May 2008

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Comments

Christopher

I think this is the most profound thing you've ever said.

Motherbear

I don't think it's forgiveness that's missing here. I would have even better would have been if Imus had been in a car crash on his way to the meeting with the Rutgers team, instead of the governer of NJ. With Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Glenn Beck in the vehicle with him. And having to pay the seatbelt ticket. I hate to admit this because I try to be understanding and forgiving. But that would have been blind justice in a very satisfying way because Imus (and the others) have been spewing hatred for so long, they deserve anything negative that comes their way. It wasn't enough that Imus lost his job because you just know he's going to go to satellite radio where he'll earn even more money. He's been talking about enlightening subjects such as "lipstick on the dipstick" and snickering like a 12 year old boy who just found his Dad's Playboy for over 20 years now. It's about time a little misfortune came back to hit him in the face.

Adrian D.

Megan:

To forgive someone of an action requires treating that person the same way you would if the action didn't happen. Saying "I forgive you but you're grounded for a year," is not an act of forgiveness.

Adrian D.

Bcammack:

"Adrian,

"You mean that I can get on far-reaching media forum like syndicated radio and cable television, say racist, mysoginistic, ignorant and hateful crap and all I have to do is say, 'Hey! It's my job!' and it's supposed to be alright??"

Well, the respective "in group" already can and does. Of course, that fits with my analogy correction. The fact is you can spew garbage and sound stupid. But as long as that's all that happens -- you sounding stupid -- there is no call for action. Now, if that were a political rally and he were endeavoring to motivate people to act on that, then there would be cause to act to stop him.

Megan

I find it strange that you equate forgiveness with the erasure of consequence. If a kid stole money from his mother's purse and his parents ground him, they don't have to take back their punishment in order to "forgive him." They can just say they forgive him. Perhaps Imus does deserve the spiritual boost that a verbal forgiveness could bring... but that doesn't mean that the offended women need to demand that he get his job back.

Frankly, Scott, I was disappointed by this post...

Um,

The height of human stupidity knows no bounds! I'm sure that Imus would just say more stupid shit if he were rehired....he's a shock jock, and that is what they do!

Keith Battye Harare Zimbabwe

Well said Scott .

bcammack

Adrian,

You mean that I can get on far-reaching media forum like syndicated radio and cable television, say racist, mysoginistic, ignorant and hateful crap and all I have to do is say, "Hey! It's my job!" and it's supposed to be alright??

Adrian D.

Stomper:

Analogy correction:

It is more along the lines of 20 years after the funeral. Aunt Mabel and her friends spend their weekends telling "dead Uncle Bob" jokes but wah wah complain when anyone else repeats one. And they go out looking for people who do so. The fact is the guy was a "shock jock". Nothing he says is to be taken seriously. Certainly his fans (no, it's not my thing) don't act on anything he says. The only reason this is an issue is because some people make a profession out of being offended.

Stomper

Scott:

Thanks for taking down Big Danny's post. Not sure how it got through your filter in the first place, but correcting the error is a step on the road to redemption. Now if the offended persons will do the classy thing and let you meet with them for a personal apology, everything will be okay. ;)

--Stomper

passerby

Neopolitan - you missed the point yourself. Neither Eric D's message nor mine was 'just get over it' his point was that all of the majority get blamed because of the behaviour of a few of the members of the majority. That does not in anyway excuse the few who do cause problems nor does it mean that the victims of those few should just get over it.

' but seemingly the argument that oppressors deserve our protection more than those oppressed carries some weight'
Um, who made that argument exactly? and carries weight with whom? I neither made that argument nor support it.

'You people never fail to amaze me'
Funny comment from someone criticising casual prejudice. You assume I am in the same group as Eric, I might have the same skin colour (or might not, don't know him and or seen picture of him) but still good chance of I am of a different race and/or culture. Also just because I disagreed with your criticism of him doesn't mean I agree with everything he said, I like to play devil's advocate. Sweeping generalisations like that are often a sign that the person saying it is racist.

E

Scott,

Two things:

1) Beautiful post, completely agree.

2) What Imus said was dumb, clearly. These kinds of things take on a mysterious life of their own... and that might not be all bad.

But my problem with this situation is that, while there might be a few people on earth that I would trust enough to get to decide what we can and can't say out loud... Al Sharpton is not on that list.

bcammack

Yo!!! Big Danny!!! Time to take your meds!

Past time, apparently and, no, I'm not jealous that the voices only talk to you, either.

neopolitan

Passerby,

My entire point was about Eric D's claim that people should just "get over it". This is easy to say if the name calling that started all this was an isolated event. But is was not. There exists a great number of words used to put down people of minorities and also women (who are usually a slight majority).

Clearly you did not notice that my points were overdriven, purposefully. Obviously the best solution is something other that all being equally rude to each other, irregardless of gender, creed or colour. However, the casual prejudice expoused by people like Eric D is far more disturbing than the obvious nastiness of Don Imus or any other "shock jock". No-one is likely to have their attitudes changed by someone calling people names - as the names are immaterial in themselves - but seemingly the argument that oppressors deserve our protection more than those oppressed carries some weight.

So, if someone in a position of power uses that power to denigrate you, either personally or on the grounds of any group to which you belong, you should never complain - just get over it.

You people never fail to amaze me.

DAN RATHER

The moral lesson here is never apologize, dont' say stupid stuff but if you do don't apologize. We are protoplasm surfing the edge of a tectonic sphere hurling thorugh a vacuum. There are much greater things to think about here.

terry k

Bahhhh, you are way off. Forgiveness is meaningless.

I agree with the assessment that everyone can make mistakes and that people need to acknowledge their mistakes and Rutgers BBall team was great in allowing Imus to do this in person to them etc.

But in the end, its not forgiveness that is important, but Imus deciding that he has to be better and that he should not be allowed to make the same mistake over and over again. Personally, without really knowing what the Rutgers BBall team is thinking, I would guess that they may think that everything that comes out of Imus mouth is a mistake. Hence, why should they "forgive" him and allow him to come back to radio?

David

Christ on a cross for us all? Speak for yourself. I didn't ask him to do that. I wasn't even alive at the time.

Jeff

Scott, excellent post. Thanks.

I wonder if people realize that forgiveness, at its core is counter-cultural and counter-selfishness. It's a deliberate choice to release and move on. It does not require that you forget the offense; rather, it's a choice to release the offender and rise above the offense.

It was most perfectly demonstrated by Jesus Christ on a cross for us all.

FooBar

Errm, has any one posting here ever listened to a rap song or watched a rap video?

I think that the cultural example has been set within the African American community. I think respect to everyone else is something we should all aspire to but this also seems a massive over reaction to me. Yes, Imus should have apologised to the ladies if they were offended and yes they have shown a massive amount of dignity over this but hey, it really is just small beans. I sometimes think people like to jump on this sort of thing because it is much easier to "fix" than poverty and discrimination amongst minorities and makes them feel a little better about them selves.

passerby

neopolitan, what might have been a good point was ruined by your racist stereotyping. Your solution to racism seems to be to cause more racism, just directed at a different group so it all balances out. Two wrongs don’t make a right, especially when the victims of your racism are likely to be completely different people to those who victimised you.

Eric’s point (if put over a tad aggressively) seems to be that to punish an entire group of people just because some people in the group are racist is wrong (anyone that says all white people are racists, are racist themselves). Also just because some people in the same group as you were victimised doesn’t mean you deserve an apology or any special treatment unless it was you personally who was victimised. (And no one group can claim all sympathy for slavery to themselves as every race has suffered from slavery and been responsible for taking slaves no one has a monopoly of suffering or of the guilt, blame the people who actually did it not those that just happen to have the same skin colour or come from the same country as you might find the latter group includes you. Don’t know if the slavery part had any relevance to the story but as Eric mentioned it, I thought I would add my opinion to that.)

Dee

Imus' employers did not fire him because of any justifiable outrage over insulting these young women athletes.

He was was originally going to be reprimanded and perhaps suspended for a short time. He was only fired when advertising sponsors began pulling out.

It was a decision based on the principles of capitalism. They could no longer make huge amounts of money based on his antics and he had become an obstacle to the continued reaping of heaps of dollars. In the eyes of his employers, that was his "real" sin.

Isn't that the religion of conservatives? Whatever makes money is fine and dandy no matter the detriment to society. If it starts losing money, it is time to pull out.

Dyson

"ASorry, can't agree with you on this one. He's fired and should stay fired. He's hurt enough people, this was just the last straw."
Umm, he hasn't "hurt" anybody. Being 'hurt' by other people's WORDS is a CHOICE of the listener. The day we start confusing speech with injury we're all in trouble - no more complaining about the Patriot Act because these people who claim injury by speech have far worse in store for society.

DL From Heidelberg

One of your most thoughtful posts ever. Would that it were.

neopolitan

Whitetigersx said:

Neopolitan,
Yes, to some people honky and cracker are offensive - the difference is that most white poeple don't actually take offense to it because it's just a word and we know that regardless of what the people saying feel or think it's still just a word. Word can hurt only if you let them, and if you let them then you've allowed the person uttering them to win.
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"We" being "white people" are obviously smarter than black people, because we don't get offended by the term "honky" and "cracker". I actually thought that "cracker" was a person who cracked codes, computer programs or safes, but that is because I don't live in the rather small part of the US where the term is regarded as being offensive.

Unfortunately I live in a bit of the rest of the world (not in the US even) where we all know that the words to describe black people and women are far more loaded than "honky" and "cracker" will ever be.

By the way, you forgot to give an example of an offensive term to describe men.

cheers,

neopolitan

PS There are also a range of offensive terms to describe those of homosexual persuasion. I have heard a rather amusing term of abuse for those who are not: "breeders". I can't really take offense to that either. Where are the abusive terms for heterosexuals?

A final area, in the US at least there is a preponderance of people claiming to be religious. They are in the majority, and that is about the only majority where I am certain there are abusive terms that probably sting the majority. "Bible-bashers" probably only refers to proselytisers. I am not sure that you seppos use "god-botherer", but that is likely to offend at least some of them. Most of the religious are "weekend believers" though, perhaps too true to really be offensive.

The epithet used on the non-religious "athiest" can be worn with pride by those who think that way.

Marie

I think everyone involved in the story that I never heard about until now, is wrong. That guy shouldn't have continuously acted like an a*se just to "shock" people or whatever, that's just stupid and anti-social, his producers etc shouldn't have hired him to be such an idiot anyway, if they were going to get upset about offensive remarks, it is rather unfair to do it now after an apparently long history, he should either stand by what he has said if he believes it, or realise he truly is an idiot if he doesn't, and everyone else should just ignore him, like your mother and father tell you when you are a kid - just ignore them dear and they'll get bored and go do something else.

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