Monday, April 16, 2007

"Killer of Sheep" going nationwide

Due to its overwhelming success in Los Angeles and New York, Charles Burnett's film Killer of Sheep is getting a national release. For dates and locations, click here.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Week (More or Less) in Review

      “You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a nigger.” (James Baldwin)

      To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the landmark 1977 miniseries Roots (which still holds the record for the most viewers of any miniseries), the show was rebroadcast in its entirety on cable this week. It will be released in a deluxe edition 4-disc DVD set next month. Man, talk about timing… Though I was just a child myself when the show first aired, I remember having an almost out-of-body experience when baby Kunta is held up by his father beneath the African sky, with the father’s booming words, “Behold the only thing greater than yourself!” I also remember the local (Birmingham, AL) news doing stories on the popularity of the show, and an interview with an elderly white woman who lamented the airing at all. “We just got them settled down,” she moaned. “This will just get them all riled up again!”

      Sexual assault charges against members of Duke’s lacrosse team, accused of attacking a black stripper who’d been hired to perform at a party, were all dropped. The accuser, whose history of mental illness was also made public, had her real name and image subsequently splashed across the net and media...

      Charles Burnett’s classic film, Killer of Sheep, had the nation’s highest per screen box-office gross for the weekend it opened. I’m writing about the film for Vol. 2 of Blood Beats so I’m still working through my rushing thoughts on it. I will say now that its power in large part lies in the fact that, while there's a lot of understated humor, it deals so honestly and beautifully with a still too little acknowledged reality of black American life – depression, the ways in which it manifests, the connections between depression and the ways we interact with family, friends and community, as well as the links between depression, poverty and assorted forms of denial of both. I can’t wait for the DVD release later this year.

      The German army stoked controversy when a video showing an army instructor telling one of his soldiers to envision black folk in the Bronx while firing his machine gun was broadcast on German national television. The instructor tells the soldier, “You are in the Bronx. A black van is stopping in front of you. Three African-Americans are getting out and they are insulting your mother in the worst ways ... Act.” The soldier fires his machine gun several times and yells an obscenity several times in English. The instructor then tells the soldier to curse even louder. For rest of this story, click schwarzer.

      “Nigger Brown” entered the vernacular as a furniture color option after a black family in Canada had the sofa they’d bought delivered and discovered a tag on the back which described the sofa’s color as “nigger brown.” Click here. What’s there to even say behind that? I do love the passing of the buck in the news story.

      In a radio interview, Roseanne said: “Never once in my 54 years have I ever once heard a gay or lesbian person who’s politically active say one thing about anything that was not about them. They don’t care about minimum wage, they don’t care about any other group other than their own self because you know, some people say being gay and lesbian is a totally narcissistic thing and sometimes I wonder. I’ve never heard any of them say anything except for ‘Accept me ‘cause I'm gay.’ It’s just, it’s screwed. It’s no different than the evangelicals, it’s the same mindset. They want you to accept Jesus and you guys want us to all believe it’s ok to be gay. And a lot of us, a lot of them, I do, I don’t give a damn who anybody has sex with, as long as they’re not underage and an animal. I don’t give a damn, it’s none of my damn business. I’m just sick of all the divisiveness, it’s not getting any of us anywhere.”
      Interesting. The thing is, if Roseanne is referring to Hollywood Power Homos or the fabulous, primarily white gays of privilege who populate the country’s gay ghettos, she has a point. Their political and cultural narcissism is staggering. That can also be said of almost any minority group fighting for scraps at the table, though. And a list of names immediately come to mind to illustrate what horseshit her statement is: Bayard Rustin, Audre Lorde, June Jordan, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Tony Kushner, Rosie O’Donnell, Irshad Manji, Keith Boykin. Whatever you might think of the politics, art or public/private lives of the aforementioned, there can be no arguing that they go beyond their own sexuality identity bracket in their work/art/activism. And they’re just a drop in the bucket of gays and lesbians who peep the bigger, layered political picture. PR shit hit the fan very quickly for Ro (who does she think constitutes what’s left of her fan base?) and she quickly posted the following on her website:
I deeply regret that I have offended gay people. I said things that I do not really mean, before I had thought them through... I was wrong and I seriously apologize!
What I really meant to say... which was that everybody needs to unite right now, and step outside of their own neighborhoods, groups, races and classes to stop Bush's war on our country and our people. I love gays and I hate division. I am just a big idiot with a big mouth sometimes. I will learn to be more careful! Please forgive me, I am so sorry!!!!

The leaders of gay groups need to align with the leaders of Acorn, and other groups of poor and desperate Americans and fight against those who oppress all of us!
I have met too many gays who are Republicans, and I cannot understand how they could choose that!
Let’s all leave our own bedrooms, kitchens, neighborhoods and groups and meet each other to
form a diverse army that stands for Democracy and Economic Justice!!!!
(Again I apologize for any pain or hurt I have caused those whom I have always loved and befriended).

            At least she didn't go to rehab.

Imus VS Hip-Hop & the Nappy Headed Hoes…

Gather round, all ye nappy headed hoes! Rise up off your nigger brown sofas! This is why Imus hot / This is why you hoes is not…*
      (Okay, I jacked that “why Imus hot” line from the Crunk + Disorderly site…)

“Check the square roots, Girbauds and Timberland boots
Nahhhh that’s the serpents, and know them garment tips
I got a head full of problems and a hand full of nappy roots
I feel a jones’ comin down, yo I...
I got the slang to make the chitty-bang-bang
A-rid-dang-de-dang, the nappy head bang
No I got the slang to make the chitty-bang-bang
A-rid-dang-de-dang, the nappy heads bang” – Lauryn Hill, from the Fugees “Nappy Heads (Remix)”

"As a black woman, I'm so use to derogatory things being said about black women, I feel somewhat immune to it now... – the poster, Luminous, from Okayplayer

     First off, the Don Imus controversy (his referring to Rutger's b-ball team of black women as "nappy headed hoes") will not spark deep, meaningful dialogue about race in this country. The LA riots (take your pick which) were supposed to do that. Rodney King’s beating and the acquittal of the cops who administered it was supposed to do that. Howard Beach… Amadou Diallo… Hurricane Katrina… All were going to do that.
      Do we as a country even possess the intelligence or courage such a conversation would demand? Do we have the balls to dismantle this Frankenstein and start all over again, which is what it would take for a true change of consciousness to occur? You don’t expect a child born with brain damage to grow up to be the president of Mensa. Why would you expect a country birthed and sustained on thievery, bigotry, rape and white supremacy to be an oasis of fairness and equality?
      The Constitution, the Bill of Rights? High-end designer swaddling in which to wrap that retarded infant.
      The Constitution, the Bill of Rights? Never meant to apply to niggers, women or poor whites.
      Your poor, your tired, your huddled masses? Slave labor until and unless they can be absorbed into whiteness and that quickly fading entity known as the American middle-class.
      What we call freedom and equality now? Loopholes black folks squeezed through, demanding that this country live up to its lies and hype and delusions of equality.
      It’s an ongoing experiment, a never-ending battle. There is no finish-line. Especially for black folk. That’s not meant to be defeatist, but realistic. Because the brutal truth is, as fucked as this country can be and is for so many black folk, there’s still no place better for us to make or seize opportunity. At least, not yet.
      Too many of us, of all races, genders and economic situations are too attached to how shit is, too sure that if only we (our individual selves, our family, our ethnic/racial group, our gender) can leap over barriers of injustice and figure out how to make the system – exactly as it is – work for us, then that is all that need be done. Racism, misogyny, homophobia and gross class inequity can all stay in place as long as we are not on the receiving end of them. And as long as we can reap some sort of profit from them.

WE aren't the only ones complaining about this. WE are more concerned about it since the comments were directed towards us. If fact, it wasn't even directed towards YOU as a black male. So maybe, thats why you don't 'get it'. Its a big deal because this kind of language and thought process have existed forever and for the longest of time we had no recourse as a people. We could not speak out as a people because until less than 50 years ago we were barely represented legally or otherwise.

There is a deep and perversed history of white men and their thoughts regarding black women in particular. Loathed for the color and deemed worthy of nothing more than sexual objects for personal enjoyment and harassment...hmmm sounds familiar?

This kind of 'its not a big deal' nonsense from black people, particularly black men is the reason why it still permeates the fabricate of our country and the reason why you have imus and others trying to divert the attention from the matter at hand by placing the blame on the doorstop of hiphop.

You're a black a black women...I don't expect you to 'get it' entirely.....but as a black should be tired, appauled (sic) and outraged at such vile comments towards your black woman.

Bill O'Reilly was a one man wrecking crew in dismantling Ludacris endorsement deal with Pepsi. One man spoke and shit was done. Now negroes fighting over each other on what's serious enough or not to garner our attention and say no more.

Funny how black men and women alike can come to the aid of numerous black male entertainers and athletes when they're accused of criminal activity, even those who have been arrested a gazillion times, but to step up for a group of black women who did nothing to deserve the attention they've gotten that isn't related to their championship run is utter garbage.”
– the poster, Lingo, from Okayplayer

“She does not know
Her beauty.
She thinks her brown body
Has no glory.
If she could dance
Under palm trees
And see her image in the river
She would know.
But there are no palm trees
On the street,
And dishwater gives back no images.” – "No Images," written by Waring Cuney

      How could so many folks swallow Don Imus’ bullshit line that he was influenced by hip-hop to disrespect the Rutgers players? This futhamucka who probably drew the maps for the Middle Passage and was likely at the OG cracka meeting when the term “nigger” was first coined, who’s been spewing his racist, misogynistic, homophobic drivel since God was a fetus, wants us to believe that rapping Negroes hold any sway over his thought processes and vocabulary? And a lot of ninjas swallowed that BS?
      What hasn’t been pointed out nearly enough, though, is that there most definitely is a very real connection between Imus and the pimps, playas and thug poseurs of hip-hop. He is their father, they are his descendants. They echo his words and world-view, not vice versa. (Which does not absolve the Negroes of foulness or stupidity in the least.) The black female body has always been a marketplace item to be ridiculed, objectified and disrespected. From the slave-ship to the auction-block to the slave-shack to booty-shaking videos. Too many black and white men, even as they eye each other suspiciously, bond in their elevation of white womanhood and their debasement of black.

       Imus is the old white guard (though he is not a dying breed, as many would claim). He’s symbolic massuh turning senile but still flexing his privilege and power, baffled when the world dares say no to him; the rapping coons that pollute the airwaves and media are his plantation spawn. Niggers are owned and too stupid to know it. (Too many black elders fear being Cosby’d or C. Delores Tuckered, so they cram to understand, chasing relevance and the spotlight – Thug Life tattoos inked on their aged flesh and Pac’s discography rolling off their lips. For too long, too much that is unforgivable has been forgiven.)
      By all means, call Imus on his bullshit. But while defending hip-hop from the piling on that is taking place, also own up to the fact that mainstream hip-hop is by and large an utter failure of courage, politics and imagination. Through co-option, selling out (so sad that term has been rendered naïve or obsolete, or dismissed as hatin’), the assertion of white ownership and privilege, the intellectually & morally bankrupt Negro embrace of a make-money-at-any-cost ideology (which ain’t just a black youth culture ailment; see: BET founder Robert Johnson), and the profitable stoking of black self-hatred, mainstream hip-hop has become both symptom and agent of black despair and dysfunction. Foes and defenders alike are missing the boat if they can’t acknowledge the totality of the dynamic. The tool is corrupt because the wielder is. While the struggle to hold on to a deeper definition of hip-hop – its potential and “revolutionary” power – is understood, popular usage and interpretation cannot be denied. Mainstream rap is the sound of black folk giving up the fight and embracing their degradation for the relative crumbs of mansions, vanity labels, clothing lines and high-profile celebrity. You make millions? Some white dude is making billions. There is no truly powerful black man in hip-hop. None who doesn’t ultimately answer to some white man somewhere or cower in fear over threats to his portfolio. Russell Simmons? A portrait of impotence. Check his weak, infuriating response to why he doesn’t do more to combat misogyny in hip-hop in the recent documentary Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes.

“People ask me everywhere
‘Is that really all your hair?’
I just tell ‘em, ‘If it ain't
Then it sure don’t mean
That now I can't’

I just don't believe it’s fair
To judge a girl by the length of her hair
Take two words like ‘hip’ and ‘square’
The truth will shine and not your hair
Even the blind can almost see
What’s outside you and inside me

Down or high, truth or lie
A weak girl’s laugh can be
A strong girl’s cry

Black or blond or nappy or fair -
You can’t judge nobody by hair
If I thought that you would care
I’d wear a wig up under my hair

Down or high, truth or lie
A weak girl’s laugh can be
A strong girl’s cry” – “Hair” (lyrics by Larry Graham)

      In howling that Imus' constitutional rights were being trampled, many Americans revealed they have no idea what First Amendment protection means. If the government had stepped in to call for Don Imus’ firing or to censure or censor him in any way, that would have been a violation of his First Amendment rights. Him being dumped by CBS and MSNBC was just a matter of his paying the price for fucking with the company bottom line. He still has every constitutional right to say whatever he wants. He just learned something that black folk, poor folk, women and other undesirables who speak their minds have long known: there are consequences to that freedom. Like fame, it costs. It’s bullshit to say that he was fired because of what he said. He’s been saying it and there’s been an audience for it. It’s just that now the economic risks around him outweigh his profit potential.
      At the same time, while the more vengeful, less-than-Bayard Rustin-enlightened part of me admittedly takes some pleasure in seeing public racists and homophobes get bitch-slapped, something is horribly awry in our culture that people can’t hold whatever fucked up opinions they want (and everybody’s opinion is fucked up to somebody) without stirring the bloodlust of their foes. It was easy, for example, for me to be outraged at the treatment of the Dixie Chicks because, well, they were right. And it’s easy for me to be indifferent to the career plights of people like Imus and Dr. Laura when boycotts and public outrage cause their downfall because, well, they’re insane. But are we setting up a tit-for-tat atmosphere where there’s not even hope for dialogue, for people to actually maybe express sincere regret or remorse and maybe actually learn something? (I realize that I'm contradicting the pessimistic pose I struck at the start of this piece by even asking those questions. I just turned ninety. I'm allowed inconsistency.) The political right, led by Tom DeLay, has already vowed to get Rosie O’Donnell fired in retaliation for Imus. No matter what you think of Rosie or her politics, that’s a scary, slippery slope we’re sliding down.
      As for the often repeated argument that they’ll come after hip-hop next and start censoring it: Yeah, that might happen. I doubt it will. Hip-hop’s in a tight spot right now. Folks (including black folk) who hate black folk and blackness anyway have been looking for a reason to jump. Folks who ain’t bigoted or self-hating in the least but who are tired of the stranglehold that caricatured blackness has on black and mainstream cultures have been looking for a reason to jump. Folks who love “hip-hop” but deplore what it’s become are frustrated and angry and know that something has to be done. They too are ready to jump. But the powers-that-be have been after hip-hop; they’ve come hard for it before. That only added to its allure, to its gangsta appeal. The fact that it’s been a huge cash-cow has allowed it a wide berth to devolve into the bullshit so much of it is. In truth, American hip-hop is already withering under a clamped mouth, but those most suffering from de facto censorship have been the progressive voices, those artists that have been politically and socially aware. We’ve said, “let the market decide,” foolishly not keeping in mind that the market ain’t natural or neutral, and that it’s tended by folks with their own agendas, their own politics and race-based / misogynistic / homophobic formulas for making money. There’s been too much loot in niggers being niggers for the minstrelsy to be tampered with. When the cooning well runs dry, record labels will jump ship and turn to something else. But it’ll most likely be formula fatigue and audience boredom, not government or right-wing grassroots actions, that puts a foot on mainstream hip-hop’s neck.

“the larger issue is that no matter what we, as black women do, it will always come down to us being nothing but nappy-headed hoes.

we can save the world, but did we look feminine (and white) while we did it?
did we have a man while we did it?

did we make that man feel like a man while we conquered all the troubles of the world?

women, of all races and cultures, have to deal with this attitude.
but for black women, the notion of femininity is already a sensitive burden.
we are frequently told how emasculating we are for stepping up and doing the work that white women wouldn't/don't do, that our men wouldn't/don't do, and maybe if we didn't do what men wouldn't do, they wouldn't leave, but who else is gonna do it?
so we do it and are made to feel like we're the reason black men leave us.
and because black men leave us, we have all these divided homes, unwed mothers, violent sons, promiscuous daughters, "video vixens," and are a dying race
all this shit goes far beyond a basketball game and two men's attempt to act like they know something about black culture.

people just want to stay on the surface because it's easy and it doesn't include the way WE dismiss our own accomplishments and achievements because we didn't look a certain way at the time or because we didn't conform to a certain standard.

i got more to say, but i have to go to work, and [this site] has taught me that no one is really trying to "hear" other sides.

i might be back, but this issue is painful for me, and i can be honest in saying that i let my emotions become involved.”
– the poster, Scandalous Woman, from Okayplayer

      There persists this notion that black folk get away with shit that nobody else can. That we have an extra mile of “freedom of speech” that is denied others. (This belief, that the niggers are getting away with something, or will if allowed, is a building block of racist laws and practices in this country. It’s also a belief held not just by whites but by a lot of non-black minorities.) It’s bullshit, of course, but even if it were true, what a hollow fucking victory that is in the face of diminishing-to-non-existent political power, no serious leadership or game plan (okay, Imus is gone… now what?), the plague of poverty related issues that disproportionately afflict us (poorly funded schools and dismal rates of graduation from high school and college; atrocious healthcare; gentrification and changing racial make-up forcing more and more black folk to the outer circles of cities; the prison rates for young black men…) And yet white men are whining because they think we get to use words and concepts of degradation that they coined, while they’re being denied that birthright? This is their proof that white men are being discriminated against and sidelined while niggers are getting a free ride? For real? (Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah… OJ… I forgot.)
      The double-standard accusation has always been interesting to me. I have Asian friends, Latino friends, Persian friends, women friends, etc. etc.. At different times, I’ve heard reps from all these groups use an identity slur associated with their demographic, most times in humor, sometimes in anger or frustration with their own. I’m not claiming perfection, but I’ve never seen my friends’ usage as license for me to use those words. And I’ve never felt cheated or denied for not being able to exercise the dubious privilege of “calling somebody out their name.” I’m sorry, but the whole “They say it, why can’t I!?” whine strikes me as a refuge of the weak and idiotic. None of my non-black friends call me nigga or nigger. It hasn’t even had to be a point of discussion. I couldn’t seriously associate with someone too young or too stupid to even need that conversation. I don’t have the patience. I also don’t have patience with people who want to argue for the use of inflammatory words but then feign ignorance of the fact that what makes those words so appealing in the first place is their historical weight and usage, and the ingrained cultural (racial, sexual) power plays that give them their charge. And Imus’ double-pronged, 2-in1 phrase “nappy-headed hoes?” That’s like the Reese’s cup of fucked uppedness: You’ve got racism in my misogyny! No, you’ve got misogyny in my racism! Mmmm, they go great together!

      There are activists, rappers, socially conscious folk who wage battle everyday against the degradation of women in hip-hop, and against the degradation of hip-hop itself. People like culture critics Joan Morgan and Jeff Chang, who speak on college campuses across the country on the state of hip-hop and what can be done to reclaim it. So, when media types like Meredith Viera (as she did this past week) try to hold Al Sharpton’s feet to the fire and ask about the so-called double standard that allows rappers to demean black women but finds Imus chastised and penalized, I’d like to ask them why they don’t allocate airtime for the folks who are calling rappers and the more fucked up realms of hip-hop to task. Why don’t their corporate lords clear playtime for different and more progressive voices? Where is the conversation about the consolidation of media and the lack of diverse voices, especially for black folk, and the role all of that plays in what music, politics and attitudes are promoted? It’s interesting to me that the Imus issue – and the media’s deflection away from serious conversation about the interlocking relationships between all those college undergrad buzzwords: racism, sexism and misogyny, patriarchy, capitalism, white supremacy – and the ways it’s been shaped as a hip-hop problem occur at just the moment when there actually is rigorous and passionate debate within the culture itself over where hip-hop is, where it’s headed and what tonics are needed to get it back to health. Yet, there’s been little mainstream coverage of the panels, conferences, articles written on these topics. When will the mainstream media own up to their part in perpetuating the bullshit because Negro dysfunction is sexy? It sells because it's pushed.

“A lot of things have changed.
A lot of things have not, mainly us.
We gon’ get it together right? I believe that.
Listen: People be askin me all the time,
“Yo Mos, what’s gettin ready to happen with Hip-Hop?”
(Where do you think Hip-Hop is goin?)
I tell em, “You know what's gonna happen with Hip-Hop?
Whatever’s happening with us.”
If we smoked out, Hip-Hop is gonna be smoked out.
If we doin alright, Hip-Hop is gonna be doin alright.
People talk about Hip-Hop like it’s some giant livin in the hillside
comin down to visit the townspeople.
We (are) Hip-Hop.
Me, you, everybody, we are Hip-Hop.
So Hip-Hop is goin where we goin.
So the next time you ask yourself where Hip-Hop is goin,
ask yourself, “Where am I goin? How am I doin?”
So if Hip-Hop is about the people
Hip-Hop won’t get better until the people get better.
Then how do people get better?
Well, from my understanding people get better
when they start to understand that they are valuable.
And they not valuable because they got a whole lot of money
or cause somebody think they sexy.
They valuable ‘cause they been created by God.” – Mos Def

In D.C April 19th - 21st

From the 19th - 21st, I'll be attending the 18th Annual James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art, at Howard University. Click here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We Are Devolving

Young lesbians in Brooklyn find that a thug's life gets them more women

by Chloë A. Hilliard

At the Lab, a Brooklyn nightclub and rental hall, a petite Hispanic bartender sporting braids down the middle of her back and a baseball cap is taking a break on a recent Friday night. Then she spots something in the crowd and leaps onto the bar. She sees another woman dressed in boyish hip-hop gear hitting on her femme girlfriend on the crowded dance floor. The bartender jumps to the floor, pushes her way past dancers, and grabs her woman by the arms. After giving her a rough, disapproving shake, she drags her quarry back to the bar, where the girlfriend will remain standing in silence the rest of the night.

"It's a property thing," explains Siya, who, like the bartender, looks like she's walked out of a rap video. Among the 15 tattoos that adorn her beige complexion are a large Bed-Stuy on her forearm and Brooklyn on the back of one hand. She's 20. "You can be holding your femme girlfriend's hand in the club, and she could be looking around, searching for a flyer AG. She's going to want to stray, slip her a number. All lesbians are sneaky," Siya says.

At the weekly 18-and-over females-only hip-hop party going on, about half of the black and Hispanic crowd is femme, the other half "AGs," or "aggressives," who also refer to themselves as "studs," whether they're fly or not.

Later, when two AGs get into a pushing match over a femme, one shouts, "Suck my dick, nigga! I'll fuck your whole shit up!" Friends break it up, pulling one outside the club to get the story. One of the women had tried to talk to the other's girlfriend while her back was turned. But it's a common occurrence. No femme, committed or not, is really off-limits.

"When you go to the club and you're an AG, your mission that entire night is to find the baddest femme in the club and make her your girl," says another woman, who calls herself Don Vito Corleone. "Just like every rapper wants the baddest video chick on his arm, so do AGs."

Rap videos have long provided men of color with milestones on their journeys to manhood. From being a successful street businessman (Notorious B.I.G.'s "Ten Crack Commandments"), to learning how to treat a woman (Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit") and protecting their manhood (50 Cent's "What Up Gangsta?"), guys are told how to be indestructible, sexually assertive, and in general, badasses. The misogyny and homophobia implicit in that message has long raised the hackles of critics. Oprah Winfrey and columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. made news recently for saying "enough" to the influence of rap's rougher edges on black culture.

But for increasing numbers of very young black and Hispanic lesbians, the bitches-and-'hos lyrics of their musical heroes are the soundtrack for a thug's life they pursue with almost as much passion as they do the hottest femme in the club.

"These AGs have a disrespectful mentality, and they get it from men, hoodlums, dudes that are in the 'hood all day," says Kysharece Young, an AG, rapper ("Ky Fresh"), and freshman at Monroe College. "They act like a bunch of little damn boys that ain't got no sense."

Rest of article is here

Friday, April 06, 2007

Nappy Headed Hos...

Imus 'sorry' for racist remarks about Rutgers
Controversial talk show described NCAA runner-ups as 'nappy-headed hos'

Don Imus apologized Friday for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos" on his "Imus In The Morning" show.

In a statement, Imus said, "I want to take a moment to apologize for an insensitive and ill-conceived remark we made the other morning regarding the Rutgers women's basketball team, which lost to Tennessee oin the NCAA championship game on Tuesday.

It was completely inappropriate, and we can understand why people were offended. Our characterization was thoughtless and stupid, and we are sorry."

Imus made the remarks when talking to Sid Rosenberg with Sports Talk on the phone.

Imus described the Scarlet Knights "some rough girls from Rutgers. They got tattoos," and then went on to call them "some nappy-headed hos."

He compared them to Tennessee, saying "The girls from Tennessee -- they all looked cute."

The conversation then went on to compare the game to "the jigaboos versus the wannabes." Media Matters reported that the show's executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, made that comment.

Imus has more to say about those remarks, according to the New York Times. Imus said people should relax and not worry about "some idiot comment meant to be amusing."

A Rutgers spokesperson issued a statement saying, "We agree with Mr. Imus that this was, in his own words, an 'idiot comment.' We are very proud of the success of the Rutgers women's basketball team. Coach Stringer and the Rutgers players are outstanding ambassadors for this great institution."

MSNBC released this statement in response to the comments, "While simulcast by MSNBC, 'Imus in the Morning' is not a production of the cable network and is produced by WFAN Radio. As Imus makes clear every day, his views are not those of MSNBC. We regret that his remarks were aired on MSNBC and apologize for these offensive comments."


Quote of the Day

"Show Me Forgiveness"

Show me forgiveness
For having lost faith in myself
And let my own interior up
To inferior forces
The shame is endless
But if soon starts forgiveness
The girl might live
-- Bjork

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