Imus to Rutgers: You “Nappy-Headed Hos”

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Don Imus is an idiot. Woo-hoo, that’s funny!

Don Imus is a wrinkled-faced racist. Haaaaaa, stop it! Too funny!

Don Imus is a drunk. Waaaaaaaaaaaa…!!! Help me! Help me! You too funny, Roy.

Much of America loves his mean-edged, sophomoric brand of so-called humor, which is why politicians, journalists and anyone with something to pitch falls over themselves to get on his syndicated radio show, ‘Imus in the Morning.” I am not among them.

At times his act can be fulfilling – usually when smart people are discussing important issues. On those occasions, it can even be illuminating. But when the tone turns and Imus and his equally insipid crew try to get funny, well, it just ain’t funny. Especially when Imus lets his racist side run amuk and picks on people who have little to do with him and who are powerless to defend themselves.

Then there are those other times:

On Wednesday, Imus took on the Rutgers women’s basketball team, which lost to heavy-favorite Tennessee in the NCAA tournament title game. The team, coached by the legendary and respected C. Vivian Stringer, comprises two white players and ten African-American women.

During the show, Imus’s executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, called the team “hard-core hos” Imus immediately responded, saying they were “nappy-headed hos.”

But that wasn’t all. A few minutes later, sports announcer Sid Rosenberg, who was filling in for talented sportscaster Chris Carlin (who also calls Rutgers games, btw), said: “The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the [National Basketball Association’s] Toronto Raptors.”

It gets even better: McGuirk later tried to reference the Spike Lee film, School Daze, by describing the championship game as “The Jigaboos vs. The Wannabees — that movie that he had.” Although later, co-host Charles McCord misidentified the movie as “Do the Right Thing” (Criterion, June 1989).

Watch the comments here:

Hey, Imus, we’re proud of our nappy hair (at least those of us who have hair). It’s part of our heritage and who we are. But the “ho” thing, uh-uh. And don’t blame hip-hop culture and its misogynistic lyrics for your own stupidity.

The comments have created a Michael Richards-like firestorm among blacks. This morning, the National Association on Black Journalists has issued a statement – Click here -calling for an apology and demanded that all journalists, including the likes of Tim Russert, refuse to appear on the show until Imus apologizes.

He did, kinda. On this morning show, he said: “Want to take a moment to apologize for an insensitive and ill-conceived remark we made the other morning regarding the Rutgers women’s basketball team. It was completely inappropriate, and we can understand why people were offended. Our characterization was thoughtless and stupid, and we are sorry.”

Watch the “apology:
That is a start. But it is not enough.

Where was the media outrage? Or at least the coverage? Michael Richards was given more time than Oprah to explain his racist tirade. Just recently, the sports media widely covered the suspension of former NBA star Michael Ray Richardson after comments that were described as anti-Semitic.

MSNBC, which simulcasts Imus’ show, issued this statement: “While simulcast by MSNBC, ‘Imus in the Morning’ is not a production of the cable network and is produced by WFAN Radio. As Imus makes clear every day, his views are not those of MSNBC. We regret that his remarks were aired on MSNBC and apologize for these offensive comments.”

Imus, McGuirk and Rosenberg should all be suspended for an appropriate period of time

And they should be required to go to the Rutgers campus and apologize to the young women on that team – all of them – their coaches and staff, in front of the student body – some of whom are no doubt Imus devotees and think that crap is funny.

I stopped listening to Imus a long time ago. On Wednesday, he reminded me why.

Uh, exactly who’s nappy-headed???


Since the original post:

* The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has spoken up in support of NABJ. Click here.

* New York Daily News columnist Bob Raismann, with whom I often share the forum on SportsnetNY’s “Daily News Live,” writes about the business implications of CBS conundrum. Click here.

* Rev. DeForest “Buster” Soaries Jr., the former New Jersey Secretary of State, adds his voice to calls for firing Imus. Click here.

* CNN’s Roland S. Martin asks, Where are Martha Burke and the women’s groups in this attack on young women? Click here.


98 thoughts on “Imus to Rutgers: You “Nappy-Headed Hos”

  1. ollie says:

    Media outrage: I hope that this is a start.

    (Media Matters is a liberal media watchdog group)

  2. Hubert Abell says:

    Imus wears a cowboy hat in doors. That shows what kind of idiot he is. Probably has 10″ heels on his boots.

  3. Great article, Roy! Man, you’ve been on fire the last few day. LOL

  4. Dirk de Young says:

    We seem to be living in angry times, where ugly aspects of American cultural baggage are continually revealing themselves. Hopefully, when the era of retrograde politics of fear leadership by GWBush is over, we can get back on track to a brighter future.

  5. Rob says:

    It’s good that he apologized, but apologies, as Michael Richards and Mel Gibson have discovered, don’t camoflauge one’s hidden predjudices. Somewhere inside he feels women basketball players are ho’s or black women basketball players are ho’s or women who wear their hair a certain way are ho’s, or all black women are ho’s or white women, who associate with balck women, are ho’s. I believe each and every comment made, whether in jest or not, illuminates genuine attitude.

    What I don’t get is the comparison of the Toronto Raptors, my favourite team, to a team they have called a bunch of nappy haired ho’s. Are they bisexual? Would they pay 100 bucks for a quicky with the team? Is this what they’re saying?

  6. Charles S. Farrell says:

    Michael Ray Richardson gets fired for talking about his crafty lawyers. Howard Stern gets fined thousands for cursing. Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction causes the FCC to levy a heavy fine. Imus gets to apologize for racist comments and walk? I hope not.

  7. Irv B. says:

    Like you, I stopped tuning in on Imus many years ago. And I agree, often times his guest can be informative. But let’s not be at all surprised by this comment, This is who Don Imus is. His a punk. He sits behind that mike in the A.M. surrounded by his stooges, saying whatever he thinks is funny and they jump in with add-ons. Don’t put them on the college level. This is high school radio.

  8. J.P. says:

    What they said is so reprehensible on so many levels. I’ve never understood why anyone goes on his show. If no one did, he would dry up and blow away.

  9. yazmilda says:

    I don’t think it’s fair what he did at all.

  10. SJH says:

    * Roy, I’m gonna cuss a little bit in here. Forgive me.

    – I grew up with TV and internet as my electronic media and only started listening to radio in 2001. But I soon found WFAN and fell in love with hearing sports talk. I’d (still do) go to bed with the radio on and leave it on overnight. The first time I woke up to the sound of Imus’ voice, my reaction, I’m sure was, “What the fuck is this? Who’s this asshole mumbling about politics on a sports radio station?” So the first time I heard Don Imus was the last time I cared for Don Imus. I’ve listened a few times and watched about 10 minutes on MSNBC once, but just to laugh at him. Ain’t it funny how they put a man with his voice on the radio? Ain’t it even funnier how they decided to simulcast the show and put a man with his face on TV?

    – That show tip-toes (crosses) the line all the time for the sake of shock value and humor. A few years ago, Sid Rosenberg was getting suspended every other week for stuff that was supposed-to-be funny. It’s not the first time they’ve made racist comments, and I’d bet one of my ass cheeks it won’t be the last.

    – Personally, I didn’t have a problem with the comment itself. Few things offend me (I accept that there’s bigotry and the next man’s opinion doesn’t affect me; as long as there isn’t oppression or suppression, I don’t care who dislikes who), and I thought the comment was kinda funny. The Rutgers look MORE masculine than the Raptors. Them some ugly girls on that team. But I understand the anger. What makes it offensive is who it’s coming from – the wrinkled, wisecracking white geezer who lives on a multi-million dolalr ranch (didn’t he gip cancer kids out of some money with that?) with his blonde, 15-year-old wife and wears cowboy outfits to work. My stance on this: It wasn’t that bad, but any shit thrown Imus’ way is a good thing.

    – The Michael Ray Richardson stuff was such bullshit. He described his Jewish lawyers as shrewd and crafty. Since when is that an insult? Shit, I wish when people talked bad about black folk they’d call us smart and business savvy. And he defended it with statements that were accurate. He said something about the Jews dominating the business world, despite being a minority. It’s true. Off memory – I saw the stats several years ago – the average Jewish income in the U.S. is about $15,000 more than America’s overall average. Obviously, it’s not all of them, but a lot of them are good with finance and business. What’s bad about that? What’s wrong with saying that? It’s a compliment! And Richardson kept reiterating that he didn’t mean it in a bad way. I have Jewish friends who didn’t have a problem with it. One of them said, “Anyone who took that as an insult is a dickhead.” The Richardson was punished at all for his comments was a damn travesty. I read in a Peter Vecsey article that the owner and GM of his team turned their backs and ditched him after that. Spineless rats.

    Just to piss off anyone who might think what I’ve said is anti-Semitic: There was more of an uproar about Richardson’s comments because the Jews are so powerful and they control the media.

  11. blueollie says:

    I think the real issue here is the lack of empathy. Example: if this guy could watch a game and think “that might be MY daughter, niece, cousin, etc. out there” he never would have said such a thing.

    Even if he could say “that might be my buddy’s daughter or niece out there” he never would have said that.

    But all he saw were , in effect, types of aliens.

  12. i’m waiting for the national organization for women or the ms. foundation to say something as well.

    The comments on the show are a reminder that no matter what you accomplish as a black woman in America, there will always be some old white man to remind you that he doesn’t consider you worthy of common decency and respect.

    I’ve also decided if any one running to be my president decides to break bread with Imus after this, they lose my vote.

    Sick and tired of being sick and tired of these people.

  13. Sean says:

    I think the real mystery is why Imus is still on the air and why polititions would want to be on his show. It is mildly entertaining at moments, but that’s about as good as it gets.

  14. I concur Roy. For Imus to make the apology to a microphone is empty and shallow. Time is out for ignorance mascarading as dry humor. If Imus really wanted to apologize he would have traveled to Rutgers and looked each and every one of those young women in the eyes and apologized to them. Should he have gotten smacked in the process, well then he would have received the appropriate retribution.

  15. SJH says:

    Question for everyone? Why would you want him to apologize? Why should the Rutgers women care about his apology? I’ve never understood the value of an empty apology. He isn’t sorry about what he said. In his head, he still think they’re a group of “nappy-headed hoes,” so why would a perfunctory “I’m sorry” mean anything to anyone? You apologize when you make a mistake, unknowingly. Imus is old enough and knows the world (and the media) well enough to know EXACTLY what he was saying and he meant it. And as I said last night, it ain’t the first time they’ve made offensive comments on his show. It’s part of the schtick; it’s what he is. So you’d be lying to yourself to think he meant a word of the apology. You say sorry when you mistakenly accuse someone of eating your muffin; sorry when you accidentally bump into someone. Sorry for something you meant and still mean? That’s worthless. If I’m those girls (and dammit, they ARE ugly — and I have no qualms about calling my relatives ugly either), I’d only be more angered by the apology. In situations like that, the only thing that’s close enough to a real apology is a severe enough punishment. If he lost his job over this, THAT would make him sorry. Otherwise, he’s just laughing on the inside.

  16. TC says:

    Apologies are overrated. He’s sorry that he said it out loud and that people heard it. He’s only apologizing because it’s bad PR and the world told him, Don, that’s wrong. Whether his attitude shifted is unlikely. He thinks he’s some kind of rebel coz he wears a cowboy hat, but he’s still being paid by one of the country’s biggest arms manufacturers.

  17. […] • Keith Hernandez is going to revolutionize Major League scouting with his theories about first names that are also names of cities. [Yelling Louder] • The most complete breakdown of Joel Zumaya that you will find anywhere. [Extrapolater] • Phoenix begs for an MLS team. Phoenix must be a happening place. [Sports Cactus] • Jason Terry has a snazzy new logo and clothing line. [Girls Gone Sports] • A week’s worth of hope for projected MLB cellar-dwellars. [Awful Announcing] • Welcome to Carolina, David Carr. You might be the starter. [Signal to Noise] • Welcome, Billy Gillespie, to [Fire Billy?] • Don Imus apologizes. I am unmoved. [Pass the Word] […]

  18. mcbias says:

    Personally, I was more upset at the sexism than the racism, although there was plenty for anyone not to like. If this was men’s basketball, we’d be talking about “gutsy Rutgers”, who, minus nearly any star seniors, upset the #1 team in the country and battled all the way to the championship game. (For the record, I’m not a Rutgers fan, either, and I still feel this way.)

  19. […] Other sports: Imus calls Rutgers Women Basketball team “nappy headed ho’s”: […]

  20. Matt says:

    Imus and his on-air staff should all have been fired about 3 seconds after that show wrapped. It’s pretty clear that the “celebrity apology” is not effective in getting these morons to re-think what comes out of their mouths. IMO, it’s time to take it to the next level…which is firing people when they make these kind of remarks. There are plenty of folks that could replace Imus, it’s not like he’s the only person on Earth capable of asking the occasional intelligent question.

    BTW…as if it matters, I’m a white-bread middle-american Republican/conservative. Voted for W. It’s pretty unfair of some of the above posters to get going on the W/conservative riff. Putting people in a box/labeling like that is no different than what Imus did. Cool out and think before posting.

  21. […] Imus to Rutgers: You “Nappy-Headed Hos” [image] Don Imus is an idiot. Woo-hoo, that’s funny! Don Imus is a wrinkled-faced racist. Haaaaaa, stop it! Too […] […]

  22. paultanner says:

    Who cares. People who get offended when a race, religion, sexual orientation, or political party is insulted should no longer have names. They should just be called by whatever race, religion, sexual orientation, or political party they identify with. Stand on your own two feet or sit the fuck down and shut up.

  23. […] Apr 7th, 2007 by yogo This reminds me of the Michael Richards controversy. Nobody cared that he talked about lynching a guy, they were too focused on the N word. Imus called the women ballers from Rutgers “nappy headed hos,” so where do you think people are going to focus? Nappy or hos? […]

  24. Mark F. says:

    Imus’ comments are so reminiscent of Jimmy The Greek’s comments in 1988 about how slave owners bred big black kids by mating big black men and big black women. This ingeniuity was the reason that we were such superior athletes. You’ll rember that Snyder made his comments on Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday that year. His supporters claimed that he was actually praising us. The arrogance of bigotry and bigots shouldn’t, but continues to astound me. Snyder’s comments sent him immediately into obscurity; a large island for the shameless many who offend people with their vile humor and shameless sensibilities. Imus, McGuirk, Sid Rosenberg, McCord, and all those that embrace this form of entertainment at WFAN and CBS need to be held accountable. These guys need to be given their coach class tickets to this place I call the Isle of Vile. Michael Richards is now there. If these guys hurry, maybe they can catch up with Tim Hardaway.

    Help to keep Imus’ feet to the fire, Roy.

  25. paultanner says:

    Oh no, don’t offend people! If you do, you’ll be sent to the large island for the shameless many!

    highly lol

  26. Ron says:

    ASIDE from the racist, sexist insults, when did basketball (or any other sport) become a beauty contest? Women’s sports has evolved into athleticism, grace, power, and toughness, little of which gets represented as honorable.

    Does anybody think the Rutgers’ team come out as losers? These women showed their physical and mental toughness over the course of a long season, while enduring the rigors of college education (at least on par with the rest of college athletes)…they deserve to be celebrated for their achievements, which is ironic. Because now they’ll get far more (deserved) recognition than they would have for their excellence.

  27. Matt says:

    We can probably all agree that many people are too ready/willing to take offense these days. However, I don’t think you can argue that what Imus said didn’t cross the line from “potentially offensive but not intended as such” into “genuinely offensive”.

    Voicing your opinion that someone ugly/unattractive is one thing, beauty (or lack thereof) is in the eye of the beholder. However, it can be done without using language that has racial connotations. “Nappy-headed hos”? C’mon…that’s legitimately offensive.

  28. […] ‘hos.” Sure, when you hear it out of context this way it’s insulting. But if you listen to the tape, Imus and his sidekick are bantering about how tough these gals are, after first mentioning their […]

  29. drmike says:

    Where was the media outrage?

    Where’s the outcry when a black stand up uses the n word? It’s only of interest to the media when it’s a white person and someone in the public eye. Imus isn’t an A Level celeb.

  30. ShermDawg says:

    To paultanner: What are you on dog biscuits? Imus is an a__hole. That may not be a crime, however he needs a wake up call. UNEMPLOYMENT & A GOOD BLACKLISTING oughtta do it. I think his listeners may want to take a stand. I personally have nothing for him. Before this incident I thought he may have a white hood and robe in his closet. He doesn’t seem to like or respect anyone that isn’t WASP. Todrmike: There is a present movement called “Abolish the “N” word” Its growing and gaining strength. Check the website.

  31. John Michaelson says:

    We don’t need an apology from Imus, we need immediate and FINAL termination. This guy has been fired a gazillion times in his pathetic career and this is not his first time attacking anyone with foul and disgraceful remarks.



    Give that morning slot to someone more substantial to handle the job.

  32. Daryl says:

    Coach John Wooden said, ” reputation is what we want people to think we are, while character is really who we are. The good book say, “that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh”. (ST. Matthew 12:34-37) Imus insensitive comments represents the heart and soul of who Imus is. Not good at all. And all out boycott is in order.

  33. LifeExtension says:

    Whatever happened to freedom of speech? OK, the comments on Imus’s show and by Imus himself were coarse, vulgar, tasteless, silly and insensitive. But does freedom of speech apply only to people with whom we agree? We have a nut job here who teaches at the University of Colorado and called those who died in the WTC towers “little Eichmans.” People on the left immediately came to his defense shouting “freedom of speech.” Are these same people yelling freedom of speech in the Imus case? I think not. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter how silly and insensitive Imus’s comments were, he still has the freedom to express them without being punished for it — except maybe by those who quit listening to his program and, thus, hurt his ratings.

    D. Hanna

  34. Lo says:

    Why is anyone still watching TV? The best thing that can be done about situations like this is to stop watching TV at the very least stop paying to watch TV.

    Lo Fleming

  35. Lo says:

    I’ve been told this took place on the radio.

    I only can comment on things I see online since I don’t watch TV or listen to the radio. I just read newspapers, online and via the web.

    I will add corporate radio is also something we possibly should reinvestigate as entertainment, though I think the person who writes this blog may work for one of these entities, so I will say except when it has to do with Roy we should not watch or listen to anything corporate 🙂

    The only time we should listen to cable or the radio is when we comment on a blog, so that we do not get the medium wrong.

    In bounciness,

  36. TC says:

    drmike, as a white person, let me say, you have no right to use that word. If white people for a couple hundred years hadn’t been using that word, race relations in this country would be a lot better; in fact, perhaps race wouldn’t even be a category; in fact, race was not even recognized until Europe discovered what is now the US back in the 1400s. The Native Americans were baffled at the distinction between darker and lighter skins. For more information on this, check out the work of David Roediger, particularly “The Wages of Whiteness”. White people have NO RIGHT to even judge the appropriateness of the use of that word. When Andy Rooney said a few years ago that he didn’t feel inclined to use the term African-American, I thought, who is this guy to wonder whether that’s alright? He’s got no right to even wonder whether that word is inappropriate. Same with this. And if Latinos want to call each other terms that many consider derogatory, then it’s up to them. It’s obvious it’s an emotional issue, and frankly, as the originators of the problem, white folks such as myself-and you-have no business passing judgment on whether black folk want to use that term or not. Just shut the eff up.

  37. Matt says:

    He absolutely has the right to hold whatever view he’d like to hold and to express it. However, being given a forum in which to express them is another matter entirely. There is no right to that. If Imus is out in a public square spouting off his bullshit, the general public is able to show up and shout him down. Not so when he’s safely behind layers of security, producers, call screeners, etc. in a radio/TV studio.

  38. TC says:

    And Life Extension, sure there’s freedom of speech, but you know, you can’t shout fire in a crowded theater, as Oliver Wendell Holmes (I think) described the boundaries of free speech. Imus’ speech was racist and demeaning. It’s creates a very unpleasant climate for African-American folks; they shouldn’t have to tolerate such behavior. And you know if, oh, I don’t know some Muslims were rioting about oh, I don’t know, some very offensive cartoons, you wouldn’t be promoting their, um….rioting, as a protection of free speech, right?

  39. ShermDawg says:

    For those who are interested the website is For “LifeExtension”, True there is such a thing as freedom of speech, however there are perameters. If there were not, I doubt if there would be civil laws for liable and defamation of character. Now, I am wondering how often you listen to this guy and how close are both of your opinions. Just a question, not an accusation. What people have failed to understand is the real accomplishment of the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team. They were even supposed to be in the “sweet 16”, much less the NCAA Championship. Those women worked hard and almost reached their dream. To have it cheapened by a couple of bigots with access to a national forum is actually downright criminal. I feel bad for them. It’s a shame their finest moment to date has to be attached to a couple of insensitive, ignorant classless individuals such as Imus and his knucklehead producer. I came from an era and a neighborhood where both of them would have been politely invited into a makeshift “square circle” and given an opportunity for their asses to cash the checks their sorry mouths had written. Mind you, it would have been strictly hand to hand no weapons. But, for now, that’s a fantasy. But we all know life has a way of making things right. Because no one has the right to abuse the one freedom that has done so much for so many.

  40. Martha Brown says:

    I don’t understand why everyone is making such a big deal. People say things about other people all the time, BUT is seems that when anyone says anything negative about a BLACK person, the Afro-Americans just go nuts. When are they ever going to get over the fact that this generation and several generations before had NOTHING to do with the fact that they were slaves hundreds of years ago? WHEN are they going to stop wanting revenge for this? And people like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and some others are continually adding fuel to the fire. I think they actually use the Black people of this country to make and name and money for themselves by keeping things stirred up. Think about it. If everyone was happy, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be just another person on the planet. I had nothing to do with slavery and I am tired of being made to feel like I should pay for the fact that there was such a thing. I am also tired of the fact that you can say anything you want about Christianity, Jesus Christ, not be allowed to have prayer in schools, pray in public places, etc. etc. for fear of “offending” someone, yet the Blacks, Muslims, Mexicans, and anyone else with a gripe can whine a little and everyone runs like a bunch of idiots trying to pacify them and make them happy, and pat them on the head and apologize. It’s like trying to console a 3 year old who just had his lollipop taken by another child. It’s down right silly and stupid. Grown up and act like adults and realize that everyone is not going to like everyone and you just have to suck it up and realize that it is a fact of life. One more thing I have to add. I have a small son with Tourette’s Syndrome and I don’t like the fact that Larry the Cable Guy stands on stage and makes fun of this dreaded disease. Now can I sue the airwaves for this? You tell me what’s the difference.

  41. linkerrj says:

    I think AL SHARPTON needs to mind is own business. I ask everyone what is our First Admendment Right? Freedom of speech. So people need to remmember that and say what ever they think is right. IMUS is not rascist he said nothing about the black people he was talking about a basketball team. So all I can say is AL stay out of it.

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  43. Ben says:

    First, yes I believe what he said about the women of the RU basketball team was rude and unnecessary. Ladies pouring their hearts outs in a game and the man takes a look and just judges what he sees by appearance. The dude totally deserves what came and is coming to him. Im actually kinda glad he #%^# up so much andleft himself open for some nice combos. I hope one of those land a ko. GO RU! Also the ladies are very beautiful. Lets try to push out the racism instead of defending it people. WHY would you try to make excuses for racism?? Thanks for your time~

  44. Jennifer says:

    Let’s face the facts… What he said is exactly what a lot of people feel. The only difference between racism now and in the past is the laws protect people now; it’s politically incorrect. Just because it’s not commonplace to hear it, don’t dare think that it’s any better than the past.

  45. Tyrone Smith says:

    The girls from Rutgers look like nappy headed hos. If they would present themselves better then they might have not even been called that. They mumble when they speak. THey have more tattoos than Tennessee women. Plus if the rutgers university wasnt racist they would have more than 2 white women on their team.

  46. Wears says:

    If I were to suit every person that called me a name I would be in court 24 hours a day. But the truth is we are being overrun by whiny ass cry babies and what they think they deserve. But more people like Imus and Richards need to stop caving in to these non realistic cry babies. Maybe the Blacks should wake up and smell their own stink

  47. DBLD says:

    First off id like to say that i think that Don Imus was wrong for what he said even if some people might think that it’s okay. which i don’t understand how they can think that. you can’t defend what he said. it was wrong. he knows it. end of story. don’t even try to defend it because he doesn’t. ….however……he has been in radio for close to 40 years now and has said things just as bad as this all the time without anyone batting an eye. why are we humiliating him for this? this is between him and that basketball team. we all make mistakes. you have to understand the way they do that show….they openly bash EVERYBODY!…not just black woman on a basketball team. how about high government officials, other big names in the media, I can go on and on… AND where does Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson come into all of this someone please explain this to me??? did rutgers call these guys to have them represent them or something??? i highly doubt they did. and they are reverends are they not?….aren’t reverends supposed to be the first one’s to be forgiving and understand? Look at Al Sharpton’s record. he’s made plenty of mistakes. yet he’s calling for Imus to be fired. he’s pathetic, he has absolutely no credibility. and im not gonna even go into jesse jackson who is saying everything he’s saying from CHICAGO… I’ll tell you what these reverends should be doing, there so worried about degradation in their cultures….how bout they start going to all the record labels who sell all of these rap albums that contain mosagynistic and degrading lyrics about women and ask them to stop selling them!! will they do this….of course not. it’s ridiculous for us to beat down this man he’s clearly embarrassed by the whole thing. we should be going after the real racists in this country including those of us who aren’t but think it’s okay to use racist language and degrading language. thanks.

  48. mike says:

    maybe he meant to say happy headed ho’s!!!

  49. The comments made by Himus were radically out of line and 2 weeks suspension are inadequate for a punishment. He should be removed from broadcasting entirely.

  50. free thought says:

    I am sooo tired of this reverse racism, seems only those of color are allowed to say slurs! SURE, its OK for a black person to say the “N” word, but whoa, if some northern white dude happens to make a joke of which he probably heard from a black person or their ebonics, it becomes a “hate” thing of racism. ALL THIS POLITCALLY CORRECTNESS IS BULLSHIT! Just watch Comedy Central at night, You will hear all the racist jokes coming from NOT white people, but hispanics ie Carlos Mencia, and Dave Chappelle (who is black). But its just lilly fine for them to say “Honky”, “Cracker”, “WhiteBread M@#$ers” and etc. AL SHARTON IS THE REASON RACISM IS STILL AROUND. he keeps stiring it up. Just remember whats fair about not condemning the minorities when they say such filth, leave white people alone! we all say what we will in our private conversations. DONT YOU ALL KNOW THAT PEOPLE OF COLOR DO THE SAME! its such a fake as p/c bullshit movement ! TRY living in the south and you will see how much REVERSE discrimination and slurs against white people happen! all day long! then you wont be p/c anymore. America has become such wimps.

  51. It was a joke!!!!!! You folks need to relax! If you dont think thats funny, I guess you turn the channel when black standups make fun of white people. Which I think thats funny also.

  52. dennis says:

    this is outrageous for someone thats in the media’s eye and make an comment like that and say it like it wasn’t nothing is crazy. something needs to be done about it because thats just to show us black people how racistism is still out there. as much as i want to curse him out on here i’m not because he’s the nigga, igronant as hell.

  53. dennis says:

    that apology wasn’t sincere it was five seconds long

  54. TC says:

    fellow white people: can you just remember that racial slurs just re-open old wounds? What is wrong with you? Oooh, black people say things about crackers…ooh…are you crying? No. So shut up. The reason why this is inappropriate is because this word has been demeaning black people for a long time. Then perhaps they start to get comfortable (perhaps, though I can imagine not so much) and someone on a huge channel with huge influence, like Imus says something like this. And yeah, oh, other people say other things. Y’all never heard two wrongs don’t make a right? And whoever said “he only said what many were thinking”? You’re projecting.

  55. Maybe he said “Happy Wedded Vogues.” Those who believe that the solution to the “Imus” problem is to simply turn him off are not considering one key point. Please visit “If you don’t like it, turn it off” at if interested.

  56. Meko says:

    An apology will do no good. It will not change the fact that he’s an ignorant pale Monkey, who assumes that his big mouth will compensate for him coming up short between the legs. He looks like Will Ferrell at 90. I wouldn’t even want his disgusting boney lips curling into an apology. He’s really nothing. I haven’t heard of him until today…….

  57. TC says:

    Some more instances of Imus’ horrible racism? How about this one?

    ….but he’s not a bad guy.

  58. Patricio Perez says:

    When supporters of Don Imus say that this is a tempest in a teapot, we should not forget that David Howard, mayoral aide of Washington mayor Anthony Williams, was fired for properly using the word “niggardly.” If the innocent are sanctioned for perceived insults, why should anyone overlook what was clearly a racial slur broadcast on a public radio station by a widely listened to radio host.

    Or is it that personalities and celebrities are subject to a different standard than the rest of Americans?

  59. PZ says:

    Most of you make me laugh. Imus never said they are nappy headed hos. Not Black nappy headed hos. Thats you all sucking up the media and making assumptions based on Sharpton awakining from his Sean Bell Slumber to go an validate his pointless life once again. The white girl they depicted from Rutgers is indeed nappy…andlooks hoish – by societal chatagorical standards. SO yep, his statement was on the ball. Stop making assumptions because sure, most people with melanin mixed with sweat and running around all game will indeed create nappy hair. And oh geez, look, 90% of the are black, so he must have been being racist. Morons. Eat up Sharptons crap, as usua. Best served hot. Because its really important to our society that you all allow this “man” to stir up emotion and keep this ‘racist’ if thats what you want to call it, cycle continuing.
    One last thing….
    To the african american posters here…
    Talk about double standard! When a black comic publicly insults my race of caucasion you don’t see us going all goo goo and nutzy. But if we did, we’d be wrong. Yeah, that makes sense. But when someone like Imus makes a comment thats not even directed to a particuar race you automaticall think “he said Nappy! That Must Be US!” YOu’re validating it yourself – Imus isn’t in the wrong here, it’s all of you. Caucasions dont get into an uproar over a colored comedians remark towards how nerdy, goofy, poor dancers, whatever (hey, whos to say I cant take serious offence and get my own white sharpton to blow you out of the water). So enough already. Point is, stop Validating your own stereotypes. Seriously, you’re sickening me because its ignorant. Think about something more important Like living life because one day, we’ll all be dead and then what? So you got mad for what? Absolutely…….NOTHING. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  60. james says:

    Look, it was stupid for a white broadcaster to use the term ‘nappy-headed hoes’ in any context. It was stupid, because even in the most benign context, it will likely be misinterpreted and used against the broadcaster. In the USA, there is far too much emotional tension surrounding inter-racial issues. Unfortunately, this emotional tension inhibits most peoples ability to think clearly about the cultural, racial, historical, and lexiconographical complexities of the ‘nappy-headed ho’ incident.

    I watched the Imus clip in question. It seems clear to me that Imus’ primary intention was not to insult women or blacks in general, or the african-american women on the Rutgers team in particular. Rather, his point was that the Rutgers team was a very agressive and physically tough team. He was also trying to make the point, that compared to the UT team, the Rutgers women looked like a rougher and scrapier bunch. Now if that were all he said, there probably would not have been such a firestorm. The Rutgers women would probably have been somewhat insulted that Imus did not consider them as cute as the women on the UT team, but it would have ended there. Unfortunately, Imus’ co-host then tossed in the phrase, ‘serious hoes’, and reflexively playing off of that phrase, Imus, trying to sound hip and funny, immediately amplified the phrase to ‘those are some ‘nappy-headed hoes’. In this context, it seems clear to me that he was not saying anything about the women’s moral character or hair texture. Was it politically stupid and insensitive? Yes. Was it intentionally mean-spirited and meant to degrade the individual women on the RU team? No. I certainly did not hear it that way. So let’s condemn Imus for his insensitivity and political stupidity. Let’s not, however, crucify him for outrageous racism.

    Speaking of outrageous racism, why did Imus feel he was safe in using such crass racial language? Well, it seems to me that this kind of speech is nearly main stream. Also, it seems obvious to me that this speech has arisen from, and gained initial acceptance in the african-american dominated, corporate-sponsored, inner-city rap culture. This is the root cause of the ‘Imus’ incident. Sharpton’s and others’ outrage should be focused on this societal ill. Let’s keep the Imus incident in perspective, and maybe learn from it.

  61. “Where was the media outrage?”

    I assume this was written right after it happened, since at this point it is hard to avoid coverage of this story.

  62. TC says:

    Geez PZ, crawled out of the swamp to post that eh? So melanin mixed with sweat makes hair nappy? Thanks for that clarification Einstein. Seriously, an event like this really brings the lowest forms of life out of the woodwork. Yeesh. And really, can my fellow white people stop being insulted over a few digs at your crappy dancing. Black people have had it rough in the 450 years they’ve been here and you’re concerned coz you dance like a car shudders when someone doesn’t know how to drive stick? Get over it. Stop defending Imus or looking for equivocation…

  63. The Imus stuff cracks me up. The fact that this guy has made it this far and has a job (notwithstanding his suspension) baffles me. Through all of this, it proves a few things.

    First, money makes the world go ’round. Forget politics. Forget WMD’s (or lack thereof). It is cold, hard cash. Think about it. Imus is NOT funny (except looking). He has never done anything cutting edge. He has never done anything that can hold a candle to what Stern does on a daily basis. His show, his views and his clothing are sooooooo very irrelevant to anything and anyone but old bigots.

    So how does he stay on the air? Cash. He makes money through advertising for MSNBC. Now that his sponsors are bailing, it is just a matter of time before he is fired. MSNBC has no conscience and did not suspend him because he is a bigot. They did it because his comments are costing them money. If they don’t lose much more money, and if the public outcry subsides, believe me, they will let him back on the air. But, whatever decision they make will be based upon money and not any proper pointing of their moral compass.

    The second thing this shows me is that Al Sharpton is hysterical. Could be the funniest man on the planet. He needs to have his own TV show immediately. Immediately. I could listen to him (and Jesse Jackson) debate Imus and comment on this all day. Seriously. If I won the lottery, I would seriously consider contacting Sharpton and pay him to talk all day about Imus, race issues and how world problems should be solved. How has our government not put him in a think tank yet?!?!

    Al Sharpton’s humor leads me to the third thing I learned from all this: double standards exist throughout every walk of life. Everyone is guilty of applying them, and anyone who claims they don’t is lying. I have always known this, but it takes moments like these to remind me. The Imus situation is even more blatant.

    Think about it. How can Sharpton honestly sit there with a straight face and debate Imus about his comments, without also debating every rapper/musician/movie producer/actor/activist/politician who makes racially insensitive comments? Racial slurs are bad no matter who uses them. The “N” word and all its connotations is not made OK depending upon who says it. I’ve heard the term “nappy-headed ho” hundreds of times in music lyrics, comedy sketches, TV shows and movies without any protests from Al Sharpton (or anyone else).

    The simple truth of the matter is that through the media and pop culture, terms like “nappy-headed ho” are commonplace. Very common. Consequently, the terms have become acceptable means of expression. Often the users don’t use the terms with any actual malice or ill will. They do it to fit in because they’ve heard the terms on the radio, in movies, on TV or in conversations. This is bad. Very bad. No one should be called a “nappy headed ho” and the “N” word should never be used anyone again. “Anyone” means anyone. It shouldn’t matter if you are black, white, red, brown or purple. Acceptance of one group using the terms as opposed to others simply perpetuates the inequities and divisions that people like Al Sharpton claim to fight against.

    Al Sharpton did nothing productive (except give Imus grief, of course) in confronting Imus. If anything, he is promoting more division by utilizing a double standard that goes unchecked everyday.

  64. honestpoet says:

    Personally, I think this sort of thing is just a big show to keep us divided and distracted while Bush & Buddies clean out the treasury.

  65. ShermDawg says:

    WOW!! Such a wide range of opinions. Great example of the First Ammendment. A lot of food for thought. Especially from you, honestpoet. You have no idea just how close to the truth you may be. PZ, I even understand why you would be insulted. You still use the term “colored people”. Diversity makes this country great. Attacks on segments of that diversity leads to division…..not a good thing. Certain circumstances have historically made us fight together for different causes. The problem is that once the fight is over, so is the unity. Is there a double standard? Sure there is. It was created before any of us were born….we’re stupid enough to continue to perpetuate it. If you remove the term “nappy head” from the statement, the term “ho” is still there, just as demeaning and just as insulting. All of us need to attack the terms which demean men and women of all walks of life, all races, all faiths. However, that maybe a problem to those continue to remain ignorant. The individual you insult or degrade may be the person who saves you or someone you love from death or harm. Ignorance and hatred harms others, but most of all it causes us to harm ourselves.

  66. honestpoet says:

    Now that’s the truth.

    (And btw, I have a very good idea about how close to the truth my initial statement is! I worked for a lobbyist in a previous incarnation. Much of what I do is to work off that karma.)


    Where’s the outcry when Shaq made fun of Yao Ming by speaking in gibberish trying to sound Chinese after a loss? Where’s the outcry when Kanye West called bi-racial women muts? Where’s the outcry over content played on mainstream Hip-Pop rap radio airwaves like New York’s Hot 97?


  68. John Richardson says:

    who the fuck cares about any of this. Nappy Haired Hos really isnt that offensive anyway. Blacks are always looking for something to get all pissed off about and rant and rave about nothing. It wasnt nice what Imus said but this al sharpton shit storm is total bullshit. Chapelle on comedy central drops the word nigger and honkey frequently…no one says anything. Mencia drops words like beaner and gook ect….no one says anything.
    Everyone needs to get a life and move on.

  69. Mike Donly says:

    I agree with John, Imus showed his age by slipping with a weak comment on national tv. I’ve never watched the guy because he was boring and looked like a sad individual.
    It’s the same meaningless comments most people would joke about in the locker room, golf course or lunch hour. I’m not black yet I support all people from different cultures, race or color who work hard to get an education and make a contribution to society. I can’t stand tiger because I cheer for the underdog. I was happy when Serena won the recent open because she was the underdog and not expected to get past the 2nd round less win it. That shows that I’m not racist but I wouldn’t have a problem with making jokes about some nappy haired hos or worthless negro role models like al sharpton or jesse jackson. They make me sick just like george bush. POS raping our economy with bs no bit contracts that pad his sidekick’s pocket.

    I’m tired of crybaby African-Americans that have double standards and squeal when they can get things for free or cut in line without getting caught.

  70. WAYNE says:


  71. DAB says:

    WHAT IS HIS PROBLEM? imus Did he forget his white hood ? I am African American
    and if I want to where my hair natural,curly,or straight, what difference does it make?
    he is very small minded !If you want to talk about someones looks please do me a
    favor look in the mirror your face,neck,built, is GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you are not attractive at all ask any any color,race ,age of woman you are tore up from the floor up!!!!


  72. willy says:

    Quit crying NAPPY HEADED HOS. It was just a stupid joke about some boot-lipped monkeys. Imus ROCKS!

  73. honestpoet says:

    “Jesus” is part of the problem, if you ask me.

    I can sense your justifiable anger, but don’t think religion is going to fix any of this. It’s to blame for plenty of genocides, wars, etc.

    What’s necessary is some good old fashioned humanity, you know, the kind that the word “humane” is based on, not the sort that makes so clear that we and chimps DO have a common ancestor.

    If Imus had thought for just one second about the humanity of those young women, the fact that they get up and look themselves in the mirror every morning (I’m not sure he takes a good look there, himself), that they have hopes and dreams like every other human on the planet, and fears, and insecurities, etc., then he could never have said what he did.

    All those nasty -isms are based on the tendency of folks to define an other on which to project all their hate (some folks, like Imus, uses many “others”). It’s a cop out. Real humanity, being a full fledged human, that is, demands that we see ourselves in all our neighbors.

    Don’t get me started on what it takes to be a full-fledged earthling.

  74. honestpoet says:

    Willy slipped.

    Imus, does not, in fact, rock. And you’re obviously an emotional and mental retard. And a real brain trust, to boot.

  75. james says:

    he should have added stupid to nappy headed hos as with a large percentage of blacks these “college students” can not even speak english correctly when speaking in front of the entire country or perhaps their major is ebonics

  76. willy says:

    True that hommie James!

  77. honestpoet says:

    Wow. Let’s watch all the racist worms crawl out.

  78. DAB says:


  79. james says:

    whats funny is you didnt even offer an argument to my assertion. typical liberal i.e. “african-american its all the same” ploy because its hard to argue a loosing point. much easier to call a name and dismiss. but what is funny is that im confident that you wouldnt recgnize “honesty” if it walked up and poked you in the forehead.

  80. willy says:

    When were you chained & beaten? -got pics?

  81. james says:

    thats a low blow dab i wouldnt even wish that on you or old honestly- most definitely. the truth is that most blacks understand the advantages they are afforded in western civilization thats why you never hear of them deciding to move back to to motherland africa that they are so proud of. but deep down everybody knows what time of day it is.

  82. honestpoet says:

    James, maybe she didn’t argue with you because it’s not fair to get into an intellectual battle with an unarmed man.

  83. ShermDawg says:

    Nice move honestpoet. James, Willy and the rest of the ignorant club are ill-equipped to address this subject. Any form of racism is a direct product of the worst kind of ignorance…The fear-based kind. Whenever someone has to generalize, it’s usually a sign they are guessing and really don’t know. That’s pitiful. What makes that individual pathetic is when they refuse to learn. Ignorance doesn’t discriminate. It’s time to stop feeding the monster. Embrace our differences as opposed to attacking them. Western civilization would fail miserably without diversity.

  84. CJ Jones says:

    Why is it ok for African Americans to call each other nappy headed? If Montel Williams had said this on tv there would be no outrage. The only thing Imus should be sorry for is apologizing. Maybe he should pull a reverse Michael Jackson and turn black so he can keep his job.

  85. DT says:

    WHO CARES??? Imus made a stupid, mean comment. Guess what? Every person alive has been called worse and put in more painful emotional situations than this.

    The girls on that team, the coach especially, need to grow up. If this comment can throw their world into a spin, life is going to chew them up and spit them out.

    Society is throwing a temper tantrum over some stupid shock jock comment while people in the world starve, die of disease, suffer from war and crime, etc, etc, etc. Let’s forget about all of that. Let’s put a college basketball team on the air so they can cry over being called a name. I wish my worst problem in life was that some idiot called me a nappy headed ho. I wish I could have my father back from the cancer that killed him. I wish I wasn’t struggling in my career and scared of going bankrupt. I wish I was in college with nothing to do but cry over being called a name. Must be nice.

    If I was on that team I wouldn’t attend one news conference, wouldn’t have met at the governor’s mansion (for God’s sake, no wonder nothing gets done if politicians waste time on junk like this), wouldn’t have anything to do with this cultural temper tantrum. I wouldn’t respect myself if I did. There are more important things in the world than to waste time over the comments of an idiot like Imus.

  86. honestpoet says:

    DT, you’re right that there are more important things to talk about, and I wish more of us would talk, rationally, about the problems facing humanity.

    But you err when you assume that this is the only problem any of these girls is facing. I imagine that this is just one of many each has to deal with, and for some, it may have been the last straw.

  87. D. Hodge says:

    It is only an offence to someone when the one offended is nappy headed hos’ and any other person who is not white. Or if it is a liberal democrat. I have endured slurs and demeaning talk on network TV about Jesus, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and Many others with nobody demanding that the people who said the demeaning things be fired or even reprimanded. Why? Because it is alright to make fun of anything that would have been considered right 50 years ago. You liberals are so self absorbed in your immorality that you think that if you say nice things about each other and make fun of all those who still think that some actions are wrong, then you are good and should not be reprimanded. America, as we have known it will soon be no more and when, whatever dictator takes over, won’t allow you to speak your mind, then you will only have yourselves to blame for thinking that the first ammendment only applied to you.

  88. Chris Blumen says:

    Hey, Imus, we’re proud of our nappy hair (at least those of us who have hair). It’s part of our heritage and who we are. But the “ho” thing, uh-uh. “And don’t blame hip-hop culture and its misogynistic lyrics for your own stupidity.”

    Nah, we’ll blame it on your stupidity. There are quite a few songs in the Billboard top 200 for pop that include even more racist ands sexist terms.

  89. ShermDawg says:

    Okay, we have beaten on Imus, now let’s get after the real issues. It’s not okay to call women bitches & hos. We all have mothers, sisters, daughters and female friends. True, there are some who give you reasons to consider calling them the names, however we need to be bigger than that. Stop buying the music with demeaning lyrics. The music tells young people it’s okay to disrespect women. It even indicates such behavior is “cool”. Sooner or later it comes home to roost. It is time to change. We need to tell our children to respect themselves and others. Maybe this stuff will begin to turn around.

  90. gene somers says:

    This article brings out what I thought I heard. One of Imus’s croonies made the first comment about hos and then imus filled in with another comment. Truthfully he was led right into this comment, but that doesnt excuse him from his remark, but he was led into it by another employee on the show first.

  91. gene says:

    ladies and gentlemen,don imus has left the air waves!yes,that demigod of illussions is gone!and so,the search for more white dummies continues with al sharpton and jesse the fire and brimstone speaker will continue to drive out any and all mistermeaores from t.v radio,and where ever white people accidently say the wrong word in the heat of laughter,and casual conversation!no one white person will ever say the wrong words again in this country and apologies and get forgiven,unless of course,you are a minority then thats an eccusse!and to be forgiven,bad white people,bad,bad,bad!

  92. gene says:

    ladies and gentlemen,don imus has left the air waves!yes,that demigod of illussions is gone!and so,the search for more white dummies continues with al sharpton and jesse the fire and brimstone speaker will continue to drive out any and all mistermenors from t.v radio,and where ever white people accidently say the wrong word in the heat of laughter,and casual conversation!no one white person will ever say the wrong words again in this country and apologies and get forgiven,unless of course,you are a minority then thats an eccusse!and to be forgiven,bad white people,bad,bad,bad!

  93. Big Mike says:

    Although Don Imus was way out of line, why is it that much of the black community isn’t enraged when he insults other oppressed groups of people, such as gays and lesbians? Isaiah Washington and I hope I spelled his first name right, calls T. R. Knight his costar, a faggot and in the eyes of most of us, it’s perfectly fine. Don Imus albeit a complete ass, degrades a group of ladies on the Rutgers basket team and just about every other black person is up in arms. Discrimination is discrimination. If it’s wrong to discriminate against one group of people oppressed or not, then why is it ok to discriminate against another? And why are we demanding that Imus be fired, and not Isaiah Washington? A slur is a slur, and bigotry is bigotry, no matter who it’s aimed at. After Washinton apologized most black folks supported him, and said it was time to move on. If that is the case being that Imus too, has apologized, shouldn’t it be the same. Forgive and forget, isn’t that the way, and he is still an ass?

  94. Big Mike says:

    And I still say, discrimination is discrimination. If we can forgive one, we should be able to forgive the other. Wouldn’t you agree? And please forgive the errors in my previous post. It is Rutgers basket ball team, not Rutgers basket team. And sorry Imus, but you are still an ass. No disrespect, intended.

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