That’s the unfortunate lesson of the whole Imus flap. Of course his remarks were uncivil — that’s the whole point of talk radio, which is about the lowest form of discourse imaginable. If you had to fire any radio blowhard to said something offensive (politically incorrect or not), there would be no talk radio. Imus tried to emulate a human being, however, by apologizing — and I get the impression that he was at least a little sincere and not just pandering to his hypersensitive colleagues in the media. It was the decent thing to do, but not only did it fail to conciliate Al Sharpton (big surprise there!), it prolonged the entire episode and was turned into an admission of guilt — guilt, that is, of the most heinous thoughtcrime imaginable.
Needless to say, it doesn’t do wonders for race relations when whites who apologize for saying offensive things about blacks find themselves excommunicated from the human species regardless. But does Al Sharpton care about that? I’m sure he does: the worse race relations are, the better for him. And yet it’s Al Sharpton who still has a radio show.
The best commentary I’ve seen on the flap is Pat Buchanan’s new column (and I’m not saying that because I used to work for the magazine he co-founded), though I wish he hadn’t used lynching a metaphor. I’ve done that in the past myself, which I regret — but no apologies.Social criticism
This entry was posted on April 13, 2007 at 7:20 am and is filed under Social criticism. You can subscribe via RSS 2.0 feed to this post's comments. You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.