Imus apologizes…

imus.jpg
Do you care?

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  • http://whiteonwhite.afrodiary.com Anonymous

    nope.

  • http://norbizness.com norbizness

    Nah.

  • jeff

    I’m always a little amazed a how much energy we can expend stringing these assholes up while doing so little about actual race-related issues.

  • dee

    “The closest I came to making love to a black woman was I masturbated to a picture of Aunt Jemima on a pancake box. I did it right on her kerchief.” – Howard Stern
    Is what Imus said any more insulting than the hate filled rhetoric of Bill O’Reilly, Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, and Howard Stern?

  • http://whiteonwhite.afrodiary.com Anonymous

    Is what Imus said any more insulting than the hate filled rhetoric of Bill O’Reilly, Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, and Howard Stern?
    not at all. i don’t think that any of them should have jobs, either. i think that Imus was a target because he’s not powerful enough to get away with this kind of shit. unfortunately, O’Reilly, Robertson, Limbaugh and Stern are.

  • dee

    In the case of Pat Robertson, he not only has a job, he has tax exempt status to spew his hate.

  • Scilian

    Apologizing means little in this matter. Nice, great, he fucked up and said he was sorry.
    I still wont watch or give any form of patronage (viewing time, merchandise, etc) to this type of humor, or personality.
    It has nothing to do with feminism, or race sensitivity – but this type of behavior breeds ignorance. And the last time I checked, we evolve as a society. So no need to jump back 30 years in our progression as a human race.
    Humor, no matter how distasteful, is protected by freedom of speech. This is not a case of that. If the government locked him up, I would feel bad for him, and I would fight against it.
    But the backlash he is experiencing is a beautiful example of a free society, and an free trade. He pissed of his viewers, he pissed of his sponsors, so now he pays the price.
    Technically, viewers and sponsors could be easily made into an analogy of bosses and investors. You piss them off at any one of our employers, and we dont have a job. No amount of “Im sorry” will change that.
    I feel proud of all the people who made a big stink.
    I wonder if “Im sorry” made much of a difference in the lives of millions of blacks who were discriminated against. I wonder if Im sorry made up for slavery, racial profiling, or even just being called racial slurs.
    Im sorry does not replace the hurt I have felt hundreds of times as the target of sexist remarks. Its nice, especially if it is genuine, but it doesnt change what has happened. And it doesnt change the thought process that it breeds into society.
    Frankly, anyone who does spend their viewing time listening to these type of personalities, is not the type of person I keep company with.

  • dee

    “But the backlash he is experiencing is a beautiful example of a free society, and an free trade. He pissed of his viewers, he pissed of his sponsors, so now he pays the price.”
    Will someone please tell me what needs to be done to piss off Stern’s, Robertson’s, O’Reilly’s, and Limbaugh’s sponsors?

  • justathought

    While he may have pissed of a few of his listeners and viewers they are probably not the ones speaking out against him. The backlash has been created because the African American community is standing up against his comments and letting people know that is this not acceptable. No group has made a strong stand against the other commentators that have been talked about in pervious comments. Only individuals have stood up against them, and that is not enough to make a network cut somebody who is making them millions of dollars. Imus is not as powerful in the media as these other guys are. If powerful is what you want to call it, that is why they had no problem canning him. What needs to be talked about is that if this had been a men’s game would these comments have even been said. Not only has Imus done a diservice to the African American community but to the female community as well.

  • http://passionateactivist.blogspot.com SakuraPassion

    He should apologize to those women he insulted, not the whole nation.
    Justathought, it’s not everyone in the black community that’s speaking up against him, it’s those nuckleheads Sharpton and Jackson who claim they’re supposed to speak for the black community. In which they do not.

  • TinyRobot

    Not only has Imus done a diservice to the African American community but to the female community as well.”
    Indeed — the race portion of Imus’ comment has been played up in the media. Not as much attention (in my opinion) has been paid to rampant misogyny that these so-called “shock jocks” and tv pundits spew forth every day to millions of viewers/listeners.
    As for Imus himself, I never listened to his show. Nor will I whenever he gets his own inevitable slot on satellite radio. Ugh.

  • http://bowleserised.blogspot.com Bowleserised

    I read a little of the coverage today and it struck me that the basketball players were quoted as being ‘hurt’ and ‘distressed’.
    And I wondered what the reaction would have been if they’d been quoted as being ‘absolutely fucking furious’.
    It’s a hypothetical question, but it occurred to me that they were expected to all emotionally strained and delicate, rather than righteously angry.

  • http://passionateactivist.blogspot.com SakuraPassion

    I was sort of thinking along those lines wondering why these women are hurt instead of being angry.
    You’re correct TinyRobot, no one is really paying to the fact that the comment was sexist.

  • dee

    If anything, I believe this incident will backfire and widen the racial divide in this country.
    The Rutgers’ women have a right to be offended by Imus’ comments.
    But I also am offended when Robertson gets up and blames 9/11 on feminists, and then is invited to the White House.
    I am offended when Limbaugh refers to me as a feminazi baby-killer.
    Imus is a shock-jock and while I disagree with what he said, I believe the context of his comments fall within the framework of ‘humour’ or entertainment value of his show, regardless of how tasteless it is.
    But the comments that come from Limbaugh, Robertson, and O’Reilly are not meant as frat-boy jokes.
    When all of these men (and women like Ann Coulter, as well), are held to the same standard, then this incident will have accomplished something.
    I am not holding my breath.
    Civility in public discourse is dead in America.

  • redwards

    as much as i tend to dislike Bill Maher, he made an interesting comment about this situation being a good jumping-off point for a discussion about the sexism and racism rampant in talk radio…

  • Charity

    That’s exactly what I’m hoping for, redwards. He wasn’t the worst offender but he was still an offender…I’m hoping this will be a catalyst for more outrage and more action, as others’ hate speech is inevitably exposed as a basis for comparison. Bloggers and grassroots organizing played such a key role here, too…let’s continue to do so re: the rest of the dirty lot!

  • the_becca

    Re: TinyRobot’s comment, check this out: http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/13/martin.imus/index.html

  • oenophile

    Do I care that he apologised? Actually, yes: because it beats the hell out of the alternative, which is not apologising.
    I don’t think that it changes anything or makes those women feel better – those talented young women who are (hopefully) role models for their peers – and nothing to make the nation a more civil place. It does, however, show that we can demand apologies from people who screw up and that he is not above saying, “I’m sorry.”
    IMO, he passes a very, very low hurdle for apologising. It’s the first of many steps to take if he is truly sorry. I’ll only really care if he chooses to take those other steps.

  • http://www.passionateactivist.blogspot.com SakuraPassion

    Well, I think it’s a good thing he apologized, but what difference does it make? It seems the apology was forced out of him. And since it was forced out of him, I have to question whether it was sincere or not.

  • UltraMagnus

    Not in the slightest, nor do I believe he’s sincere.

  • terra

    I just read that Imus’ wife pleaded with radio listeners to stop sending hate mail to the Rutger’s team. I can’t believe people are sending THEM hatemail. That’s Insane. I wish I could go to a game and cheer ridiculously loud for them on the court.

  • summer

    I am kind of surprised that no one has mentioned anything about what he said about the tennessee women (that they were pretty, and that they at least looked like ‘girls’, etc…)…
    oh, wait, no i’m not, because then that would mean that the media would have to recognize the sexism in the comments…

  • summer

    I am kind of surprised that no one has mentioned anything about what he said about the tennessee women (that they were pretty, and that they at least looked like ‘girls’, etc…)…
    oh, wait, no i’m not, because then that would mean that the media would have to recognize the sexism in the comments…

  • summer

    I am kind of surprised that no one has mentioned anything about what he said about the tennessee women (that they were pretty, and that they at least looked like ‘girls’, etc…)…
    oh, wait, no i’m not, because then that would mean that the media would have to recognize the sexism in the comments…

  • Meredith

    I had to explain to my best (male) friend, a fairly well-read and aware college student, why “nappy-headed” was a racial slur. So, Imus’ apology was a start, I guess, but when white male privilege is so strong that some people can’t even recognize that “nappy-headed” is a deep and very political insult, we still have a LOT of work to do.

  • http://www.passionateactivist.blogspot.com SakuraPassion

    Well if it doesn’t make a difference that he apologized then it was stupid for him to apologize in the first place.
    Nothing has been solved.

  • alyak66

    Obviously everyone speaking out has made a difference. Originally Imus was just going to be on a two-week suspension, but he was fired yesterday. I also don’t think he actually meant his apology. He realized he said something he shouldn’t have and that it hurt his career, but he only apologized to try to save his skin. That’s why people always say you should think before you speak! :D
    Quote from article on http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18072804/:
    “CBS fired Don Imus from his radio program Thursday, the finale to a stunning fall for one of the nation’s most prominent broadcasters.”
    Quote from article on http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17999196/:
    “MSNBC said Wednesday it will drop its simulcast of the “Imus in the Morningâ€? radio program, responding to growing outrage about the radio host’s racial slur against the Rutgers women’s basketball team.”

  • http://jeffpack.vox.com/ Jeff

    Anyone got a link to the full text of the apology? I’m curious as to whether it’s one of those “if you got offended, I’m sorry” or “I’m sorry I got called out” non-apologies.
    As for whether it’s sincere, time will tell. Unfortunately, I suspect his audience not only agrees with that kind of slur, it supports it, and will desert him for the next “shock jock” du jour if he makes an effort to reform.

  • mooserider

    here’s what bothers me the most about the whole thing: while imus is being lambasted by the media and losing his career (and justifiably so), so much of the blame lies in his fan base, which has lapped up this kind of ‘humor’ for years and years. imus being fired isn’t change; it isn’t progress. this is just another way to make it seem like the racism & sexism inherent in his comments are isolated, and that we ‘fix’ them by firing the source.

  • Carlie

    I can’t believe I’m saying a single kind word about him, but…
    I heard a little of his last show yesterday (although then he might not have known it was the very last). He was saying that the Rutgers girls were hurt (again with the hurt, but whatever), and it was his fault, and even though he didn’t mean it that he understands that the damage was done anyway and he has to own up to it. I think he was probably saying it just to get by, but at the very least he knew what he should be saying as opposed to the “I’m sorry if YOU were offended” response. Baby steps?

  • Doug S.

    “Everyone’s a little bit racist” – song from the musical Avenue Q
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GY8o-qAb08

  • Genny

    Meredith, I had to explain the racial implication of the comment to my roommate, who is white but female. However, from other conversations with her, she is a little racially clueless. While I do think that it’s wonderful that she could reach the age of 20 without ever hearing that particular derogatory term, it’s also a little strange that she was never exposed to it in her life.
    Frankly, it doesn’t matter if what Imus said was “that bad” or “worse than” anyone else. His sponsers realized that what he said would screw with their profits, so they pulled out. If people stopped buying Ann Coulter’s books or listening to Rush, Robertson, and Stern then the same thing would happen. It’s not the outrage that matters, it’s the bottom line. Still, the fact that so many people were outraged enough to make a difference is a step in the right direction.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Imus has always struck me as a moron. Still, you have to be smart to make being stupid pay.
    Anyway, I’d have preferred to hear the teams say something like, “That idiot said what? Sheesh.” and then forget it.
    Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s a great big hit of energy drink for racehustlers. People who were otherwise going to have to clean their rooms had an excuse for the week.
    But strong people are beyond being hurt by this crap. If the teams are made up of strong, confident, talented women, this shouldn’t be an issue. To make it one, we have to stipulate that being strong, confident, talented, gutsy et tedious cetera still leaves certain groups vulnerable in certain areas. Crap. It was an opportunity to crank up the righteousness.
    As my mother used to say, “Consider the source, dear.” And, since it was Imus, forget it.
    And, as one black writer noted, it allows us to ignore the real problems.
    Just as Mel Gibson’s drunken anti-semitism sunk coverage of the Muslim shooter in a Jewish community center less than a week previous. Major in minors and you don’t have to face the majors. Very convenient.

  • EG

    But strong people are beyond being hurt by this crap.
    I think that that’s exactly the kind of attitude that makes people feel unable to speak up about the harmful effects of racist and misogynist slurs. Strength doesn’t mean that you’re somehow superhumanly immune to the kinds of cruelty that packs an amazing cultural punch. Strength means that you can be honest about the pain you suffer.
    If the teams are made up of strong, confident, talented women, this shouldn’t be an issue. To make it one, we have to stipulate that being strong, confident, talented, gutsy et tedious cetera still leaves certain groups vulnerable in certain areas.
    I didn’t realize that being exceptionally talented and skilled at a sport meant that you were automatically more emotionally invulnerable to the nastiest kind of insults a member of a dominant group can level at members of subordinated groups. How lucky for athletes. And here I thought that they were just physically superior to the rest of us mere mortals.
    Really, that’s silly. I’m particularly skilled and talented in my field and have achieved quite highly within it. And if, in response to my achievements, a significant journalist/commentator in my field called me, oh, I don’t know, a big-nosed kike bitch, I’d be fucking furious.

  • Richard Aubrey

    EG.
    You’d be furious, which wouldn’t be a good deal, either.
    But you wouldn’t go around weeping woe is me, I’ve been ethnically insulted I must sit among the ashes.
    Better would be to consider that big-time journos are pretty crummy people to be concerned about.
    Did you ever wonder how so many of them had so much time for so many neat and interesting things to happen to them?
    Katie Couric got busted recently for reading a human-interest piece on how neat it was to get her first library card. First problem, it was written by a staffer whose job it is to make that shit up. Second problem, he got caught beefing it from somebody else. Plagiarism.
    So when somebody like Couric calls you a name….
    Who the hell cares?

  • Richard Aubrey

    Cut myself short, there.
    An attitude that makes people unable to speak up…?
    What is this crap? Has an attitude ever punched you in the mouth for speaking? Literally, I mean.
    So I have an attitude that some of this angst is racehustling posing, and some of it is youngsters who have been told by their elders they’re supposed to fall on the floor in a puddle of anguish–because their elders need some ammo.
    How does that stop anybody from speaking about anything?
    Weakness as convenient. How convenient.

  • Sappho

    “Nobody has rebelled enough. The most prominent women in this country — Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice — work as insiders, walking the corridors of power rather than kicking down doors. They could take on Imus. They could react as if the Rutgers women were their little sisters, but then they’d risk losing public support in his audience.”
    Says Gwen Knapp in the SFGate.
    …I wish. But then they wouldn’t even be where they are. Even if Hillary Clinton is at heart a fiery feminist, she’d be sacrificing everything to let that slip out. This is where critical mass really makes a difference, where we need more women in power purely to affect the nature of the dialogue. When women are purely tokens in the political sphere, they have no power to bash down doors. Threaten the establishment and you are gone. Zip.

  • EG

    So when somebody like Couric calls you a name….
    Who the hell cares?

    I would. It’s not about what they think; it’s about what they say. And when someone who is nationally known with a large audience says racist, misogynist things, it brings home exactly how little you will be valued by that audience.
    The fact that you can’t identify with that feeling doesn’t mean that it’s not genuine, important, or valid. The issue is Imus and his audience’s racism, not whatever it is you mean by “race-hustling.”

  • the_becca

    Regarding this whole strength vs. vulnerability BS —
    Look, I’m pretty sure that I agree with EG when they said “Strength means that you can be honest about the pain you suffer.” However, I recognize that not everyone is going to realize or understand exactly what that statement means, and I think it still might focus a bit too much on victims qua victims and not simply the reprehensible behavior of the attacker in and of itself. Here’s a really important concept that I see SO, SO many people just not getting these days:
    Strength != ignoring bad behavior.
    Seriously. Think about that for a moment. We praise people as “strong” who stand up to people who are in some way or another deemed “the bad guy.” We have ridiculous amounts of movies — entire GENRES of movies — devoted to the cathartic scene in which some hero swoops in and in some manner makes all the bad guys stop being bad guys. We have many poignant moments in history, particularly in the civil rights movement (but hell, even think of something like the Revolutionary War) where someone puts their foot down and declares that they aren’t taking this crap any more. Would you have these people “just ignore it”? Would these people have been *more* “strong” if they had simply endured it? No. Strength of character does involve picking your battles, but when you do pick one, you f’ing fight it, and loudly. That’s not weakness, that’s having values that you give half a shit about.
    It seems to me that “strength” is something we look at much differently depending on the gender of those who we’re calling “strong” — a “Man” is strong when he stands up for something he believes in or to protect himself or someone he loves (and in fact this very notion of strength seems to constitute a lot of what people think of when they talk about what a “real man” is like), whereas a woman is called “strong” based on how much she can endure, how long she can keep her daily life intact under inordinate amounts of stress, how long she can keep up appearances. As such, when women respond to attacks by declaring, loudly, that said attacks are unacceptable, they’re seen as somehow out-of-order, even hysterical, as if their pushing back in and of itself means “the terrorists have won,” as it were. If Imus had attacked a male sports figure or team and they had responded with the equivalent of “That’s some bullshit,” we’d never be having this conversation about whether or not they had somehow “made themselves vulnerable” to this guy.

  • manda

    Well said, the_becca.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Becca. If I understand you correctly, you understood one point I made and missed another.
    First, Imus or whomever can be “unacceptable” without having his putative victims slobbering all over themselves in public. Two separate issues. I think you referred to that. What follows, though, is that …he can be a blowhard nobody needs to take seriously without those who are “standing” up to him having to pretend to be hurt. Or standing up to him on behalf of others who we presume, without inquiring, are hurt. But somebody has to be hurt, in this game, for some reason. Even if they have to fake it.
    Second, you are wrong to presume a difference in gender between men and women in “strong”. One has to “endure” with strength that which is difficult. If it isn’t difficult, if it’s only Imus running his mouth, no strength is required to “endure” since there is nothing to “endure”. Now, for tactical purposes, people may be pretending to be hurt, to fuel the desired pity party.
    And, IMO, enduring or fixing problems is something both men and women do and are admired equally for their efforts.

  • Ninapendamaishi

    Richard,
    You’ve already declared in another thread that you don’t think racism exists (or to be accurate, I guess that 99% of the time the word gets used it doesn’t exist). Which if nothing else, just lets me know you’re white, because otherwise chances are you would have experienced direct racism at some point or another in the last 30 years (that period of time that according to you we have not had racism). We could give you some sort of “Race in America 101,” but I really don’t think all the discussions on this website need to focus on catering to people whose political platforms center on beliefs that are so far away from what most young feminists experience as reality. So I’ll echo Charity and ask you, since you’ve been limited in your posting on a number of other liberal-leaning websites, not to make feministing your new home.

  • the_becca

    Nope, I’m pretty sure I “understood” your “points,” and your comment doesn’t even argue coherently against anything that I said.
    Hint: You aren’t going to win anyone over by describing these women as “slobbering all over themselves.” If you want to do anything besides troll, quit being such an offensive ass and speak more civilly.

  • EG

    Shorter Richard:
    “Racism isn’t really that bad, and probably doesn’t even really exist, and when black people say it exists and it affects them, they’re just making it up to get pity. They should just ignore it, except since it doesn’t exist, there’s nothing to ignore.”
    The issue isn’t “pity.” It’s anger about racism. Just because I, as a white woman, don’t experience something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I’m not sure what makes Richard thinks that these incidents are “rare.” I have no idea how many times these women have had to endure people shouting racist crap at them, but I wouldn’t assume that this was the first time.
    And becca, that was a truly eloquent explanation of strength and vulnerability.

  • Charity

    Word, Nina, the_becca, EG and others. According to Richard in the other thread, 99% of the time that racism and sexism are brought up, it’s just bogus. Not only that, but thoughts about racism and sexism aren’t even “real thoughts.” Psychedelic, man! My thoughts aren’t even REAL. To quote Bob Cesca on HuffPo, hey, alright, *I can taste music*.
    –Snarky Charity

  • Richard Aubrey

    I didn’t say racism doesn’t exist. I will say it doesn’t exist as some would prefer.
    But I did say that 99% of the time people are accused of racism or sexism, the accusation is a manipulative scam.
    I think the Duke case showed us the hate against whites, and men, with the furious energy so many put into believing the case even when it was obvious it was bogus.
    The ignoring of the double kidnapping, torture, mutilation and murder in Knoxville shows the lack of interest in horrors when whites are victimized by blacks.
    What I said may or may not be true, but it’s the same as claiming “racism” every time you get annoyed and are out of arguments.
    And the white girl raped at a black fraternity house off campus in Durham? The residents are being given help in finding new accomodations. The vic is coming along as well as can be expected with no concern from the Professionally Incredibly Wonderful who are probably tired out after the last year. And the fraternity hasn’t been discredited, as the lacrosse team was.
    Okay, becca. You didn’t get my point.
    Let me try again: Imus can run his mouth and nobody needs to pay attention, much less pretend to be “hurt” in order to punch up the indignation level. The two issues are separate and anybody who is “hurt” by something that blowhard said needs to look at themselves. They have a problem.
    One tv critic said Imus had a schtick where one of his regulars would say something outrageous and Imus would snarl at him. If you do that five days a week for years, sooner or later you’re going to lose control of your mouth.
    Big deal? Don’t be silly.
    Try listening to, say, John McWhorter, Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, or Walter Williams for issues having to do with problems in the black community. But they make people uncomfortable, as Bill Cosby does. Fortunately, Imus came along just in time and you can all pretend he’s the problem. Ignore the reality.
    FWIW, Condi Rice was getting bouquets on conservative blogs, Condi in ’08 was the theme. That ended gradually when she went mushy on Israel.
    Somebody said Hulk Hogan could be made SecState and in four months he’d be Stateified and talking about Israeli concessions.
    But up until that time, your betes noires, conservative white men, were anxious as hell she run.

  • Ninapendamaishi

    Richard, there are so many recent cases in which direct or unconscious racism has resulted in violence or otherwise harm to the livelihood of people of color, not to mention I haven’t had a conversation with a single person of color about the issue that hasn’t had racist slurs screamed at them on the street on numerous occasions. I am seriously very busy now, but I will come back later and give you a list of cases where racism played a role, if that’s what you want…

  • Richard Aubrey

    Nina. Go ahead. I won’t bother giving you a list of cases where such claims were a bald excuse.
    Getting screamed at is one thing. Being thwarted in one’s life path is another.
    Being emotionally damaged is yet another.
    But, you would be addressing a point I didn’t make. Which is that accusations of racism are almost entirely a manipulative scam. That would be true if racism existed, didn’t exist, or at any level of general racism.
    I am happy to report that most people are on to this crap, so it isn’t working very well any longer.
    ’bout time say I.
    And if conservative white men don’t support Condi any longer, it won’t be because of her race. But that will certainly be the excuse made by some.

  • Ninapendamaishi

    Also Richard,
    as people have previously tried to explain to you, feminists on principle are outraged about rape. Do not think anybody here would somehow justify the other rape case at Duke, or that it was overlooked particularly by feminists because of a racist agenda. No, this site alone deals with many rape cases… If you’re trying to get us upset about another rape case, you’re preaching to the choir (of course, I don’t see how you can simultaneously say that sexism doesn’t exist). I think it’s rather your attitude about racism and sexism not existing that are offending people who have experienced physical or material harm because of sexist and/or racist attitudes and know others who have as well.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Nina.
    Feminists on principle are outraged about rape.
    But, as I have pointed out, some rapes are more equal than others. In fact, a non-rape is more equal than two rapes I mentioned.
    I’d be interested in feminists getting after Duke for its manifest double standard in how it approaches the rape in Durham. I mean, if they did what they did to a bunch of white guys who didn’t rape anybody, you’d think they’d get really exercised about a real rape. Make the lax case look like a tempest in a teapot. Right?
    Going a bit further on double standards, Andrew Sullivan wrote a scorcher about the different ways the gay community reacted to the murder of Matthew Shepherd and the murder of Jesse Dirkhising.
    And the murders of James Byrd and Kenneth Tillery got differential treatment, too.
    Whatever you think of the differential treatment, others will wonder, and, even by accusing them of racism, you can’t stop them coming to conclusions.