Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday thought - fueled or fired?

Too often I just shut up. Sometimes you can't stay quiet. I've never listened to or seen Don Imus. Only briefly seen Howard Stern. They're in the same league as Rush Limbaugh in my book - name-calling, offensive, impolite, rude, arrogant, witless media personalities. They must have their fans as evidenced by ratings and the $$$ they command. Imus for certain has some new enemies. The rats are jumping ship.

All of these on-air personalities are protected by this little thing we call "free speech". I continue to try and make sense of the senseless. I probably feel its a bigger deal than some and a smaller deal than others. Sadly, its what we are as a citizenry - at least in current US culture.

It's hard to put into words how deplorable and uncaring his recent comments are to me. I can only imagine how it feels to be a young woman on the Rutgers basketball team. The public uproar will quiet him for a while. Given the benefit of the doubt, his apology is sincere. More on that later. He's horribly confused trying to equate being a "really nice guy" with being racist. They are not even remotely connected. The main story should make us all stop and think.

MSNBC fired him - or won't co-broadcast him - whatever the hell that means. Soon every major broadcast (NBC? CBS?) company will ditch him. Sponsors and advertisers are running like mad. Should he be fired? Probably. Will he find work again? Undoubtedly. Should he be made to shut up? Nope.

Here's what I'd like to happen. His face to face meeting with the team goes well. He should be nervous as hell. He realizes, through conversation, that he's part of a big racial wound in the world - and particularly the US. He goes on to be an advocate for understanding differences and sensitivity toward one another. We all become part of the solution to actually living what we believe to be true in a democracy - that all are created equal. That gender, race, color, creed makes no difference. It's hard work and we don't care for the really hard work.

Update: From AP on Friday AM . There is also a Friday PM story from the AP via the SF Examiner which I'm not going to link (copyright and all that jazz) - you can read it in the paper in the morning :) - or online right now at your favorite newspaper site.

Essentially, the team accepted Mr. Imus apology and is in the "process of forgiving". As I rambled on above, this singular incident is not only an individual problem for Don Imus but societal as well. I am eternally hopeful that somewhere in the mess is a spark toward change. Alas, there are many who feel firing was too harsh. I say "tough".

And here's a fine blog entry on MP's Daily Fix by word wizard, Eric Frenchman, long time Rutgers Women's Basketball Team fan.

What do we want to learn?

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