Ok. I’m finally sitting down long enough to jot down the random thoughts in my head regarding the Don Imus thing… even though, seriously, I’m tired of thinking about it (due to my 4 hour conversation with JohnnyFive last night.)
Since I’m not feeling completely capable of putting together a paragraph, I’ll simplify things.
- Does a joke in the context of Don Imus’ on-air personality constitute racism? And if it does, then was he racist all along and just didn’t vocalize it? Was this a slip of an inner hateful racist man? I just really don’t think so. Was it wise? Certainly not. He shouldn’t have said it, and consequences should have been expected. To the extent that they were? I’m not sure about that.
- Who gets to say when he’s gone too far? The listener? Special interest groups? Advertisers? The networks? Does the offended group get final say? (Here’s an excellent article regarding that)
- Should his remorse and apologies for his words, and his eagerness to change his own perceptions get him his job back? Is there room for that? Especially now that the Rutgers Women have ‘accepted his apology?’
Part of me honestly thinks that this is a gross overreaction to an unfortunate unfunny joke. But the minute I say that, I wonder if that makes me part of the underlying racism that does exist in this country. I’m not sure I know the answer.
I read a very good article this morning, and in it was this quote from Dr. DeForest B Soaries, Jr, with whom Imus discussed these underlying racist ideas that lurk in so many: (actually this is Imus quoting Soaries)
“You know, at the core of every black person…you have to understand this…they believe that white people don’t like them. and they believe, that no matter how good a white person is, that at some point, it comes out. Like it came out with you. And that just confirms what they think. And if you’ll say this, what will they say?”
Now that makes me think.
And I don’t know the answer yet.
Guess none of us does.