Since April 4th, mainstream media and Americans were reminded that as country have any issues surrounding the topic of race and gender. Comments from Don Imus referring to the predominately black Rutgers Women’s Basketball Team as "nappy-headed ho's" has rekindled the conversation about appropriate speech in the media, societal perception of black women, and deep-rooted sentiment of many whites toward blacks. Yes Don Imus apologized but this not a one-time ‘slip-up’. Over the years, he has made several demeaning comments toward respected black women and journalists from Gwen Ifill to William Rhoden (read the Market Watch article). Imus is an example of a disregard for decency within the media and entertainment towards humanity whether they be black, a woman, Christian, liberal or conservative.
As one of MSNBC's guest black commentator mentioned, is the firing of Imus a missed opportunity? While this has been a top story since the 4th, I'm certain within a week’s time, it will have been forgotten. What would have happened if Imus in the Morning, due to the situation, helped to reopen the long overdue national conversation on race? Sometimes we are quick to punish the single act or to medicate the pain without searching out the root of the symptom. There are even greater and deeper questions about how we as African-Americans project negative images of ourselves through media— music, videos and TV that is internally accepted and then externally replicated. I believe it’s important not only that we demand that the Imus and Kramers of our society demonstrate civility but those who influence not only our youth but entire younger generations through their lyrics to communicate with responsibility and respect.