A BuzzFlash Reader Commentary
August 19, 2002
One Flew Over the "Imus" Nest
by Wilhelmina Sims
They call themselves "AMERICA'S NEWS CHANNEL." I think that might be a given for most people, but not all people, particularly black people, like myself. Is having a sense of humor a mental health problem for blacks? Because if it is, it is a wonder we haven't all gone out and killed somebody or ourselves.
Let's meet the morning team on AMERICAS NEWS CHANNEL, MSNBC! Radio-personality DON IMUS. News reader, CHARLES McCORD. Executive Producer, Bernard McGuirk and, finally, the "female" presence on the Imus in the Morning program, she is CHRISTY MUSUMECI. Christy who also works the anchor news desk at MSNBC, anchors the "SCUM REPORT" a "feature" on the Imus show. SCUM REPORT? That means she pokes fun of "Hollywood and dirty politicians." According to the WFAN web site http://wfan.com/imushomepage/, IMUS met CHRISTY while performing her female skit as Senator Hillary Clinton and hired her four months later. Here is a sample of the "scum report," posted on NEWSMAX.com:
Well there is an opening on the IMUS show for a "WHORE," oh, I mean a "scum reporter." A cleaned up version of Christy and her brand of "journalism" is moving to MSNBC full time. For the past several weeks they have been "auditioning" WOMEN for the prime spot. They need someone to "capture" the "slut factor," and, they are in a dilemma as they sort out the various women who have auditioned for the job.
Normally I am of the mind set that you do not open your mouth and say anything that your are not 100% sure of. So please keep that in mind as I share with you a comment made today on IMUS, Friday, August 16, 2002 that I am 100% sure I heard on MSNBC, "AMERICAS NEWS CHANNEL." Executive Producer, Bernard McGuirk actually SAID perhaps one of the applicants might capture the CHOICE position if she "has a black man's tongue in her mouth." "No," he self-annotates, "if she has a black man's penis in her mouth." Yes, that's much better.
Oh my, the distress in having to prove one's self. No, this is NOT my imagination (black people, imagination?) and the moment he said that it hurt. Beneath the surface African Americans have taken on such a psychological toll when we are the target of a joke, when we are ridiculed, when we are BAMBOOZLED, and insulted we have to assess the potentially damming situation we may find ourselves in if we protest and respond to a particular example of obvious racism.
Historically the black "tongue" and "penis" was a sought after commodity when there was a "carnival" of lynching:
"Sensational journalism, then the standard of American news reporting , spared the public no detail no matter how horrible. “The Negro was deprived of his ears, fingers and genital parts of his body. He pleaded pitifully for his life while the mutilation was going on...before the body was cool, it was cut to pieces, the bones crushed into small bits...the Negro’s heart was cut into several pieces, as was also his liver...small pieces of bones went for 25 cents..." (The Springfield Weekly Republican, April 28, 1899). This was an actual description of the lynching of one Sam Holt, accused murderer, who was burned at the stake in Newman, Georgia in April, 1899. Graphic accounts like this were in abundance throughout the South. They served both white and black purposes by adding to the psychological suffering of the African American and empowered the white man to do more". http://www.crimelibrary.com/classics2/carnival/3.htm
A "lynching" took place on the IMUS show today, ironically, the very "high-tech lynching" that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas fought during his senate confirmation hearing. He would not allow anyone to probe the privacy of HIS black penis. At that time I did not understand his advocacy but as time and technology passes us by I'm starting to re-think Justice Thomas' stark striking "high-tech lynching" comments. As he further stated for "uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves."
Maybe it is time for Blacks to "think" for themselves as it pertains to how we and our body parts are portrayed in the media and on shows like IMUS. Maybe it is time "to do" something, even if that "something" is documenting accounts of discrimination and forwarding them to the corporate executives of the networks and their sponsors. As a civil right's lawyer once said, "my attitude is real basic and simple, and that is, I may not live to see the struggle, the battle won, but my joy is just being right on THIS DAY in this struggle."
Well, today, this writer just wants to live to be in the fight.
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