April 13, 2007

"For a few days, it seemed as if Don Imus would somehow pull out of the death spiral."

I liked this media analysis by David Carr, about why the Don Imus affair became the perfect storm:
“All the elements were there,” said James Carville, the political consultant who has appeared on the show and has seen a few stories blow up in his time. “You had some dry brush, gasoline, high winds, no rain and low humidity and before you know it, man, it was a wildfire.”

Carr goes through all the elements, so read the whole thing, but this one seemed especially apt to me:
THE WRONG VICTIMS Speaking of targets, Mr. Imus chose poorly. “Imus has a long history of saying far more negative, divisive things,” said Robert M. Entman, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University. “In this case, he chose a college basketball team. College athletics is sacred in our culture in a way. We tell ourselves that it is a place that we have transcended race. This was an attack on the purity of sport, student athletes who are not paid to perform. In picking on a whole team, he chose the wrong noun to go with the adjectives.”

He also picked on the wrong coach. C. Vivian Stringer protects her posse; her eloquent, aggressive defense of the team — and the obvious class of the players at the podium — made for riveting television with a great deal of emotional content. The Rutgers institutional decision to treat the affair as a teachable moment put Mr. Imus in an even deeper hole.
Carr also notes that YouTube kept things going in a new way, and this led me to go look at the clip. Previously, I'd only read the "nappy headed ho" remark. Now, I was hearing the whole context, which included the sidekick persisting in degrading the black women, and portraying them as unfeminine compared to the white players and using the over-the-top word "jigaboos."

Having seen that clip, I'm now much less sympathetic than I was to Imus before. That was truly disgusting.

I've got to run and do my radio show, as noted below. I'll update and say more later. Let me just add that I don't watch sports and I had no fervor about the basketball championships or I might have had a more heated reaction to the nastiness. When people you already have warm feelings about are insulted, you get angrier faster.

76 comments:

Freder Frederson said...

Kind of late to the game, aren't you?

And not that it matters, but the Tennessee team they were comparing them to, is majority black (8 of 10 players, justly like Rutgers) too.

Todd and in Charge said...

That's not his "sidekick," it's the producer of the show. That guy is worse than Imus.

Sawbuck in Virginia said...

Please note, Bernard McGurk's reference to "Jiggaboos and Wannabes" was a reference to characters in Mr. Spike Lee's film "School Daze". And we all know how fair-minded Mr. Lee is toward caucasians. Context IS important.

As idiotic as Imus' comments were, his apologies have been sincere and contrite. The fair weather friends of the media who spent years sucking up to him on the air for rating and book sales are the more shameful actors in this fiasco.

And MSNBC hires Mike Barnacle to replace Imus? Oh yes, the suits at 30 Rock have learned something from all this. He is just like Imus in the cranky old man schtick, but not at all funny!

What this boils down to is Mr. Imus being hammered for being an asshole. Fair enough. Anyone watched C-SPAN lately? There is a LONG list.

All the race baiters were out in force. Sharpton and Jackson - two of the great shakedown and blackmailers of our epoch. Even Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were piling on. Shameless grandstanders. And Dr. King is spinning in his grave. Again.

Who's next? And can we get a pool going on how long it takes for Imus to be back on radio and bigger than before?

Invisible Man said...

Ditto to Freder's point, Ann. Maybe next time, instead of reacting to the liberals reaction to the incident, you will just react to the incident. People can make Al Sharpton the issue if they want, but Imus and his bigoted remarks against those girls are the issue.

And to the racial makeup for the teams, Imus was really commenting on the "light skin vs. dark skin" component that is an unfortunate legacy of slavery where "light skin" blacks because of their mixed blood were given favor over their purely African counterparts. Thus his jiggabos comment that brought up an issue from Spike Lee's "School Daze" that partially examined how that inter-race strife has been carried down through the years based merely on skin complexion differences. Tennessee players, with their generally lighter hue and for his arguments sake more-attractive appearance, were thus compared to the darker-skinned Rutgers.

I can't say that I wasn't slightly ammused that Imus even understood that kind of internal-strife amongst African-Americans, but his bigoted remarks against those girls to bring up that issue were more than inappropriate.

Pogo said...

The fury and hurt expressed in the response from the commentariat demanding Imus's job awakened me to an idea I thought quite unlikely before.

But now I see it may be true.

The degree of anger for such a stupid comment by a minor player on a minor TV show tells me that the black community, despite the advances of the past decades, is still very, very weak.

Weak in the sense of certitude in its own morals, integrity, and resilience. I was left quite surprised, for it would have been an over-reaction by any mature adult response measure. It suggests a culture still based on shame, which explains the over-dependence on the notion of "disrespect".

Sad, really, for it cannot be fixed by speech codes. Such cultures are internally destructive.

Invisible Man said...

Just saw sawbuck's ocmment that brought up the same jiggabos issue from School Daxe. The biggest note to your statement sawbuck is that despite the fact that it was from a Spike Lee movie, the word "jiggaboo" is considered a slur even amongst African-Americans. You can use the argument for the N-word that it is used between African-Americans, but I promise that if you hear an African-American call an African-American woman a jiggabo, an Ann Althouse-level take down is about to occur.

bill said...

C. Vivian Stringer protects her posse

*Posse. Seems an inept choice of word.

Invisible Man said...

Pogo, screw you and your white-supremecist view of African-Americans. You have never gone through half of the struggle that African-Americans have gone through just to survive in this country. Their is historical fact that we, as only maybe Native Americans could understand, have faced this country down in its level of oppression. And instead of attempting to destroy this country as other oppressed people have done, we took whatever this country gave us and stood strong in the face of its adversity. Your bigoted remarks only show what a fool that you are in not understanding how hard African-Americans had to fight just to avoid being spit on in the streets, or to vote, or to not be enslaved based on our ancestry.

I'm glad that your comment will live on so that people can remember what a bigot you are.

SteveR said...

Thankfully we live in a society where we are forgiven for our trespasses, if not by society, by those who are told by their Lord and Saviour, not seven but seventy seven times. You folks like "reverands" and such.

No? Well never mind.

I know Hillary's people are happy, he was not at all fooled by her act.

dax said...

Invisible man - Give me a break with your artificial outrage and holier than thou attitude.
So because a person isn't Black, he is not entitle to an opinion or a comment? Gee, I've never been to Iraq or Mars. In your world can I comment about them?
If Mr. Sharpton and the so called Black leaders would address the REAL PROBLEMS OF BLACK AMERICA with the same fervor they attacked Imus with, they might get something done. That is if they want to.

AllenS said...

The word "jiggaboo" is not in my dictionary, however entering the word in Google gave me this:

Jiggaboo Jones - The Number One Nigger in Amercia talks about Life Politics and crime

It's a web site. Don't go there and look around. Sorry Invisible, but a whole lot more blacks than you think use the word.

Freder Frederson said...

Tennessee players, with their generally lighter hue and for his arguments sake more-attractive appearance

That comment didn't even make sense. Only one of Tennessee's seven (I misspoke before) black players can be described as light-skinned. The guy was just excited by the idea of using the term "jigaboo" on the radio.

Sawbuck in Virginia said...

Invisible Man - I was not defending anyone's use of any of the words - but if we are going to start handling out capital punishment in the workplace (which is what termination is after all) we need to enforce it across the board.

So if Imus gets fired for saying a prohibited word, and is further punished when his employee McGurk makes a reference to a film, then every single person who repeated the comments or did a news story and showed the clip of the comments is equally guilty of uttering the slur.

Are we going to fire them too?

And meanwhile, Rosie O'Donnell still has her gig; and all of the NBC News flacks who perjered themselves in the Libby Trial; and all of the media types who rushed to judgment in the Duke case will all have their jobs tomorrow. There is a lack of proportionality here.

The punishment needs to be crafted to fit the offense. You don't kill people for being assholes, you punish in order to correct the behavior.

Imus and crew have said many, many worse things for a very, very long time about a whole host of persons - the crime here is that he commented about persons not in the public eye - and to my mind he has shown sincere contrition for the error.

That he erred is not at issue, he did. Imus has said so repeatedly. That the usual suspects, including the Rutgers Coach want to claim victim status for LIFE and take away a persn's livelihood over this is simply pathetic and overkill.

I doubt any member of the team will look at this event as the moment when all their dreams turned to ash - Or maybe they should just join the Royal Navy now and admit to the world name-calling will break them like dry twigs.

As a result of Imus' sincere apologies and open admission he crossed a line - what a refreshing concept actually taking responsibility for your own actions! - I have more respect for Imus, even if he remains an asshole, over any of the chorus of media types who whored him for years to make a buck, and now that the tap is try are pretending they never knew the guy.

Sticks and stones, folks. Have we ALL become eggshell plantiffs in this country?

Todd and in Charge said...

Free market seemed to work fine here; his listenership has declined, making him a less valuable property.

His advertisers dropped him, making it a no-brainer from an economic perspective.

If anything, this will help his career in the long-term as he has suddenly become "relevant," rather than a cranky old unfunny former addict.

Of course he'll get another job and come back stronger than before.

B said...

Excellent comments above.

As I've posted before, Imus is a pea-brain. But this circus parade of politically correct fear . . .

And Ann, I'm frankly embarassed at your being manipulated by the public relations ability of the Rutgers admin. These are not retarded children women rising to heights never before seen. These are women who play sports, carry themselves well, act dignified - until they let a pr flack tell them how to word their statements for emotional hit. Then they are, well, what's the word for selling your dignity for someone else's purposes? I watched it live - I was ashamed for these young adults drama coached efforts - American Idol hand in the back talking points. They had an opportunity to speak and show greatness by condemning and then forgiving, showing themselves to be greater than the situation, not just pc actors - but no,they caved to political correctness. I'm ashamed of them and their school. They are still children, unable to stand on their own and do the right thing. I guess they have to play the pc game.

The David Carr article on Imus that you should read is the one on the first day of this: "With Imus, They Keep Coming Back". As sawbuck said above

And meanwhile, Rosie O'Donnell still has her gig; and all of the NBC News flacks who perjered themselves in the Libby Trial; and all of the media types who rushed to judgment in the Duke case will all have their jobs tomorrow. There is a lack of proportionality here.

So Ann, what say you about your favored media types and their spineless responses?

Invisible Man said...

Dax,

Are you kidding me? Holier than thou. Pogo just called a whole race of people "weak" and I'm the righteous one. Even in my response, I don't label white people as evil or racist or something else, because I look at people as individuals not as a whole which seems so easy for many of the commentors to do with black people. If you want to dissect the terms racism and bigot, you'll find that labeling a whole group based on some ill-informed judgment would probably be a good qualifier.

And there is nothing "artificial" in my outrage in the oppression of people. Spend some time watching a documentary on the "Civil Rights Movement" or slavery and tell me how "artificial" it is.

And as to your point Freder about the Tn. team, I just went with Imus and his producer's bigoted diatribe. I think they were just focusing on Candice Parker who would be considered "ligher-skinned" and is the most recognizable of all of the girls on both teams. I've seen the teams and would never have made some "Jiggabos vs. Wannabees" analysis of them if we weren't commenting on Imus' remarks. I agree with you that he probably just got off by using "jiggaboo".

Cedarford said...

Invisible Man - And instead of attempting to destroy this country as other oppressed people have done, we took whatever this country gave us and stood strong in the face of its adversity.

The little matter of burned and decayed cities and astronomically high crime rates nonwithstanding...the obvious reason why blacks did not embark on a serious attempt to take over this country and eliminate other races, as was done in Haiti, besides their innate heroic goodness - is perhaps knowledge they would have lost any serious race war. This isn't Haiti or Zimbabwe. Blacks attempting to openly destroy America in a 2nd Civil War has a guaranteed loser race, and it isn't the whites or hispanics. Which is why anytime some black militants threaten to destroy America, just keep in mind it is a suicidally delusional notion..
As has been noted by many blacks visiting Africa, including Mohammed Ali, though jokingly - getting on that slave ship rather than staying in Africa was a good move.

Invisible Man - You have never gone through half of the struggle that African-Americans have gone through just to survive in this country. Their is historical fact that we, as only maybe Native Americans could understand, have faced this country down in its level of oppression.

Well, by the same concept that whites, Asians, hispanics cannot criticize blacks because "they just don't understand the victimology" - if you buy that - blacks cannot criticise other races or even begin to understand the inner nature of a caucasion like Imus, a Jewish or Korean interloper in Al Sharpton's neighborhood...so they should shut up.

Sawbuck - That the usual suspects, including the Rutgers Coach want to claim victim status for LIFE and take away a persn's livelihood over this is simply pathetic and overkill.

I was surprised by Ann Althouse being suckered by all the media about the pure nobility of the Coach and the Rutgers team. They have a years-old reputation for thuggery and trash-talking. They were short of seniors this year because one was arrested for felony assault this summer, another left under cloudy circumstances.
The televised conference was nearly wall to wall victimhood claims by the coach in a 30-minute speech on how awful it was and only her and the players moral superiority allowed them to prevail. Then a few of the players played the victim card too - talked about how the words of some old guy they never knew existed "scarred their lives forever", "ruined our moment of triumph not having any seniors but still making it to Finals", "Demeaned our courage and hard work", "Devalued us", etc.

Shades of Kaplan and the Hmong. Same script.

Pogo said...

Re: "Pogo, screw you...etc. etc."

Thanks, Invisible Man, you prove my point exactly. Too bad, really. Such weakness is entirely self-destructive.

I hate Imus. Never listened to him except surfing by. Is he racist? Who cares? Don't listen to him. Shun him. Fire him. I don't really care, and neither should you. But the ferocity of the reaction exposes a significant inability to maintain persoanl integrity in the face of a minor threat.

Me? I don't believe there is a thing called "race". Genetically it doesn't mean much, if anything more than skin color. And over time the intermarriage between these groups has made such distinctions less and less meaningful.

There are, instead, cultures. Some are advanced, as I see the West. Some are not, such as Islam. American "Black" culture has aspects of both shame and guilt cultures. The Imus brouhaha is a classic "shame" response, a weak and inferior one. Your reaction is the same.

P.S. I'll have to tell my black cousin, sister-in-law, nephews, niece and my daughter's boyfriend the bad news. No; instead I'll just think you a fool. Grow up.

Invisible Man said...

Oh great, the classic my best friend is black so I can't be a bigot or a racist. That's a great logical argument. You want to talk weakness, your extreme arrogance is yours. It's displays your insecurities about your status in society that you need to make gross generalizations about "culture" to use your words that you have never shown the aptitude to even understand. Keep telling yourself that your not a bigot and that you "get it", so that you can ignore it all.

And for the record, if you look up my posts you'll see that I didn't even care if he got fired. I personally think his views are barbaric, but hey that's his right. But it's also my right to expose bigoted views like his and the one's that you've expressed about African-American "culture".

johnstodder said...

A lot of red herrings here.

First of all, the easy one. The fact that Bernard McGuirk was referring to the Spike Lee film makes no difference whatsoever. The word "jigaboo" coming out of his mouth is offensive, period. He's not Spike Lee. He's a guy who, himself, has a long history of derogatory comments against virtually all identifiable ethnic and social groups in America. His role as Imus' id was a conscious strategy of the show.

Secondly, this is seriously lame:

The degree of anger for such a stupid comment by a minor player on a minor TV show tells me that the black community, despite the advances of the past decades, is still very, very weak.

Weak in the sense of certitude in its own morals, integrity, and resilience. I was left quite surprised, for it would have been an over-reaction by any mature adult response measure. It suggests a culture still based on shame, which explains the over-dependence on the notion of "disrespect".


Imus was not fired because of African-American outrage. He was fired because of American outrage, including such oppressed groups as General Motors and Les Moonves.

That Sharpton inserted himself into the matter is a separate element. Lots of opportunists were bound to attach themselves to this issue. But many of you are confusing cause with effect.

Imus wasn't fired because of Sharpton and Jesse. He was fired because he and his show are an ugly repository of bigotry, and those who have been profiting from it finally were exposed as profiting from hate.

Sharpton and Jesse are just the first in a parade of lame pinheads who will now proceed to lecture us on What it All Means. But to defend Imus just because Sharpton and Jackson opposed him is to put yourself in their sway far more than you'd probably want to admit.

Pogo said...

Re: "Oh great, the classic my best friend is black..."
Really? Someone can be racist ands have a black best friend? What a curious definition of 'racist' you have, Invisible Man.

"gross generalizations about "culture"...that you have never shown the aptitude to even understand."
Say what? Does this actually mean something?
I posited an argument about cultures, and you are using the canard that, not being black, I cannot possibly truly understand...etc. etc.
I call bullshit. Quick example: Chris Rock mocks white people? Very funny, actually. I laugh. Any white comic mocks black people? Enter career death spiral.
Maybe you can explain the difference to me, if it's not the cultural problem I claim.

"Keep telling yourself that your not a bigot and that you "get it", so that you can ignore it all."
Okay by me, as long as you're cool with it. And maybe you can show me the genetic proof that there is a significant DNA difference between "races". That is, prove they exist. You cannot.

"But it's also my right to expose bigoted views like his and the one's that you've expressed about African-American "culture"."
I see. The definition of "bigoted" is disagrees with Invisible Man, or criticizes black culture in any way."

That, to be sure, is an excellent example of how shame-based people and cultures respond to criticism. I am open to correction, but you have not shown me wrong here, just called me names to shut down the debate. It's a pretty useful trump card, to be sure, but it's still bullshit.

Pogo said...

Re: "Imus was not fired because of African-American outrage. He was fired because of American outrage"

Outrage? Over that remark?
Jayzuz on a half-shell. Seems the word has entirely lost its meaning, if people are "outraged" so easily. In fact, the Left has remained "outraged" for 7 long years, screaming and whining every step of the way.
When isn't the left outraged? it's their natural state, just set at idle.

bearing said...

Pogo didn't call "a whole race of people" weak. He called a community weak.

Strong and weak individuals, good and bad individuals, together can form a weak community. The question is, what is the dominant culture in that community like?

So --- drop the straw man; it won't burn here.

Freder Frederson said...

When isn't the left outraged? it's their natural state, just set at idle.

Gee Pogo, and the right isn't outraged? Do you ever read what Cedarford writes? Every single minority group and every white person who lives in Europe is out to destroy the White Christian American male. The whole Fox Network and right wing network (and you) thrive on the outrages of the anti-American treasonous actions of what is now the opinion of well over half of the country on the Iraq war. It is not the left that declares half the country as "traitors" and "godless" or laments that the government of Sudan can't even get a genocide right.

Joe Baby said...

If the "black community" is serious about preventing racist and misogynism we'll see some activity on the subject of filth music, which is obviously far more damaging to young people.

But with folks already saying Imus is to blame for his remarks, but music companies are the ones to blame for trashy music, I doubt anything much will be done.

Pogo said...

Freder, to suggest that concerns about treason and the death of the West, howevermuch warranted, and complaints about a has-been minor lefty disc jockey's racial "insensitivity" equally warrant "outrage" tells me the left is as unserious as I had feared.

The right limits outrage to serious things, mostly. The left is the one with the If you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention bumper sticker.

A simpler equation:
Imus < Islam.
No.
Imus ≪ √Islam ÷2

The Jerk said...

The right limits outrage to serious things, mostly.

Yeah, like Robert Mapplethorpe, John Kerry's remark about being stuck in Iraq, bloggers on John Edwards' campaign staff, blowjobs, prayer in schools, flag-burning, gay marriage...

These are all really serious issues.

Galvanized said...

For one, I'm glad to see society going in this direction. It's exactly what civil rights is all about. The good ol' boys who pick on minorities should go, even while voicing regrets.

However, if we are to avoid regressing in the future, we've got to make sure that these same standards hold to everyone in media.

I understand that in music, for instance hip hop, those are arts and meant to reflect culture and express emotions. So that kind of language will, I guess, continue.

But in the news media -- reporting, talk show, social commentary -- these standards need to be upheld in ALL circles -- white, African-American, Hispanic. There should be no double-standard anymore -- segregation of language -- where, for example, things said between groups are considered insulting while, if it is black-on-black, are considered acceptable or joking slang while other groups are held to a different standard.

One example -- a girl hearing behind herself, "Damn, that bitch is thoed," should be able to consider it an insult no matter who says it or of whom it is said. If not, one group will always be considered coarser and inferior, which works against all of society.

We will never be an equal and fair society until all rules go for all people. It's no longer about being PC; it's about simply being respectful of all others in a diverse society.

Joe Baby said...

If only Imus had sang his comment, with McGuirk playing beatbox.

It's music! Artistic!

Fritz said...

Total BS. " College athletics is sacred in our culture in a way."
Tell that to the Duke Lacrosse players. This was pure African American cultural victimhood. I hate it, I can't stand it. I find this trope so counter productive to too many Americans. The better world was during the anthrax scare, when charges that the postal workers were affected because they were black, that trope ended in one day. Compare that to 4 years later, Katrina, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

Dogtown said...

Blacs in this country not only have made incredible strides over the past 40 years, they also enjoy status as a protected class. Like women, they're treated like children, by the media, by the courts, and by the general population. This is why some dumb comment by an old white fart can break their fragile sense of self to the extent that it becomes a national issue.

Slavery was this country's Original sin, and America will never completely expunge this fact from its makeup. However, since the mid-1900s, we have done more than any other country to rid our society of racism and bring equality to all. But, just as there will always be racists, there will always be race manipulators like Al Sharpton and Althouse's commenter Invisible Man who either have a personal agenda or simply are weenies and powderpuffs.

Blacks are not Magic People. They're no more clean, or pure, or flawless as whites, and therefore they shall be held to the same standards. The best thing that can come from this imbroglio is that the Sharptons and Jacksons and the purveyors of gansgter rap are held aloft to reveal how they pollute American society in general, and the black community in particular. But I'll put my money on the media and the blacks continuing to sell out the community in favor of the status quo.

Fritz said...

InvisibleVictim,
Can one even fathom what an emancipated slave would think, after having traveled 100's of miles searching for his broken up family, to listen to his decedents justify the abandonment of their children in his name?

Justice Thomas was told by his grandfather, that he would have to work twice as hard to get half as far, but that he was going to do it. Here this man sits on the SCOTUS and is ridiculed as a sellout.

Kevin said...

Re: "The Jerk said...Yeah, like Robert Mapplethorpe, John Kerry's remark about being stuck in Iraq, bloggers on John Edwards' campaign staff, blowjobs, prayer in schools, flag-burning, gay marriage..."

Read otherwise as:
Gov't funding pornography, Defeatism vs. Victory in Iraq, anti-Catholic bias in a major President candidate's staff, a President lying under oath, the limits of school-state separation, the basis for Western civilization

Small concerns only if by your artful papraphrasing.

The Jerk said...

Small concerns only if by your artful papraphrasing.

Only if by "artful paraphrasing" you mean "accurate description," rather than framing every single issue thing that irritates you into some kind of world-historical event. Sadly, that's about all the Right is good at - manufactured outrage over trifles.

The best thing that can come from this imbroglio is that the Sharptons and Jacksons and the purveyors of gansgter rap are held aloft to reveal how they pollute American society in general, and the black community in particular.

If you're actually concerned about this, which I doubt, I'd suggest intervening with the white kids who are the majority of rap listeners.

Jacques Albert said...

What has the Duke lacrosse witch-hunt have to do with the Imus affair? Foolish actions (e.g., hiring strippers for drinking parties have sometimes appalling consequences--especially if they're unstable and vengeful and in particular if there's a hungry politician cum prosecutor on the prowl for votes at any cost). And of course Imus is a puerile fool; NEVERTHELESS,
l'affaire Imus (pronounced "ee-moose") and the scandalous and perverse Duke faculty "88"'s obstinacy both illustrate the obvious general problem with PC, i.e., the attempts (primarily on the left) to intimidate, ridicule, silence, censor and punish all opposition to favoured ideas and "mascots", as the incisive Thomas Sowell has them pegged. Duke University is a case in point, as the home of millionaire Marxists and Stalinists like Frederic Jameson and hosts of other "post-human", "post-colonial", radical feminist "hate-America-at-all-costs" "theorrheists" and "pervessers" teaching in departments like women's, "trans-gender" and ethnic studies or cultural anthropology, or sike, or sosh, or ed, or . . ., which tend to be little more than social and political advocacy clubs masquerading as academic disciplines. Once in a while these well-off but sullen ideological extremists, as was said of Byron, dabble in evil to make themselves interesting and "relevant", as in the shameful Duke lacrosse scandal and trial by left-wing faculty and media. The poisonous combination of magic thinking, pernicious conspiracy theorizing and arch Schadenfreude of these "pervessers" helped fan the flames of misplaced outrage in the whole affair. The sinister hand of the Duke faculty "88" reminds one of the Rigoberta Menchu hoax in the 90s and its ideological after-life, when ideological martinets on the left expressed forms of the perverse view that "it should have been true, THEREFORE, it was".

Perhaps it's time for a faculty diversionary sport: How about attacking President Bush again?

Finally, perhaps the triumphant Rutgers basketball team should, like all intercollegiate gladiators and like Plato's ennervating poets, be loaded with honours and then quietly and respectfully be escorted out of the republic of higher education. And perhaps a compromise could be struck in abolishing all intercollegiate sports except perhaps croquet, chess, Scrabble and cribbage--after all, a famous English royalist poet invented it!--for wouldn't that (i.e., equality in nullity) precisely fulfill the letter of Title IX? Time also to rid the colleges and universities of a seedy and corrupt entertainment industry. If university prezzes wish to delude themselves by fancying this kind of operation, led by half-literate jock-capos making several multiples of the nation's prez's salary, "brings in money", let them turn to some more reputable enterprise, say, casinos or brothels.

Jacques Albert said...

correction: "enervating"

Pogo said...

"Only if by "artful paraphrasing" you mean "accurate description,"
...manufactured outrage over trifles."


Well, if a President exchanging jobs for sex, a Presidential candidate who hires a maliscious anti-religion blogger, paying for photos of whips in rectums with tax money, the meaning of Constitutional limits between state and the church, are all very minor items to you, you're unserious.

I'll give you the flag-burning issue, though. It was and remains a stupid topic.

Elizabeth said...

Someone can be racist ands have a black best friend? What a curious definition of 'racist' you have, Invisible Man.

Pogo, in responding to this, let me first state clearly that I am not calling you racist. Your rhetorical question above is mistaken, though. Certainly, without a doubt, one can have close friends of other races and still be racist. I have seen it all my life, growing up in the South. I witnessed that phenomenon with my father, who held some deeply racist beliefs, yet had two very close black friends while he served in the military. It's simply a matter of seeing those friends as exceptional. The ability of people to hold contradictory thoughts is well-proven.

Revenant said...

Pogo, screw you and your white-supremecist view of African-Americans.

Eh, Pogo's take was accurate. If you think that makes him a white supremacist that's your problem.

Black commentators and entertainers make nasty racist remarks about white people all the time. I don't demand that they be fired. I don't even typically demand an apology. I just ignore them and refuse to patronize the stations they broadcast on.

That the black community can't take a similar approach to racist remarks by white entertainers suggests that the black community lacks the self-esteem necessary to shrug off remarks from ignorant bigots.

Pogo said...

Re: "...a matter of seeing those friends as exceptional"

I was hoping you were here; as I thought your view would be a good one.

I expect you are right; certainly such examples exist all over the world. I was indeed exagerrating, perhaps even baiting a bit.

But I do argue that one could not seriously entertain the idea -in the US, in 2007- of having a best friend and simultaneously hate his/her "race" (again, whatever the hell that is).

Said otherwise, if your best friend learnt of your (likely) hidden animosity (for how could such hatred be open and the two remain close?) to others of your skin color, how long would he remain a friend, let alone the best one?

Although, people are funny, and I am sure there are stranger unions than a bigot and the exception.

johnstodder said...

Pogo, you missed my point. Imus wasn't fired because of some kind of extreme sensitivity on the part of blacks, nor because blacks are a "protected class," as another commenter said.

He was fired because what he said was inappropriate for a broadcaster to say in the mass media. It was racist and ugly. Imus' show was not sustainable as a commercial enterprise after he said this. His show depends on getting prestige guests from the media and politics. It was pretty obvious he wasn't going to get them anymore. Plus advertisers that sell products to the mass market were clearly going to find other places to put their ads. Imus' bogus little carnival of crude insults dressed up with pseudo-insidery news chat was finally chased out of town.

This isn't a case of a celebrity uttering a foolish comment that offends a designated group, leading to ritual apologies. If Imus had never done anything like this before, he'd still be on the air after maybe a brief suspension -- just as Rush Limbaugh is still on the air, Mel Gibson still makes movies and Ann Coulter still publishes successful books. The plain fact is, Imus didn't belong on the public air before he made this latest comment. The comment was no aberration. It was the essence of what his show had turned into.

Pogo and others, you want to make this episode fit into the PC-police meme. Normally, I might agree with you. But this guy isn't worth breaking your pick over.

Besides, Imus will be back on satellite radio, as soon as he settles a payoff with his former employers. His new show probably will have to get by without the high-rent guests. It'll be all derogatory comments all the time, if that's what his fans like. As for Sharpton and Jackson -- hey, a stuck clock is correct twice a day, right?

The Jerk said...

Well, if a President exchanging jobs for sex, a Presidential candidate who hires a maliscious anti-religion blogger, paying for photos of whips in rectums with tax money, the meaning of Constitutional limits between state and the church, are all very minor items to you, you're unserious.

Some of these issues are unserious, even as you described them. Others you abstract to a high level of generality to make them appear more serious than they are.

Oh, and by the way, saying "if you don't agree with me, you're unserious," is not an argument serious people make.

MadisonMan said...

Elizabeth, you make a good point, but I wonder if the black friends considered your father a best friend, or as just another white man.

Some of my best friends are (whatever). When I hear someone say that, it usually doesn't give me a warm feeling about them (because they're usually invoking it to justify something distasteful).

Joe Baby said...

XM/Sirius merger awaits approval. I seriously doubt Imus would be signed by either before the merger is approved/denied.

Internet Ronin said...

RE: What Tood & In Charge wrote ... Yep! Capitalism does work - isn't that marvelous?

RE: What John Stodder wrote ... Always nice when someone level-headed posts. (This goes for your prior comments on this subject, too.)

RE: What Elizabeth wrote ... Although I've never lived in the South, I know that to be a fact of life.

RE: What Sawbuck what wrote ... You certainly haven't taken the high road, so why should anyone else? And no, Dr. King is not spinning in his grave. This is precisely the type of public behavior that he spent his life opposing.

RE: What Pogo wrote ... Wow, I don't know what to write because I generally have a very high regard for your opinions. All that comes to mind at the moment is Healy's Law: "When you find yourself in a ditch, quit digging." I doubt it will be appreciated, but it is what I think.

RE: What Freder wrote ... Are you conducting "paper bag" tests now? (Elizabeth will probably know what I mean if you don't.)

RE: What Galvanized wrote ... Hope you are right. Unfortunately for all of us, I'm not optimistic.

Internet Ronin said...

Elizabeth --- My comment doesn't read clearly to me. so I want to say I agree with what you wrote and have had similar experiences although I've never lived in the South.

Pogo said...

Re: "He was fired because what he said was inappropriate for a broadcaster to say in the mass media."
Your review of the economics behind the firing is spot on. But it was considereed inappropriate precisely because ...why?


"saying "if you don't agree with me, you're unserious," is not an argument serious people make. "
Which is why I don't make it. But your declaring something a trifle does not make it so, no matter how cute the words come out.

Ronin
I appreciate the warning, and figured I was now in fact hole-digging. I am reminded that I have posted before that one cannot cannot cannot ever post anything negative about women or non-whites. Ever. Beth seemed to think that was whining. I stand against that still.

The "Shame culture" stuff was stolen right out of sociology discussion material. But it is apparent that that discussion is no longer allowed in the US. Senator Moynihan has said much the same thing in the past, but he'd not be permitted that latitutude today.

So screw it. I stand corrected. Invisible Man is right. I am a bigot. As is Imus and all whites who don't apologize to Rev. Sharpton. Wonder if I can still get on his show.

Fire Imus?
Arrest Imus.
Behead Imus.
Let the healing begin.

Freder Frederson said...

If you think that makes him a white supremacist that's your problem.

Actually, it is Pogo's problem as he has quite clearly stated that he is indeed a white supremacist. How else are we supposed to interpret this statement:

"to suggest that concerns about treason and the death of the West, howevermuch warranted"

With this and many other statements on this site he has, in no uncertain terms, indicated that he believes that Western European civilization and the refinements of it that white Americans imprinted on it (at least until some time before liberals--I daresay around the time of the Civil Rights Act--started to ruin everything with their radical and libertine ideas) is the apex of human civilization. If that is not white supremacy, I don't know what is.

Pogo's only problem with black people (or any other culture) is they can't be like white American Republicans who populated the television shows and the suburbs of the 1950's.

dax said...

Let's swing for the fence for a second.
Who were the ones that 'broke' the Imus story?
For a number of days, this story was off the radar screen in the MSM, but that wasn't the case 'behind the scenes'
The morning that Imus made his now historic statement, he was being monitored, according to the Wall St. Journal, by Ryan Chiachiere of Media Matters for America. That very morning Mr. chiachiere posted the statement on their blog and sent out 'an email blast to several hundred reporters'
http://mediamatters.org/
One peek at their webpage will speak volumes as to their agenda.

Allow me to toss a handgrenade here. Is the affair Imus the openning salvo by the left on their despised talk-radio? We all know about the Fairness Doctrine.
And please don't tell me that Imus isn't a conservative so my premise is wrong.

aquariid said...

It's not about the slavery, it's about how it was justified and defended after the fact. When we adopted a constitution which took equality as its foundation slave owners saw their source of wealth threatened. Then began a campaign to convince everyone that Africans were not exactly "human". As abolitionist sentiments grew in the northern states and Europe the southern economic interests became more aggressive in the defence of slavery. They passed laws against treating the African as an equal. You cannot teach or allow a slave to read. You cannot marry an African. You cannot free a slave. Religious interpretations were promulgated that "proved" the inferiority of the African race.

This is all commonly known. What many white people don't understand is how, after a century and a half, beliefs that are so obviously irrational can still have an effect. It isn't just the exploitation of "victimhood" by Black politicians. The African sees the old arguments still. We never had a "Black Problem", it has always been a "White Problem". We've never admitted that it was all a lie to make money. The uneducated southern whites have been blamed for what they were taught. Religious beliefs were blamed. States Rights were blamed. African cultures were blamed. The fact is that prejudice and discrimination against Blacks is not something that can be lumped in with every other human failing. Our's is a unique American phenomenon created by a conscious, premeditated crime of false propaganda. White people have no right to say that Blacks are oversensitive or employing a double standard. Every racial slur, no matter how it is intended, reminds an African-American that whites sincerely believe them to be sub-human.

The Jerk said...

Which is why I don't make it.

a few hours earlier...

If [a series of issues important to Pogo] are all very minor items to you, you're unserious.

But it was considereed inappropriate precisely because ...why?

Because denigrating someone with racially-charged language and ethnic slurs is generally considered inappropriate.

Pogo said...

Re: "If that is not white supremacy, I don't know what is."

I agree, you don't.

Omaha1 said...

I think this controversy is becoming its own vortex. Now Imus' wife, Deirdre, is encouraging people to send hate mail to her husband:

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=2920105&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.3.1

"if you must send e-mail, send it to my husband," not the team.

"I have to say that these women are unbelievably courageous and beautiful women," she said.

I guess Deirdre should divorce him now, and then we can crucify him, and when he is dead we can cut his body into little pieces and roast them over burning coals on skewers inscribed with the NAACP logo, and feed whatever is left to rats and snakes.

Then we can go after all of the politicians and journalists who have ever appeared on his show, and subject them to the same treatment.

Will that help the Rutgers women's basketball team to regain their fragile self-esteem?

Pogo said...

Re: "Which is why I don't make it."
Jerk, read a little.

I said that you're unserious, not that you're unserious because you don't agree with me, as you claimed.

johnstodder said...

Is the affair Imus the openning salvo by the left on their despised talk-radio?

Opening salvo? That war's been going on for years.

And please don't tell me that Imus isn't a conservative so my premise is wrong.

Imus is not a conservative. He's not anything in particular ideologically. He was a low-rent entertainer. It is odd that he is being re-made into a conservative hero on right-wing blogs, and a conservative villain on the left-wing blogs. It's the vortex-like power of Al Sharpton, I guess. Instinctively, conservatives leap to the defense of anyone the Rev. doesn't like.

Freder Frederson said...

I agree, you don't.

So what is it Pogo. Western cultural supremacy? American Exceptionalism? What underlies your belief that your culture is the apex of human civilization and everyone on earth should be more like you?

dax said...

"Opening salvo? That war's been going on for years"
I don't think so.
Sure, snipping has been going on, but now, a scalp, a BIG talk-radio scalp has been taken.
Also, I don't see any conservatives taking sides with Imus. Not at all.
Being against The Good & Honest Reverends is not to be confused as siding with Imus.

Omaha1 said...

aquariid, I am a member of an American Baptist church, formerly the Northern Baptist denomination, which came into being because of its opposition to slavery, around the time of the Civil War. Am I still guilty of the oppression of blacks? Do I, as the offspring of Northern Baptists, owe some debt to the offspring of slaves? Please, tell me how I can ever redeem myself.

johnstodder said...

Also, I don't see any conservatives taking sides with Imus. Not at all.

You need to get out more. There are many. Not elected officials, to be sure, but various pundits, bloggers and many people on this thread.

To be precise, however, no conservatives are defending his remarks. They're mainly saying his firing is an overreaction, a PC orgy, etc.

The Jerk said...

Pogo, I did read, and your quotes speak for themselves. Given your penchant for ridiculous hyperbole like "the death of the West", your inclination to wildly inflate the importance of items that rub your ideology the wrong way is clear, and I thus feel safe in dismissing your opinion of my seriousness.

Pogo said...

Re: "your inclination to wildly inflate"
Which stands in contrast to your inclination to wildly deflate.

I say Viagra, you say Impotence.

Pogo said...

Freder, "What underlies your belief that your culture is the apex..."

I got my mind right. I got it right, Boss. Please don't hit me no more. The White man's the devil, Boss. And the US, why, it's the worst place what ever existed. Yes.

aquariid said...

Omaha1 said...

aquariid, I am a member of an American Baptist church, formerly the Northern Baptist denomination, which came into being because of its opposition to slavery, around the time of the Civil War. Am I still guilty of the oppression of blacks?


Of course not, neither is Don Imus. I believe that every American who is not Black owes Black Americans (including recent immigrants) the acknowledgement that horrible and pernicious lies were created by some Americans to make money and those lies found their way into our popular culture. A racial slur against a Black is quite different from a slur against any other group because it "contains" those lies, even if the speaker is unaware of it. I don't entirely agree with affirmative action/quotas, or agree at all with making up stories about Cleopatra being Black. My mother's family were French Roman Catholics who owned slaves in Haiti and Louisiana. Before the 1850 law which forbade it they freed some of their slaves. My mom used to tell a story that her family had slaves buried in the New Orleans Catholic cemetary despite an official state ban on "mixing the dead". I don't feel guilty about my ancestors owning slaves, I feel guilty about the lies that were told to justify it and the fact that some of my current relatives still tell those lies.

JFMcNULTY` said...

You are mistaken. His producer was referring to Tennessee's team, which is also largely black, but light-skinned, especially the star. They were making jokes -- bad jokes, but jokes -- about how the girls LOOKED. In fact, he described the Tennessee girls, mainly black girls, as "cute college girls." Imus was referring to the fact that the Rutgers girls looked rough -- with tatoos and nappy hair and not particulary feminine -- like street girls, "Ho's." This was all referring back to a Spike Lee movie, "School Daze," which featured fueding black sorities, one of which had light-skinned girls, the other of which had drark-skinned girls. The light-skinned girls were "colored," while the dark-skinned girls were "jigaboos." Imus made a mistake to make a disparaging remark against college girls, but the charge of "racism" is bunk and asserted only as a make-weight, an excuse for Jackson and Sharpton to get involved and extract their "pound of flesh."

Revenant said...

Actually, it is Pogo's problem as he has quite clearly stated that he is indeed a white supremacist. How else are we supposed to interpret this statement:

"to suggest that concerns about treason and the death of the West, howevermuch warranted"

Well, an intelligent person would probably realize that the West contains members of every race on Earth, and that being pro-West obviously doesn't imply being "pro-white". So an intelligent person would interpret that comment concerns the death of the western culture to which Americans and Europeans of all races belong.

How a person of *your* sort would interpret it, I have no idea.

Revenant said...

This is all commonly known. What many white people don't understand is how, after a century and a half, beliefs that are so obviously irrational can still have an effect. It isn't just the exploitation of "victimhood" by Black politicians. The African sees the old arguments still.

No, "the African" doesn't. I've known Africans, and they do just fine here. They didn't see much evidence of the pervasive racism the career race hucksters constantly complain about.

American blacks are not Africans. They're Americans with dark skin.

Omaha1 said...

aquariid, I'm afraid I don't know what "lies" you are referring to. And I won't attribute guilt for the propagation of racist "lies" to myself or to my predecessors, since they worked to abolish slavery.

Invisible Man said...

I got my mind right. I got it right, Boss. Please don't hit me no more. The White man's the devil, Boss. And the US, why, it's the worst place what ever existed. Yes.

Great non-sequitur Pogo, that surely answered the question. And of course African-Americans are always saying how the US is the worst place in the world and that the white man is the devil. Happens all the time and surely justifies your bigoted outlook on them.

Revenant said...

And I won't attribute guilt for the propagation of racist "lies" to myself or to my predecessors, since they worked to abolish slavery.

In any case, the notion that white Americans owe something to black Americans because of our ancestors' behavior is refuted by the fact that American blacks are better off than residents of Africa are.

The *slaves* were harmed -- *they* were worse off than they would have been otherwise. Their descendants, however, should be thankful their ancestors wound up in America, regardless of how they got here.

Elizabeth said...

I was hoping you were here; as I thought your view would be a good one.

Thanks, Pogo. You make a statement here that nicely identifies where we're talking on different wavelengths:

But I do argue that one could not seriously entertain the idea -in the US, in 2007- of having a best friend and simultaneously hate his/her "race" (again, whatever the hell that is).

That final clause, about hating a race, nails where our language differs. I don't think, to be racist, that one has to hate. And so, it's no mystery to me how someone can truly respect, admire and love a particular person of a particular race, that same someone can hold bigoted assumptions and expectation about their friend's race in general.

In my dad's case, I'd assume that his friends being officers in the U.S. military want a long way toward his allowing himself to see them as something other than black. MM asks a great question, about how those friends felt toward my dad. I suspect there was generosity of spirit that allowed them to like him, but I'd be surprised if they felt truly close and trusting with him. I'll never know; neither my dad nor the people I'm thinking of are alive now.

I do know Dad had to come to terms with the racism he grew up with, and was a better man by the time he died. He loved his family, which includes the women of color my brothers married, and the grandchildren that resulted. He was uncomfortable visiting where he grew up, and felt he was lucky to get the hell off the farm and into the military. He worked with co-workers of other races and liked and respected them. At the same time, he was still paternalistic towards many black people. When we were collecting his things from his office after he died, I stopped by the parking lot to let the attendants know he had passed. The two attendants were both older black men who expressed their sadness at his death. One then shared with me that neither of them could read well, and that my father had been, for many months, spending his lunch hour teaching the two of them to read, using their Bibles. I still don't know if his motives were paternalistic, or if he was perhaps atoning in some way for his racism, or if he just genuinely liked these two men and was happy to be able to offer them his help. I don't doubt they were aware of the various possibilities, and accepted him for who he was, warts and all.

aquariid said...

Revenant & Omaha1:
I don't want to engage in a predictable reactionary debate about "double standards", "oversensitivity" and "political hucksters". The big lie was the dehumanizing of Blacks for economic gain. The fact that it is economically a moot point today doesn't change the harm that resulted from its open acceptance in our culture right up to the middle of the 20th century. I understand why white people resent the "guilt trip". I understand why they resent affirmative action or "restitution for slavery". I have those emotional reactions too. I wouldn't have fired Imus but I would have spanked him publically, figuratively speaking.

As for whether Blacks (you really want to quibble about Africans vs Blacks?) feel prejudiced against, just look at your own reactions to examples of "reverse discrimination". The Black sensitivity is always just below the surface and all it takes to reopen the wound is some outrageous statement by a public figure.

I was just having a little daydream about how helpful it would be if Black people came to realize that all of this racism stuff was really just about money and that white people never actually believed that Blacks were not human beings.

Revenant said...

you really want to quibble about Africans vs Blacks?

Nobody finds the notion that American blacks are "Africans" funnier than Africans themselves do.

The fact that it is economically a moot point today doesn't change the harm that resulted from its open acceptance in our culture right up to the middle of the 20th century.

The fact remains that American blacks are better off than they would have been if their ancestors had been left in Africa. Ergo you can't make a case that they are owed anything.

And obviously you can't make a moral or legal case for punishing people who neither benefited from the exploitation of blacks nor participated in it -- e.g., me -- simply on the basis of my skin color. That sort of attitude is, quite obviously, odiously racist.

Pogo said...

Re: "...and was a better man by the time he died.
...accepted him for who he was, warts and all."


A beautiful tribute, and explanation. One could not truly ask for more from life than these two concepts.

"I don't think, to be racist, that one has to hate."
I see your point. Paternalism as I have understood it, though, seems to contains in it the very opposite of love, as C.S. Lewis has defined it. If not hate, a refusal to consider the other as equally human. So maybe hate's too strong, but I'd rather be hated than be treated as an inferior.

And perhaps that's your point after all.

Invisible Man said...

Elizabeth,

The only point that I'll agree with Pogo on is what a nice tribute that was for your father. I remember visiting my grandfather as a child and meeting some of his white friends who he admitted would never have called him by his first name a few decades earlier but they grew together as time passed. It is a great thing that at least some were able to get past those earlier feelings of racism and learn to see the humanity in each other.

Unfortunately remnants of the past including some of the commenters on this board remain.

Roger said...

Elizabeth--thank you for sharing those thoughts. Extraordinarily special tribute. We are creatures of the milieu in which we grow up so my only hope is that my boys do never judge me by the society that molded me; but rather, like you did your father, the person you are.

Elizabeth said...

Roger, IM, and Pogo, thanks for thinking well of my dad. I miss him; I think he'd have continued changing if he'd gotten the chance.

Pogo, I like the idea of turning to C.S. Lewis here. Thanks for that reminder.