Not a Nappy Head in the Bunch

The Rutgers Women’s Basketball team responded with class and poise to racist comments from Don Imus’s “Imus in the Morning” show at a press conference on Tuesday.

The radio/television host and his producer, Bernard McGuirk, referred to the Big East champions as “nappy-headed hoes” and “jiggaboos” last week after their loss to Tennessee in the NCAA Women’s National Championship game. Imus will serve a two-week suspension beginning on Monday, April 16.

Rutgers team members refused to comment on the severity of the punishment or on whether they thought it was just. The university used the opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of the group this season and to focus on their intellectual prowess. Rutgers has tough academic standards, and according to Coach C. Vivian Stringer

“These young ladies before you are valedictorians, future doctors, musical prodigies… these young ladies are the best this nation has to offer and we are so very fortunate to have them at Rutgers. They are young ladies of class, distinction. They are articulate. They are gifted.”


Paul Hue said...

I agree that the team members responded with poise and class. But the only reason they are in this position is that a bunch of hysterical busybodies have made a big deal out of nothing, and had they not, these girls probably never would have even heard about these comments.

Paul Hue said...

If the super-sensitive, professional offense-takers hadn't made this into a major issues, these young women would never have been paraded on national TV for all to compare to the term "nappy headed hos". What a needless shame. Why do these women need a bunch of puffed-up loud-mouths endlessly defending them from such groundless charges?

I do think it was inappropriate, and I do not myself make fun of people for their inherent appearance; it is certainly not my type of humor and one of the reasons that I turn from Imus during the comedy routines. I watch for the political commentaries, most of which coincide with Nadir's views.

Nadir said...

These women certainly didn't need to be vilified by loudmouth redneck idiots on national radio and television. Blame the rednecks, not the victims.

Imus's crew personally attacked these women for no reason whatsoever. Why aren't you mad at them for being so stupid? Why are "the super-sensitive, professional offense-takers" to blame?

Let's put it this way: if people like Imus, Michael Richards and the NYPD weren't saying stupid things and killing innocent Black folks, Al Sharpton would be out of work. You're blaming the wrong people.

Nadir said...

A friend from our Festivus party put it like this on her blog:

"Can we quit give the male drama king Al Sharpton things to talk about? please?

"everyone has a right to be racist plain and tall and they have a right to get teir teeth knocked down their throats...all the same..if you can dish it then....

"but, people in glass houses or in public forums..ALL PEOPLE...should be a little more decent..sure be a racist...i don't have to listen I have options..choices.. I have NEVER listened to Imus..I know nothing of his format and his opinion means zilch to me BUT, I am glad to know where I can place the corpse in the cowboy hat."

uptownseteve said...

Notice how all the rightwingers have tried to make this about Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

The fact of the matter is that Imus has been pulling this kind of crap for years and the (white) politicians of both parties as well as the prominent media figures like Tim Russert and Bob Schieffer knew all about it and continued to kiss his butt anyway because of the exposure they received on his show.

What's delicious about all this is that Imus despises Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and has savaged them on his show for years.

Now to watch Imus kiss their butts and beg for "forgiveness and understanding" is just too sweet.

Paul Hue said...

People absolutely do not, in the US, have any "a right to get their teeth knocked down their throats," by which I assume the author means the right to knock other people's teeth down their throats, nor should they, in a free society. We do, and should, have the right to walk around judging what people say, and having passed that judgment, to issue our own verbal response, but *NOT* issue a violent response.

We even have the right, and should, to organize together a non-violent response that punishes people who "offend" us. However, that results in a society that lacks actual free speech; today we get Nadir fired for calling George Bush a lier and a draft dodger, tomorrow some other group gets me fired for calling Nadir's dad queer.

If Nadir's friend ever took the time to watch or listen to Imus, she would find the only network TV news in the morning that contains truly informative and intelligent discussion. Yes, it's unfortunately mixed with what I consider to be too much humor, a good portion of which I find unfunny. But I have a thick skin; I turn to other shows during those periods. Nadir's friend would also find the only TV commentaries that doggedly and informatively attack Bush on both substantive and trivial matters. It is looking more and more like this will be taken from us, all due to hysterical intolerance.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: I agree that those women did not deserve those comments, I agree that Imus should not have made those comments, and that those comments constituted bullying on his part. He admits this, and has promised not to issue such comments about such people again. And neither do the working moms at NASCAR races that he and his crew cruelly lampoon.

As our friend Andrew told me last night (he called to crack the following joke: "Paul, I think it was wrong for Imus to go on national TV and call those nappy-headed bitches nappy headed hos."), Imus made the sort of joke about those girls that any one of our male friends would have made (except for Nadir!,and except when Nadir is around!), but we would never have done so on national TV, and doing so on national TV was wrong. I agree with Andrew.

So I put blame on Imus. But I also put blame on all the puffy-chested professionally aggrieved criers of racism, for taking this throw-away line that these girls would never have even been aware of, and transforming it into a slogan that effectively emblazons them with their image on national TV for us all to judge them against. I was listening to the captain of the team, Essence Carson, a very accomplished intellectual, expressing her self quite eloquently, and I thought how humiliating it was for her to have herself judged against the phrase, "nappy headed ho." Imus surely must take blame for this; he could not have been more wrong to throw that term on her. But what about those making, literally, a federal case of this?

It looks like the Sharpton crowd will get its way. The only advocate on national TV for many of that crowd's causes (Bush is the worst president ever! The Katrina debacle demonstrates racism! Here's some non-derogatory, intelligent music by black folks that gets rejected from all the other radio forums! Fox News represents bias and lies!) will get ejected, all because he couldn't pass the zero tolerance litmus test for racial jokes. Well, congratulations, Sharpton and Nadir, you are now left with a dozen or so morning and evening cable national news shows, none of which ever violate your sacred rules of expression, and none of which espouse your other views.

Meanwhile we now have yet more president for having banned speech that *you* guys find offensive, building the arsenal that will surely get used against speech that you surely approve. The same mentality that got Bill Mahr fired by right-winged cry-babies who feel that they must be protected even from "insults" on shows that *they* never watch, also exists in the Nadir/Sharpton camp. Nadir's friend "never watches" the Imus show, but by god, he must be fired for saying there something that she finds offensive.

What if right-winged cry-babies were organizing to fire Imus for declaring that Bush and Cheney were war criminals who should be in jail, which Imus does EVERY DAY? On what basis, Nadir, could you now oppose such an action? What if such cry-babies use this president to get other people fired for making such comments? Perhaps some university professors -- getting paid with our tax dollars!? Afterall, these right-winged cry-babies have feelings, too. They are hurt when THEIR PRESIDENT(!) gets called ugly names, and accused of high crimes DURING A TIME OF WAR(!), by people getting paid by OUR TAX DOLLARS! Such cry-babies, Nadir, have exactly the same arguments used by you and Sharpton. They have a "right" to organize and demand a firing, to boycott alumni fund-raising drives, to demand that their legislators act against this or that professor, to boycott companies that donate money to this or that university. All of these actions are their "right", their "right" to effectively eliminate the right of people in the US to speak freely.

I do not understand how it is that you and Sharpton can arrange to ban people from making comments that you guys find offensive without engendering mechanisms and presidents for others to use to ban ideas important to you guys.

Nadir said...

"Nadir's friend "never watches" the Imus show, but by god, he must be fired for saying there something that she finds offensive."

You obviously didn't read my friends post. She didn't say he should be fired. I also didn't say he should be fired. You're still making shit up.

Nadir said...

I'm not going to make any comments about our friend Andrew or your baby mama Nicole and their views of people of their own race. I would address that with either of them in private, but not with you (the white man) in a public forum. That's family business.

But take it from someone who is proud of his nappy head: those women aren't nappy at all.

Nadir said...

I've seen Imus's show. My nappy headed wife watches it sometimes.

Just because I sometimes agree with his political views doesn't make it good television. I still think the show is boring and unfunny.

"...will get ejected, all because he couldn't pass the zero tolerance litmus test for racial jokes."

No. He won't get ejected. He is suspended. And it wasn't because he this was a racial joke. This was a personal attack. If you read the transcript (posted on Last Chocolate City in the link above) he was essentially calling them ugly.

It was an attack against their personal appearance, not their race. Adding nappy headed made it racial. Calling them jiggaboos made it racial.

But these cats have a long history of this type of unfunny behavior. Do we let them get by with it just because they sometimes express an intelligent thought or two?

No. He will be punished for this event, and if his ratings are consistent after his suspension, he may well be around for a long time.

I think YOU'RE the one who is overreacting.

Nadir said...

"What if such cry-babies use this president to get other people fired for making such comments? Perhaps some university professors -- getting paid with our tax dollars!?"

Right-wing crybabies did get Bill Maher fired. They have attacked university professors (right here on Reformed Leftist, I might add, are right-wing cry babies who want Ward Churchill's head).

There's even a right-wing crybaby who bans reasoned and thoughtful comment from someone who has consistently tried to enter this discussion on this thread. But because the cry baby thinks he wouldn't have a beer with this person, he bans them from the blog.

Who has set the precident?

Nadir said...

And again, to set the record straight, which you seem to forever want crooked...

I do not advocate firing Don Imus.

Paul Hue said...

I support Ward Churchill keeping his job; I don't think anybody on this blog has joined the crybabies calling for his firing.

I agree with you, and stated here, that Imus using the word "nappy" in this case indicates that he lacks an understanding of the word; these girls on the images that he viewed when making the comments did not have nappy hair.

It appalls me that you consider Andrew and Nicole "family" and me not due to racial categorizations of us; I assume and hope that they would be appalled too.

The comments from Uptown Steve that I have banned from this forum fail to meet my standards of "reasoned and thoughtful comment", which is one reason that I rejected those comments. Another necessary reason that I rejected those comments from him is that I categorized them as I would categorize Imus' comments about the Rutgers women: ugly personalized comments. If Imus tried to post such comments, including labeling the Rutgers women "nappy headed hos", I would reject such comments. If I had a radio show, I would not permit such comments, either Imus' or Steve's.

But neither would I try to have either fired or banned from blogger.com. And neither would I attempt to violently assault Steve, as your friends and Steve wish to to to me for my comments, or even ban Steve from our parties. I seek to have here a forum that attracts a certain sort of intelligent, fact-based discourse, and to accomplish this I occasionally reject some comments from this forum; I do not attempt to ban such comments from other people's forums, nor to have shut-down such forums, or organize boycotts of such forums.

For all I know, Steve has his own blogsite, and on it he advocates tracking down and beating Paul Hue for being a racist pig. That is fine with me.

Sadly, you and Stave and Sharpton want to shut-down, or in some way punish, forums that include comments that "offend" you, to ensure that no forums ever present such comments.

Nadir said...

"If Imus tried to post such comments, including labeling the Rutgers women "nappy headed hos", I would reject such comments."

Yet you have no problem posting comments like "Paul, I think it was wrong for Imus to go on national TV and call those nappy-headed bitches nappy headed hos."

What a hypocrite.

Nadir said...

"It appalls me that you consider Andrew and Nicole "family" and me not due to racial categorizations of us; I assume and hope that they would be appalled too."

Don't be a cry baby, Paul. I consider you family for different reasons. You and I are members of the BCLS family, the Reformed Leftist family and the human family.

But, no. Just because you have Black children, I don't consider you to be one of my Black brothers. And whether Nicole and Andrew would have a problem with me characterizing them as such, again, that's their problem. I consider them my sister and brother just the same.

I'm an old school Pan-Africanist in that way.

Paul Hue said...

I have thought over the years the following about Imus:

1. He is an asshole, and that anything bad that happens to him is well deserved.

2. 80% of his humor annoys me or otherwise simply wastes my time.

3. 10% of his humor constitute unfair bullying of people that don't deserve to be ridiculed; the Rutgers incident falls into this category.

4. 10% of his humor is very incisive and intelligent, and properly attacks big shots who deserve it. Some of it is just funny while serving no purpose, including especially his banter with Terry Bradshaw, which I find mesmerizing.

5. 75% of his serious content is very thoughtful and informative, besting anything on any other popular show morning or evening. This includes banter with intellectual heavy weights like Pat Buchannon and Chris Mathews.

6. 25% of his serious content constitute very annoying log-rolling with light-weight, powerful media chumps like the puffer fish Tim Russert.

7. He does not employ enough non-whites (0) or women (usually 0, but sometimes 1), nor have enough non-white non-male guests.

8. He constantly talks about how wonderful his idiot young son is, which recalls the horrid conduct of Cathy Lee Gifford on the Regis show.

9. He constantly pats himself on the back for having a super-luxury ranch on which for 10 weeks each year he hosts 20 kids for one week-at-a-time if they or their siblings have some horrible disease. I find this repulsive.

10. His news-reading sidekick Charles McCord adds nothing positive to the show, and is really, really boring.

11. Imus is probably the most, or at least one of the most, successful advocates of leftist ideas to non-leftists, because his humor demonstrates that he is no PC robot.

I share Steve's satisfaction in one regard: I have watched Imus constantly attack various powerful people very doggedly, and essentially state that he, Don Imus, was so powerful that nobody he attacks can ever harm him, and he dares them to try. Some of these targets seem to richly deserve it, like Jesse Jackson and Hilary Clinton. Once certainly didn't: a Wallstreet Journal reporter who exposed the luxuriousness of Imus' ranch for cancer kids. Nadir and I can only imagine how much those annual millions in our hands could better affect more kids with our academic program than Imus and his family living in 4-star luxury for several months each ear, while only handling about 200 kids 20-at-a-time for only 1-week-at-a-time performing ranch labor and eating chef-prepared fabulous all-natural food three times a day.

Imus rode that WSJ reporter hard, and I believe tried to get him fired. Now we see people such as that reporter, Jesse, Hilary, and others, who now have a chance to get in some fatal shots, or -- just as fatally -- simply do nothing.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: I posted Andrew's comments only within the context of this discussion, to make a point pertinent to this discussion, a discussion premised on comments that you and I agree should otherwise not appear on either the Imus show or this blog. Prior to this becoming the nation's number one news item, I would certainly have blocked Andrew posting here a photo from that game, with his caption: nappy-headed hos.

Nor would I permit him, you, or Steve to post a high school cheerleader squad photo from some trailer-park area with the caption: buck-toothed, halter-topped wearing, smell-like-dogs when it rains, don't-wash-hands-before-they cook after they used the bathroom cracker skanks. However, if Al Sharpton on his radio show comments that some white college students who won a cooking contest probably doesn't wash her hands before cooking even after using the bathroom, and if you or anybody then tried to have Sharpon's show canceled, I would report here that Sharpton was merely making a joke based on what black folks very commonly say in private about how nasty white folks are.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: I would only be a "crybaby" in the way that I have used this term if I tried to ban you or in anyway punish you for offending me. I have no problem with you, Steve, and Sharpton finding the nappy headed ho comment "offensive"; I did as well. What bothers me is the attempts to punish Imus for this, and to ban such comments. I also disagree -- without attempting to punish -- with conclusions that Imus is a "racist" person based entirely on such comments, without considering his entire person.

I do believe that Imus is a racist in the following way: he doesn't hire any black folks for on-air roles, and doesn't have enough black guests.

Paul Hue said...

The characterization of Imus about these women were certainly wrong, and the characterization of them by their coach is certainly correct.

I understand that people like me and my buddies (all negros!) hang around on the sidelines cracking little jokes like this all the time amongst ourselves, and I do not think that this makes us bad people. None of us thinks that it is OK for us to go up to a microphone and point out the people we are privately savaging and humiliate them as Imus did. Many comedians do this, including many black comedians, and I despise such humor. They do it to people in their audience, and they sometimes do it to innocent people in the news. I don't like that sort of humor, but I oppose firing people who make these sorts of jokes in public.

I am glad that Imus is catching some hell for these sorts of jokes, and I am glad that he claims he is going to stop these kinds of jokes, because that will result in me enjoying his show more... if it stays on. What I am sad about is that in in him catching hell for this, the images of these girls is being held up and judged against the silly, unjustifiable, and cruel sort of off-handed comment that many decent people make privately.

The good that might come from this: the 8 black girls on that team are now getting all sorts of positive publicity, and might as a result get lots of positive opportunities. I can imagine any or all of them now earning $100k/yr speaking at schools about such topics as mocking people and passing summary judgment. One or more might even get media news job offers as result of this.