Friday, April 13, 2007

Imus and racism

The Imus affair isn't restricted to the States I can assure you. The rest of the world is watching in too, and most would applaud the fact that Imus was fired by CBS for his unbelievably disgusting comment about the Rutgers women's basketball team, calling them "nappy-headed hos."

Normally I wouldn't touch a topic like this. I could write for seven years and not come close to summing up the whole affair as eloquently and in such a dignified manner as Michael Wilbon. However I recently was the victim of a little, light racial slurring, and was then absolutely stunned at an ESPN poll I saw today.

In a report on the subject ESPN asked, was CBS right to fire Don Imus? I clicked on the 'yes' button (I couldn't find 'Hell yes, fire his wrinkly old ass') and watched as the current poll results came back. I was stunned. An amazing 56% thought CBS was wrong to fire Imus.



As I adjusted to the fact that over half of those who took the time to answer said 'No, it's okay for someone on the radio to cough up reprehensible rubbish', I got an email from a friend on the Red Sox '.406 Club' forum telling me that someone had called me an 'Irish *****' in a public posting.

I logged in and checked it out, and there it was. A young 23 year old poster had taken the time to call me an 'Irish *****' in response to a simple thread about the forums fantasy baseball league. He had actually called me something similar a week earlier.

So, what leads a young man who used to be in the Marines and now works in real estate, to take the time to single me out for the fact that I am Irish and call me an 'Irish *****' on a forum that is supposed to be about sports? Well, who knows really? Obviously it is still a major, and most of all worrying, social issue though. I say that considering over 55% of people who read ESPN online think it's ok for Don Imus to make absolutely disgraceful, racially fuelled, comments on the radio.

Why should some old guy who made a poorly thought out remark lose his job? I'll tell you why. So that people who previously thought it was okay to use racially charged language when addressing someone realise that it is far from okay, it's wrong.

I did find a way to quell my anger over Imus and the neanderthal that decided to throw a little racial slur my way. I put on my headphones and listened to 'the power of equality' by the Chili Peppers, and then googled Nelson Mandella and read about a great man for a while.

See, the world isn't such a bad place. For every idiot like Imus and that clown who posts on the .406 forum, there are people like Mandella and the Chili Peppers. Just put Imus and his ilk on mute, and funk on down to the Peppers..

'' Right or wrong
My song is strong
You don't like it
Get along
Say what I want
Do what I can
Death to the message
Of the Klu Klux Klan''


3 comments:

Amy said...

Great post. Love it. Honestly...great take on things..

Ed said...

I don't know that Imus should have been fired. Suspended? I guess. Fined from the FCC or whomever patrols the airwaves? Of course. Fired? Maybe not so much.

Do I think what he said was terribly idiotic? Definitely.

But there is such a thing as free speech as well. He should be free to insult and slur against anybody he wants to. Of course this also means that his company is completely free to fire him, so there that is. Ultimately, I don't really care.

I honestly take more offense at the coach of the team (or someone strongly affiliated with the program, I don't recall who) calling the players "God's representatives" and one of the players saying she was "scarred for life." What a crock.

Cormac said...

Interesting comment. Whether you or I think he should have been fired, it's entirely up to CBS anyway, and they made a decision to cut a financially lucrative show because they thought Imus was way, way out of line.

''He should be free to insult and slur against anybody he wants to. ''

I have to disagree with you here, there is such a thing as the abuse of 'freedom of speech' and this is a great example of it. Spreading ignorant, hateful and aggressive comments as he did on the public airwaves. abusing his position as a radio broadcaster, is totally off. I don't believe there is any way to justify that.

As for suspending him or fining him for his comments, both indicate that what he did was wrong, so then you are just arguing the level of the penalty aimed his way. Personally, I think firing was too good for him. I guess it just depends how deplorable you find his racist comment.

As for the coach and Rutgers players, frankly I think their response was restrained. I also think if you or any of your loved ones were the victim of a viscous comment broadcast over the public airwaves, you would be more incensed. However goofy their press conference was, we can't really debate their actions, unless we truly know how the players and coach feel. That's difficult unless you are the victim of a racially based slur.

To me, on a week where MLB celebrated the great Jackie Robinson, there is no rhyme or reason to any defence of Imus. It is our duty to fight racism as a disgusting, ignorant entity that should not be tolerated in any walk of life.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

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