When Don Imus said to Al Sharpton this afternoon, "I can't get anyplace with you people," it became more obvious than ever that he lives in a world that is sharply divided between black and white. "You people" can only be taken one way. The other key statement from his interview with Reverend Sharpton is that he has no intention of resigning. It's also clear, after 40 years in the business, that he's not changing his stripes. He is who he is, and he's not leaving on his own.
The FCC (according to reports on CBS News tonight) will take no action because no nipples or f-words were involved.
So, with neither resignation nor government action imminent, the ball is now totally in the court of CBS (owner of his radio outlet) and NBC (owner of his television simulcaster). They either need to pull the plug on his microphone, or they are officially condoning racist slurs and the ability of old men to comment on the appearance and sexual habits of very young women.
This evening MSNBC administered its first wrist slap, but a two-week hiatus in the simulcast cannot be considered a punishment
And by the way, "You People" does not just include the "You People" of whom Al Sharpton is a member. There is also the sexist component of the term "nappy-headed hos" that has millions of women understandably upset. Here is an easy to follow campaign organized by the National Organization for Women that will help you send letters to the appropriate people at CBS and NBC.
Where are the high profile CBS and NBC personalities? Are they working behind the scenes to cleanse the racism from their organization? Do any of them have the guts to actually speak out about this stain on the network that feeds them? THAT probably would lead to a firing. This is America in 2007, where you can say anything you want about people younger and darker and weaker than you, but leave your bosses alone.
Where are the high profile professional athletes? How quickly would WFAN-AM in New York drop Imus if Derek Jeter and Eli Manning and David Wright refused to interact with that sports radio station until the I-man was gone? I'm pleased to see that Cal Ripken is the first guest to cancel a scheduled Imus appearance, so maybe that wall is breaking too, but it is amazing to see, over and over again, how people get more cowardly when they have more to lose.
If the NBCBS overlords don't drop him soon the Rutgers football Scarlet-White Game on April 21 will become the "April 21 Anti-Imus Rutgers Stadium Rally."
UPDATE: Now CBS Radio has suspended Imus for two weeks "due to the events of the past week." (i.e., the protests, not the hateful comments about Rutgers women made on April 4). If he comes back onto CBS radio and MSNBC simulcasting in 2 weeks, it means that NBCBS is knowingly rehiring a racist, and the protest, at least on this site, will be twice as loud.