Saturday, April 14, 2007

The (In)Signifance Of Don Imus

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

All week long, media mainstream and otherwise have weighed in as to the words uttered by shock-jock Don Imus. The following "analysis" by Jonathan Alter takes the prize for stupidity:
...[T]here has been such a negative reaction against President Bush's failure to apologize, failure to seem like he is being accountable to where the people are, that we've got more of a thirst for people apologizing when they screw up, and then changing their behavior as a result of having been called to account.
I don't know about you, but I don't have any such "thirst," and my quenched state has zero to do with President Bush. I'm worn out from listening to declarations of mea culpa coming from left, right, and center!

Linguist John McWhorter, author of Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, has a take very different from that of Jonathan Alter:
[T]he quest for an America where no one ever makes passing observations that are less than respectful of minority groups is futile. And why are so many of us so obsessed with chasing that rainbow anyway? The truth is that black people who go to pieces whenever anyone says a little something are revealing that they are not too sure about themselves.

Imus hosts a radio show and a lot of people listen to it. During a few seconds last week he said something tacky. The show went on, as did life. Black people continued to constitute most new AIDS cases, black men continued to come out of prison unsupervised. And we're supposed to be most interested in Imus saying "nappy-headed ho's"?

What creates that hypersensitivity is a poor racial self-image. Where, after all, did Imus pick up the very terminology he used? Rap music and the language young black people use themselves on the street to refer to one another.

What Imus said is lowdown indeed, but so is the way blacks refer to each other. And life goes on.
For another sane commentary on Don Imus's career-sinking faux pas, see this essay by my friend Mustang. Excerpt:
...There continues to be too much racism in this land of ours. In Imus’ case, it wasn’t even about judging others – it was simply being obtuse. Unfortunately, Don Imus isn’t the only person who makes racist remarks, or acts inappropriately....
Read all of Mustang's commentary.

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posted by Always On Watch @ 4/14/2007 07:50:00 AM