Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Don Imus = old news

I guess if there is one person "happy" about the recent shooting massacre at Virginia Tech has to be Don Imus. This absolutely horrible tragedy has taken Imus off the front pages and talk radio.

I am not here to minimalize that tragedy but I always find it funny when there is a big story getting wall to wall coverage that all of the sudden becomes ignored when an even bigger story occurs.

The biggest example of this that I can remember occured around the time of 9/11. Do you remember what the big story in the weeks leading up to that event? The disappearance of Chandra Levy and the investigation that seemed to point to congressman Gary Condit having something to do with it. Interviewed by the police on two seperate occasions, the 53 year old Condit denied having an affair with the 23 year old Levy but he finally admitted to it after Levy's aunt went public with the details.

Condit was never officially charged with her disappearance. In May of the next year, Levy's remains were found but the case remains unsolved. Condit lost his next election and has faded from public view. But once the tragedy of 9/11 took hold in the media, Levy's story became secondary.

The same thing is currently occuring with Imus. CNN is wall to wall about Virginia Tech. Victim's names are being released, details on the shooter and the fall out for all US college campuses are being discussed.

But lets not forget about Imus. If you haven't actually seen the footage and only know about the "nappy headed hos" comment. Take a look. Is he trying to be funny?


As stated in this blog last week. I don't know where I am on this issue. Obviously those comments are horrible. But what do I care about some 70 year old white guy says on a radio show I don't listen to and a tv show I don't watch.

What about Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson weighing in on the issue. Aren't their bigger issues for us in the black community to worry about? What about these athletes talking about how Imus' comments ruined their season and playing the victim in this? Why are they putting so much weight to what this old codger has to say?

And what about journalist Jason Whitlock who is being interviewed by everyone on this topic. He has a lot of powerful things to say about the issue, the black community and how the hip-hop community is to blame for this.


According to Whitlock about the firing of Imus, "they are sentancing the jaywalker to the death penalty while the real killers are walking free, cashing cheques and writing rap songs." But who is Whitlock? He is a staunch conservative with his own agenda. How can he really be speaking for all African Americans? Before last week, I'd never heard of Jason Whitlock. The irony is that Whitlock is using this event as much to further his career, his agenda just as much as Sharpton and Jackson.

See I write that and I am not sure how strongly I believe it. I heard numerous interviews with Whitlock and I believed a lot of what he said. A lot of what he said really resonated with me. I just think we need to look at all sides. A slo-pitch teammate of mine forwarded Whitlock's now famous article on this topic earlier this week. On first glance, it is a powerful opinion piece. The first paragraph is "Thank you Don Imus. You've given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problems". Fascinating stuff. But read the whole piece a second time with a critical eye, keeping his politics in mind, and then how does it read? Are rap moguls like Russell Simmons really to blame? Or is it society in general?


Since we are talking about basketball, the top 5 basketball movies.
1. Hoop Dreams
2. Hoosiers
3. He Got Game
4. Blue Chips
5. Celtic Pride

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Anonymous 7 said...

A) I knew who Jason Whitlock was before this story - anyone that follows professional sports would. He was on espn for quite some time before he was terminated.

B) It was forwarded in the vein of an interesting perspective on the situation as opposed to a definitive opinion.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Merdus said...

My favourite line of Whitlock's is "Don Imus can't steal your joy." Whatever his personal agenda, that's a true statement; and there's no need for analysis on that front. It's perfectly true and valid: who the f* cares about Imus? I had never heard of either of these guys, and I had never heard that the word "nappy" was derogatory. I thought it was a diaper. When I first heard the comment, I didn't understand what the big deal was. They got diapers on their heads? I guess I'm not up on my hip hop? Anyway, wanda sykes' comments are also very good, I think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6asU25RkwE


9:07 AM  

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