Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Why Meet With Imus?

Essence Carson's press conference transcript

SLY B and I talk a lot about how it is not the responsibility of people of color to educate whites on race (and not women’s responsibility to educate men on sex and gender, and not the poor’s responsibility to educate the rich on class, and not queers’ responsibility to educate straights on issues of . . . you get the idea). For example, say you have a small department within a University. Let’s pretend that this totally fake engineering department only has three staff members, two of whom are straight white guys we’ll call PHB and Wally, and one of whom is a dyke and a person of color we’ll call Gertrude. It is not up to Gertrude to help PHB and Wally become decent human beings. It’s just not her job. Why would her lady parts, her desire, her color, and her life experience mandate that she help these fools “understand” people who are different from them? Think about that for a minute . . .

The fact that I just wrote out that paragraph pisses me off. The fact that it’s not obscene that whites get the option to seek understanding about these strange Others that are out there and just different from us enrages me. Can we talk again about why Robert Jensen should not be using the term “non-white”? GRR.

By now everyone who is paying attention has heard about Don Imus’ revolting statements about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. I won’t repeat them here. As punishment, he is being suspended from his TV and Radio show for two weeks. Wow CBS/MSNBC, couldn’t you have come up with something a little more genuine? That's lame, even for a going-through-the-motions move.

Imus will also reportedly be meeting privately with the Rutgers team. I am having a really hard time understanding why in the world this meeting is going to happen. Who made the decision to agree to it? Was it C. Vivian Stringer, their coach? Here is how I see the meeting going: Imus’ll stroll in wearing his ridiculous cowboy hat, he’ll probably shed a few tears and talk about himself a lot, and he’ll stroll out feeling a whole lot better about himself. The next time he’s called on a hateful comment, he’ll cite his hard-won friendship with the 12 Rutgers women and Coach Stringer, and he’ll hold it up as evidence that he is not a racist or a misogynist. What will the Rutgers women get? Why meet with Imus?


Sly B said...

I am in total agreement with EssBee I absolutely cannot understand why the Rutgers women are meeting with Imus. It is purely for his benefit. These women have already experienced a huge drain of energy as a result of his ignorance and now they are being put in the position of going through even more. He successfully took the foucs away from the young team's amazing accomplishments and pulled it on himself. Now he gets to "prove" to the world that he's a good guy. Our racism shows most clearly when we're not putting in an effort to control our words. Imus just let the world see what kind of man he really is and no amount of apologizing or anecdotes about his friends of Color is going to change that. Plus, this is not the first time he's been racist and misogynist on air. And shame on MSNBC and CBS - don't they just love these incidents, where they are put in a position to benefit monetarily from the belittling of women of color? Regardless of what advertising they may lose, they're bringing him back in time for sweeps when he will be basking in his infamy and perhaps even gaining a wider audience. I'd love to find out why Rutgers is allowing the meeting, which feels very much like a publicity stunt for Imus and less of a healing step for the Rutgers women.

Riotrant said...

I agree with both of you...

The most disgusting--and subsequently--shameful aspect of this whole situation? That the "white, hetero, mainstream" commuunity doesn't apprear to be disgusted or embarrassed. Its business as usual..and on to the next Brangelina story...(because we love Race when it applies to wealthy, privelaged Hollywood Icons saving multiracial third world babies from their hideous third world existence--don't we?)

In no way is it a Person of Color/Gay-Lesbian/otherwise Marginalized Group's responsibility to educate the dominant majority on the dominant majority's failings. Education comes from making mistakes, taking full responsibility--and most importantly LEARNING from it.

Unfortunately, Don Imus--that geriatric, turgid, so called "educated" member of the dominant society is only a small fraction of the overall problem...and he's not learning a damn thing. If anything--in a few weeks-- this whole event will serve to bolster his popularity amongst the other geriatric, cowboy-hatted idiots who listen to his bullshit daily.

And--initially, I wondered why Jensen gleaned over so much of what needed to be said about race?

IronicPink said...

The president of CBS, Leslie Moonves, just called for Imus' firing. I bet he doesn't make it back on the air after his suspension.

More than they love $$, they hate to appear controversial.

IronicPink said...

whoa - MSNBC just dumped him too. Poor, poor, fake cowboy.