Friday, April 13, 2007

Nappy Headed Rant?

I don’t usually jump on a bandwagon when it comes to these sorts of things but this Don Imus issue has me seeing red. Why is it that someone like comedian Chris Rock can get rich by degrading and making fun of African Americans but one slip of the tongue by Don Imus and he’s off the air? I’ll admit that I had never heard the term nappy headed before but when I did a Google search I found a web site established by African Americans calling themselves the nappy headed gang. Granted it was not followed by the word Ho but until the street gangs found this to be the lazy way of saying whore to disrespect women the term was only used to describe St. Nicks jolly laugh Ho Ho Ho.

First off let me say that I’m not defending Don Imus for what he said. All I want to point out is that what he said, the origin of the slang he was using, was generated by a faction of some of the very people calling for him to be fired. OK for people of color to use but not Caucasians? Sorry, isn’t that discrimination? I think it’s time that African Americans and all other people of color start respecting themselves and eliminate the double standard that’s been established. The next time Chris Rock or some other comedian makes a racist joke, someone in the crowd should stand up and disrupt the show. Oh how rude that would be, it would upset the large audience of people of color that were laughing at the same humor that got Imus fired. Same goes for any comments we might hear in day to day conversation. We need to speak out, point out to our freinds when we catch ourselves making discriminating remarks. It really bugs me when I hear someone use the word "they" when discussing a group of minorities. How do we articulate or describe an issue. Do we say the African Americans, or the Hispanics in Harlem are uneducated and poor or do we say Harlem needs help to educate the people living in the area to help them find better jobs and improve their financial situation. Why do we single-out groups? Why do we say "that dumb ass Icelander"? Why don't we just say that dumb ass? Why do we have a census that records ethnicity? Are we not all one people?

It’s a huge issue that I’m really not well enough versed to speak on but I’m willing to say that the only thing holding capable humans back is themselves. Education, determination, respect, persistence, talent, imagination are a few things that make a person successful. Lose the attitude and prove yourself. If it’s not working for you, evaluate your goals and try again some place else.

I’m glad Don Imus said what he said. Not because I feel what he said had any merit but because the attention it has gotten might make a few more people reflect on what seems to be the next necessary step for all of us to come together as a unified society. More simply put, we all need to change. The reality is that Chris Rock will probably add the "Nappy Headed Ho" line to his comedy routine in some reference to Hillary Clinton and get a ton of laughs and a nice paycheck.

Sorry for the rant, I need to go for a long run to work off my frustration.


GotLegs! said...

Eric, let's talk about this one on the 12 summits run ... it REALLY pisses me off.

I'm glad Imus is off the air ... wish they would throw off Springer and that long haired clown (you know who I mean). I'd also throw out Oprah and Dr Phil while I was at it. Hey, how come we don't get to vote on this stuff!

Thanks for referring to "my kind" as Hispanic. I don't like the term Latino, but no one ever asks me what I prefer. What's up with African American anyway? How many are REALLY from Africa? How far removed. My grandparents are from Mexico but I prefer to be called ust plain "American."

Ever hear of a fellow named Stevie Wonder or Little Stevie? Had a song, I'm SURE you never heard of, that starts out, "Looking back on when I was a little nappy headed boy ..." Wow, and that was back in the 70's ("Songs in the Key of Life" crica 1976 - NFI).

Check out the lyrics:

I'm surprised they didn't arrest him for such political incorrectness ... oh, wait, politically correct wasn't invented then.

By the way, that was one of my favorite songs at the time. That's probably because I didn't realize that Stevie was a racist at the time ... doh!

Rrrr! Ok, I wasn't going to talk about this now. Better go for a run - we'll talk about it on Tiger.

Wes said...

It's that same cro-magnum philosophy: do as I say, not as I do. Toss in a couple of professional suspect civil rights people and all of a sudden its blown out of proportion. People react to these kinds of things because of their own failings and insecurities.

Down here in the south, the big deal is the Stars and Bars. I personally feel that if you want to fly the Stars and Bars from the back of your pickup truck, have at it. As a state, and a country, we need one flag to represent all people, one nation under God, one people.

Flo said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I have never liked Don Imus, thought he was an idiot, but he should not have been fired. That's just wrong. And please, Al Sharpton as the voice of morality?!?!?!?! What did Micheal Jackson say??? I'm starting with the man in the mirror.......

olga said...

I have no idea who those people/TV hosts are, but I am in with "...the only thing holding capable humans back is themselves. Lose the attitude and prove yourself." Time had passed for real slavery, and now I remember when I worked at Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, how recruiters went to colleges and offered FREE entry for those "established" 10% they needed. And only 1% responded!!! And don't get me started, with limited English I piss a many off for what I say here.

robtherunner said...

I'm glad I won't be running with you and Tony tomorrow. I want none of this conversation.

However, I'll put my 2 cents in briefly. I think much of it has to do with white people, that being us, being the ones in power and we have the ability to discriminate without having to think about discrimintation on a daily basis. Do I think there is a double standard with these types of remarks depending on who says them? Yes, but I try to keep in mind that since I am not a minority I will never know what it is like to feel discrimination in the same terms as women and people of color. Let's face it, white males are typically the ones who have screwed over many many people throughout history. Check out the "Invisible Knapsack" it has some realities that we don't have to face on a daily basis that minorites do. I appreciated it when I read it.

A good training technique for tomorrow will be to discuss this in full fury as you are making the first 2,000 foot climb huffing and puffing.

Michelle S. said...

WOW...I also have a lot of opinion on this subject. Imus was wrong, but we have to look a little more at the context of what was said and it being said during a comical rant, not a political or malicious rant. Either way, yes...he was wrong. The thing that gets me most is the people that jump on the band wagon. Has Sharpton publicly apologized for the way he and others attacked and targeted the Duke rugby team for their "alleged" rape of a black woman? If anything, Imus created a diversion for them.

GotLegs! said...

Folks, I couldn't agree with you all more. And, for those who may have thought I was mad at Eric - nonsense. I was jumping on board with him. People are too sensitive and certain races making a "life" out of it.

Imus was wrong; fine him; get over it. Don't use it to advance your political or racial agenda. And don't push that crap on me. That in my mind is what the "distraught" group is doing.

I grew up in the gheto (no not the barrio, the gheto). I know how the gheto mindset works. I've lived it; I decided I didn't want that for myself; grew up and moved on. It's unfortunate that the cycle is truly hard to break ... most don't even realize that they can. YET the people screaming the loudest are likely those who were brought up in middle class households.

GotLegs! said...

Oh, by the way, we had a nice run today! Thanks Eric!!! *tc

Elaine said...

Wow, Eric. I wish I'd read this earlier. Being a Colored, Black, African-American, I couldn't agree with you more. What pisses me off is the fact that "we people" get upset at being called nappy-headed. What's wrong with being nappy-headed. We have been harder on ourselves. That's the reason I had my hair shaved off. I got tired of "my people" expecting it to be relaxed straight. I used to watch Imus in the morning but wasn't a faithful fan or anything (but I love Oprah, so we shouldn't throw her off the air). Why is it people weren't just upset with him calling the women Ho's? Why did it become a racial slur when he included "nappy headed"?

My original birth certificate has colored on it, so I still refer to myself as colored. Do you know how many people get offended?

Journey to a Centum said...

Elaine - I peeked back at my comments and found yours. Thank you for your input. This whole event has probably done more to confuse me than help me understand the problems that continue to plague us here in America with regard to race and gender. Nice to know I've got one colored woman I can call a buddy that is full of wonder about the whole issue as well.

Looks like we are going to need to go NASA on you if you are going to participate in the WNM or Portland. That's right, strap your butt to a treadmill, stick a video camera in front of you, and make you run 26.2. I'm sure for a moment you thought I meant stick you in a Space diaper and make you drive across Iraq.

I want to say thank you for sticking it out the extra two months of your deployment. I realize that you don't have much say in the matter so keep your troops happy and show them that great smile of yours every now and then!


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