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Don Imus, Adam "Not Pacman" Jones, and my own failings


My goodness, it seems one story is dominating the Cowboys world over the last 24 hours and it couldn’t be a more un-football worthy story if it tried. By now I’m sure everybody has heard or read the remarks Don Imus made about Adam Jones on a radio show that definitely sounded like straight-up racism. In case you haven’t seen the news, they were discussing Jones and his desire to not be Pacman any longer. Simple enough. Then they got into his multiple arrests whereupon Imus asks “What color is he?” to which the co-host replies “African-American” followed by Imus saying “Well, there you go. Now we know.”

That was taken as Imus saying because Jones is black then the idea that he’s been arrested six times is no biggie because, you know, he’s black and that’s what black people do. Given Imus’ past comments, specifically the one that got him in so much trouble with the Rutgers women’s basketball team, it was kind of a no-brainer to assume racism, just like Imus himself is a no-brainer, literally.

After I read about it I wasn’t very interested in the story. Why? Because it’s Don Imus. He’s another of the multitude of radio-hosts who I find boring and counter-productive to having any kind of serious national debate on almost any issue. Mainly because they have the intelligence of a gnat and for me to pretend to get any kind of insight on any issue listening to these gas-bags is beyond my abilities of make-believe. They exist in a world that I don’t enter and I like it that way. Don Imus? More like Don I’m Ass.

But inevitably the story made waves primarily because enough people listen to Imus that he makes corporations money and they keep him on the air. So my snobbery doesn’t mean a thing to them which is fine. We all have choices to make about how we spend our time.

Once someone contacted Adam Jones and got comment, the story was propelled forward. I have no problem with Jones defending himself and commenting on the situation, he was dragged into a conversation I’m sure he wanted no part of anyway. Here’s his statement:

"I'm truly upset about the comments," Jones said. "Obviously Mr. Imus has problems with African-Americans. I'm upset, and I hope the station he works for handles it accordingly. I will pray for him."

I would have love to seen Adam comeback with a statement like this: “Don Imus is just another no-talent, brain-dead, long-winded, gas-bag who is farting in the wind as far as I’m concerned. He’s a hack whose credibility on any subject is equivalent to Paula Abdul discussing string-theory.”

Imus is back on the air today saying he was actually being sarcastic and making the point that African-Americans are arrested all the time for no other reason than being African-American. He was trying to make the point that for Jones to be arrested six times just proves that idea. Thanks for the moral crusade Imus, it warms my heart to hear you’re looking out for the black community.

The point is not whether I believe that Imus was indeed making a sarcastic reference to racial-profiling or whether he was just showing his racist stripes once again, and to be clear I’d lean to the latter rather than the former. The point is why does anybody care about Don Imus? If you’re a listener to his show and find it entertaining and provocative then there’s probably nothing he can say that would sway your opinion. If you don’t listen to his show because you’ve determined that he’s a cretin with little value, then don’t give him the power to drive the discourse. Having said that from my moralistic soapbox I can’t help but notice that I just did what I preached not to do by writing this article. I tried to avoid it, but felt compelled to cover the story because everybody else was doing the same. The pack mentality has won out over common sense.

Curse you Don Imus, I fell into your trap.

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