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Dec 6
Should Don Imus Be Celebrated or Ignored?


Don Imus, the radio shock-jock and now famously household name synonomously linked with a disapproving head nod, is back on the air. Many wonder if he will change or if he will will remain the raw, say anything, tell-it-like-it-is radio personality that we have all come to know. Even if you don't listen to the radio, you found yourself tuning in to see whether or not he will say anything about or related to his jaw-dropping statement. And, even if he doesn't say anything about it, we all still want to know if he's learned his lesson from all this and will censor himself, or continue to let it all go.

While I am not surprised at the statment he made about the Rutger's University women basketball players, and neither am I surprised about the the Black community or the general community's reaction to his statement, what I am surprised at is the seemingly defiant expectation that Don Imus is a changed man who will amend his ways and never do what he did again. I am surprised at this because the man won't change his ways and neither should we expect him to. I don't.

We expect those in certain roles to perform certain duties to our liking each and every time. We're shocked when priests and ministers are accused of sexual misconduct. We're surprised when principals and teachers are caught in "situations" with students. We're highly offended when known child predators buy homes in our safe neighborhoods and make us feel uncomfortable. People who are leaders in our communities, churches and even in our homes are held to a high level of expectation in their actions and then when they let us down, we're taken off guard, squandering around not knowing what to do.

First of all, I believe that one characteristic of leadership is being able to influence others and them emulating you. Don Imus is one such leader. What gave him (or who) that much confidence and surety that he could just "say anything he wanted" on the air, about whomever he wanted and there would be no consequences suffered? Guess who. We did.

We, the radio listeners and supporters of the advertisers that pay for him to be on the air, empowered him to feel comfortable enough to not only offend an entire ball team but in past radio shows, offend other people-types with lifestyle choices, physical issues, ethical and religious choices and the like. When we tune in, buy the advertisers products and send in our letters and emails, we encourage this behavior. The public at large is responsible for creating Don Imus.

Should we ignore him? No, we shouldn't I don't think. But what I do think we need to do is to lower our expectations of him and anyone else who we think should "behave" in a certain matter. It just is not going to happen. Them changing that is. Nor should we expect it. People are who they are and act the way they do for their own reasons. The only thing is, is that we don't have to encourage it by encouraging it. So I say to Don Imus and anyone else who wants to say or do outrageous things, go ahead. I just don't have to listen.

What do you think?

3 Comments/Trackbacks

I completely agree, Bridget!

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