All Due Thanks

I never cared much for Imus.  I can’t say that I’ve listened to him more than a half a dozen times, ever; he never really took off in the Twin Cities (Pointless disclosure: Salem Radio engaged Imus for the morning shift at the re-tooled AM1570 within the past couple of weeks).  I’ve always found his phlegmy, gargly-sounding voice unlistenable; as someone who grew up in the business, I’ve always found the old-school, big-name “shock jocks” (from back when that term meant something) to be deeply distasteful people; and as he developed as a reliable liberal outlet in a medium run by conservatives, I found him (counterintuitively) less and less interesting.

So he’s gone.  Whoop di doo.

Of course, the scandal that led to his demise (?) teaches all the wrong lessons. 

Jason Whitlock writing in the Kansas City Star sums up the real importance of Imus’ demise, and the way it went down.   You need to read the whole thing – but I’m going to excerpt big chunks of it anyway.

Thank you, Don Imus. You’ve given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problem.

You’ve given Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson another opportunity to pretend that the old fight, which is now the safe and lucrative fight, is still the most important fight in our push for true economic and social equality.


William Raspberry wrote an excellent column about 15 years ago, officially consigning the petty racism of name-calling to the “Pathetic, Ignore” bin (and I’d love to find that article online somewhere).  Long story short: anyone who thinks that ignorant morons calling black people naughty names is teh biggest problem facing blacks in America today – or even an important one – is deluded. 

Thank you, Don Imus. You extended Black History Month to April, and we can once again wallow in victimhood, protest like it’s 1965 and delude ourselves into believing that fixing your hatred is more necessary than eradicating our self-hatred.

The bigots win again.

The only question I have; which bigots? 

Jackson and Sharpton, who believe Blacks in America deserve no better from their “leadership” to wallow in the sort of petty victimhood afforded by a statement as dumb (dumb!) as Imus’?

Or the casual, de facto bigots who control so much of African-American culture in America:

While we’re fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I’m sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent’s or Snoop Dogg’s or Young Jeezy’s latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.

If the misogyny and self-loathing in hip-hop were to be directed self-directed at any other ethnic group, psychologists would queue up around the figurative block to try to find the cause of such a cultural dissociation.

I ain’t saying Jesse, Al and Vivian are gold-diggas, but they don’t have the heart to mount a legitimate campaign against the real black-folk killas.

It is us. At this time, we are our own worst enemies. We have allowed our youths to buy into a culture (hip hop) that has been perverted, corrupted and overtaken by prison culture. The music, attitude and behavior expressed in this culture is anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro-drug dealing and violent.

Rather than confront this heinous enemy from within, we sit back and wait for someone like Imus to have a slip of the tongue and make the mistake of repeating the things we say about ourselves.

The thesis – that mainstream black culture has become Black America’s worst enemy?

It’s embarrassing. Dave Chappelle was offered $50 million to make racially insensitive jokes about black and white people on TV. He was hailed as a genius. Black comedians routinely crack jokes about white and black people, and we all laugh out loud.

There is nothing quite as depressing as watching the various “Apollo” comedy specials and tours.  And while Chapelle is funny (in the same way that “Borat” was funny – in a way that I kind of didn’t like myself for finding funny, in many ways), you watch it knowing that behind all comedy is some form of pain or another – and the sense that the “pain” behind the likes of Chapelle and the less-tony black comic community is self-hatred.

Somehow, we’re supposed to believe that the comments of a man with virtually no connection to the sports world ruined Rutgers’ wonderful season. Had a broadcaster with credibility and a platform in the sports world uttered the words Imus did, I could understand a level of outrage.

But an hourlong press conference over a man who has already apologized, already been suspended and is already insignificant is just plain intellectually dishonest. This is opportunism. This is a distraction.

Worse than a distraction; it’s going to give some of the lesser lights of the “civil rights movement” a sense they’ve “won” something, while the real problems just grind on and on.

And those real problems, more and more, drive Mercedes and wear lots o’ bling:

I don’t listen or watch Imus’ show regularly. Has he at any point glorified selling crack cocaine to black women? Has he celebrated black men shooting each other randomly? Has he suggested in any way that it’s cool to be a baby-daddy rather than a husband and a parent? Does he tell his listeners that they’re suckers for pursuing education and that they’re selling out their race if they do?

…No. We all know where the real battleground is. We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show. There’s no money and lots of danger in that battle, so Jesse and Al are going to sit it out.

Read the whole thing.

And ask yourself; with Imus gone but Fitty Cent and Snoop Dogg still acting out a stereotype more corrosive than Stepin’ Fetchit (because nobody seriously aspired to be Mr. Fetchit, while a generation of kids now use the word “pimp” as an adjective of approval), what’s really changed?

 UPDATE:  Flash at Centrisity adds 2,000-odd words to the subject.

67 thoughts on “All Due Thanks

  1. You confuse a personal confrontation with some radio guy’s idiot opinion, Rick. Do you propose to gallantly defend the young ladies of the Rutgers basketball team by kicking Imus’s cadaverous ass? No? Then exactly who are you calling cowards?

  2. Mitch:
    “second question”
    1. Sure there are worse things that happen in their lives.
    2. I have no idea. Casual racism by rich powerful white guys and DC media elite who control most of our political dialouge is nothing to sneeze at. 50 Cent and Snoop might help alleviate the situation my providing a safe outlet for social aggression. I don’t know and neither do you. The lines of causation are totally opaque.

    If I wanted to reduce social dysfunction in America, trying to ‘clean up’ pop culture would be way down on my list of things to do. Both because I would have a lot more direct ways to address the problems and I would have no idea what specific things I could actually do to pop culture to actually impact social dysfunction.

    It is like stepping on a nail and refusing to pull it out because you need to cure cancer first.

  3. So you don’t mind if some guy calls your girl a whore, just as long as she don’t hear about it?

    What Clown said.

    You mind if she and another guy get together, as long as no one tells you about it?

    Oh Good Lord.

    Tell me Rick, what does infidelity have to do with a stupid quote in broadcast media?

    Rick, please please please do us a favor and enroll in some logic and critical thinking classes. Even the Clown is against you on this one.

  4. Rick said:

    I don’t think you guys understand insults.

    Tee hee! Conservatives don’t understand insults!


  5. Clown:

    I should have been more clear. In a hypothetical bar situation, it is sort of cowardly, to just walk away if another guy calls your girl a “whore”. Yeah Yeah risk of confrontation -cool the peace all that, but come on guys wouldn’t you at least want to kick his ass.

    By analogy: When Imus called the Rutgers B-ball team “ho’s”, their supporters had their back and got Imus fired. It would have been cowardly for them not to go after Imus and get him fired.

    By moral reasoning 101 – Suppose Imus had used his show to call Mrs. Clown a “whore”. What would you do? Not try to go after his job? How would you feel if Mitch said “well the real issue is not that Imus called Mrs. C are ‘whore’, the real issue is the sexism of clown culture”?

  6. Paul:

    Well since you seem incapable of following a simple analogy, I suppose it would be pointless to walk you though predicate calculus, Quine’s Main Method, or Godel’s Incompleteness Proof.

  7. You’re raising a whole bunch of things that don’t really have much to do with the Imus situation, Rick. I could go through your hypotheticals and explain what makes them different, but I don’t think that’s worthwhile. Suffice to say, if the hypothetical Mrs. Clown were a member of the Rutgers basketball team and one of the dozen or more women that Imus collectively, jokingly called “nappy headed hos”, I’d shake my head in disgust and say “fuckin’ idiot.” And I would likely not think much more about it.

    I would not certainly not appeal to Al Sharpton, I would not petition CBS or MSNBC to fire Imus. I would not seek out a news camera and tell the world that I’ve been horribly victimized. I would not demand that Imus make a public show of apologizing to me at a press conference. All of these are stupid, excessive reactions.

    There’s a Latin saying to the effect that the madman is sufficiently punished by his madness. An idiot has to live with the reputation he makes for himself with his idiotic words. What am I gonna do, jump in the pit and mud wrestle with Imus?

  8. And the Slam Of The Week award goes to Yossarian:

    “(Rick) If you were any more obtuse, you’d be a triangle.”

    Fear not AC, the slate will be cleaned for next weeks submissions.

  9. “Well since you seem incapable of following a simple analogy, I suppose it would be pointless to walk you though predicate calculus, Quine’s Main Method, or Godel’s Incompleteness Proof.”

    And what does any of these have to do with a stupid broadcast quote? Apparently none of these saved you from being obtuse as a 179-degree angle.

    If we use your logic in the hypothetical bar situation as applied to Rutgers, Michelle Malkin’s husband would be honor-bound to beat the crap out of every moonbat netroot in the nation that has ever called her a whore…and judging by the sheer volume of colorful e-mails she’s recieved the last few years, he’s got years of work ahead of him.

    Think I’m exaggerating? Look here, here, here, and here.

  10. Christ, this makes twice this week, fully agree with the clown. Imus collective insult about a basketball team he knew nothing about means nothing other than the Imus is an idiot. To hurt or slander someone there has to be some reasonable belief that someone, somewhere might think there is something to it.

    “You confuse a personal confrontation with some radio guy’s idiot opinion, Rick.”

    I dont think it can be phrased any better than that.

  11. “And the Slam Of The Week award goes to Yossarian:

    ‘(Rick) If you were any more obtuse, you’d be a triangle.'”

    To be honest, I’ve used that slam here before. But, to be fair to me, as far as I know, I also coined the slam.

  12. RickDFL-
    What does Giedel’s incompleteness theaorem have to do with Your analogy? Are you talking out your ass again?

  13. Responding to this is probably a waste of time. When Clown AND Yossarian agree on something, it’s pretty much a lock.

    But here goes:

    OK, what exactly are you and should we do to change the use of sex and violence in pop culture? You going to eliminate it?

    No, I’m going to criticize it, and made damn sure my kids and any other kids within my sphere of influence know its effects.

    And publicize the works of people like Whitcomb and for that matter Bill Cosby.

    but people have been turning up their nose at the popular cultural, especially the pop culture of racial minorities and the lower social classes for all of time.

    Quick, Rick – has there ever been a time when a “lower-class” popular culture (hip-hop actually sells better in the ‘burbs than in the inner-city) has caused this much damage? (Hint: no).

    you do a post on how sick the black folks are (it always seems to be them) and move on.

    Rick? I try to stay civil, but was really a gabblingly cretinous thing to say.

    1. I don’t think you guys understand insults.

    Nooo, Rick. I worked in bars for years. I’ve worked in situations (bars, talk radio, living as a Republican in Saint Paul) where insults (and threats) are just a part of life. I’ve had to learn to deal with ’em on many, many levels.

    Nope. I don’t understand insults. Not a bit.

    No, Rick, what we’ve seen in this thread is that it’s you who doesn’t understand insults. That, or you’re wrapping yourself in the mantel of someone else’s experience – one you don’t really understand.

    2. I guess we just disagree about the need to defend friends and family. Personally, I think you response is cowardly.

    Y’see, there, we go. You insulted me. By your standard, I should find you, challenge you, and rip your arms out for calling me a coward. Right?

    Rubbish, Rick – unless you just plain enjoy fighting. Nosirreebob; I consider the source; with source duly considered, I ignore it.  Just like I did with a zillion drunks, jagoffs and morons in bars, at band gigs, and anyplace else applicable in my life.
    This is one of the parts that shows you really don’t understand either insults or dealing with ’em. When someone insults you (or yours), you consider the source. Some drunk moron? Tell ’em they’re a drunk moron and go back to your conversation. (If they ARE a physical threat, it’s different – which speaks to Whitcomb and my points, not yours. Insults and physical attacks are very different things. I really can’t say more due to a need for personal and legal prudence about these things).

    As for Paul – So you don’t mind if some guy calls your girl a whore, just as long as she don’t hear about it? You mind if she and another guy get together, as long as no one tells you about it?

    You’re thrashing now, Rick.

    If she doesn’t hear it, it’s easier to ignore (assuming the guy is just a drunk moron). If she and another guy get together, then she IS a whore.

    But no matter. As your examples grow more picayune and pointillistic, you get farther and farther away from the reality of this situation.

    That you think an insult does more damage to black culture than the pervasive, corrosive messages of the thug, gangsta culture shows your knowledge of this situation is rooted in the lilywhite delusions of the hopelessly white, Volvo-driving, whole-foods-shopping, free-range-alpaca-wearing set that gets deeply knotted-up over symbols and trite “messages”, but ignores tangible, pervasive reality.

    I am done now. So should you be, Rick.

  14. Paul:
    “And what does any of these have to do with a stupid broadcast quote? ”

    If you do not know what the three are, you probably should not be telling anyone to take a logic class.

  15. RickDFL, you are a moron. You try and lecture people about logic and yet you write:
    “If you do not know what the three are, you probably should not be telling anyone to take a logic class”
    As a response to the question:
    “And what does any of these have to do with a stupid broadcast quote?”

    The classic syllogism, as produced by RickDFL’s extraordinary powers of reasoning:

    All men are mortal
    Socrates is a man
    Therefore all men are Socrates, and here is the link that proves it!

  16. Rick: “If you do not know what the three are, you probably should not be telling anyone to take a logic class.”

    Anyone who holds the ridiculous, idiotic, illogical positions you did in this thread should not be tossing mathematical theorems out like a playground insult: “See? See? I’m smarter than you!”

    Your arguments were beaten like a drum from both sides of the political aisle. You have demonstated to all who read this thread that you are a complete idiot when it comes to forming a coherent argument. That’s why I suggested that you take some logic and critical thinking classes so that when you post here, you won’t be universally smacked down.

    Clown said it best: “An idiot has to live with the reputation he makes for himself with his idiotic words.”

  17. Everyone else has summed things up pretty well.

    Rick – that you are reduced to obtuse references to picayune logic-class trivia as opposed to rescuing a null/void case really does kinda close the book on things.

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