Don Imus and his ‘Nappy-Headed Hos’
By now, everyone’s at least heard of Don Imus and his comments regarding the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team. For the sake of those of you who live under an enormous rock in Death Valley, here’s a partial transcript of the conversation between Imus, his producer Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg:
Imus: Those some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and
McGuirk: They some hard-core ho’s.
Imus :That’s some nappy-headed ho’s there I’m a tell ya that now. Man, that’s some…whoooo! And the, ummmm, girls from Tennessee, they looked cute. You know so, I don’t know, like uhhh-
McGuirk: Spike Lee thing.
McGuirk: The jigaboos versus the wannabes. That movie that he had?
Imus: Yeah, that was a tough, uhhhh
McGuirk: Do the Right Thing?
Imus: Yeah. I didn’t know if I would’ve wanted to beat Rutgers – but they did.
Rosenberg: The more I look at Rutgers they look like the Toronto Raptors.
McGuirk: (laughing) Only tougher. The Grizzlies are more like it!
So, now you know. Honestly, it was all started not by Imus himself (though he’s definitely not off the hook), but by his producer, Bernard McGuirk, who first stated that they were ‘hos’. Imus did the unthinkable in taking an already offensive remark and taking it a very unnecessary step further in adding “nappy” to the description.
Now, the crap has really hit the fan and has sponsors pulling out and running damage control. From big names like Ford, Staples, Sprint, and Proctor & Gamble, to smaller, privately-owned companies, everyone is jumping on the “Ix-Nay on Imus” bandwagon. It’s already cost him his simulcast on MSNBC and CBS is reportedly “seriously considering” pulling his radio show permanently.
The usual suspects have come out in both a show of support for the Rutgers team and a show of disgust at Imus. Everyone from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to CBS’s Corp. Director and the NAACP are calling for either Imus to quit or be fired and they very well may be satiated. In the cut-throat business of radio, money talks. Right now, all the people holding all the purse strings are saying that Imus is bad for business. I should note here that most of the sponsors of ‘Imus in the Morning’ pulled their support on a temporary basis, citing a need to know how he weathers this storm. The way it’s going right now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more than a few convert to permanent disown-age of Imus in the next few days and weeks.
On the flip side of this huge coin, the Rutgers team, while obviously and publicly disturbed by Imus and his comments, has agreed to sit down with Imus and meet face to face about this. I’m sure apologies will be forth coming from Imus, and I’m almost certain they will be accepted by some, if not all, the Rutgers team. I do agree with other people who have stated that the Imus apology was ‘too little, too late’.
Now, on the huge subject as to why this happened. Well, Imus is from what I referr to as ‘that segment’, as in ‘that segment of society that still holds on to racial divides and bigotry’. What he said was nothing more than the sentiments of an old white guy saying what he really thought about a largely minority basketball team. It also points to what he thinks about minorities as a whole. No one is racist towards one person.
Anyway, this situation will be interesting to watch. Most notably, it’ll be interesting to see what punishment beyond a two-week slap on the wrist Imus gets and how long it takes him to get it. Stay tuned.