So, Don Imus, who had entertained, shocked and MC'd for 30 years has lost his job and reputed $10 million annual paycheck.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, the hero of the Tawana Brawley scandal and self-appointed spokesman for whomever will stand still for him, said something that might yet give this hurtful and tragic episode a positive ending.
While gloating in New York on Thursday (April 12, 2007), he said the fight against racist and sexist and anti-gay and anti-Semitic speech and actions should be carried on to those African-Americans who also talk down about other blacks. He said he was talking about rap and hip-hop artists who call women hos (one assumes they mean whores). He was, I hope, also talking about black comedians who use racial epithets.
I also hope he's talking to those who use the N-word as a friendly greeting, saying it's OK for blacks to use that word while, at the same time, trying to pass legislation making it a crime for others to use it. Some guy was on television today (Friday, April 13, 2007) saying blacks had that right while others did not.
I demur. Just because I'm a Jew and you're a Jew, don't think you can call me a kike or a Christ-killer. You don't have that right.
Look, don't talk to me about minorities. I belong to a group that is not classified by the U.S. government as a minority because there aren't enough of us. Too few to be a minority. Don't need it. After all, we run the government, the newspapers and movies and television empires, all 2 1/2 percent of us.
Don't believe it? Ask the Rev. Jesse "Hymietown" Jackson, who once called New York that name because of all the Jews who live there, but who was parading around New York yesterday to get Imus fired.
Look, Imus needed firing. If a reporter whom I supervised ever said that in a print, he or she would be on the street, too. But I just hate hypocrites. The hero of Tawana Brawley and the Hymietown Kid should not be teaching us what's moral and what's not.
Let's just keep watch. I would be pleasantly shocked if Sharpton's pledge to chase racist and sexist and anti-gay and anti-Semitic and anti-Arab and anti-anything talk and behavior from the community, including the African-American community, was anything but wind. But, unlike The Reverend Al, I'm willing to give him the chance to prove himself.
Sharpton and Jackson don't have the right to define morality. The women of the Rutger's basketball team do. By their actions and their speech in this difficult hour, they have defined class.
Learn from them, not from Sharpton and Jackson. Let's use this horrible time to learn to respect one another, even if we have the same skin color.