Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Maybe It Is Time

As I listened to the news today on Don Imus making derogatory remarks about some female athletes, I was so darn mad I almost picked up the phone and went berserk. Why was I mad? I was mad because everyone was focused on Imus and his remarks.

My belief is what Imus said was only the results of what we have allowed to fester too long. We should be focused on where he got those words from. Yea, I know, we as Black folk should be mad that the white populace still use terms like those spewed by Imus but it is not the first time and I would bet your life and mine that it won’t be the last. Can we really still believe that we have fixed the racial and sexist beliefs that exist in this country?

Two weeks ago here in the Detroit Metro Area, some teenagers defaced a newly erected Christian church with racist graffiti about citizens of Arab descent. And just two or three years ago I saw with my own eyes a home one block from me scrawled with racist graffiti inside and out. If we are to believe that whatever made Imus say what he said is shocking, then we have been walking around too long with our eyes close.

One journalist stated that what Imus said were more sexist remarks than racist ones, was somewhat on the mark. But to understand what he was referring to you have to also understand what bigotry means. Although the dictionary does not include sexism in the definition of bigotry, it is an additional intolerance of something or someone that is different from what is considered the majority.

Don Imus is a bigot, plain and simple. He is not alone. Yet we as Blacks have too long accepted from our own kind and others the words used to describe us. The words that came out of Imus’ mouth were not new, they originated from rappers and as we accepted them then, we got upset when Imus repeated them. I don’t know about you but, I personally can’t stand rappers and the way they describe young women. I also, don’t like that young women will not take a stand and tell the young rappers to hold on a minute, loud and clear.

Instead they twist their butts, smile, and rub their fingers signifying money in their hands on the videos as a sign that it is ok to degrade them as long as the money is coming in. So should we get upset with Imus for his remarks? Yes. But we should also get more than upset that the young rappers haven’t been put into check. We have to start at the beginning to correct a problem of this size. Imus only continued the chain of words, words young Black rappers originated.

If Imus gets suspended, so what. I didn’t see President Bush losing his job. Yea, you heard me right. Bush should have lost his job a long time ago but we excused his ignorance and prejudice. Why not do the same for Imus.

People wake up! Imus is only one of many still out there doing what he does without ever having to worry about whom he offends. If he did lose this job, you can bet he will recoup his losses by writing a book on his version of the radio flop. We have got to stop blaming others for doing what we allow them to do. It is now a good time to take a good look at ourselves and start making the necessary changes so that others don’t get confused ever again about what is right and what is wrong. And we have to start at home.

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