Friday, July 20, 2018

Why The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions

by Frank J Hopkins (writer), New York, April 18, 2007


Kurt Vonnegut died on an otherwise unremarkable April 11th but that was not the lead story merely an aside lost inside a storm of noise by people practiced in the art of disingenuous discourse...
Don Imus was fired by both MSNBC and CBS Radio and while that was the lead on most of the networks and certainly took up a great deal of the programming on MSNBC the firing and subsequent public execution of Don Imus was,contrary to those who decide what is news was alas also not the story.
The story was and is the triumph of feelings over intent;the ascension of the 12 step culture as arbiter and executioner of what is to be and what is not to be tolerated....Impudent as it might be allow me to mention that though ascended they too are wrong and we-you and me and you and even you over there in the corner will be the ones who will suffer for it.

Allow me to mention that half the Rutgers's women's basketball team did not know who Imus was and in fact most if not all of them had not heard Imus's comments directly.
While I cannot prove that most of those women-while insulted and no doubt hurt-probably had a reaction along the lines of'"Ok, who the hell is Don Imus and why is he picking on us?" I am pretty sure that the people around them fueled the notion that they should be outraged and feel extremely hurt to the point of feeling 'victimized' and 'violated' and then just so the point would not be lost upon those of us who know that there is a difference between being hurt and insulted as opposed to victimized and violated also said how they felt all they had accomplished had been tainted and ruined.
It is funny that-I did not hear the coach of that team who spoke by all accounts so thoughtfully and heartfelt about the hurt and anger and how deplorable it all was...I did not hear her ask that her teams victories be given back. I did not hear that thoughtful coach full to the brim with shock and dismay offer to the LSU and Georgia Tech Women's basketball teams that they should take her teams now 'tainted' and 'ruined' glory for their own.
I doubt somehow that she will take back the endless streams of loving interviews that her teams garnered nor for that matter do I doubt that when Rutgers begins it recruiting drive for the next class of female basketball athletes that she will not mention with a coach's pride how her team made it to the National Championship and how it will benefit them for coming on board and joining a winning program.
No, I doubt the taint will go that far or last that long but the same will not be said for Imus and for those who found a convenient scapegoat-all the more so because of his unwillingness to navigate the sudden sea change.
Don Imus was fired because he said of the women on the Rutgers basketball team,"Those are some hard looking women...'Yeah they are some nappy headed hoes'".Don Imus said this on April 11th and though he could not know then that a firestorm was smoldering it would soon explode into manufactured outrage and shameless genuflection by those in the media who here to fore had never been given to publicly comment on Don Imus or his show.

I have to be honest with you-I don't care for Imus for the same reason that I don't care for Stern...I don't find them funny. I don't think that mean spirited belittling verbal insults are the same as comedy nor no matter what their legion of fans will say-clever,witty,or edgy.
In the case of Stern endless sophomoric ruminations on lesbians,cripples,odd sex,porn star has-beens peddling their best deep throat technique,their latest book or stupid,shallow,silly women who for the chance of being noticed for ten minutes will degrade themselves and be degraded for the sake of the "joke"is not clever anymore than fear factor is.
I will say however that Stern much to the chagrin of many is much more relevant and closer to the true soul of American culture today than Imus has been in years.
Don Imus did what he does-he took a cheap shot with a poor joke. He is guilty of being insensitive and crass but Don Imus is not the problem here-a symptom yes but most certainly not the problem.
Imus is a man-an older white man,who often presided over an all male mostly all white men's club who in trying to be contemporary made a gross miscalculation-not of what the culture will tolerate but rather who they will tolerate saying it.

Allow me to set the stage for you gentle reader...As the fire begins its spread,the intensity growing exponentially,scorched earth and the smell of things beginning to burn...Lurking not to far from the edge are the Rev. Al Sharpton cast this day in this drama as a questionable Cassandra and his sidekick Loki,the trickster played today as always by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and last on the scene but not the least,the great black Queen played with earnest sincerity and as much gravitas as she can muster-Oprah Winfrey,cum to minister unto the poor victims,to suckle them to her over media exposed breast-the new age mammy proud,defiant,overflowing with tough love and treacly bon-mots of wisdom.
If one listens close you can hear the bellow of Cassandra,"Oh no-we aren't going to tolerate that...There will be a protest of MSNBC and what we want,what we demand is that He-Don Imus-be fired." The bellowing grows not yet hysterical but aiming slowly for that direction,"We will settle for nothing less because nothing less can be called justice." Loki waits for the fire to grow brighter so as to be seen clearly. The black Queen nods in approval.

The endless bleating voices will tell you that Don Imus was and should have been fired for racist comments. they will tell you-Cassandra most notably that Don Imus has victimized and violated those glorious Young woman of Rutgers. Here I must pause-my urge to vomit most compelling but not the reason for the brief respite. I want you to take in the words-VICTIMIZED and VIOLATED-repeat them for a second so that their weight can be felt on both tongue and conscious.
Victimize is defined as:
1a-treat unfairly: to single somebody out unfairly for punishment or ill treatment
2a-Subject to deception or fraud-
{Merriam Webster Online dictionary}
3a-victimize, UK USUALLY victimise
to treat someone in an intentionally unfair way, especially because of their race, sex or beliefs:
{Cambridge Dictionary}

Violated is defined as:–verb (used with object), -lat·ed, -lat·ing. 1. to break, infringe, or transgress (a law, rule, agreement, promise, instructions, etc.).
2. to break in upon or disturb rudely; interfere thoughtlessly with: to violate his privacy.
3. to break through or pass by force or without right: to violate a frontier.
4. to treat irreverently or disrespectfully; desecrate; profane: violate a human right.
5. to molest sexually, esp. to rape

Now maybe I am missing something,maybe in my Neanderthal fog I am not clearly understanding the definitions as presented in front of me:
Where is the intent on the part of Imus to treat these women unfairly because of their race or sex or beliefs where is the intent to violate them and for those who claim that Imus violated their privacy I would say to you that if you are appearing on a national sports network,fighting for a National Championship and giving interviews you have defacto become a public personality. Certainly that idea is accepted when it is men's college basketball or college football athletes we are talking about so why is the same not true for women.
If you have followed the coverage as I have it becomes clear that there is a deliberate disconnect going on:
On the one hand we are told how these women had to be students and take their finals and then go out and play against Tennessee,in a hard fought nationally televised game. We are told how strong they are and how much character they have yet by the reasoning of their sudden defenders they are not strong enough to survive to a foolish joke from a man who has no relevance in the world of sports and barely more than that in the culture they participate in every day.
Their defenders do not seem to understand what a disservice they do to these women-warriors on the basketball but small and fragile little girls who must be taken care of off the court;kept safe from the all too common stupidity that rules the roast of video talking heads and radio masters of the sad and perverse.
These women who as far as I know have not because of one man's crass and stupid comments been denied a career in their chosen fields,have not been denied the right to live or dream or do what they want offered up as a picture of dignity and quiet suffering so long as they remain victims. So long as they go along with the current party line and yet no one mentions that setting up oneself as a victim to move forward a questionable ideology benefits neither master nor slave.
We are told by the simpering guardians of public taste and fairness that it does not matter if Imus meant to be racist but rather that what he said was in itself a racist and sexist offense. Now,I am curious,I know many racial slurs both coded and uncoded but I cannot recall exactly when 'nappy headed hoe'beacame a deliberate slur for black woman. Welfare mother-yes,unwed mother again yes but Nappy headed hoe? Or could it be that the language of hip hop has so thoroughly infiltrated and polluted our culture that it is to be taken for granted that any reference that begins with the word 'Nappy' must automatically mean black-which might come as surprise to some of my Jewish friends as well as my Greek friends and some of my Latin friends as well. And while we are on the topic of Nappy let me point out to those who ascribe that term to rappers that they might want to go back to Rudy Ray Moore and the Dolomite movies-Nappy as an insult by black people to black people has been around much longer that Young Jeezy or any other rap artist you choose.

The better question as far I can see is why a 66 year old white man would know either the term hoe as it used today or nappy-headed hoe and much more relevantly why he would be so comfortable using same.

I would suggest to you that the discussion and subsequent outrage might be better directed at the rap artists and rap videos produced by black men at the behest of record companies who make a mint off them. I would suggest that it may time for black people to tend to the garden of their own houses before tending to the garden of another. I would implore that black people begin to show the same outrage for the very real crisis that lurks in their midst,that has allowed a prison culture to become a way of life,that has allowed that same culture to convince their children that it is better to be rich and fly than to be educated. That is more desirable to spew words that some of these so called musicians can barely spell than it is to know how to make change or how to talk to someone with the need for implied violence.

Outrage over why so many black men are in prison and why for some it is not until they get to prison that they get a basic education.
Outrage for why a generation and half have no respect for themselves and almost as little for anyone else. It is time to have a honest discourse over the why many black people over the age of 30 want to as far away as possible from people who look like them but who younger are far more dangerous to their well being than the police. It is time for black people to stop allowing these non elected spokesmen to tell their story and to begin to tell their truth and their story in their own words with their own agenda.
For so long as 50 cent and all like him are hailed as 'new poets' and tough-minded word smiths by a white press that does not have to deal with consequence of these 'new poets' and are afraid to call them what they really are fir fear of being seen as racist or insensitive-untalented and barely educated thugs and wanna be thugs exploiting the real misery of people who look like them but damn sure don't live like them then their can be no real discussion.

Why have I not seen the rev or Jesse or the black queen protesting outside jive records or interscope? I don't recall any of them calling for the removal of 50 cent or Snoop or young Jeezy from their record labels and if you want to-just for the sake of consistent argument-stay with radio and tv hosts who spew vile and hateful comments I haven't seen Cassandra or Loki or the Black Queen camped out in front of fox calling for the removal of Sean Hannity(12.5 million listeners)Micheal savage(8 million listeners)or any of the Fox fiends...for that matter I don't see them going after Rush Limbaugh(13.5 million listeners.)

Now call me cynical but could it be that Fox and Limbaugh don't give a damn about Jesse and the rev or the black queen,could it be that they might say to them come on down-our demographic doesn't care about you or what you think but you feel free to come on down. Could it be that bullies recognize other bullies and might it be a bit more difficult to talk about duty and conscious and responsibilities to a network that has no problem getting down and dirty and does not suffer from an overly developed sense of guilt...a network that less and less tries to hide its agenda but rather sticks its chin out and dares you to take your best shot. Perhaps it might be that fox and fiends has no problem reminding the good rev of how he smeared an entire community(Wappingers Falls) during the Tawana Brawley incident,an incident that was found to be false but that the good rev now rationalizes by saying that since he believed what others had told him that his actions were done in good faith...hmm.
Don Imus apologized for what seemed like days;an apology that was as far as I could tell sincere and heartfelt;an apology that in truth needed to only be offered to those he had offended but for Cassandra,Loki,the Black Queen and the simpering mob of well meaning but misguided do-gooders that was not enough.

About the Writer

Frank J Hopkins is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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