Author Topic: Stupid White Men: Don Imus' Racial Trash  (Read 5374 times)

injest

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Re: Stupid White Men: Don Imus' Racial Trash
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2007, 07:47:14 am »
there have been a few cases of women's groups beginning to protest rap music in general for how they protray women. but I have not seen anyone from a national group complaining about Imus. Wonder if they figure that he is getting enough flack for being racist....if so they are wasting a good opportunity.

Offline opinionista

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Re: Stupid White Men: Don Imus' Racial Trash
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2007, 09:08:14 am »
1.  Why is he receiving such criticism for using the words he did, when you can
     buy any hip-hop or rap recoding and hear the very same sexist/racist words.  Is
     it OK for some to use that language but not others?


I agree with you that certain lyrics not just in hip hop but in other genres as well, are sometimes extremely sexist, racist and homophobic. But it comes to music it is hard to prove they're being bigots because they tend to defend themselves saying they're being sarcastic, ironic or whatever. That's the problem with art. I remember a few years ago there was a big controversy within Spanish language music industry with a very popular Mexican rock group, Molotov. They have a song called Puto, which depending on context could mean fag. The song says terrible things about gays, especially the chorus, but has a very catchy melody which helped turn it into a success. A lot of groups accused Molotov of homophobia and of promoting violence against the gay community. The band called a press conference to explain that their song was critique to Mexican government's homophobic actions and violence against gays, and not an homophobic statement on their part. And the controversy was over. Even today I wonder if they were honest. Everytime I come across the song's chorus I can't help to feel they're making a direct attack against the gay community.
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Offline dot-matrix

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Re: Stupid White Men: Don Imus' Racial Trash
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2007, 01:05:23 pm »
The points raised by everyone here are very valid and a shining example of why I insist that his words no matter how offensive to the majority of us are protected by free speech.  The freedoms given to us by the Constitution are for everyone not just the folks we like, the words we like, the opinions and beliefs that we like but for EVERYONE.  It's advanced citizenship and like most tough issues involving a moral dilemma (like the death penalty) the answers are not easy but censorship of any kind is not the answer.  Censorship is a slippery and treacherous slope we DO NOT want to start down, the consequence will be fatal to the freedoms we hold so dear.

David, You ask where do we draw the line?  My answer is that free speech by it's very definition says there is NO line.  The idea being that no person, no ideology, no corporation, no government has the right to regulate what you think, feel or say.  It is our morality that governs speech and we must all accept that their are individuals whose moral compass points in a different direction than our own and they have a right to speak.  They have a right to know that their homes, families and livelihood are not in jeopardy because they hold and share unpopular opinions and beliefs just as we do.

The words of people like Imus, Limbaugh, and Phelps, to name a few, make my blood boil but I truly believe in the concept of free speech so I support their "right" to say what they think but like wise I have the right and responsibility to challenge their speech and their assumptions whenever I can as publically as I can.

These are tough issues and we won't solve them here but it is fascinating to read everyones thoughts on the subject.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 01:09:14 pm by dot-matrix »
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Offline David In Indy

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Re: Stupid White Men: Don Imus' Racial Trash
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2007, 02:30:43 pm »
Ultimately I suppose we can only hope people will boycott Don Imus once he returns to his rat nest  at MSNBC. I also hope CBS and MSNBC don't decide to drop this and forget about it. It may be free speech, but people like Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter are abusing it. They may have the right to say it, but we also have the right to not listen to it, and CBS/MSNBC has a right to not air it.

I guess this is the best we can hope for, isn't it?   :)
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Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Stupid White Men: Don Imus' Racial Trash
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2007, 02:41:28 pm »
I think the title of this thread is racist, actually.

Imagine the backlash and anger to a thread (or radio host) saying "...stupid black men" as an all-encompassing label based on one person's comment/opinion.


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Re: Stupid White Men: Don Imus' Racial Trash
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2007, 05:40:39 pm »
I think the title of this thread is racist, actually.

Imagine the backlash and anger to a thread (or radio host) saying "...stupid black men" as an all-encompassing label based on one person's comment/opinion.

Just so you know, the title was taken from a quote Imus made on one of his appearances, saying his program was just a bunch of stupid white men talking trash.  Imus is just as willing to attack himself as others, which is part of his routine.  Hence the title.
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Offline David In Indy

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Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: Stupid White Men: Don Imus' Racial Trash
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2007, 06:50:48 pm »
Just so you know, the title was taken from a quote Imus made on one of his appearances, saying his program was just a bunch of stupid white men talking trash.  Imus is just as willing to attack himself as others, which is part of his routine.  Hence the title.


which makes the whole mess sort of nonsensical given the total 'no reins' behavior on how badly everyone speaks about everyone else these days. the constant trash-talk leveled against nearly anyone (from the President and Pope on down) suggests to me that this is largely, although not completely, about politics and not personal hurt.

injest

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Re: Stupid White Men: Don Imus' Racial Trash
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2007, 07:17:28 pm »
The points raised by everyone here are very valid and a shining example of why I insist that his words no matter how offensive to the majority of us are protected by free speech.  The freedoms given to us by the Constitution are for everyone not just the folks we like, the words we like, the opinions and beliefs that we like but for EVERYONE.  It's advanced citizenship and like most tough issues involving a moral dilemma (like the death penalty) the answers are not easy but censorship of any kind is not the answer.  Censorship is a slippery and treacherous slope we DO NOT want to start down, the consequence will be fatal to the freedoms we hold so dear.

David, You ask where do we draw the line?  My answer is that free speech by it's very definition says there is NO line.   The idea being that no person, no ideology, no corporation, no government has the right to regulate what you think, feel or say.  It is our morality that governs speech and we must all accept that their are individuals whose moral compass points in a different direction than our own and they have a right to speak.  They have a right to know that their homes, families and livelihood are not in jeopardy because they hold and share unpopular opinions and beliefs just as we do.

The words of people like Imus, Limbaugh, and Phelps, to name a few, make my blood boil but I truly believe in the concept of free speech so I support their "right" to say what they think but like wise I have the right and responsibility to challenge their speech and their assumptions whenever I can as publically as I can.

These are tough issues and we won't solve them here but it is fascinating to read everyones thoughts on the subject.

but the Supreme Court has already weighed in that Free Speech does not in fact allow EVERYTHING....you can not yell 'fire' in a crowded theatre, for example. You can not commit libel or slander.

Inciting a crowd of people to lynch someone will get you put in jail real quick too.

Why we give a by to people just because they have a microphone in front of them I don't know.

(and if any of you think rap music is sexist....listen to country for half an hour!)

Offline dot-matrix

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Re: Stupid White Men: Don Imus' Racial Trash
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2007, 07:53:32 pm »
but the Supreme Court has already weighed in that Free Speech does not in fact allow EVERYTHING....you can not yell 'fire' in a crowded theatre, for example. You can not commit libel or slander.

Inciting a crowd of people to lynch someone will get you put in jail real quick too.


Why we give a by to people just because they have a microphone in front of them I don't know.

(and if any of you think rap music is sexist....listen to country for half an hour!)

Well actually what the Supreme Court determined was that Freedom of speech as outlined in the US Constitution is the concept of the inherent human right to voice one's opinion publicly without fear of censorship or punishment.  It applies to the Government not to private interests.  This is why MSNBC is well within itís rights to cancel and disassociate from Mr Imus for a history of speech which violates itís corporate culture.

I think the problem arises when we take too broad an notice of what exactly is freedom of speech and expression,  The principle of freedom of speech promotes dialogues on public issues, but it is most relevant to speech which is unpopular at the time it is made.  There are several exceptions to this general rule, including copyright protection, the Miller test for obscenity and greater regulation of so-called commercial speech, such as advertising. The Miller test in particular rarely comes into effect.

Within the U.S., the freedom of speech also varies widely from one state to the next. Of all states, the state of California permits its citizens the broadest possible range of free speech under the state constitution (whose declaration of rights includes a strong affirmative right to free speech in addition to a negative right paralleling the federal prohibition on laws that abridge the freedom of speech). More specifically, through the Pruneyard case ruling, California residents may peacefully exercise their right to free speech in parts of private shopping centers regularly held open to the public.

Historically, local communities and governments have sometimes sought to place limits upon speech that was deemed subversive or unpopular. There was a significant struggle for the right to free speech on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley in the 1960s. And, in the period from 1906 to 1916, the Industrial Workers of the World, a working class union, found it necessary to engage in free speech fights intended to secure the right of union organizers to speak freely to wage workers. These free speech campaigns were sometimes quite successful, although participants often put themselves at great risk.

As for inciting to riot, hate speech and using speech as a means by which great harm may fall other individuals, you are quite right Jess these behaviors and forms of speech are criminal with specific laws in place against them and have no protection under the Constitution.  Slander(harmful statement in a transitory form, especially speech) and libel (harmful statement in a fixed medium, especially writing but also a picture, sign, or electronic broadcast) laws, commonly called defamation are more tricky, Defamation law in the United States is much less plaintiff-friendly than its counterparts in European and the Commonwealth countries the person being defamed has the burden of proof to show that what was said is indeed not true and never has been true, he or she also has the burden of proof to show that whatever the slander is was not a matter of public record or knowledge and that they were harmed by the publication of it.  The slander must have been published publically either spoken in public, printed or broadcast.
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