Content Black Woman, WAOD Contributor
Two of the most pervasive questions are: Should Imus have been allowed back on air? and Is he sincere in his remarks? Both viable questions.
Granted, we've all made mistakes and said things we wish we could take back. I get that part of Imus' comfort level for him doing what he did - whether he knows it or not - enabled him to do so because he is a white man in America. He, at the very least, knows subconsciously he can pretty much say or do whatever he wants with little to no consequence. I'm going to go out on a limb and bet that Imus would be the first to say this does not give him a license to be cruel to anyone without the comparable resources or access to defend themselves.
There are those who would argue that when you are a white male multi-millionaire it's a little easier to be apologetic and contrite when you've been caught doing something wrong. In addition, you get a $10 million to $20 million settlement to go away from your previous employer only to find another job 8 months later. This would make few who are Black and female feel sorry for this man. He may have been made to feel very uncomfortable for a while, however, he still benefits from being a white man who has been defined as someone who has made it O.K. to be funny and cruel. Only in America.
On several occasions, I have gone to YouTube in an attempt to find a clip of the Chris Rock routine where he jokes about white people love being white and if they found out that they had to live as a black person most would kill themselves. He goes on to tell his predominantly white audience that they wouldn't even trade places with him and he's rich!
Am I angry that Imus is back on the air? To be honest, I am shocked that he even got fired. I thought that he would be allowed to ride it out. I am not angry though. I hope he can bring to light issues of race that often go untouched by mainstream media. However, I must give it to Imus. He has taken his licking like a man. Whether it be because as a recovering drug addict and alcoholic he knows what it's like to suffer; maybe he is able to manage this situation better than most. To be honest, I'm really not sure.
The world witnessed the power of the Internet for Black people spurning what I refer to as a "digital civil right movement" where the likes of Black bloggers demonstrated - and continue to do so - their power to communicate a perspective that has not been watered down or sanitized to make those who are not Black feel more comfortable.
White people may not be the cause for all the challenges faced in the Black community today, but as long as they remain the beneficiaries of a privileged head start both economically and psychologically, I am afraid the Black community will continue to struggle for a long time. However, with the new contrite Imus and an increased awareness of the challenges within the Black community, I'd give anything to be wrong.