Monday, April 09, 2007

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are at it again

The self-appointed czars of the racial grievance industry in the United States have a new target in their sights: Don Imus.

I don't listen to Don Imus. From what I have heard, I consider him a cantankerous windbag who, like Larry King and Hugh Hefner, should date within his own century. I fail to see his appeal. Still, many people must like his shtick since he has been a mainstay of NBC radio in New York for many, many years.

So, no. I don't like Don Imus. But I do like free speech. A lot. And I resent the hell out of people who pick and choose when we should enjoy this most important of rights. (John McCain, Russ Feingold, are your ears burning?)

Imus' sin is that he referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos". This has Messrs. Jackson and Sharpton in high dudgeon. They are demanding Imus' resignation or firing. Of course they are. This is what they do: get cases of ass over purported racial transgressions.

I once read an opinion column that basically said that if [insert example of latest transgression by white people against black people] is the best that these two hucksters can come up with as examples of racism in America, then we've licked the problem of racism. I'm starting to agree with this assessment.

What is particularly galling is that members of the black artistic community regularly use words like "ho" and much worse epithets to refer to black and other women. I really, really loathe hypocrisy and Jackson and Sharpton feigning indignation at Imus' use of terms regularly used by black people is hypocrisy of the highest order.

I'm interested to see how this plays out. Normally, I'd expect the offending party to perform an obligatory mea culpa, perhaps enter therapy (see Grey's Anatomy's Isaiah Washington) and meet with leaders of the offended community (see Mel Gibson). However, from what I know about Imus, he doesn't strike me as the type to back down. And with his audience and ratings, he is not without media clout.

Who knows? If he stands up to these two charlatans, he may have gained a new fan in the Washington, D.C. area.

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