Hey Rod Will...You bring out some interesting alternatives regarding how things could be handled...
Honestly, I cringed when I heard those disparaging words fall off of Imus' tongue. But I have to agree with Mr. Whitlock, since, when I overcame my initial shock; I sadly recalled some of the first words I've ever heard out of the mouths of my own black brothers and sisters.
All of my life, my brown-skinned peers, hailed the terms "Ho, Nappy-head, Blackie..." around like a banner of pride. They were used to hurt or exploit something about me that they had already learned to hate within themselves. Like a rite of passage, these words marked the onset of our self-expression, overwhelmed by self-loathing and a strong desire to identify with the mainstream of American Culture.
Clearly, it hasn't ended. Some spectators have considered that perhaps Imus felt comfortable coming in on the flipside of our double standard…taking the risk of calling out what he undeniably hears us calling each other. I am angry with that. But nothing compares to the despair I feel when healing the souls of our young girls and boys seems almost hopeless. And I can’t help but wonder...Is it because he is a white man that his words have sparked a national debate? Is it because we can’t deal with our own bitter name-calling and criticisms that we wish ill upon him? Why haven't we given the thousands of women who have been fighting to redefine ourselves this public platform?
I refuse to chime in against Imus without first looking at myself. And, when I look in the mirror I do not see a "HO" and as a matter of fact, I have nappy hair and I really do love it. I am content to hold my definition of self against the testimony of the inner creativity and strength exhibited through our people over the years. I'd rather bathe my mind in the myriad of accomplishments that are not often communicated over the airwaves. And when I look in the mirror neither Imus or anyone else's words can move me from those truths. But that's not painful, that’s not self-deprecating, that’s not needy, that’s not news. Is it?
Posted on Wed, Apr. 11, 2007
Imus isn’t the real bad guy
Instead of wasting time on irrelevant shock jock, black leaders need to be fighting a growing gangster culture.
By JASON WHITLOCK
Thank you, Don Imus. You’ve given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problem.
You’ve given Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson another opportunity to pretend that the old fight, which is now the safe and lucrative fight, is still the most important fight in our push for true economic and social equality.
You’ve given Vivian Stringer and Rutgers the chance to hold a nationally televised recruiting celebration expertly disguised as a news conference to respond to your poor attempt at humor.
Thank you, Don Imus. You extended Black History Month to April, and we can once again wallow in victimhood, protest like it’s 1965 and delude ourselves into believing that fixing your hatred is more necessary than eradicating our self-hatred.
The bigots win again.
While we’re fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I’m sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent’s or Snoop Dogg’s or Young Jeezy’s latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.
(see the rest?)
To reach Jason Whitlock, call (816) 234-4869 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com