A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Reality Check for Don Imus (and The Rest of Us)*

The more I think about the Don Imus controversy the crankier I get. I am not only upset by the original incident, but I’m also upset at the rising double standard that is always in play when these racist episodes erupt. In my world, there is plenty of blame to spread around. So let’s tick off the involved parties one-by-one.


What in hell were you thinking, you frazzle-haired cowboy? I’ll admit that there is a lot of pressure to ad-lib unscripted monologue for four hours a day, five days a week, twelve months a year for decades on end, but did you have to utter such a slur for a laugh? Where was your brain brake that day? This remark was so beneath you. So far it has resulted in a suspension and loss of ad revenue. Your show is quickly heading for cancellation. I hope that doesn’t happen – everyone deserves to be employed no matter what mistakes they may make – and I believe you are sincerely sorry for your remarks. Unfortunately, as you are rapidly finding out, we live in a very unforgiving world.


Yes, it was very good that you did not let Imus get by for making this remark, but I still have to wonder about your motives. Are you really a vigilant soldier in the war against racism, or are you a career opportunist who will jump at any incident to incite your target audience and boost your ego? If you are sincere in this fight, then here are a few suggestions.

How about going after members of the rap community who drop the word “ho” like raindrops in a summer thunderstorm? Here a ho, there a ho, everywhere a ho-ho-ho, and this is not the sound of Santa Claus laughing! Shouldn’t these artists be called to task for their use of this word against black womanhood? Or is their usage allowable just because they are not white? Sorry, nobody gets a free pass here.

Another target is the literally hundreds and hundreds of hate groups operating in this country now. You know, the Klu Klux Klan and the neo-Nazis. These groups want to do a lot worse things to the black community than calling you nasty names on the radio. Or are they too big for you and your radio show to take on?


The outrage we’ve all felt is good and natural given Imus’ offense. On the other hand, what did you expect? He is the granddaddy of all shock jocks that had commercials running in the 1970’s with the catch line, “Did you hear what Imus said this morning?” One actor who quoted this line was dressed like a stereotypical black pimp!

I agree Imus should be punished, but let the punishment fit the crime. Suspension and loss of pay, okay, but I fear that some of us want blood. Should we cast Imus into the same radio land oblivion that we threw the Greaseman into, or can we step back before we do something we will all regret later? We demanded an apology, we got that apology, and some of us decided that wasn’t good enough. Whatever happened to such things as redemption and salvation? If we are really that cold-hearted as to not accept an expression of remorse, then there is no hope for us as a (supposedly) Christian society. If this is the case, then shouldn’t we give Don Imus a punishment that matches our rage, like lethal injection perhaps? Is this what we really want?


As the injured party, your actions in this controversy will carry more weight than the rest of society. You worked hard this past season and you certainly did not deserve the abuse caused by Imus’ carelessness. You naturally responded with expressions of pain and anger, but overall you reacted with the greatest of grace. I hope you will learn from this experience and that it will strengthen your resolve to fight racism in the future. I also hope that you will do something that, I admit, maybe the hardest thing you have ever done. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive.

*NOTE: This blog was completed before word of Imus’ firing reached the airwaves.


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