What was the term the I-Man used? It was "ho's," slang for whores, a term employed ad infinitum et ad nauseam by rap and hip-hop "artists." It is a term out of the African-American community. Yet, if any of a hundred rap singers has lost his contract or been driven from the airwaves for using it, maybe someone can tell me about it.
If the word "ho's" is a filthy insult to decent black women, and it is, why are hip-hop artists and rap singers who use it incessantly not pariahs in the black community? Why would black politicians hobnob with them? Why are there no boycotts of the advertisers of the radio stations that play their degrading music?
Answer: The issue here is not the word Imus used. The issue is who Imus is -- a white man, who used a term about black women only black folks are permitted to use with impunity and immunity.
Whatever Imus' sins, no one deserves to have Al Sharpton -- hero of the Tawana Brawley hoax, resolute defender of the fake rape charge against half a dozen innocent guys, which ruined lives -- sit in moral judgment upon them.
"It is our feeling that this is only the beginning. We must have a broad discussion on what is permitted and not permitted in terms of the airwaves," says Sharpton. It says something about America that someone with Al's track record can claim the role of national censor.
Who is next? And why do we take it?
I did a bad thing, but I am not a bad person, says Imus. Indeed, whoever used his microphone to do more good for more people -- be they the cancer kids of Imus Ranch, the families of Iraq war dead now more justly compensated because of the I-Man or the cause of a cure for autism?
"We know of no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodic fits of morality," said Lord Macaulay. Unfortunately, Macauley never saw the likes of the Revs. Sharpton and Jackson.
Imus threw himself on the mercy of the court of elite opinion -- and that court, pandering to the mob, lynched him. Yet, for all his sins, he was a better man than the lot of them rejoicing at the foot of the cottonwood tree.