I walked into my labor history class late today, in the midst of a discussion on Don Imus. My professor said, "Ms. elle, please join us. Do you have any comments?"
"Not any that should be spoken in a classroom," I answered (in fact, my whole commentary at that point consisted of the title of this post). He laughed and assured me that whatever I wanted to say would be okay. All semester, we've joked that a camera was hidden somewhere, documenting for posterity (and eventual trials) our way-left-of-center commentary and reviews. Today, my professor said, the camera was off.
I really didn't have much to say. I'm sick of the "If rappers do it, why is it wrong for poor Imus?" And I feel badly for anyone who was shocked by this--naive, naive souls. But mostly, I am tired. As Deborah Gray-White says, it's too heavy a load--this burden black women bear of having to constantly defend ourselves against racism and sexism. I wanted to ask, "Where the hell did that even come from?" but that would imply that there was some logic, some reason behind Don Imus and people of his ilk.
And there's just not.
Some better analyses:
Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson speak for black women?
“Nappy Headed Hos”
Dear MSNBC: It's time to FIRE Don Imus.
Two Weeks Ain’t Enough! and Imus Updates and Commentary