I know this isn’t exactly on topic for this blog (radio, not film/tv), but I feel this requires as much exposure as it can get, so I’m posting it here.
Last night, as I was trying to research the origins of the word “nappy”, I got distracted by this transcript of the actual commentary Imus made, in which the show’s executive producer, McGuirk, called the team “hos” even before Imus did… and then some (emphasis not mine):
IMUS: So, I watched the basketball game last night between — a little bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the women’s final.
ROSENBERG: Yeah, Tennessee won last night — seventh championship for [Tennessee coach] Pat Summitt, I-Man. They beat Rutgers by 13 points.
IMUS: That’s some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and —
McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.
IMUS: That’s some nappy-headed hos there.
I’m gonna tell you that now, man, that’s some — woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like — kinda like — I don’t know.
McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.
McGUIRK: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes — that movie that he had.
IMUS: Yeah, it was a tough —
McCORD: Do The Right Thing.
McGUIRK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
IMUS: I don’t know if I’d have wanted to beat Rutgers or not, but they did, right?
ROSENBERG: It was a tough watch. The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the Toronto Raptors.
IMUS: Well, I guess, yeah.
RUFFINO: Only tougher.
McGUIRK: The [Memphis] Grizzlies would be more appropriate.
“Jigaboos”, BTW, is a very old racist slur even my mother hasn’t heard since the 50’s. Urban dictionary says: “Derogatory n. pl. Black person. Usually of lower class and mentality.”
Now, my point is not to defend Imus – not at all. It’s that even if you take out the three words he got fired for, look at the shit that’s still there! And who do you think’s going to hire Imus’ replacement? Gee, maybe the executive producer who called them “hos” and “jigaboos”? Who has learned from this incident, “I can’t say ‘ho’ because that damn Al Sharpton will raise hell, but I can still go on at length with racial and gender stereotypes about cute little white girls and the rough black girls as long as I don’t use that word. Man, have my rights been infringed!”
Firing all of these men would be a nice start. And that doesn’t even begin to address the listeners who find this sort of thing not only acceptable but entertaining.
UPDATE: I goofed here – it’s worse than I thought. I thought Imus’ remarks about the TN girls looking cute referred to white girls, but apparently that team is mostly black. So what Imus is saying is that if a black girl is “cute” enough for him, he will not treat her to verbal disrespect, but if another black girl is not cute to him, he can call her anything he likes. I thought he was just being racist, but apparently he was being misogynistic and racist at the same time. Thanks, MattW, for pointing out what I missed here!