Wednesday, 11 April 2007

IMUS IN CONTEXT

Ken Berwitz

Here, for your delectation, are a few more sets of lyrics from the latest hit charts, which I picked off from Michelle Malkin's blog.  They are making Black rap and hip hop performers rich.  See if you think this material is more elevated than "nappy-headed ho's":-

The "song" is "This Is Why I'm Hot." It has topped the charts for the last 15 weeks. Here's a taste of the lyrics that young men and women are cranking up in their cars:

This is why I'm hot
Catch me on the block
Every other day
Another bitch another drop
16 bars, 24 pop
44 songs, nigga gimme what you got

We into big spinners
See my pimping never dragged
Find me wit' different women that you niggas never had
For those who say they know me know I'm focused on ma cream
Player you come between you'd better focus on the beam
I keep it so mean the way you see me lean
And when I say I'm hot my nigga dis is what I mean

The number two rap track in the nation this week is by rappers Bow Wow and R. Kelly (yes, the same R. Kelly who was indicted five years ago on a raft of child-porn charges and is still awaiting trial). The "song" is called "I'm a Flirt" and it's been on the charts for 12 weeks:

I'm a b pimpin
I don't be slippin
When it come down to these hos
I don't love em
We don't cuff em
Man that's just the way it goes
I pull up in the Phantom
All the ladies think handsome
Jewelry shining, I stay stuntin'
Thats why these niggas can't stand em
I'm a chick mag-a-net
And anything fine I'm bag-gin it
And if she got a man, I don't care
10 toes and I wanna be, cause I gotta have it


The final line:

Now the moral of the story is cuff yo chick,' cause hey,
I'm black, fresh , and I rap, plus I'm rich, and I'm a flirt.

 

Let's proceed to number three on the Billboard rap charts this week (and on the charts for the past 13 weeks): "Go Getta" by a rapper named "Young Jeezy" with a special appearance by R. Kelly (again!). Here's the "chorus:"

You know we trap all day
Play all night
Dis Is Da Life Of A Go Getta (Ey) Go Getta (Ey) Go Getta (Yea)
U In Da Club
U C A Bad Bitch
Point Her Out (Oh)
Yea U Damn Right Ima (Ey)
You Damn Right Ima Go Getta (Ey) Go Getta (Ey) Go Getta (Yea)

And then we have "Rock Your Hips by something called "Crime Mob"  It is currently #6 on the rap charts.  Here is just a sampling of its "lyrics":

Lil' Jay, on the track,nigga, aye & you already know, its ya boi lil scrappy
we finna have the whole M-F world, rockin'in dis bitch,
look at shawty check her out. southern smokin

Chorus

I like the way she rock her hips,
then wave & sip
She rock her hips then wave & sip
She rock her hips, she rock her hips,
she rock her hips,then wave & sip

Look at them hips I like how she rock it
She bend that' thing ova, & to the ground,
she can drop it
And pop it hard,as she can, got me hard in da pants
Because she,in all her stance,
doing her Muthafuckin dance, man
Look lil' buddy cute in da face
She rock her hips to the bass, then she take a sip,
when she wave
and wonna get wit' lil Jay,
after she dance on dat pole
I pull my can so quick & fast,
when dat ass hit da flo'

-

So?  Are you impressed? 

I don't claim that this makes what Imus said better or worse.  But what it does do is add some sorely needed context to this story -- context that will probably mean nothing to the lynch mob out to hang him by his entrails. 

I would love to know how many of the Rutgers women's basketball players have listened to, and even have purchased, one or more of these works of "art".  Because if this is the material they are proactively selecting for themselves, I have to admit I have trouble listening to them tell me how demeaned they were by Don Imus.


DUKE LACRAPPE

Ken Berwitz

ABC news (among others) is reporting that all charges against those three Duke Lacrosse players are being dropped today:-

Duke Lacrosse Case Charges to Be Dropped

Three Players Were Facing Charges of First Degree Kidnapping, First Degree Forcible Sexual Offense

By LARA SETRAKIAN
ABC News Law & Justice Unit

April 10, 2007 - The office of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will announce that he is dismissing all charges against three Duke Lacrosse players, ABC News has learned from sources close to the case.

The three players, Reade Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty, were facing charges of first degree kidnapping and first degree forcible sexual offense. The charges stem from an off-campus party on the night of March 13, 2006.

In the hours after the party, one of two dancers hired to perform for the players claimed she had been violently raped in a bathroom by members of the lacrosse team. The players had also been indicted for first degree rape, but that charge was dismissed on Dec. 22, 2006.

Special prosecutors from the Attorney General's office took over the case after Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong recused himself in January, citing charges of unethical conduct filed against him by the North Carolina Bar. Since then, Jim Coman and Mary Winstead have examined the case from scratch, interviewing key witnesses and working through reams of evidence.

The reasons that will be cited for the dismissal are not yet known, though the case has been riddled with criticism and colored by controversy since its early months. Defense attorneys released documents showing the accuser changed key details of her story in the weeks and months after the alleged assault.

Legal analysts and forensic experts have criticized what they call a critically flawed photo identification lineup -- a lineup that led to the identification and indictment of Evans, Finnerty, Seligmann. No DNA evidence was found matching any lacrosse players with samples from the rape kit, while DNA from unidentified men was found on the accuser's body and clothing.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General confirmed to ABC News that his office had completed its investigation into the Duke lacrosse case. A press conference on the outcome of their inquiry is widely expected sometime this week, though members of that office have not yet revealed a date and time.

-

It's about damn time.

From day one, this story stunk like the back of a clam house during a garbage strike.  

----The DA (nifong) blatantly pandered to the Black population of Durham, which comprises about half of its voters, to win re-election. 

----He made it impossible to exonerate the team by having the "victim" identify the "rapists" from a picture OF the team (i.e. zero chance that any non-player could have been selected). 

----He continued the case after the "victim" changed her story repeatedly and the other dancer told a story at variance with hers.  One of the supposed rapists was out of the house at the time, and had a time-dated ATM receipt, complete with the security camera showing him there, to prove it;

----He continued the case after it became known that she had a history of such false accusations.  How can you prove something beyond reasonable doubt when the accuser is a demonstrated liar who keeps changing her account of what happened? 

----He released damning information to the press and withheld information that would make the case look weaker.  One example is that he omitted DNA evidence from his report that would have exonerated the three students -- none of their DNA could be found on the "victim" or her clothing.

As I said in my December 16 blog:

If you're cynical (and in this instance I assure you I am),  Nifong figured that if he didn't prosecute, Durham's Black population (about 50%) would vote against him because he would be seen as letting privileged White kids from Duke off the hook.  So he pushed on, knowing there wasn't any case but hoping to rope in enough gullible or racially vindictive Black residents to win.  And he did. 

For the record, I am confident that there are many Black residents in Durham who saw through this fraud and cringed at what Nifong did.  But he conned enough others to win anyway.

The bottom line?  Because of this amoral imbecile, three kids' lives are ruined, their families have been forced to bear an impossible legal burden and the entire Duke lacrosse program is destroyed, which affects every other player and everyone else associated with it.  Plus, the reputation of the entire school is tarnished. 

Now, I want to know what is going to happen to nifong.  He should be removed from office, disbarred and tried for the crimes he committed.  He should be (and apparently will be) sued by the families of the three students, who are the real victims of this fraud.

And I especially want to know what is going to happen to the "victim", whose name incidentally is Crystal Gayle Mangum (which I found out on the internet, I sure as hell didn't get it from mainstream media).  She is the genesis of what I would assume are millions of dollars in court and legal fees for a hoax, as well as the destruction of these three students' reputations -- not to mention the reputation of the lacrosse program and the school itself.

What do YOU think should happen to her?

dogibones Accuser of Duke team should be tried in court for a hate crime (04/11/07)

STOCKIE ANOTHER GREAT JOB OF BY JESSIE JACKSON AND SHARPTON. IT SEEMS THEY WILL BE SILENT AGAIN AFTER THEY HELPED RUIN LIVES OF YOUNG MEN AND NOT A WHIMPER OF REMORSE!!! THEY FOUND A BIGGER FISH TO FRY IN DON IMUS. I GUESS HE HAS TO KILL HIMSELF BEFORE THOSE TWO WILL EASE OFF THE THROTTLE!! BY THE WAY WHAT EXACTLY IS SHARPTON AND JACKSON'S JOB AND HOW DO THEY EARN THE MONEY TO SUPPORY THEIR LAVISH LIFESTYLES??????? (04/11/07)

Jerrie Cocklin Now isn't it nice that Jesse (Stonehead) Jackson wants to pay for the so called victim's college!!!!!. I would like to hear him apologize for all the accusations and harm she caused for the three young men. Does Jesse ever stand up for the white population when they have been wronged? (04/11/07)

cherro401 Now is the time for ALL of the media to spend the same amount of time in their coverage of the story exonerating the Dookies as they did in finding them guilty even before they were charged!! I suspect the second coming of Christ will occur before that happens,given time worn excuse that it is not "news worthy." More evidence that when the race card is tossed, only the white man is capable of being a racist. (04/11/07)

bud Are you kidding me.. this whole thing still stinks... who got paid here is what I want to know? I'm not convinced that the parties at fault are ever going to be brought to justice, but I also don't think those boys are innocent. Who are you going to believe.. a stripper who is in the business of being mishandledand by her sexually exploitative occupation or a group of horny, drunk yuppie Duke players spoon fed from mommy and daddy, who likely feel untouchable, even in the case of rape. It's not race. It's power and it just goes to show you that money can buy anyone. Let's not forget O.J. Did she lie or was she drunk and traumatized? Maybe she was coached, but whose to say the other girl wasn't coached into saying the opposite to discredit her? Was the attorney pining for a case or was he trying to make sense of it all in the haze of her changing stories for whatever reason? One cannot rule out the effects of a traumatic experience and the distorted sense of reality that can cause. Was the DA being pressured? Who performed the DNA tests and were they done by more than one source to verify accuracy and eliminate bias? How do we know that a poorly paid scientist can't be bought off when the reputation of a university of Duke's stature is in question? I guess we'll never know. It's sad that the more we evolve, the more we still feel that a woman has to be lying when it comes to rape.. black, white or otherwise.. or at least that becomes the end result once someone questions her story. What proof do we have that she lied? Were we in there with her? Who says that the other girl wasn't paid to discredit her? I don't think it's above an institution to preserve its' reputation by protecting it at all costs. Does an ATM slip really prove anything? It only does if the time's were accurate. I'm just sure everyone synchronized their watches at the time of the rape. Who can honestly pin point an exact time. And who's to say that an ATM slip can't be manufactured? I can tell by some of the comments that we believed everything we read right off and then continue to believe it no matter how much the story changes. Are we sheep? With all the lies in the media and all of the corruption at institutions of all kinds in this world, can we really believe anyone anymore without a dose of healthy questioning? Stranger cover ups have taken place in our history. Oh and while I'm at it... It's sickening to see that racism is alive and well in a few of these comments. (04/11/07)

PoolSafety Justice delayed is justice denied. Those boys spent a ton of money for defense, lost time from their studies and sweated out the whims of a self serving prosecutor.The victim deserves prosecuton for false statements, a felony. But the real culprit is Nifong who was looking to the Black voters for reelction at the expense of these students. He should be disbarred. How many other defendants has he intimidated pleas out of for his own interests? (04/11/07)

Murph Does this stripper know Tawana Brawley? (04/11/07)

Buck72 When all is said and done, Sharpton and Jackson(notice I don't call either of them Reverend because that title is for all those who have actually been ordained and not just self titled) will be no where in sight. We should all flood their web sites with e-mail and ask them "Where are you now? Are you going to pay for any of the wrongly accused legal bills. Are you going to Durham and try to heal some of the wounds caused by Ms. Mangum and Nifong? Are you going to put Ms. Mangum in a treatment facilty where she can get off crack and be a contributing member of society?" What say ye ole' defenders of injustice now that injustice was hoisted upon a white victim? No Comment? That's what we thought. (04/11/07)

Ron I think the President of Duke should resign for the way he handled this situation. Why was the team suspended and every other thing possible done to tarnish their reputation... In the USA, people are entitled to be innocent until proven guilty. The news media, the University and others can never do enough to salvage the lives of these three young men. This is one of the lowest points in US history. (04/11/07)

kda2222 Once again the mainstream media has convicted people before the jury has heard the opening statements. Freedom of the press at its worst. What gets me is the inconsistencies on the victims statement were present and known at the onset of the case all but the DNA. (04/11/07)

PHILLY BOY IS JESSE GOING TO PAY THESE BOYS NOW? (04/11/07)

KD I agree with Bud. This comment is long, but it contains everything that has run through my mind about this sad event. We have a way to go before we can live in peace, so we'll keep getting tangled in and hearing about these dramas until that - impossible? - time. (04/11/07)

Jim Remember that Duke and their ultra-liberal president and faculty tossed the kids out of school. Where are the litigation lawyers when they are truly needed. (04/11/07)

Anita Beauchamp Who is going to reimburse these boys' families for the horrendous legal bills they have had for the past year? I think the bill should go to Nifong and the "victim". Someone's got to pay for this mishandling of justice. The only people who "win" here are the lawyers...unfortunately. (04/11/07)

Joe Justice Where the Hell is Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson now????? Funny how they never seem to be on the side of justice when it is not racially motivated on their side. Oh, sorry, I forgot. One is already a convicted liar! (04/11/07)

Dbonky Innocent, really! Big surprise. I guess charging those men with a crime makes up for past racial injustice. To bad the national media dose't see it that way. Big story, Jessie and all the gang to the rescue! I believe it's called foot in mouth, again! (04/11/07)


IMUS AND HYPOCRISY (or, CHECK THEIR CD COLLECTION)

Ken Berwitz

So I'm watching the Today show this morning and I realize that most of the first hour (which is all I ever watch) is devoted to Don Imus and the fallout from his "nappy-headed ho's" comment.

First off, I want to commend Today - something I don't often do - for presenting all sides of the story.  Yeah, they were more time-heavy on the anti-Imus side, but both sides did get a significant hearing and that's good enough for me.

As I watched this, it occurred to me that NBC is the parent company of MSNBC, which simulcasts Imus' show.  It's hard for me to imagine this kind of negative coverage being given to someone they expect will continue on their network.  I now strongly expect that, in short order (maybe immediately, maybe not) he will no longer have the simulcasting gig. 

I also suspect, though not quite as strongly, that he will lose his syndicated radio show as well.  Several major advertisers (are Procter & Gamble and Staples major enough for you?) already have abandoned ship, with more sure to follow.  History shows me that when a couple of advertisers leave due to an offensive comment, the others are under far greater pressure to do the same.  They (very reasonably) fear being perceived as so supportive of racism that they stick around even after more enlightened companies are gone.

Let me again say that Imus' comment and the "jigaboo" reference by someone else on the show right afterwards (which has gotten far less attention for no good reason) were vile, repulsive and racist.  I don't care if it was said comedically instead of seriously.  That only means the racism is comedic instead of serious;  the fact that it IS racism is a constant.  I agree that Imus should be suspended from broadcasting, whether for two weeks or some other period of time be it less or more.

That said, however, here are some other thoughts that cross my mind.  See how you feel about them:

----The "nappy-headed ho's" comment is far, far from Imus' maiden voyage into using stereotypes to get laughs.  He has been doing this kind of material, virtually every day, for years and years.  If it was offensive last week, what was it the weeks before and the months before and the years before?  Two cases can be made here:  either 1) Imus should  have been punished a long time ago, or 2) Imus is being sandbagged, because the same powers that be which happily allowed this kind of material due to the audience and advertisers it drew is now shocked - SHOCKED - that he's doing it the minute the heat is on.  I can certainly make both cases and leave it up to you to decide which is more credible.  Maybe the answer is both of the above.

----There are countless other shock-jocks throughout the country (Howard Stern is the most visible of them) doing exactly this kind of material, often a lot worse, and just as ongoingly.  If Imus is getting the guillotine over this, why are they being allowed to skate.  Or, put another way, if they are allowed to skate, why is Imus getting the guillotine over this?  The double standard is blatant and ridiculous.

----It is obscene that a career racist/anti-semite like al sharpton would ever sit in judgement of Imus (or anyone else) for a something like this.  I've outlined much of sharpton's depraved history in previous blogs, but let me direct you to today's editorial in Investor's Business Daily (http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=261097516430190) which goes into great detail regarding some (by no means all) of sharpton's disgusting past.  If Imus is suspended for two weeks for a racist comment, proportionally speaking sharpton should be tossed off the air forever, tarred, feathered and sent on a rocket ship to Jupiter.

----Rutgers' women's basketball team, which was the object of Imus' comment, has had more media attention in the past few days then they'd ever have gotten for their winning season.  The Today show, in particular, gave them something like 15 minutes of its most prime time (i.e. at the beginning of the show) to vent their displeasure with Imus.  They certainly have a right to their feelings, it is certainly understandable that they would be angry and hurt and I have no problem whatsoever with the fact that they expressed themselves on Today.

My problem is that, as each day passes, they seem to be playing can-you-top-this with themselves over the incident and making it into something dramatically more than it is.  In less than a week this has gone from being a vile insult to being the defining moment that will set the tone for the rest of their lives.  That is flat-out nuts.

Do you know the NAMES of these players?  Any of them?  I'll be you don't.  And even if you do, will you remember those names a year from now? 

Do you think you will?  Are you sure?  Well, do you remember the name of the "prom mom" who gave birth to a child during her high school prom, tossed her child in the garbage and then went out and danced?  Do you remember the name of the woman who killed five of her children in Texas?  Do you remember.....

Getting the point?  If you can't remember the names of women who killed their own children, would you remember the names of women who were verbally insulted?  We both know better.  Realistically, they will be forgotten in a short period of time, even if Imus is not.  They have their lives ahead of them completely untarnished. 

But media, with the typical overkill they use to sell story lines they've decided upon, are abetting these young women as they convince themselves that one unpleasant experience is a life-changing event that makes them sympathetic figures forever.  It isn't and it shouldn't.

I have a question for the players and for their coach (who, it should be said, was extremely impressive when she spoke on Today):  What is in your CD collection?  How many far worse references to Black women do you sing along to?  Do you dance to at parties?  Do you play while doing your homework in the dorm?  The answer to this question says volumes about what context Imus' remark should be placed in.

Illustratively, I leave you with this lovely little lyric line from Snoop Dogg (yes, the CD went platinum and you can bet the Rutger's team danced to it).  Please be assured that it is ENTIRELY TYPICAL of what is in a rap or hip hop collection and, as disgusting as the words are, they are far from the worst you'll find in either medium:

I'm a Bad Boy, wit a lotta ho's Drive my own cars, and wear my own clothes I hang out tough, I'm a real Bo$$ Big Snoop Dogg, yeah he's so sharp On the TV screen and in the magazines If you play me close, you're on a red beam Oh you got a gun so you wanna pop back? AK47 now ni**a, stop that! Cement shoes, now I'm on the move Your family's crying, now you on the news They can't find you, and now they miss you Must I remind you I'm only here to twist you Pistol whip you, dip you then flip you Then dance to this mother******g music we crip to Subscribe ni**a, get yo issue Baby come close, let me see how you get loose!

UPDATE:  This comes under the heading "it didn't take a genius....."

NEW YORK (AP) - MSNBC said Wednesday it will drop its simulcast of the "Imus in the Morning" radio program, responding to growing outrage about the radio host's racial slur against the Rutgers women's basketball team.

"This decision comes as a result of an ongoing review process, which initially included the announcement of a suspension. It also takes into account many conversations with our own employees," NBC news said in a statement.

mark HOW long can the black people keep this racism game going what was said was like water under the brige in time it will be gone but what will still be here is the racis thing i think that there is a lot of other things that the black people need to worry about and whites to people do not have jobs so i do not think the thing to do is take the mans job from him and make him jobless like the other millons of black/whites out of work and talk about people not doin not a thing for there people lets look at al sharpton and jesses jackson there job is to PLAY THE RASE CARD and get whites/blacks fighting with eachother over just words becouse in the long run thats all they are just words that don't mean not a thing untill somebody like al or jesses blow on the fire then they become rase words i say that we get al and jesses a new job building homes for the homelees instead of putting words of rase in there heads let us live togather mark thank you for the time (04/11/07)

oknow What Imus said was WRONG and there is no way it can be cleaned up. He insulted all women. So I am tired of people coming to his defense,and saying that rappers use the same verbage in there songs. This is not about rap music, This is about a radio host who felt that he could degrade college women without consequences. I f you ask me two weeks suspension is far to light. So stop looking around for excuses for a grown man who knew what he was saying was wrong. It is time fior him to face the music.I'm offended by his coments and I am not even one of the players he was refering to!!!!!!!!! (04/11/07)

mark yes i would like to asy a cople of things about the racism thing with imus first i do not think the man made a mistake and he apology for it but it would a pear to be that BRUCE GORDON AND AL SHARPTON come out of the woodwork and right away talk about takein the mans job away well lets take there jobs away and see how they like it !!! that would not be to wise would it but the onty time you here from the two guys is when a RACE CARD NEED TO BE PLAYED then frount and center they come out and the other one is jessie jackson also in the card game the man aplogy leave him alone maybe the card players can do something about finding jods for people instead of trying to take them away from people i think that is time well spent. GET AWAY FROM THE CARD TABLE and get a real job MARK KELLER THANK YOU FOR YOU TIME (04/11/07)

DT Cooper MD "The point is that in a short period of time they will be forgotten, even if Imus is not. They have their lives ahead of them completely untarnished." Fool! This is where those who are, and have been the historical targets of overt, racist bigotry, and the victims of covert white priviledge get to really see how deeply ingrained it is into the psyche of Whites (like you) in this country. Your pitiful, self-servingly skewed analysis of what you supposedly see playing out in the media, in regards to how the women on the Rutgers team are responding to this vicious slur, is in itself an illustrative indictment of your own innate prejudices. Who will remember these young women years from now?!? Their families and their community certainly will - but you can't see that, can you? Is it because "they" don't have families, or friends, or supporters like you and other Whites of your ilk do? Or is it simply because your own hidden, racist hot buttons automatically, in knee jerk fashion, cause you to flip the analysis along lines that engage your inner "devaluation of the other" thinking circuits, whenever "they" protest about being done an injury??? Their lives "ahead of them will be completely untarnished"?!? I would label that line of ill-reasoning as simply, naive, noodle-headed and wishful thinking, IF I thought it was fueled by anything other than an abysmal ignorance of what the daily, life experience of these young black women entails, and/or a scurrilous intention to dismiss and invalidate the reality of their emotional experience, and deny them their inalienable right to interpret and express it for themselves, in their own terms. Whites (like you), sir, have always presumed to dictate to others the legitimacy of their pain, and deny their right to expression of same. No more. As for that, now approaching time-honored status, projective/deflective screed of "you listen to rappers who say it & and you say it about yourselves" - it is so simple-minded, and easily refuted an argument, that it shouldn't even warrant a response. But a response IS warranted - particularly in light of the fact that it is an argument, one with little more substance than a child's excuse for throwing rocks at a playground peer, that Don ("I hired McGuirk to tell the nigger jokes") Imus has disingenously invoked and has solicited support in his use of, from a growing cadre of (hopefully) soon-to-be-DWM defenders. I see that it has now become the latest meme/talking point/last line of defense for Whites (like you), when caught up in the consequential web of their own slip-of-the-tongue exposed, deep-seated bigotry. If Black folks use hateful language targeting one another - IT IS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE TWISTED AND VENOMOUS SELF-LOATHING WITH WHICH WHITES (like you) HAVE HISTORICALLY INFECTED THEM! Now, attach that small, if vociferously voiced, adjoiner to that argument each time it is invoked and you won't get any counter-argument from me. No sirree, indeedy do. Sorry for yelling, but disingenuous dunderheads like you only seem to "get" the message, when the volume gets turned up past the ambient, background noise of White supremacist bigotry buzzing in the void that passes for your cranium. One Love & Protect Ya Neck!!! (04/11/07)


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