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After Imus...When Are We Going To Show Some Respect?

Thursday, April 12, 2007Brother Mustafaa


In the days since radio jock Don Imus made his infamous racist-sexist comments labeling Rutgers female basketball players ‘Nappy headed hoes’ a furor was unleashed among black people, corporate sponsors and television commentators. "Our agenda is to be funny and sometimes we go too far. And this time we went way too far," Imus told Rev. Al Sharpton during a radio interview days after his remarks. Since that interview activists, most prominently, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson called for, and received, the firing of Don Imus from radio and television.

A chorus is now rising among some in the white community concerning what they see as double standards and hypocrisy in the black community. Popular rapper Snoop Dogg was shown on television as an example of what we, in the black community, have accepted as disrespect of self by self. Even if we act foolish to ourselves we will not tolerate others to disrespect our community. This brings me to the purpose for writing this article. Now that Imus is fired and his show a thing of the past when are we going to stop tolerating the disrespect that we as black people heap upon ourselves daily?

Over the past nearly 30 years of my life I have heard the black woman called “Hoes” “B***h” and others denigrating words from comedians to popular rappers of today. Even the VH1 show “The flavor of love” showed black women using negative words speaking of themselves. Amazingly, we still call ourselves ‘Niggers’ or ‘Niggas’ in 2007 and are shocked when whites or others follow suite. I was always taught that if you don’t respect yourself you can’t expect respect from others.

Perhaps we can use the spark from the Imus debacle to start a serious discussion on the serious problem of self hate in the black community. Many may think that the last statement is extreme, but I ask who is killing us more... our own selves or others? Who is robbing us more... our own selves or others? Who is getting black women pregnant and leaving the women vulnerable...  our own selves or others? Who is selling drugs in our communities... our own selves or others? Who is calling our women b***h on records, promoted worldwide... our own selves or others? This is self hate! 

A wise man once said, “Until we learn to love and protect our woman, we will never be a fit and recognized people on the earth. The white people here among you will never recognize you until you protect your woman. The brown man will never recognize you until you protect your woman. The yellow man will never recognize you until you protect your woman. The white man will never recognize you until you protect your woman."

I don’t think Don Imus's words can be anymore hurtful than the words and actions being perpetrated daily by the men in our communities against our own black women. Who wants to accept the challenge to help stop this? We can turn this around and it starts with showing some self respect and self love. I am in no way excusing Mr. Imus or any other bigot or racist, but we should sweep the dirt in front of our own door first.

As an African proverb said:
“If you kick your own dog don’t be surprised if someone else does also.”

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