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When race-baiting blowhards collide; Update: Blogger reax, Factor discussion, defending Rush

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By Michelle Malkin  •  April 9, 2007 04:32 PM

Update: MSNBC buys time…two-week suspension for Imus…It’s a civility offset!

Update: Here’s vid of my discussion with O’Reilly and Kirsten Powers tonight. I’m really tired of people likening Rush Limbaugh’s criticism of Donovan McNabb to Imus’s racial epithets.

Rush spoke the truth. Sports writer Allen Barra weighed in and his piece in Slate in 2003 is worth re-reading:

Rush Limbaugh didn’t say Donovan McNabb was a bad quarterback because he is black. He said that the media have overrated McNabb because he is black, and Limbaugh is right. He didn’t say anything that he shouldn’t have said, and in fact he said things that other commentators should have been saying for some time now. I should have said them myself. I mean, if they didn’t hire Rush Limbaugh to say things like this, what did they hire him for? To talk about the prevent defense?

Imus wasn’t offering any profound social critique or commentary when he called Rutgers basketball players “nappy-headed hos.” It was verbal diarrhea.

So: Stop. Comparing. Rush. To. Imus.

***

Imus genuflects before Rev. Demagogue’s altar.

A pox on both of these losers. Ugh.

***

More: Imus supporters say he ain’t stupid, he’s just “edgy.”

Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam:

Earlier today on Imus in the Morning, heard locally on WTKK (96.9 FM), Imus said he was “embarrassed” by his remarks. He first apologized on his show Friday – two whole days after making the on-air insults.

“I’m not a bad person. I’m a good person, but I said a bad thing,” Imus said today. “But these young women deserve to know it was not said with malice.”

Imus brought up the Imus Ranch, a working cattle ranch in New Mexico for kids with cancer and serious blood disorders — and he pointed out that ten percent of the kids who visit the ranch are black.

“I’m not a white man who doesn’t know any African-Americans,” Imus said.

Please.

Imus, and some of those who appear on his show, have a history of spewing racial insults. As the NABJ points out, Imus called PBS anchor Gwen Ifill a “cleaning lady” and New York Times sports columnist William C. Rhoden a “a quota hire.”

A host of politicians that include Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and former Gov. Mitt Romney have eagerly appeared on Imus’ show.

On Friday, I contacted spokespeople for both politicians and specifically asked whether Kerry or Romney would appear on Imus’ show in the future.

Neither responded to the question.


Ed Morrissey
reviews Imus’s history of racial tone-deafness.

Angela Winters, a blogger/writer who writes from the perspective of a black centrist, says:

“Imus and his co-horts continued to compare the rivalry between Rutgers girls to Tennessee girls to School Daze, the Spike Lee movie that depicts the rivalry between light-skinned and dark-skinned women. Jigaboos and Wannabes were the names they threw at each other.

There really isn’t much you can say about this. Imus is an equal opportunity insulter, but this is harsh even for him. He has ridden that mean, old man who hates everyone and everything for a long time. I hardly ever watch the show, but when I have I’ve only heard him say good things about blacks, including the terminally ill black children that come out to his ranch every summer.

As a black woman, I was offended by the term nappy-headed. Because he has called everyone, including First Ladies, hos. If he had kept it like that, no one could say anything. But by adding the nappy-headed part, he was insulting their blackness. The School Daze reference was completely out of line, but it’s just icing on the hate cake.

Shay at Booker Rising, a center/right blogger, weighs in: “My response: Damn. Foul. Low-class, but not surprising coming from [Imus]. Although I disagree with Angela, as I find the ho part of the comment even more offensive than the nappy-headed comment.”

Juliette O. at Baldilocks examines the “Nap Standard:”

I don’t think it was racist; however, it was a cultural bias in favor of the prevailing standard of beauty, one to which many black men subscribe as well. And, to drive home my point, it seems that it is the adjective ‘nappy-headed’ that is perceived in many quarters as the more insulting part of the phrase.

So now Imus is making an “apology tour” among notable black American people; he will meet with the Rutgers women and their families. And irony on top of irony (for many reasons) he will go on Al Sharpton’s radio show to apologize. Yes, the Al Sharpton of Tawana Brawley fame and, applicable to this incident, the Al Sharpton who is among the tiny minority of black men who straighten their hair (I think that minority was halved when James Brown died). How’s that for crazy?

If I were one of the Rutgers players, I’d want to kick Imus’s crusty, creaky a** for the unequivocally offensive epithet ‘ho.’ After all, Imus is implying that he has some person knowledge of these girls’ alleged “ho-dom.” And I’d call an allegation that I had had physical relations with him a particularly heinous form of slander.

Baldilocks points us to Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ rumination on beauty, discrimination, and human behavior:

the answer to these issues regarding deleterious words used to put down others, is not some school-marmish, ‘You shouldn’t call people names; bad bad.’ Neither is it a laconic, ‘Well, some people make their money by being inhumane.’ It isn’t an issue of, ‘By gosh, anyone has a right to call anyone whatever they want according to the First Amendment.’ Nor is it a matter of political correctness which is far too often really just a version of ‘free speech for me, but not for thee” regardless of who is crying uncle. And the answer to these issues is also not an after-the-fact, “Aw come on, it was just a joke.” By my lights as a long-standing visiting diversity scholar, neither is it an issue of ‘diversity.’

In fact there is no answer at all. Because it’s not an answer that’s needed. It’s a set of questions that’s needed. And the first question is one of humanity: How shall we live with one another? How shall we live with one another with best grace and most hope?… What shall be our code of conduct with one another? How to knit being a humane person deep into the roots of all our cultures? These questions and more, are not modern issues. How to be ser humano, a full human being, is an ancient issue, and one that requires in our time, new level-headed and unruined-heart responses to be imagined and lived out…

Here’s Pat Dollard’s pointed take.

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Categories: Don Imus

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