The Firing of Don Imus

It’s sad when even a millionaire like Don Imus is fired from a job, especially in such a public way.

His comment about the young ladies on the Rutgers basketball team – “nappy headed hos” – was sexist and racist and, in my opinion, a firing offense.

People are going to make idiotic statements. What’s important is what they do afterward to show either the statement was a mistake or that they have changed. I am willing to forgive where there is a sincere apology and deeds showing a true effort to change.

Imus’ problem here was his past history. He has done this before and simply escaped with a mere apology or a pledge to Clarence Page. The latest incident made it clear that any apology from him could not be accepted at face value.

Further, his apology was connected with a bizarre and generalized attack on “black leaders” and “black journalists” which to me showed he didn’t get it.

Even yesterday, he went on a rant that, after his scheduled meeting with the Rutgers team, he was done apology. It made the meeting sound like just an item on a contrition checklist and made it sound like he really wasn’t going to do any deeds to prove he was changing.

I would have been happy if Imus had the decency to resolve this issue by diversifying his show. Get a voice on your show for black women.

In short, it wasn’t this one comment in isolation that did him in. It was his past history, his insincere apology and failure to do any deeds that would show – going forward – he was willing to change.

On a final note, I also think the media has done us all a disservice by making this an “Imus vs. Sharpton” thing and by largely ignoring the equally heinous statements of Imus’ sidekick Bernard McGuirk.

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