Brian’s Column: Imus in the Mourning

Blast from the past, has it really been that long…

Imus… since Don Imus made the famous “nappy headed ‘hos” remark about a young women’s basketball team? Going thru my columns that possibly deserve to be transferred to the new WordPress site format—asking an enthusiastic writer of my modest caliber to review his past work for anything decent is often a bit embarrassing (though I have always had a couple of good turns of phrase)—I came across this one that barely passes muster. The famed hyped faux pas occurred all the way back in 2007! My goodness. See if you agree whether the observations still apply today:

Imus in the Mourning: Mass media reveals its sad priorities

Does anyone remember the adage, Sticks and Stones?

Bill Maher introduces his show last night (Real Time on HBO) with a skit selling a pill called “Get-over-it-al,” which one takes for relief after hearing something offensive: from Imus, from Rush, from Ann Coulter, from Michael Richards, from Rosie O’Donnell, from Bill Maher. 

Remember how Maher was canned from ABC because of his misconstrued comments about the physical courage of Arabs who fly airplanes into buildings?

I’ll state my opinion by reference to the Ann Coulter incident: Gratuitously and with smirking malice, she called Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a faggot.  (A lot of papers dropped her, which I think is perfectly appropriate.  She has attracted hardly any attention.)  Afterward, Bill Maher, in the context of lampooning Coulter, applied the term occasionally to some well-known men.

IMHO (in my humble opinion), gangsta rappers—who spew venomous, misogynistic, racist, annoying crap (hey, new word: gangsta crappers)—are in the position of Ann Coulter; only they don’t attract mass protests or calls for chastisement.  In their twisted universe, nappy-headed ho is a euphemism for women.

Not being an expert on Imus–the few times I’ve heard him, he comes off as Rush Limbaugh with marbles in his mouth—I speculate his spur-of-the-moment “nappy-headed hos” was intended to make fun of the rappers’ worldview just as Maher’s use of faggot was mocking Coulter’s view.  Who knows?

If that’s the case and his apology is genuine, then there is no malice and I don’t think people should stop listening to him for that reason alone.  Look, if you don’t want to listen to him, don’t listen to him.  But don’t draw any attention to him… or to yourself.  Don’t make him into a phony cause. Al Sharpton, get a life.

My Velda sent me a link to this fine column in the Kansas City Star by Mr. Jason Whitlock, a black journalist.  Talk about laying it on the line: rejecting victimhood and asserting rational values is the most constructive approach.

What about the cultural and moral issues?

By elevating what someone says or writes vs. what someone does into news—no, by elevating an insignificant utterance of some bafflingly elevated celebrity into news—you distract people from real issues.

On the night all the networks led with the Imus infraction, major actual crimes against humanity and other broad issues were left uncovered, such as:

  • The massively destructive war on drugs, which by the way results in a horrifically disproportionate wrongful imprisonment and oppression of minorities
  • The occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the continued government coverup of the depleted uranium humanitarian disaster
  • The commission and coverup of the 911 crimes
  • The battle for energy alternatives and enabling farmers to grow hemp to create a vibrant new economy saving businesses and farms
  • Various states, especially Michigan and Ohio, facing huge budget deficits while they pay for prisons rather than roads and other useful things… note I did not say public schools
  • Extraordinary rendition and torture by the US federal government, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and status of efforts to restore civil liberties and Constitutional federal government in the United States
  • The status of efforts to impeach the Bushoviks for their highest crimes and misdemeanors, particularly in regard to preemptive war, lies for war, and use of WMDs
  • Realistic solutions to multiple environmental problems exacerbated by the current regime
  • How we’re proceeding toward noncoercive methods of government financing and elimination of the Federal Reserve Bank, deep-sixing the income tax, and ending all corporate privileges (private laws)
  • How we’re doing tackling the sacred cows of state-forced schooling and welfare systems, status of freedom movements in those vital areas
  • Health and radical life-extension developments
  • Status of space exploration initiatives, particularly those outside the bureaucratized environment of NASA
  • Progress in combating genocides around the planet, not just the celebrated ones in East Africa, but the slow strangling of peoples by the Israeli government in Palestine, by the US government in Iraq, by any occupying government X in country Y (or X)

Where we are in the spread of the Sacred Nonaggression Principle meme, how quickly we can “incentivize” the power people to lay down their bonecrushing machinery and get off our backs and off our fronts

Well, I could probably rattle of another dozen or two vital stories I’d like to know about.  But that’s enough to get Katie, Charles, and Brian started tonight: a real newscast.  What a shocker that would be!

I will admit the media is doing a fine job in general covering the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking into baseball, a truly racially significant story happening this week.

Stacked up against real news, what some sad schlock jock beyond his prime says about nappy-headed anything doesn’t amount to a bucket of cold expectorant.

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