First, let me be clear. Don Imus said some really stupid comments about the Rutgers Women's basketball team. Also, Don Imus is not a favorite of mine, he has often said really stupid things about all kinds of things, and he always looked to me like the guy who stayed up all night drinking and showed up to work. In other words, I have never cared for the guy or his show.
That said, there are three things that really bug me about the recent Imus comments that led to his firing by both MSNBC and CBS radio.
The first thing that bugs me is the idea of victimization. The coach and some of the Rutgers women's basketball team said some things that really bugged me. They said that their run to the national championship had been ruined. They spoke of how hurt they were. That bugged me. What are we teaching these young women? If some old white guy, probably drunk, says something stupid about them, are they to give that old drunk power over how they feel about themselves and their accomplishments? What ever happened to the old saying about stick and stones? Why can not someone stand up and tell those young women to ignore morons and be proud of what they have done and not give power to the morons who make comments? It scares me that we are telling young people to let someone like Don Imus control them with mere words. Yes, Don Imus does control them. If his mere words can cause such a firestorm, than the old drunk controls them.
Second, I am not pleased with some of the words said by the likes Rev. Al Sharpton, who said on an MSNBC broadcast that we " need to have broad debate on what is permissible to say and what is not." While I do not fault any business for deciding who they want to work for them, there is something "icky" about defining what is permissible to say. Do not we have freedom of speech in this country? Was not that freedom of speech used as a tool by Martin Luther King, Jr and Malcolm X to call for social justice? Even if you disagree with what Don Imus said, like I do, should we shut him up to make nice with some sort of ideal of political correctness? Of course not. Freedom to speak one's mind, no matter how stupid, is a fundamental freedom. To contend otherwise is to call for tyranny.
My third contention is the hypocrisy of the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. We have recently learned that the Duke lacrosse players were not at fault at all, according the NC Attorney General in the much hyped "Duke Rape Case." Rev. Al and others were quick to condemn the white boys accused and latter vindicated. Where is Rev. Al and others in calling for those Duke boys to have some sort of justice for being falsely accused? Why are they not protesting in the streets for those boys to have their reputations restored?
I know why, and so do you, learned readers. The Duke boys are not part of the politically charged masses that Revs. Al and Jesse stoke with fear and the like. They will likely go on to live somewhat productive lives, and will not blame some comments or their accusers for not making it in life. Thus, they will be hated by the left.
The left liberals can not stand anyone who ignores the moronic comments made and goes on to success. That is why those poor girls at Rutgers will be encouraged to be hurt, defeated and confused by some old white man's comments. No one will tell them to ignore the moron and go on to success. Instead, lawyers, politicos and media types will take over their lives and tell those young girls at Rutgers how bad they have it because some old drunk white man said this or that.
That is the real tragedy of the Don Imus comments. Strong, successful, young women will be encouraged by political forces to be victims and thus be under the control of a few words uttered by a man no one really cares about.
The pundits will get their tv time. The lawyers might get paid. But those young women will learn a lesson wrong in life. A lesson that states letting others control how you feel and think about yourself pays off.