Time to go
Published 8:29 pm Friday, April 13, 2007
Now that they’ve gotten shock jock Don Imus punished for his remarks about them, members of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team should go after gangsta rappers next.
They should be joined in that attempt by the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and, well, any decent human being. Going after Imus and not the gangsta rappers would be hypocritical.
What Imus said about the team members should have resulted in him being punished. MSNBC has decided not to simulcast Imus’ CBS Radio show. CBS Radio, after first deciding to suspend Imus for two weeks, fired him. Imus was offensive, plain and simple.
But so are many of the lyrics in gangsta-rap songs that permeate the airwaves, nightclubs and CDs to which people are becoming exposed to more and more. Many such songs denigrate women by turning them into sexual objects by referring to them as “hos” — that’s whores, for the uninitiated — and depicting them as scantily clad women who “shake their booties” — that’s wiggling their backsides, for the uninitiated.
And for those tempted to defend Imus’ remarks by saying that what Imus said is mild compared to lyrics of many rap songs, don’t. Imus’ offensive comments and offensive comments in rap songs are one in the same — unacceptable.
Rochelle Riley, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, writes that Imus’s remarks may have shone a spotlight on a problem.
Riley has a point.
The longer nothing is done about these “social crimes,” the more acceptable they become to society. The more acceptable they become, the harder it will be to get rid of them.
Plenty of pundits said this week the delay in CBS and MSNBC punishing Imus was the result, at least in part, of not wanting to take someone off the air who makes lots of money for them. There’s some truth in that. It’s also probably true that gangsta rap will continue to find outlets by way of television, radio and other venues because it makes money, too.
Again, Riley has a point.
Imus appears to be gone, but the gangsta-rap culture remains. It needs to go, too. It’s likely some black youths will defend gangsta rap as being representative of their culture. Therein lies the problem; it is their culture. Shame on us for allowing that to happen. Shame on them for allowing it to happen to them.
There’s plenty of blame and shame to go around. Greed for the almighty dollar is at the root of the problem. That greed brought forth Imus and the misogynist gangsta-rap culture. Imus, for the most part, appeals to what is mostly a white audience. Gangsta rap, for the most part, appeals to what is mostly a black audience.
The only color greed recognizes is green, as in greenbacks. It’s greed that pushes the gangsta-rap culture, a culture of denigration and violence.
It’s time to stop the green of greed from becoming the red of blood that’s going to flow if this violent, destructive lifestyle isn’t stopped.
It’s time gangsta rap joined Imus in the unemployment line.