Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Face of the 21st Century Racist

Michael Richards and Don Imus both believe that they are not racist.   Then I ask, Who is a racist?  Do people still think that racists are only those who wear white sheets and burn crosses on lawns?  Or only those that shave their heads and adorn themselves with swastikas?  
These gentleman and many others just don't get it.  They are the faces of the 21st century racist.   The people who 98% of the time hide their thoughts beneath a socially acceptable veneer and then suddenly have an OOPS moment. 
The 21st century racists are the casting people in Hollywood who routinely cast dark skinned African American actresses as prostitutes, drug addicts and welfare moms.  The same casting execs who repeatedly cast Denzel Washington's on screen love interests as  hispanic or caucasian.   The Hollywood marketing and distribution execs who decided that it was appropriate to release Eddie Murphy's movie "Norbit" during Black History Month.   The people who have deep compassion for victims of natural disasters until the majority of victims are poor African Americans. The people who believe that genocide is terrible until the faces are Rwandan or Black Sudanese.   The people who feel a righteous urgency to fight evil dictatorships unless those dictatorships are in Africa.  
So should we condemn Don Imus?  Only if we condemn the majority of gansta rap artists and black comedians.   If we cannot accept the premise that Don Imus was making a joke then why do we accept the humor of Eddie Murphy's  "How to Be A Ho" skit on SNL.  
Don Imus is quoted as saying, " I may be a white man, but I know that these young women and young black women all through that society are demeaned and degraded by their own black men and that they are called that name."   In that statement he is correct.   And I ask where is the public outrage over that?
Pamela Lyn

Imus calls his suspension 'appropriate' - Yahoo! News
By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer
NEW YORK - Radio host Don Imus, suspended for two weeks for calling the Rutgers female basketball players "nappy-headed hos," called the punishment appropriate Tuesday but stressed, "I am not a racist."  "What I did was make a stupid, idiotic mistake in a comedy context," Imus said on his show Tuesday morning, the final week before his suspension starts.

Asked by NBC "Today" host Matt Lauer if he could clean up his act as he promised on Monday, he said, "Well, perhaps I can't."  But he added, "I have a history of keeping my word."

The radio host tried to shift some of the focus from himself, saying, "that phrase originated in the black community.   ... I may be a white man, but I know that these young women and young black women all through that society are demeaned and degraded by their own black men and that they are called that name."

Imus said his staff had been trying to set up a meeting with the Rutgers players to apologize, but he said he didn't expect forgiveness.  Of the two-week suspension by MSNBC and CBS Radio, he said: "I think it's appropriate, and I am going to try to serve it with some dignity."

MSNBC, which telecasts the radio show, said Imus' expressions of regret and embarrassment, coupled with his stated dedication to changing the show's discourse, made it believe suspension was the appropriate response. "Our future relationship with Imus is contingent on his ability to live up to his word," the network said late Monday.

Imus, who has made a career of cranky insults in the morning, was fighting for his job following the joke that by his own admission went "way too far."

Imus isn't the most popular radio talk-show host --- the trade publication Talkers ranks him the 14th most influential --- but his audience is heavy on the political and media elite that advertisers pay a premium to reach.


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