Normally I would be spending my time this evening watching the news. There is so much going on in the world: North Korea is on the verge of violating their agreements on nuclear weapons, the globe continues to heat up, and Iraq is, well, Iraq. And let's not forget all the important issues that have fallen out of favor with the politicians of the moment - social security is still in big trouble, we are running record deficits, and there's The United States' bothersomely low ranking in so many measures of health care. And what, instead, is the media talking about? An over-the-hill overrated so-called shock jock who called some women "nappy headed ho's" and got fired for it.
Suffice it to say, I'm no Imus fan. The only reason I even knew he existed prior to this "event" was by accidentally stumbling across him looking for some morning news, and wondering who this mind-numbing bore was plodding through his paceless show. Shock jock? I guess my shock-o-meter is set differently than are others'. Nonetheless, I've never found anything he said very shocking, including this event.
As has been pointed out by others, rap/hip-hop (this is how idiotic our society has gotten - we are dividing rap music into subcategories) is loaded with terms like "ho", and others far more offensive. The idea that an aged guy on the radio repeating these words back to people is somehow worse is preposterous. I'd argue it is less offensive, since he was making a joke (albeit a bad one), whereas rappers mean it when they say "ho". Over at Dispatches, Ed Brayton had this to say:
"If anything, the responsibility should be the opposite - those whose audience is young black males should be the first ones to stop reinforcing such dehumanizing terms for young women. If they didn't make it cool and associate it with money, perhaps that would lessen such behavior among their audience. I don't think anyone doubts that Ludacris and Jay-Z have a lot more influence in the black community than Don Imus will ever have."
Indeed, it is all revolting, and we should come down hard on it all. Don't pick on Don Imus like he did something special.
And please, let's stop trying to make the Rutgers women's basketball team into a combination of Mother Teresa and Jennifer Aniston. Yes, they were victims here, and did nothing whatsoever to deserve this. But surely I was not the only person cringing during their press conference when they would talk about how offended they were at being called "ho's" while making the kinds of grammatical errors I wouldn't expect of ten year olds. It seemed like something out of Saturday Night Live to hear one of the players say (paraphrasing) "I would like to AX [emphasis mine] Don Imus if I seem like a 'ho' to him." And then to top it all off, who does the media turn to for guidance on racial sensitivity? Jesse "Hymietown" Jackson and Al "Tawana Brawly hoax" Sharpton!
So an old man you are perfectly free to ignore made a racist ignorant comment. So what? That's more or less what old men do in 2007. Give our society a few years and we can expect the old men to be more enlightened. We should be way more concerned that too many future leaders in society think calling women "ho's" is acceptable, and want to "ax" questions.