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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Another national-news racist gaffe (Don Imus) (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Another national-news racist gaffe (Don Imus)
FlyingCow
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Gecko will be first in line to buy satellite radio tomorrow morning, it seems.

quote:
Those two events are not even close to being similar.
So, Rush just up and said "you know, this espn gig just isn't for me"? He wasn't pressured to resign at all? Just decided he'd rather spend his Monday nights knitting?

I'm not saying Rush is a racist (nor am I saying that he's not) - but he made a comment that got under the skin of the viewership/sponsorship, and the people with the purse strings decided it was time he wasn't there anymore.

Same happened with Imus.

Same happened with O&A - who I doubt would have been fired if not for the public outrage and pressure from the Catholic League that threatened the station's ability to do business.

All it takes for a shock jock to go south is stepping just far enough over the line to attract the wrong kind of attention - the attention that doesn't draw viewers (including many radio rubberneckers, gawking at the human equivalent of a car wreck), but threatens to drive away sponsors.

The Ken Lay comparison was hyperbolic for comedic effect - the intended point was that resignation doesn't always mean you weren't canned.

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Rakeesh
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Oh, OK DarkKnight. I didn't realize we were using mind-reading techniques re: Howard Stern. It's easy to win an argument that way.
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Orincoro
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Or Flying Cow- consider this very simple alternative to your very rational breakdown:

A "shockjock" says something along lines, or even tamer than comments that have passed unnoticed literally thousands of times in his career. Someone, (God only knows who) picks it up, maybe as a soundbyte, or maybe it passes by word of mouth, gaining portent as the story is retold. The clip is played again and again, in isolation, by newscasters who have heard it being played on other shows. Now it's a story!

See, the thing about the news (and especially news about newspeople) is that it is all about feedback loops. The new about how famous a story is. One little monkey gets thrown in the wrench, and you can come out of a single day of news with a story, a LEADING story, about something like this happening in which an old man said something impertinent, and no-one got hurt. The news has turned it into an issue, and now people, including these basketball players are "hurt," and why??? Because they and their friends are avid Imus listeners? Really?? Reallly????


What was the first post in this thread? "I can't believe there isn't a thread about this in Hatrack yet! It's such a big story!" It's meaningless. Stop it. The whole world. Stop this. Please. You're killing us. Seriously.

Bedtime.

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Tresopax
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Ultimately, the real problem here is the media, and people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who manipulate it to whip up firestorms of contraversy. While Imus' comments were bad, few would have been hurt by them if Sharpton and the media in general hadn't made it clear to America that we *should* be hurt by those comments.

It is appropriate that the Duke lacrosse players were acquited the same week as the Imus contraversy, because that was yet another issue stirred up by the same cast of characters - yet it will be the prosecuter who gets the blame for destroying the reputation of the Duke lacrosse team (and getting a coach fired), rather than the media who mistakenly hyped the story as a case of upper class white kids victimizing a young black woman.

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Dagonee
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quote:
yet it will be the prosecuter who gets the blame for destroying the reputation of the Duke lacrosse team (and getting a coach fired)
Actually, I've mostly heard the prosecutor being blamed for violating serious ethical duties. Any harm done to them by the media pales in comparison to what the prosecutor did to them.
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Tresopax
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That is doubtful, I'd say. Without the media circulating the story, few would have known about the supposed scandal - and Duke's team would have suffered little long-term fall out, aside from the three players.
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Rakeesh
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Without the prosecutor's serious violations, Tresopax, the media would not have had as much to latch on to.

Every parasite needs a host.

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Dagonee
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quote:
That is doubtful, I'd say. Without the media circulating the story, few would have known about the supposed scandal - and Duke's team would have suffered little long-term fall out, aside from the three players.
I misread your quote - yes, the media did more harm to the team. I believe the cancellation of the season happened before any wrongdoing by the prosecutor.

I was speaking of the 3 defendants - the prosecutor did far more harm to them than the media. And that's not to minimize the media-caused harm.

Beyond that, the whole affair has hurt future rape victims, although in a less specific sense. It doesn't make it less real, though.

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FlyingCow
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quote:
A "shockjock" says something along lines, or even tamer than comments that have passed unnoticed literally thousands of times in his career. Someone, (God only knows who) picks it up, maybe as a soundbyte, or maybe it passes by word of mouth, gaining portent as the story is retold. The clip is played again and again, in isolation, by newscasters who have heard it being played on other shows. Now it's a story!
The thing is, as a "shock jock" this is the risk you take. If you say things designed to "shock" people, you can't really blame them if they are shocked into action against you.

A shock jock may say something inappropriate a thousand times, and one of those times might be heard by someone who is willing to make a big issue of it. Does that mean the other 999 times weren't also offensive? Not really, no.

Imus has been playing in traffic for years, and he just happened to get hit by a bus.

Why did this particular bus hit him? Lots of reasons.

It was in fact a slow holiday news week, for one.

Beyond that, though, NJ/NY papers have learned this year that if you put the name "Rutgers" or a big red scarlet "R" on your front page, you'll sell papers. For weeks there had been articles about the women's basketball team's success, culminating in a first-ever shot at a title, and the subsequent celebration. There were stories on everything down to the minutae of their lives, and people were buying it up. An insult by a national broadcaster in a public forum? That's news - and it's news because it sells newspapers.

Add to this the recent issues with Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, etc, and a political/social climate that has been growing harsher public racism (and other -isms).

Imus has set off sparks for years and putting out small fires as he set them. It's his nature spark - this situation just had far more tinder than he could deal with, and the flame finally engulfed him.

My opinion? No big loss.

For those of you in the NYC area, I wouldn't be surprised if JV and Elvis were bounced off the air (again) one of these days, either. And again, no big loss.

When shock jocks gets fired because someone was truly shocked into acting against them, they are reaping what they have sown.

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sndrake
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Personally, I don't think it's entirely unthinkable that Imus might be welcomed back to CBS and MSNBC, given a little time. It depends on what kinds of things he says and does - like stop whining.

The Rutgers team has provided the first step in his path to "rehabilitation"

quote:
Rutgers University's women's basketball players have accepted an apology from fired radio talk show host Don Imus, who called them "nappy-headed hos" last week, the team's coach announced today.

At a meeting with the team last night, hours after his nationally syndicated show was dropped by CBS Radio, Imus was "expressive" and "remorseful," coach C. Vivian Stringer told reporters at a brief news conference.

"He expressed his apology. We accepted his apology," Stringer said of the meeting, which was also attended by players' parents, university administrators and a minister.

Stringer said she still considers Imus's racially and sexually insensitive comment--made after underdog Rutgers lost to Tennessee in the NCAA women's basketball title game-- unacceptable but symptomatic of what others in American society feel.

"This is not just Mr. Imus," she said.

Imus's on-the-air slur "spoke to women . . . spoke to sexism . . . spoke to racism in our society," Stringer said. " . . . Don't we realize that it is time as Americans to all hold ourselves to a higher standard? I sense that the music industry, the film industry . . . educators, everyone is sharing in this responsibility."

CBS announced late yesterday afternoon that the "Imus in the Morning" show--heard on 61 radio stations across the United States--was being dropped "immediately" and "on a permanent basis." On Wednesday, the MSNBC cable television network--owned by NBC-- dropped the program, which was simulcast on radio and TV.

"At no time did Rutgers University women's basketball team ask for his job," Stringer said. "And it was sad news for anyone to lose their job. And I do mean anyone to lose their job."

Stringer said Imus should be given "credit" for meeting with the team on the day he was fired by CBS, and she urged the news media to cut him some slack.

"Let this man have some level of integrity," Stringer said. "Let him grow. Let us all learn from this."


Also, I highly recommend this op-ed by Eugene Robinson, of the Washington Post:

Why Imus had to go

quote:
Now that the networks have pulled the plug on Don Imus, let's have no hyperventilation to the effect that the aging shock jock's fall from undeserved grace raises some important question about just who in our society is permitted to say just what. Wherever "the line" delineating acceptable discourse might be, calling those young women from Rutgers University "nappy-headed hos" is miles on the other side.

Especially for a 67-year-old white man with a long history of racist, sexist and homophobic remarks.

For young black hip-hop artists to use such language to demean black women is similarly deplorable -- and, I would argue, even more damaging. But come on, people, don't deceive yourselves that it's precisely the same thing. Don't pretend that 388 years of history -- since the first shackled African slaves arrived at Jamestown -- never happened. The First Amendment notwithstanding, it has always been the case that some speech has been off-limits to some people. I remember a time when black people couldn't say "I'd like to vote, please." Now, white people can't say "nappy-headed hos." You'll survive.

While we're at the business of blunt truth, do the big-time media luminaries who so often graced Imus's show have some explaining to do? You bet, and so do the parent news organizations, including my own, that allowed their journalists to go on a broadcast that routinely crossed the aforementioned line. All these trained observers couldn't have failed to notice Imus's well-practiced modus operandi. "He never said anything bad while I was on" doesn't cut it as a defense.


quote:
Imus's advertisers couldn't afford to be associated with racist, misogynistic views, and neither could NBC. This doesn't portend any sort of chilling effect on free speech, as some have suggested. It doesn't mean that white males are being relegated to the dustbin of history. Last time I checked, guys, you still ran most of the world. You just have to be a bit nicer these days, and you have to share.

What he says is certainly true of MSNBC air time. Even Keith Olbermann was made uncomfortable when confronted with the fact that every news show on MSNBC is hosted by a white male. He mentioned - timidly - that his substitute on the show when he is away is an African-American woman.
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FlyingCow
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That's why I love C-Viv. She's a class act.
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Lyrhawn
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I saw on CNN today that apparently Imus is pulling HipHop culture into the debate. I didn't see all of it, but I assume the gist of the argument was that "well we see this all the time in Hip Hop culture, why is it okay for them and not me?"

The response from I think it was Snoop Dogg was something like "like all music in the past, we're just commenting on culture as it stands, and sometimes that is uncomfortable, but we're not going to stop."

Frankly I think Imus has a point. I don't think it excuses him at all, but SD is wrong, they aren't just commenting on culture, they are CREATING it. Imus is wrong if he thinks that pointing the finger at someone else will excuse him, but I think it's a point worthy of raising.

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Qaz
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It is not a joke: Imus's remark was so bad that Ann Coulter says he should apologize!

Link

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Morbo
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Wow, just. . . wow.

Coulter can say "We need somebody to put rat poison in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," and later claim she was "just joking."

Along with assorted other murders and assassinations she has urged others to do.

But she thinks Imus should apologize, and not her, never her? She really is completely nuts.

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Samprimary
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And that is why she performs a valuable service!

It helps so much when you know that someone still likes her!

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Qaz
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Although I don't agree with her we should point out that her reasoning is consistent. She spends most of the article saying that it is not important to be nice, that it would "be the end of all humor," and that she will not do it.
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Lyrhawn
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I took some time to reconsider this issue, now that it's largely settled, and I came up with this latest blog entry.

I wasn't going to think any further on it at all, but then a guy at worked asked me what I thought about it, and then I read an article about it in TIME. So a more comprehensive opinion formed of its own will. I won't bother reposting it here, you can just click the link, but basically I think firing him his a cop out, and it was a mistake.

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AvidReader
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quote:
The response from I think it was Snoop Dogg was something like "like all music in the past, we're just commenting on culture as it stands, and sometimes that is uncomfortable, but we're not going to stop."
That's better than how the local hip hop station reported it. According to them, Snoop's excuse was that when rappers use the word, they're not talking about college athletes. They're talking about goldiggers in the hood just trying to get a man's money.

Personally, in the songs I've heard, they seem to apply it to any woman they happen across with little to no provocation. Snoop's defense seems to make about as much sense as Imus's, IMHO.

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James Tiberius Kirk
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I took some time to reconsider this issue, now that it's largely settled, and I came up with this latest blog entry.

I wasn't going to think any further on it at all, but then a guy at worked asked me what I thought about it, and then I read an article about it in TIME. So a more comprehensive opinion formed of its own will. I won't bother reposting it here, you can just click the link, but basically I think firing him his a cop out, and it was a mistake.

FWIW, I read the entry and I agreed with [many of] your conclusions related to the Imus controversy, particularly this:

quote:
The media, playing judge, jury, and executioner decided Imus was ripe for sacrifice on the national media altar.
--j_k
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SoaPiNuReYe
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I saw on CNN today that apparently Imus is pulling HipHop culture into the debate. I didn't see all of it, but I assume the gist of the argument was that "well we see this all the time in Hip Hop culture, why is it okay for them and not me?"

The response from I think it was Snoop Dogg was something like "like all music in the past, we're just commenting on culture as it stands, and sometimes that is uncomfortable, but we're not going to stop."

Frankly I think Imus has a point. I don't think it excuses him at all, but SD is wrong, they aren't just commenting on culture, they are CREATING it. Imus is wrong if he thinks that pointing the finger at someone else will excuse him, but I think it's a point worthy of raising.

Do you listen to Hip Hop or are you just commenting on what you see? Hip Hop had nothing to do with what Imus said. What he said is something inside of him that manifested in a moment when he let his gaurd down. Frankly, it is total bull to just label an entire culture for a comment like this. That's like blaming school shootings on video games, or drugs on peer pressure. Unless you actually listen to rap, you cannot say something like that without repercussions.
There are loads of artists and albums out there that are testaments to how hip hop is much more than that. You make a huge mistake when you brand the entire hip hop culture as the source of the entire problem, because in fact it is the entire white culture that cultivated the idea that racism is okay as long as nobody black is around. Don't deny it because it is true. [Roll Eyes]

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Rakeesh
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quote:
You make a huge mistake when you brand the entire hip hop culture as the source of the entire problem, because in fact it is the entire white culture that cultivated the idea that racism is okay as long as nobody black is around. Don't deny it because it is true.
Oh, what a load of garbage. It's not "white culture" (insofar as there is such a thing) that cultivated this sort of thinking. In cultures all over the world it is generally more tolerable (although not always tolerable overall) to be a racist when no one from the subjected race is present.

Also, you certainly didn't seem to read Lyrhawn's post carefully. He did not lay the blame on hip-hop culture as you suggest he did.

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SoaPiNuReYe
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
You make a huge mistake when you brand the entire hip hop culture as the source of the entire problem, because in fact it is the entire white culture that cultivated the idea that racism is okay as long as nobody black is around. Don't deny it because it is true.
Oh, what a load of garbage. It's not "white culture" (insofar as there is such a thing) that cultivated this sort of thinking. In cultures all over the world it is generally more tolerable (although not always tolerable overall) to be a racist when no one from the subjected race is present.

Who cares if other cultures think it is ok? Everybody knows it isn't, but still act hypocritical and do it anyways. White ignorance is the entire reason why this statement is so controversial. Imus said those comments because he forgot that he was on radio and that people would get offended. However, it speaks to his character because now everybody knows how he really is. People sympathize with Imus because they say stuff when they think nobody is listening, and if they were in his position, something like that could have just have easily came out of their mouth. It doesn't matter if it is tolerated by white culture to make fun of other cultures, because in this case, other cultures were watching.
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Lyrhawn
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You know it's funny you should mention that specific idea, because it reminds me of a particularly horrifying conversation I had with a guy at work about a year ago. I can't remember his name, but he was black, and it was a slow day, and I find that generally at work whenever it's slow, conversations turn to politics (a Persian guy just started working at the restaurant and I had a VERY enlightening converastion with him).

Anyway, someone we got around to talking about race, and I think he said the N word, and I said it's a word that I absolutely refuse to say, except for maybe a very specific academic purpose. I think it's a vile offensive word that has no other connotation in today's language set than to be offensive (unless used by a black person apparently, but even then not always). He said it shouldn't bother me, because I probably hear it at home all the time. I didn't quite know what to say to that, it was just so incredibly presumptuous and offensive to me. I told him that no, that's not how we refer to black people in my house, and it's not how we refer to any individual or ethnic group at all.

He said that growing up, his mother would never let her kids talk about white people like that, but plenty of other houses he went to would regularly refer to white people using deragatory terms (some of which he listed I had never even heard before). He always assumed all white people were like that too.

Now I think he's an extreme case, at least I hope he is, I would imagine that not every black person thinks that way, just like I know not every white person thinks that way.

Oops, dinner is ready, I'll add to this post later.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Who cares if other cultures think it is ok?
I wasn't addressing this question. I was addressing a silly statement you made.
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SoaPiNuReYe
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Who cares if other cultures think it is ok?
I wasn't addressing this question. I was addressing a silly statement you made.
...by stating the fact that racism is present in all cultures. I fail to see the point of your previous post other than to say that Imus' statements were not caused by white culture, in which case you are still wrong.
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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quote:
Some hardcore hos.
[ROFL]
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Juxtapose
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quote:
Hip Hop had nothing to do with what Imus said.
I'm not sure we know that.

If there is a substantial portion of the hip hop culture spouting racism and sexism, I don't think it's out of line to call them on it in this context. That there are many hip hop artists who combat this (and make great music, in my opinion) doesn't excuse those who indulge in it.

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Lyrhawn
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Thanks SoaP, with this:
quote:
White ignorance is the entire reason why this statement is so controversial. Imus said those comments because he forgot that he was on radio and that people would get offended. However, it speaks to his character because now everybody knows how he really is. People sympathize with Imus because they say stuff when they think nobody is listening, and if they were in his position, something like that could have just have easily came out of their mouth. It doesn't matter if it is tolerated by white culture to make fun of other cultures, because in this case, other cultures were watching.
You just made it unnecessary for me to respond point for point to your earlier posts. Why? Because I think that clinched the fact that you're full of crap.

First of all, I would LOVE for you to define "white culture" for me.

Second, wow, I think it takes a lot of gall to label an entire group of people as racist and to assume their motives like that. Everyone who supports Imus is now a racist? Saying something like that makes me want to support Imus just to SPITE you.

Third, I don't even understand what your last point is about. You think white people invented and have a monopoly on racially charged statements? Or on just making them in the home when no one else is around?

I think you need to explain yourself further if I'm to take you seriously.

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Rakeesh
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SoaPiNuReYe,

Dude, quit thinking that I'm taking a stance on Imus at all. As a matter of fact, I haven't even made a single remark about Don Imus here. So please, even if you think I am excusing Imus of anything, just pretend for the sake of argument that I'm not.

Now that that's out of the way...

quote:
There are loads of artists and albums out there that are testaments to how hip hop is much more than that. You make a huge mistake when you brand the entire hip hop culture as the source of the entire problem, because in fact it is the entire white culture that cultivated the idea that racism is okay as long as nobody black is around. Don't deny it because it is true.
This is the statement I was commenting on, the idea that it's a white idea that it's acceptable to be racist so long as no one of the subjected race is around. That belief is wrong, it's not a white idea, and it's frankly a stupid thing to believe. It implies--no, it outright states--that whites have a lock on racism and hypocrisy. It's wrong. That is what I was commenting on, and nothing about Imus.

quote:
I fail to see the point of your previous post other than to say that Imus' statements were not caused by white culture, in which case you are still wrong.
Imus's statements were caused by Don Imus, not "white culture". So no, I'm not wrong about that. If his statements were caused by "white culture", then I as a white man must obviously either be frequently calling black women perjorative terms, or else I must frequently feel that urge and surpress it in mixed company, only to let loose when I'm with Whitey.

But I suppose I probably do let loose, huh? Being a member of "white culture" and all.

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Lyrhawn
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I don't remember seeing you at the meetings Rakeesh.


[Wink]

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Rakeesh
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Regional meetings man, regional.
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SoaPiNuReYe
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Thanks SoaP, with this:
quote:
White ignorance is the entire reason why this statement is so controversial. Imus said those comments because he forgot that he was on radio and that people would get offended. However, it speaks to his character because now everybody knows how he really is. People sympathize with Imus because they say stuff when they think nobody is listening, and if they were in his position, something like that could have just have easily came out of their mouth. It doesn't matter if it is tolerated by white culture to make fun of other cultures, because in this case, other cultures were watching.
You just made it unnecessary for me to respond point for point to your earlier posts. Why? Because I think that clinched the fact that you're full of crap.

First of all, I would LOVE for you to define "white culture" for me.

Second, wow, I think it takes a lot of gall to label an entire group of people as racist and to assume their motives like that. Everyone who supports Imus is now a racist? Saying something like that makes me want to support Imus just to SPITE you.

Third, I don't even understand what your last point is about. You think white people invented and have a monopoly on racially charged statements? Or on just making them in the home when no one else is around?

I think you need to explain yourself further if I'm to take you seriously.

Define any racial culture for me and I will define white culture for you. You either read my second statement wrong, or you just have it out for me, but whatever, its your opinion, not mine. Everybody is racist, in the sense that they subconsiously stereotype people of other races, so that is besides the point. What I said is this, read carefully, put your glasses on and take a deep breath. I said that people sympathize with Don Imus because many of them, given the same situation, in other words when Imus' produce brought up the Rutger's team and said something equally racially charged about them, they might have easily said something just as racially charged. I never said everybody who supports Imus is racist, but personally I think
that he is.
I go to a school that is 87% white. The rest of us are constantly and unfairly stereotyped. I get to see sides of some people that nobody else ever gets to see. I've seen white friends of mine, who have black friends, call black people niggers without any hesitation. I am blessed with more racial slurs in a day than many of you will recieve in a lifetime. Do not think that I am going at just white people, and do not make the mistake that I am soft.

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SoaPiNuReYe
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
I fail to see the point of your previous post other than to say that Imus' statements were not caused by white culture, in which case you are still wrong.
Imus's statements were caused by Don Imus, not "white culture". So no, I'm not wrong about that. If his statements were caused by "white culture", then I as a white man must obviously either be frequently calling black women perjorative terms, or else I must frequently feel that urge and surpress it in mixed company, only to let loose when I'm with Whitey.

But I suppose I probably do let loose, huh? Being a member of "white culture" and all.

I do not say that you must frequently call black women derogative terms, but I do say that in order to totally exempt yourself from any marginal responsibility, you must have never stereotyped people of any race at any point in your lifetime. If you haven't then good for you. My point is that when somebody like Don Imus, was a popular icon in news and media, says something like that unintentionally, then it shows not just how he feels, that it is a reflection of the culture he represents as a whole. People call other people hoes all the time, both black people and white people, and they get away with it because others are hesitant to punish otherwise good people.
When anything on the degree of what Don Imus did is done, then it can be a reflection of both the victim and the aggressor cultures. But whenever something more extreme is done, then it may not be.

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James Tiberius Kirk
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quote:
Don Imus, was a popular icon in news and media, says something like that unintentionally, then it shows not just how he feels, that it is a reflection of the culture he represents as a whole.
This is where I'd [begin to] disagree with you.

Don Imus, with his cowboy hat and boots tried hard to make himself an image of the "common man." Shock jocks -- and several websites, for that matter -- become extremely popular when they say "what everyone is thinking." And yet, it is usually quite hard to find people who match these images. I don't think this is because people heavily censor themselves; it's because no one is really like that.

Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh, Micheal Moore and the like are charactertures of the groups they claim to represent and shouldn't be taken as otherwise. Unfortunately, they tend to be very loud.

--j_k

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Lyrhawn
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My point, soap, is that there is no one "white culture." I think you made that point for me. There is no black culture, or female culture, or make culture, there are a thousand different subsets of culture that all mix and blur together. What I was trying to do was to get you to NOT use vastly overarching blanket statements like that.

And actually the first time you said it, you didn't say "many of them," you said it was a blanket statement to cover all of them. You said that people who sympathize with him could make the same sorts of statements he makes, the statements he make are racist, ergo, the people who sympathize with him are racist as well. Don't call me stupid, try explaining yourself better.

And I hope you don't think your anecdote proves anything on a larger scale. Mine certainly didn't.

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SoaPiNuReYe
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
My point, soap, is that there is no one "white culture." I think you made that point for me. There is no black culture, or female culture, or make culture, there are a thousand different subsets of culture that all mix and blur together. What I was trying to do was to get you to NOT use vastly overarching blanket statements like that.

And actually the first time you said it, you didn't say "many of them," you said it was a blanket statement to cover all of them. You said that people who sympathize with him could make the same sorts of statements he makes, the statements he make are racist, ergo, the people who sympathize with him are racist as well. Don't call me stupid, try explaining yourself better.

And I hope you don't think your anecdote proves anything on a larger scale. Mine certainly didn't.

Personally, I think that if you feel you have to prove something to people here, then that is your problem, but I sure don't.
If you can cite anywhere, in the last 10,000 years, that I have called you stupid, then you win. I don't care honestly.
quote:
You said that people who sympathize with him could make the same sorts of statements he makes, the statements he make are racist, ergo, the people who sympathize with him are racist as well.
By your logic what I said is this: Everybody who supports Don Imus is racist.
By my logic I said: People who support Don Imus, support him because they sympathize with him and the situation he is in, and if they had been in the same situation, they may have said something similiar.
Personally I do not think just because you say something racist it makes you a straight up racist, because actions speak louder than words. Therefore the person who calls a woman a ho, and the person who lynches another person of a different race, are on different planes.

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Lyrhawn
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I think the person who calls a woman and ho and the person who lynches ANYONE are on different planes.
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Rakeesh
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Well, OK. You are not (exactly) saying that anyone who 'supports' Don Imus is a racist. You're just saying that they sympathize with a racist point of view.

Splitting hairs, man. You're saying that white people (in general) sympathize with Don Imus because, if they're not in mixed company, heck, they might slip and make a racist remark too!

But not that they're racist, just that they make racist remarks...or else sympathize with those that do. This is some muddy water here.

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Morbo
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SoaPiNuReYe, people can support Imus for a variety of reasons. All them don't support him (in his current situation) because of sympathy or because "in the same situation, they may have said something similiar."
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Xaposert
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quote:
I go to a school that is 87% white. The rest of us are constantly and unfairly stereotyped.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that only the "rest of you" are constantly and unfairly stereotyped. In fact, I'd be willing to bet 100% of the people at your school are constantly and unfairly stereotyped. This is true everywhere, but especially in school.
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Rakeesh
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And to clarify (because on Hatrack, sometimes your position gets picked for you unless you're very specific), I don't support Don Imus. I was never a fan of his in the first place, and I think firing him was well within the range of reasonable options for his employers to take--both morally and in the 'ridiculously obvious' category of pragmatically, Imus's job is to sell advertising. His words and actions severely hampered his ability to sell advertising. Of course he's going to get in trouble.

If you can't get behind that for reasons of racism or sexism, surely you can get behind it for economic reasons.

That said, I don't think firing him will be a very meaningful or effective solution to the problem underlying this situation. Or at least, not until I see what goes in his old time slot.

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AvidReader
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quote:
Everybody is racist, in the sense that they subconsiously stereotype people of other races, so that is besides the point.
That's only racism if the stereotypes imply racial superiority. Stereotypes are what you assume a group of people will act like based on observable factors, usually clothing according to an AARP article I read. We can't know everyone on the planet. So we make assumptions, and often the assumptions are common because they're true for a number of people in a group. If I told you Frenchtown is where to go in Tally to find some drugs and hookers, that would be sterotyping a part of town, but I could also back it up with the police reports.

Does that mean everyone in Frenchtown is a dealer? Of course not. Does that mean you can't find dealers in Kilearn? Of course not. But as a first assumption, Frenchtown is the rougher neighborhood. All of that is stereotyping, but none of it is racist.

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Tresopax
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quote:
That's only racism if the stereotypes imply racial superiority.
Are you sure about that? If someone says that black people like fried chicken more than white people, it doesn't imply any superiority (unless you think eating certain foods makes one superior or inferior to those who eat different foods) - but wouldn't you consider it a bit racist?
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DarkKnight
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quote:
If someone says that black people like fried chicken more than white people
What if that someone is Al Sharpton? Is it still racist if he says it?
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Belle
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Is it true? Could we pull out statistical evidence where people who consider themselves white and those who consider themselves black are surveyed and the blacks do indeed indicate more often that they like fried chicken? If so, then I can confidently say "Black people like fried chicken more than white people" and it's not racist because I'm stating a fact.

Is it racist for me to say that black children usually score lower on standardized tests than white children? Even if I'm a future educator who would like to see that changed? I mean, if we cannot acknowledge what's out there, then how can we fix it?

I think this is one of those areas where intent matters. If I, as an educator point out black children score lower and I have the intention of trying to change that, or I'm stating it as a fact because I think we need to look at the testing process for possible inherent bias, I don't think I'm a racist. If however, I point out that black children score lower on standardized tests because I'm recruiting for a white supremacy group and use that information to convince people whites are intellectually the superior of blacks, then I'd be a racist.

Some statements are inherently offensive. I cannnot conceive a situation where calling anyone a "nappy-headed ho" is anything but offensive and degrading. But if you ask me if a comment like "Black people like fried chicken more than white people" is racist, then I'd want to know the context before I decided if, in my opinion, it was racist or not.

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Tresopax
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quote:
Could we pull out statistical evidence where people who consider themselves white and those who consider themselves black are surveyed and the blacks do indeed indicate more often that they like fried chicken? If so, then I can confidently say "Black people like fried chicken more than white people" and it's not racist because I'm stating a fact.

I think it would still be racist. The racism doesn't come from the falsity of it, but rather from treating a racial group as a homogenous whole when it is not.
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Belle
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*nods* That, I grant. I questioned that part of my post when I read it.
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Rakeesh
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I disagree, if you could find a clear-cut statistical example from several reliable sources. However, I don't really think you can, because there are too many variable. Most notably, regional variables. Different foods are more popular in different regions of the country.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
If I told you Frenchtown is where to go in Tally to find some drugs and hookers, that would be sterotyping a part of town, but I could also back it up with the police reports.

Does that mean everyone in Frenchtown is a dealer? Of course not. Does that mean you can't find dealers in Kilearn? Of course not. But as a first assumption, Frenchtown is the rougher neighborhood. All of that is stereotyping, but none of it is racist.

Where the heck do you live?

quote:
What if that someone is Al Sharpton? Is it still racist if he says it?
Yes it is. He'll just never get punished for it.
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BlueWizard
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I don't think what Imus did was so bad, BAD - yes, but not to the extent the media is making it out.

We do need people in the world that will speak bluntly and without reservation or hesitation when making social and political commentary; people like John Steward, Bill Maher, and yes even Rush Limbaugh. I applaud people who do this, who are more interested in the absolute truth or an aspect of the absolute truth, than they are in political correctness or social sensibilities.

Hear is a link to 'Media Matters' which is a response to the Imus controversy, in which several TV and Radio personalities make some very extreme statements about others in the political or social arena.

"It's not just Imus"
http://mediamatters.org/items/200704120010

Notice that some very offensive things have been said, but I feel those things were said to make a point, to make a social commentary about subject others are afraid to speak of, but are likely thinking.

Here is the difference, Imus has been insulting people left, right, and center for decades, what was different about this insult? The answer is it wasn't a 'pointed' insult, it made no social or political comment; in other words, it was a pointless and useless insult, directed to no real purpose.

One could even say that the ho's, guns, drugs, etc... in Rap music are pointed. They do point out a very real aspect of our society. Whether those 'point' repel your or motivate you to emulate them is not as relevant as the fact that, for good or for bad, they move you.

However, in what way was 'nappy-headed ho' in any way a social commentary. This was a comment about exceptional athletes on a reputable top-tier college team. These were essentially the very thing that we hope people, regardless of race, aspire to.

I think what happened is that Imus was caught up in his own hype. He was working so hard to maintain his 'controversial' reputation, that he was just insulting for the sake of insulting. It was insulting without a purpose because in that moment Imus had lost sight of his purpose.

Further, I doubt that these shows are heavily scripted. I suspect a great deal of it is just spontaneous talk. I think in that moment Imus made a spontaneous comment that came back to bite him on the ass, because it was a comment that really had not point or purpose.

Now, I do believe that people should be able to make blunt and even offensive speech if that speech does contain a hint of reality. If it makes available a view that is truly held by some people regardless of how repugnant that view is. If we don't face reality, then how can we ever deal with it.

In this one incident, there was no purpose, and more importantly, there was no underlying reality to his comments, and THAT is what made it purely and clearly offensive.

Certainly, he should pay a price that that pointless indiscretion, what the price should be I'm not sure. The Network that hires him, has ever right to fire him, but it should be for his actions, not because of political or social pressure from outside forces.

Further, Imus has been in the business for 40 years, I think he gets paid pretty well, and I doubt that he will starve to death. Perhaps he will simply find a job with another network, or perhaps even Sirius or XM radio.

I think people were right to call him on his comment. I also think people are right to not call people on equally offensive comments, when those comment do have an underlying point. I think if Imus had really understood his comments in hindsight, he could have defended himself better.

As it is, what's done is done, I won't shed any tears or lose any sleep over Imus's fate. He's rich and I'm not, so my sympathy is limited.

For what it's worth.

Steve/BlueWizard

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