Final Thoughts on Imus
As the media continues to feed off of the comments Don IgnorIMUS made about the Rutgers women's basketball team, I'll offer my last thoughts on the issue.
On Tuesday, Rutgers University spoke out for the first time about the hurtful words. I'm not going to repeat the phrase again, because I feel that even in reporting the words, the comments are given power. By now we all know what was said, and in many respects the "n" word can be even more offensive than the other "n" word.
Coach Stringer handled the controversy with style and professionalism, and so did the students. Can Don Imus be forgiven? That's an individual question, that I can't answer for you.
There's another issue, however that really hasn't been talked about extensively throughout this controversy. As hurtful and offensive as the comments were, hasn't the black community, in some respects created a culture that has made such comments mainstream, and in some respects acceptable.
Just listen to the music being created by some hip-hop artists today. I learned the "h" word as a young teenager from rap music. As a matter of fact, I remember asking my mom what the word meant, and, I've used it more times than I would like to admit.
I'm not saying there's not a double standard in what's culturally acceptable for black folks and white folks to say. I'm not saying I believe Imus had the right to say what he did, or that he shouldn't be punished.
All I'm saying is before you go screaming for Imus' head look in the mirror, or in this case listen to your own vocabulary, and think about the words you use to describe our sistas, brothas, or people in your community.
Words can be hurtful whether or not you're on the radio, TV, white, or black, and it doesn't matter if you're thinking to yourself, or if you say the wrong thing to millions of listeners.