One (Black) Man's Opinion re: Don Imus's Comments
Don Imus is an old man. Maybe back in the day he was funny, but he hasn't been funny for as long as I've been aware of him.
But he does live in America, and here we have the freedom of speech. Now that Right doesn't mean that people cant call you out on what you say, but it should mean that you shouldn't have to get fired or jailed or killed for saying things that are racist, sexist, and unfunny.
What Imus said was racist and sexist, but guess what - we all say racist and sexist and unfunny things all the time. Some people like Imus don't think that black women are beautiful, he should be allowed that opinion without fear of losing his job. And yes it always makes me wince when old white men try to appear cool by using terminology that they know nothing about, but again, free speech.
Personally I think what's more dangerous in America isn't racist and sexist speech, it's people trying to get others fired for using their speech. Some of my favorite comedians - Chris Rock, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Howard Stern, South Park, use racist and sexist speech while at work, and they should be allowed to the same way Imus should.
The difference is those comedians are funny and Imus is not. If you're going to go after him, criticize him for being dull.
What I am far more concerned with regarding the plight of African Americans is not what some over-the-hill has-been thinks about black college athletes, it's what an actual college thinks about black students.
Last week UCLA accepted 11,837 new students, but only 392 were black. This is in the wake of last year's disgrace of only accepting 249 black freshmen with just 100 actually enrolling. To me that is way more troubling than a cheesy DJ trying to have some sort of edge, because it shows a major university in a large city faced with an obvious problem but still can't find more than a handful of blacks to offer a higher education.
Either it means that blacks, particularly those in LA, are not getting proper high school educations that would make them eligible to attend their local UCs, or UCLA doesn't really give a shit. Those are issues that I'd rather the press be focused on right now instead of Al Sharpton and Don Imus posturing and tapdancing.