Thursday, April 12, 2007

CBS to Don Imus: You're Fired!

The hammer came down on Don Imus today as CBS cancelled his radio show.

"There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society," CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said in announcing the decision. "That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision."

The things that weigh most heavily on my mind about this situation is that Bernard McGuirk, the sidekick that started the whole mess is still there while Imus is gone. McGuirk should've been the first one collecting unemployment.

I was pissed the conservatives tried to shift the discussion from racist and sexist behavior and the hurt and pain the comments caused these women to attacking Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton and rappers.

Maybe they didn't want peeps to make the connection to their homeboys Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and crew who instigated, nurtured, get paid and perpetuate this coarse culture of racist shock jock talk. I was also bothered as I watched the coverage unfold on the various networks over the last few days that White callers and people e-mailing various outlets started complaining that Black folks were making 'too much' of this issue.

Excuse me?

I guarantee if a nationally syndicated African-American jock like Tom Joyner or a Latino DJ disrespected your daughters or nieces we'd still be hearing about it for months ad nauseum in the media.

I'm not popping champagne corks over this. Yeah, Don Imus was a serial offender in terms of disrespecting African-Americans but he wasn't alone. I believe Imus wasn't aware of the seething anger building over the last few months in the African-American community. We saw repeated incidents continuing to pile up of Whites disrespecting African-Americans followed up by weak half-hearted apologies, disengenuous denials or attempted blame shifting to the African-American community instead of taking responsibility for their actions.

Those incidents range from the ongoing Shirley Q. Liquor controversy in the GLBT community, college students in various locales having racist parties on Martin Luther King Day, right-wing talk radio hosts using racist rhetoric to GOP legislators using racist terms or telling us to 'get over slavery'. Imus' April 4 comment about college-educated sistahs was the spark that lit the powerkeg in our community. We're simply sick and tired of peeps dissing us and feeling confident that they can get away with it.

So what's next?

“The action today does not solve the problem,” E. Faye Williams, chairwoman of the National Congress of Black Women, told “Imus is not the first to denigrate black women, and he will not be the last. We can not allow his firing to be the end of what happens. It’s not over because CBS says that it is over.”

I hope it's crystal clear to Whites AND Blacks that this type of disrespect to our community and our women will NOT be tolerated. Now it's time for the rappers and other right-wing radio jocks to get the message as well.

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