The underlying issue with Imus

By George Ploss

Don Imus is a bigot. We all know this and he was fired for his bigotry. So should he be allowed to return to the airwaves?

Of course he should.

Until we can come to terms with the fact that we pick and choose when it comes to censorship and abridging our First Amendment rights, he should be allowed to come back on the air and say whatever racist and sexist slurs he likes.

The firing of Imus did nothing in the grand scheme of things but give people a false teddy bear of tolerance to hug while the same media conglomerates push misogyny and racially stereotypical shows to boost ratings.

All that we can gather from this airwave debacle is that overt racism and misogyny are not OK, but subtle subversive racism and sexism are. Self, minstrel-like buffoonery in shows like ‘Flava of Love’ on VH1 and damn near all BET programming, which denote the types of nouns and adjectives that Imus used, are apparently reasonable.

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So according to us, the American public, we can handle black people objectifying their women and demeaning each other in public, but when a white person does it, it’s unacceptable?

The joke is on us.

For one, this makes the African-American community and our unappointed leaders like Al Sharpton look even more incredible in the grand scheme because apparently, through naturalistic observation, we are hypocrites.

How can we (African-Americans) mobilize so quickly and call for the firing of Imus while leaving BET’s Bob Johnson and Viacom’s executive board completely alone? It’s like they are Bin Laden and al-Qaida and Imus is Saddam Hussein. We didn’t completely ignore pop culture and hip-hop culture; we lobbed a couple of cruise-missiles their way but stopped way short of a full-scale invasion.

We used Imus as a scapegoat for racism today, fired him and then went about with our daily lives as if we had achieved a victory in the war on racism when in actuality nothing has changed, but one less bigot on the radio.

Put it however you like, Imus was the fall guy, the front for racism so it can still foster and grow, the one rose that was pruned while letting the rest of the garden grow wildly and out of control.

Imus should come back because his firing was in vain of the Rutgers basketball players, all women and African-Americans throughout the country. He should come back because we don’t have the right to fire him, as a society, until we hold ourselves accountable and commonly take action against all racism and misogyny in the media. Censorship isn’t the answer; it just hides prevailing sentiments and allows for more subtle and subliminal hatred to take place. We must hold our macro-American, violence-loving, women and black and Latino/a hating culture accountable. And we can start by electing Obama for president. One Love.