I will never be one to celebrate a person’s death, but if you are someone who has disrespected and hurt Black women, I sure don’t have to care about it.
Hence, this is how I felt when news broke on Friday evening that shock jock Don Imus died at the age of 79. According to NPR, the retired radio show host known for his iconic cowboy hat was hospitalized on Christmas Eve at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in College Station, Texas. On Dec. 27, his publicist announced that he died.
While the California native had a 45-year history on the airwaves for CBS and MSNBC, his troubled legacy including pushing back against political correctness (also called common decency) and was accused of saying racist and sexist comments at a whim.
In case you need reminding, the Imus in the Morning host was also the same person who back in 2007 called the Rutger’s Women’s Basketball team “nappy-headed hoes” and “jigaboos.”
Luckily, the backlash to his erronious comments was swift, with General Motors, American Express and Procter & Gamble pulled their ads from his show and CBS firing him. But as NPR noted, Imus was paid $20 million in a settlement after losing his job.
While at the time, Imus claimed to Rev. Al Sharpton that he didn’t know that nappy was a racial slur, in 2018 he finally expressed “regret” admitting he “knew better.”
But memories do not fade easily, and my forgiveness gene ain’t what it used to be. I remember seeing this attack against Black women and our hair on such a national stage and it was painful. Looking back at it, it still stings and made me self-conscious to be me and what grew out of my head. Most importantly, it was another sobering reminder of just how much Black women in America are hated and disrespected.
So today, when I read that he died, I was indifferent, extremely indifferent.
Clearly, I am not alone in this feeling, which is why it didn’t surprise me that as reputable news outlets glossed over his past Rutger’s comments or ignored them altogether in their obits, Black Twitter made sure to remind the world of how this man’s racism and sexism impacted them. So much so, that #NappyHeadedHoes began to trend on social media.
Take a look at what folks had to say:
Radio Host That Called Rutgers Women’s Basketball Team ‘Nappy Headed Hoes’ Dead At 79 was originally published on hellobeautiful.com