Okay, so Don Imus has been fired for calling Rutgers Women’s basketball team ‘nappy headed ho’s.” What does this all mean though? Will this even be a topic of discussion next Wednesday? Probably not, unless they decide to make a mini-series out of this. Don’t get it twisted, I have big problems with a man on public radio disrespecting an undeserving group of women, but I also have a problem with anyone else who does it. How can we ignore the vulgar pornographic lyrics that demean and objectify women in music we hear on the radio everyday? I feel there’s a place for ALL kinds of music, even that kind of rap, but should we really be hearing songs like ‘Gimmie Dat Pussy’ at 3:30 in the afternoon? Must not be that big a deal right?
The more often you use or hear certain words, the more they become normal. Hip hop has a profound effect on our society, good and bad. It affects how we talk, dress, and sometimes act. It’s only natural to emulate what you see or hear all the time. Kids who have never spent a single day in ‘the hood’ or can list the number of black people they know on two fingers use phrases they get from hip hop all the time. Even in commercials now you see white people using hip hop terminology with no punchlines, its part of their language too. Could it possibly be.. that Imus heard those words loosely used and assumed it was okay to say? He obviously didn’t think it was that big of a deal. He didn’t even apologize until the backlash. He spoke ignorantly with no hesitation and throwing all caution into the wind. Do you think he thought his 30 year career would come to an end for calling the Rutgers basketball team ‘nappy headed ho’s?’ Was it worth it?
You can’t blame hip hop for Don Imus being an idiot. He’s old enough to know what’s right and wrong just like anyone else… including rappers. Realistically though, the longer the media popularizes hip hop music that contains the same demeaning lyrics, white people will continue make an argument that we are hypocrites and no matter how valid an argument is, it will be thrown back in your face like, ‘I hear black people say it all the time.’
Money talks, you stop buying the cds, you stop watching BET shows that show softcore music videos in the middle of the day and stop supporting their sponsors, things will change. Support hip hop artists with messages you can agree with and not just because it has a funky beat that you can twerk to in the club. It should get to the point where if someone uses the words Imus chose, there would be no sympathizers. We just wouldn’t tolerate it. You’re not going to win the argument that its okay for one group to demean women and not okay for others because of skin color. If someone was to call your child, sister, or mother a ‘hoe,’ I doubt it would matter what race they were. All I’m saying is think progressively. Stop being defensive. If it’s wrong its wrong.