Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Imus and hypocrisy...

To me there are two facets to the Don Imus discussion, one should a "shock jock" be fired for being "too shocking", that's up to his bosses. Shock jocks before and since will be terminated for various reasons.

The second is the hypocrisy in the outrage. Sure it's not nice to call a group of black women "nappy-headed ho's". Yet are song lyrics like this any less insulting? *Warning* graphic lyrics and vulgarity follows...

If you need a ho for the evening, press 6.
If you woke up with a hangover and a pair of hairy balls on your forehead, press 7.
Number gets pressed
You've just pressed 7.
You've been victimized and introduced to a moral crime known as t baggin'.
We suggest you probably hang up the phone,
Beat the ass of any white guys you hung out with last night,
Album: Chicken-N-Beer
Song Title: T Baggin' (Skit)

Or this little "classic ditty" with a Chorus of:

Who let these hoes in my room? (These hoes)
Who let these hoes in my room?
Who let these hoes in my room? (Did you let 'em in?)
Who let these hoes in my room? (These hoes)
Who let these hoes in my room?

Then it got to my head, and somethin' reminded me
I know who let 'em in, it was Bill O'Reilly
Ya' white bread, chicken-shit nigga!


Snoop talking
Ay, ay yall gotta go
Yall gotta get the fuck up outta here, ugly ass bitches
I dont understand how these bitches always get in my dressin' room
You know what I'm sayin'?
Soon as I get off stage, it's 7 or 8 ugly ass bitches posyed up in my dressin room
And security act like they dont know who did it
I know you feel what I'm sayin', I'm my nigga around the whole world
We need to form a society or somethin'
Fat, gorilla, monkey mouth bitches cant get in our mothafuckin' dressin room or backstage
And if they do, we kindly put our foot up their asses..
Album: Chicken-N-Beer
Song Title: Hoes In My Room

Yes, I know the language is vulgar but it is out there, it's on the internet, it's on MP3 players and it's on car stereos and it is even more offensive towards women, black women too...as well as advocating violence towards "white guys". So? Where's the outrage about that?

I also recommend reading this Washington Post article and ask yourself as you read the column, which should be more deserving of this statement:
But Imus's comments underscore "there's time for change," said Stringer, who is black. "You see, because it is not about these young women. . . . It's not about the Rutgers women's basketball team. It's about women. Are women hos? Think about that. Would you have wanted your daughter to have been called that?"

Imus or the music industry...


thepoetryman said...

Only problem with the "they can say it" theory is it is, in and of itself, the ultimate hypocrisy...

If Rush, Coulter, (fill in the blank with any yammering fool on the other side of the aisle) said it, I'm sure he's said worse, but those are the standards set forth for his listeners, Imus and his words do mean something and he should be held to the standard of his listeners. I think the hypocrisy lies in the fact that many are trying to excuse his statements away. I believe he is a good man and I believe whatever the decision made by him and his bosses will be what they are and for whatever reasons, aminly listenership (money)... If Rush said it sharpton would be asking for the same, his firing. i would be considering the same. Imus said it- we should maintain our exactitude to the same degree. If not then that is hypocrisy with a capital H.

Roman said...

I hate to say it but it's no different in the hispanic community. Being
puertorican and listening to the spanish rap I find myself jamming to it but it's more towards the beat and not the content. Spanish rap is exactly the same as rap just a different language. I want Sharpton to demand an apology from every rap star out there regardless to what nationality it falls under. If were going to be offended then for god's sake let's make it an "equal" offense.

Lisa Renee said...

I guess my perspective is different, firing Imus doesn't bother me one way or the other. For me it is the fact that daily young people are listening to far worse lyrics that are so much more disrespectful and degrading to women and others and...there's no huge outcry over that.

I don't think Imus's comments should be excused away but I also don't think we should continue to pretend that worse is not being promoted as "entertainment".

Jill said...

Lisa Renee - I agree with how you state your feelings here - some of this has to do with the relative age of our kids - my oldest, who is 13, doesn't listen to anything but Billy Joel, Harry Potter soundtracks and Weird Al. My daughter's best friend's mom asked her to go to a Christina Aguilera concert and I said no. I saw my youngest dancing to something saying baby baby and I got bummed out - and my kids "only" watch three channels.

So - while they aren't hearing the rap stuff, I know they can hear stuff I won't like - and I don't want them to like - pretty much anywhere - including the school bus.

I don't FEEL like I'm thinking Imus is any better or worse - but I haven't educated myself or been exposed to everything raunchy and wrong out there either.

Again - I feel caught here in your view - if I choose to NOT view or engage with what I expect would be most offensive, but then find even some of that which I DO choose to watch or listen to as offensive, are you expecting that I shouldn't be offended, because there is worse stuff out there that I'm just not seeing?

I know I do not understand - I'm sorry - I feel very thick about this.

Lisa Renee said...

Jill, I'm not expecting you to not be offended. I'm also not surprised you haven't heard some of these songs and I can assure you that the lyrics I selected are mild compared to some of the other ones out there.

Yet, the media knows these songs are out there and I know that Sharpton and Jackson do, as well as having a pretty good idea that the Rutgers players have heard some of these songs.

You are naturally outraged, yet for me, I question if what Imus said is so horrible then why isn't what those like Ludacris are stating just as if not more offensive? The media and those speaking out against Imus had the perfect opportunity to make this a larger issue and hopefully someone will.

Head Spinner Scott said...

I don't like Imus anyway and would not mind if he wasn't on TV, but I don't know if you fire him for this or not.

I agree on the rap. I have been a big fan of rap for a long time, but have often wondered how you separate racist comments from greetings or casual conversation. In the Army, n***** was used like I would say someone's name to get their attention.

I guess I agree that you can't call what Imus said any different than what you would hear all around the country as acceptable. Richard Pryor realized this a little later in life and decided not to use n***** because he saw it as never acceptable. Unless those that are offended now listen to nothing but Barry Manilow, they have heard far worse in a more hostile context.

That does not excuse Imus however. I think he is an unfunny version of Howard Stern and I don't think all that highly of Stern

Anonymous said...

Look up "Kamau Kambon" and watch his video from c-span. His comments that were never given a second glance by anyone. Kamau Kambon equals hypocrispy.

Cyberseaer said...

OK, I have to ask this. Did anyone actually listen to the comment and in the context it was in? I hear it and it was a throw away joke. Was the joke funny? Not really, but it was a joke with no hateful intention in it whatsoever. The comment was a reference to a Spike Lee movie and two other words were used in the same referance.

For Christ's sake people, they are just words. The only reason Imus is being pulled over the coals is beacuse he is white. Also, this gives Jackson and Sharpton an excuse to promote themselves once again and comment about rasist whitey, while they keep quiet about a high school game in Madion Square Gardern ending in a gang fight.

I am mostly a middle of the road leaning slighty to the right politically, but this issue is a non issue and should have been dead in a day. Imus has empowered those who want him fired by saying sorry. Why? It was a joke and that's it. I have seen that people who make jokes that might offend certain people get blasted by little groups because they have been offended. Well people, in America anyone can say anything they want, whether it be offensive or not. All of these little offended groups have one thing in common and that is they all believe in freedom of speech as long as it isn't used to offend.

When did the people in this country become whinny ultrasensitive bitches. My God, people are dying or being hurt for real all over the world and this is what Americans are outraged about? It's no wonder that this country is hated by most of the world. We are self center hypocrites who care nothing for anyone else by ourselves. I'm generalizing, of course.

As for the Rutger's women's basketball team, I give them all the credit in the world for getting to the final game and getting the national exposure. They worked hard for it and deserve it. But with the glory, comes the insults, name calling, and people who will try and pull them down. So they got called a name. Boo hoo. They will not be loved by all. When you are in the limelight, you need a thick skin and let others say what they will. It doesn't take away from the fact that they were in the NCAA finals.

Does Imus need to be fired? Of course not. Was his joke in bad taste? Yes and it wasn't funny. So we moved on and live our lives. I'm pissed that this is even being discussed.

And Scott, the word is nigger. Not n*****, not the n word, just nigger. Yes I am white and I typed it. Shocking. My point is, in discussion, even in such a trite topic as this (not picking on Lisa so everyone get over yourselves), we shouldn't be afraid to use the words that are in question, even if they are not so nice. Is nigger a nice word? No, but it is there for anyone to use. Over the course of time it will be phased out, but not if people continue to point it out all the time it is spoken.

My solution is to be honest. This bullshit political correctness to make sure that noone is offended or hurt by the mean words is just that, bullshit. If we went back to being honest with ourselves and see that not everything is for everyone, that not everybody is suited to do everything, and just accept the gifts and limitations we have as individuals than we wouldn't be so uptight about what a dumb radio jock has to say for two seconds.

Lisa Renee said...

whinny ultrasensitive bitches? *sniff*

I think it's been overblown considering the larger issues that I pointed out, C. When I first heard about it, I wasn't going to blog it but the outrage that's been created was just to much on my scale of hypocrisy not to blog it.

When I read the Washington Post article where the one player stated she was "scared for life" because of that one comment by Imus? I knew I had to get my thoughts out there and see what everyone else thought.

TLC said...

i was talking with a friend of mine - who happens to be black - and she said that she believe Imus should NOT be fired, just reprimanded.

And I quote from her email to me on the topic: "The sad part about all of this is that we as blacks have basically brought this on ourselves. We unlike other races, think racial self-hatred and misogyny is cool. Hence individuals like Imus. Truly sad, indeed."

Personally, I think Imus is an idiot and if he gets fired, it won't be a great loss to radio. And, he'll just end up getting another gig on another radio network.

Irishman65 said...

Bravo to Cyberseaers' insightful comments. I would like to add a few of my own musings to his/hers.

This fiasco concerning Imus is just the latest in a never-ending string of mindless, lawsuit-starting, finger-pointing, mud-slinging, racially-charging, career-building, newspaper-selling load of tripe to come down the media pipeline this week. It seems that we, as Americans, have become addicts. Not to the usual suspects of heroin, coke or alcohol, but to our daily fix of other peoples drama. And if it's a celebrity, even BETTER. The saltier it is, the better we seem to like it. Give us some drug use, sex scandals, racism, even murder and we like that just fine.

Why? Why do we slow down so as to better see the car wreck we pass by on the highway? Are we really hoping to see a body? Maybe some blood at least? Why do we watch programs like COPS, Cheaters, etc. etc.? How many of you out there REALLY and TRULY give a shit who is the da-da of Anna Nicole Smiths baby? And yet, we DO watch. Have we become so reliant on other peoples misery to bring a sense of satisfaction to our own lives?

All that is quite awful. But there's something even worse. Those that would not only feast on these miseries but would actually try to forward their own wealth/careers out of it. Enter Sean Hannity, Al Sharpton, NBC, Jesse Jackson, Rush Limbaugh, etc etc etc.. They argue, they threaten, they rationalize about a situation that affects them in no discernible way whatsoever. This is between Imus and the Rutgers womens basketball team. Period. He made a comment publicly that was deemed inappropriate by some. He has apologized to the public and is about to apologize privately to the persons he directed the comments to. Do we really need all this other crap? Or do we just need the drama and damn the consequences for the people involved.

I pity the Rutgers baketball team even more so than Imus. Now, they are in the situation of accepting the apology and being considered (by some) an affront to the black race OR denying the apology and being viewed as equally racially biased. And so it goes on and on. And, you know, the media goofs, politicians and lawyers are counting on that.

Meanwhile, Cyberseaer is right. We have troops at war in Iraq. We have terrorists who would like nothing more than to completely exterminate the US. We have diabetes and cancer and AIDS. We have people living in the streets and people starving to death in our own country. We have children to raise, neighbors who need help and taxes to pay. Don't we have enough on our plates without all these other media-hyped distractions? Give yourself a break from Court TV and take your kids to the zoo. It'll make your day a lot better, I swear.

suzanne said...

Sharpton and Jackson are reaping the benefits of a media who covers the "Sanjaya controversy" more closely than who got blown up in Iraq today.

You can imagine what it's like for those guys. For years, people paid some attention to them, but it was a mix of loathing and fear. Suddenly, Michael Richards or some guy like that says something and some reporter wants a reactionary opinion that is more likely to get pushed to the headline of the front page. Who do you call? Gee, I don't know....how about the guys you know are going to say something about it? It's kind of like pointing a camera at Anna Nicole Smith or Tom Cruise because you know something is going to happen that is of some entertainment value. All Imus did was say something that his core audience probably says in a much more derrogatory way than he contemplated.

All Sharpton and Jackson did was fuel the circus that the media wanted. Ok, so they cost some guy who is probably worth millions of bucks and who looks like he was one step away from being a Wal-Mart door greeter to retire anyway out of a job. He'll probably join Howard Stern on satellite radio and not miss a beat.

Pat said...

Imus is a jerk, but canning him now begs the question: Why not before? He's insulted Jews, roman Catholics, Latins-you name the group. Is CBS trying to say that insulting other groups is OK, but that the Black community is off-limits.

Imus' remarks toward the rutgets players were bigoted-make no mistake about it. But where was the anger at CBS/Infinity when other groups were equally offended by him? One has to presume that CBS cononed htose bigoted remars, but was not going to permit the latest racist rant to stand. Can we say "hypocrisy"?

Lisa Renee said...

Personally I think if people who think that Imus being fired went to far were to contact the same sponsors and tell them that they had lost their support?

Maybe there'd be some equalization of the "outrage".

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure just what Imus meant by making that remark, but my guess is that he was just using some "rap" expressions ,which people of color LOVE , to liven up his broadcast, I doubt that he really ment his listeners to feel that those girl were prostitutes.
My real problem is how fast and unjustified his imployers were to fire him without allowing the screaming to die down first and then take some Appropreate action.
But instead they CAVED IN to the "Civil Rights" leader's demand to have Imus beheaded. Thus, people have allowed Sharpton the power to CALL DOWN FIRE from heaven and put the fear of God into the hearts of any who would say anything insulting about Black Americans.

Do you really want any "Civil Rights" leader to have such POWER?