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The hate stops here

By Doug Thompson
April 13, 2007

Unfortunately, removing Don Imus from the radio and television broadcast airways will not remove the hate, racism, sexism and homophobia that defines America.

It will not stop those who spew such hate from finding new ways to distribute it or rationalize it.

When Imus met with members of the Rutger's women's basketball team at the New Jersey Governor's mansion Thursday night he learned that many of his fans have sent hate mail to the victims of his racial and sexist slurs eight days earlier. This morning, his wife, hosting the second day of a telethon for kids, asked those fans to stop.

Over the past week, I've had to remove, from our stories on the Imus debacle, more than 100 comments that preached racism, sexism or misogyny.

Don Imus's incredibly vile comments brought racism and sexism into the national debate but the end result of that debate will be a polarization that gives those who practice hate a new platform.

Racism is not limited to whites. Blacks like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton use racism against whites to their advantage. Christians who preach hate against Muslims are religious bigots. So are Muslims who claim a non-existent superiority of their faith.

Hate is a two-way street. Bigotry crosses racial, ethnic, religious and even political lines. The level of name-calling in a political debate would make a Klansman blush.

We cannot continue on this self-destructive path. We cannot allow this racism, sexism, bigotry and homophobia to fester and simmer until it erupts into a full-blown culture war that could tear America apart.

Virginia voters removed Senator George Allen from office because of his racist comments but kept Virgil Goode in the House, another racist who spouts even more hate and intolerance than Allen.

Sen. Joe Biden still sits in the Senate even after he uttered overtly racial comments towards fellow Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Obama. Republicans elected Trent Lott as their new Senate leader even though he previously lost the job for praising the racist Presidential campaign of Sen. Strom Thurmond.

On March 30, I wrote about the nastiness of political debate and noted:

We cannot continue the coarseness that defines the national psyche. We cannot expect to find answers through taunts, insults or threats. We cannot resolve the many issues that plaque this nation by espousing hate or intolerance towards others with differing points of view.

I also admitted being part of the problem:

In the past, I've been guilty of contributing to the anger that makes rational debate impossible. I was wrong and I'm sorry I did so. I can't change the past…but I can use the future and this web site to try and promote civility and coalition building for a better America.

I intend to keep that pledge – not just in the political arena but in all issues that affect our socity. I can't change what Don Imus said. I can't change the lyrics of hip-hop songs or the racism that comes from all sides.

But I can make sure that Capitol Hill Blue does not become a haven for hate, racism, bigotry, sexism or homophobia. Those who preach it will not be allowed to do so here and that includes intolerance in a political debate.

America claims to be a civilized nation. Let's prove it with civilized discussion of the issues that threaten our very existence.

36 Responses to The hate stops here

  1. C. Nemo

    April 14, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    My apologies for misspelling the word “immolation” as emolation throughout my commentary. It was my last post for the night and I got sloppy. There is no such word as emolate. Immolate means to “sacrifice”. I’ll provide a smokin’ link from Wiki that will get people into the idea of what might happen to patriots if they don’t get on the stick and take an interest in their government…! :-?
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immolation
    Carl Nemo

  2. Cobaltkid

    April 15, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Doug, I know you can’t cover everything, but your comment “…been a platform for so many political figures.” should be sufficient for you. The whole Duke situation reverberates with a rape case that became very political.

    Anyway, thanks for the quick response.

  3. dougthompson

    April 15, 2007 at 9:38 am

    The Duke lacrosse case is a criminal issue not a political one. This is a political news site. We wouldn’t have covered the Imus case if his show hadn’t been a platform for so many political figures.

    We’ll let Court TV cover rape cases. We’ll stick with politics.

  4. Cobaltkid

    April 15, 2007 at 8:52 am

    Throughout this Imus maelstrom it has been disgusting to see Al and Jesse takeover as the champions of justice and the arbiters of all corporate hiring policies. Why does the MSM fawn over these two hypocrites?

    Particularly galling is the lack of any apology by Al and Jesse for their abominable comments condemning the three Duke lacrosse players before the facts were known. Why is there no outrage at the vicious unprovoked attacks by the MSM, the faculty group of 88, the Duke administration, and especially DA Nifong?

    Sandy and Doug – why hasn’t there been a single piece written about the Duke lacrosse players by CHB? Something is needed to combat attitudes such as those expressed in the repugnant and racist blog written by Terry Moran of ABC. His diatribe is the epitome of what many say is the extreme bias of the liberals and the MSM.

  5. Victor

    April 13, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    What exactly did the Rutgers women’s basketball team do to deserve being called “nappy-headed ho’s”? If you go to their website and read their individual profiles, you will see that there is no behavior among these women that justifies the out-of-left-field remarks by Imus. All they can be accused of doing is trying to win a national championship and bring honor to their school, which they have done with remarkable restraint.

    If talking heads like Imus wish to excoriate celebrities and politicians for their foolish deeds, fine. Anyone who chooses to be in the public eye should expect to be criticized when they screw up. However, when these same pundits pick on regular people doing regular things, and have absolutely no reason to do so, then I find that behavior reprehensible.

    The women of Rutgers’ basketball team will most likely not enter the pros, nor will they become entertainers. They will graduate, enter their chosen professional fields and do nothing more than try to make the world a better place. They had their one shining moment in the sun, and some idiot with a microphone had to ruin it for them.

    Don Imus? Forget him. Think instead of regular people like Essence Carson and Epiphany Prince and Katie Adams, who did nothing to earn this hate towards them, and who will someday make their own positive contributions to society.

  6. Sandy Price

    April 13, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    He uses insults as a form of friendship. When he likes someome enough to insult them they often know it and no offense taken. I remember his laughing with Bernie about the team and is their habit they went too far. I had never heard the term he used before. He pokes fun at women, his sports announcer for helping his bride-to-be with the wedding. He has teased this same kid for being fat for as long as he was on the show. So what? Nobody was offended as it is a term of endearment to be insulted by Imus.

    Thank you Doug for your comments, I was very nearly ready to move on and stop writing. I’ve been upset with the stupidity of so many Americans who simply jumped on Imus without knowing anything he did or said before this brutal attack. I have heard night show hosts who were much worse and if I felt offended I simply thought I was not in on the inside joke. I heard Diedre ask that the letters not be sent to the School but to Imus instead.

    I guess I will have to get used to politically correct hosts instead of someone like Don Imus who does the best damn book reviews and political interviews on the radio and television. His generosity to all causes will be missed and I can only hope he returns to cable television so I can continue to sit in on his book reviews. My television viewing is limited due to the horrible commercials and my habit of tuning in at 3 am is hard to break.

  7. Kate

    April 13, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Get over it already. He didn’t say it as a personal attack on these girls it was meant to be funny. It wasn’t but it is being blown way out of proportion. And not once have I heard anyone mention the white members of this basketball team. Imus didn’t single out the black players… And their being so hurt about it, come on, I’ll bet non of them even heard Imus say it and if Sharpton hadn’t repeated the “nappy headed hos’ comment most people wouldn’t have known about it.

  8. David Rosenberg

    April 13, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Racism and Sexism both cover a great deal of ground. They can be found anywhere in our society. Ninety-nine percent of Americans are one or the other maybe both.
    Not a day goes by where it can be heard or seen.
    In the Home, Office, Factory Floor, Playground, anywhere.
    How often have you been at a party, someone tells a joke about a Black, Jew, Eskimo, or Alien. Everybody laughs and that’s the problem. If someone, even yourself, doesn’t say something the Hate stays alive. Just walk away, show your displeasure, you have started to defeat the Hate. This goes for the Music, continuing to allow Rap in your home, feeds the Hate. Going or listening to a Stand-Up Comic that uses Race or Sexism, promotes the Hate. Just ignoring the issue does not help. Say something to your child that listens to Rap, Say or show someone telling the joke, it’s not a laughing matter.
    After Imus made the remarks to the Rutger women, why was it only Blacks showing or saying their revolt, not one White, Hispanic or Asian spoke up? Why weren’t they outraged until days after? When it happens again and it will, everybody not involved should speak as one, White, Black, Brown and Yellow as one voice saying “No More”

  9. Americanfirst

    April 13, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Hatred is a natural reaction.

    Those of you who say it isn’t are being dishonest.

    Hate is a reaction/response.
    Most likely a reaction due to a hurtful/threatening situation that’s left unaddressed and/or unrecognized.
    A bad “episode.”

    People don’t just wake up and decide to hate.

    There IS a trigger event. There is always a trigger event, a reason, something that sets the person “off.”
    In all honesty it may be a very legitimate reason.

    Weren’t we told being offended and learning how to cope with it was part of being a grown up?

    Your TV has been (and will continue to be) the vehicle that YOU voluntarily let shape your thoughts and views.
    It already tells you what is important, what is in fashion, the latest “buzz” words, gives you so-called news, and shapes your opinions on most everything.
    Worse, if it doesn’t, your peers will have watched their TV, so you’ll be the victim of “trickle down” opinion molding thanks to “peer pressure.”
    BTW, peer pressure exists at all ages in some form or another.

    Those who own, and run the corporations dictate what is acceptable, as the free America we think exists continues to erode, thanks to approved legislative censorship, claiming to be in the best interests of everyone.

    It’s already happening. People are being fired from their jobs for having different views than their employers.
    This shouldn’t be acceptable in a free society.

    Shouldn’t you be able to think and say what you please, regardless of the subject, if you are truly free?

    However, realize you run the risk of looking foolish for doing so if your points are unfounded.

    BUT….to have what you can (and cannot) think, do, and say legislated is everything BUT free.

    ….and that sounds like something to be hated.

  10. Ross

    April 13, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Enough with the defense of Imus. We get it. You’re a fan. If Imus was walking down the street of a large city, would he attempt to make friends with a black man by making racial slurs at him? That is ridiculous. I hate mobs as much as any sensible person does, and so far I have limited my comments to the nature of free speech in America, but that doesn’t mean that there is any excuse for what Imus did.

    I also don’t believe for a second that Imus himself saw the humor in what he was saying. Race has been used effectively in humor before, but you can’t just hide bigotry by saying your a comic. A good comparison would be Dave Chapelle, who is funny, to Carlos Mencia, who is a racist. When your comments and the attitude with which you make them are clearly hateful, then what is there to laugh at?

    If you want Imus back, write MSNBC and CBS and try and convince them that they shouldn’t take people off just for being racist, but don’t try and say he isn’t a racist.

  11. Ross

    April 13, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Everyone I know who is racist or bigoted was either taught by their parents, family, friends, etc., growing up, or there was some painful experience which the person could not explain save for blaming the persons skin color, etc.

    For example, I was taught to hate white people, and men in general. My mom has taught me since I was very young that I should feel guilty for all the offenses that white people have committed over the past half-millenium or so (I remember being somewhat shocked to learn that Europeans have not ruled all the earth for all time). I was also told that I was “alright now,” but I would be scum once I became a man. More specifically, I was told that I should be ashamed of my German last name.

    Logically, of course, I discard all this drivel, but guess what? My whole life, I am more trusting of non-whites and women in general than I am of white people, and men. Conversely, I could have disregarded this to such an extent that I became a racist.

    Fortunately, instead this has led me to a global perspective, and I don’t feel superior for being born a certain way, or in a certain country. But AmericanFirst is right, though. Everybody has separate opinions, whether good or bad, of people based on their respective groups, and the key is to try and understand both why people from certain ethnic or racial groups can have different characteristics (they are raised in different environments), and why we perceive people to have set group characteristics (because we notice people who look different from ourselves).

    Jesse Jackson said there needs to be a code of ethics that meets a “generally accepted standard,” but no such standard, nor can such a standard, exist. All this will do is legislate how we can think of certain groups based on what those groups would want us to believe, and leave no room for people to perceive things as they actually, or apparently are, which is the natural human condition. Like the PC movement (which has done nothing to eliminate racism, but has done much to limit thought, creating a culture of irrational self-censorship), this will only turn us into unthinking automatons, who know what we are supposed to think, but have no ability to think for ourselves. And whose interests does that serve?

  12. Bob

    April 13, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    The one commodity the left is never short of is moral arrogance. Liberals are the most tolerant people in the world, as long as you agree with them. Not satisfied with censoring free thought and free speech on our college campuses, Imus’s dumb statements only served to give these clowns an excuse to tell us all how offended they were. Seeing the professionally offended and their apologists come out in droves was a sight to behold. And who gets trotted out? The “Reverend” Jesse ‘Hymeytown’ Jackson, Donna Brazile, Al Sharpton and the rest of the usual racist ambulance chasers. Are you kidding me?!!! Every one of these characters has made very insulting racially insensitive comments towards whites. And where was the outcry then?? There wasn’t any. They got away with it. Many of the black ‘comnedians’, rap and hip-hoppers also continually get away with it as they target a group that is, by law, not a protected group. Whites. Fair game! The hypocrisy is staggering.

  13. Proper Charlie

    April 13, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    Here’s news folks–communal distrust, misunderstanding, jealousy, and yes hatred and ignorance are not limited to residents of these United States. After all Americans are but recently –in many cases–citizens of another country.

    Hey our Middle East foreign policy is made by the Israel Caucus, Cuban refugees dictate our attitude toward Cuba, the China Lobby used to dictate our policy toward the Chicoms, (now the Chicoms have their own Lobby–all it takes is money), Mexico lobbys for more illegal immigrants. etc.

    As for the latter they don’t make them any more bigoted toward the blacks than the Mexicans other Hispanics often intermingle but still determine class status by lightness of skin. The influx of thirty millions or so Catholic Mexicans is certain to renew old rivalries between Protestants and Catholics as they are cheered on by the hierarchy. After all that is Archbishop Mahoney’s angle in meddling in the political affairs of this nation.

    Well, you get the idea–one could go on but suffice it say that Brother Imus is just another case of assuming that while in Rome you do as the Romans do and simlarly while in New York you do as the New Yorkers do. Oh this can’t be right, New York is the home of Hillary Clinton and the Yankees don’t have any prejudices against Afro-Americans–only those red-necks from the Deep South–in contrast to the Shallow North.

  14. C. Nemo

    April 14, 2007 at 12:53 am

    Yes they are all bad, but there’s one that’s infinitely more evil than all of them put together and that’s being against the concept “FREEDOM” for “we the people” for all time and all places! All of the aforementioned “negatives” in the title line won’t mean a tinkers damn if we don’t get motivated to shut the NWO/AIPAC/MIC controlled Bushistas down!

    Most of us, if not all, will end up in “Camp Halliburton” if we don’t shut down this evil juggernaut! Eventually we will be put in a lineup to go through our respective turnstiles to our emolation! If you think I’m joking then you best think again. Just witness Bush, Cheney, Rove et. al.?! Do you think for a moment if the mechanisms are set in place for them to “do us”; i.e., proponents for “FREEDOM” is put in place; that they would hesitate to order our emolation?! You best think again my fellow Americans! This is not a dry run, this is not a joke, this is the real deal, this is condition “RED”, a citizens DEFCON 1! The people you have sitting at the controls in D.C. are 13th octave monsters. So I advise all citizen/patriots regardless of party affiliation to get seriously motivated and contact their elected reps and demand de-funding, de-escalation, and re-deployment of our brave men and women in Iraq, along with impeachment proceedings be opened against Bush/Cheney regardless of our chance of succeeding. Sometimes principals of action are far loftier than evaluation of success concerning an action.

    If you keep shuffling about in the malls, watching your big plasma screen TV’s, playin’ with mamma, your girlfriend, your kids, the dog, the cat, continually screwing around while suffering from terminal shopaholicism, then you are finished as a free nation;i.e., once the land of the free and the home of the brave. WAKE UP AMERICA! I’ll provide the duty link so all concerned citizen/patriots can make contact with their elected reps. Fire your thought-shot across the bow of dread-naught “Tyranny”…! http://www.conservativeusa.org/megalink.htm

  15. sadsack

    April 14, 2007 at 1:51 am

    It is amazing that a nation that has established such wonderful ideals is so incapable of practicing them.

    SEAL

  16. Sandy Price

    April 14, 2007 at 8:26 am

    The first is the almost immediate piling on from people who never watched, never knew of his generosity and compassion for people of all colors. It seems that America is so outraged by this remark(s) made by Imus that everything else was removed from our news, internet, and conversations with nobody (no body) holding back their hatred for this man. It is nothing but piling on that has destroyed a man’s entire career and ruined all the good things he has done for so many people. It is an anger that has been thrown at others who are politically incorrect.

    The most shocking thing as far as I’m concerned is my own reaction to Sharpton and Jackson that trigged the first racial fury in my own brain. How dare these men who have used and abused all Americans for years and were writing to CBS to fire him. Did they not realize that Viacom is owned by CBS and puts out billions of dollars in hate music, videos,and television shows?. I don’t like the feeling this left me.

    He is now a ruined man and most of you are applauding his destruction. I wouldn’t treat another human being the way he is being treated especially here at CHB. It is as if a rage has been building here and everywhere else to kick the crap out of somebody as it makes everyone feel superior.

    I defend him because I admire him. I overlook his cheap shots at others which is done in humor. Well, he learned didn’t he? He learned that African Americans are to be insulted only by other African Americans. Is that the way you all feel is the normal double standard?

    The FCC has fined him in the past but that was before the networks decided he had to go. Why this decision appeared suddenly should be investigated but even if there is a culprit here it would be too late as Middle Class America has thrown their stones and they don’t give a damn if they hit the right person. These same networks are pulling the strings of our emotions every time they report on some horrible story. Duke athletes were guilty long before any investigation was done. They had to be, simply because of the way the networks reported it. I remember the emotions regarding Twanna Brawly who we all learned was raped by some white men. The networks had a field day with this pack of lies. Nobody cares if lives are ruined and reputations are soiled as long as the networks manipulate the news to sell products.

    I felt the internet might have higher standards but I was wrong. Our nation is in the throes of destruction and the American people will cheer in the streets. Race riots could reappear and the television networks will make billions.

    My heart broke over the Imus mess as the American people destroyed a decent man who simply made a joke. He learned his lesson and he is destroyed. Unlike most of you, I have been acquainted with Imus for nearly 10 years and in my opinion he was allowed to hang himself. But to add to his disgrace made me sick. I’m not a Christian and I will not tolerate tearing down a decent man to make a point. If I did add to his destruction I cannot ask for foregiveness and would have to live with it forever. That is the problem of being an Atheist. We have one choice on how to act at all times. There is no redemption for me and I am damned careful when I throw stones.

  17. Bill Robinson

    April 13, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Mr. Warren seems to have hit it right on the head in his comment above. Today is Songkran–the beginning of the Buddhist New Year. It is a time to wash away your sins and begin fresh, to discard your hatred and move onto a new level of tolerance and understanding in the search for enlightenment and inner peace. I read these articles in CHB and see Senators screaming about missing emails, wives of candidates calling people “rabid, rabid Republicans”, whatever that is, and others throwing out angry invectives about blacks, jews, and other minority groups.
    Why?
    We are all human beings. Just people. Why all this hate? Can’t we just ease up a bit a show a little compassion, a little understanding, a little love for our fellow man? That guy Leo Busgalia used to hug everyone. When you are hugging you can’t be hating. Maybe that’s the answer. Sounds corny, but it might work.
    Nothing else seems to.

  18. Sandy Price

    April 14, 2007 at 8:50 am

    It is amazing that the entire forum is outraged at Imus. Many seem to indicate a need for federal laws to put people in prison who make racial slurs. Oh! why not?

    Impeachment for a war criminal is ignored and America suddenly demands that our government stop everyone from making hate statements. You will get your pound of flesh and the government will have 100% control over our words. How you will whine!

    Contact your Congressmen and stop the racism in America! it must be done or somebody else might just be insulted. Your comments insulted me who still feels that freedom is on the way out and most of you won’t even realize it.

  19. Mike Sloane

    April 14, 2007 at 9:06 am

    In the case of the Imus uproar, I think that most of the pundits and bloggers have missed one very critical point: this country’s business, political, and civic leaders have a history of tolerance of intolerance. It took the advertisers and media executives a week to react to the issue, and that was only after the public clamor rose to the point where they could no longer ignore it. And what about our political leaders? I haven’t heard one word of comment from a president or congress that thought it critical to pass emergency legislation and fly back from a Texas vacation to come to the aid a brain dead white woman in Florida. There has been not so much as a peep out of Washington DC. You would have thought that the president could have said something like “while every American has the constitutional right of free speech, it is inappropriate for a person in the public spotlight with a large audience to use racially insensitive and degrading comments”. But all we got was silence. And that silence speaks louder than any words in this case. It says that nobody in the White House or Capitol Hill really thinks that this is an important enough problem to even so much as make a comment.

    And, of course, you have to remember that Bush’s “base” probably consists of a large percentage of Imus’ listening audience, the same ones who used to empathize with Archie Bunker. And that, as I wrote the other day, isn’t the cause of the problem, but it is why the problem never gets fixed. So, even if Dubya had said something appropriate (written for him by one of his wordsmiths and approved by Karl Rove), I guess nobody would have believed he was sincere – everybody knows he is a “closet racist”. There is a huge leadership vacuum in this country, and it is being filled with hate mongers and ideologues from the religious right, whose concept of tolerance means “tolerance for me and my followers, not for others”. I don’t know where true leaders are to be found, and I certainly see no sign of them at this time.

  20. SEAL

    April 16, 2007 at 12:08 am

    Mr. Thompson deserves to be recognized for sticking to the real issue in the Imus fiasco. Personally, I’m glad the man is off the airwaves. As far as I’m concerned he is just another person who has created a phony public persona that makes him wealthy. Unfortunately, that persona is a bad example and we already have too many of those. But I am disappointed that so many think that free speach has been threatened because the show’s sponsors pulled the plug on Imus.

    Not only has free speach not been injured or threatened, it has triumphed. Imus exercized his right to it and those who were offended exercised their right to it. Imus was not fired to show that it was not permissible to say what he said. He was not removed by the FCC or any other government agency. His employers did not say he had/has no “right” to say what he said or that they were acting because he said it. He was fired for economic reasons only.

    Those who were offended by Imus’s remark exercised their right of free speach by telling the sponsors they would not tune in or buy their products if they were to condone such things. Those sponsors cancelled their advertising and Imus became a liability instead of an asset to his employer. Therefore, he had to go. Free speach worked just fine. It is alive and well.

  21. pollchecker

    April 17, 2007 at 8:21 am

    There was a time when doctors were more interested in healing people than making money.There was a time when manners and civility were the norm not the exception.There was a time when solving problems was more important than being right.There was a time when it was never acceptable to use profane language.There was a time when people believed in their country.There was a time when people actually sat down with their families, had dinner and talked about what was going on.There was a time when a child could safely ride his bicycle down the street. There was a time when children rarely interrupted adults and please and thank you were used by everyone.There was a time when people disagreed agreeably with their words.

    The hate mongers have ALWAYS throughout history used words to invoke strong feelings in people.Have you ever noticed that when people use certain words, that it feels like you are being punched in the stomach?There was a time when people used words for productive purposes that inspired others.Yes, we have freedom of speech, but freedom of speech has never in over 200 years been a blank check to spout filth and lies.Have you ever noticed that when you use certain words, how they invoke powerful emotions? There was a time when our nation’s leaders used words to inspire and bring people together. There was a time when the people of our nation listened and paid attention to its leaders.When did that all change?

    Perhaps it changed when the dialogue changed. Words can be as potent as the strongest poison or as deadly as the most powerful weapon. Did we just stop listening when the words became divisive and judgmental?Did we just stop listening because we became desensitized to the words by the lies of our leaders?Or did the words just become so ugly and empty that they had no meaning anymore?

    We need to change the dialogue. We need to think about the words that we toss around so casually. Do we think that freedom of speech comes without a price? Even freedom doesn’t give us the right to be so cruel and judgmental with our words.WE ARE ALL GUILTY!

    We cannot move forward as long as our words are pushing us backwards.We cannot make progress while we use words to attack each other.We cannot come together and stand united, as long as we are punching each other in the gut with our words.We cannot change, as long as our words are just empty excuses or justifications. So do we stand around, pointing fingers at each other waiting to see who will be the one to step up and change the dialogue?Do we draw a line in the sand and taunt those on the other side to dare to cross it? Or do we stand up and resolve to do our part each day to change the dialogue? Or do we feel helpless and blame others while making excuses for our own behavior?

    Because this is one area that we can make a difference, we can change things.History has shown that by changing the dialogue people can come together.Instead of waiting for our leaders to make major changes, perhaps we, the people, should start with baby steps. We could start, for instance, by caring again about the words we use. We can resolve to be more open to constructive words.We can resolve to really listen to other people’s words instead of pretending to listen on the outside and not really hearing on the inside.We can resolve to set an example in the words we choose to use. We may not change old habits overnight, but we can resolve to start today in doing our part.We can set the example in our families, at our workplace, in our communities and never falter.

    Words can be contagious. When we use positive words, people want to listen to our words.When we use words that edify and build others up, people respect our words.Even animals react to negative words. Imagine what those negative words are doing to our children?

    That’s it. That’s the answer. Our children don’t listen because they have grown up not believing our words.Our children don’t participate because the words they hear are empty.Our children don’t understand what it means to truly believe in something, because they have been betrayed repeatedly by the words of others.Our children have become desensitized by our words.Peter has cried wolf one too many times.

    But it’s never too late to change. It’s never too late to do a complete 180. I believe the will is there. People are thirsty for edifying words. They flock to churches and other learned institutions, looking for positive and inspiring words. Perhaps people are just waiting for someone to step up, be a leader and demand a different better dialogue with our words.

    Perhaps, in the coming election, we should shut up and really listen to the words that are being said by the candidates.Perhaps, we should require that our next leader be the one who despite the political ramifications, steps up and changes the dialogue through their words.

    Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were as far apart politically as any two men could be in the history of our nation.In 1776, these men lead others to use words to declare freedom and liberty for all. These men formed our great Republic through words.These men found a way by means of their words to come together for the sake of a greater cause.

    Yes this next election should be about who can use words to inspire people. It should be about words that make people believe in America again.It should be words from their heart not from their political consultants or parties. It should be words that inspire people to pay attention and participate in the process.

    We have had such leaders throughout the history of our country. Sadly, most of those leaders are departed, leaving us with only their words to know them by.Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK, Martin Luther King.Some of the most prominent figures in history used words to for peaceful, inspiring purposes.Jesus Christ, Ghandi, Mohammed

    I fear that if this next election is the same old battle of words, that we will lose our great Republic.Therefore it is imperative that we require a new dialogue.And we can not require that of others if we are not willing to stand up and be part of the solution ourselves.So today when that car cuts you off on the freeway, use different words that are less profane. And when you spend time with your family, use words that let build them up, not tear them down.Listen to others words with an open mind. And stand up to those that use hateful words.Be an example to others by using constructive words. Learn to Disagree Agreeably with your words without being judgmental.

    This one simple thing which costs absolutely nothing to change, can change history.This one simple thing which requires none of one’s precious time, can change your life, your health, your entire outlook.This one simple thing can change the world. Words matter. Let’s Change the dialogue.

  22. Sandy Price

    April 17, 2007 at 9:24 am

    Nobody bothers to talk about the works Imus has done for American children of all colors. I doubt you ever listened to him, Pollchecker as he had one of his staff read the emails that came in to talk about how awful Imus was. They were extremely funny and certainly send in gest. Everyone poked fun at the I-Man with his beautiful and young wife. He laughed at this with everyone else. His sense of humor was outrageous and drew many wonderful people to his show.

    The problem is that America has lost its funny bone and is always searching for something or someone to blame when things get out of control. It seems to be an American trait to pile on to anyone who they take seriously. The only thing serious about Imus was desire to work with kids with cancer. How easy it was to destroy him when he made one statement in gest and it was taken wrong.

    The networks ruined him and in doing so destroyed his fund raising ability for his sick kids. Everyone is on the edge of their seats just waiting to destroy someone they never knew existed. That’s the American way in this century.

  23. Mark Pogue

    April 17, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    What I fear is that the limits of free speech are becoming narrower and narrower.

    Our society is more interested in Anna Nicole Smiths’ death and illegitimate child than our right to free speech.

    Do you really think we can accomplish peace and unity with the public “gotcha” attitude? IMO, “no”. This only creates “speech hysteria”.

    Will the apology of Don Imus change his own views??? ” NO”!

    How many so-called “ministers of faith” spew out hateful messages on our airwaves and continue their jobs? Where’s the public outrage there?

    I’m more offended by the “dumbness of society and GWB” than whether somebody calls me a cracker, white boy, etc. I’ve been called EVERY name available…I’ll never “kill myself” because of it.

    The public reacting like a school of baracudas to racial/sexist comments will not make a blemish on the wall of bigotry and hatred built here in the US since its’ beginning!

    Most of our wars have been against “people of color”. Slavery and wars against Native Americans were racial imperialistic endeavors. Our president is still in his position after ignoring the urgent needs of Katrina victims, whom mostly being black. The “war on terrorism” is waged against people of MidEast descent. The hatred against “illegal aliens” is another unjust call to bigotry.

    http://www.prouddemocrats.net

    http://wrestofthestory.com/

  24. SEAL

    April 18, 2007 at 1:10 am

    Prior to Vietnam there was only one war launched by this country against people of color. That was the natives of North America. Using the Japanese as a “war of color” is totally unfair. The Japanese launched war against us, we had no choice but to retaliate. Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistn are legitimate examples. They serve to prove the change in our attitude that has occurred in recent times. However, if you are going to lay color as the culprit for these wars, you must clarify the primary color – “green.” Money.

    Slavery was never a war against color. Just the opposite. To stop the enslavement of people of color. And the illegal aliens issue has nothing to do with color, either. It has to do with economics. In our effort to prove how unbiased we are we have allowed mexicans to abuse this country and effect an enormous impact on our economy and our culture.

    But, and it is a huge BUT, regardless of the somewhat successfull efforts to disguise or hide it, the worst case of pure genocide of people of color in the known history of the so called civilized world is the extermination of Native Americans. The number absolutely dwarfs Hitler’s genocide of the Jews. So much outrage at his killing of six million while there is almost no outrage about the millions upon millions of Ameican Indians slaughtered simply because they were different and the people of the US wanted their land. That was a war of the color of the people. The only one this country has actually been guilty of. However, considering the enormity of it, we don’t need another.

    I’m a Pawnee. We never went to war with the United States. However, by the time we relocated to Oklahoma we were only 600 sick, tired and broken people. And we were among the lucky ones. Many tribes were completely exterminated.

    If we are going to make an issue about wars of racial color, there is only one to discuss. And let’s talk about what is really says about the United States Of America. Perhaps it shows what they are really capable of when they want something bad enough.

  25. John Hanks

    April 13, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Without a habitual black hatred it is impossible to get rid of all the crooks who infest the Republican party. There is no constant vigilance without hatred.

    Anger and contempt can be a problem, mainly because most liberals are not practiced at it like lower middle class persons. There is a difference between blind hatred of whole classes, and a wide-awake hatred of liars and crooks.

  26. Marsha

    April 14, 2007 at 10:37 am

    It is often said that the two strongest motivators are greed and fear – and that of the two fear is the strongest.

    I don’t listen to Imus, although I am hazily aware of him. I have become more aware of him over this flap and the one thing that I am most aware of is that the remarks he made, if made in similar context about others would have caused a similar uproar. I don’t need to spell out what could have been said about Muslims or Jews or the Deaf or many other religions or subgroups. We can all dredge down inside and figure them out.

    What we need to do is realize how we’d feel if it was us, our children or grandchildren on the receiving end of such an attack. I have two granddaughters in rough and tumble full contact sports and when I read a quote from Imus that he attacked the girls for rough play I realized that this was more about sexism against women than race – but he played the race card too. If he had called my beloved grandchildren names based upon mixed race features and called them sexist names for participating in male dominated sports I’d have been both irate at him, fuming at the station and the advertisers about sending unacceptable messages, and explaining to the kids about people who need to have a hose run through their brains to rid them of the filth inside.

    Should he have been fired? Well, here is where we get back to greed and fear. It has nothing to do with first amendment rights. It is possible he might have turned around and become a beacon for doing the right thing – although that’s unlikely as paragons of virtue don’t sell well in the shock-jock venue. What happened to Imus was as the result of the fear of the sponsors that they’d lose market share and that dovetailed with the greed of corporations that is unable to be tempered by human compassion as a corporation is a non-human legal person.

    Having said all that, I thank Doug Thompson for making a commitment to “… make sure that Capitol Hill Blue does not become a haven for hate, racism, bigotry, sexism or homophobia. Those who preach it will not be allowed to do so here and that includes intolerance in a political debate.”

    We can disagree, even profoundly, with those of a different political persuasion, race, creed, religion, etc. and still treat each other with a modicum of respect.

    I have long said that while I might support impeachment of various people I would not wish them harm. Imus was, in effect, impeached, but he is not suffering harm other than a loss of income and possibly status. Now he can figure out what to do with the rest of his life and how he wants to live it.

    Respectfully,
    Marsha

  27. AustinRanter

    April 13, 2007 at 11:03 am

    I’ve said, along with others, a number of times on threads in ReaderRant related to this issue that Imus is simply a symptom of a much great problem.

    Folks like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage are now publicly crying out that they’ll be singled out and are next in line to be shutdown because the institution of freedom of speech has been breached and degraded and advertiser hysteria will cause them to be scrutinized beyond fairness.

  28. dougthompson

    April 13, 2007 at 11:10 am

    He was fired because he became a liability to his employers. The same will happen to Limbaugh and Savage when (not if) they also become a liability.

    They will still be free to find other avenues to spread their points of view (and I’m sure Imus will as well).

    CBS and MNSBC have every right to not allow their resources to be used to spread racism, sexism, homophobia or bigotry. What saddens me is that they allowed it to happen for so long. Only when the risk became economic did they pull the plug.

    The other sad part is that those who preach such intolerance, and that includes Imus, Savage, Limbaugh and others, stay on the air because so many Americans listen to them and support their views. That’s the real problem. If racism, bigotry, sexism and homophobia were not so much a part of American sensibility these folks would not have an audience and the marketplace would rule.

  29. Grover Syck

    April 13, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Yes, Imus’ remark was wrong and inappropriate.

    So was the reaction to it. MSNBC and the sponsors vastly over reacted.

    What would have been the reaction if a black or Hispanic jock had made a similar comment about a team that was mostly white girls? Think about it.

    I do not agree with either Imus or the networks.

    As for Rush and others, I often disagree with them, and sometimes offended, but they should not be canned because they are “doing a job”. I would say that often the producers encourage them to cause controversy.

  30. Kate

    April 13, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    If it had been a jewish team and Jesse or Al had said something nothing would of happened. At least Don Imus has raised millions of dollars to help children, what has Jesse or Al done except promote themselves?

    Snoop came out and said when he talks about Hos he is referring to the blacks in the ghetto!!! Not basketball players, sooo that makes a difference?
    I think it is to much of a double standard, and Imus was used as a whipping boy

  31. Reid Warren

    April 13, 2007 at 11:24 am

    As Pogo said: “We have met the enemy and they are us.”

    Each of us in our own ways are racists, sexists, homophobes or bigots of various sorts, to say nothing about being politically intolerant.

    Although not a believer, I am reminded of the expresion: “We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That, without the mention of God, is what exists among all human beings – or: “He who has not sinned, let him cast the first stone.”

    Until each of us owns our innermost thoughts and feelings as they relate to people who are different, then we cannot change ourselves.

  32. Calico Jack

    April 13, 2007 at 11:31 am

    From the apology on the 30th through today. Nicely done.

  33. Michael

    April 13, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Its to bad that Imus was fired when people like Rush Limbaugh, Michael savage, Jerry Falwell and James Dobsen are still taking hate and bigotry EVERY DAY. The reason these guys last is because they are the Republican and Christian radio and TV GODS. And in this country if you are GOD then no body can touch you. Also look at the Hate and killing George Bush has done in the nane of GOD. Its not that he is right what he is doing. Its that he is GOD to the Republicans and the Christians.

  34. Judy Bodnar

    April 13, 2007 at 11:52 am

    Thank you Doug, once again you have done yourself and this site proud.

    “Intolerance, someone has said, is violence to the intellect and hatred is violence to the heart.”
    –Mahatma Gandhi, 1942

  35. Doubtom

    April 13, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    I’m still waiting for the networks to punish The “Rev” Robertson on his call for the assasination of a head of state. It seems to me that in a listing of insulting language this must surely rate above the “h” word. We’re talking murder here! What we have is selective enforcement of propriety, much the same as the selective enforcement of our laws.

    I would also like to see Eddie Murphy get his due for originating the term “ho”,,Imus just borrowed it.

  36. CHETHEBAT

    April 17, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Kate, I as a Black American, agree with you, however Mr. Imus, should and can request his job back. There are many Black Americans, like my self feel, he was wrong, but not enough to lose his job. Keep in mind also, the Jacksons and Sharptons were create, by the media and not them selves. How, when something happens they are called for comments. We do not have leaders, I answer to my “God” who is my leader.
    Chet