Monday, April 16, 2007

Imus be missing somting?

My buddy Dan argued this weekend that Imus is not a racist, or that his comment wasn't racist. Here is my reply via email and this blog.

I've been thinking about this some, and Imus' comment seems racist to me. It seems that he (wrongly) assumed that he could get away with making an extremely derrogatory statement about african-american women b-ballers...because he's a rich white guy, indeed, a regular good-ol-boy. If that kind of thinking doesn't reflect and support an underlying feeling of superiority, then I'm not sure what does. If he wasn't fired, then the fact that he said what he said and got away with it would've meant that its okay for a rich white guy to publicly demean black people who've been systematically and institutionally oppressed for hundreds of years. He didn't violate anyone's civil rights perse, but he did cross the line and vocalize a put-down of black women, which incrementally bolsters the still-alive-and-well (as you know and I know) system of thought that says white people are better than black people, brown people, red people and yellow people.

so what if a black person said that about a white team? say, something like blond-headed whores, If Chris Rock came out and called some white women's basketball team a bunch of blonde headed hookers, would that be percieved as racist?

I understand about PCness run amok, but I don't think this is one of those cases. And as Tina mentioned, it was the market that ultimately "punished" Imus. Is this a kind of mob mentality? perhaps, but it seems a lot better than the kinds of mobs that ruled in some of the southern parts of this country.

Explain yourself man.

P.S. I'm gonna post this on my blog.


nina said...

so what was the response? curious minds want to know.....

p.s.--i posted this on my blog in response to your comment, but in case you didn't return to read my reply, i thought i'd put it here as well. no--i don't know a thing about starting a non-profit but would love to know. do you know of anyone who could fill my brain with knowledge?

tkn said...

Well, in a nutshell, I conceded that the words themselves were not necessarily racist, and I think Dan conceded that the overall context was racist. we went back and forth on his blog, though the concessions were stated in person.

I don't know much of anything about non-profits but I've been toying with the idea for awhile now myself. (I try not to start something unless I can really commit to it). Maybe we can look into it together! I'm sure there are folks around who will be able to help.

nina said...

what's your e-mail address? (if you're comfortable giving it to me that is.) i can let you know in more detail the idea that's been forming in my mind.

tkn said...

I'm a little leery of having my email on the blog, but I put it up in my profile. After you email me I'll take it down, probably.