Monday, April 09, 2007

nappy headed hos

I have never listened to this guy Don Imus on the radio. I have whisked by his T.V. show, which I think is his radio show on T.V. (for those who do not have a radio ,I guess) but I have never stopped to watch it. I assume that he has some kind of a degenerative condition which makes him look so thin and stooped over, but I don't know. Whenever I have seen him he is wearing a cowboy hat.I think that his show come out of New York, but I don't know that for sure either.

So I have not got much invested in Me Imus, either way, and did not know what to make of it when he refered to the Rutgers Women's basketball team as some "nappy headed hos". It took me a minute to believe that someone had actually said that.Then I read the transcript, and damned if he did not say it. Nappy is an unusual word, although it is a legitimate word. However, it has been so associated with the hair of people of African descent, that it has quite often, actually, almost always, strayed into the racial epithet that Mr Imus undoubtldly intended for it in this usage. Nappy, means "nap like". Nap is the down or hairy surface of cloth, formed by short hair or fibers, especially when artificially raised by brushing. So nappy hair is describing hair that looks like the nap of cloth. Bet you did not know that.

Ho is a different matter. Ho is short for whore and it is pronounced in a way that african americans are said to pronounce whore. It is a despicable word that has gained universal acceptance across racial and gender lines as has "bitch" or the more contepmporary statement "biatch". Ho, like biatch is used constantly by white people and even used in the exagerated form by black people, not only in real life, mostly among youth, but also on commercial television on a more or less nightly basis. The fact of the matter is that no woman should ever be called a whore or a ho and the fact that the words have entered the language with such frequency has given them an air of legitimacy that was bound to trap someone like Mr Imus eventually. You can call a sitcom character a "ho" but it is not funny or legitimate to call a college basketball player a "ho" in our society. But allowing the sitcom character to be called a "ho" started us on this slippery slope. Why women don't object to the use of the word with more frequency or fervor is beyond me. The infamous word "cunt" or as it is now carefully called when describing it, "the c word" has a place in our society second only to the term "nigger" in its ability to raise revulsion. Why "ho" does not fit in those categories I will never know. Maybe now it will.

Back to nappy headed. That slur is the real key here. "Ho" would have gotten Imus criticized, but specifically tying it to nappy headed may well end his career. And frankly, it should. He knew exactly what he was saying and why he was saying it when he used the description. He was saying that not only are these college athletes whores, but they are black whores. It would no more cross my mind, or anyone I knows mind to use that term, than it would to use the n word or the c word. It simply is not done and has not been tolerated for many, many years except among the most ignorant of our society. Don Imus knows that. If he does not, then he is the only one out of three hundred million Americans who does not know it. And if he is that insensitive, who would want to listen to the bore anyway ? So, either way, he should be out on his keyster. It's too bad that thirty years has to end this way for him, but no company should put up with one of their employees using that term. He has a greater duty, to keep from insulting people over the public airways. He failed. Sorry. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out Mr Imus.

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