Don Imus, recently unemployed pioneer of the high-dollar “shock-jock” industry, is a truly gifted man. He has the rare but unenviable ability to really tick people off at both ends of the political spectrum and everywhere in between. To the chagrin of the leftist anti-war “you baby killer” crowd, he’s been a staunch defender of our wounded troops at Walter Reed. Yet he’s made a habit of regularly bashing social conservatives and President Bush, having even gone so far as to suggest that government mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina occurred because Bush is a closet racist.
Ironic isn’t it?
Everyone on the face of the earth knows by now that Imus was recently fired by MSNBC and CBS for calling members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos” in a botched joke that makes Massachusetts amateur comedian and U.S. Senator John Kerry’s stand-up play like Johnny Carson.
Imus’ comments were racist, sexist, reprehensible and extremely unfair to those extraordinary young women who are mostly just kids. Their fathers and brothers are no doubt itching to take the “I-Man” out behind the woodshed for a not-so-tender lesson in “how to properly respect the fairer sex.”
But instead, Imus sheepishly allowed himself to be dragged behind the woodshed for a verbal thrashing by self-proclaimed “civil rights champion” Al Sharpton. Imus went on Sharpton’s radio program shortly after the story erupted in an apparent attempt to salvage his career. Sharpton, who many argue is himself a fire-breathing anti-white, anti-Semitic racist, sang lead tenor in the colossal chorus demanding Imus’ ouster. But based on Sharpton’s own racial gaffe quotient and by his own standard, shouldn’t he be standing in the unemployment line right next to Imus? You have to ask, where in the deepest pits of purgatory does Sharpton get off asserting any moral authority on this issue whatsoever?
Here’s just one of the many examples which highlight Sharpton’s harmonious and penetrating racial wisdom: While giving a speech at New Jersey’s Kean College in 1994, Sharpton walked headlong into his own Imus-ism when he judiciously and eloquently opined, “White folks was in caves while we was building empires ... We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”
But there was no uproar … No outrage … No clamor for Sharpton’s head on a silver platter. And apart from a very few low-key media reports, we heard nothing but chirping crickets.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).