Imus - Your thoughts

I was kinda surprised that no one has brought this topic up yet. What are your thoughts on the whole Imus incident? Personally, I think its crap.

In case you haven't heard, on his morning show Imus referred to the Rutger's womens basketball team as "nappy headed hos". He said it as a joke. Granted, it was poor taste, but he meant it as a joke none the less. Even if he didn't mean it as a what?

One of the greatest things about this country (if not THE greatest) is the right to free speech. Not "free speech as long as nobody is offended", but free speech. I also find it particularly amusing that Reverend Jesse "Himeytown" Jackson is one of the leaders of the charge against Imus. A great patriot once said "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it!". That's what its all about, to me.

It seems to me that as a society we now determine whether or not words are offensive by who says them, not the words themselves. I once remember a Chris Rock show where he was joking about how many blacks believe the media falsely portrays them as gangsters, to which Chris Rock commented "Its not the media! When I go to the ATM, I'm not lookin over my shoulder for Ted Koppel....I'm checkin' for n****s!" And 1000's of black audience members were howling with laughter at that. I remember laughing out of shock and thinking...Good Lord! If a white comic said that, he'd be crucified. Just like I couldn't imagine a movie being made with say Will Farrell and Adam Sandler putting on blackface and wigs and pretending to be black women and covering all the stereotypes of black women. But White Chicks was a movie. I dont recall Jesse or Al Sharpton picketing that one. I actually didn't see the whole movie but have seen pieces of it, and I thought it was pretty funny.

Words either offend you, or they don't, regardless of who said them. And even if they do offend you, so what? Don't listen to that person. In the case of Imus, if you don't like what he said, turn the channel. But he, and all of us, have the right to free speech. I don't agree with everything Farakahn says (although I do with a lot of it), but I'm not going to start a protest to shut down the Nation of Islam because I don't like what he says. Its his right to do so.

I dunno. I just cant believe that this country is so out of whack that because someone said something that others didnt like (at least, didnt like coming out of the mouth of some old white guy) that he now lost his TV show, has been suspended from radio for 2 weeks and may lose his radio show all together as well.

Wasidun 17 years ago
I wanna see Sharpton picketing against rappers for calling white people racist names. It could happen!

Not really tho.
Verileah 17 years ago
*nods* I completely support the stations right to fire Imus, but I do think there might have been a better solution that would bring some resolution to this public debate, closure for the basketball team, and maybe a better sense of awareness for everyone. I believe the reasons Imus was fired were purely economical and had little to do with any of the many people screaming for his head...and for some reason that just makes me more cynical. There is a severe lack of social responsibility happening on -all- sides and it's just sad. No one is saying 'let's fix this, let's -really- fix this'. So while I am grateful that the choices are in our hands rather than the governments, I am saddened by the opportunism displayed by everyone involved. The station just wants to make money and some people just want attention, and this issue is just going to get more shot up in the crossfire.
Rikr 17 years ago
This is sad...however I cant really say that I feel bad for Imus. It was a stupid comment. Even if he was trying to be funny. He failed. He was free to make his comments. He did not go to jail.

In the beginning he did say it was a joke, get over it. Al and Jesse started their usual bullshit, he then backed down and agreed to meet the ladies, and then it became a big deal to the sponsors who decided to start pulling out of the radio and tv broadcast.

This in the end is what caused him to lose his job. Radio and TV I'm sure really didn't give two shits about his comments, because he IS paid to say off the wall shit. In the end it was about the sponsors money, not his comments.
Wystro 17 years ago
Freedom of speech is freedom from government interference in speech. If I've hired Imus and I don't like what he's saying I can fire him -- that is using my freedom of expression. Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences from your market place.
Lunna 17 years ago
In my work place if I screw up bad enough for my boss or the company to take heat over or lose business over it I fully expect to pay the price for my mistake. Whether that is reprimand, suspension or termination is anyones guess.

Freedom of speech comes with a social responcibility. It's not a free pass to be a jackass and say whatever you want.
Linus 17 years ago
The thing is... You don't say "Nappy headed Ho's" in any other way except to be funny. If he had used any other word to describe them, ie. negro's or something of the such, it would be offensive to me, but NHH's is funny. It's used often in lyrics and movies and standup comedy acts... The problem is, he's white, he wears a cowboy hat, and news has been slowing down. How many times does Howard Stern use the 'N' word on his show? Even when he was on terrestrial radio he did, hell so do Opie and Anthony. MSNBC dropped Imus the day before his radiothon, which he had done for the past 18 years and used the profits to help sick/under-priveleged children. That is more offensive to me than what he said because they took that good cause away from millions of viewers who would have seen it on that channel an essentially took money away from needy kids.
Verileah 17 years ago
MSNBC dropped Imus the day before his radiothon, which he had done for the past 18 years and used the profits to help sick/under-priveleged children. That is more offensive to me than what he said because they took that good cause away from millions of viewers who would have seen it on that channel an essentially took money away from needy kids.

I didn't know this - that really is sad.
Mylec 17 years ago
Being that he said it on "company time" yes, the company can take action against him (if there is a policy in place, which I'm sure there probably is). Its still going too far. This would be like fat people protesting anyone who ever used the word fat to describe someone (jokingly or not). Until I see Jesse and Al go after black entertainers who say the same things or worse with the same gusto that they went after Imus, they can both STFU IMO because they are hypocritical idiots. Of course, I will still side with the entertainer, because unlike them my belief has nothing to do with the color of the person who made the comment.
Four Winds 17 years ago
Pfft... to Don Imus.

This story and video highlights that racism is alive in well in countries other than the U.S.

Don Imus' comment made me sigh, what the German Army Instructor did made me cringe.