Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Dave Marsh on Imus and Whiteness

Dave Marsh gets real with Imus, whiteness, and hypocrisy::

Every day, that show was based in explicit racism–every single day. This is, in fact, certain people’s truth about race. It’s Bernard McGuirk’s truth about race. It’s Don Imus’ truth about race.

So how do you put the lid back on once this truth gets shown? You put the lid back on by getting rid of the guy who took the lid off. And then, you go for a scapegoat–and you say that this is just as bad as that.

And the thing that was sitting there, waiting for it to happen, was hip-hop. Because, first, hip-hoppers speak Black vernacular language–they talk the way people talk in their community. And second, hip-hop is made by people who don’t have the education in what you don’t say. They say it. And because they get a lot of attention when they say “bitch” and “ho,” they say it more.

Now, I don’t think I’ve ever met a hip-hopper who, one, didn’t go to church–maybe Ice T doesn’t–and two, didn’t love their mom. You wouldn’t want to be in the same room with them, and call any woman who had the loosest connection to them a “bitch” or a “whore.” Because doing that, then it’s real. Otherwise, there’s this unreality to it.

So this is yet another way that the people who make hip-hop are vulnerable. Young Black men are six times more likely to go to prison then their percentage in the population, and approximately 600 times more likely to be censored.

And now, you have the transferal of the discussion away from the fact that many of the most powerful people in America had been on that show–up to and including the most powerful, Dick Cheney. In fact, three Republican presidential candidates–John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Rudoph Giuliani–all defended Imus, until it became very apparent that the worm had turned, and that Imus was, on that day, where Alberto Gonzales is today.

Plus, this whole argument gives them cover on another issue. They can act like they’re the ones who are anti-corporate, and that the whole of rap has become this “bitch-ho” music because Jimmy Iovine wanted it that way, and Universal and the other media companies want it.

If any of you saw Fox News’s John Gibson yesterday sitting in front of Davey D and Chuck Creekmur from acting like he’d invented all of the anger against hip-hop’s language, then you’re definitely feeling Dave Marsh as much as I am. (And he likes Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, which I think is also a nice thing.)

posted by @ 6:00 am | 2 Comments

2 Responses to “Dave Marsh on Imus and Whiteness”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for pointing out Marsh’s comments. Very interesting.

    I’ve been following the Imus affair — like most people — and was surprised at the way this thing built up, then finally exploded. It as an interesting example of where we are — racially, but also technologically.

    If you think about this, this never could have happened before. Blogs, YouTube, the web — media copied and distributed by a 3rd party. This is all rather recent.

    Shelly Palmer really made me see this, in his article on the Imus controversy:
    “Imus in a Techno-Political World”

    He makes some pretty solid points.


  2. John N Pasmore says:

    Imus and Hip Hop are unrealted — somehow the media created some form of linkage and masters of PR like Russell Simmons took the opportunity to move Hip Hop into the limelight. Two months ago all anyone was saying about Hip Hop was, “Is it Dead?” A creator/founder like Simmons, whether right or wrong, has pushed the conversation all over the mainstream media and audience and now if Hip Hop can follow-up with great music (how about a hit) the spotlight has been turned on…

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