RIP (Rest In Peace) to radio host Don Imus' career -- at least his CBS radio show and its simulcast. The firing of the longtime host represents another example of hypocrisy, selective outrage and our society's obsession with the "pervasiveness" of anti-black racism.
Imus, on April 4, referred to the predominately black Rutgers female basketball team as "nappy-headed hos," after Imus' morning show executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, called the women "hard-core hos." Furthermore, McGuirk described the women's NCAA championship match between Rutgers and Tennessee as the "jigaboos versus the wannabes" -- a reference to Spike Lee's movie "School Daze" about the tension between light-skinned blacks and dark-skinned blacks.
After first dismissing the remark as a joke, Imus apologized several times, and agreed to go on Al Sharpton's radio show for a beat-down. Follow the bouncing hypocrisy.
Sharpton never apologized for falsely accusing a former assistant district attorney in 1987 of sexually assaulting black teenager Tawana Brawley. A New York grand jury determined the whole Brawley affair a hoax, and the assistant DA successfully sued Sharpton and two other defendants for defamation. A unanimous, multiracial jury awarded the assistant DA $65,000 from Sharpton. No apology.
In 1989, after the "Central Park Jogger" was viciously attacked and left for dead, Sharpton called the jogger a "whore" and accused her boyfriend of committing the crime. No apology.
Jesse Jackson also criticized Imus. But in 1984, when the Washington Post's Milton Coleman reported Jesse Jackson called Jews "Hymies" and New York "Hymie-Town," the reverend initially denied the statement. Days later, Jackson apologized for his anti-Semitic remark, thus taking longer to apologize than did Imus for his racist, sexist remark. Jackson's friend and confidant, the Nation of Islam's Minister Louis Farrakhan -- publicly threatened black reporter Coleman on radio and warned the Jews, "If you harm this brother [Jackson], I warn you in the name of Allah this will be the last one you harm." Jackson refused to condemn Farrakhan's remarks.
Director Spike Lee also called for Imus' head. Lee, in a 1992 interview with Esquire, stated that he disliked interracial couples: "I give interracial couples a look. Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street." This puts him on the same side of the line as, say, David Duke.