PEEK

Don Imus, hater

Jill Nelson: Word up, Don: being racist, sexist, and disrespectful towards women and others isn’t cool, hip, or a revolutionary act of politically incorrect subversion; it’s plain wrong.
Guest post by Jill Nelson, Women In Media & News.

I'm embarrassed to admit that it took a few moments for my outrage to kick in when I first heard that nationally syndicated radio talk show host Don Imus had referred to the women on Rutgers basketball team - the astoundingly talented athletes who almost won the NCAA championship last week before being defeated by the no less amazing women athletes at Tennessee - as "some nappy headed hos."

This is no surprise, since Imus' insult was initially reported as simply the latest in the career of a man who, as the New York Timesput it, "knows his way around an insult."

I'll say. He's built a career on offending women, people of color, Jews, Catholics and gay people. He's created a niche as the angry white man who's willing to call a spade a "nappy headed ho" or, in the case of PBSanchor Gwen Ifill, "a cleaning lady." The fact that he went after the 10 Rutgers basketball players, two of whom are white, all of whom are young, gifted scholar-athletes and champions, isn't even a new low.

The truth is that as a woman, a woman of color, and specifically an African American woman, the insults come ...
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.
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