I understand where the outrage comes from. I understand why the phrase upset a lot of people. What I don’t understand is why people were so surprised by that statement from Don Imus.
As someone who grew up listening to Imus in the Morning while in the car I’ve heard things far worse come out of Don’s mouth. Things such as “that dirty ragheaded ape” or “dumb jarhead redneck.” In fact, the “nappy headed hos” comment was one of his more subtle stereotypical comments that he usually makes after a news story is read. In fact, those types of comments have been a staple of his radio shows dating back to the years when he was a shock jock.
To be outraged by his comments now, after being in the radio business for so long, is laughable.
Still, some people are upset; but, I tend to think that this is a symptom of society rather than a symptom of Don Imus. While a very racist attitude still infects a large part of America (I should know, I live in a town where white people sit at the front of the bus and black people sit at the back — god, I miss New York City), I think it would help all of us try to understand this from a comedians point of view rather than a racial point of view.
The comedian in me heard Don’s comments and got a chuckle out of it. I find stereotypes to be downright hilarious. Go ahead and call me a fat guido guinea wop dego Italian grease ball, I don’t really care. In fact, if you say “that fat grease ball” as a passing remark at the right time — like right after Tony Soprano has a heart attack — I’ll be laughing my ass off.
Is it politically correct? No.
Will it offend some people? Yes.
Will others find it funny? Damn right.
As I said, this is really a symptom of society: a portion of society is rather loud and obnoxious about anything that is not “politically correct” — they see everything as black and white, good and bad, right and wrong. The problem is that, as humans, nothing is clear. Everything has more than one way of being looked at. Everyone can see something in a much different light than what the person next to them does.
[tags]Don Imus, Rutgers comment, am I a jerk for saying this?[/tags]