Where are the black women in the Imus case?
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[It should also be noted that Staples, Procter & Gamble, and Bigelow Teas have all pulled their advertising from Imus' program. -- ed]
It's astounding that in the media conversation surrounding Don Imus' characterization of the 10 members of Rutger's women's basketball team as "nappy headed ho's," Black women - other than those Imus imagines - are virtually invisible. Even when we're the ones being dissed and dogged, when it comes to analyzing the situation, no one much gives a damn what we have to say.
(In the interest of full disclosure, MSNBC's Hardball did try and book me, and I'll be on Uprising with Sonali Kolhatkar on KPFK radio Thursday, 11 am Eastern time. I'm also included on an Institute for Public Accuracy press release out today (4/11).)
It was great to finally hear from Rutger's coach C. Vivian Stringer and the women on the team at whom Imus' comments were directed. They've generously agreed to meet privately with Imus at an undisclosed time and location and hear him out. (Now that's one meeting I'd love to take!) Still, there's an absence of the analysis and contextualization that can only come from ...
Jill Nelson blogs about women, race and the media for Women In Media & News's ( www.wimnonline.org) group blog, WIMN's Voices ( www.wimnonline.org/WIMNsVoicesBlog), where this essay originally appeared. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Essence, The Washington Post, The Nation, Ms., The Chicago Tribune and the Village Voice.