Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Does White America Love Imus?

The Don Imus debacle just gets worse. For years he has been the biggest purveyor of racist hate speech on the air waves. He is also very powerful, so even prominent liberals like Frank Rich will bow and scrape in order to stay in the very lucrative Imus circle.

After describing the Rutgers University women’s basketball team as “nappy headed ho’s” he first apologized and then had a two hour long come to Jesus meeting on Al Sharpton’s radio show. He was still slapped with a two week suspension. Clearly his bosses were not amused by his comments and were not impressed with his contrition. Thank God for small favors.

Now the truth is coming out. Don Imus is popular because he is so hateful. Like Howard Stern, he has a large white, male audience because he gets away with making the racist, misogynistic statements they wish they could get away with saying. It is at the very least impolite to call anyone a “ho” or to talk about a former first couple as “Bill Clinton and his fat ugly wife, Satan.”

Now the apologists are coming out of the wood work and some of them are black. Congressman Keith Ellison says that black people should think of "redemption and reconciliation" if Imus is truly contrite. Gwen Ifill, host of Washington Week on PBS, was herself a victim of Imus’ bigotry when he called her a “cleaning lady.” She criticized Imus, but in a strangely detached way. In a New York Times op-ed she asked, "Why do my journalistic colleagues appear on Mr. Imus’s program? That’s for them to defend, and others to argue about."

Ifill knows the real deal. Don’t complain too much about powerful white men. They can do what they want, including insult and offend, with impunity. Why shouldn't she ask about her colleagues who sully themselves to suck up to this misogynistic bigot? Ifill certainly knows her bread is buttered with the corporate media and that she had better not step out of line if she wants the spread to stay on the loaf.

Here is a good rule for everyone to follow. Don't trust anyone who apologizes for Imus. They are all believers in white male supremacy, whether they admit it or not. James Carville, Paul Begala, John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani are all guilty. So is Frank Rich if he returns to the Imus fold.

Unfortunately, the Rutgers team has decided to meet with Imus. I see no reason why the subjects of his hatred should help dig him out of the hole he dug for himself. Of course they are being lionized for their decision, but that is to be expected. Black people are always told to forgive mistreatment. It is time for someone to say enough already. Imus should not be allowed to have a kumbyah moment with the objects of his scorn.

He believes in his ugly words. He shouldn't be allowed to pretend he doesn't. It is time for him to go and it is time for everyone of every race to say good riddance.