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Monday, April 09, 2007

Wimps and Weasels

This morning, quote from Don Imus:

Don Imus: "On Friday I apologized for some remarks that I made and others made,
but particularly ones that I made on this program to the Women's basketball team
at Rutgers University and it was a straight-forward apology that Charles and I
wrote and I didn't offer any--I didn't think it was necessary to offer any
excuse, nor I don't think there is now, I didn't think there was any need for me
to put into any sort of context what happens on this program, because I am
unwisely, just assumed that everybody knows, and obviously they don't and I
didn't think it was important to talk about what I do with my life, what my wife
does with her life and who I am because I thought it was important that I
apologize to these young women and to that coach and to their parents and to you
for what I said, and so that's what I did, and that was before any newspaper
articles, that was the first opportunity that I had, and I may discuss that
with--well it depends on what Reverend Sharpton asks, but I'm going to appear on
Reverend Al Sharpton's radio program this afternoon, it's not, I'm not sure what
time, it's not broadcast in New York, but it's broadcast all over the country
and you all can hear it at, s-h-a-r-p-t-o-n, on the computer deal. So, I apologized on Friday and there was
a barrage, as you perhaps know of newspaper articles over the weekend and some
this morning, and a number of prominent people calling for me to be fired and so
on, and so I have a responsibility this morning to provide some context and
proportionality to who I am and what I do. And, I don't want anybody to think
that this--that I'm trying to weasel out of these remarks or that this is some
kind of excuse because there isn't any excuse for what I said. And I don't--I'm
not inclined to try to weasel out of these comments which is why when I reached
out to Reverend Sharpton and he invited me on his program I’m grateful that he's
allowing me to come talk to him and his audience. He's still calling for me to
be fired and that's his right, but at least he's going to let me talk to him so.
These young women at Rutgers, they don't know who I am, I mean they pick the
paper up and they don't know--they don't know whether I'm some right wing racist
nut, whether I was angry, whether it was some kind of diatribe, whether I was
drunk, they don't know whether I just came on the radio and said, 'Hey the young
women of Rutgers are yadayada.' So let me provide a context briefly for them,
not as an excuse, not that this makes it okay, nothing makes this okay, but
there's a difference between pre-meditated murder and an accidental--on the gun
going off accidentally. I mean somebody still gets shot, but the charges are
dramatically different. This program has been for thirty, or thirty-five years a
program that makes fun of everybody. It makes fun of me, and it makes fun of
everybody on the planet, and sometimes it makes fun of me to a vicious
standpoint. Does that mean I get to say something about the Rutgers women? Of
course not, but that's the context in which we operate here. Is it appropriate?
Well, we'll talk about that a little later, because that's got to change, some
of that, because some people don't deserve to be made fun of like these young
women who played for the national championship of basketball, they played for
the national championship, they beat Duke, and then they played Tennessee in the
national championship, they don't need me to try to be funny about that.
And--but they, they don't know that I was trying to be funny; they don't know
what this program is about. I mean, because I call my wife the 'Green Ho' does
that mean, does that mean I can call--of course not. I mean that's a repugnant
suggestion to suggest that I think because we make fun of everybody, or because
I get made fun of that it's okay to make fun of them, because it's not okay to
make fun of them, but that's what we do and that's the context. So I want
these--and I reached out, and I have, I've talked to Reverend DeForest Soaries
last night for forty-five minutes and I had a great conversation with him, he's
calling for me to be fired, but he's a decent, brilliant man and a great
Evangelist and he said, I believe you and he said, you know--you don't need
a--we don't need a come to Jesus situation here. He said you know what the
enigma of this--the tragedy is, he said, that I believe you, that you're a good
man. He said, and you said this, you said this, what are they saying? Well he
named a couple of people I won't name, but what are the people over there on the
right saying? And he said, you know at the core of every black person, he said,
you have to understand this, they believe that white people don't like them, and
they believe that no matter how good a white person is that at some point it
comes out, like it came out with you, and that just confirms what they think.
And if you'll say this, what will they say? And so I want these--I've asked
these, the Reverend DeForest Soaries to see if these young women will allow me
to come apologize to them and their families and their coach, and he said he
will work on that and at 10:30 Saturday night I talked to Bob Mulcahy, he was
the athletic director, he's a lovely guy, I talked to Harold Ford all weekend
and I talked to Phil Griffin, God bless him--actually reached out to Reverend
Sharpton when I asked him to and told Reverend Sharpton that well I wanted to
talk with him, and so this is how that came about. These young women also need
to know, not as an excuse, and not after what I'm going to say now do I expect
these young women to say oh well he works with black children or he has black
friends, that means he can say this. That's not what I am saying but they need
to know that I am a good person who said a bad thing and there's a big
difference. We have a ranch in New Mexico for kids with cancer and blood
disorders and so on and it opened, we founded it, it's been almost 10 years and
half, nearly half of the kids who come there are from minority groups, Native
Americans, Hispanic, Asian American, an Asian American girl just won the Imus
ranch rodeo this past spring, African American, ten percent of the kids who come
to our ranch are African American, I am not a white man who doesn't know any
African Americans and these, my wife and I, Deirdre Imus we run this ranch. We
don't have counselors, the whole basis of this ranch is these parents from all
over this country and all over the world, they send their children to this ranch
because they know that my wife and I are going to be their parents for 10 days.
They live in the house with us. They eat with us. They're with us 24 hours a
day. There is not an African American parent on the planet who has sent their
child to the Imus ranch who didn't trust me and trust my wife and when these
kids die we don't just go to the white kids funeral. Little Michael Morgan, god
bless him, he turned 17 years old on Christmas day, he died January 1st and my
wife and I of course went to his funeral, it was a home grown service down near
Philadelphia, my wife who's from Connecticut (inaudible) ... he knew that we
loved him and he'd been to the ranch twice. Two years ago he came to ranch and
he desperately wanted to win that ranch belt buckle. He was terminal then and I
had the stop watch and I could have let him win, easily, but he would have known
that and I would have known that and so he was pissed at me and everybody else
because he didn't win and he came back last year, he came back last year and he
tried with all his heart to win and he didn't win again and I could have let him
win, well I wouldn't do that and he wouldn't have wanted me to do that and then
he went home and died on Christmas day so, and these kids come out there with
sickle cell anemia so I know African American children so I don't need to come
to Jesus experience and you might say well if that's all true why would you say
this? I don't know why I said it. I mean we were trying to be funny but does
that make it ok? Of course not. My wife and I were stunned this past summer at
the number of kids with sickle cell. I came on this radio program when I got
back talking about sickle cell, I talked to politicians about it. I said well
how much money is being spent on sickle cell, I don't know. And I asked doctors,
doctors at the ranch and others is there any research being done, nobody,
nobody, nobody called me, nobody called me. No black journalists called me.
Nobody ever called me about any of that so. My wife and I took a child with
sickle cell who we had to send home because he was so sick and so we had to take
him to the hospital which is 120 miles from the ranch, so we all got in the
pickup because he liked the pipes in the pickup and we roared on down with the
doc sitting in the back with one of those bag deals and we roared on down to the
University of New Mexico hospital, which is a marvelous place and Charlotte was
getting a hold of his mom, we were flying her out from New Jersey and so he was
holding my wife's hand because my wife was his surrogate mother for the time
being and he said am I going to die here? And she said no you are not and he did
not. And so that's when I came back and talked about this, does that, does that
mean that I should be forgiven for saying what I said about the Rutgers women?
That is not what this is about. But that's what I am about, because I am a good
person who said a bad thing. Do you want to know what people called me for
supporting Harold Ford Jr.? Do you want to know the mail I got, they called me
an N lover. Do you want to know what people said to me for the years that I
played Bishop Patterson's sermons? People told me that they didn't want to hear
that (pause), well you can imagine. Do you know what people said to me when I
booked the Blind Boys of Alabama here years ago and they have been on fairly
regularly ever since then, about what they said about them and about all the
African American musicians over the years who I've had on this program and so
on? Does that mean that it is ok for me to say what I said about these Rutgers
women? I hope you don't think that because I don't think that. So I am going to
go talk to these women if they'll let me and tell them what I have just told you
and what have I learned from this because Reverend DeForest Soaries said I want
you to tell me what you've learned. Here's what I've learned. That you can't
make fun of everybody because some people don't deserve it and because the
climate on this program has been what it's been for thirty years doesn't mean
that it has to be that way for the next five years or whatever because that has
to change, so, and I understand that. Wouldn't you think, our job at that ranch
is to restore the self esteem and the dignity and the confidence of these
children. Well why would I think then it's ok to go on the radio last Wednesday
and make fun of these kids who just played for the national championship. Well I
can't answer that. I'm sorry I did that. I'm embarrassed that I did that. I did
a bad thing but I am a good person and that will change."


I was all ready to defend Don Imus this morning. Not the statements about the Rutgers team, which, while not rising (or falling) to South Park level, were indefensible, but his right to say them and not get fired for it. That to me is censorship to demand Imus be fired.

Now the I-man is off to kiss the ring....and I would also assume the ass...of Al Sharpton.

Though I would have had some rudimentary respect for this call-to-be-canned, the fact that it comes from this baffoon is nausiating to say the least.

I am an African-Americam, old enough to remember when giants walked the Earth. Abernathy. Wilkins. Malcolm. King Sr. and Jr. Jessie in his bombastic prime. Coretta.

Al Sharpton is not fit to scrub thier underwear.

And for those who think (some already have) that I have morphed in to America's Favorite Cookie (TM), thankfully Wikipedia has lovingly chronicled some of Big Al's more unsavory adventures.....

Crown Height Riots
The Crown Heights Riot occurred after a car accident involving the motorcade for the Lubavitcher Rebbe killing a young boy Gavin Cato. A riot was sparked after a private Hasidic ambulance came to the scene and, on the orders of a police officer, removed the Hasidic driver from the scene. Gavin Cato and his cousin Angela were picked up soon after by a city ambulance. Caribbean-American and African-American residents of the neighborhood then rioted for four consecutive days fueled by rumors (in part driven by Sharpton), that the private ambulance had refused to treat Cato.
Al Sharpton became the de-facto representative for the Cato family. During the funeral he referred to "diamond merchants" considered a code word for Hasidic Jews [19] [20], for shedding "the blood of innocent babies" leading marchers shouting "No Justice No Peace". Sharpton did not start the riots but his rhetoric was seen as inflammatory and unhelpful in easing the tension between the black and Jewish communities. A visiting rabbinical student from Australia by the name of Yankel Rosenbaum, 29 years old, was killed during the rioting by a mob shouting "Kill the Jew".
Freddie's Fashion Mart
It is also alleged that after calling a Jewish shopkeeper a "white interloper," he looked on while an associate of his suggested the man's shop should be burned down. When a black member of the crowd did so, killing several people and himself, Sharpton initially denied having been present. When confronted with a video tape showing his presence, he said: "What's wrong with denouncing white interlopers?"

LoanMax spokesman
In November 2005, Sharpton appeared in advertisements for LoanMax, an automobile title loan company. Sharpton was criticized for appearing in the ads, as LoanMax has been accused of predatory lending charging fees, and for marketing them to primarily poor, urban and African American audiences. The ads featuring Sharpton were run in predominantly African American markets.
On December 7, 2005, Sharpton ended his relationship with LoanMax in a letter to Rod Aycox, LoanMax president and chief executive officer. The letter read, "I respectfully, but firmly decline your offer for further engagement on my part, and will not engage in any business relationship to promote auto lending with LoanMax." Sharpton said he had not done the research before agreeing to the commercials.

Oh......and I saved the best for last.....

Tawana Brawley Controversy

In the Tawana Brawley case, a 15-year-old black girl was found smeared with feces, lying in a garbage bag, her clothing torn and burned and with various slurs and epithets written on her body in charcoal. Brawley claimed that she had been assaulted and raped by six white men, some of them police officers, in the town of Wappingers Falls, New York.
Alton H. Maddox, C. Vernon Mason joined Sharpton in support of Brawley. A grand jury was convened; after seven months of examining police and medical records, the jury determined that Brawley lied about being assaulted by the police. Sharpton, Maddox and Mason were later successfully sued for statements made in connection with the case, and ordered to pay $345,000 in damages. All three falsely accused the case prosecutor, Steven Pagones, as being among those who abducted and raped Brawley.[14]The jury found Sharpton liable for making seven defamatory statements about Pagones, Maddox for two and Mason for one.

This one is especially sickening because it did not do Black folks any good. We know there is racism, both blantant and non, still in this country. It does need to be weeded out. And I will even allow for Big Al not knowing the truth before he took on this. But at the point when he found out about the whole story, why didn't he bow out of the case? Why did he continue to make derogatory remarks? Why did he try to pin it on the prosecutor? And why, for God's sake, after all these years, has Al Sharpton not apologized to the black community for this? For actions that may have set back the Black cause by years?

Don Imus said a stupid thing. There was pressure. He apologized and promised to be a better person. That should have been the end of it. But here comes Sharpton, as big of a camera magnet as that other maggot Ann Colt-ter, preaching to the top of his lungs that Imus should be fired.

Hell, I might be the only black person who listens to the man. And I can't really, because there is not station in L. A. who will air him.

The bottom line is that he said that he is sorry and that should have been the end. Now it seems Imus is being forced into one of those insipid "apology tours," which is bad enough, but to have to do this in front of the man who is the living embodiment of that great fictional barrister, George "Kingfish" Stevens.

Sickening. We black people deserve better for representation. Much better.

Update: MSNBC suspends Imus simulcast for two weeks.
FOR CHRST'S SAKES. Does ANYONE stand up to ANYONE anymore?? JESUS!

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