What Hath Imus Wrought?
“Read a book! Read a book! Read a muh’f*ckin book! Read a book! Read a book! Read a muh’f*ckin book!
Not a sports page (what) not a magazine (who) But a book nigga, a f*ckin book nigga (YEAHHH~!)” – Lyrics from “Read a Book” an animated music video by D’Mite
It’s been over five months since Don Imus’ uttered the “nappy-headed hos” comments which cost him his once enviable broadcasting career. On his way out the door, the disgraced shock jock tried to defend himself by suggesting that he had merely been mimicking a vile vernacular very popular with black entertainers.
In the wake of his ouster, there was a call made by responsible members of the African-American community for black performers to clean up their acts by eliminating any self-hating slurs from their lexicon. Regrettably, however, the trend has been the opposite, starting with D.L. Hughley. One of the celebrated Kings of Comedy, he went out of his way on The Tonight Show to embrace Imus by affirming, “There were some nappy-headed women on that team. Shut up, I’m gonna say it. I don’t give a damn if you all like it or not. You know it’s true. They were some of the ugliest women I’ve seen in my whole life.”
When there was no call for D.L.’s head after his shocking remarks, other blacks only seem to be following his lead. For example, here’s how another King of Comedy, Bernie Mac’s character addressed his mother in a line likely ad-libbed for the summer blockbuster, Transformers: “If I had a rock, I’d bust your head, bitch.” Yikes.
Equally misogynistic was a straight-to-DVD disaster entitled Confessions of a Call Girl, a practically porno flick which was really little more than a transparent excuse to get Tamala Jones nearly naked in a series of compromising positions. But my problem with the picture is that it had less to do with all the gratuitous nudity than with the fact that the film’s dialogue is laced with the n-word and the f-word, and that sisters are routinely referred to as “bitches” and “hos.” And in the film’s pivotal scene, a character portrayed by Clifton Powell boasts euphorically “I’m a mother-f*cking man!” as he is being fellated by a treacherous black woman he has no clue is about to stab him in the chest as she satisfies him.
Then, there was the relentlessly-crass Who’s Your Caddy, a degrading minstrel coon show trumpeted as the debut release of the very first black-owned, movie studio, Our Stories Films, a company created by former Black Entertainment Television (BET) Chairman Bob Johnson. In this demeaning bottom-feeder, an African-American female defiantly refers to herself as a “queen beatch,” while the picture’s protagonist, played by gangsta rapper Big Boi, states that he’d prefer dating a stripper to a classy black lawyer he meets.
Speaking of BET, the Network recently debuted a deplorable animated music video called “Read a Book.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN2VqFPNS8w) Besides incessant profanity and ethnic slurs, the cartoon most prominently features a sister sporting skintight pink pants emblazoned with the word “BOOK” on her protuberant butt shaking her oversized booty right in your face.
Though purportedly a parody, there’s nothing remotely redeeming about the video or likely to inspire the impressionable young black boys tuning in to turn off the TV and aspire to anything higher than seeing African-American women as wanton, waiting and willing objects of their injection.
What hath Imus wrought? Judging from what we’ve witnessed since his dismissal, it sure looks like a lot of black entertainers have decided to declare war on the dignity of the black female.