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Don Imus gets Oprahcized

By Bernard Chapin
web posted April 23, 2007

In Chicago, one must pity the atheists. Imagine how difficult it is to argue that Heaven and Hell are a fairy tale when one of the Devil's chief operatives makes daily broadcasts from a fashionable address in the West Loop. Of course, the operative I refer to is none other than the phenomenally successful multi-billionaire, and supposedly oppressed person, Oprah Winfrey.

Recently, the talk show host applied her fantastically ignorant mind to the question of Don Imus. The episode was called, "Oprah's Town Hall: Now What?" The now what must be truly perplexing because she dedicated the next day's show to the subject as well. Her angle is not difficult to discern as it provides her with yet another fabricated opportunity to cast shame upon men and Caucasians in general.

As most readers already know, Don Imus is a person and not merely a question. The sixtyish shock jock recently got fired by both CBS and MSNBC for calling the Rutgers female basketball players, "nappy-headed hos." To the normal person, his statement was strange and inexplicable.

When the actual telecast is viewed its context becomes clearer. Imus attempted to make light of the toughness of the player's physical appearance. He thought they looked like a bunch of tattoo scarred thugs. Imus (unwisely) compared them to gangstas in the language of the street. Everyone then assumed that his intent was racist, but that's far from certain—even though perpetual PC dupes like ESPN have no doubts. "Nappy headed ho" by itself, while admittedly dumb and in poor taste, does not only refer to black women because many white youths of both sexes Africanize their hair. Making one's straight hair kinky appears to be in style at the moment. As far as humor goes, his attempt missed the mark by many miles, but I see no hatred in his words.

If anything, what he said seemed to be more of a class comment as the Tennessee team to which he compared the Rutgers girls is unquestionably racially integrated. Their team picture depicts seven black players and four white players who share a feminine appearance and are devoid of brands or tattoos. This could have been easily clarified by Imus but he was too busy apologizing and making-out with the feet of race shysters to find the time to do so.

Reaction to his faux pas was not immediate. Just as with all politically correct crusades, momentum built slowly before reaching a level of hysteria. The story only reached Shandra Levy proportions after the usual band of jackasses was recruited to harass Imus's employers and assault the American psyche. With Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Oprah Winfrey, and the mainstream media, any life or career can become forfeit in just a few hours time.

This was all unfortunately brought to my attention today as I sat in the doctor's office at 9 am. His TV was set to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and the program was stocked with all manner of luminaries from various parts of the left side of the political spectrum. One of the most offensive was a psychologist named Robin Smith who talked about Imus embodying the sickening racism and systematic oppression that is so rife in other parts of the world but suspiciously absent from the United States. Well, actually, that wasn't what her position. Her version of reality, issued as she sat upon a perch of privilege, focused only on America and purposely avoided any mention of the greater world.

Oprah placed on her website the supposed theme of the show. She asked viewers as to whether or not there is "a double standard in this country?" I'm glad she did because there are a myriad of double standards in this country. The most obvious one on display here is that only a white American can get fired for making what someone somewhere construes to be a racial comment about somebody else. Nothing like that ever happens to black or Hispanics because they are the chosen mascots of political correctness. A case in point comes from only a few traffic lights away from where I now type, in the person of Ozzie Guillen. He still manages the White Sox despite his calling a sports columnist a "fag." Pariah status is reserved for white males offenders alone in our anti-intellectual PC society.

Another double standard is that most words of hatred are only words of hatred when they are spoken by Caucasians. A shock jock of a different color could have gotten away with what Imus said and there would have been no drama at all. Had his ancestors hailed from Kenya or Mozambique, Imus could have even said the N-word. White people have numerous words with which they're not allowed to say and many of them we don't even know about until after we say them [recall the infamous "niggardly" incident].

Everyday it seems as if there are more and more words that result in our being condemned by some kind of ism. For the last twenty years, I always thought that the "N-word" was the only one truly off limits. Last month, I discovered that faggot has also been added to the list while today, Oprah, informed her audience that "bitch" and "ho" are words of devastation as well. Here we see yet another reason why PC is so pernicious. In the case of all these words, arbitrary distinctions have been made in an attempt to control our actions and dominate our speech. In my opinion, there should be no words whose utterance automatically equates with an individual having some sort of psychological condition—particularly not ones as mundane and overused as "bitch" and "ho" [rather delicious it is that "ho" stands for "whore" but is now referred to as the h-word].

Here, yet again, is another double standard because there are all sorts of words which men are not allowed to call women, such as the c-word, the h-word, and the b-word, but there are none for which women are not allowed to call men. A woman can say anything she wants to about a man and get away with it. The reason for this is that women are yet another privileged class in America today. Our society is loath to hold them responsible for anything that they might say or do. They are the most comical of PC mascots as their heartiness and extended lifespan make a mockery out of their supposed sensitivity and vulnerability.

Here we come to another double standard within a double standard as there's absolutely no equality in Oprah's treatment of women on show. They allegedly are the superiors of men yet their beings can be torn asunder after being called a few banal, uncreative names. Its absurd to pretend that women are more loving, empathic, efficient, complete, wise, and intelligent than men when so many believe they should go ballistic after hearing a colorful word or two. No superhero in history ever shattered like porcelain after being called a name. As a society, all of our citizens must learn to deal with criticism or being insulted without having to conduct witch hunts, town hall meetings, and therapy sessions. Instead, defending oneself or refusing to associate with those who demean you is best practice.

It's a good habit to get into even if you don't happen to be a member of a PC mascot class. Let's consider for a moment what would happen if your narrator was placed in the position of those Rutgers girls and a guy like Tavis Smiley called me a "bald-headed cracker" on his program. Obviously, no one would be too bothered by this—although there really isn't much of a parallel here as Imus used no terms of racial derision—but my way of dealing with it would be first to grant out that I was bald-headed and to inquire if the person had any idea where the next International Brotherhood of the Crackerazzi Convention was going to be held.* Please note that I suspiciously left out of my response: "I'm going to call you an ism."

Whenever I argue something like this in print someone usually claims that it isn't an accurate comparison because "white people are bothered by stuff like that," but the fact is that nobody is really bothered by much of anything unless society tells them that they should be. Being called a name is not a "nuclear weapon" of interpersonal interaction and it doesn't "dehumanize" anyone. It's just a name, and, unless one has a criminally inflated sense of self-esteem, it doesn't mean much. America's true sickness isn't racism; it's the evil therapism society tries to interpose upon our relations with others. If self-righteous social engineers just stayed out of our way and left us alone we'd probably all get along.

The major mission of political correctness is to subjugate our thoughts, feelings, and souls within a dungeon of sterility wherein the definition of being human is morphed into "never saying anything wrong or offensive about anyone." Human beings simply aren't like that. We frequently get mad or angry and say things we don't really mean. That's what happens when blood rather than oil courses through our capillaries. Every time somebody says something that we don't like it doesn't equate with their being abnormal and some kind of "ism." I wish the American population would save their resentment for the self-glorifying buffoons demanding our eternal repentance rather than pouring it on a self-glorifying buffoon trying to entertain us.  

Bernard Chapin is a writer living in Chicago. He is the author of Escape from Gangsta Island, and is currently at work on a book concerning women. He can be contacted at veritaseducation@gmail.com.

* Actually, given how silly things have gotten in society. I would probably fake "getting verklempt" over their words: "When I began losing my hair in 1994 my whole world caved in—no more combs, no more brushes, no more shampoo, no more gel, no more expensive trips to the barber—hey, wait a minute…"

 

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