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Old 04-13-2007, 05:40 PM   #406
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Perhaps everyone's ready for this to sink to the bottom of the page at this point but since Irvine brought up South Park thought I'd post this excellent piece from Andrew Sullivan (bolded emphasis mine):

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/
I couldn't help thinking about both last night. This week's South Park was its usual sharp, subversive self. And the visual games they play with race and gender and sexual orientation, and the language they use, leaves Imus in the dust. And yet South Park is not in the slightest bit offensive to me at all. This week, they had a hilarious parody of 300, including a battle between a phalanx of determined lesbians defending a gay bar called "Les Bos" and a group of Eurotrash Persian club owners threatening to take over the club and fill it with velvet blue carpet, gold curtain rods and white statues. They also threw in some Latino immigrant stereotypes for good measure. How do they pull it off?

Three reasons, I think. The first is that they're a cartoon. No actual person has to take responsibility for saying any of the naughty words and stereotypes involved. When Eric Cartman tells Kyle that he should go back to San Francisco with the rest of the Jews, it's the character voicing the collective bigoted id - not an actual human being. It may be that in a multicultural society, cartoons will become the primary medium for speaking honestly and humorously about our differences. The same goes in a way for Sacha Baron Cohen who has created a character, Borat, to voice these things. It's not him. The distance matters, and enables comedy based on bigotry not actually to be bigotry. The creators can legitimately say they're not actual haters; they're just exploring and making fun of prejudice, and invoke the First Amendment to defend themselves. Without this distancing device, Ricky Gervais, Dave Chapelle and Sarah Silverman would be in deep trouble. But even they sometimes balk, as Chapelle recently did, because it's a morally precarious path to travel at times.

Second, South Park's creators actually get and love the subcultures they lampoon. The amazing thing about this week's South Park is how detailed the observation was. The lesbian bar was a classic - it was clearly created by people with actual and acute knowledge of what lesbian bars are like - and there were many hilarious shades of recognizable dykiness in the cartoon figures. In fact, this week's episode was a landmark in mainstream depiction of lesbianism. It didn't rely on any hoary stereotypes that spring from ignorance and fear; it created stereotypes based on knowledge and fondness.

Lastly, anyone watching the show can tell very very quickly that its creators are not actually bigots. You don't need to know these guys personally to see that. In general, I think the American public is pretty shrewd about this. Mel Gibson got roasted because he is, in fact, a self-aware, vicious anti-Semite. Michael Richards? Confused guy who didn't even realize his own repressed bigotry, until it came pouring out. Don Imus? I think most people think he actually is a bigot - and that's why he got fired. It wasn't just a shtick. Ann Coulter? A strange case. I can't tell if she's a bigot; she's just decided to deploy hate in order to make money. Her "persona," however, is not removed enough from her person to get her a pass. And her support for political forces that would demonize and marginalize gay couples deprives her of the South Park defense, however many closet-cases she befriends. Besides, she beat up on "faggots." As Harvey Fierstein points out, we're still fair game. Imus targeted all blacks and all women. That's a majority of the population. Coulter picked on three percent. She's smarter.
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Old 04-13-2007, 06:13 PM   #407
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Time Magazine's cover story this week is on Imus...definitely leaning towards the he-deserved-what-he-got end of the spectrum (though note it went to press before his firing), but some thoughtful pieces, anyhow. A cover story, then commentaries from Ana Marie Cox of Wonkette, Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Debra Dickerson of Salon.
Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
generally talk shows from a Christian perspective, usually fundamentalist and evengelical. the most popular one is hosted by James Dobson (natch).

http://www.christianradio.com/search...&Submit=Search
Well I wasn't looking to listen to it, I was fishing for actual examples of dialogue. But I think citing Dobson gives me a fairly clear idea of what kind of thing you meant. Initially I was more assuming you meant conventional slurs and/or lake of fire talk.
Quote:
i'm not quite sure what's being asked here ... firstly, i grew up with homophobia my whole life, usually the casual locker room talk of athletes. and it does have a cumulative effect on one's sense of self-worth. which is why coming out was such a pleasant surprise -- no one actually thought i was the proverbial "fag" people talked about, and everyone has seemed verbally quite supportive of the political aspect of things. when i hear people in the media saying things about gays that are analgous -- or even worse -- than "nappy-headed hos," there's a tendency towards exasperation, irritation, etc. but it's just one more voice in the media, it's no one close to me. and my response is never self-induced anxiety -- "gosh, what if i really am a threat to children."

what i'm wondering if you're getting at would be some sort of equivalent -- say it were 1988, and Greg Lougainis just won his 4th gold medal in diving, and someone called him a "limp-wristed homo," how would i feel?
Possibly, yeah. Especially given the "casual locker room talk" backdrop, maybe that would be "some sort of equivalent." I guess I'm thinking in terms of the hypothetical-reasonable-person idea that's always hovering conveniently shadowy (and subjective?) in the background with these kinds of things. How can you really make analogies--because to a point you have to. There's speech that's angering because it's arrogant and ignorant and baselessly accusatory, speech that's (almost) funny because it's simply too wacko to be taken seriously, speech that's intimidating because it implies threats, speech that's profoundly alienating because it tells you you're diseased and corrupted and some kind of cancer on society, and speech that's humiliating because it rubs your nose in the old lesson that you're a second-rate human being who's only successful or impressive to the extent that the first-rate ones charitably allow you to win one out of four (or put on a good freak/fool show while losing). And probably another category or two that experience hasn't equipped me to recognize. And while you can ultimately choose to ignore much of it, or to step back and consider the context objectively and perhaps find much of it defused through that effort, there are limits to how much you can choose the initial emotional reaction, especially when you're young. Of course a lot of this is individual, maybe so much of it is that it's a lost cause to even contemplate the question.

But yes...what might an 'equivalent' be, and what sort of feelings might it elicit and why (and not elicit, and why).

It is so difficult to put this kind of thing into words...
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:29 PM   #408
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
kind of all over the place with this issue today.
On this we agree.
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Old 04-13-2007, 09:29 PM   #409
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Condoleezza Rice: I'm glad Imus was fired

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Friday that radio host Don Imus' comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team were "disgusting" and she was pleased he was fired.

Imus called the women players "nappy-headed hos" -- racist, sexist remarks that resulted in a barrage of protests and ultimately in the outspoken host losing his CBS Radio show, which was also televised.

"I'm very glad that there was, in fact, a consequence. I think that this kind of coarse language doesn't belong anywhere in reasonable dialogue between reasonable people," Rice said in an interview with syndicated radio show host Michael Medved.

Rice, the first black female U.S. Secretary of State and a former college professor, said the young women Imus targeted were fine athletes trying their best.

"It gets ruined by this disgusting -- and I'll use the word 'disgusting' -- comment which doesn't belong in any polite company and certainly doesn't belong on any radio station that I would listen to," she added.

Asked how she handled racist, sexist comments directed her way, Rice laughed and replied: "I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself. And I really don't care because, you know, I'm a mature woman."
http://today.reuters.com/news/articl...src=rss&rpc=22
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Old 04-13-2007, 09:33 PM   #410
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"I'm very glad that there was, in fact, a consequence" does not necessarily equate to "I'm glad Imus was fired." Though that may be the case here, I won't presume to know what level of consequence Ms. Rice was looking for.

I think many agree that there should have been a consequence for what Imus said, though many disagree on exactly what the consequence should have been.
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Old 04-13-2007, 11:48 PM   #411
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

(As quoted from Dave White)

Gen. Peter Pace:
Aging cracker who thinks you and me and everyone we know are immoral. Wars based on lies that slaughter thousands of people, however, are awesome. OK, he didn’t exactly say “awesome.” I’m paraphrasing.

Pace is not a cracker; he's from Brooklyn, NY and his parents are immigrants.

Thre cracker culture encompasses some of the rural, white culture of the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. It is not meant to be an offensive term. It isn't offensive to me, as many of my ancestors who settled and farmed Georgia and Alabama over the past 200 years would be considered "crackers." A student who was not a cracker called me "cracker" with offensive intent in high school. He did not know what he was talking about.

~U2Alabama
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Old 04-14-2007, 08:45 AM   #412
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
Perhaps everyone's ready for this to sink to the bottom of the page at this point but since Irvine brought up South Park thought I'd post this excellent piece from Andrew Sullivan (bolded emphasis mine):

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/
I couldn't help thinking about both last night. This week's South Park was its usual sharp, subversive self. And the visual games they play with race and gender and sexual orientation, and the language they use, leaves Imus in the dust. And yet South Park is not in the slightest bit offensive to me at all. This week, they had a hilarious parody of 300, including a battle between a phalanx of determined lesbians defending a gay bar called "Les Bos" and a group of Eurotrash Persian club owners threatening to take over the club and fill it with velvet blue carpet, gold curtain rods and white statues. They also threw in some Latino immigrant stereotypes for good measure. How do they pull it off?

Three reasons, I think. The first is that they're a cartoon. No actual person has to take responsibility for saying any of the naughty words and stereotypes involved. When Eric Cartman tells Kyle that he should go back to San Francisco with the rest of the Jews, it's the character voicing the collective bigoted id - not an actual human being. It may be that in a multicultural society, cartoons will become the primary medium for speaking honestly and humorously about our differences. The same goes in a way for Sacha Baron Cohen who has created a character, Borat, to voice these things. It's not him. The distance matters, and enables comedy based on bigotry not actually to be bigotry. The creators can legitimately say they're not actual haters; they're just exploring and making fun of prejudice, and invoke the First Amendment to defend themselves. Without this distancing device, Ricky Gervais, Dave Chapelle and Sarah Silverman would be in deep trouble. But even they sometimes balk, as Chapelle recently did, because it's a morally precarious path to travel at times.

Second, South Park's creators actually get and love the subcultures they lampoon. The amazing thing about this week's South Park is how detailed the observation was. The lesbian bar was a classic - it was clearly created by people with actual and acute knowledge of what lesbian bars are like - and there were many hilarious shades of recognizable dykiness in the cartoon figures. In fact, this week's episode was a landmark in mainstream depiction of lesbianism. It didn't rely on any hoary stereotypes that spring from ignorance and fear; it created stereotypes based on knowledge and fondness.

Lastly, anyone watching the show can tell very very quickly that its creators are not actually bigots. You don't need to know these guys personally to see that. In general, I think the American public is pretty shrewd about this. Mel Gibson got roasted because he is, in fact, a self-aware, vicious anti-Semite. Michael Richards? Confused guy who didn't even realize his own repressed bigotry, until it came pouring out. Don Imus? I think most people think he actually is a bigot - and that's why he got fired. It wasn't just a shtick. Ann Coulter? A strange case. I can't tell if she's a bigot; she's just decided to deploy hate in order to make money. Her "persona," however, is not removed enough from her person to get her a pass. And her support for political forces that would demonize and marginalize gay couples deprives her of the South Park defense, however many closet-cases she befriends. Besides, she beat up on "faggots." As Harvey Fierstein points out, we're still fair game. Imus targeted all blacks and all women. That's a majority of the population. Coulter picked on three percent. She's smarter.

the first two paragraphs make a lot of sense... the second two paragraphs are pretty thin, making broad assumptions rather than logical conclusions.
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Old 04-14-2007, 11:05 AM   #413
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I just wonder how far some people have come from the days of Jackie Robinson. It's a sad irony. When you have a fan still yelling out racial comments at Serena Williams, you have to wonder. He does that on the tennis court, meanwhile Don Imus...
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:00 PM   #414
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So today this guy comes up to me, his face red like a rose on a thorn brush, like all the colors of a royal flush and he says:

"You know this Imus thing, this Imus thing. I can't believe Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are now the defenders of all that is good and decent in America. . ."

I'm not clear as to why he felt he needed to tell me this!

I guess the controversy has now spread all the way out here.
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:06 PM   #415
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I don't think he should've been fired. He APOLOGIZED.

I think at this point if you don't agree with him "getting fired" you're going to be labeled a bigot.

I wonder, where is the whole "freedom of speech" so many people in the US preach? Wake up, smell the thorns, there is NO freedom of speech in the US anymore.
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:06 PM   #416
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
"You know this Imus thing, this Imus thing. I can't believe Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are now the defenders of all that is good and decent in America. . ."

I'm not clear as to why he felt he needed to tell me this!
I'm actually a bit surprised to say that I've heard lines similar to this quite frequently.

I think that Al Sharpton, in particular, is so hated by white America that they'd happily defend his opponent, no matter what the cost!
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:13 PM   #417
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Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy

I wonder, where is the whole "freedom of speech" so many people in the US preach? Wake up, smell the thorns, there is NO freedom of speech in the US anymore.
The freedom of speech you are referring to originated in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. This is unrelated because the government was not involved in restriction of speech.
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:18 PM   #418
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Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
I don't think he should've been fired. He APOLOGIZED.
Sure, he apologized...only after he got caught. Even the greatest of cowards will issue an apology in a situation like this.

His pattern of past behavior, however, as I posted in an earlier post here, indicates that his apology is probably not all that sincere. Imus, if on the radio, will continue to make racist, sexist, and/or homophobic comments.

Quote:
I think at this point if you don't agree with him "getting fired" you're going to be labeled a bigot.
I'm not going to label you a bigot, but I do have to wonder the motivations of people who choose to defend a man like him.

Quote:
I wonder, where is the whole "freedom of speech" so many people in the US preach? Wake up, smell the thorns, there is NO freedom of speech in the US anymore.
You and everyone else here have forgotten one major thing here:

You do not have complete and total freedom of speech in your place of employment.

That's because Imus speaks not only for himself, but also implicitly for his employers (MSNBC, CBS Radio) and for his sponsors.

If MSNBC, CBS Radio, and any of Imus' sponsors wish to dump him, that is and always has been wholly within their legal rights.

In this case, Imus was dumped because he shot his mouth off and made his employers and sponsors look bad. Similarly, if Imus' ratings had dropped from natural causes, MSNBC, CBS Radio, and any of his sponsors could have chosen to dump him then--also completely within their legal rights.

This is not a free speech issue. There is no constitutional requirement that you have to be paid for your speech; just that you have the right to say it without legal ramifications.

And this is the reality of it. Imus has not been arrested. He has not been charged with any crime. If he wishes to stand in Times Square and call every black person he sees a "nappy headed ho," he's within his legal rights (provided he doesn't incite a riot, of course).

As such, there's absolutely nothing stopping Imus from being employed by another radio or television group.

If FOX News likes Imus' style, they're fully free to employ him. If a right-wing AM radio group think he'll make them money, they're fully free to employ him. And chances are, Imus will be employed again, because he was making CBS Radio $20 million a year.

Welcome to the beauty of "freedom of speech."
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:36 PM   #419
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus
I'm actually a bit surprised to say that I've heard lines similar to this quite frequently.
It makes for a seductively concise and incensing little trope--two cunning and masterful hypocrites stringing up the misunderstood hero whose rash tongue belies a big heart and a sharp mind.

(No, that's not my personal verdict on either.)

However, the reality that this has been THE dominant national news story of the week and generated a mind-boggling volume of articles, news segments, roundtables, blog entries, YouTube clips, message board threads, boardroom sessions, you name it, suggests a much more diffuse and complicated flurry of events.

Most of my foreign colleagues and students have been utterly confounded at how an issue like this could capture and hold center stage for so long.
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:45 PM   #420
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama


Pace is not a cracker; he's from Brooklyn, NY and his parents are immigrants.

Thre cracker culture encompasses some of the rural, white culture of the Carolinas, Florida, Georgia and Alabama. It is not meant to be an offensive term. It isn't offensive to me, as many of my ancestors who settled and farmed Georgia and Alabama over the past 200 years would be considered "crackers." A student who was not a cracker called me "cracker" with offensive intent in high school. He did not know what he was talking about.

~U2Alabama

would it make any difference if you knew that the author of that piece grew up in the rural south in a variety of trailer parks and had what might be generally understood as a "cracker" upbringing?

i mean that as a genuine question.
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