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Thursday, April 12, 2007

How Imus Hit Home For Me

My nine and a half year-old fourth grader reads the daily newspaper on occasion. A few days ago she came upon an article about Don Imus and asked my wife what the term that Imus used and got him into trouble meant.

Imagine that you're eating a snack, talking about the Lemony Snicket book your child just read and had just asked about how the kickball game went at recess, and then you get asked this question.

Great stuff, huh?

Thanks, Imus, for bringing that discourse to my dining room table.

My wife didn't duck the question or varnish the answer. She explained in detail, with care, of course, what that term meant. My daughter, wise beyond her years, quickly picked up not only the awful term but also the fact that it was broadcast to millions about a team that didn't ask for this type of attention immediately after that team had something wonderful to celebrate (and should only have received attention for its accomplishments).

This is a sports blog, and I'm not going to join the debate regarding Imus's future, the content of the show (which I'll admit I stopped listening to over 7 years ago after tiring of Imus, Bernard McGurk and insensitive comments), how much his guests have to kiss up to him (including the politicians), the involvement of Al Sharpton as an arbiter of Imus's future, Imus's charitable works, etc. There are plenty of other places you can go for that type of discourse.

All I know is that it was he -- and not a kid her age who said something silly at recess and perhaps didn't know any better -- who brought this garbage into my house.

I'm generally forgiving by nature and I forgive Imus for his stupidity, but for everyone's sake, it's 2007, and our country -- and on-air personalities, particularly -- should be way past this sort of stuff.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

More than enough has been said about what was said-- but for me (now in my 50s), and having gone through what was then a segregated public school system, I do find it curious that I had never heard one of the terms in question, until about ten years ago when my elementary school teacher spouse mentioned an award winning book for children by Carolivia Herron entitled "Nappy Hair."
Up until that point, this was one term of derision that somehow I had avoided being used, and believe me, I heard the N-word used countless times.
On that one word, however, guess I was somehow lucky that I was vocabularily deprived!

11:03 PM  

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