By Eddie Griffin
Friday, April 13, 2007
These are the casualties of the war of words on Race.
“Isn't an apology enough?” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 12, 2007)
Excerpts of Letters to the Editor:
Tony Girtman, Runaway Bay writes:
I've been offended by many things, but I got over it. And I'll probably be offended again. Still, I'm not sure that anyone has a "right" to not be offended… Don Imus was stupid to have said the things he did on national radio. But he has apologized! Some folks think the apology insincere. So what? He has apologized publicly!
Do his remarks really make him a racist? Have we become so politically correct that no one can make a mistake and survive? Do the media have a "right" to continue to castigate this person so long after the event? The No. 1 racist is Al Sharpton. He seems to think that anyone who disparages anyone who's black deserves to be crucified. An apology isn't enough for him!
I was born and raised in the South in an era of separate drinking fountains. I enlisted in the Air Force in 1952 at age 17… There were good white people and good "colored" people… The media need to back off. The African-American community needs to take stock. An apology offered should be enough and accepted. There's no reason to examine the excuse or apology and declare that it wasn't sincere enough. We must be more tolerant than that.
Wake up, folks. We can get over being offended every time someone steps on our toes, no matter how stupid their remarks! Not to do so is stupid in itself.
EDDIE GRIFFIN Analysis: Notice the Mr. Girtman insists that “the media need to back off. The African-American community needs to take stock. An apology offered should be enough and accepted.”
We, African-Americans, need “to take stock”- need to take stock of what? Something somebody else said. Girtman insists that we swallow the apology, even if it is “insincere”.
And, then this: “Some folks think the apology insincere. So what? He has apologized publicly!”
QUESTION: Since when have we accepted “insincere” apologies, for apology sake?
I can see right now that we live in two different worlds, with two different value systems.
Furthermore, the writer vents his anger on Al Sharpton, the “No. 1” racist. This is a popular notion in some circles- that Al Sharpton is racist.
How did we get off the subject of Imus’ racist remark and apology onto Al Sharpton being the “No. 1” racist?
Am I beguiled into seeing one racist as no difference than the other? This tactic is known as turning the table on the victim.
Have we considered what the true collateral damage that was done by Imus racist and sexist remarks?
First, it rallied his large fan-base to apologize for him and rationalize his improper use of language. There were people who actually defended him. This poses the suggestion that maybe there are some in his listening audience who share the same poisonous racial sentiments. And, some see him as being no different in racial integrity than Al Sharpton.
I horror at the thought of some child calling black women “nappy-headed ‘hoes” simply because he or she heard Imus say it on the radio and thought it was okay. This is how people like Imus pass the torch of racism from one generation to the next, via mass airways and media, subtly.
Finally, the writer writes: “Wake up, folks. We can get over being offended every time someone steps on our toes, no matter how stupid their remarks! Not to do so is stupid in itself.”
Well, glory be to Texas, I didn’t know just how stupid I was. Step on my toes on purpose... excuse me!
This is Eddie Griffin, ex-Black Panther, counter-intelligence division, author of “Breaking Men’s Minds”