Wednesday, April 11, 2007

...they can get you in a whole lotta trouble.

"NAPPY-HEADED HO'S!!!" There. I've said it. I suppose I'll get banned from and any sites that have linked to this blog. It would only be appropriate, after all. That's what's happened to Don Imus in the latest episode of his trials and tribulations. MSNBC has given him the axe, as of today, for his utterance of those three little words..."NAPPY-HEADED HO'S". Hmmm...somehow I should be offended by my utilization of that term here in this blog. This whole thing has become blown out of proportion. My own personal take on this is that people have wanted to "get" Imus for a long time, and Imus became easy prey. And, the term, "NAPPY-HEADED HO'S" became a rallying cry for every colored person who could conceivably be hurt by Imus' utterance.

The very Rev. Al Sharpton, who flaunts his power every chance he gets, appeared last night on national TV, and said he was gonna lean on people who appeared as guests on future Imus programs...A reverend, who preaches forgiveness yet practices extortion on his enemies. Then, baseball legend Cal Ripken, Jr. cancelled his appearance on the Imus program this week. If that had been all that happened, Imus might have been able to return to MSNBC after his initial two-week suspension. But then SPONSORS, the guys with the MONEY, threatened to pull their advertising, resulting in MSNBC losing tons of dollars. FOLLOW THE MONEY! And that's what MSNBC has done. The flow of money was jeopardized, and Imus is gone; pure and simple. I watched the Imus episode in which he uttered the phrase, "NAPPY-HEADED HO'S". Imus and his sports guy were exchanging banter about the Rutgers' womens' basketball team winning the national championship. And when Imus used that phrase, "NAPPY-HEADED HO'S", it was in the gist of general conversation relating to athletics and the aggressiveness and athletic physiques of the Rutgers' women's team. They're big ladies, after all. They're aggressive players, and they look like they're all TOUGH, and I sure wouldn't want to mess with any of 'em. That was the CONTEXT in which Imus used the phrase, "NAPPY-HEADED HO'S".

It's a phrase he shouldn't have used. He should have known better. And all of the newscasters are circling this Imus gaffe like ravenous sharks circling a swimmer in distress; those in the media are sure eager to make themselves look good by poo-pooing one of their fellow broadcasters. Complicating this picture further is the fact that everyone's got so many rights these days; everyone gets their feelings hurt so easily these days. Bill Maher alluded to Imus repeatedly apologizing, and Maher said, "if a guy apologizes over and over and it's still not accepted, then it's on the people who won't forgive him." It would appear that the phrase Jesus once used, "he who is without sin cast the first stone" applies everywhere except for the broadcast media.

"Kick 'em when they're up...kick 'em when they're down", Don Henley once sang. And so indeed, Imus' "dirty laundry" has been strung up for all to see. Let me turn to my record collection for a might remember a group called "WAR" me they were the Black Man's idea of what a rock and roll band should be. The rhythms were almost tribal-sounding, and they've always been one of my favorite bands. On their "All Day Music" album from the early '70s, side two, track one is an instrumental, the title of which is, "NAPPY HEAD". When I first heard that song, I was probably 18 or whatever, and back then, I didn't even know what a NAPPY HEAD even WAS. Then, several years later, Stevie Wonder, on his "Songs in the Key of Life" album, did a song called "I Wish", a song which yearns for the old days when he was "A NAPPY-HEADED boy". No one went after those musicians for putting the words "NAPPY HEAD/HEADED" into their songs.

Ah, but this ol' planet is becoming such a politically-correct place anymore. I don't want to go around hurting someone because of their race. But, life happens, things happen, get used to it and get OVER it. But Don Imus has been fired. And the world is a slightly less colorful place because of it. Now all I'll hear on MSNBC are up-and-coming, fresh and eager NEWS GEEKS, all spouting forth with glee, the news that one of their own has had his ASS KICKED OUTTA THE DOOR. And even though MSNBC has said it wants to do the right thing for company morale (since MSNBC has--what do you call them now?--"black employees"? "colored employees"? "minority employees"? Gosh, you can't say anything anymore...) it's the MONEY. ADVERTISERS THREATENED TO PULL THEIR SPOTS. I think, given the chance, people would have gotten over it, Imus would have amended his show, and life would have gone on.

I am SICK of hate-mongering religious demagogues calling for the crucifixion of someone who's made a mistake. I am SICK of the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons of the world who blatantly use every possible opportunity to maximize whatever little fame and believability they have by leaping on a fashionable bandwagon, unforgiving, calling for someone's head. I am SICK of corporate executives who won't stand behind one of their own in times of crisis. Everybody's saying, "this time Imus has gone too far." No he hasn't! But he definitely uttered a phrase he shouldn't have uttered. Imus has gone too far, because all of the phony talking heads everywhere SAY he went too far. So, no more Imus, I guess. I must admit I have a stake in all this. I've been a fan of the program. The Imus program has been funny, fresh, insightful, hilarious and educational, and, to me, was so much better than anything else on TV, because real feelings were expressed. Jesse Jackson, right now, has called for a "renewed sensitivity", and on one hand, yes that is good. But perhaps that will foster a climate where anyone is afraid to say anything for fear that someone will have their precious little feelings all hurt so vewwy, vewwy badwy. Ahhhh....

This is my view, however wrong or one-sided someone who's reading this may think it is. How can we exist as a melting-pot society if we constantly have our guard up, just waiting for someone to say something which will hurt us so we can leap upon them and tell the whole entire world how evil, wicked, mean and nasty (and RACIST) so-and-so is for what he/she said? You don't think not I'm offended by the term, "Honkie"? If I heard a black TV or radio host say that, yes, it would catch my attention. But if it was proven to be a 'slip' and not a concentrated effort to alienate WHITES, I'd be able to continue listening to the person that said that. But, obviously, blacks don't want to give a 65-year-old white guy the same consideration. If you're black, white, American Indian, arab, aborigine or doesn't MATTER to me. We're all one society and we're in this thing called life together. As I see it, our society is so fragmented that we just can't seem to get along. I have no idea what the answer is to all of this, other than all of us being more considerate. Don't use racist terms. Don't be expecting someone to "diss" you so you can have something to protest. In the larger scope of things, we're all HUMAN. We all make MISTAKES.

I think society needs to increase TOLERATION of others and not be so harshly judgmental. But, perhaps, it's no good to be apologetic anymore. Don Imus has apologized over and over and he's offered to meet with the Rutgers' Womens' basketball team, and maybe, just maybe, he would have learned from all of this and as a result, he would have become a better broadcaster, and we all would have won. But alas, that's not to be.

BLOG UPDATE: DON IMUS HAS BEEN FIRED BY CBS RADIO; the news came down this afternoon (Thursday, April 12th). I was surprised at the sudden-ness of it; CBS had said that Imus' 'suspension' would begin Monday. But that's the same thing MSNBC said. I guess they don't do 'original thinking' at major media companies anymore. I'll tell ya one thing: If Imus lands on XM Satellite radio, watch the fur fly. After all, Howard Stern is on XM; he, too, got fired from MSNBC. An angry Imus is something to behold; he's already made a comment about all of the hypocrisy in the media. As a fan of his show (although, not of the remark he made), I wish him well no matter if he keeps on keepin' on in radio, or decides to retire; he is 66, after all.


Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

Right on bro! Oops, is that racist because I'm not black??

1:32 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Hi, Mari...well, if it's not racist, a black person might say you're being "patronizing" with that remark, so either way, ya can't win!

11:25 PM  

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