Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Are We Talkin Cart, or Horse Here?

It is tough to figure out the bottom line on the Imus spectacle this week. Agendas become fueled when a chance for victory, however specious, raises its head. The Rutgers women’s basketball team is a tough bunch who fought their way right to the end of the tournament, and who are not, I suspect, pushovers. They clearly saw something as the season came along, and became theirs, and could, until that last game, nearly taste the victory. Fate was unkind to them. Yet nothing will diminish their effort. And for Rutgers, to have a great football team, and basketball team in the same season, it’s a richness for Exit 9 of the Turnpike. So when you start to take into account all the shootings from the hip which have taken place in the last 3 days, it becomes difficult to figure out just where Right lives.

Imus, as we all learned from the 1999 TV Correspondents dinner – when he ripped Clinton, Peter Jennings and various other media darlings, New Orifices. People got all bothered for about ten minutes about his crass style, but lets remember that they invited Imus (track record from 1969.. hey folks , No Surprize!) not Dr. Bergen Evans. And it seems that every day Imus manages to annoy someone with some silly ass dictum, myself included. Yet he serves a real purpose in a Media Culture which gives never more than 28 seconds to tell the most complicated and complex stories. No one else will give Kerry/Lieberman/Richardson/Buchanan 15 minutes to actually have a conversation. I truly believe it says much more about the stupidity of our media system that Imus has to be the one venue where a real conversation, albeit, an often kiss-ass one, can take place.

The real issue, I suppose, in light of Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson’s call for his firing, is whether it’s just time for these two gents to scoop up a little more media attention, or do they care about the way black women are portrayed in our cultures. Not culture, but cultures. I'm well aware of that fact that I'm a bit square, though I try not to be, but there are things I just don't GET> If you have cable , just turn on the Uncensored RAP music channel. You will find more anti - black women remarks and descriptions in five minutes of listening, than in a year of Imus. BET, the cable channel runs tons of music vids which are not exactly PTA material. Talk about sending messages to kids? Maybe there are a few other places to start. I would feel less annoyed about Jesse’s rant (did he resign from politics for his Hymie Town remark?) and Reverend Al – who, it must be said, was one of the few clarions of intelligent banter during the 2004 Democratic primary debates – who, as far as I can tell, has never repented for slamming the white cop who he falsely accused in the Tawana Brawley fraud a dozen years ago. I wonder what Tawana’s opinions are on all this.

Five years ago I spent a few days with one of the top college football prospects, a young man of 21 who was about to be drafted into the NFL, given a contract of thirty something million bucks, and who arrived at the NFL hotel in New York with a small but dedicated, and truly amusing, posse. Included in his entourage was his 7 months pregnant girl friend, a beauty he knew from school who was already part of the family. I spent a lot of quality time with this young man, a smart, and thoughtful kid who was about to be drowned in the culture of cool. At one point he took me aside and said to please “don’t take pictures of my girl friend (who was very obviously preggers). I don’t’ want to lose my Ho’s.” My jaw probably dropped a foot or two, but I just took it in. And we carried on the rest of the weekend. The way he said it was almost endearing, as if Ho’s was just another moniker for Groupie or Chiquita. Maybe it’s me (I’m sure it is.. you know.. old, white, uncool) but there was a moment that I just couldn’t imagine referring to any women you might actually be even a little fond of, to as a Ho. Go figure, the old Jew from Utah just doesn’t get it. But perhaps a bit of introspection, and finding what the elements are in our society which encourage otherwise upright, cool, talented guys to refer to comely women as Ho’s would do us better than slamming Don Imus, who was, let’s face it, doing a really bad imitation of a Hip Hopper. Really really bad. I mean, have you seen the guy dance? It’s like me at Jazzercize. They see you move once, and you’re not invited backl. We’re just sayin…David


Walt said...

Rutgers may have lost the NCAA, but they can win a much bigger prize by shooting this "Ho" mentality in the head once and for all.

It's both the cart and the horse these fine women can ride into the sunset.

Men need to hear, really hear, what these ladies have to say.

Imus may have thought he was 'cute' for using the language of the Rapper, but there is nothing cute about calling anyone something they're not.

It's time to see Imus they way he truly is, and these champions have the means to tell the world that "Imus is all hat and no cattle" as it is said in the west.

Anonymous said...

Okay here goes the white guy(read practically pink)Irish French Canadian.

I shoot/write a lot of highschool sports in a city of 25,000. We couldnt be more white. There might,MIGHT, be one or two kids of color on the 4 local teams and the 10 visiting teams for the area. We are rural to a fault. Im not from here...sometimes it makes me nervous...

I hear at every game, from boys and GIRLS, the players/fans refering to each other as "BE OTCH" (read bitch) and HO (read hoar) on a frequent basis, it is the new young persons "speak".

While parents may be offended, the students seem very unaware to its origin, and dont think twice about using it. The walk , the talk, the music video lookalikes and lingo are the new culture of fitting in.If you are young and dont use it, you are an outsider, a castaway. It is a survival language.


I find it hard to believe that none of these young Rutgers team members have never listened to music or watched a video that could be found more offensive than what Imus said.

I am fairly confident that they have been at a few Keggers where worse language has been heard, and I bet they never protested it then. I wonder less about Imus' integrety than I do about theirs. After all, for someone to hang a person for doing something publicly , for what, I bet, many of the team members do in the privacy of their dorms, seems hipocritical.

If Imus has to take two weeks off as punishment, then someone needs to call Chris Rock and tell him to sit in a corner for a couple of years. Maybe he can serve his time at Wilt Chamberlains house.

Walter Briggs said...

I still find it strangely amusing a load of white hate can freely flow loudly out of boom boxes, yet....