Originally posted by Nadir at LastChocolateCity.com
The Rutgers WomenÃ¢Â€Â™s Basketball team responded with class and poise to racist comments from Don ImusÃ¢Â€Â™s Imus in the Morning show at a press conference on Tuesday.
The radio/television host and his producer, Bernard McGuirk, referred to the Big East champions as Ã¢Â€Âœnappy-headed hoesÃ¢Â€Â and Ã¢Â€ÂœjiggaboosÃ¢Â€Â last week after their loss to Tennessee in the NCAA WomenÃ¢Â€Â™s National Championship game. Imus will serve a two-week suspension beginning on Monday, April 16.
Rutgers team members refused to comment on the severity of the punishment or on whether they thought it was just. The university used the opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of the group this season and to focus on their intellectual prowess. Rutgers has tough academic standards, and according to Coach C. Vivian Stringer
Ã¢Â€ÂœThese young ladies before you are valedictorians, future doctors, musical prodigiesÃ¢Â€Â¦ these young ladies are the best this nation has to offer and we are so very fortunate to have them at Rutgers. They are young ladies of class, distinction. They are articulate. They are gifted.Ã¢Â€Â
The team has agreed to meet with Imus to discuss his comments at an undisclosed location.
According to a transcript of the segment (from MediaBistro), Imus and McGuirk compared the game between Rutgers and Tennessee to Ã¢Â€Âœthe Jigaboos vs. the WannabesÃ¢Â€Â from Spike LeeÃ¢Â€Â™s School Daze (misidentified by the showÃ¢Â€Â™s co-host as Do The Right Thing).
DON IMUS: So, I watched the basketball game last night between Ã¢Â€Â” a little bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the womenÃ¢Â€Â™s final.
SID ROSENBERG: Yeah, Tennessee won last night Ã¢Â€Â” seventh championship for [Tennessee coach] Pat Summitt, I-Man. They beat Rutgers by 13 points.
IMUS: ThatÃ¢Â€Â™s some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and Ã¢Â€Â“
BERNARD McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.
IMUS: ThatÃ¢Â€Â™s some nappy-headed hos there. IÃ¢Â€Â™m gonna tell you that now, man, thatÃ¢Â€Â™s some Ã¢Â€Â” woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like Ã¢Â€Â” kinda like Ã¢Â€Â” I donÃ¢Â€Â™t know.
McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.
McGUIRK: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes Ã¢Â€Â” that movie that he had.
IMUS: Yeah, it was a tough Ã¢Â€Â“
CHARLES McCORD: Do The Right Thing.
McGUIRK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
IMUS: I donÃ¢Â€Â™t know if IÃ¢Â€Â™d have wanted to beat Rutgers or not, but they did, right?
ROSENBERG: It was a tough watch. The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the Toronto Raptors.
This isnÃ¢Â€Â™t the first time ImusÃ¢Â€Â™s crew has been guilty of Ã¢Â€Âœracially insensitive remarksÃ¢Â€Â. In 2001, sports guy Rosenburg said Venus and Serena Williams would have a better chance at appearing in National Geographic than in Playboy. And Imus called the New York Knicks a bunch of Ã¢Â€Âœchest-thumping pimps.Ã¢Â€Â
Many, including Rev. Al Sharpton, who hosted ImusÃ¢Â€Â™s formal apology to the African American community on his talk show, believe Imus should be fired for his remarks. Sharpton told Matt Lauer on TuesdayÃ¢Â€Â™s Today Show that suspension was, Ã¢Â€Âœnot nearly enough. I think it is too little, too late.Ã¢Â€Â
There is a chance that Imus will emerge from his suspension unscathed. Perhaps these comments arenÃ¢Â€Â™t as incendiary as Michael RichardsÃ¢Â€Â™ racist tirade or Mel GibsonÃ¢Â€Â™s Jew-hating rant, but the Imus show is simulcast on national radio and television. He must adhere to a higher standard than Richards in a comedy club or a drunken Gibson in a bar.
What message does this send if Imus gets a two-week slap on the wrist for yet another racist joke?
And why doesnÃ¢Â€Â™t the suspension begin immediately? Imus is supposed to host a telethon for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and his networks donÃ¢Â€Â™t want the charity to lose money because of ImusÃ¢Â€Â™s absence. His very presence may have the same unfortunate effect.
The most frustrating aspect of this incident is that rednecks like Imus and his team can steal thunder from these powerful, intelligent and yes, beautiful women with racist remarks and bad jokes. This was their time to celebrate a magnificent season, not defend their womanhood, beauty and race from idiots like the Imus crew.
As additional pennance, Imus and his entire team should each donate a monthÃ¢Â€Â™s salary to the Rutgers general scholarship fund and ImusÃ¢Â€Â™s radio station WFAN and MSNBC should match the number. That might start to undo the damage they have done.