Last week, Don Imus called the black women who play for the Rutgers women's basketball team “nappy-headed hos.” Hey, Imus, my hair is “nappy.” Does the texture of my hair make me a “ho" or a "jigaboo?"
Am I not a woman?
Sure, ad hominem attacks are part of Imus’ tired shtick but he crossed the line when he imputed racial inferiority and low morals to black women because our hair is kinky.
The National Association of Black Journalists has called for the immediate removal of Imus and his producer, Bernard McGuirk. In a statement, NABJ President Bryan Monroe said:
His so-called apology comes two days after the fact, and it is too little, too late.
Imus has had a history of racial insults on his program, having called award-winning journalist Gwen Ifill of PBS a “cleaning lady” and referring to columnist William Rhoden of the New York Times as “a quota hire.”
As journalists, we firmly believe in the First Amendment and free speech. But free speech comes with responsibility, and sometimes with consequences. His removal must be that consequence.
These were nothing but hard working student athletes — young women, just trying to do their best. After 40 years on the air, it is clear that he has lost touch with all that is decent and honorable in America. It is time for him to go.
Somewhere we must draw the line in what is tolerable in mainstream media. We cannot keep going through offending us and then apologizing and then acting like it never happened. Somewhere we've got to stop this.
Sharpton plans to apply some street heat. He will organize pickets outside CBS Radio, which owns WFAN, Imus' radio home, and NBC, which owns MSNBC, which simulcasts his radio show, if Imus isn’t gone by the end of the week.
To send a message to WFAN General Manager Chuck Bortnick and Karen Mateo, Communications Vice President of CBS Radio, click here.
At the same time, we must apply heat in the suites of the show’s advertisers, which include the New York Stock Exchange, the New York Times, Newsday, Random House and Simon & Schuster, and in the suites where political consultants advise their candidates whether to appear on Imus’ show.
To file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, click here.