Thursday, April 12, 2007

Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish - Imus Finds Little Sympathy

Related :
-MSNBC drops simulcast of Don Imus show
-CBS fires Don Imus from radio show
-Roker : There is no joy in what has transpired
-It's not just Imus
-Rosenberg alluded to previous racially insensitive remarks that first got him fired from Imus

"Shock jock" Don Imus triggered outrage when last week he called the female players of the Rutgers basketball team "nappy-headed hos" - a comment that is not only racially offensive but sexist as well.

The reaction was slow, but once realization hit, Imus was sunk.

Once the advertisers begin to flee, you know your days are numbered. Yesterday MSNBC announced it was dropping the Imus simulcast and today CBS announced Imus was fired from the radio show.

The AP reports : "Imus had a long history of inflammatory remarks. But something struck a raw nerve when he targeted the Rutgers team — which includes a class valedictorian, a future lawyer and a musical prodigy — after they lost in the NCAA championship game."

The firing of Don Imus should be a redefining moment in American public discourse. The line has been drawn in the sand and America is finally starting to reject open bigotry.

While the words and popularity of Don Imus expose that a large segment of America is at least still somewhat racist, the negative reaction to the derogatory words reveal that an even larger segment of America will no longer tolerate racism and sexism in public discourse.

So while this incident exposes the ugly and racist underpinnings of American society it also offers a beacon of hope because the outrage triggered by the Imus remarks shows progression in our society.

In the past the comments made by Imus would have been socially acceptable, but today we have been shown that racial and sexist slurs will not be digested as easily as they once were.

So while I am disgusted with the use of such openly racist and sexist language I am pleased to see America's rejection to such crude language.

The firing of Don Imus should serve as a warning for other shocking personalities who want to use their time on the air or in print churning out sexist or racist remarks that are disguised as "jokes".

I'm sure some voices on the hard right will claim that their "Freedom of Speech" is under fire. This argument can be debunked very easily.

The first amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;"

Simply put, Congress is not restricting Imus so his right to free speech is not being restricted. Imus still has the right to make vile comments, he just will not have the privilege of making such comments on CBS or MSNBC.