First Serena Williams gets heckled by a racist fan and then yesterday, Don Imus --the racist radio personality -- refers to the Rutgers Women's Basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." Really! It seems unbelievable to me that a White man in the public eye would be so disgustingly crass, degrading, and nasty on national television. And it wasn't like he was mumbling the words under his breath and they were accidentally caught on-air. He was actually pontificating on the ho-like qualities of the Women's Team. You can read a portion of the transcript here and understand why this man probably wears a white hood when he's just lounging around at home.
Besides the obvious disbelief and horror I felt when hearing about this, the hair historian in me was a wee bit intriuged. Not a whole lot of White people are aware of the power of the word Nappy. They don't understand how deeply this word can wound a Black American. Remember the uproar in 1998 about the White school teacher who read the book Nappy Hair by Caroliva Herron to her mostly Black students in Bushwick Brooklyn? When parents heard about the book they called for the teacher's immediate dismissal, held protests at the school and even made threats of physical harm against the teacher. Of course the teacher was shocked not knowing that to many Black folks, Nappy is like the other "N-Word."
So I wonder how does a Super White Man like Imus know the word Nappy? Why did that just roll off the tongue like he hangs with Black folks enough to know their innermost fears and frustrations? Because if he was intending to hurt and degrade he really did pick the right word. Calling a Black woman nappy-headed, even if she lovingly wears the biggest, nappiest Afro around, wounds to the quick. So I'm thinking, does Imus have some secret Black life on the side? Is he Strom Thurman all-over again? Or maybe he thought that since Eminem is White and he uses the other N-word and other Black-isms, he could get away with it too? Or not. I can't figure it out.
I hope the man gets fired and all his money gets taken away and he is forced to do community service in Chocolate City cleaning up trash with his bare hands!
Peace and Hair Grease!