use of the term "ho," are laden with racist meanings.

As for the tired protestations that blacks and whites using racist terms is equally offensive, could the white people posting this please give it a rest? If you can't see the difference between the way a group refers to itself and the way others refer to it, then we're beyond depending on logic to reach you. There are certain things I might call my kids or my wife, that if I heard someone else saying them I would smack them in the face. That's just the way it is.

And finally, someone upthread said "Imus, like Jay Leno, professionally insults just about everybody." Jay Leno? Are you shitting me? Yeah, the vicious insult machine that is Jay Leno. Once we get done with Imus, he's next.

Posted by: ChrisO on April 12, 2007 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

And finally, someone upthread said "Imus, like Jay Leno, professionally insults just about everybody." Jay Leno? Are you shitting me? Yeah, the vicious insult machine that is Jay Leno. Once we get done with Imus, he's next.

What moron said that? Jay Leno is a dead man walking in show business. He has a long stroll to obscurity ahead of him and then he'll be replaced by Conan O'Brien.

Jay Leno's legacy? He, Don Imus and Arthur Godfrey will be forgotten like so many others.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 12, 2007 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

ChrisO
First of all, I think Nappy Heddy needs to post 10 or 20 more examples of offensive rap lyrics that he's Googled, because clearly no one has gotten the point that many rap lyrics are objectionable. Thanks for adding so much to the discourse.

Your welcome. Think of them as musical interludes between posts. Along those lines, here's a snippet from Project Pat featuring Ludacris

Project Pat is in this motherfucker, I know niggas hate
I know niggas wanna see me some where starvin' for a plate
Cause they bitches like to talk about us like they lick our balls
I don't never call that hoe and she love my dirty draws
I'm a North Memphis pimp so you better recognize
Let cha' hoe suck my dick while I'm lookin' in her eyes
I know y'all be tellin' lies, lyin' on ya dick ain't real
Nigga say he fucked my bitch and he couldn't wait to steal
But it's all to the goody though cause she payin' me
Free fuck for a hoody hoe, never playin' me
To the curb with my Thunderbird while I'm smokin' herb
In the tub, playa rub-a-dub I just say the word
And her pussy'll open up like a says me
I'm the first in the hood to fuck so ya praise me
Off this bitch, I'ma check her butt, I ain't lazy
Man a housewife from a slut, is ya crazy


Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 12, 2007 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Rap artists write about their world. A world filled with poverty, violence, want, prostitution, abuse, racism, sexism, drugs and ignorance. I think they have provided great insight into a world insulated middle class persons like me know very little about.

Posted by: Brojo on April 12, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Atrios thinks this sort of thing is a leap of logic that makes no sense. But really, it's hardly much of a leap, and it sure seems to make sense to an awful lot of people, black and white alike.

This is a stupid argument that I would not accept from a child-let alone an intelligent adult, Kevin.

1) Rappers generally come from the lowest social areas-and many have extensive criminal records.

2) Rap is an actual artistic expression.

3) Rappers dont hold court with the elite and cant effect elections.

In other words its apples an oranges. When John Mccain goes on Snoop Dog's show-please let me know. What if I am an influential person, and find the lowest class white person and emulted him. Would that be acceptable? Most blacks dont call women hos. Stop pretending that they do. As a black professional, my circle of friends dont talk like rappers. I dont get it. Because some low class blacks use the N-word, therefor elite white men should be able to use it too? Is that your argument Kevin?

Posted by: LFOD on April 12, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

LFOD: Kevin sometimes show his OC class mentality in his posts.

Posted by: badass on April 12, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

I think that a lot more damage is done to the reputation and psyches of young Black women by male rap artists than by Imus. Who do the young women listen to? Who do they admire? Who do they hear up and down the streets, in their community?

I think the condemnation of Imus is hooey. He doesn't sell low self esteem and female self-hate into the Black community, where it really counts. He's a white suburban blow hard, jacking off into the ears of white listeners who are relatively insulated from the hurt his words can cause.

Posted by: dissent on April 12, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

LFOD, I'm sure that you do not use such language. But how do your children speak when you are not around? I've been on college campuses and listened to young black men calling each other N*** and other obscene things. One time I was heading into a student union building, and waited at the door for a college aged black woman and her two children (2 and 4 or something close to it) to come out. As they did, a group of black college men came out another door with "N***" this and "Mothof****" that right past her and her children without missing a curse. I really wanted to call them down on that. But of course I didn't. Because for a middle aged white man to criticize the language of young black men is racism, and grounds for all sorts of attacks. I knew that, and as they looked me over, and their "sistah" over, it appeared to me they knew it too.

You can take Imus out to his ranch and lock him up, if it makes you feel better. But no matter what happens to Imus, the gross, obscene, ugliness that has become normal for way too many young people in the black community, and the larger society, won't be affected. At least some of that ugliness comes right out of BET/MTV and the media companies that fund them, but nobody at a music company puts a gun to anyone's head and forces them to buy that crap. It's bought, and played, and played, and mixed, and repeated by people of tehir own free will, because they think it's hip. I suggest that's a bigger problem than any particular aging shock-babble radio host. What do you think?

Posted by: bypassser on April 12, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Here's 3 time Grammy winner Ludacris >giving his opinion on relationships with the better half...

[Ludacris]
Dis bitch, dat hoe, hoe let me see that pussy biiitch
Come through with a donation that'll make you riiich
Bigger lips on a pussy, let me see it blow a kiiiss
In the back with the yac now they blowin' on Ludacriiis
I can see it in her eeeyes
Gave me the pussy for a burger and some friiies
And they always wonder whyyy
Cause I put em' in a room and get em' so fuckin' hiiigh
Luda, I'm so true to smokin' that stanky buddha
My panky shinin' with diamonds, my index on a Ruger
I wet these hoes in they sleep so just call me Freddy Kruger
The Boogie Man, oogie, woogie, give me that oogah, boogah
You can't deny it, no passin' by it, you gotta try it
I'm number one, public enemy power gotta fight it
I got my gun and my identity started a fuckin' riot
We havin' fun, it's some Siminese pussy, like it, buy it


Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 12, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

When Imus leaves broadcasting, he'll be recalled about as often as Arthur Godfrey.

Imus has already survived a firing or two in his career, and there's very definitely both a loyal fanbase and a means of delivering the content (cable and/or sattelite radio). I see very little prospect that somebody wouldn't want to collect the easy advertising or subscription dollars to be had. It's possible, of course, that Imus himself will prefer to retire and live off his megamillions. I doubt we've heard the last of him, though.

Posted by: Jasper on April 12, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Agree with LFOD & others.

...different, but not that different...? ...not that much of a leap...? Come on.

Sophmoric.

Joe: "Hey, you spilled catsup on my new suit. Please clean it."

Jane: "Yeah, well last week you dripped mustard on Aunt Jane's carpet. I don't have to do anything about your shirt until you have her carpet cleaned. Nyah, nyah."

Kevin, you should have stuck with your earlier post asserting no interest in the Imus affair. You're much better than this.

Posted by: adams on April 12, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't know Imus from Oprah, and I couldn't care less if he gets taken down a bit, but all this ginned up outrage seems a bit funny (peculiar) to me."

Virginia, if you don't even know thing #1 about Don Imus, then where the hell do you get off saying that the outrage is merely "ginned up"? Get a clue first next time before posting on something you admit to being uninformed about.

Posted by: Ferruge on April 12, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

BREAKING: CBS has fired Imus.

Now he is free to go to Faux News.

Posted by: Disputo on April 12, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Imus says he's apologized enough, CBS fires him. One small victory against rightwing racism, dozens of right wing racists to go: Rush, Savage, Morgan, Beck….
Poor Heddy, all your red herrings were for naught.

Jay Leno's legacy? He, Don Imus and Arthur Godfrey will be forgotten … Norman Rogers on April 12, 2007 at 10:30 AM |

Every heard of the Museum of Television and Radio?
…The museum is committed to the idea that many television and radio programs were works of art to be preserved for posterity's sake. Instead of being a museum of artifacts and memorabilia, the museum is mostly comprised of screening rooms, including two full-sized theaters. More than 120,000 television and radio programs are available in the museum's library, and during each visit, viewers can select and watch up to four television shows at an individual console. Some television programs date back to 1948, with radio programs dating back to the 1920s….
Guess not.

Posted by: Mike on April 12, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

I've been on college campuses and listened to young black men calling each other N*** and other obscene things.

So? Next time you're on campus listen to what white guys and gals call each other. Crassness is cool. It's not just a black thing.

Posted by: Disputo on April 12, 2007 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Mike. Not adult enough or mature enough to apologize for lumping me in with Heddy and the others who were defending Imus.

Just because he's immature and lost in the real world, he brings up the Broadcasting museum. Yes, millions of Americans will go there just to see the Don Imus and the Jay Leno displays.

You're a moron. They will slip from the American conscious with a wet thumping and a whimper, and forgotten almost immediately.

You are chumpchange to debate, sir. Chumpchange.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 12, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

A slur aimed at specific people is different from a rap song.

A string of slurs by a specific radio personality who enjoys a lot of popularity and interviews a lot of famous people is different and is fair and easy game.

But what strikes me is how foolish Rice's remarks are. That's pretty pitiful. The issue here is Imus, not the fact that she has heard offensive rap music made by Black men. What a redirect. Reminds me of how her dear cousin used to dis Martin Luther King way back when, bragging that her family did not need his help.

I would like to know all about Constance’s efforts to get the recording contracts of rap artists canceled. Exactly who, when, how what for.

I’m not going to stoop so low as to call Constance Rice what Harry Belafonte called her cousin Condoleezza, but I can’t help but be reminded of what he said and I followed the logic of why he said it. Growing up in Mississippi, I heard those sort of accusations fly more that a few times.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on April 12, 2007 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK
You're a moron. Norman Rogers on April 12, 2007 at 5:41 PM
You are a sad, pathetic liar and a braggart whose constant need for attention makes you ridiculous. Your scribbling proves that being rude, crude and lewd only means you always arrive unarmed for any battle of wits you think you can wage. Little missy, your shtick isn't cute.

There was once a po' boy Norman
Who thought he was clever and charmin'
He's so simple and vain,
That his ego and empty brain
Lead him to being his daddy's yeggman.

Posted by: Mike on April 12, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

I've been on college campuses and listened to young black men calling each other N*** and other obscene things.

So? Next time you're on campus listen to what white guys and gals call each other. Crassness is cool. It's not just a black thing.

Been there and heard that. But since I was replying to a black professional person, asking what that person's children talk like when no parents are around, it would have made no sense to bring up white college kids, would it?

Sure, the first time I heard a couple of white guys calling each other "N****" I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or smack them on the head, but I am sure that wasn't what Dr. King had in mind in his speech "I Have A Dream". Whether young women call each other "slut" or "ho", I find it depressing either way. But I seriously doubt that any of these young people picked up such garbage from Don Imus's radio show, which means that even if Imus was taken out and hanged by the neck, disemboweled and set on fire, the bad behavior in question would not be affected. Which means they learn it from somewhere else: peers, and peers iPods is a likely guess, don't you think? And what they listen to is whatever is on the popular hit parade, starting with MTV.

There's a much larger issue here than some old hasbeen radio ranter, and a harder one to address. Maybe that's why so many people don't want to look at it, because it's not something they can solve by firing some one person? Instead they might have to get involved in the lives of the young people they come in contact with, and even make value judgements once in a while?

Thanks for replying.

Posted by: bypassser on April 12, 2007 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Mike at 6:20PM--redemption awaited, you chose to prove just what a pathetic loser you really are.

It's sad when the common liberal turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy of incompetence and rage.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 12, 2007 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Your crazed rants remain, as ever, sad, pathetic and irrelevant.

Posted by: Mike on April 12, 2007 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Mike. Not adult enough or mature enough to apologize for lumping me in with Heddy and the others who were defending Imus.

Just to be clear for the reading comprehension-challenged, I'm not defending Imus. I'm saying if you want to see where the real damage is being done, go look at rap. Bought by young, impressionable minds. Beating up on Imus is like banning smoking next to an iron smelting plant.

A little Snoop Dogg to pass some time to...

http://www.seeklyrics.com/lyrics/Snoop-Dogg/Can-U-Control-Yo-Hoe.html

Niggas, get your milla genuine draft, cause its milla time, we about to go hard on these hoes on
this one right here.

[Chorus]
[soopafly] Can you control your hoe? (You got a bitch that wont do what you say)
You can't control your hoe? (She hardheaded, she just won't obey)
Can you control your hoe? (You've got to know what to do, and what to say)
You've got to put that bitch in her place, even if it's slapping her in her face.
Ya got to control your hoe. Can you control your hoe?

I went to your house; your girl came in and started cussing you out. You should have slapped her
in her face, I wanted to tell you, but it wasn't my place. I kept it on the low, cause I know you
was gonna check that hoe. But instead, you was quiet as a mouse, maybe you started to think it
wasn't your house. Cause she was acting like a nut, you got a kind of bitch that would kick your
butt. What kind of pimp holds back? Never met a bitch that a pimp can't slap, whats wrong with
the pimpin'? Why you get a whippin'? All I got to say is this:
Etc.

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 12, 2007 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

What if I am an influential person, and find the lowest class white person and emulated him. Would that be acceptable?

It is not only acceptable, but if you want to run for President it's required.

Posted by: RobW on April 12, 2007 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Just to be clear for the reading comprehension-challenged, I'm not defending Imus.
Nope, you're just posting complete irrelevencies hoping to distract the outrage from Imus to... rap music? Just like Constance Rice.

I'm saying if you want to see where the real damage is being done, go look at rap. Bought by young, impressionable minds.

You know, if you actually listened to the stuff, rather than Googling lyrics, you'd know that there's a whole lot more to hiphop than Snoop, et al. They belong to a particular genre, gangsta. And yes, it's dominating BET/MTV and your local ClearChannel pop radio franchise. And yes, it's nasty, brutish, misogynistic, and generally really ugly stuff.

It's also stuff that just happens to conform completely to every suburban whitey's stereotype of scary black men. And go figure... most of it is purchased by white people, by the barrelful.

People who don't have a clue about gangs and violence buy this crap and think they're hard or hip because they have the whole Dr. Dre collection.

You're worried about young impressionable minds? Well, that explains why Imus doesn't matter to you- nobody under 60 listens to him anyway.

What do you think is the impression young people get when a national media figure with political clout says something like that? That it doesn't matter if you are an ivy-league student and a world-class athlete- if you're the wrong color or gender, the ruling class will always see you as less than human.

On the other hand, seeing Imus fired over this gives the impression that it is NOT ok to dehumanize others like this.

How about quoting some Fugees/Lauren Hill lyrics while you're at it? Oh, but that would be an example of rap music being positive, socially constructive, even religious. Naah, better to cherry-pick the nasty stuff so you can bash the entire genre.

Posted by: RobW on April 12, 2007 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Your crazed rants remain, as ever, sad, pathetic and irrelevant.

...said the clown who was too immature to admit that he was wrong.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 12, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Nappy Heddy/American Hawk:

Black men make white men sexist and racist.

Posted by: Disputo on April 13, 2007 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

I was explaining to an English as a second language person about what nappy headed meant and had a kind of empathetic realization for the lives of poor slave children in rags and unbathed. I find the use of the post it name Nappy Heddy insulting to those children's memory. Haven't they suffered enough?

I haven't really read the lyrics posted by the offensive one, but posting several examples of rapper racist and sexist epithets reminded me of the difference between the media of the internet and the radio. This text area of media is only available to those who activate the file and read the content, which is different than using a mass media like radio. Radio listeners do not activate specific files but listen to the modulated radio waves broadcast by others. The internet is not broadcast, making it much more an individualized choice to experience, like print.

Posted by: Brojo on April 13, 2007 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

How about quoting some Fugees/Lauren Hill lyrics while you're at it? Oh, but that would be an example of rap music being positive, socially constructive, even religious. Naah, better to cherry-pick the nasty stuff so you can bash the entire genre.
Posted by: RobW

How about quoting much of the good works that Imus has done, including the millions he has donated to his charity? Oh, but that would be an exmaple of his actions being positive, socially constructive, even religious. Naah, better to cherry-pick the nasty stuff so you can bash his entire body of work.

And yes, it's (gangsta rap) dominating BET/MTV and your local ClearChannel pop radio franchise. And yes, it's nasty, brutish, misogynistic, and generally really ugly stuff.

That is why it matters.

It's also stuff that just happens to conform completely to every suburban whitey's stereotype of scary black men. And go figure... most of it is purchased by white people, by the barrelful.

So what? Assuming you are right, that makes it OK if it contributes to the stereotype held by white folks that young black men are just women smacking thugs who only care about the bling?

Hey, Imus allowed you to feel good about yourself, to think you did something positive against racial stereotyping. And you did. But it was, in the larger scheme, spitting into the gale of misogynistic message being put into the minds of our youth.

Brojo
I haven't really read the lyrics posted by the offensive one, but posting several examples of rapper racist and sexist epithets reminded me of the difference between the media of the internet and the radio. This text area of media is only available to those who activate the file and read the content, which is different than using a mass media like radio.

Did you know that they play rap music on the RADIO too? And not all of it is religion-loving Lauren Hill. Much of it is woman-hating gangsta rap.

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 13, 2007 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Snoop just came out with a rather intelligent and cogent point: there's a difference between calling a certain group of real, specific girls, "Nappy-headed Ho's"; and talking about fictionalized women which are Ho's by definition (sort of reverse Mary Sues), thus not in principle attributing against any real persons. OTOH, he missed that many women just find that whole way of talking demeaning, and the male-on-female nature of it transcendes the usual "comics (and other artists) get to rag on their own" argument.

tyrannogenius

Posted by: Neil B. on April 13, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

If a radio station plays songs with offensive material, the listeners have an opportunity to complain to the FCC, just like the listeners can complain about Imus.

Imus was fired because his advertisers bailed from his show. Maybe he can find employment at a hip hop radio station, where the advertisers may not worry about his racist and sexist comments like they do on CBS radio stations.

Posted by: Brojo on April 13, 2007 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

It just makes me sad to watch it happen, that they paint all black women as ho's and bitches and get away with it. Since I'm not black, I have no say. I just stand to the side and watch...

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Posted by: Nappy Heddy on April 13, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK
...said the clown Norman Rogers at 11:14 PM
You are the proven liar and the self-admitted fool in a cheepcheep chicken suit. You have been vanquished, fascist fanatic fool.
…How about quoting much of the good works that Imus has done, including the millions he has donated to his charity? …Did you know that they play rap music on the RADIO too?… Nappy Heddy at 8:41 AM
As previous linked, the Imus charity has an unusually high cost to benefit ratio, 2.6 mil to aid about 100 kids. It's seem to be more of a tax shelter than a real charity. Rap is not the issue here and is simply a red herring from dead enders. It is more important to note that today, Mr. Imus' wife called for his supporters to stop sending hate mail and death threats to the Rutgers team and send them to her husband instead. It seems that Imus' people are as ignorant, immature and racist as I-man himself. Weasel. Posted by: Mike on April 13, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

I have one more thing to say about this that I have not seen mentioned anywhere. Rutgers is geographically located around NYC, the media capital of the world. I have to think many NYC metropolitan locals watched the Rutgers team proceed through the tournament and became familiar with the team. TV has a way of doing that. Imus insulted them publicly, insulting all New Yorkers. Because of New York's media domination, it is also the home to NBC and CBS, this story was going to remain on the front page. If Imus had insulted the girls from Tennessee, he might very well have kept his job.

Posted by: Brojo on April 13, 2007 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

You have been vanquished, fascist fanatic fool.

On what planet, dumbass?

You're the one who has yet to apologize for lumping me in with the Imus defenders--in fact, I have done an outstanding job of proving Imus should be fired. Given that a lot of movers and shakers read this blog, I can take the credit for getting him fired because of what I have added to the public discourse on the matter. You? You've made yourself look like a boob.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 13, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK
On what planet, dumbass?…Norman Rogers at 4:42 PM
Nuts to you, harlequin! You need an outlet for your crazed rants. Perhaps you can squat in some public park and howl at the moon. I own you nothing, loon. You are just as crazed as Imus defenders and you have done nothing to elevate the discourse either on this blog or in the world at large. Your arrogance and continual rudeness is that of a person unworthy to be given the courtesy of civility. When you speak to things that can be independently verified, you have been disclosed as a liar. You speak in cheap insults, smears, lies and typical McCarthyism accusations. You have done nothing, nothing to better the world, to increase the quality of life, to add to the general knowledge or to bring good information to the readers of this blog or any other. As far as I am concerned, you are less than the dung up your butt and nothing but a mobile sack for the bacteria residing in your gut that are smarter than you. Posted by: Mike on April 13, 2007 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

TO ALAN, who said "The original gurus of black female denigration are white slave owners who treated black women as chattel."

No, Alan. Learn history, grow up. The original gurus are black tribal leaders who had a slavery system in place when the Europeans got there and gladly fed the same their people for a few baubles. And didn't you know that slavery still exists in Africa, or do you just blame white men for everything?

Stop the white bashing.


Posted by: Michael on April 13, 2007 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

TO LFOD:

"In other words its apples an oranges. When John Mccain goes on Snoop Dog's show-please let me know. What if I am an influential person, and find the lowest class white person and emulted him. Would that be acceptable? Most blacks dont call women hos. Stop pretending that they do. As a black professional, my circle of friends dont talk like rappers. I dont get it. Because some low class blacks use the N-word, therefor elite white men should be able to use it too? Is that your argument Kevin?"

LFOD, if you have any sense of morals or decency or fairness, you'll bash all the racists and sexists, yes? It sounds to me like you're defending rappers. Who cares if they talk to that ass McCain or not? They have far more influence on the youth of the black (and white race) than Imus. This isn't an argument for obvious hypocrites to use.

Also, I find it quite a coincidence that Sharpton and co. indignation is turned up to relentless and deafening nuclear frequency over this Imus issue just when the Duke Rape case is making apparent that a black woman and all her supporters were wrong and still won't admit it because they are lynch-mob racists.


Posted by: White Man on April 13, 2007 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

You are just as crazed as Imus defenders and you have done nothing to elevate the discourse either on this blog or in the world at large.

No, I'm an Imus detractor.

See, this is why you're a clown--you have your mind made up that someone like myself is automatically going to be a raving racist. When your tired little worldview is punctured, you panic and lose your little mind.

Come unhinged much?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 13, 2007 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

The original gurus are black tribal leaders who had a slavery system in place when the Europeans got there and gladly fed the same their people for a few baubles. And didn't you know that slavery still exists in Africa, or do you just blame white men for everything?

Why not go burn some crosses, sir? It might make you feel better. Plus, you could have a weenie roast with your like-minded, sheet-wearing little friends.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 13, 2007 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

It sounds to me like you're defending rappers.

It sounds to me like you're scared to death that a few African American gentlemen have the talent and ability to test the marketplace with their ideas and become fabulously rich.

I couldn't tell you the first thing about this fellow Jay-Z, but he is definitely a businessman and an entrepreneur, and THAT'S what we need more of in this country.

It doesn't matter what colour they are. This is America, and everyone is welcome and everyone gets a seat at the table. Caveat Emptor and let the good times roll.

Racists are just little men who couldn't cut it in the real world. These are the mouth-breathing, pasty-faced failures who litter the landscape. It wasn't the rapper, the reverend, the activist or the poet who made you poor sir. It was the poverty of your own mind and the shallowness of your soul.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 13, 2007 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

All who support or condemn are acting without the benefit of intellect, who really cares what imus has to say. What difference can he make in regards to society. when the innocence of thought has been ruin by opinion. The words we say today will be forgotten tomorrow and we shall continue to be what we are, selfish by nature, for our thoughts are only thoughts and what we say to each other now will one day come to past.

Posted by: someday on April 15, 2007 at 4:20 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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