What Exactly was “Racist” About Don Imus’ Comments?
I was talking to someone the other day about Don Imus and the “nappy-headed ho’s” comment he made a little less than a year ago on his radio show.
Of course, I think it was absurd he was fired. It was insanity, as the guy is a shock jock, and he’s paid to shock. That’s what he’s always done, and this was no different than any other day. The liberal attack group Media Matters started the frenzy, helped by racist scum like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Both of these men are cons. They’re thieves, liars, and racist to the bone- they’ve both made a living off of their own racism, doing their best to keep black Americans down, blaming any problem on racism to make sure they stay in business for years to come.
Back to Imus and his comment. What is so racist about what he said? Let’s look at the dictionary.com definition of “nappy”:
nap·py3 /ˈnæpi/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[nap-ee] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective, -pi·er, -pi·est. 1. covered with nap; downy.
2. (of hair) kinky.
American Heritage Dictionary – Cite This Source – Share This nap·py 1 (nāp’ē) Pronunciation Key
adj. nap·pi·er, nap·pi·est
Having a nap; fuzzy: a nappy carpet.
Often Offensive Tightly curled or coiled. Used of hair.
Often offensive, I see…but says who? If something is often offensive, does that make it racist? If something is often offensive, is that because our whiny culture has made nearly everything “offensive” to some group out there?
Are the women on the basketball team Imus was referring to in any way “nappy-headed”? One could certainly argue most of them, from looking at their pictures, could easily be factually labeled “nappy-headed.” Is that wrong to make a statement of fact? Is it somehow racist? Does a comment that someone saw as racist make the comment itself racist? Does it make Imus, himself, a racist? If we were talking about white women with tightly curled hair, could we refer to them as having “nappy” hair, and could that statement of fact (if it is fact) be racist? Is there a double standard in this regard?
Now, I’ve seen many people go on various shows and put forth their outrage over this issue. It seems that talk shows populate these segments with black Americans to attack Imus as a racist. This makes sense- we have taken the culture into an area where we somehow think that only a black American could possibly know what racism is. That’s a sad fact in itself, considering anyone can see racism, no matter what their skin tone. Is the outage necessary or justified?
Is there a double standard when men like Chris Rock (I’ve mentioned him before) can use a blatantly racist term like “cracker” in his act numerous times and no one is calling for boycotts against him or demanding no one air his comedy act? Of course there’s a double stanard in the US, especially on the issue of race. Jackson and Sharpton are proof of that double standard. If these men were white, they wouldn’t be invited onto any talk show, let alone allowed to run prominent organizations claiming to fight for civil rights. They certainly wouldn’t be labeled by any sane person as leaders of the black community or avengers of racism in the USA. No way on earth would this happen if they were white, so we know the double standard is here, and it’s almost definitely here to stay.
So, was Imus’ comment racist? Is it automatically racist to call someone who, we can argue, has nappy hair a “nappy-headed” ho? Is that sexist? If it’s obviously a joke told in the context of what I’m sure would be a self described “shock jock” radio show racist? If someone has tightly curled hair, is it racist to say their hair is nappy? If I see a woman who happens to have dark skin and tightly curled hair, and I say she has “nappy” hair, does that make me racist? If a black women describes her own hair or the hair of a black friend as “nappy”, is that suddenly okay because she, as a black woman, has sole authority over that word due to the fact that she has darker toned skin?
I’ve heard black women refer to their hair or hair of another black woman as “nappy”. Why no outcry? Is it, when a black woman says it, merely a statement of fact and nothing more? Is it, in any way, racist?
I don’t think Imus did anything wrong. I don’t care for racism, I think it’s disgusting (which is why I think we should tar and feather men like Sharpton and Jackson)- but is the hypersensitivity necessary? Is it possible that we have a situation in this country where many in a particular minority group think they’re owed something, and have a just reason to attack anyone they think is being racist, as long as the person supposedly being racist is white? Why do we allow the double standards to continue? Personally, I say we let Imus and Rock both say the things they say. If they were politicians speaking out against another racial group, I’d be all over it, demanding it stop…but, as they’re both in the business of comedy, I think calling for the ouster of either is beyond the pale absurd.
Can people say what they mean in this country? Can we make statements of fact, even if some are offended by what are, in the end, true statements? Sure, the women, from what we know, aren’t whores- but if we fired people for calling someone a “ho”, we’d have to fire 90% of those in the business. But, let’s say that we successfully argue that these women, or some of them, meet the dictionary definition of “nappy-headed”- doesn’t that mean what was said was factual? Can facts be racist?
I’ll repeat- I’m against racism. What I’m not against is manufactured outrage and hypocrisy. Let’s toss the whining aside and act like adults?
|Print article||This entry was posted by Joshua Taj Bozeman on October 15, 2007 at 11:33 pm, and is filed under Cable News, Culture, Current Events, Ethics & Morality, History, Issues, Journalism, Politics, Radio, Society. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.|
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