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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Racist Media is Nothing New

Don Imus finds himself dealing with the consequences of his racist 'humor.' He's been shut down for two weeks and is losing advertisers left and right. The Rutgers team he insulted called his words 'racist and sexist remarks that are deplorable, despicable and abominable.' Not content with having made an incomplete ass of himself, Imus strives for completion.

Think Progress:

"While acknowledging that it was not 'OK' for him to refer to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as 'nappy-headed hos,' Don Imus said...the phrase 'originated in the black community.' Specifically, he stated: 'I may be a white man, but I know that... young black women all through that society are demeaned and disparaged and disrespected... by their own black men and that they are called that name.'"

You're 66 years old, Don. Are you sure you want to blame this on having poor role models?

It's a line he's crossed before and, given a chance, he'll cross it again. But here's a question -- since right wing talk radio and television is a snakepit of hatred, intolerance, and racism, why is Imus the one feeling the heat?

I decided to check out Media Matters for America for instances of racism alone. It didn't take long to find some. One of my least favorite right wing morons, Glenn Beck, offers a great example. He once told his audience that he doesn't 'have a lot of African-American friends':

I think part of it is because I'm afraid that I would be in an open conversation, and I would say something that somebody would take wrong, and then it would be a nightmare.

That's probably a real good bet. If Beck in person is anything like Beck on his show, he's a world-class dick. In response to 'White Nationalism Put U In Bondage,' a poem written by Autum Ashante, Beck said, "You want to go to Africa? I will personally purchase your airfare. I'll do it. It's one-way. You have to sign a contract that you will never return to the United States."

Ashante is 7 years old.

And he whines -- constantly. "[I]f you are a white human that loves America and happens to be a Christian, forget about it, Jack. You are the only one that doesn't have a political action committee for you," he said last year. Right wing idiots like Beck had the House, the Senate, the presidency, and a majority on the Supreme Court -- and he's complaining that the US isn't white and christian enough! And that political action committee he says doesn't exist? It's called GOPAC.

He said Barack Obama was 'colorless' and 'might as well be white.' Sometimes, he's just a freakin' moron -- as when he called Rep. Herman Badillo 'an immigrant from Puerto Rico.' That's right, Glenn, in much the same way that you're an immigrant from Seattle. Puerto Rico is America.

Of course, Beck's not the only one. Rush Limbaugh has a long history of being a racist ass. Most recently, he proved that you don't need to be on drugs to keep making the same sort of stupid comments over and over. "They're dumping on this guy -- Rex Grossman -- for one reason, folks," Limbaugh told his audience last month, "And that's because he is a white quarterback." He was fired from his ESPN gig for saying that Donovan McNabb was overrated because he's black.

It goes on and on and on. Neal Boortz said Rep. Cynthia McKinney 'looks like a ghetto slut.' On Martin Luther King, jr. Day, Michael Savage said the civil rights movement was a 'racket' to steal 'white males' birthright.' Bill O'Reilly thought profiling all 'Muslims between the ages of 16 and 45' would be a good idea. Everyone remembers Bill Bennett's comment that you could 'abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.'

I'm not defending Imus here, but he's running a comedy show. He's got some cover in that you're not supposed to take him seriously and he's not making an argument in favor of anything. But what about these other morons? You are supposed to take them seriously and they're offering this racist spew as a legitimate argument -- these are the sort of things that 'right thinking americans' should believe. Fine, upstanding americans hate the right people.

If Imus goes down for this, then every foaming at the mouth idiot on the AM dial should go down too. If this is the line and Imus crossed it, then all of these hate merchants have made a living crossing it. If we're really serious about this, then we should be consistent about this. It's a lead pipe cinch that Boortz is going to say something as stupid as he did about McKinney. Limbaugh's pretty much proved that he can't stop. Beck's show is mostly muslim-baiting. And the less said about Michael Savage, the better.

If we're going to get serious about racist broadcasting, then we should start with fascist broadcasters.

Everyone has freedom of speech, but that freedom protects you from the government, not market consequences. Free speech is not freedom from speech, as Imus is learning the hard way. If one person has the right to say we should hate a group of people, then other people have the right to say that person should be fired.

To go back to Limbaugh and ESPN, it was argued that Limbaugh's freedom of speech was being limited. Sure -- he's got a national radio show three hours a day and he doesn't have freedom of speech. I'd like to be so 'limited.' I think I could take the repression.

Freedom of speech means that these morons have the right to hate. But it also means we have the right to say, "You don't get to talk that way about me or him or her. If that's the America you want, you can look someplace else, you ass."


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1 comment:

Hamilton said...

But saying such controversial things probably INCREASES the popularity and thus $$$$ of types like O'Reilly and Limbaugh. They have their fan base based on their belligerence. Those with differing opinions usually avoid them altogether.

For those who had never heard of Mr. Imus before... they suddenly hear / watch his comments out-of-context on Sports Center and then replayed ad naseum in the national media. If Rush Limbaugh makes an offensive comment, nobody is going to be very surprised.

And it might have been even more offensive when Imus said the female basketball players from Tennessee were "cute" compared with the Rutgers girls, and said it was like a "Spike Lee" thing. The Nappy Headed Ho comment was just the start of a string of wince-inducing comments.