Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm not surprised

Don Imus was a racist before he called anyone a "nappy-headed ho." Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who realizes that.

The fact that he insulted the Rutgers women's basketball team didn't surprise me a bit. Neither did the fact that he was back on the radio in a relatively short period of time after being suspended and eventually taken off the air. The only thing I was disturbed about is that so many people like to listen to the man that radio executives felt compelled to offer him a break and give him another job. Ratings are ratings after all.

Okay, maybe Imus isn't a racist. Maybe he's just racially insensitive. He means right, but seems too often to do the opposite. Maybe I have him all wrong.

He got into trouble again last week for suggesting it made sense that Adam "Pacman" Jones, a suspended NFL football player, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, to be arrested so often. Imus drew fire, not because he picked on an innocent target this time (Jones has made more news for arrests off the field than tackles or touchdowns on the field), but because he was talking about all the trouble the player had gotten into and when asked about Jones' ethnic background and was told he was black, said "there you go." Again, I wasn't surprised -- when I heard of the latest controversy -- that those types of words came from Imus.

Critics argued that Imus meant blacks are always getting into trouble, so Jones was just another in a long line. After all, there are more black men in America in jail or prison than in our colleges and universities.

Imus dismissed the criticism by saying he was merely referring to the fact that black men get harassed and arrested more frequently than their white counterparts. What? Imus the sympathizer? I doubt it.

Like Michael Jackson and little boys or R. Kelly and young girls, I think if you keep getting accused of maleficence with a certain group of people at some point it's more than a coincidence. Of course, Jackson and Kelly got the benefit of the doubt. Should Imus?

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