Imus in Mourning
Some people just can’t take a joke. I never though I would come to the defense of Don Imus, the liberal shock jock on NBC radio, but here I go.
I will begin by saying that Imus is getting some of what he deserves. Free speech in this country only means that the government cannot punish and jail people for their speech unless it is found to be obscene using the Miller Test, commercial speech, hate speech, slander/libel and for reasons of national security.
Imus’ comments could fall under hate speech, even though he was only joking. The Wikipedia defines Hate Speech as speech meant to: “degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against a person or group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, moral or political views, socioeconomic class, occupation or appearance (such as height, weight, and hair color).”
Basically, you can’t say anything mean about anyone anymore because it may hurt their feelings. Freedom of speech isn’t as free as it everyone thinks.
However, Imus deserves to lose sponsors, lose the TV portion of his broadcast and even lose his job if it’s deemed necessary, (Breaking News: Imus has lost his radio job). Business acts in a different circle. Why should NBC or CBS pay someone who no longer has an audience or sponsors because of his offensive speech?
Now, on to the double standard, my main problem with the witch hunt that has people around the country metaphorically grabbing their torches and pitchforks and marching on NBC and CBS Studios.
Those poor women of Rutgers. They have been “hurt” by the comments of Don Imus. Rutgers coach, C. Vivian Stringer, said:
“We had to experience racist and sexist remarks that are deplorable, despicable, and abominable and unconscionable. It hurts me.”
I retort with:
“Most people have seen worse things in private than they pretend to be shocked at in public.” – Edgar Watson Howe
From the actions of Michael Richards and Mel Gibson has come a climate of political correctness that seems to only affect white people. Richards took the brunt from an incident started by hecklers in the crowd who had no right to interfere with his show. Richards took things to an extreme and suffered the consequences. Gibson was a drunken fool, speaking things that shouldn’t be spoken. Both have paid a price for their speech and rightly so.
But what about the people from the black community who are racist and get a free pass? Al Sharpton said the airways should not be used to “call children hard-core hos, nappy-headed hos. None of us have the right to use the public airways to express our bigotry.” Lest we forget that he used those airwaves in 1991 to refer to a Jew as a “white interloper” and Jews in general as “diamond merchants” when dealing with the Crown Heights riots that he helped inflame.
Like his buddy Jessie Jackson, who during his 1988 Presidential bid referred to New York City as “Hymietown,” they seem to be above being held accountable for racism because they are black. They continue to remain respected in the public spotlight regardless of the racist slurs they have used in public discourse. I guess it’s alright to hold Imus to a more strict standard because he is white.
Imus’ life is now in shambles. The lives of the Rutgers women are not. They are going on with their lives because they were only offended, but in no way hurt, by the comments. The old phrase of “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me” still rings true. Imus didn’t incite anything by his speech, like calling for violence against minorities. He only told a joke that has been told many times before by black comedians. They can say that, a white man cannot.
I hereby state that black people are no longer allowed to get a free pass in using the words “cracker,” “honkey,” or “white devil” as they are offensive to my people. It’s time for people to realize that we either need to ban all derogatory words from public discourse or understand that no matter how offensive speech can be, they are only words. People need to calm down and realize that ending a man’s career because of a joke in poor taste isn’t something to be taken lightly.
I feel bad for the women of Rutgers, but not bad enough that a man’s livelihood should be lost because they can’t take a joke.
Is it really anyone’s right to remove someone from an argument because you don’t agree with what they say? My main problem with all of this is that no one is so perfect and “above the law” that they can throw stones at someone who says something unpopular. I place my faith in the free market. Let the public change the channel is if they were voting. If people don’t like the speech, shun it and advertisers will pull out. The show would be finished and it would have been done in a fair way, not because Al Sharpton and his mobile infantry of cronies attached their media hooks and began to gnaw.
Now, it’s only a matter of time before the “PC Police” begin their quest to censor America… mark my words… or as Van Wilder would say, “Write that down.”