So here’s one version of the Don Imus story. I read about it in my local paper and the reporter said something like the NAACP and Jesse Jackson are incensed about this. Well? Shouldn’t we all be? Shouldn’t you and I–and every woman and man who has a daughter–be incensed?
We can start with the Nappy Headed part of it, especially us white people who are incensed, too, though only black people and their organizations are quoted in the paper and online (which, of course, begs the question: why is that? but we won’t go there…today).
Because there’s also this part of it: girls with tattoos have got to be ‘hos.’ Right? Girls. Girls playing basketball. That’s all they are. Young women who play basketball, and they get called ‘hos’ like it means nothing. It means something. It has to mean something. Because that word has no comparative perjorative for men and when they use it they disrespect all of us, all of our daughters, all of our daughters’ daughters.
So I ask you who might listen to him (because I surely don’t and never will): is this how he talks about women in general or just young black women with tats? It’s not just inappropriate and Imus should be more than embarassed. He should be ashamed and shamed.
And we all should be calling him on it, regardless of our color or gender. It’s not an issue of race. It’s not an issue of gender. It’s an issue about respect and disrespect.
Someone asked me once, “can a person squander their inherent worth and dignity?”
Perhaps Don Imus just did.