Don Imus calling the Rutgers girls basketball team members "nappy-headed hos" is a shitty thing to say. What an absolute idiot.
But, with his career in a noose and the chair about to fall, he did apologize and MSNBC gave him a two-week suspension. Is that enough? Considering that he once called black journalist Gwen Ifill the NYT's "cleaning lady," probably not. He's a racist asshole who belongs on some obscure radio show rather than a national news network.
But let other people debate that. What I'm struck by is the similarity of the Imus comment to what our own Joe Rose said a few weeks ago. The NBC news anchor and Miami Dolphins front man talked of light-skinned black women, or "redbones" as he termed them, and darker-skinned black women, "chocolates." And he said he's more attracted to redbones and that most black men feel the same way.
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What a shitty thing to say. He's basically saying that the more black a woman the less attractive she is. And he ascribed that vile idea to black men in general. Look, I'm not on some vendetta
against Joe Rose. I never had a problem with him -- in fact, I named him best sports broadcaster a few years ago in the New Times. He hasn't lost face and he shouldn't lose his job. But he should have apologized for what he said, even if he wasn't forced into it like Imus by a firestorm of controversy over it.
We're an apathetic bunch in South Florida -- and often there's nothing wrong with that. We're the last frontier. After the west was won, explorers, vagabonds, and outlaws began scattering down here. That makes it a bit more free than in most of the rest of the country. Individualism carries the day here more than in, say, Boston. We're uncrushed by history and I like that. But I think that when a major media figure says something vile that is patently offensive to a segment of the population (black women foremost in this case) he should be called out for it.
Instead it's just been ignored by NBC, the Dolphins, and the lackluster dailies.