He’s done. Eight days after uttering repugnant remarks about the Rutgers womens’ basketball team, Don Imus, one of the most successful radio hosts in syndication history, was off the air.
Imus was dropped today by CBS, ending (at least for now) a career than spanned more than three decades. “There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society,” CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said in announcing the decision. “That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision.”
In the last 24 hours, Moonves had met with a slew of people who had created and driven the efforts to oust the not-so-shocking jock – including National Association of Black Journalists President Bryan Monroe, who’s organization (of which I am a member) was the catalyst that sparked the campaign to fire the an who called the young women “nappy headed hos.”
Thus ended one of the most fascinating dramas in media history.
This should not end here. If it does, it would have been a hollow triumph.
Yet if it comes to signal that America has reached its moral “tipping point” regarding the characterization of women and people of color in all media, then it would have been truly meaningful.
This I know: Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson have both long been critical of the lyrics and images in hip-hop culture that desensitized us to the kind of vulgar language that got Imus fired. But if they are not outside the headquarters of the music labels that create (and get phat off of) the music; and in front of the buildings that house Viacom/BET and other networks that play their videos over and over, then they deserve all of the criticism that will be levied their way by those who believe they simply used this moment to further their own cause.
Either way, folks, we’ve all got some work to do.
An erudite thought from the Huffington Post: Click here.