Idol Chatter

On the April 4th edition of MSNBC’s “Imus In the Morning,” Don Imus fired the shot heard ’round the world when he called the Rutger’s women’s basketball team “Nappy-Headed Ho’s.”

He laughed after he said it, and if you listen very closely you can hear someone else in the background laughing. It was comedy for Imus, but little did he know it would backfire and blow up in his face. The most tragic part of this debacle is that not only is Imus to blame for his gross misconduct but the production team and MSNBC is at fault. Yes, Imus ignited the fire, but the cameramen and the production team fanned the flames.

Why didn’t anyone see fit to turn off the cameras and kick Imus out of the studio right then and there? Are we so desensitized after watching countless numbers of “others” drop the N-bomb that “Nappy-Headed Ho’s” seems light-hearted?

In the past few months it seems that racial slurs have become commonplace among celebrities of all stripes. It almost seems formulaic: They drop the slur bomb, apologize to the offended, and then make a visit to the god of on-camera redemption, the Rev. Al Sharpton. It is when the latter takes place that people really feel like they are being redeemed–because they are paying their respects to the man believed to be the face of Black America. Well, Rev. Sharpton’s brand of showboating to keep his “press & curl” in the spotlight doesn’t represent me. In other words Mr. Imus, the apology is not accepted.

You, Mr. Imus continue to apologize profusely, saying that your comment was just a joke and not meant to be racial. But you couldn’t have said a more racially-charged comment. If you wanted to be funny you could have called them big girls, giraffes, or tall glasses of water. But “Nappy-Headed Ho’s” is a direct shot at black women. I don’t believe that you would call your wife or your daughter a “Nappy-Headed Ho,” so why do these women deserve it. Does their playing basketball and being black make them so different and beyond respect?

A two week suspension is a small price to pay, Mr. Imus, and you should consider yourself lucky. Rev. Sharpton is right, we should all forgive you for your sin against us and against yourself–it is the Christian way. We shouldn’t even be concerned about what type of punishment you get because there will one day be a bigger judgment for all of us.

But I have one final thought: I learned a few weeks ago that we should all learn how to redeem the time we have. Redeeming our time is about spending time doing that which is truly fruitful, and it also means spending time producing something contrary to your circumstance. Your circumstance has you in a bit of hot water Mr. Imus, but I think that there is still time for you to produce something positive. This may be the one time where being contrary might actually help you out.

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