Imus has been in the radio game forever and can probably be credited, more than anyone else, with making William Jefferson Clinton the President of the United States in '92, again, the man's a legend. What he said was wrong, there's no getting around that, though a lot of the whole debate is lost on people. His statements mirror prejudices/fears/insecurities that have long existed among African American women and are understandably offensive to the black community as a whole.
Off Wing Opinion, one of my favorite hockey blogs, had an interesting offering from Jason Whitlock that almost led me to blog on the topic. Witlock had this to say:
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.
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.
The entire article is well worth your time and can be found here. As I said, I was going to sit out this discussion, but then I saw a quote from Snoop Dogg on the fat, pink haired freak's website. Snoop, who regularly raps about "bitches" and ho's" had this to say:
"It's a completely different scenario. (Rappers) are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about hoes that's in the 'hood that ain't doing shit, that's trying to get a nigga for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain't no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them muthafuckas say we are in the same league as him. Kick him off the air forever."Are. You. Serious? I love hip hop and will defend it to my death (or its death if you don't believe Nas that its already dead). There are a lot of really good, positive rappers out there who have a message that society should be hearing. Hip hop still serves as "Black people's CNN" like Chuck D said, but there is so much crap out there that, as Whitlock points out, is so much more insulting to black women. Snoop, I'm not putting you in the same league as Imus, you and your brethren are clearly in a league of your own. If you, being a black man, are able to make your living by "going hard" on black girls record after record, why can't Imus make one statement, especially because he at least makes a distinction, one that is never clear in Snoop's songs.
This is the definition of a double standard, but nobody cares. The white a&r's and presidents of record labels don't care because its bringing in the money, the rappers don't care because its bringing in the money, but why is it okay? Why is it wrong for Imus to say this on the am dial when you can here so many worse insults against black women on the fm side of the dial?