J Walking

The first lawsuit against Don Imus and no fewer than a half-dozen corporations has been filed. Why? The attorney speaks:

“This is a lawsuit in order to restore the good name and reputation of my client, Kia Vaughn,” said her attorney, Richard Ancowitz, in an exclusive interview with the ABC News Law & Justice Unit.

What Don Imus said was absolutely wrong and there is no justification for what he said. The young women that he slighted deserved only praise and not racist condemnation.
That being said, I do not think this is a lawsuit about restoring “the good name and reputation of” Kia Vaughn. To the degree anyone remembered Ms. Vaughn’s name, they already held her in high esteem. She is a fine young woman. She was wronged. An apology was issued. Don Imus was very publicly fired. That seems more than sufficient.
That, of course, is much easier from this side of the keyboard. I haven’t had to endure what she has. I haven’t walked in her shoes.
But if this is really about reputation, I think it is fair to say this lawsuit does nothing good for that reputation. Quite the opposite, it puts her in a far less favorable light. The lawsuit’s breathtaking scope – naming more than six different companies – makes it seem more like greed than restoration of name and reputation.
I am struck by the enormous difference between this situation and that little girl in Boston who publicly forgave the man who shot her leading him to plead guilty to the shooting.
Ms. Vaughn had her name sullied by being part of the team Imus affronted. She could best restore her name by publicly forgiving and moving on. That is a lot to ask of a young woman – I don’t know that I could do it – but what a powerful statement it would be.

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