Friday, April 13, 2007

The best thing about unpaid blogging?

No one can fire me.

You can stop reading me if you find me offensive, but that won't change my life one iota. And besides, if you find me offensive, you are more likely to KEEP reading me. It's only when I become boring, bland, redundant or any combination thereof that you are likely to stop reading me, and if that were to happen, again, it wouldn't change my life on iota.

Now contrast that with the cautionary tale of Don Imus. Did he say something offensive? YES. Let's just get that out of the way and be done with it. Should he be apologizing to those whom he insulted? Absolutely.

But should he have apologized to Al Sharpton? I don't know...let's see....if you called Jews cheap, or homosexual men effeminate, say, like they used todo on Will and Grace, should the show's writers have apologized to the Israel's leaders and the editor-in-chief of Out Magazine? If you insult a rock star, should you apologize to Sting? If you insult an out-of-control celebutante, should you apologize to Paris Hilton?

To paraphrase Token on South Park, is Al Sharpton the emporer of all black people?

I don't blame Don Imus for apologizing to the Reverend Al. It seems like the thing to do based on pop cultural imperatives. Or maybe he just watched South Park for guidance but was told by Jesse Jackson's handlers that the Reverend Jackson's bare butt was unavailable for a meeting.

Unfortunately, the apology was simply the verbal equivalent of Imus handing his ass over to the Righteous Left for a substantial whuppin'. And now, Imus has been fired. Leslie Moonves, the president of whatever cowardly network Imus had worked for, came to the conclusion that the public outcry against Imus's action should determine the extent of Imus's punishment, as opposed to a consideration of Imus's actual action, his intent, the demographics of his listening audience and the cultural context in which the action was taken. To wit, the cultural backdrop is one in which the hip-hop culture catches a cold and white culture sneezes: white America appears to embrace the use of racially-tinged insults, particularly those manufactured by those belonging to the race in question. As long as there is no violence imperative, it seems to me that it is perfectly acceptable in our culture to poke fun at, well, just about everything. Snark has risen to the level of dialect in this country. In essence, Imus is like a small child whose babysitter has whipped him up into a wild frenzy and then is punished for his continuing wildness when his parents arrive home.

Besides, "ho" has been used so many times to refer to so many women who appear in the mass media, that it is a word that is entirely devoid of teeth. Couple that with "nappy hair", and it still has no teeth. Haven't we been there and done that with the nappy hair thing? Who can forget the outcry at the publication of a children's book that asks black females to embrace their kinky hair. I thought that we were past all that and that Jews were embracing their frizzy curls and black women were embracing their afros.

As Sinead O'Connor once was attacked for saying, "Fight the real enemy." Enemy, thy name is hypocracy.

YC

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Right on, mama!

Anonymous said...

You couldn't have said it better, YC.

From a member of the nonrighteous left

Anonymous said...

Calling Hillary!

What do she have to say?

DK said...

YC

Now can we get the rappers to apolgize to their sisters, daughters and mothers?

You are the voice of reason

DK

Anonymous said...

funny, i had the same thoughts as dk.
lauren, i so do agree with you, all the real important issues are, again, by the wayside.
bush and al and dick and carl must be very happy with this circus.
ivdp

kayla said...

Totally agree with you, YC.

Anonymous said...

-- don't listen to hard to the media when it comes to black american pop culture--rap and hip hop are not one in the same anymore, and this not something i would expect you to know. i grew up on this music. A good book to read would be Tricia Rose's Black Noise or Greg Tate's Fly Boy in the Buttermilk or Chuck D's Fight the power.
Rap has gone the way of high commerciality because these companys love to promote black people looking like bufoons. Hip hop has the brain power that old skool rap had....mind raisng poetry. Defaming women didn't show up in the music until the mid 90's when the whole gangsta mentality from the west coast started creeping out.
check out groups like Dead prez, the Roots, and hip hop artists like Nas, talib Kweli, and Lauryn Hill to understand true hip hop.
-- the words ho and nappy headed have a very distinct history in regards to black women.Black people did not create these references-- don't be fooled-- they just slanged it up. refering to black women as whores was very very very common in the south and nappy was a way to degrade them further. The profit of black male rap artists is all about the same shock value that made imus a millionaire as it seems to make the white corporations that back a lot of this kind of entertainment happy in the numbers department. Also the usage of these words by black folks also reflects the imbalanced U.S. education system where poor children are left to fend for themselves and are not given the resources and choices that would allow them to think beyond the ignorance of such words. Not to mention the fact that the majority of the prison population in america is made of of black males. The mental castration of the black male psyche-- thats been going on since plantation days has also created to these misognistic attitudes.
-- it wasn't so much that imus used words that have been circulating around the black community in different permutations over the years, it had more to do with the legacy of white men flouting power with hurtful words against black folks as if it was rule
-- and Imus's firing wasn't about free speech. it was purely about numbers. they would have supported him if sponsors hadn't started pulling out.

-- say what you will about sharpton. i don't like him, and i'm black, but atleast he spoke up

alot of the commentary that i have heard from non black people in the past week shows me that they don't have a full understanding of black american history in the way that someone like me who lives it. And thats not bad, but please, i ask as one of the few black members of the NYC ashtanga community, please dig deeper on the issues here. It's just not as cut and dry as the media would make us believe.

thanks.

Anonymous said...

-- don't listen to hard to the media when it comes to black american pop culture--rap and hip hop are not one in the same anymore, and this not something i would expect you to know. i grew up on this music. A good book to read would be Tricia Rose's Black Noise or Greg Tate's Fly Boy in the Buttermilk or Chuck D's Fight the power.
Rap has gone the way of high commerciality because these companys love to promote black people looking like bufoons. Hip hop has the brain power that old skool rap had....mind raisng poetry. Defaming women didn't show up in the music until the mid 90's when the whole gangsta mentality from the west coast started creeping out.
check out groups like Dead prez, the Roots, and hip hop artists like Nas, talib Kweli, and Lauryn Hill to understand true hip hop.
-- the "rap artist" argument is a weak one. you must dig deeper. the words ho and nappy headed have a very distinct history in regards to black women.Black people did not create these references-- don't be fooled-- they just slanged it up. refering to black women as whores was very very very common in the south and nappy was a way to degrade them further. The profit of black male rap artists is all about the same shock value that made imus a millionaire as it seems to make the white corporations that back a lot of this kind of entertainment happy in the numbers department. Also the usage of these words by black folks also reflects the imbalanced U.S. education system where poor children are left to fend for themselves and are not given the resources and choices that would allow them to think beyond the ignorance of such words. Not to mention the fact that the majority of the prison population in america is made of of black males. The mental castration of the black male psyche-- thats been going on since plantation days has also created to these misognistic attitudes.
-- it wasn't so much that imus used words that have been circulating around the black community in different permutations over the years, it had more to do with the legacy of white men flouting power with hurtful words against black folks as if it was rule
-- and Imus's firing wasn't about free speech. it was purely about numbers. they would have supported him if sponsors hadn't started pulling out.

-- say what you will about sharpton. i don't like him, and i'm black, but atleast he spoke up

alot of the commentary that i have heard from non black people in the past week shows me that they don't have a full understanding of black american history in the way that someone like me who lives it. And thats not bad, but please, i ask, almost beg, as one of the few black members of the NYC ashtanga community, please dig deeper on the issues here. It's just not as cut and dry as the media would make us believe.

thanks.

Anonymous said...

wow. right on anonymous. I hope ashtangis are paying attention to your heartfelt plea.

janice said...

YC silent?
surely you must have some commentary on this rather sensitive issue.

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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.

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