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Apr 10th 2007

patrice o’neal: hilarious voice of reason on imus’ “nappy headed hos” remark

part 1:

part 2:

let me add: i don’t really care for don imus. his radio show airs during my drive to school, but i rarely listen. i just don’t find his show that interesting. now that i think about it, i find his voice to be kind of soothing, but that’s about his only redeeming quality.

don imus and his co-hosts have been saying racist things for years. their silly comments about the williams sisters and gwen ifill come to mind. for those things, and especially for the sum total of those remarks, his show should have been gone long ago.

but for this “nappy hos” comment, people pretty much need to take their medicine and chill out. what did imus say that was so offensive? here is someone’s transcription of the offending segment:

IMUS: So, I watched the basketball game last night between — a little bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the women’s final.

ROSENBERG: Yeah, Tennessee won last night — seventh championship for [Tennessee coach] Pat Summitt, I-Man. They beat Rutgers by 13 points.

IMUS: That’s some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and —

McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.

IMUS: That’s some nappy-headed hos there. I’m gonna tell you that now, man, that’s some — woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like — kinda like — I don’t know.

McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.

IMUS: Yeah.

McGUIRK: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes — that movie that he had.

IMUS: Yeah, it was a tough —

McCORD: “Do The Right Thing.”

McGUIRK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

IMUS: I don’t know if I’d have wanted to beat Rutgers or not, but they did, right?

ROSENBERG: It was a tough watch. The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the Toronto Raptors.

IMUS: Well, I guess, yeah.

RUFFINO: Only tougher.

McGUIRK: The [Memphis] Grizzlies would be more appropriate.

he called girls on the rutgers women’s basketball team, a team with 8 black women, “a bunch of nappy headed hos.” he called girls on the tennessee women’s basketball team, a team with 6 black women, “cute.” so was he being racist, or was he presenting a race-neutral observation of the two teams?

also, i find the hypocrisy galling from types like the national association of black journalists, who said that “this type of language shouldn’t be on our airwaves.” NEWSFLASH, journalists: this type of language is all over our airwaves every. single. day. the principle purveyors of this language are not don imus, they are black hip hop artists.

in the end, however, this quote sums it up:

Jesse Sheidlower, editor-at-large for the Oxford English Dictionary, said….the use of sensitive words depends on who says them….”Very often it is OK for members of one group to use a pejorative term on other members of that group, such as when black people call each other nigger or gay people call each other fag or dyke,” Sheidlower said….”But it is almost never OK for non-members of a particular community to use such terminology,” he said. “‘Nappy-headed’ in particular is clearly a term which is very, very sensitive.” [source: guardian (uk)]

i find particularly odd the idea of holding a news conference at rutgers today (watch the video here: rutgers women’s basketball news conference. in fact, i laughed out loud several times at the sweeping language the coach, the players, and the university president used to describe the way they felt victimized (i recall someone saying the entire state of new jersey had been maligned by imus). the news conference seemed to serve the admirable purpose of allowing the players to vent and assert their worth as individuals. for that, i thought it was an acceptable response. but for the other purposes, like the coach whining about how imus had ruined her trip to the final four and how that tied in with real, actual tragedies she had experienced in her life, i thought it was silly.

see also:

  • Duke Case Persecution vs. Imus “Nappy-headed Hos” Remark
  • When the Reverends [Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton] call for Black “artists” whose “lyrics” are even more vile that what Imus said about the female college basketballers to be fired, they may deserve some attention. So long as they are selectively outraged opportunists, they are worse than Imus….If the disrespected ladies sue Imus for defamation and win judgments against him (falsely imputing unchastity to a woman is not unpunishable expression), that would be good as far as I’m concerned….If viewers and listeners choose wholesome fare instead of Imus, great….If MSNBC substitutes Laura Ingraham or Michelle Malkin or Alan Keyes for Imus, hallelujah.

  • Outrage shouldn’t be directed at Imus alone
  • With no discernible cry against the daily diet of denigration of black women, how many impressionable black teens aspire to have their 15 minutes of fame being one of the objectified hoochie-mamas, gyrating over bodies of gold-toothed, luxury-sedan-driving thugs, hollering about slapping around their hos? Don Imus and his insensitive, immoral ilk are hardly alone to blame for black female bashing.

    so, the solution? fire don imus and snoop dogg at the same time, if possible.

    6 Responses to “patrice o’neal: hilarious voice of reason on imus’ “nappy headed hos” remark”

    1. briant

      hadnt thought of the hypocrisy with rappers, but its so so silly that this is making headlines for a number of reasons. 1) Imus has said much much worse things. he show is deplorable and should have been banned for all the innuendos and filth that fills the time on a daily basis. 2) how was this a racist comment? like you said, Tennessee has 6 black players, and white people can also have nappy hair (so my wife tells me). this whole thing is so dumb and i loved seeing oneil on hannity. the best part was when he was like “nappy haired hos is a hilarious statement.”

    2. Matt Evans

      I agree with Patrice. We get to serious over someone’s OPINION of how a basketball team looks (regardless of what color they are). Let it go and forget about it.

    3. […] all-encompassingly […]

    4. Angela

      Thank goodness for a voice of reason. Now what do we have to do to get these intelligent comments made by Patrice and others more publicized? Funny how all the wrong people with the biased opinions get all the media coverage. But I guess drama and ignorance sells more than intelligence and reasonable thinking.

    5. […] the way amare stoudemire has been booed in san antonio this week, youda thunk he called their fans nappy headed hos or something. […]

    6. matt

      I think Patrice Oneal is just plain funny and intelligent. I agree with you, Angela. I think he should be more in the public view. I got his DVD and was laughing off my couch!