The crucification of Don Imus has to stop. Free speech shouldn’t stop at the opening of anyone’s offense. Tasteless, yes; stupid, yes. Grounds for a barrage of punishment? No. Wasn’t he trying to riff off a Spike Lee movie? Where is Spike’s share of the blame? Imus is, or rather was, a shock jock; it is the nature of the profession to make ribald, provocative remarks that are typically directed toward, well, everybody. Don’t take him out of the context of his ignorant comments about Jews and women. It’s nothing new. The key part of racism seems to be hate; if you specialize in cracking wise, which was his attempt, that’s not necessarily racism. One would have the same basis to call Carlos Mencia, apparently a total fraud, racist — and you wouldn’t hear that from me.
This reminds me of a recent spate of papering around the residence halls here, which read, “Only 15 of the 137 faculty members identify as non-white. What are you going to do about it?” Um, nothing. If it is representative of the demographics of the surrounding community (in the case of Wooster, Ohio, quite so; the words “vanilla suburbs” from George Clinton come to mind), no issue. Why is the color of someone’s skin at all relevant? Only racists think like that, or instead crypto-racists grotesquely posing as champions of diversity. Anyway, hi, I’m back.