Don Imus
sticks and stones may break my bones but....
Mon Apr 9, 2007 18:18

sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me ...

The I-man - Imus in the Morning is a Daily Comedy, News, and ...

"Originally considered a shock jock, Imus has turned his show more towards politics and news and has gained public influence as a result."


I'll Take Sticks and Stones

If I can be so bold, I would like to say that the biggest lie my kindergarten teacher ever told me was this crazy mantra : "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." What a bunch of ballyhoo.

Words hurt. Words abuse. Words can break a heart in two and to my knowledge, mere sticks have never been known to do such a thing.

Think about it. I will bet you can remember the first time you parents sat you down and said, "I'm so disappointed in you," a heck of a lot better than the first time some goof whipped a stick at your shin on the bus-stop. I said stick, if it's a full on tree limb or bat it's possible that might have had a lasting memory. But my point is, words are the vehicle of emotion. Words form us. Words may mean more to some than to others (I'm sorta verbal so to me they are pretty darn important) but to any of us with a heart and soul words can hurt, and, words can heal.

I can remember words my 4th grade teacher said to me about what I certainly would never grow up to be, words that kids should never hear from a person who is supposedly "teaching" them. Her words hurt me then and haunt me now. I remember words spoken to me by teachers at every level that hurt. Words like "not good enough," "different," and "you can't." Words that I can still hear today, crystal clear. Words that motivated me to become every single thing she said I could not. At the time, those words hurt me. At the time, those words motivated me to fulfill the forecast for me as a goof-off.

Today I think back to that time, I was 8-years old when I heard that I wasn't good enough or smart enough and I think, how did I not self-fulfill that prophecy? What saddens me is to think that kids still hear that today and choose to believe it rather than fight it. To become what others say they are and not what they truly can be.

Words, in these cases, make sticks and stones look like a welcome treat. Children should be taught that words, sticks AND stones hurt people. Calling someone a name hurts them. Judging someone hurts them. Kids should be taught words hurt. Kids should be taught that differences are welcome, diversity is a gift, that familes are made up in a million different combinations and not one or another is more or less than when it has love. Kids should know people come in all shapes, sizes, races and creeds. Kids should be told, in words, that the best person they can be is a person without hate. A person who will not listen to other kids make fun of the boy in class that doesn't have the right tennis shoes, or, the girl who may not be the right size, or the one who is adopted, the one who lives in a loving same-sex household. A child should learn early on not to fight with sticks, stones, or hurtful words.

The reason I am writing about this is that words, at this age, can still hurt. I re-learn this lifelong lesson all of the time and each time it makes me more aware, no matter my own hurt, of the words I choose to say to others in times of argument or discussion. That's a good thing for all of us to try and do, I think. Always, always re-evaluate how you see, say and act.

We have all hurt people we love with words and we have also, sometimes, been able with words to have conversations of pure admiration and love. Words are powerful. Words are what we need now in our world, in our homes, with our partners, our friends and, even, our enemies.

So next time you feel like saying something hurtful, pick up a stick and smack a wall.


Don Imus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"John Donald Imus, Jr. (born July 23, 1940) is an American radio talk show host, best known for his sarcasm and harsh language. His popular radio show, ..."

Welcome to Imus Ranch Foods!

Too little, too late? During his show this morning, Don Imus expressed his embarrassment over his derogatory comments last Wednesday, in which he referred to the mostly black Rutgers University's women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos."

"I'm not a bad person. I'm a good person, but I said a bad thing. But these young women deserve to know it was not said with malice," Imus said. To hear his show, click here.

But the Rev. Al Sharpton is not convinced that Imus' apology was sincere, and neither are many of DiversityInc's readers. More than 1,000 of our readers have expressed their views on Imus and his comments, and they seem split on whether he should stay or go.

Sharpton is ready to bring the heat down on Imus, only this time on his home turf. Imus is expected to make an appearance on his afternoon radio show, "The Al Sharpton Show," to discuss the severity of his public remarks.

Sharpton says he will accept Imus' apology in exchange for his resignation. Sharpton intends on delivering a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the matter.

"Somewhere we must draw the line in what is tolerable in mainstream media," Sharpton said Sunday. "We cannot keep going through offending us and then apologizing and then acting like it never happened. Somewhere we've got to stop this."

Other groups, including the NAACP and the National Association of Black Journalists, also want Imus fired. However, Fred Carl, a spokesperson for the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame, says the incident should not harm his induction into the organization.

"It's one mistake in a long career," said Carl in the NY Metro. "The man has had a long career with a lot of accomplishments and this was an unfortunate error in judgment. Time will heal this."

Allison Gollust, senior vice president for news communications at NBC, said the corporation is taking Imus' comments very seriously, describing his remarks as "deplorable." The network is currently reviewing the situation.

What about Bernard McGuirk, the show's executive producer who started the conversation? Should he also be punished? According to an article in the New York Daily News, NCAA President Myles Brand and Rutgers University President Richard McCormick issued a joint statement saying, "It is unconscionable that anyone would use the airways to utter such disregard for the dignity of human beings who have accomplished much and deserve great credit."

But will Imus' apology heal all wounds?

What did our readers have to say about Imus' public remarks? Half of our DiversityInc readers felt Imus' antics were nothing new and that no apology was necessary. Several readers said rap music is just as bad. Others complained Imus' apology was not sufficient and want him out.

Read what our DiversityInc readers had to say:


Don Imus is the kindest, most sincere man on radio and TV these days, and for people to be in such an uproar about this is stupid! He kids around like that all the time, whether they're black or white. He's just kidding around! I've listened to Imus since MSNBC has aired the show and there is not a mean or racist bone in his body! He keeps it real. They better not take the show off the air or I won't watch MSNBC for anything!

—Peggy (did not give last name)

What's the problem? White people are not allowed free speech? Seems very one-sided nowadays, get over it.

—Carolyn Ward

What use is an apology? It does take back the hurt. Leave him in Texas, Montana or whatever backwater locale he hails from.

—Mack W. Jackson

What about freedom of speech—people can say all the bad things they want about our president but nothing against blacks? I do agree that the comments made by Imus and others on his broadcast showed really bad taste, but not racism.

—Chance Koons

As an African-American man, I fully understand the outrage some people feel at these thoughtless comments by Imus and McGuirk. But I have to say, as an avid Imus fan, I know that they are not springing from a sense of racism, slight bigotry perhaps, especially from McGuirk, but the joke is an ongoing one. McGuirk (who plays characters of many nationalities quite well, and is always pushing the boundaries of good taste) is really spoofing the hip-hop mindset, where supposedly "tough" young African-American males will use terms like "hos" and "bitches" to refer to women of all kinds. McGuirk has no respect for people who do that, as well he should not, and at first, it was a breath of fresh air to hear them mocked, even by a white man (many black entertainers would fear to do it). But please, do not fire these men. I think the Imus apology is sincere, I would like to see McGuirk join him. They need to be reined in and warned, but not fired. Think of the good Imus has done with his cattle ranch for kids with cancer, which serves African-American kids as well. That alone should buy him at least one more chance.

—Caleb Brown

If they don't like it, stop listening to the show. Why is it that every time someone says anything, a bunch of miffed "princesses" get on their self-righteous champion-of-justice podiums?

—Daniel LaPlante

Of all the insults Imus slings at everyone including the people he likes, it's hard to believe that this is the one that got everyone's attention. He's a jock, you can turn him off, like every idiotic word out of Rush's mouth, like Howard Stern. These are for the entertainment of fans and right or wrong can be tuned out.

—Imus fan (did not provide name)

His remarks were very stupid, but I do not believe he should be fired. I do believe he should apologize. If everyone who made stupid remarks were to be fired, very few would be working! I believe that includes many in our government all the way to the TOP!

—C. Bartlett


His racist statements cut me to the core. I cried as I heard them. I was so enraged. The thought of my granddaughters growing up in a society that allows the media to slander women makes me wonder what their futures will be like in America.

—Christina Trice

The guy's gotta go, no excuse or apology can undo the damage. The comments were flat-out ugly, racist and mean-spirited. We live in a society that is divided on all issues that if allowed off the hook this signals a return to a shameful period in our history. This cannot be allowed to go with a slap on the wrist. This is not only an "African-American" issue, this is an insult to all of us regardless of race.

—Hedy Trevino

I am a Caucasian female executive at a major mid-west company. I was fortunate enough to be able to take my daughter and her friends to the Women's Final IV in Cleveland this year. If I, or anyone in my company, uttered a remark even similar to this, we would be fired. Imus is disgusting and damaging to the self-esteem of young women everywhere. If he had said this about Pat Summit's team, she would have already had him fired. No one deserves this racially demeaning and disparaging type of remark made about them. These young ladies made it to a level few teams could. They should [be] applauded for their achievements, rather than ridiculed and attacked by some man who chooses to use his public platform to the detriment of others. Fire him.

—Peggy Parolin

My feelings are so hurt. I am 65 years old and heard this 30 years ago ... did I not pay for this so my grandchildren could be spared? How dare you, my great niece attends Rutgers and I found myself telling her I am so sorry for not making it better for her.

—Claudette Matthews

It's ridiculous that a television or radio station would allow a person of this caliber the opportunity to express his racist remarks on the airwaves. Don Imus should be removed from his national media channels and fined.

—L. Estes

Imus should be fired ASAP. he has a long history of making racist, sexist remarks. I am a 67-year-old woman and I feel MSNBC is as guilty as he is if he isn't fired. Enough is enough. If he isn't fired I will boycott everything and anyone affiliated with this program. We must stand up as human beings and not allow anyone [to] get away with this racist behavior. We should applaud these women, not demean them.

—Evelyn Smith

As of late, racially charged verbal attacks have become the norm, and interestingly enough there is some link between these types of actions in relation to physical attacks. For Don Imus to relegate this incident as a joke is disgusting and offensive. It would appear that he made statements that he was quite comfortable with and his only regret is uttering them publicly. MSNBC should not tolerate this type of behavior and if he was a person of color they would not. Recent examples of this are the NBA and the homophobic rant of their player spokesperson, and Mel Gibson's rant regarding Jews during his traffic stop. What makes them believe that Imus' statement is any less harmful or offensive? Firing Imus would send a strong message that intolerance is not the tenet of this media corporation.

—fiskite90 (did not provide name)

If we continue to say it's OK when someone apologizes for making offensive remarks, without some serious consequences, this behavior will continue to happen, as it has. Imus is a grown man and is fully aware of his statements and must be held accountable for them. This was outright racist and he should be fired.

—Diane DesPlantes

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