Imus Is Snoop's Frankenstein Monster
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Now that Imus is officially out, the question is will Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the civil rights leaders, black professional and women's groups march on say a company such as Koch Records and demand that they pull Snoop Dogg's forthcoming album, The Big Squeeze?
They should, and that means ignoring Snoop's loud protest that he's no Don Imus. He's not, he's worse.
While Imus's "nappy headed hos" slur has been plastered all over creation, the "B" "H," and expletive-laced rant that Snoop unleashed against Imus, has barely got a squint of mention.
His R rated words are so vile they can't be printed in adult company. But here's the gist of what he said. He gave veiled praise to the Rutgers women basketball players as ladies of distinction.
But that's only a ploy. To him, they're the rare exception among black women. Most are Bs and Hs, poor, hood dwelling, rank-losers. In one grotesque sentence in his knock against Imus, Snoop managed to get in all the ancient stereotypes about black women.
Now this is the same Snoop that strolled out of a courtroom moments after copping a no contest plea, being slapped with five years probation and community service on felony drug and firearm charges. He then delivered his self-serving Imus and I "are-two-separate-things" rant.
This is the same Snoop that in the next few weeks will hit the road and promote, The Big Squeeze with such good housekeeping titles as "We Came to Bang Out," "Pop Pop Bang," and "F----in is Good for U."
The album features some Snoop's rap buddies and rivals and gives them a chance to be heard and of course bought. And you can be assured that these rap maestros offer a generous sprinkling of B's and H's and other endearing references to black women.
You can be assured that Snoops's corporate owners will bank millions off it. Unlike the 350,000 MSNBC viewers and the few hundred thousand more CBS radio listeners that cackled with and at Imus's inane trash talk, millions of young and not so young persons will dance to, talk up, and delight in the rapper's skewed descriptions of black women. That talk will be embedded even deeper in the youth and adult lexicon.
Snoop called Imus, and other shock jocks that spew their on-air slurs, tired old white men. Imus paid the price and got canned for it. That wouldn't have happened if civil rights leaders, black professional and women's groups, as well as legions of blacks picketed CBS, threatened sponsor boycotts, and dumped mountains of enraged postings on Internet websites.
Within hours after Imus ladled out his bile against the Rutgers women, my mailbox filled up with these postings demanding his scalp. Yet, I have not received one angry email since Snoop made his B and H dig against Imus.
I haven't heard any outraged calls for Koch Records to pull the album, or threats of a boycott if they don't. I have heard no denunciations from Sharpton, Jackson, the National Association of Black Journalists, and not a peep from women's groups about it and him.
A few years ago the NAACP got called on the carpet for nominating some of the most vile rap women bashers for image awards. The last draw was when the NAACP nominated R. Kelly, who was accused of sex crimes against underage girls.
Though the NAACP voters back peddled fast, and tightened the reins on who got nominations and awards, it set a subtle tone that it's better to ignore gangster rap groups than mount a full court attack on them.
Imus was a different matter. And many blacks have gone through tortured gyrations during the Imus furor to make a Snoop like defense that his offense was different. But Imus on his own would not have slurred the Rutgers women with the pejorative term "nappy headed ho's." He would have demeaned them with something like this, "They're some rough looking broads" or "They're some funny headed chicks."
That would have drawn few squeals. But "nappy headed hos?" That line is beeline straight from the rapper's playbook. The day after Imus was officially canned by MSNBC, the shock jocks that daily feast off on-air bashing and trashing minorities, gays, women, and Muslims, ran wild.
They relentlessly played lyrics from the gangster rappers. This was damage control, and their insidious point was to cancel out the furor over Imus and deflect the finger of guilt for trash talk from them.
In a perverse sense, though, they got it right. Imus paid the price for his bile. On the other hand, Snoop and his buddies simply have upped the price for their records, and profit from them. As long as the outcry from civil rights groups, and blacks remains feeble, scattered, and disjointed, they will continue to jingle the cash registers while self-righteously defying anyone to compare them to Imus.
Imus demeaned a basketball team; Snoop and his pals have demeaned a whole generation of young blacks, and especially young black women, and blacks have let them get away with it. That's why Imus is their Frankenstein.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a political analyst and social issues commentator, and the author of the book, The Emerging Black GOP Majority (Middle Passage Press, September 2006), a hard-hitting look at Bush and the GOP's court of black voters.