I’d like to say that I was shocked to hear what Don Imus said.
I am not.
I’d like to say that Don Imus should be fired.
He should not.
To paraphrase the immortal words of Coach Denny Green, “He is what we think he is! And we let him off the hook!!” Clearly Imus has an audience, and as much as I would like to shut him up, the answer to the problem that that manifests itself within Imus would not be alleviated by his firing.
You see, if black folks would stop thinking about themselves as a clique and more like a political party or lobbying group (something I am not adverse to), this whole situation would have played out completely different.
The African American Public Affairs Committee (“AAPAC”) would not call for a meaningless and useless apology from Imus, but would continuously use Imus as an example of the extreme bigotry and racism that exists, not in the back woods of West Virginia, but rather in a radio studio in posh New York.
AAPAC could take a cue from the tourette syndrome Rudolph Giuliani developed whenever he wished to remind folks that it was he who presided over New York City during September 11, 2001.
“America is a great great nation, but its past is littered with dark instances. (Don Imus).”
“As far as race relations have come, we have a much longer way to go. (Don Imus).”
“Racism still exists in its most hideous forms! (Don Imus).”
And so on…
We’d get at least three months worth of bills passed through Congress just from hanging Don Imus over America (hey, let’s be real: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee works this angle better than any other organization. That's a political reality, and a successful one to say the least). The key to this model is making sure that Imus stays on the air, making his very presence a constant reminder of why AAPAC’s work is necessary.
But what do we do? Send Al Sharpton in the direction of a camera to demand an apology. What exactly does this accomplish? That we can make someone apologize for saying something stupid? Is that a proper and/or productive exercise of power??
It's not even an exercise of power, but rather an exercise in futility; yet another example of how far we as a people still have to travel toward truly reaching the American Dream. (Don Imus).