Don Imus and Pointing Fingers

We’ve had a busy couple of days, Dear Readers.

Duke lacrosse players cleared of all charges. Don Imus and his producer insulting a female college basketball team. Thousands of nameless faceless folks all over the country weighing in on both, pointing the finger at the black community.

Maybe they should.

Read on before you start blasting me. I don’t excuse anyone in this mess. I don’t excuse Imus and his producer (who should also be reprimanded.) People who make their living by talking should know by now what words should and shouldn’t come out of their mouths. I don’t excuse the DA or the “victim” in the Duke case. They’ve just made it that much more difficult for real victims to get support and understanding.

And I certainly don’t excuse the people who have proliferated the use of “hos” and other assorted words to such a degree that others think it’s acceptable to use the words when talking about people they don’t know.

Neither do I excuse the people who point fingers at the entire black community for accepting double standards and use rap music as the prime example of said standard.

Psst. Here’s a little secret. Non-black people buy rap music too. Non-black people produce rap music. Non-black people sign new artists to their labels. Non-black businesses sign marketing agreements with rappers. Non-black people have been known to rap. (I have actually witnessed it with my own eyes).

May I hold the mirror while you stare into it? I’ll try to keep it steady.

There are words that, at this point in American history, should not be “owned” by a culture or group. The N-word is one of them. Hos is another. The C-word (as in C U Next Tuesday) is one I particularly despise. (Might make my foray into erotic romance difficult, but if I sell one it will be on the condition that if that word gets used in my story, the speaker will get slapped.)

Simply put, these words were never meant to be nice words. They were always meant to degrade and inflame. Perhaps this is just my Southern Sensibility coming to the fore, but if you wouldn’t call your mamma or your sister by that term, don’t use it on anyone else.

And to the finger-pointers, four words: do something about it. Start a campaign or boycott or petition. As for me, I’m trying to do my part by showing my heroes and heroines as accomplished, contributing members of society who are part of the human race. I show them as examples of what we can be when we refuse to let labels define us.

And so many people play the race card, and they don’t realize they’ve dealt themselves a losing hand.

Peace and blessings.