Sunday, April 15, 2007

What rhymes with Imus?

Ok I'm late with my thoughts plus I'm not sure if I can be coherent on this Don Imus thing so here I go in point form.

- I'm waiting for the first hip hop freestyle where the rapper references Don Imus. I had a few ideas myself but I'll hold off.

- Regardless of all the outrage and protests and CNN interviews done by the black 'leaders' and those who speak for Black America one must realize that the market was the deciding factor in Imus's firing. Advertisers decided they were pulling out so Imus got fired. Its that simple! Our so called 'leaders' could have thumped and harangued till the cows came home and ain't a damn thing would have changed without the market making a move. Just realize that.

- Has this issue been overblown? Has Imus been given more status than he deserves? Some say yes some say no. I say he was a public figure and should have known better. Also I think his excuses for using that language are pretty lame. Don't expect me to believe you didn't realize it was offensive. You're not a johnny come lately or an unintelligent man. Maybe you made a mistake but don't blame it on someone else's speech. Also if I was a black woman I would be royally pissed about this.

- Hip hop the ever present scapegoat can I defend it (sigh)? Yes and no. I think the language and topics in hip hop need to be addressed. The music has lost its way. The music is non-sense nowadays. On the other hand is it a case of popular culture reflecting life or life reflecting popular culture? Who was using this type of language first and if hip hop stops using it will it stop on the streets? Not likely I say but at the same time I think one must realize the symbiosis between the streets and hip hop. And no hip hip isn't jail culture as one commentator on CNN said. Hip hop influences the streets and the streets influence hip hop. We can argue sometimes rightfully and quite successfully that hip hop is getting a bad rep and that it isn't to blame here or for all of the black community's ills as some commentators would like us to believe but at the same time it is an influential medium and needs to take responsibility. Its complicated in this case the more hip hop has embraced this language the more it makes it cool and hip. Rappers need to understand that and yes sadly they are role models and kids look up to them.

- Still regarding the last point while I realize hip hop's influence and responsibility I believe there are more factors to be blamed here so why is hip hop always the official scapegoat? Shut down hip hop and this stuff will still happen.

- I am kind of tired of white folks when they make mistakes regarding race trying to fall behind the shield of but some of my best friends are black or look at what I've done for the black community. That ish is tired and played! Man up to your mistakes.

- Found the Michael Ray Richardson incident to be a bit like this Imus thing except he was fired almost immediately after the incident came to light. Still I don't know I'm a bit biased here but calling someone crafty ain't exactly the same thing as calling them a ho. That's just my opinion. I guess he didn't have the hip hop scapegoat to blame for his indiscretion unless he claimed he got it from a Beastie Boys record.

- Do we take race and insults amongst our own too lightly in the black community? Possibly. Is it a double standard? Some say yes. But is the black community the only ones with a double standard? Nope! So what does that teach us? Just because a member of your race can get away with saying it doesn't mean that someone from another race can do the same or "Whats good for goose ain't necessarily good for the gander" and this holds for black folks talking about other races as well.

- Should Imus' comments have been taken with a grain of salt, was he just going for laughs like a Comic View comedian? Again context and the person making the comment are very important. Imus should never have gone there.

- What happens next? Imus has been fired, he's apologized, CNN has had their story of the week. Where do we go from here? Will something change. Will we realize its bigger than Hip Hop! Or will everything remain the status quo until the next Michael Richards or Imus pops off with something silly?

12 comments:

Fiyah said...

And if we are to lay such blame on hip hop then why do other media get by unscathed? Surely movies and video games reach a wider audience than hip hop. And they can be just as negative and offensive no?

Abeni said...

The words of James Brown are playing n my mind....when did we move from black and proud to calling ourselves niggers,hos and bitches.

Crankyputz said...

I didn't know who Imus was before this. Now he's on every blog. However I am for people being allowed to say what they want to say. This way we find out what they are truly about. I don't want to silence Imus, I think he should still be able to talk/write/publish his nonsense, if for nothing else but to remind me that we as a humanity have a long way to go, but I sure am glad he isn't going to be getting corporte money to do so.

GC (God's Child) said...

rappers who spout negativity wouldn't have an audience if nobody listened

SimplEnigma said...

1. As a black person, I'm not offended by the word nappyheaded. It means uncombed hair, so by virtue of that fact, I am nappyheaded. Black people use it all the time as a badge of pride to indicate their choice to wear their hair natural. As a woman, I'm offended by the "ho" comment, simply because he doesn't know them to be calling them hoes. But many people use the term "ho" all the time without knowing their intended subject, and I never said anything about that, so what makes it different when Imus says it?

2. If Snoop Dogg could say the same thing (check the song D.N.A. with Xzibit) then why can't Imus? It's the same rationale with the N word...

3. I won't even touch the "leaders" issue. These two moral derelicts aren't fit to lead a flock of sheep, much less an entire population.

Bottom line: things shouldn't be "conditionally offensive".

Luke Cage said...

J brother, I am so with you on the Imus being fired because of the Power of the Market. Once those mighty corporations began pulling out one after the other, after the other, that's when CBS said okay, we need to distance ourselves from Imus as fast as we can.

And that cat was dropped faster than a hot potato. I hadn't even considered that he'd get fired. I did believe he'd sit out the 2 weeks, come back and the shit would blow over. But his ousting had NOTHING to do with the pressure from our leaders, from the streets, from blogs, tv, radio or anything else. The moment those corporations started to pull out, IMUS was done. Nuff said!

Fiyah said...

What I don't get is how did Hip Hop get the blame for all this name calling? The n-word, "ho" and "bitch" are all words that were commonly in black vocabulary before hip hop. Black comedians sheltered the words long before hip hop did.

@Simplenigma: The difference between what Snoop says and what Imus says is context. Snoop is talking about a ficticious type of woman who he believes has earned the terminology. Imus used the term in reference to actual women who he did not personally know and who the term does not seem to describe.

Charles Duggleson said...

Cosigned on everything, but small point of clarification. While I agree that it wasn't the broadcasters themselves who suddenly found religion and saw fit to plug the plug on Imus -- I agree it was definitely the will of the advertisers that held sway -- we shouldn't discount the determined efforts of the various "leaders" who brought the pressure to bear. Indirectly they helped get it done.

Rose said...

I don't think it is just hip hop, it is a host of things. But we must respect each other because people are using rappers words and our own disrespect for our people against us, to say what they want. But it must be clear, Imus did not lose his job because of our protest, he lost it because corporate was losing money. But his friends who agree with him and saw nothing wrong will just hire him and pay him more.

SimplEnigma said...

@Fiyah, with all due respect, that's ridiculous. Context shouldn't matter...If Obama had used the statement to talk about fictional people, how'd you think that would go over? Bill Cosby used "Shaquita" to describe a fictional ghettofied person, and that got everyone up in arms, right?

If Bush would've said that statement to talk about fictitious people he thought earned the title, it would've been ok? Gimme a break.

If something's wrong, it's wrong. We need to stop justifying and excusing blacks for things that we take offense to when white people say it.

Mark my words, Imus will be back, bigger and better than before with more listeners. This is the best publicity boost his career could've gotten. Not many people knew who he was before this. Short term loss, long term gain.

Lola Gets said...

This past year, we seem to have so many personalities having communication melt-downs...Im wondering if and when it will stop. Or is it a harbinger of whats more to come??
L

bakannal said...

I wonder how it would've gone down if he'd call Condi Rice a 'nappyheaded ho."