Don Imus Misses Again: The Pacman Jones Controversy
You'd think after the whole Rutgers University Women's Basketball "nappy headed ho's" controversy of last year that shock jock Don Imus would keep his big mouth shut about issues of race with regard to sports. (And "issues of race" is a polite way of saying, "spouting racist rhetoric.") Imus is in hot water again for making a remark about football player Adam "Pacman" Jones, after sports anchor Warner Wolf noted how many times the Dallas Cowboys cornerback has been arrested since being drafted in 2005. (The number has been six.) Imus asked what color Jones was. Wolf said, "He's African-American" and Imus responded, "Well, there you go. Now we know." Imus claims he was saying that Jones is being targeted because he's black, not implying that because Jones was African-American it was a foregone conclusion that he was going to be arrested.
The News places the controversy on the front page, but the coverage is in the Rush and Molloy gossip column. The Post doesn't have Imus on page one, but covers the story at the bottom of page 3. I have mixed feelings about publicizing the remark. On one hand, it's good to point out that the DJ is still spouting these ridiculous, offensive statements. On the other, giving Imus more attention is just going to encourage him, and much like in Raiders of the Lost Ark, it will all be best if we just looked away. Ignoring him gives him no power. Perhaps like the last time, this could lead to Imus getting canned.
Still, the issue of race in America is so heated, and having a real debate could be productive. It's just not going to come from a tossed-off, offensive remark from a second-rate shock jock.
Al Sharpton condemned the remark, saying it was "disturbing, because it plays into stereotypes." The Post even went as far as to try to get comment from the Rutgers athletic department. They had no comment.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.