Saturday, April 7, 2007

This Picture Should Destroy a Few Stereotypes . . .

... and destroying stereotypes seems to have become the raison d'être of this blog all of a sudden. (Don't worry, we'll get back to Rutgers football by the time of the Scarlet and White game on April 21.)

There's a real danger that with the entry of Al Sharpton into the debate about Don Imus's right to use the public airwaves to call young women of Rutgers by hateful sexist and racist names, Imus's defenders will now try to turn this into the Don vs. Al Show, a show that goes back at least a decade. So I looked for instances where these men have interacted in the past. Along with the expected finds about Rev. Sharpton's voice being imitated on the show in an Amos'n'Andy Show manner, I found the following coincidental juxtaposition of articles in a Media Life Magazine news page from March 28, 2005. It was well worth a screen capture; just click the picture to enlarge it to full screen or click here and scroll to the bottom to see it in its original setting.
  • The Imus article at the top of the screen is an answer to the Imus fans who say, "Don't attack Don. He does more for charity than anybody!" (It also says a little something about his legendary thin skin)
  • The Sharpton article is an interesting answer to the other point made by those fans: "Don't attack Don for calling people 'nappy-headed ho's' unless you attack the rappers who use that language too." (not that too many of those rappers are simultaneously broadcast by CBS & NBC every morning)
I hope that this issue -- this important debate about the acceptability of casual racism and sexism on the air -- doesn't boil down to the Don vs. Al Show, but if it does, I'm 100% on Rev. Sharpton's side!

Cross posted at


Anonymous said...

Take a pill.

beat visitor said...

Dear Mr. John,
Thank you very much for visiting Beat and adding to this important debate about corporate-sponsored casual racism.
What sort of pill do you suggest that I take? Aspirin or something recreational?

Desert Beacon said...

Air pollution is more than just smog. Broadcast bigotry has no place on public airwaves. Thanks for the information about electronic filings for FCC complaints. More at --

Jennifer said...

People can crack on Sharpton all they want to, but he is a very, VERY intelligent man. He's made some missteps - who hasn't? - but none, I would argue, that were meant to be deliberately hurtful.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting that big Al "...suggested artists linked to violence be barred from radio broadcast for 90 days, citing a misuse of public airwaves."

He insists, however, that Imus must resign or be fired for the same "misuse of public airwaves."

Of course, you're the guy who posted on another site that when Imus says something, it's racist - but when Spike says the same thing, it's not.

True Blue Liberal said...

Dear Anonymous,
a)none of those musicians were simulcast every weekday morning on CBS and NBC, but the fact that Mr. Sharpton did call for their temporary banning from radio puts the lie to all those who say that Al only attacks white people. Also, 90 days can be a lifetime in the world of pop music.
b) no, I never said anything about Spike Lee on another website, but now that you mention it, Spike Lee can say whatever he wants and SO CAN DON IMUS, my argument is not with the fact he said a racist thing; there are certainly a lot of racists on the web today. My argument is with the fact that his racist statements have the imprimatur of CBS and NBC.