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Don Imus Deserved To Be Fired (And Other Misconceptions)
Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Don Imus has been fired from his CBS radio show and MSNBC simulcast for calling the Rutgers women’s basketball team a bunch of “nappy-headed ho’s.”

As with most major news stories, this one has inspired a number of misconceptions. Thankfully, this is the kind of problem God put me on Earth to solve.

Misconception No. 1: Don Imus deserved to be fired.

No, what Don Imus deserved was to continue languishing in relative obscurity. Before this controversy, most people had forgotten Don Imus existed. In fact, the most shocking thing about this “shock jock” wasn’t what he said—it was that he still had a show to be fired from.

Now that’s all about to change. Sure, he’s out of work at the moment. But you honestly think that’s going to last? Satellite radio will hire Don Imus. And if satellite radio doesn’t hire him, some radio-like Internet outlet undoubtedly will.

Even if Imus has to resort to taping his shows and selling them out of the trunk of his car, he will return, and you can mark my words on this. No one cared about Imus before Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson decided his “nappy-headed ho’s” comment meant something. When Imus returns, he will have the biggest ratings of his career.

Misconception No. 2: What Imus said was highly offensive.

Mean? Yes. Offensive? No.

For Imus’s words to be offensive, they would have to have genuinely affected somebody. It’s hard to imagine this guy genuinely affecting the black community when nothing he’s said has genuinely affected the white community, nor the dinosaur community—two communities of which he’s a part—for years.

Sharpton and Jackson would have you believe Imus’s firing constitutes some kind of “progress” in American race relations. But the truth is, Imus wasn’t fired for saying something offensive; he was fired for saying something that, until now, blacks only said to other blacks.

Everyone knows this double standard exists, which is why everyone feels the need to mention rap while discussing Don Imus. Calling black women “ho’s” may have been a really stupid decision on his part, but the only real progress his firing indicates is that blacks and whites now openly discuss this double standard.

Misconception No. 3: Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are reverends.

Reverends of what? Don’t reverends typically talk about Jesus or something?

Someone needs to explain why we keep giving these two a platform. Who are these men anyway? Why is no one else asking this?

Misconception No. 4: Imus’s comments “ruined” Rutgers’ basketball season.

I don’t see how this is possible. These girls made it all the way to the NCAA’s women’s basketball championship game. If anything, the Imus story only elaborated upon their own hard-won glory by putting them in the national spotlight for two weeks longer than any second-place women’s collegiate sports team deserves.

Come to think of it, has any first-place women’s collegiate sports team ever received this much attention? These girls should quit complaining and start counting money. Don Imus has just earned each one of them a book deal.

Misconception No. 5: Firing Imus in some way rectified an ugly situation.

Firing a guy for something he already said can in no way, shape, or form undo the fact that he said it. If the Rutgers women were half the men they claim to be, they would quit whining and respond to Don Imus the only way that makes sense. If this man hurt their feelings, then hurt his feelings back.

Don Imus looks like an old potato wrapped in a blanket of hair. If anyone’s the nappy-headed ho here, it’s Imus. Or Al Sharpton.

Jonathan David Morris is the author of Versus Nurture. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/readjdm.

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