Don Imus and the Rutgers Nappy Headed Hos

The Rev. Al Sharpton wants Don Imus fired for Racist remarks Imus made on-the-air last week about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.

I agree with Al Sharpton even though I have written positively about Imus here in the past.

Sometimes there are things spoken that are so inconsiderate and so hurtful that no apology and no excuse can ever erase the psychological and physical damage done.

Imus, and his show Imus in the Morning, allegedly have a well-documented history of Racism and intolerance and he needs to immediately and permanently leave the airwaves:

The Rutgers team, which includes eight black women, lost the NCAA women’s championship game Tuesday, and Imus was discussing the game with producer Bernard McGuirk. “That’s some rough girls from Rutgers,” Imus said. “Man, they got tattoos …” “Some hardcore hos,” said McGuirk. “That’s some nappy headed hos there, I’m going to tell you that,” Imus said…Recent controversies involving Imus focused on a member of his morning team, Sid Rosenberg, who was fired two years ago after a particularly vile crack about cancer-stricken singer Kylie Minogue. Before that, a racially tinged comment by Rosenberg about Venus and Serena Williams stirred another controversy. The NABJ cited two other incidents in which Imus himself insulted two black journalists. Imus has called PBS’ Gwen Ifill a “cleaning lady” and described William Rhoden of The New York Times as “a quota hire,” the group said.

Howard Stern has always claimed Don Imus called his sidekick, Robin Quivers, “a nigger” when they were all working together in the past at WNBC. Imus, while never admitting he called Quivers a name, did try to excuse any notion of his bad behavior back then by blaming it on his former alcohol and cocaine abuse.

Imus has no escape from his Racism and Bigotry this time. Imus claims he has been clean and sober for 25 years and he so he must own his hate and his words without any equivocation or duplicity. I used to teach at Rutgers and so I feel the need to not only defend those falsely accused of being “nappy headed hos” but to also proclaim the excellence of the school and the high quality of the student body.

Rutgers students are tough and smart. If they get knocked down, they rise to the challenge and overcome any barriers and do even better than before. Just so we know those who were insulted, here is the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Do you see any “nappy headed hos” in this image?

Are there any “nappy headed hos” in this image?

The damage Imus has done to himself and to these fine and innocent women is unknowable. We all realize insulting these women and then seeking their forgiveness in begging a meeting from them is disingenuous and obvious. Why must the onus for healing be placed on the offended instead of in the necessary ongoing suffering of the offender? It fascinates me how those who hurt others with Racist remarks expect those who were insulted to bow down and forgive while the perpetrator continues on untouched.

On his show this morning, Imus began his own ill-fated defense and petty self-aggrandizement-via-apology by claiming the following — instead of just saying in a heartfelt moment — “I did the wrong thing and I’m sorry.”

  • Imus denies he ever said those things about Ifill and Rhoden.
  • Imus said at least five times in an hour he “is a good person who said a bad thing.”
  • Imus said there is a difference between premeditated murder and a gun going off.
  • Imus said his intention was not to hurt the Rutgers women even though he did.
  • Imus has offended everyone for 35 years. That’s his show.
  • Imus calls his wife a “Green Ho” and, while that isn’t right either, that’s the spirit of his show.
  • Imus called Harold Ford Junior “ten times” over the weekend.
  • Imus was called “an n-word lover” for supporting Harold Ford Junior.
  • Imus runs a ranch for kids with cancer and half of those kids are minorities.
  • Imus goes to funerals for Black children.
  • Imus is upset by sickle cell anemia.
  • Imus doesn’t need a “Come to Jesus” moment because he’s already a good person.
  • Imus learned he cannot make fun of everybody because they don’t deserve it.
  • Imus will not attend rehab.
  • Imus will not go to sensitivity training.
  • Imus has fought for benefits for Black soldiers.
  • Imus is not a journalist and his show is not “Meet the Press.”
  • Imus doesn’t want to be “hung” [sic] with things he did not do.

The most interesting part of his self-pitying homily was what his Black pastor friend told him that all Blacks think White people do not like them and Blacks believe that White people — no matter what they do or say — are all Racist in their core and that moment of self-identifying Racism is just waiting to slip out of any White person.

Then, incredibly, Imus said his comment about the Rutgers women just slipped out of his mouth. Even after a three hour apology — Imus still doesn’t get it.