Saturday, April 14, 2007

Imus, Imus, Imus - ENOUGH ALREADY!

Saturday, April 14, 2007
By now, everyone on Earth has heard of 'shock jock' Don Imus and the racist and sexist comments he made about the Rutgers women's basketball team - if you haven't, then you've been living under a rock on Mars. It's been nearly two weeks since the University of Tennessee Lady Vols beat Rutgers to win Pat Summitt's 7th national championship (will Rutgers ever win a national title in anything?) and Imus' 'Nappy headed hoe' tirade is still unavoidable. Not only is this story being covered by every major (and even the not-so-major) news networks, but ESPN and FSN, two major sports networks that occasionally try their hand at real journalism, is also on the case.

This begs the question, why after two weeks is this story still front-page, headline news? Case in point, remember NASA's odd love triangle involving Lisa Nowak, the clearly disturbed astronaut who kidnapped and attempted to kill her ex's new lover? Yeah, her. You'd probably forgotten all about her because the Anna Nicole story gripped the nation (note the sarcasm) just a few days afterwards. The point is, American news moves in waves and cycles. When something newer, fresher and juicier comes along, we forget about 'the big story' of two days ago. Imus' story, however, really seems to be bucking that trend and that brings me to the point of this post.

**To avoid any confusion and to be clear on my stance, I feel I should issue the following disclaimer: I don't support Imus or his radio program, his comments were racist and sexist, are unacceptable and should not be tolerated under any circumstance**

With that said, when will our so-called black leaders (read: Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton) learn appropriate leadership tactics? Why does black leadership always wants us to play the victim? Why advocate reactivity over proactivity? Al Sharpton, on his radio program 'Keepin' It Real', said that Imus should render his resignation because “What [he] said is racist.” Why is Al even trying to win that battle? Imus' constitutional right to free speech affords him the opportunity to say whatever racist and sexist crap he'd like to. Why is Al inviting this man on his radio program in the first place? The time that Sharpton dedicated to Imus on his radio program would have been better spent urging blacks and women and everyone else who disagrees with or has been offended by his ideology (and TRUST, he's offended many) to boycott CBS Radio, MSNBC and products made by companies who sponsor his program until they stop stopping him and his offensive opinions.

CBS Radio and NBC initially suspended and ultimately fired Imus. These networks didn't succumb to the wrath of Sharpton, Jackson and friends or public opinion, for that matter. In its own statement, NBC News said the decision “comes as a result of an ongoing review process, which initially included the announcement of a suspension. It also takes into account many conversations with our own sponsors employees.” The statement went on: “What matters to us most is that the investors men and women of NBC Universal have confidence in the values we have set for this company. This is the only decision that makes that possible.”

When will we learn that we can say what we want, but money is really what talks? When we will learn to forgo battles in an effort to win the war? When will we learn not to play the victim and become proactive opposed to being reactive? Perhaps when our "leaders" figure this out for themselves.

CNN: Imus Suspended from TV, Radio
Fox News: MSNBC Drops Simulcast of 'Don Imus in the Morning'
Baltimore Sun: Under pressure, CBS drops Imus' program


Anonymous said...

Good Pints, Well Taken.

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