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Monday, April 09, 2007


so what

Chuck Leaf

Recently, I wrote to Mr. Barack Obama regarding Al Sharpton. I agree totally when you state that black people, namely a self-proclaimed leader of the black community, Al Sharpton, cannot even clean up or complain against the rappers who belittle and defile black women in their lyrics. More importantly for me, I find it egregious and terribly offensive when Al Sharpton tries to pass himself off as a college graduate and minister and calling himself Honorable with his self-proclaimed title. What kind of example is that for the black community he is trying to lead? Al Sharpton has been on the forefront of so many ugly things that are wrong with black leaders it is beyond shameful...it is outrageous behavior. Black leaders should take exceptional umbrage at his actions and self-proclaimed leadership...then, and only, then, will black leaders be listened to by people of all colors. Below is the email, I sent to Mr. Obama. As a footnote, I never write things like this, but Al Sharpton has touched the ugliest and sickest note inside of me because he so boldly and stupidly represents the worst of the examples he so sickeningly tries to declaim.....
For Al Sharpton...go to school...get a degree...pay the price...find out what it is like to do so...remember, you arent the only one who was born poor and discriminated against....it happens to white people, too!

Mr. Obama recently made the following comment regarding Don Imus' egregious and inappriate comment about the Rutger's basketball team. He stated, ""He didn't just cross the line, he fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America,".
I agree with him wholeheartedly, but, I ask the following....when are leaders like Mr. Obama going to stand up and be counted when alleged leaders of the black community, namely Al Sharpton, try to pass themselves off as minisiters and educated college graduates. When Al Sharpton refers to himself as the "Honorable, Dr. Al Sharpton", I think this flies in the face of all good americans who have paid a tremendous price of dedication, sacrifice and persistency to achieve an elite spritual and academic position in our society. To advertise yourself as an academic and a preacher when all you did was receive an honarary degree from a bible college, continues the "stereotypical thinking" of whites that blacks will stop at nothing to "get something for nothing!" For me, when Al Sharpton labels himself something he is not which is treasured, revered and coveted by our society is just as egregious as Imus' comments. Neither serve America or their cause well at all and both should be ashamed to their very core.

Dr. Charles R. Leaf



I realize I miss spoke. I never knew how much Rev. Al has done to try to address sexism in the Hip-Hop Community. I do know how he feels about homophobia in the black community, which I applaud him for. Thanks for the info.

Mel Smith

You have a good point. However, I believe in forgive and forget. Imus comments were ugly and offensive, though.

Stuffed Animal

Yes, Mel, he apologized, but we as a community have the option to accept or not accept that apology. As far as I'm concerned, we shouldn't accept it. I heard him apologize on Al Sharpton's show, and I don't believe he was sincere. What's more, he has a history of making insulting comments about members of minority groups. Yes, he SHOULD be fired. And so should broadcasters who disparage Lesbians and Gay men.


We should not just let it go. I suggest everyone read Pam Spaulding's "Why Imus Must Go" post. Her link brought me here.

As for Al Sharpton, I think everyone should do what I did last night, Google "Al Sharpton hip-hop". You will see that he has been speaking out about the sexism and violence in hip-hop for a long time. For instance, check out this article from the year 2000:


You will also see the rude response he has gotten from the "hip-hop community" whenever he has. Read some of the comments below this article:


Has he DONE enough? No, but name me one major black leader who has. At least he is willing to risk some of his "street cred" by speaking up about violence, sexism and, more recently (in part because of his lesbian sister), homophobia in our community. Let's give him some credit for that.


I don't listen to much rap at all... when it started being Nigger this, Bitch that- I lost all interest... say circa 1990?????

But, this does not mean that because they do it and it is wrong that it is okay for Imus to do it.

That's the same backward thinking of those who really do have power to keep us down.

Fuck his apology. He was just letting us know what he thinks. Should he be fired? I couldn't careless - I just know that I won't be watching him, or listening to him.

News Flash: that lowdown ish We think of Ourselves - they think it too. Oh yeah, and even if We don't think it; they still do!

White people will not love Us, or respect Us; even if We started loving and respecting each other... nor will they love or respect Us if We be the first to jump up and put each other down like dogs.... they will just agree with you (and about you).

Lay off Jesse and Al... We always want to be the first to put them down... We don't speak and get angry when they do.



You hit the nail on the head!!! To Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson's credit they did ask multiple times at James Brown's funeral..."When did we go from I'm Black and I'm proud" to calling each other bitches and ho's. The called for a lifting up of the music. It was a nanosecond in time so it was very easy to miss.

That said, however, neither of them have tried to sit down with rap artists that write degrading lyrics to woman. Why isn't PUSH calling for blacks to boycott these artists or the record labels that they work for? Imus would have never had the language to call the girls from the basketball team if it weren't for rap lyrics.

Imus says offensive things to people across the board so I don't think that he should be fired. He should be addressed and taken to task for saying it, but more importantly, the people who gave him the ammunition to say it should be REALLY taken to task. And those folks are the rap artists out their right now.

Great commentary Jasmyne!!!!

Mel Smith

Imus apologize and we need to move on. When people apologize, I don't think people should be fired. We give people TOO much power. People make comments about us gays, ALL OF TIME, and they don't get fired. The man should not be fired, period! He made offensive comments and we put him in his place!


oh man i just assumed sharpton's show was on msnbc...i don't know. i don't have cable...if not then oopps...but if it is, well even if it's not don't go snooping around msnbc, unless you believe they are truly sorry.

i know it's tempting, but do not go to anything msnbc related...though i do have microsoft word so this maybe a problem...



the insanity in this is that msnbc is getting what it wants, rating.

al sharpton going on msnbc to talk about why it was wrong is stupid. he should have went on a different station to talk about it (though he should have talked about it when rap singers were doing it too as jasmyne stated.) msnbc is going to drag this out as long as possible.

think about this:

i wonder how many black viewers don imus had before this incident and i wonder how many he has now, i bet it's more, so don imus and msnbc got what they wanted. why should they be sorry, why should anyone be sorry when they get rewarded with ratings.

i think we should truly consider just throwing our televisions away and breaking the knobs on our radio so that we will not be able to turn away from npr, though they get on my nerves too sometimes...



Jasmyne, girl you went deep on them this time. All I can say is Right On Sister!

Stuffed Animal

We're on the same wavelength, Jazz. I just wrote about the futility of double standards regarding ethnic and sexual slurs in my new blogpost, "Some Of Them Want To Be Abused." All this furor about Don Imus, and I guarantee you, I can walk down an inner city street and in less than fifteen minutes encounter teenagers listening to music in which the words "nigger", "bitch", "hoe" and/or "faggot" are used repeatedly. Sometimes, I encounter people in their 20s and 30s listening to it! And it goes without saying that they also pepper their own vocabulary with these words. So it's only wrong when White people use such language in public? Gimme a friggin' break.

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