Don Imus Suspended 2-weeks, is it enough?
CBS Radio and MSNBC have suspended Don Imus 2-weeks for his racist/sexist comments directed towards the Rutgers University Women's Basketball team. The National Association of Black Journalists called the suspension "a good first step" but went on to say "now it is time for them to finish the job and let him go."
Imus appeared Tuesday morning on a simulcast between NBC's Today Show and his regular slot on MSNBC (see a You Tube of appearance below). Rev. Al Sharpton also appeared on the program. There seemed to be some type of agreement between NBC and Imus to keep Rev. Sharpton separate, though there were slight exchanges between the two.
Imus doesn't seem to think that what he said was all that bad. He does know that the comments were stupid, I think it's from the standpoint that they could cost him his job. Imus seems to want to lean on his past deeds to show he's a good man, yet he wants to distance from past remarks that point to this as a repeat offense. He can't have it both ways.
Many have taken the position that before we ask for Imus' job, we should take rappers and comedians to task for their use of similar terms. First off, I don't think there are that many public examples of those three words being strung together. Second, Al Sharpton has been one of the biggest critics of rap music, targeting the artists and the labels. But the public seems to still have an appetite for it, for now.
Imus has also tried to push his remarks off on comedy, yet he was not in character at the time. There's no way to take this in any other context than this was how he saw these women.
He claims to want to apologize to the players, five of whom are freshmen. I can't see what good this would do, they've heard his PR blitz I'm sure. These ladies have more important things going on, like finals over the next few weeks.
I stand with the NABJ, Alpha Phi Alpha and others who have called for Mr. Imus' dismissal. I site irresponsible use of the airwaves, and the fact that this is not the first time for these types of remarks. If CBS or MSNBC won't do it, then it will be up to the marketplace as they say in the interview. I appreciate those who have commented and emailed me that they have participated in this process, and I encourage everyone to keep in going.
Al Sharpton does not speak for all black folks, neither does Jesse Jackson. But they are out there on the front lines fighting for what they believe is right. Even if you don't agree with them, it troubles me to hear young middle-class African-Amercans who have benefited first-hand from their (along with others) sacrifices verbally assaulting these men.
I expect as much from the majority population, but it seems like more respect is in order for Rev. Jesse and Rev. Al. from their own.