Thursday, April 12, 2007

Imus Firing: Changing the subject

Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star wrote a searing column about what isn't being addressed regarding the controversy over the remarks of Don Imus, and the selective indignation of the people who were supposedly offended by his racial and sexual insults about the Rutgers womens' basketball team. Whitlock is angry that while Imus is being nailed for his remarks, the source of those remarks goes unanswered.

To give you an idea of what Whitlock is talking about, here is a telling paragraph from his column:
While we’re fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I’m sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent’s or Snoop Dogg’s or Young Jeezy’s latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.
Whitlock takes Jackson, Sharpton and the rest of their ilk to task for taking the easy way out by attacking a washed up white radio host, but failing to attack the hip-hop culture that spawned Imus' remarks in the first place. There are some other choice comments from Whitlock that bear mention:
It is us. At this time, we are our own worst enemies. We have allowed our youths to buy into a culture (hip hop) that has been perverted, corrupted and overtaken by prison culture. The music, attitude and behavior expressed in this culture is anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro-drug dealing and violent. Rather than confront this heinous enemy from within, we sit back and wait for someone like Imus to have a slip of the tongue and make the mistake of repeating the things we say about ourselves...

In the grand scheme, Don Imus is no threat to us in general and no threat to black women in particular. If his words are so powerful and so destructive and must be rebuked so forcefully, then what should we do about the idiot rappers on BET, MTV and every black-owned radio station in the country who use words much more powerful and much more destructive...?

I don’t listen or watch Imus’ show regularly. Has he at any point glorified selling crack cocaine to black women? Has he celebrated black men shooting each other randomly? Has he suggested in any way that it’s cool to be a baby-daddy rather than a husband and a parent? Does he tell his listeners that they’re suckers for pursuing education and that they’re selling out their race if they do...?

No. We all know where the real battleground is. We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show. There’s no money and lots of danger in that battle, so Jesse and Al are going to sit it out.
Those are just some of the highlights of this no-holds-barred explanation of the deeper problems behind Don Imus' idiotic comments. He didn't just think them up on the spot; he picked them up from a popular culture that was created for and followed by many of the same people who claim to be offended by what Imus said.

By the way, if you haven't already figured it out, Jason Whitlock is black. Good for him for having the courage to call these charlatans out and demonstrate their hypocrisy for all the world to see.

Good Day to You, Sir


Darren said...

If only his observations, like those of Bill Cosby, would fall on the ears of those for whom they are intended.

George said...

Whitlock defined the problem perfectly!