Thursday, April 12, 2007

Imus: My apathetic response

Ever since Don Imus has finally been brought to bear because of the sheer stupidity of his comments, people have been trying to grill me on what I think about the situation. Controversy sparks and folks start looking at me. Imagine that. At any rate, I'll keep my commentary on this issue short and simple.

I don't care.

Well, that was easy.

I, like most people who aren't sexists, bigots, and well...brainless don't subscribe to this man's lunacy. So I'm not bothered either way. Yes, this man, his producers, his followers and, apparently his copycats are clearly ignorant. Yes, his viewpoints (and frankly, his entire platform) are socially destructive. Yes, he should be made to face the consequences of his mindless and blatantly bigoted comments (though I read that MSNBC along with a few big time sponsors have all ditched this dude; all right before CBS fired him). But I think shit like this makes mobilizing against greater problems that we currently face even more difficult.

If we spend our time and resources generating some temporary outrage over one idiot (an idiot, ironically, with pretty nappy hair himself), then our ability to contest with more socially relevant struggles gets seriously compromised. Besides that, he'll be back on the air in no time. What's the point of losing sleep over this?

There. I said it.

- ACL

15 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

Greeneyes said...

Andre My Greeneyed KING ,
You said it and said it well ,
Excellent post , you hit the NAIL right on its head .

Green eyes♥♥

The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
You are, of course, 100% right. Distractions like this do nothing. The main reason I think that this is such a big story is that the media LOVES talking about itself more than anything. I really don't think what he said rises to the level of firing him. If we fired everyone who says something stupid, well, frankly there would be no one left. I do think however, that Imus should be fired for being one of the scariest looking people on the planet. That is one nappy-headed, ugly-assed, Satan-resembling cracker.

Will Luongo said...

Andre: I also have to agree with you on this one. What a pathetic waste of public awareness and controversy, when the things that should be controversial are left unsaid, ignored, and swept under the rug.

Cynthia said...

Dre,

I agree with you to a certain degree. But I think that Imus' firing is a clear indication of what can happen when people DO, in fact, mobilize against ignorance.

Andre said...

@ My green-eyed queen: I think I'm just in one of my angry black man, pissy moods again. But thanks, nonetheless.

Did you ever find out who our anonymous assailant was? Those types are the ones who annoy me the most.

@ HC: On the one hand, I think the media DOES need to get checked every now and then. They have a powerful and influencial platform. With it comes responsibility; responsibility for which they need to be held accountable. But this only represents a small piece of a much greater picture.

But, I agree the firing was justified and sent a message to nutcases who spew their bigotry over the air (sorta). Now if we can just get Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh fired too.

@ Will: It's funny to me how public response to social and economic injustice, environmental abuse, and international atrocities all take a backseat to one bigot who wears a ridiculous cowboy hat.

@ Cynthia: "But I think that Imus' firing is a clear indication of what can happen when people DO, in fact, mobilize against ignorance."

Yeah? Well let's try to get those same people to mobilize against the genocide in Darfur, the unmet needs of the Gulf Coast victims, and the endless racism/sexism/classism that continues to pervade our society.

That's my point.

Natasha said...

Good point, Dre. But I also agree with Cynthia. Who in here doesn't already know that Imus is an ass? He's pull this number before and nobody did anything about. But he's finally getting what's been coming to him for a while.

Apologies are not enough.

Kim said...

Andre I agree with you, but I do think that some good can come from this. I think that we, the African-American community, should take this opportunity to reflect on the things that we allow to go on in our culture. It's time to clean up our own backyard, and stop being so shocked and offended when people of other races say and do the same things that some of us say and do everyday.

I was just looking an email that you sent me regarding Michael Richards. It was so relevant to what's going on today.
"...First of all, the term is straight up wrong; regardless to who says it. Oppressed people shouldn’t try to ‘endear’ each other with a negative word, laced with a tragic history. You don’t see Jews calling each other “kikes”, or Asians (Vietnamese especially) calling each other “gooks”. Why then is acceptable for us to call each other n****?"
**I have the email in it's entirety if you don't have it. I think that you should share it with your bloggers. I hope I'm not being out of line by sharing some of it now.***

I also think that this is a great opportunity to open up the dialog between whites and non-whites regarding race relations in this country.

It's time to stop sweeping these issues under the rug and start facing them.

Kim said...

Sorry,
I didn't realize my comment was so long until I submitted it :)

Andre said...

@ Natasha: Hey you. How have you been?

"Who in here doesn't already know that Imus is an ass? He's pull this number before and nobody did anything about. But he's finally getting what's been coming to him for a while."

Your observation raises another issue that I have about this whole story. Given that we already knew how much of a bigot this dude was, why did it take for his comments about a few college basketball players for people to be outraged? Does the fact that people sat around idly for years while he spewed other bigoted diatribes make their responses to his recent outbursts disingenuous?

I think it does.

@ Kim: What's up sis?

"I also think that this is a great opportunity to open up the dialog between whites and non-whites regarding race relations in this country.

It's time to stop sweeping these issues under the rug and start facing them.
"

If inciting important discussions about racism/sexism/classism is the goal of people's activism against Imus and other bigots, I'm with it. But if this whole spectacle is nothing more than a witchhunt on an individual because of his stupidity (which I suspect it is) then it's a waste of time and resources that could be devoted to far greater causes.

ajbendaƱa said...

Rant time!!!

What gets me is the hypocrisy in this nation and the medias constant quest to blow up common dialogue between people. Yes Imus should be punished cuase his show is national and what he said was and is wrong. But other than that he is just repeating somthing he has heard before. I hear it in movies, tv, radio, music etc. Its nothing new to my ears. I agree that there are things that are hundreds of times more important than this issue. I feel like all the media does is report stuff like this to cover them (those other issues) up and keep the masses occupied and segregated.

Another point I wanted to make is this. I am hispanic, Spic I believe is the derogatory term used. Yet I dont feel the need to segregate myself from all the other races that make up this world when some tv, radio, national or world personality pokes fun at my ethnicity. If anything that just helps to fuel the fire and increase the the gap between all our diffrent races. You dont see a white or hispanic version of Jackson or Sharpton freaking out on commedians like chris rock and other for makeing fun of other races.

Another thing that kinda rubs me the wrong way is Jessie Jackson. Who is this guy. He himself has been known to say racial comments about jews before and then has the never to go on power trips when somone says anything remotely negative about african-americans. What gives? Hypocrite anyone?

This is a sad world we live in when this is the main topic of conversation. I cant stand the mediots!

I concider myself an Human, wish everyone did the same and forgot the skin color issues. One color rules and its the color red. We all bleed red dont we.

The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
I have to weigh in one more time here. As much as I hate the sound of myself saying this, I think it should be asked. Can anyone tell me a derogatory term against white males that anyone here thinks a black commentator would or should be fired for?
Also; I agree with Kim.
As I once heard a black comedian say, "If we want white people to believe that we think these terms are so hateful, maybe we should stop dancing to them."

ajbendaƱa said...

I apologize ahead of time if my rant offended anyone. It was not meant to do that. And if it did not great!

Andre said...

@ Hippie and Aldo (I'll try to address two point in one post. Let's see if I can do it...)

You'll get no argument from me about the double standards that exist when it comes to particular elements of race relations. As ridiculous as I think it is for one group to place titles and names on their own while shunning members of other groups who do; it happens. I have no explanation or justification for it. Well, actually; I do have an explanation, but I'm not sure how accurate I'll be with this assessment.

I remember once when I was a child, my parents had a couple of friends over. All throughout the conversation, they referred to each other by first name. When I joined in the conversation (which was strike one in my household), I also called them by their first names; as opposed to "Mr." or "Mrs". My dad ripped me a new one for doing that. Essentially, as he explained, just because my parents were able to refer to the people by first name, didn't mean that I could. I wasn't apart of 'their' group.

I think that's why minorites (blacks especially) get outraged when a member of an "outside" group (particularly white folks) use language/titles that -- interestingly -- would be 'endearing' had it came from another black person. But, being the guy I am, I think that inappropriate phrases are what they are REGARDLESS to who says it. If enough blacks felt the same, then most of today's rappers would be out of the industry in a nanosecond.

Shifting gears a bit, I think that minorities (individually or collectively) are given some sort of social allowance to attack members of the dominant culture (white folks) without being subject to the same scrutiny or censorship. But, too, I can't think of too many terms used to describe whites that have a truly damaging and historically disparaging connotation. "Honky", "white boy", and "cracker" are the few that come to mind, but I can't think of any instances where a minority comedian used this terms in reference to a white person. If there are such cases, they're wrong. No argument there. But, as James Baldwin wrote almost 30 years ago, language has power. It has as much of an ability to destroy, disparage, and denigrate as it does to heal, restore, and bond.

But why black folks don't get as angry about thugs disrespecting people as they do folks like Imus will remain a mystery to me.

Perez said...

Now here is someone with brains-yes, that means you Andre-Why is everyone one talked about the 'nappy' word being racist? He called the women hoes! That is the really picture. Many people can have nappy hair in all races. I find it hard to believe his comment was racist, just a slap in the face to women.

Andre said...

Perez,

There's no doubt that when he used the terms "tough" and "nappy", he was referring to the black members of the basketball team. He wasn't referring to the 'pretty and wholesome' white members of the team.

But nevertheless; you're absolutely correct in saying that the racist element is all that seems to get the attention. So, while I don't think that black 'leaders' need to spend as their energy going after Imus, at least they are; unlike other groups representing marginalized people. Where are the feminist groups? Where is the NOW? Their absense represents the fact that -- as in the case with other social conflicts (more important than this Imus junk) -- the agents of change are limited to a small group. Where is the collaboration?