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What's all this controversy over Don Imus and his comment about "nappy headed hos?" Everybody seems to be so preoccupied with the topic. News channels can't seem to get enough of it, all the blogs are teeming with it, it's on UTube and CBS first suspended Imus for 2 weeks, and now fired him. No wonder on that last one – advertisers were fleeing the show anyway!

So I went exploring. I read and reread the dialog that got Imus’ poor ass fired. No matter how many times I read it – I did not get it. (Nor did I understand what in the world possessed all these people to religiously listen to his obnoxious and stupid show in the first place.) But I wanted to know the truth, so I went on exploring further…

What is a “nappy headed ho” anyway? I thought I understood one word out of the three “headed” (meaning either “having a heading or direction” or “shaped or grown into a head”) and this was insufficient to pass an impartial judgment on Imus the Great. I decided to consult the dictionary. From an online version of one dictionary I found out that “nappy” is a “diaper” in the United Kingdom – actually not just in England and the Great Britain, but in all of the British Commonwealth, that “headed” has a third meaning “having the mentality, personality, emotional control, or quality specified, or possessing a specified number of heads” and that “ho” was one little word with more uses than one could ever imagine – so many meanings, in fact, that it made my head spin with all the possibilities! It could be used as:
1) An interjection used as a call to attract attention. (People were already listening to his show, so why would he need to call their attention?)
2) As a command to a horse to stop. (There were no horses present!)
3) Habitual offender in police-speak. (But nobody got arrested…)
4) An exclamation of surprise. (Perhaps over the victory by the “cute girls from Tennessee” over the “tattooed rough girls from Rutgers”)
5) An African American vernacular English alteration of whore (Don Imus is most obviously white, so this couldn’t possibly be it)
6) A misspelling of “hoe,” a long-handled farm implement, used to break up the surface of the ground, destroy weeds, etc. (Perhaps his statement was wrongly transcribed, but what does basketball have to do with farm implements in any case?)
And so the list went on and on and on and I was just about ready to give up when I saw this definition: “ho” is a symbol for holmium, a trivalent metallic element of the rare earth group that occurs together with yttrium and forms highly magnetic compounds. (Hmm, I wondered. Could it be that this is the meaning that Imus had in mind?! Wasn’t this the chemical element that was named in honor of the famous American porn superstar, the fellow who impressed the world for almost 20 years and in over 200 films, before dying from AIDS, the Big John Holmes? Yes, but of course, it was obviously named after him and his magnetic… well… personality!)

So it was time to put it all together and… the best I could come up with was that Imus improperly suggested that the Rutgers team’s loss was the direct result of the team members’ heads turning to mush following an orgy, which they all took part in the night before. But was there in fact such an orgy? There was certainly nothing about it on the news. And even if there was, how did Imus find out about it? And even if there was and he did, why were all the African Americans up in arms over Imus mentioning it? I have never heard of black community being so protective of information regarding their member’s sexual exploits! Au contraire, “if you’ve got it – flaunt it” is the community’s apparent modus operandi.

So, after all that, I was still no closer to making sense of the entire incident. Why was everyone upset and why did CBS see it fit to fire Imus? I went looking further in that World Wide Web and finaly stumbled upon what could be the real answer. Apparently, if you grew up in the hood in the 60s and 70s, you would have heard the exact phrase “nappy headed hos” used by African Americans towards each other. Then the term escaped outside the community and became perceived by members of that community as derogatory. Well, wouldn’t you know it – a real explanation at last!

Now on a serious note, if it wasn’t for the big stink that Media Matters for America, Reverend Alfred Charles "Al" Sharpton Jr. and his gang started over this issue with willing assistance from the mainstream media, I and many millions of other Americans just like me, would have never known that this derogatory term existed and, I bet, we would have been better of for it. Sometimes ignoring a perceived problem is really the best solution, while bringing it up to the surface needlessly only makes it persist longer in the minds of the people. And now that I wrote that, I wonder if I could impartially state the same thing when matters touch my own people – the Jewish people?! One thing I know for sure, advice is one thing that is always easier to give than to receive. And another thing… I still think that Holmium had something to do with this whole affair!

P.S. Having skipped the “wonderful” 1988 Spike Lee movie “School Daze,” the "jigaboos" and "wannabees" reference by McGuirk on that same show was completely lost on me, as well. Apparently that comment relates to the two African-American subcultures at an all black college. In the movie, the jigaboos are unapologetically black while the wanabees are trying to assimilate into white culture.

Clever piece, Jake. Of course you know that "nappy-headed" means having "frizzy" or African-like hair. The ironic thing is no one would get fired for calling you "nappy-headed" because Jews are fair game.


Imus isn't the real bad guy
Instead of wasting time on irrelevant shock jock, black leaders need to be fighting a growing gangster culture.

By Jason Whitlock

Thank you, Don Imus. You've given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problem.
You've given Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson another opportunity to pretend that the old fight, which is now the safe and lucrative fight, is still the most important fight in our push for true economic and social equality.

You've given Vivian Stringer and Rutgers the chance to hold a nationally televised recruiting celebration expertly disguised as a news conference to respond to your poor attempt at humor.
Thank you, Don Imus. You extended Black History Month to April, and we can once again wallow in victimhood, protest like it's 1965 and delude ourselves into believing that fixing your hatred is more necessary than eradicating our self-hatred.

The bigots win again.

While we're fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I'm sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent's or Snoop Dogg's or Young Jeezy's latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.

I ain't saying Jesse, Al and Vivian are gold-diggas, but they don't have the heart to mount a legitimate campaign against the real black-folk killas.

It is us. At this time, we are our own worst enemies. We have allowed our youths to buy into a culture (hip hop) that has been perverted, corrupted and overtaken by prison culture. The music, attitude and behavior expressed in this culture is anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro-drug dealing and violent.

Rather than confront this heinous enemy from within, we sit back and wait for someone like Imus to have a slip of the tongue and make the mistake of repeating the things we say about ourselves.

It's embarrassing. Dave Chappelle was offered $50 million to make racially insensitive jokes about black and white people on TV. He was hailed as a genius. Black comedians routinely crack jokes about white and black people, and we all laugh out loud.

I'm no Don Imus apologist. He and his tiny companion Mike Lupica blasted me after I fell out with ESPN. Imus is a hack.

But, in my view, he didn't do anything outside the norm for shock jocks and comedians. He also offered an apology. That should've been the end of this whole affair. Instead, it's only the beginning. It's an opportunity for Stringer, Jackson and Sharpton to step on victim platforms and elevate themselves and their agenda$.

I watched the Rutgers news conference and was ashamed.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke for eight minutes in 1963 at the March on Washington. At the time, black people could be lynched and denied fundamental rights with little thought. With the comments of a talk-show host most of her players had never heard of before last week serving as her excuse, Vivian Stringer rambled on for 30 minutes about the amazing season her team had.
Somehow, we're supposed to believe that the comments of a man with virtually no connection to the sports world ruined Rutgers' wonderful season. Had a broadcaster with credibility and a platform in the sports world uttered the words Imus did, I could understand a level of outrage.
But an hourlong press conference over a man who has already apologized, already been suspended and is already insignificant is just plain intellectually dishonest. This is opportunism. This is a distraction.

In the grand scheme, Don Imus is no threat to us in general and no threat to black women in particular. If his words are so powerful and so destructive and must be rebuked so forcefully, then what should we do about the idiot rappers on BET, MTV and every black-owned radio station in the country who use words much more powerful and much more destructive?

I don't listen or watch Imus' show regularly. Has he at any point glorified selling crack cocaine to black women? Has he celebrated black men shooting each other randomly? Has he suggested in any way that it's cool to be a baby-daddy rather than a husband and a parent? Does he tell his listeners that they're suckers for pursuing education and that they're selling out their race if they do?

When Imus does any of that, call me and I'll get upset. Until then, he is what he is — a washed-up shock jock who is very easy to ignore when you're not looking to be made a victim.

No. We all know where the real battleground is. We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show. There's no money and lots of danger in that battle, so Jesse and Al are going to sit it out.

nappy headed ho
Nappy – alternative for diaper ”Noun” - Been boozed (After party) hangover
Headed – with particular temperament ”Adj” - They are so surely
Ho( Hos Hoes)– a Taboo term for a prostitute “Noun” – Niger’s Slang

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