OFFBEAT: Imus was just another loudmouth

SANDUSKY Am I the only black man who doesn't care what Don Imus said on his stupid show? I just don'
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

Am I the only black man who doesn't care what Don Imus said on his stupid show? I just don't understand why it got people so upset. Somebody's going to call me a sell-out for saying that, but the outrage really doesn't make sense.

For starters, I don't think what he said was really all that newsworthy. He's a "shock jock." He shocks people for entertainment.

Over the years, Imus made jokes about Jews wearing beanies, Asian people being monkeys, and I'm sure a number of jokes about black people.

Howard Stern is notorious for making offensive comments, oftentimes at the expense of blacks. I didn't see Al Sharpton protest that.

If Imus was a respected public figure like the president, no wait, like the Pope, that would change things. But he's an entertainer.

Some guy made a comment on comedian Bill Maher's HBO show about how Imus' firing made a statement that jokes about race are no longer acceptable in this country. Really? Is that really what we want? I know I don't.

Some of the funniest black comics in history -- Richard Pryor, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle -- would be out of work. That's 90 percent of their act. Do we really want to lose the ability to laugh at how "Black people do things like this; white people do things like this, etc." I know I don't.

Imus' comments were offensive to black women though. He attacked a team that symbolizes what this country is all about -- overcoming adversity. America loves a Cinderella story. Imus might as well have attacked Tom Brady or Lance Armstrong.

But saying he should be fired for offending black women? Come on. Some of my favorite rappers make millions by saying things 10 times worse than "nappy-headed ho." What about Nelly ("Tip Drill"), Ludacris ("Booty Poppin") or any random lyric in any random rap song?

The truth is the people who disrespect black women most, at least publicly, are usually black men -- and black women, too, when I think about it. Some of the older black women reading this will say, "not me." Yes, you too. There aren't too many black mamas out there who haven't called their son or daughter nappy headed. Heck, I've heard some of my friends' mothers call their daughters hos. Nobody said they should lose their jobs.

But, seriously, if there's one tragedy in this whole ordeal, it's this: When the 24-hour news channels picked up this controversy and ran with it, something amazing happened. Black people got mad.

They called advertisers of NBC and CBS, the networks that broadcast Imus, and made it clear endorsing this man was not good business. Imus' shows were seen by millions. I imagine it took millions of black people to convince these networks to fire him.

But what Imus said has no effect on black America and firing him isn't going to change a thing for African Americans. Why can't black people get that mad about things that really matter?

As we speak, thousands of black people in Sudan are being slaughtered and displaced because of the color of their skin. Black women there are not being called nappy headed hos. But they are being raped, maimed and butchered, simply because they are black, while America and the rest of the world does nothing but watch.

I wonder what would happen if all those black people who called in about Imus -- if Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and all of black America -- stood together and said "no more!" Maybe we could make a difference and save lives. Maybe we could even put an end to the self-destructive masochistic culture that corrodes our own people from within. Or maybe not.

At least there are no more racist white people on the radio ... right?