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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pavlovian Response to Imus

Eddie Griffin

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So, he did it again. Is anybody really surprised at radio shock jock Imus? I mean, just when we thought his goose was cooked with calling the Rutgers basketball girls “nappy-headed ‘hoes”, here he goes again, with a takeoff on Dallas Cowboy cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones.

When discussing the football player’s arrest record, Imus asked: “What color is he?” After sports announcer Warner Wolf answered that Jones was “African-American,” Imus responded: “There you go. Now we know.”

Now we know what? What does this abstract statement suppose to insinuate? In any case, it doesn’t mean what we all think it means, let Imus tell it. It’s all just a misunderstanding.

Is Imus so clueless to think that many African-Americans were not going to be outraged at the suggestion that blacks are naturally more criminal-oriented than anybody else?

On the other hand, an Imus supporter defends him by saying stuff like, “Statistics don’t lie.”

How in the world did we get so far out in left field? And, do we really need this dialogue at this time? We wouldn’t even be having this conversation had Imus used more discretion with his words. But then, there are some who claim that he can’t help it, that this color obsession thing is embedded in his heart.

Who let the dogs out?

Remember how pitiful Imus looked and acted when he was called onto the carpet about his “nappy-headed ‘hoes” comment? Remember all the millions of his fans rallying to his support to get him back on the air. Somewhere in the forgive-and-forget crowd was Al Sharpton.

So, who let the dogs out? I guess you can say that Sharpton had a large part to do with it. Now, in reaction to Imus latest flap, Sharpton was the first outraged. Why? Like the frozen snake a man picked up and tried to warm under his shirt, Sharpton knew Imus was a snake when he picked him up. So, it should have been no surprise to see him turn around and bite somebody else.

But Imus II is not like Imus I. Imus II is more seasoned for racial controversy, more wily and coy. He insinuates without actually saying. This gives him a defensible cover to hide behind the claim of a “misunderstanding”. Where Imus I was na├»ve and susceptible to public criticism, Imus II has his own cadre of friends, listeners, supporters, sponsors, and a radio station that allows him leeway to say what he wishes. (Damn the rest of the world!)

After a mass lobbying campaign was successful in putting the shock jock back on the air, advertisers flocked backed to him. And in the background, a brewing counter-demonstration from listeners showed that a boycott threat against advertiser could be waged on both sides. Alas, by popular demand, Imus came back, not as Imus I but as Imus II.

It would be futile and redundant to campaign to get him off the air again. The more Imus pushes our button, the more we react like Pavlov’s dogs, barking back at insults and slurs. Sooner or later, with all our complaining, we will ultimately look like the crazy ones.


  1. Brother Eddie,

    I have to agree with your statement about Imus. He is who he is. And that is not going to change.

  2. Hey there Eddie!

    I don't know why anyone was surprised by Imus Act Two!!

    This will teach black people that we need to focus more on annihilation of the root of these problems...we rant and we rant...but where's the collective community action that will CUT THE ROOT?

    Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!