Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Imus 'N the Mourning

I got nothing to day about the topic of the day. How many different ways can you say that an act of brutal violence is senseless? So, back to the topic of yesterday. I know it's sick, but I can't help wondering if Imus hasn't thought to himself, "Godamn it...if only that school shooting had happened last week, I'd still have my show!"

Anyway, the angle today is not just racism...but how one gets the title of "racist." I personally think the notion of who is a racist and who isn't is problematic, but that's how we want to slice it up in this culture: either someone IS a racist or IS NOT a racist. Of course, we don't exactly have a fool proof systematic method for evaluating people on this, do we? Funny thing on that: Chris Rock said that people come up to him and axe him if Mike Richards is a racist. He replies, "Well, he did yell 'nigger' in a crowded room. What more does he have to do? Shoot Metger Evers?" And then, of course, Mr. Rock went on to use 'nigger" in his schtick for a crowded room. He said it wuz especially weird that a cultural icon like "Kramer" hurled epithets, and then added, "It would be like Fonzie saying, 'Up your nose with a rubber hose, nigger!'"

God, that is funny shit. Anyhoo, like I said: part of this is the judgement game, part of it is the labeling game. On paper, we don't think it's okay to exclude a group from society--to heap scorn on them, make them the Other--but we do it effectively enough with gays, and we certainly feel very good about ourselves when we can root out a racist and issue our public condemnation. Those who would ostracize the Other...they must become the Other! It's brilliant. Except...a good chunk of the nation might understand on some level that just having the occasional racist thought or maybe even saying something that might be perceived as racist...that these things alone don't put a man or woman in the same category as David Duke. And when there is repentance...when there is the acknowledgment of wrongdoing, and an expression of hope that one can change, why is that not enough? How about this: maybe Mel Gibson was a racist for years and now he's not. Hey, I wuz a Christian and now I'm not. Granted, a lot of folks don't change their belief systems about God or other races, but some do. I know that Gibson apparently did the flipside of what I did at some point: he had no real grounding in a spiritual belief system, but then he became a committed Catholic. As some country boys who have been on Imus sing, "Some people change."


Blogger dan said...

If the Media would quit bringing up racism all the time, maybe some of the underlying prejudice people have in this society will subside.
Yes, I'm saying I think people are
racist because of ideas and pictures they see on television, in print, on the internet and even on the radio (Don Imus). I'm definitely not for censorship, but I do think the whole issue of race is overblown by the media. They need to tone it down and common sense need to prevail.

5:33 PM  
Blogger TXB said...

Or, maybe the focus should be less on racist rhetoric and more on ways in which racism might still prevent advancement for minorities. For example, from what I've heard in Academia--that bastion of tolerance, acceptance, and blah, blah, blah--most minorities feels as if their job performance is much more under scrutiny than the old white males are subject to.

8:42 AM  

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