"Nappy-headed Ho's"

" Nappy-headed Ho's" - Don Imus referring to the student athletes of Rutgers University’s women’s basketball team during his radio program, simulcast on MSNBC.

ABC News reported: Imus made the now infamous remark during his show last Wednesday. The Rutgers team, which includes eight black women, had lost the day before in the NCAA women's championship game. Imus was speaking with producer Bernard McGuirk about the game when the exchange began on "Imus in the Morning." The show is broadcast on more than 70 stations and MSNBC.

"That's some rough girls from Rutgers," Imus said. "Man, they got tattoos … ." "Some hardcore hos," McGuirk said. "That's some nappy-headed hos there, I'm going to tell you that," Imus said.

Imus apologized on the air Friday, but his mea culpa has not quieted the uproar. Appearing later on the Al Sharpton radio show Imus repeated his apology for his behavior while Sharpton continued to call for his apology to be accepted but that he be fired for the remark. Imus interviews numerous politicians, celebreties and authors on his show, such as John McCain, many of whom have called for him to be forgiven and not fired.

According to AP: Imus has urged critics to recognize that his show is a comedy that spreads insults broadly. Imus or his cast have called Colin Powell a "sniffling weasel," New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson a "fat sissy" and referred to Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado, an American Indian, as "the guy from `F Troop.'" He and his colleagues also called the New York Knicks a group of "chest-thumping pimps." On Sharpton's program Monday, Imus said that "our agenda is to be funny and sometimes we go too far. And this time we went way too far."

The Rutgers comment has struck a chord, in part, because it was aimed at a group of young women at the pinnacle of athletic success. It also came in a different public atmosphere following the Michael Richards and Mel Gibson incidents, said Eric Deggans, columnist for the St. Petersburg Times and chairman of the media monitoring committee of the National Association of Black Journalists, which also wants Imus canned.

Forgiven and fired? Where do you stand?

Posted April 9, 2007


Roger Spenser said...

I like Imus and he is a good-hearted person but I think he should be fired. Our culture is slowly deterioriating and there comes a time when we need to stop this type of public behavior.

Imus won't suffer from the loss of his radio program and much as I enjoy his show I think this went over the top.


Diana Malcolm said...

I don't think he will be fired - too much money involved!

It doesn't matter what one says or does if you are making a profit for some corporation!

MSNBC's 'church' is 'citibank'!

Di Di

Joan Ferguson said...

In his book "On Forgiveness" which was discussed in early March on this blog


Richard Holloway stated:

The fundamental insight is that we can and must retain an attitude of disgust towards the offending act, if we are to justify the legitimate claims of human justice; nevertheless, we must find a way of preventing these irreversible offences from locking us permanently into the past; and the remedy for the dilemma is forgiveness of the person, not what the person has done.

One therefore must consider forgiveness for Imus while determining appropriate justice for the act. MSNBC has decided not to simulcast his show for 2 weeks but somehow while I see this as a ‘cooling off’ action to get some heat of the Corporate entity I cannot see that this brings justice to the women of the Rutgers team.


Pianoman said...

Where does the word 'ho' appear most? In hip hop and rap music performed by black 'artists' for a black audience!

Why is there no outrage against these performers and the corporations that produce their music products!

Michael N. Hull said...

I reread the earlier thread "On Forgiveness" in this blog and thought that the comment by Tom Nimick was worth repeating in this context.


Thomas G. Nimick said...

I would like to suggest that we differentiate between forgiveness and forgetting. I fully agree with the Holloway quotation that forgiveness is so that we need not be locked into the past. Without forgiveness, the harm done continues to do harm within us; it turns to bitterness. Forgiveness is setting the hurt aside within me as part of the past and no longer allowing it to poison my life. It does not require that we forget the offense; that should still inform us and we should learn from it.

Ironically, the way to forgiveness within ourselves is to face the evil for what it is and to declare it evil. It is pretending that it has not happened or that it is not as serious as it is that prevents the forgiveness. What that means is that no forgetting is required for forgiveness. Rather acknowledging clearly what has happened is the appropriate response.

Forgiveness also does not mean setting aside the consequences of the action. If someone breaks the law and harms an individual or the community, the consequences of that act on the community are real. It is reasonable for the community to enforce the rules. It is a matter of realistic known consequences, not retribution. The punishment is partly for the offender, but also for the sake of the health of the community. Acknowledging the action and its consequences opens the door to forgiveness. Later, however, when the punishment is fulfilled, there is no reason for the community to ignore the memory of the action. If it was embezzlement, forgiveness does not mean that we trust the individual with funds without close oversight. If it was rape, we do not allow our women to accompany the man alone in situations where he will have power over them.

Forgiveness is what happens within ourselves and determines whether the original evil will continue to do harm. That the act is not forgotten and the person is not easily trusted is just the realistic consequences of the act.


Roger Spenser said...

I have just watched a news conference with the young women of the Rutgers team.

They did a wonderful job in highlighting to how low a level our acceptance of what appears on TV, radio, and movies has dropped.

It seems to be open season on demeaning each other and disparaging each other's beliefs!


Arthur McCorry said...


I agree with you. This goes beyond Imus. There is an atrocious lack of civility in all discourse on TV talk shows and in the political process.

If this situation with Imus opens up a serious dialog on the problem of civility to each other it will have served a very useful purpose. I fear the dreadfulness of the forthcoming presidential election with all of the pols using attack ads instead of engaging in an intelligent conversation about the problems we are facing - a war, global warming, social security and health care to name but a few.

The philosopher Hegel said that resolution comes at the point of maximum conflict. Maybe we have reached that point?


Diana Malcolm said...

As you probably know Imus runs a famous ranch where he takes kids with cancer and they can be 'cowboys/girls' for several weeks.

I heard this morning that he had recently had a problem with four black girls who kept calling each other 'bitches and whores'. At one point he brought them in to his office there and gave them a dressing down about this behavior. However, the behavior did not stop and he had to send them home early.

I do not blame the four girls involved but I must blame society which is where this behavior and uncivility is taught to them.

Di Di

Brenda Moorhead said...

roger - i think a suitable "punishment" (not a good word i know) would be for imus to take one show per week for the next year and devote it to a discussion on the dumbing down of the american culture by gangsta rap, sexually orientated sitcoms,uncivil speech (including his own). this might go a long way to sensitizing people about the coarseness of their speech and thoughts. no censorship! but why not education through discussion?

Anonymous said...

MSNBC will no longer simulcast the Imus radio show beginning immediately.

I wonder if the media will now seek ....

1) To have Al Sharpton also removed from the airwaves for refusing to apologize to several white officers for the Twana Brawley case even after he was forced by a court to pay a fine for his behavior.

2) To have Jesse Jackson removed from the airwaves for referring to New York City as 'Hymietown'.

3) To have all disk jockeys who play rap music in which songs constantly refer to black women as 'hos good for rape', and 'rape the bitches' etc. taken off the airwaves.

4) To protest against secular humanist Bill Maher who has just finished a movie with Borat to 'destroy religion' as he put it on TV today. When asked what he proposed to put in its place he replied that people should be free to do what they wanted including using drugs and pursuing prostitutes 'as long as no one is harmed'. I presume he will dignify the prostitutes he vists by not referring to them as 'hos'.

Brenda Moorhead said...

this firing of imus is sad especially when it is led by the likes of al sharpton who called innocent people in Wappingers Falls racists in the twana brawley case.

he then went on to duke university to call 3 white students rapists. They have now been declared innocent in what appears to be a twana brawley repeat incident.

imus has raised millions of money for children with cancer, he runs a ranch for children with cancer, he uses his private airplane to fly kids with cancer to treatment.

this man is now off the airwaves while sharpton and his cronies rave on!

Sad, sad, very sad!

Roger Spenser said...

It's really amazing to see that all of the 'ills' of the USA are now being heaped on Imus.

If I can be excused for this analogy but is Imus being crucified as some sort of sacraficial atonement for the sins of others?

Certainly puts one thoughts over Easter into a new context.


Looking in the Distance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diana Malcolm said...

I've changed my mind. Listening to all of this hypocrisy on TV over the past few days I think his firing is a mistake and a farce.

I will change my mind the other way if I now see all the rest of the degrading commentators removed from the airways.

But what does all this now mean for the freedom of the airways and freedom of speech?

Di Di

Michael N. Hull said...

The Catholic League's Bill Donohue commented as follows:

“Two years ago, Penn Jillette (of the comedy team Penn and Teller) went on Showtime calling Mother Teresa ‘Mother F—king Teresa’ and called the nuns who worked with her ‘f—king c—ts.’ Showtime is owned by Viacom and that is why I wrote to its chief, Sumner Redstone, to register a complaint. He wrote back extolling the merits of ‘artistic freedom’ and ‘tolerance.’ Last year, on Viacom-owned CBS radio, Jillette said Mother Teresa ‘had this weird kink that I think was sexual,’ compared the saintly nun to Charles Manson and said she ‘got her [sexual] kicks watching people suffer and die.’ Again, nothing was done about this.

“In 2005, Bill Maher went on HBO at the time of the death of Pope John Paul II and said, ‘For those who could not make the funeral, the Vatican has asked that in lieu of flowers, just stop touching your d—k.’ He also said that the whole story of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and the Resurrection was ‘grafted from paganism’; he ended by mocking the death of the pope and the upcoming conclave. The letter I received from HBO said that ‘it’s a free country, and people are free to say silly things—even on HBO.’

“In other words, Catholic bashing is humorous and an exercise in liberty. Racism is awful. Bigotry, then, is neither good nor bad—it just depends who the target is.”


Arthur McCorry said...

I commented on your thread "Amazing Grace" about Wilberforce.

I was reminded today by a comment on TV of Wilberforce's campaign "A Reformation of Manners". The commentator said that this Imus incident might be the start of a whole new "Reformation of Manners" movement in the United States.

Given the coarse language, TV, movies, and rap music let's hope that there is no further Anna Nicole incidents to drive this discussion to the back burner.


Avid Reader said...

While the media, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson have found a ‘sacrificial lamb’ to ‘atone’ for the ‘sins’ of stupid speech let’s be reminded of the following song that won an Academy Award Oscar. The lyrics are as follows:

"It's Hard out Here for a Pimp"

[Chorus 2X: Shug - singing] + (Djay)
You know it's hard out here for a pimp (you ain't knowin)
When he tryin to get this money for the rent (you ain't knowin)
For the Cadillacs and gas money spent (you ain't knowin)
[1] Because a whole lot of bitches talkin shit (you ain't knowin)
[2] Will have a whole lot of bitches talkin shit (you ain't knowin)

In my eyes I done seen some crazy thangs in the streets
Gotta couple hoes workin on the changes for me
But I gotta keep my game tight like Kobe on game night
Like takin from a ho don't know no better, I know that ain't right
Done seen people killed, done seen people deal
Done seen people live in poverty with no meals
It's fucked up where I live, but that's just how it is
It might be new to you, but it's been like this for years
It's blood sweat and tears when it come down to this shit
I'm tryin to get rich 'fore I leave up out this bitch
I'm tryin to have thangs but it's hard fo' a pimp
But I'm prayin and I'm hopin to God I don't slip, yeah


Man it seems like I'm duckin dodgin bullets everyday
Niggaz hatin on me cause I got, hoes on the tray
But I gotta stay paid, gotta stay above water
Couldn't keep up with my hoes, that's when shit got harder
North Memphis where I'm from, I'm 7th Street bound
Where niggaz all the time end up lost and never found
Man these girls think we prove thangs, leave a big head
They come hopin every night, they don't end up bein dead
Wait I got a snow bunny, and a black girl too
You pay the right price and they'll both do you
That's the way the game goes, gotta keep it strictly pimpin
Gotta have my hustle tight, makin change off these women, yeah


As Ever,