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Old 04-14-2007, 11:18 PM   #436
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Originally posted by deep


I wonder if he sees you as Sean, just a person, his friend?

Based on your post, I think he did not see you as a person, first.


I think he saw race first, much like Imus does, evidenced by many of his remarks.

I find this very sad.

Well, not to paint any particular region or group of people with too broad a brush, but having grown up in Florida around mostly white people, I'm quite used to these kinds of comments, so it didn't bother me as much as it might. It was the kind of thing you just shake your head at and wonder "What does he expect me to say to that?"

I don't know this guy well. He's an older white guy, a veteran, lived in Saipan since 1968, married to a Palauan woman. Our paths crossed a few years back when we were both involved in the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Saipan. I hadn't seen him in about a year and a half until yesterday and those were literally the very first words he said to me when he saw me.

I thought for a moment, "Do I really want to get into it with this guy over this issue right now?" I decided I didn't, and just made some sort of noncommital remarks about how "Yeah, it's pretty crazy" and quiet chuckle. (Again, the kind of response that I've had a lot of practice with from my childhood years).

I guess the question that came to my mind, is why is he telling me this? Is he challenging me to defend Jackson and Sharpton? Or is he assuming that since I'm a "nice" non-threatening black guy with a "white" accent, that I'll agree with him, and he'll get to feel more secure in his position because he's now got a black ally?

Or was it something else? I have no idea. But I think you're right, Deep. I think he saw me first as black, second as a person. But such is life. . .you don't encounter it too much here in Saipan, which is nice--one of the reasons why I'm not particularly in hurry to move back to the Mainland.

Then yesterday afternoon, I went hiking with a friend of mine, and he asks me what the "Black Community" thinks about all this, and I was trying to explain that there's really no way for me to answer that question. I can't speak for on behalf of "my Community" anymore than he can speak for the "white community." I was explaining that--at least in my view, men like Sharpton and Jackson--are self-appointed "spokespersons" for the "Black Community." I see them as opportunists who take advantage of the fact that many white people want/expect a go-to Black Person who can speak for the "community." They fill these roles and it gives them great power. I pointed out that no one considers George W. Bush spokespersons for "the white community." And then he argued, that Bush has "opponents" like Hillary Clinton etc, and well, if Jackson and Sharpton weren't the spokespersons for the Black Community then where were their "opponents" (i.e. blacks who do not share their views). I thought about it a few minutes and then suggested, Clarence Thomas, Condaleeza Rice etc. I pointed out that among white people the only people claiming to be spokespersons for the "white community" are fringe characters, you're David Dukes, your white supremacists and so on. Likewise, anyone who claims to speak for Black people shouldn't be given much legitamacy either.

Granted, I think many blacks feel like I do, that if a black person is being attacked, you feel a sense that you need to defend them (the whole I can say what I want about my mom but if you start talking about her we have a problem). When the red-faced guy came up to me, my first instinct was to defend Jackson and Sharpton even though I personally don't care for them at all. So that may also contribute to the sense that blacks are part of this "community" that all thinks the same way.
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:44 AM   #437
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Originally posted by Irvine511



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.
No, because it is still a mis-use of the term "cracker" and as the author of a commentary on a societal issue he should know that.

This is what I found in the bio on his website:

Quote:
Dave White was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1964. He lived there for a little while before being dragged to Roswell, New Mexico and then Texas. Now he lives in Los Angeles, specifically West Hollywood, and writes about lots of different stuff. His favorite job of all time was washing dishes in the Wall/Gates women's dormitory at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
I see nothing that qualifies him as having a "cracker upbringing." Surely you don't think that all or most crackers live in trailer parks? Although some may live in trailers, those would most likely be in sparsely populated areas and least likely in "trailer parks." Trailer parks are not unique to this region; I've seen them in Pennsylvania and Malibu, California. And living in Texas certainly is not indicative of "cracker" culture. Texas Tech fans throw tortillas when their team scores a touchdown. In his use of the word "cracker" to describe Pace, I don't think he knows what he's talking about.

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Old 04-15-2007, 10:43 AM   #438
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Originally posted by U2Bama

I see nothing that qualifies him as having a "cracker upbringing." Surely you don't think that all or most crackers live in trailer parks? Although some may live in trailers, those would most likely be in sparsely populated areas and least likely in "trailer parks." Trailer parks are not unique to this region; I've seen them in Pennsylvania and Malibu, California. And living in Texas certainly is not indicative of "cracker" culture. Texas Tech fans throw tortillas when their team scores a touchdown. In his use of the word "cracker" to describe Pace, I don't think he knows what he's talking about.


i actually am quite familiar with the writer, and he did have what would could be understood as a poor white southern upbringing. he also writes the most screamingly funny "updates" on The Advocate website for American Idol and Project Runway.

but, anyway, you don't think that such a background is indicative of "cracker" culture, and that he's misused the term. i think you might be right. but i also think it's interesting that even within slightly derogatory terms for white people -- and if a northerner were to call a southerner a "cracker," i'd view it as a term of disparagement -- we have contested meanings, and only people who "know" can accurately use that term. thusly tying this all back in to what Snoop was saying. how do you feel when a black person calls a white person like Imus, who's clearly not of the cracker culture you describe? or when a white gay Texan who grew up poor moves to WeHo and mis-used the phrase?

actually, just talking to Memphis right now, and he says that the term "cracker" is actually a black-created term for a white slave master, one who'd crack the whip out in the fields.

language is quite an interesting thing.
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Old 04-15-2007, 10:47 AM   #439
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep


you are puzzling the feck
right out of me


for who? us white folk?




and it is a Saturday night
I need my feck


for everybody. i want less scripted dialogue, not more. i'm not clamoring for permission to say "nappy-headed hos." i'm just worried that the punishment for misspeaking is going to stifle honest speech. i'd rather speech be honest and offensive than dishonest and comforting.

i just don't want it all to become like USA Today. the newspaper that, as Homer Simpson once said, "isn't afraid to tell the truth -- that everything is just fine."

i hope you were able to get a nice feck last night.
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Old 04-15-2007, 02:40 PM   #440
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'Tiny Bubbles' Crooner Don Ho Dies
By JAYMES SONG
AP
HONOLULU (April 15) -- Legendary crooner Don Ho, who entertained tourists for decades wearing raspberry-tinted sunglasses and singing the catchy signature tune "Tiny Bubbles," has died. He was 76.
Coincidence?
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Old 04-15-2007, 05:16 PM   #441
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
but i also think it's interesting that even within slightly derogatory terms for white people -- and if a northerner were to call a southerner a "cracker," i'd view it as a term of disparagement -- we have contested meanings, and only people who "know" can accurately use that term. thusly tying this all back in to what Snoop was saying. how do you feel when a black person calls a white person like Imus, who's clearly not of the cracker culture you describe? or when a white gay Texan who grew up poor moves to WeHo and mis-used the phrase?

actually, just talking to Memphis right now, and he says that the term "cracker" is actually a black-created term for a white slave master, one who'd crack the whip out in the fields.
I think it's one of those words that's considered 'etymologically obscure' and actually has several theories of origin--a variant(?) of the one Memphis cited which I've heard is, people of that category were often cattle herders originally, and cracked their whips to round up their animals (I suspect that theory is only meant to apply to 'crackers' in Bama's sense). But anyhow, where I grew up in MS--and I gather it might(?) be the same where Memphis is from--I only ever heard black people use that term, and it was clearly meant to be pejorative, basically suggesting a socially backwards (and presumably bigoted, as part of that) white person. Not unlike the rather loose sense in which northerners often use "redneck", but maybe a little more innately hostile. I remember in O Brother, Where Art Thou there's a scene where one white Mississippian calls another "you dumb cracker", aparently more or less with (what I would consider) the intended sense of "you dumb hick", and that struck my ear as bizarre, because I'd never, ever heard a white Mississippian use that term, nor would I ever take it as synonymous with "hick". But for all I know, in central and eastern MS (hill country as opposed to Delta country, which to Mississippians entails a cultural distinction) it might carry different nuances.

I don't think this makes the greatest analogy to (e.g.) the n-word though, because unlike cracker, redneck, hick, hillbilly, "white trash" etc., the history of that word is not one of nuanced or variable socioeconomic/geographical distinctions, but rather a blanket term for all black people ascribing a blanket inferior status to them, even when used casually and without any conscious malice, per se (whereas I never heard a black person where I grew up use "cracker" with anything less than, at the very least, conscious contempt and a clear intended reference to a particular type of white person). "Jigaboo" (since that was used in the Imus segment in question) is similar, with only the distinction that it suggests particularly pronounced African features physically. So I think those are way more loaded terms, and hence subject to stricter rules as to who can use them and when without unintentionally provoking strong offense. I would tend to see that association as carrying over to "nappy-headed"; "ho" may be somewhat different, but again, given the history behind (white-held) stereotypes of blacks in general and black women in particular as oversexed (which are in turn related to stereotypes of blacks as 'brutish'--perhaps[?] what you had in mind by pointing out your mother sometimes comments on the "roughness" of UConn players), I think there's a built-in red flag there...even setting aside the more 'race-neutral' sexism encoded by the term, i.e., women by default are "whores", sex objects first and foremost, unless they possess certain 'redeeming' character traits as defined by men.
Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
I guess the question that came to my mind, is why is he telling me this? Is he challenging me to defend Jackson and Sharpton? Or is he assuming that since I'm a "nice" non-threatening black guy with a "white" accent, that I'll agree with him, and he'll get to feel more secure in his position because he's now got a black ally?
................................................
Then yesterday afternoon, I went hiking with a friend of mine, and he asks me what the "Black Community" thinks about all this, and I was trying to explain that there's really no way for me to answer that question. I can't speak for on behalf of "my Community" anymore than he can speak for the "white community." I was explaining that--at least in my view, men like Sharpton and Jackson--are self-appointed "spokespersons" for the "Black Community." I see them as opportunists who take advantage of the fact that many white people want/expect a go-to Black Person who can speak for the "community."
.................................................
Granted, I think many blacks feel like I do, that if a black person is being attacked, you feel a sense that you need to defend them (the whole I can say what I want about my mom but if you start talking about her we have a problem). When the red-faced guy came up to me, my first instinct was to defend Jackson and Sharpton even though I personally don't care for them at all. So that may also contribute to the sense that blacks are part of this "community" that all thinks the same way.
This is the main reason why the (apparent) tendency for many who feel the Imus case went too far, too fast, and for the wrong reasons to condense it down to 'that fork-tongued fraud Sharpton railroaded him, it's all his fault' bothers me. I don't wholly disagree with the too-far,-too-fast,-wrong-reasons analysis so far as it goes, for reasons already explained, but it's just silly to pin the entire weight of a week's worth of heated national public discourse on him, and to me it smacks of an attempt to take a perceived 'go-to' figure (which as you pointed out is a problematic concept to begin with, and ironically one Imus himself validated by appearing on Sharpton's show), then exploit that personification to make him into The Bad Guy, which then by extension makes black people in general 'accountable' for any and all aspects of it. I've felt somewhat similarly before towards perceptions of the fallout from widely-reported incidents of anti-Semitic talk by some public figure, for example with the whole Mel Gibson thing last year, I got to the point where I just grimaced and closed up like a clam most times when the topic came up. The papers run headlines asserting "Jewish leaders" (or "black leaders" in Imus' case) are OUTRAGED!! (almost invariably the term used) about such-and-such said by so-and-so, and are DEMANDING!! this or that type of response, and next thing you know you get friends and coworkers asking Well how come You People feel This Way about it? and that can really get galling, because it seems to assume there's some archetypally 'You People' response which you can either serve as a proxy cross-examination opportunity for, or else perhaps please them by proclaiming your stark disagreement with. Sometimes in spite of myself I perversely feel like playing the former role, because the apparent insinuation that I, too, must be damningly 'unreasonable' just like the Go-To guy, if I also happen to be offended, seems so insulting (to both me and Mr. Go-To); and sometimes I perversely feel like playing the latter out of this sense of, OK, so you wanna see some independent thinking, well here it is--and by the way, F you, because you certainly aren't displaying it right now.

Of course there's always the possibility of countering all that by replying in a carefully nuanced way, but it gets tiresome to feel like you have to do it, and even then I'm sometimes left with uncomfortable doubts as to whether I perhaps only succeeded in fulfilling some kind of unwarranted expectation. If I'm being honest about it, it's fair to say I probably sometimes suspect this kind of dynamic is there when it really isn't, and I don't want to get self-defeatist nor undeservedly resentful, so I really try not to. But the dynamic has clearly been there enough times to make such situations uncomfortable.
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Old 04-15-2007, 05:28 PM   #442
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




for everybody. i want less scripted dialogue, not more. i'm not clamoring for permission to say "nappy-headed hos." i'm just worried that the punishment for misspeaking is going to stifle honest speech. i'd rather speech be honest and offensive than dishonest and comforting.

i just don't want it all to become like USA Today. the newspaper that, as Homer Simpson once said, "isn't afraid to tell the truth -- that everything is just fine."

i hope you were able to get a nice feck last night.
I think that's a good point, because if they weren't allowed to say that shit it would still be on their mind, or how they see it. You don't change their mind, just control what gets spoken.

So these sentiments can grow and develop.
If someone speaks it out, however, you see that he/she has some misunderstanding (to put in nice) and can try to educate them. Or at least challenge them.
And they will have to face the consequences.
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:57 PM   #443
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




i actually am quite familiar with the writer, and he did have what would could be understood as a poor white southern upbringing. he also writes the most screamingly funny "updates" on The Advocate website for American Idol and Project Runway.

but, anyway, you don't think that such a background is indicative of "cracker" culture, and that he's misused the term. i think you might be right. but i also think it's interesting that even within slightly derogatory terms for white people -- and if a northerner were to call a southerner a "cracker," i'd view it as a term of disparagement -- we have contested meanings, and only people who "know" can accurately use that term. thusly tying this all back in to what Snoop was saying. how do you feel when a black person calls a white person like Imus, who's clearly not of the cracker culture you describe? or when a white gay Texan who grew up poor moves to WeHo and mis-used the phrase?

actually, just talking to Memphis right now, and he says that the term "cracker" is actually a black-created term for a white slave master, one who'd crack the whip out in the fields.

language is quite an interesting thing.
Although I can see where the Memphis definition would also make sense, yolland is correct that it's origin applied to (Florida) cattle ranchers cracking their whips on their herds. That being said, "crackers" are not necessarily "poor" white Southerners. There have been some wealthy and succesful folks who have claimed cracker culture.

I'm not saying people can't use the term; I'd just expect a culturalcommentator to use it correctly. It's not as broad as the "n-word" or redneck.

Regarding African-Americans' use of the word, the kid in high school who called me a cracker also misused it as I have lived in the suburbs of a city all my life. He also told me that he hates white people. Yet another mis-use of the word, but maybe an intent more applicable to the Memphis definition you described.

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Old 04-15-2007, 11:01 PM   #444
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yeah, "cracker" is interesting. it wasn't a word i grew up with, and wouldn't use it at all since i'm really not sure what it refers to. i have an imagine in my head for, say, "redneck," but never cracker.

i wonder if it isn't for american-americans, a catch-all word for white people? can anyone speak to that?
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Old 04-15-2007, 11:20 PM   #445
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Another regional identity nickname that can go either way (pride or put-down) is "coon ass" to describe certain segments of Louisiana's Cajun culture. It blew up here in Alabama a few months ago when UA's new football coach and former LSU coach Nick Saban made reference to an LSU board of trustees member using the term. Many Cajuns use the term in the first person as a badge of pride (as did former Governor Edwin Edwards) but some see it as a slur. I have been in conversations with Cajuns who use it descriptively in the first person context. People wanted to make a big deal over Saban using it because he had left LSU to go coach the Miami Dolphins, then left Miami to go coach at Alabama, an LSU rival.

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Old 04-15-2007, 11:29 PM   #446
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My white friends can't name a single word which comes even close to the power and bigotry attached to derogatory slurs used against minorities. Although, if a person grew up as the only white kid in a non-white population, I am sure they would know a word which is hurtful to them. Bigots exist everywhere regardless of race.

Even when I was the victim of ethnic slurs, I could never think of anything to yell back at my attackers when I was a kid that was as hurtful as what they said to me.

Thankfully someone has put all the slurs in one place. I have found it to be very informative in an educational way as I don't know many slurs and am confused by many references. It explains a lot when people use certain words. Some people use words without even knowing they are derogatory. For example, chinaman is a derogatory slur for Chinese people. My father finds it more offensive than chink as it also has an ownership of person connotation associated with it. I have had to explain this ethnic slur to at least 50 people throughout my lifetime, probably more. I believe in some countries, it isn't a slur but they have a different history than Canada.

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Old 04-16-2007, 12:29 AM   #447
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i wonder if it isn't for american-americans, a catch-all word for white people? can anyone speak to that?
Obviously I can't speak firsthand to it, but like I said before, the black people in MS I knew who used it (and I'd want to emphasize most didn't--but, I think it's probably telling that the ones who did saw it as OK to use in front of me) were pretty clearly diagnosing particular (and loathsome) social attributes in the white people they used it towards. I have a couple times heard black people elsewhere use it, and it seemed to me to imply the same thing.

As a broader (though dated) example, Malcolm X, who never lived in the South, famously used it repeatedly in a speech in December 1964 (this was featured in Eyes on the Prize):
Quote:
...Out of 36 committees that govern the foreign and domestic direction of this country, 23 are in the hands of Southern racists. And the reason they're in the hands of Southern racists is because the areas from which they come the black man is deprived of his right to vote. If we had the ballot in that area, those racists would not be in Washington, D.C. There'd be some black faces there. There'd be some brown and some yellow and some red faces there. there'd be some faces other than those cracker faces that are there right now. So what happens in Mississippi and the South has a direct bearing on what happens to you and me here in Harlem.

...And likewise, out of the Democratic party, which black people supported--recently, I think, something like 97%--all of these crackers--and that's what they are, crackers--they belong to the Democratic party. That's the party they belong to. Same one you belong to. Same one you support. Same one you say is going to get you this, and get you that. Why, the base of the Democratic party is in the South. The foundation of its authority is in the South. The head of the Democratic party is sitting in the White House. He could have gotten Mrs. Hamer in Atlantic City. He could have opened up his mouth and had her seated. Hubert Humphrey could have opened his mouth and had her seated. Wagner, the mayor, right here, could have opened up his mouth, and used his weight, and had her seated. Don't be talking about some crackers down in Mississippi, in Alabama, in Georgia. All of them are playing the same game. Lyndon B. Johnson is the head of the cracker party.

...They've always said that I'm anti-white. I'm for anybody who's for freedom. I'm for anybody who's for justice. I'm for anybody who's for equality. I'm not for anybody who tells me to sit around and wait for mine. I'm not for anybody who tells me to turn the other cheek when a cracker is busting up my jaw. I'm not for anybody who tells black people to be nonviolent while nobody is telling white people to be nonviolent...
As I said, kind of dated, but that seems to be more or less the sense in which black people I've known used it. Yeah, it's a "stretchy" term and doesn't necessarily encode any class or geographic distinctions, and especially in a climate like 1964 (or any place that still feels like 1964!), I can see where it might easily expand to mean any white person who isn't vocally resisting racism, whether they seem overtly racist themselves or not. Which depending on your perspective, might apply to a LOT of people. But, so far as I can tell, *if nothing else* it implies a white person who just doesn't get it (or want to) where race is concerned, and as such isn't a blanket term of contempt for whites based on skin color alone. Recently I read a piece by a NOLA-based black cultural critic in a VA-based journal (aimed at African-Americans) which used it repeatedly, and repeatedly linked it to "Rebel Flag-waving rednecks"...another example of this type of usage. Again, I doubt the black people I heard use it would've felt comfortable tossing it out so casually (and contemptuously) around me if they saw it as blanket, since in that case I'd presumably be included in the category.

Perhaps Dave White was in some sense co-opting a 'black usage' of "cracker" there, or some regional-white usage related to it, and in that case my guess(?) is it "works" OK for anyone except a "cracker" by Bama's definition for him to do so. But personally, I'd never use it, just because the bulk of my experiences with it involved people clearly intending "white trash"-type overtones, and as such I view it as a pretty out-and-out slur (except for the way Bama uses it) and tend to frown on anyone who seems to be using it in that sense--white or black.
Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
My white friends can't name a single word which comes even close to the power and bigotry attached to derogatory slurs used against minorities. Although, if a person grew up as the only white kid in a non-white population, I am sure they would know a word which is hurtful to them. Bigots exist everywhere regardless of race.

Even when I was the victim of ethnic slurs, I could never think of anything to yell back at my attackers when I was a kid that was as hurtful as what they said to me.
Ever seen this old SNL skit? Kind of underlines that same point, I think. The humor partly comes merely from the fact that you'd never see such language used in a job interview, but also from the uncomfortable reality that Pryor's character winds up decisively humiliated because he has nothing as putting-you-in-your-place insulting as Chase's slurs to fire back with. Hostility yes, he can convey that just fine, but he can't 'pull rank' on Chase because he doesn't have enough rank to pull. Of course the implied power relationship (boss vs. menial worker) also plays into it, but then that too is clearly being used to concretize a mutually perceived racial hierarchy, even if it's less obvious to Chase's character than to Pryor's.

To expand the point with reference to the Imus/Rutgers case, in an 'analogous' skit involving a man and a woman, there really would be nothing a woman could come back with that would fully negate the second-class-citizen 'outing' from a misogynist 'slur'. The closer the woman is to the white,-middle-class-and-straight social status level--and the further the man is from that--the more potent the comebacks she'll have to draw upon, but still I would say it's impossible to wholly offset the humiliation of that.
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Old 04-16-2007, 12:37 AM   #448
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Ever seen this old SNL skit? Kind of underlines that same point, I think.
Yeah, I remember that. It was hilarious then as it is now.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:19 AM   #449
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Future of Imus charity ranch questioned
By DEBORAH BAKER
Associated Press Writer

April 14, 2007, 2:51 PM EDT

RIBERA, N.M. -- Don Imus's banishment from the public airwaves also deprives him of a critical platform to raise money for the sprawling Imus Ranch, where children with cancer and other illnesses get a taste of the cowboy life.

Before he was fired last week for calling the Rutgers University women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos," Imus pointed to the northern New Mexico ranch to make his case that he is "a good person who said a bad thing."

With Imus out of a job, some wonder whether the pipeline to charity money will eventually dry up.

Just as corporate sponsors backed away from his radio show, "I think you'll see a similar effect on the charity, where the corporate donors will find a less hot-button charity to support," said Trent Stamp, president of Charity Navigator, a New Jersey-based charity watchdog group.

Imus said he and his wife Deirdre are round-the-clock surrogate parents to the youngsters who spend a week at the property, nearly half of whom are from minority groups and 10 percent are black.

"There's not an African-American parent on the planet who has sent their child to the Imus Ranch who didn't trust me and trust my wife," he said on his show. "And when these kids die, we don't just go to the white kid's funeral."

Kansas horseman Rob Phillips says he still plans to give the ranch proceeds from a 500-mile charity race he's staging this fall. But Phillips worries that without Imus's radio forum, the ranch and other charities will suffer.

"He had a capability to get on the air and raise a tremendous amount of money for these causes," Phillips said. "I don't see anybody else doing that."

Stamp said donations may increase in the short term because of the heightened attention -- "the celebrity factor ratcheted up to a new level."

The Imus show's annual two-day fundraising radiothon, benefiting the ranch and two charities that refer children to it, had raised more than $2.3 million as of Friday, according to Deirdre Imus, who hosted Friday's show.

But in the long term, Stamp predicted the firing would cause "irreparable harm."

The ranch's list of contributors is not public information, but it has relied heavily on corporate contributions.

The Reader's Digest Foundation gave $1 million seven years ago, Imus has said, and American Express made a one-time, $250,000 donation nine years ago. Neither company is a contributor now, representatives said.

General Motors Corp. said Friday it would continue donating Chevrolet Suburbans for the ranch.

The Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey provides the doctors, nurses and "child life specialists" who attend every ranch session.

"While there is no excuse for these comments, we cannot overlook all of the good he has done for families of Bergen County and across the nation," the medical center said in a statement.

The nearly 4,000-acre ranch, at the foot of a mesa about 50 miles from Santa Fe, features a re-creation of the main street of a 19th-century Western town, a swimming pool, an indoor horse-riding arena, an outdoor rodeo arena, and barns.

Kids between 10 and 17 who have cancer or serious blood disorders, or who have lost siblings to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, spend seven days at the ranch -- in the summer, when Imus would broadcast from a studio there -- at no cost to their families.

They do daily chores, learn to ride and care for horses, and help feed cattle, sheep, buffalo, chickens, goats and donkeys.

They stay in the main ranch house, a 14,000-square-foot adobe hacienda that the Imuses describe as an "architectural masterpiece."

The menu is vegan: no meat, fish, poultry or dairy products are served.

It's an expensive operation. The ranch hosted 90 children from March 2005 through February 2006 and spent $2.5 million -- or about $28,000 a child -- according to its most recent federal tax filings.

That's at least 10 times what the Make-A-Wish or similar camps spend on kids, largely because the Imus operation is a year-round, working cattle ranch, Stamp said.

The ranch is at the edge of Ribera, one of a string of tiny villages along the Pecos River. Residents say the ranch closes itself off from the community, although Imus has given money to a local medical clinic and to a project to renovate a dilapidated school building into a community center -- which he also publicly prodded Gov. Bill Richardson to support, calling him a "fat sissy" on the air.

Ignacio Lovato lives within a mile of the ranch but says he has never visited. "You can't go in there," said Lovato, who occasionally watched the Imus show.

"Sometimes he was kind of funny, and sometimes he would say things he shouldn't say," said Lovato, downing a hamburger in La Risa Cafe. "I really don't think he's a good person."

___

Associated Press writer Barry Massey in Santa Fe contributed to this report.
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Old 04-16-2007, 05:08 PM   #450
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"Cracker" is used for a native of Georgia or Florida. I remember when Jimmy Carter got elected, my paternal grandmother wanted to vote for him because she was also born in Georgia. She ended up voting for Ford, like my grandfather did. She said she felt like a traitor "voting against a Georgia cracker". Floridians also routinely refer to themselves as "crackers". So it's not necessarily a term of derision, at least not with natives of Georgia or Florida. To others, it might be a slur on white Southerners.
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