Don Imus crossed the line talking about our hair

By Sam Johns

Call me nigger… you can even call me trigger, but don’t mess with my hair, man! We’ve been working hard to get this hair straight, and just when we thought you were satisfied with it, you done gone called us Nappy-Headed. Hey boss, its been dyed, fried and combed to the side just to please you, and you're still calling us Nappy-Headed.

What do you want from US? Sometimes we can't get the ends straight!

While shock jock Don Imus, who has made a career out of outrageous comments, was suspended this week for making racist remarks, his greatest offence to Blacks is talking about the hair.

How can we be so happy when our hair is so nappy?

CBS Radio and MSNBC, which broadcasts the radio show on television, suspended Imus for two weeks for saying the mostly black Rutgers University women's basketball team looked like a bunch of "nappy-headed hos."

"Hos" is slang for whores and "nappy-headed" a derogatory term for the hair of many Black people.

CBS, in a short statement, said the suspension of Imus and his show for last week's remarks would begin on Monday.

MSNBC said the program would be closely monitored when it returned to the air and added that Imus had agreed to "change the discourse on his program."

"Our future relationship with Imus is contingent on his ability to live up to his word," MSNBC said.

But the suspension did not satisfy one of Imus' most vocal critics.

"I think it's clearly not enough," civil rights leader Al Sharpton told CNN. Sharpton has called for Imus to resign or be fired. Sharpton got a thing about Nappy hair too… his hair has been dyed, fried and combed to the side.

The suspension was a stinging rebuke to the radio personality, who usually gets away with saying what he wants on air and manages to attract many top political and media figures to his show.

But his remarks this time spurred nationwide calls for his firing and a boycott of his sponsors. Imus said he wouldn't resign.

Imus' radio show had about 3.5 million listeners per week in 2005, according to media research firm Arbitron. The MSNBC simulcast pulls in about 330,000 viewers per week, according to trade publication Talkers, which ranked him as the 14th most influential radio talk show host in the United States.

Imus apologized again several times on Monday's "Imus in the Morning" show. He also said: "I'm not a bad person. I'm a good person who said something bad."

CBS Corp. unit CBS Radio, which owns WFAN radio in New York where the Imus program originates, has called his comments inappropriate but program syndicator Westwood One did not return calls seeking comment.

Appearing on Sharpton's radio show, Imus said his remarks were "repugnant" and "repulsive."

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