Friday, April 13, 2007

Don Imus should not have been fired...

by PAULA NEAL MOONEY

Don Imus should not have been fired…at least before these men who call black women a lot worse things than hos are taken off the airways and lose their sponsors, too!

I just watched every single one of their videos and read their words. (Be warned, cussin’ and lewdness abounds.)

I admit, I don’t watch a lot of hip-hop videos any more since they turned so hateful and sex-filled. But checking out the top six videos has me pondering why some folks are so outraged by what Don Imus has said, but not enough to take real action against our own “brothas.”

Compared to them, I really wasn’t outraged by what Don Imus said. I don’t care about Imus.

Like I wrote Manchild (the epitome of a man who respects his wife, KWiz), I’m more outraged by our black men who call black women bitches and hos -- because they -- of all people -- are the ones who should have our backs.

Essence ran a great campaign to fight against this sexist music, and there was that hip-hop summit.

But where is the complete moral outrage that gets this "ho"-spewing music pulled off the air?

Looking within, here’s why I haven’t protested loud enough against the misogynistic rap lyrics out there:

The songs are bumping…
Something in my nature just responds to that deep bumping base, like an ancient African drum rhythm. I like the beat, I just get so disappointed by the words…

Like why I couldn’t get with the Cash Money Millionaires nor Biggie any more…

Nor Akon.

I was jamming along with his beautiful voice till I got to these lyrics in Show Out:

Some freaks need to be dealt with
Spread 'em and smack 'em backwards
With a stick
I guarantee she'll do what you say
Yeah daddy, no daddy, ok


What a waste of a gorgeous God-given voice…

Some rappers are like our embarrassing cousins…
…that we run into at reunions and funerals, wearing the full yellow suit and matching shoes regalia – and think they’re styling!

A nice understated Hugo Boss suit is lost on them. They are the kind of peeps who pronounce “ask” as “ax” and think we’re all uppity for “talking white.” But we love them anyway 'cause they're family…

Some of these hardcore rappers carry glocks…
…or, they like to perpetrate the myth that they all have a “nina” or AK-47 at the ready. Trying to create an atmosphere of fear is their modus operandi…

It’s part of the code: I can beat down my own mama – you can’t!
Or so goes the misguided theory. Anybody remember Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas? Or the woman who accused Mike Tyson of rape? If any black woman dare diss another black man – especially publicly – look out!

Reasons why we’re total hypocrites if we don’t go after these women-haters with as much fervency as we went after Don Imus:

Because I saw some 8- and 9-year-old black girls in the park shaking it and rolling their little bodies like strippers in broad daylight. That’s when I knew the videos had gone too far.

Of course parents are the front line and can’t let our kids watch that stuff, but “just turn the TV or radio channel if you don’t like it” excuse didn’t hold water for Imus, and it doesn’t hold water for the bad rappers.

When I first heard the “I’m in Love With a Stripper” song I thought it was a joke.

At least groups like Dead Prez offer hope, from what I’ve heard of their lyrics. And they seem to be better spokesmen than Snoop. But there's no excuse.

Because God is stronger than any weapon…
And He is not mocked. How long will He put up with our tomfoolery?

Still, I'm pulling for R. Kelly -- I went to high school with him. I can relate to the demons of lust that dog him. But his time of "flirting" might be up -- or just transitioned to doing it in prison.

And I really like T.I.

But there comes a time to stand up and fight them in Jesus’ Name alone and say:

"No more of this sexist racism against your own sistahs -- the women you derisively call 'hood rats,' the women God calls blessed!"

Let’s all stop the name games and hypocrisy and admit what’s right: Nobody -- Imus nor rappers -- should call anybody else another hurtful name.

What would these men who call a woman a “ho” so readily do if someone called their mother or daughter that?

They could all use a lesson on how to treat a black woman from Robin Thicke.

Till I figure out how to get an easy way to subscribe to my follow-up comments on this blog, go ahead and subscribe to my email posts if you haven't already!

18 comments:

Sunny Ellis said...

Good post, Paula. I don't know what it's like to be a black woman, but your post reminds me a bit of the Kathy Sierra fiasco that just happened. Why do we put up with people putting us down. Treating us like dirt. Treating us like nothing more than sex objects to smack around whenever they want? The fact is, we are not going to get respect until we demand it and posts like the one you have just written are a good way to start.

alec said...

I think the position is / should be: misogyny on any level is unacceptable from anyone's mouth.

Keith said...

Paula, there's not much else for me to say except "Amen." I'm not sorry Imus is gone, but it just infuriates me that we expect more from a broken down white cowboy than we do from ourselves. How in the hell can we expect others to respect us when young brothers are out there disrespecting their own people for fun and profit?

It's sick, it's twisted, and it's about the biggest indictment against our 'leaders' to date. If they don't follow up immdiately with an equally passionate and focused attack against those of 'us' who treat 'us' worse than they'd treat a ghetto dog, then we need to call them to task just as strong as they called out Imus.

We should never expect love or respect from someone like Imus. But we most definitely should be able to expect love and respect from our own people.

You're absolutely right, Paula. If Imus deserves to be fired, then those so-called "entertainers" need to be cut off as well.

KWiz said...

Hey Paula!

Whether or not we agree with Imus' firing, you are absolutely on point - rappers who disrespect us in their lyrics ought to be dissed as well.

Now, I haven't purchased anything rap since the late 80s-early 90s, so I haven't fed that dog lately anyway. But what can we do to educate people, especially parents who allow their children to buy the music, how detrimental it is to young childrens' spirits?

How do we put pressure on record labels to not promote the commercialization of the violently sexist crap some rap and hip hop music is?

I am all for doing my part right where I am; but certainly, as you said, there are many more Black men out there making millions at our expense.

Suggestions?

James said...

Paula, I feel you and it takes courage to disagree with the community as a whole. I changed my stance on this when it hit me that a ho is the same as a c-unt. To compare and defend a 67 year old white racist by dispraising black rappers is expected from white conservatives. To tell black men that your white boy R and B singer could teach us how to treat a black woman is naive and insluting to blackmen. How do we know how this man treats his wife? Do we know how our neighbors treat their wives. He may how to treat a black woman that has to have a white boy but many black women would never be with a white boy under any situation.I have heard women express anger ove rthe rapes from salvery. So if you can forgive that from white men, as a Christian woman you should pray for our rappers and forgive them as well.
Paula, you set the standard and i hold you in high regard but Imus should not be defended by putting down black men!

Yolanda said...

I personally fired most black rappers (along with rkelly and BET) many years ago. Sorry to break it to you but 70% of rap music is purchased by the white population. While the culture may be glorified by the black community what's driving those who make this music is the $$$ supporting these ignorant, degrading lyrics not the black community. There are far more rappers out there who don't use such disgusting lyrics and actually provide intelligence in what they do, however they aren't what sells so unless you find them for yourself you'll think the mainstream stereotype fits all (sound familiar?)

Comparing rappers to Imus is very skewed to say the least. Rappers are entertainers paid to sell records for their label owners. Imus had a responsibility as a radio journalist, no matter how he delivered his news or commentary it should never be at the cost of verbally lynching anyone regardless of their sex or color. His act was one of verbal violence is an arena where he was entrusted to deliver news and opinions, not racist sexist vile and venom.

zawadi said...

I don't know if I should even respond to this one. I am a black female and I can't think of a time in History where Black men had our back.. can you?... I'm a huge history buff and as long as I can read back, It was black women who were fighting off slave traders , the Chief was selling us off. We keep thinking that they will Wise up..I never expected to be respected by a Black man, unless it was family.
sorry. but I see the majority of Black men , foot shufflin, and complaining. or calling someone out of their name.....I hope I don't sound like I dislike black men lmao. No just the opposite... But It hurts to think about how black males have been used, abused and broken for centuries and instead of taking it out on whoever opressed them, and hurt them, but it's always been taken out on the black woman... when will he wake up .... ok this comment was worth less than 2 cents and I hope I didnt offend anyone.
..I am Black and Southern lmao. Trust me I have seen more than I wanted to in 36yrs.......peace
OK Paula, don't ban me from the Blog after this Post :()

Villager said...

Paula - Provocative title! I agree that the next step in the process is to deal with hip hop lyrics. However, I thought that Imus should be fired early in the process. His arrogant and smug attitude was over the top.

Anyhow, I hope that we take steps to clean up the lyrics in our music.

Zawadi - Don't paint all brothas with the same brush. We are all flawed, but I like to think that we have one another's back.

peace, Villager

kystorms said...

hi Paula

I think that it is really important to remember that this is NOT only a black rapper thing, there is lots of "White" music that calls women b**** and h*s! Has been for the last few decades, but we never heard it on radio, so its less well known.
This is a man thing, period.
I hate to put it that way, and I do not mean all men, but really, this can only be stopped when MEN of all colors say enough is enough.
Men are doing it, and men need to stop it. Now, will they step up and make this happen? Who knows, but when there is money in the stepping on of any person money most always wins. If I ever heard my boys call a woman that name, or any other well they can expect a good swift a** kicking, no matter what their age.
Don Imus, as far as I am concerned got what he needed to get, but the problem is that the station he worked for has been paying him "good boy" money for years , all based on his drawing sponsors into their business, and he has always been an obnoxious on air personality. To all of a sudden say, oh we need to fire him, this is bad... is nuts. When the money dries up, then things will change. As mothers, we can stop this onslaught of hatred against women (of all colors and economic stations) by refusing our girls the right to view the videos, by not letting them dress ( or rather undress)like the "ladies" we see on those videos.
When we as woman finally tell men who make these comments whether on videos, in songs, or in our face; that we will not be taking it any more.... and mean it, then we can help stop it.
anyway, that is my opinion, for what it is worth

God Bless everyone :-)

Daniel Jack Williamson said...

Great post. It's not just celebrities that have to stop talking about women that way, because I hear that kind of vile speech out in public, too.

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Thanks for all the thought-provoking and intelligent comments!

**** Specifically the next steps are to find out the names of the sponsors paying anybody to degrade women and call us bad names -- then show our disapproval by not putting money in their hands inadvertently anymore.

*** Stay tuned for more details...

As a people, blacks collectively spend billions of dollars on products and services that we might not realize fund this hate against ourselves...

More interesting reading on the Imus and rappers issue:

Barack Obama Compares Rappers to Don Imus

Don Imus Yanked...Now Yank Blacks With Same Talk

Paula Neal Mooney said...

A big thank you to the Electronic Village for asking: Imus Fired, Is Hip Hop Next? and leading me to this petition:

As members & supporters of the Black community, we the undersigned wish to express our outrage against the numerous rap artists whose lyrics and videos degrade women, Black women in particular, as well as themselves. Their incessant use of the terms ‘nigger', ‘bitch, and ‘ho' degrade the Black community. We also denounce their promotion of drug dealing and the poisonous culture of violence they perpetuate.

We realize freedom of speech is a value held dearly by all in the United States of America. That same freedom of speech which allows these artists to spew their poison is the same freedom that allows us to stand up and say: "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!"

We do not advocate censorship. We are advocating responsibility. Know that this promotion of prison culture has affected our youth. We must put the future of the Black community first! As such,

* We will no longer support artists and media outlets who promote stereotypically demeaning images of Black women!!

* We will not purchase music that categorically insults us!!

* We will boycott BET, MTV, VH-1, mainstream radio and any other media outlet that supports and promotes artists who malign, debase, and otherwise disrespect Black people!!

* We are speaking out against a culture that has been hijacked and turned into a vehicle of harm and degradation of an entire people!!

In the great tradition of our ancestors who began the Montgomery bus boycott, we will not financially patronize or support any entity that discriminates against us or disrespects our people!!

Sincerely,
The Undersigned

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THIS ONLINE PETITION AND SIGN...

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Newsday asks: After host Don Imus fired for sexist remarks, is rap next?

theBarefoot said...

You think Imus put his foot in his mouth? Check this guy put booth legs in. Warning hate speech.
http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=22880

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Oh my goodness, Barefoot Randy.

That's scary...

And people actually had to nerve to clap when he said we should "exterminate white people"?

What the heck?

Vanessa said...

Great post, Paula. The reponses have been have been quite thought-provoking also.

It's so sad that it took a white guy to make Blacks seriously consider fighting misogyny in rap music. Just as Michael Richards played a role in the usage of the word n*gger, Imus has brought this latest issue to the forefront.

I'm not sorry that Don Imus has been fired and I expect him to make a comeback after what someone considers a reasonable period of time for Blacks to cool off.

There's no better time than now to force positive change in the entertainment industry.

Thanks for the link to the petition and for the heads up on Robin thicke on AI.

Peace-Light-Love,

~v

agentsully said...

good post.
I saw Armstrong Williams talking on MSNBC last week (HardBall) and I liked something he said which is that we are all Americans. We need to stop being in different camps , just defending this camp or that camp. We need to stick up for all humans, regardless of race, sex, etc.
Love your blog Paula! You're gutsy and smart.

Jack said...

Good post, Paula. I don't know what it's like to be a black woman, but your post reminds me a bit of the Kathy Sierra fiasco that just happened. Why do we put up with people putting us down. Treating us like dirt. Treating us like nothing more than sex objects to smack around whenever they want? The fact is, we are not going to get respect until we demand it and posts like the one you have just written are a good way to start.

Paula Neal Mooney