I've never really liked Don Imus. I think his whole show is an exercise in vanity, and some seriously undeserved vanity at that. From way back in the day when he and his cohorts joked about Greg Louganis having HIV (what kind of person milks someone else's HIV for laughs?) to more recent days (the Rutgers women's basketball comments), I have never once had the urge to listen to his particular brand of "humor." To be sure, the I-Man has his rabid supporters who will defend him (again) for being a "good guy who said something inappropriate (but wasn't it funny anyway?!)." He'll be congratulated for apologizing, as if his racist comments were a one-time occurrence that no one can believe occurred. He'll be defended by people who say, "Everyone knows that Don Imus is not a racist." They'll point to some evidence that he once gave money to a charity that helps blacks, gays and Asians and incredulously ask how someone who supports minorities could ever, possibly be racist. They'll then rip apart Al Sharpton's performance during Imus' appearance on his show, as if trashing Sharpton's words does anything to erase Imus' words. Those defenders will also not admit that their blind allegiance to Imus might perhaps mirror other people's blind allegiance to Sharpton; so what makes the Imus disciple right and the Sharpton disciple wrong?
But let's be honest here. It's time for Mr. Imus to grow up. You don't have to BE a racist to say something racist. Once. But you can't keep saying you're not a racist if you keep saying racist things, or hiring cohorts who say racist things on your show. You aren't what you do or say...unless you keep doing and saying it. Imus is resolutely recidivist when it comes to being offensive. That is his right. And it's also the right of his employer to decide they don't want him on the air, and it's the right of listeners to make him responsible for his words.
I wonder if perhaps people want everyone to get over it because he said something about Black people. It's easy for a certain demographic to tire of being taken to task for "saying things that rappers say all the time." So noted. But if you hold "rappers" in such low regard, why are you talking like them? And, furthermore, believe me, if he had said something along these lines about "slanty-eyed Asian hos" I would personally be outside the MSNBC building loaded for bear. Him "not being racist" would be immaterial to me. The point is that he said something incredibly hurtful, untrue and--here's the most important part--UNNECESSARY to the discussion. Would that conversation have been any less "funny" had he not called a very talented group of women what he did? He thoughtlessly maligned a team, a group of women, and a race--just because he could.
The man has verbal diarrhea of the most offensive kind, and it's really, truly time for someone to administer the pepto. For all of our sakes.