24 thoughts on “The Notre Dame Women’s Fighting Irish Basketball Team is Comprised of Papist, Potato-Eating Hos”

  1. Oh, now you're just asking for trouble.

    Here's my take: if it's wrong for Imus to do something like that then it's wrong for others(like rappers, Steven A. Smith, etc). I think that NOW is being consistent and honest. Others? not so much. Particularly Sharpton, he of Freddies Fashion Mart fame, real farkin' race baiter that one.

    If you think Black Americans can say '*igga', 'ho', '$itch', and other things to others of their 'race'(Americans are mutts, we have no race) but nobody else can, you are, by definition, a racist because you think one race can do something others can't. If it's wrong, outside of say, an academic exercise, then it's always wrong.

    I think Imus is an idiot. What he said was stupid and insensitive, but amounted to about the same as calling someone fat or ugly or uneffeminite—I don't see race.

    But Dan, now you're just trying to be a provacateur. I hope the Disciples don't come back over this one. 😉

  2. I think this case is complex.

    On the one hand, it stands as another example of regulated speech — due to our general 4GW mindset. [1] When I was a child, I was taught the mantra, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me,” and, additionally, I was raised on the MO mantra, “Show me!” So this pseudo-conflict conducted in the moral sphere, with words, always seems a little silly. The fact that so many people can work themselves up to outrage over such a small on-air phrase shows the 4GW mindset in full force.

    On the other hand, 'victimism' may prepare the field for indirect 5GW maneuvers, in which case Imus has become the pawn. I'll leave to others the task of deciding who the real players might be!

    [1] http://www.fifthgeneration.phaticcommunion.com/archives/2007/01/toward_a_better_understanding.php

  3. Its all about context. I haven't listened to Imus's show, so I don't really know what its like. I assume he's sort of a 'shock-jock,' but he gets some prestigious guests.

    I knew “nappy” had to do with hair and I think I had the general idea right, but I didn't know it was specific to “natural hair.” Glad I've never really used that word.

  4. This post is of course in reference to Don Imus's comment that the Rutgers team is comprised of “nappy-headed hos.” “Imus in the Morning” is completely free from Stern-style vulgarity. The edge of the show is host's nonsensical insults (politicians he dislikes and who wear glasses are “four-eyed creeps,” those he dislikes and who do not wear glasses are “two-eyed creeps,” etc.). By time, the show is equal parts media gossip, sports, politics, pediatric cancer fundraiser, and humor. Imus's politics tend to be centrist (endorsing both John McCain and John Kerry), though some of his picks are less mainstream (Kinky Friedman and Rick Santorum, for example).

    The impression I get is that the show is a third improv, a third-semi-scripted, and a third scripted. For instance, there will be fake guests (Rush Limbaugh endorsing the Klan, for instance), interviews with media personalities, and then random humor. The best example of the latter is when one of Don's co-hosts broke in saying he “just saw” on the news that Senator Joe Lieberman had been arrested on child molestation chargers. (The joke being on Imus, and not the Senator).

    So with that background:


    Like you, I learned the racial connotation of “nappy” from the uproar. Certainly it's more obscure than Certainly it's more obscure than “diamond merchant” [1] or “Hymie” [2]


    Your words are wise. Outrage is typically a function of perceived group-powerlessness, and I think that (as with Sunni Arabs [3] ) this perception is accurate among American blacks who are descended from slaves. The cause of which, in my opinion, has a lot more to do with Jim Crow than slavery. (Though that is a post for another time…)


    I agree on NOW's consistent attitude toward the use of “ho” (“whore”) to refer to “woman.” But it is not NOW that is visibly shaking down MSNBC and CBS Radio here.

    But tdaxp…. provocative? Surely you just. 🙂

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Sharpton#Crown_Heights_Riot
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Jackson#Remarks_about_Jews
    [3] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2007/03/22/the-iraq-war-is-about-feedback-more-than-revenge-or-justice.html

  5. As soon as I crawl out of this Guinness bottle I'm going to be righteously outraged!

    Imus regularly refers to his wife as the “Green Ho” in light of her “Greening and Cleaning” (environmentally friendly cleaning supplies) persona.
    This latest comment, while hurtful to the players no doubt was taken waayy out of context and the slavering sadists rounding up the pitchforks and torches ignore both Imus' show's typical content and the great deal of good he's done. But hey, it makes headlines, brings in the dough and really strokes “Hymie Town” Jacksons “King of African America” ego and so…

  6. Obama's been careful to avoid any identity politics on this issue:

    “Democrat presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama said Imus's comments were offensive to all Americans.” [1]

    Obama's also the only candidate I know of to call for an investigation [2] into the Nifong scandal [3], so he deserves credit for that

    [1] http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21535694-663,00.html
    [2] http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/LegalCenter/story?id=2980582&page=1
    [3] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2007/01/17/racism-and-sexism-at-duke-university.html

  7. I just found out I get to 'debate' about Don Imus on the show tomorrow, so thanks for the context. I remember now that I have heard parts of his show before. My brother listens to him sometimes, and it sounds like he's Ann Coulter only more equal-opportunity.

    Here's the take I might go with:
    “This is why Richards, Coulter and Imus landed on their faces even though Americans love to laugh at bigotry: these entertainers poured salt into centuries-old wounds with cheap punch lines-simple, worthless slurs; spiteful, desperate pleas for attention-instead of throwing our collective ridiculousness back into our faces. Their sin had nothing to do with edgy jokes; it was that instead of shedding light on everyone, they only shed light on themselves.”

  8. Of course, since I'm sitting on the right, maybe I'll turn the focus on Al Sharpton and ask why he's wasting his time on racist red herrings or why he hasn't resigned from his shows.

  9. Adam,

    As you're debating this tomorrow on your television program, I'll quickly address the Reason article.

    It's terrible. That its bizarre and hurtful line

    “spend a few minutes with the average clique of College Republicans and you'll hear black babies compared to bowel movements and AIDS praised as God's cure for homosexuality”

    has already been corrected should tell you about Marty Beckerman's unhinged criticism. (Of course, this is from a blogger who writes article such as “A new day, a new reason to hate Republicans” [1] Not that the attack on Imus is an attack on Republicans — Don previously refered to Joe Barton (R-X) as “a lying fat little skunk from Texas”, a “pipsqueak” and a “coward and a crybaby” [2] while criticizing Fox News personalities with similar terms [3]).

    Onto the substance: I'm not familiar with Richards' non-Seinfeld career, so I can't comment there. But comparing Coulter to Imus, positively or negatively, confuses both. Imus is a political Simon Cowell, whose bipartisan and cross-ideological list of proclaimed enemies (George Bush, Ned Lamont, etc) is matched with a bipartisan and cross-ideological list of friends (John McCain, Bob Toricelli, Rich Santorum, etc).

    [1] http://martybeckerman.livejournal.com/336485.html?mode=reply
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Imus#Joe_Barton
    [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Imus#Fox_News

  10. Right, a lot of the article was just traditional 'liberal rage,' but I like the distinction he makes to explain the difference between the offensive comments that are 'no-nos' and the ones that aren't. Its not OK for Simon Cowell to berate a mentally handicapped person, but it is OK for South Park to make fun of the mentally handicapped.

    But there's no question this has been blow way out of proportion. Did drug cops suddenly stop shooting black Americans and this is the worst racism left?

  11. I've listened to Imus for a long long time – decades.

    He's a Republican. He throws up a lot of entertaining false fronts, but he almost always finds his way to being a Republican.

    Is he a racist? No, he's far from it.

    He's a Marine. It shows. They're usually mean and very entertaining.

  12. sonofsamphm1c,

    “He's a Marine. It shows. They're usually mean and very entertaining.”

    The most concise summary of this whole flap.


    I don't see anything admirable in the Beckerman Reason article. It's almost liek we are reading different things.

    The line I think you are referring to is:

    “These entertainers poured salt into centuries-old wounds with cheap punch lines-simple, worthless slurs; spiteful, desperate pleas for attention-instead of throwing our collective ridiculousness back into our faces.”

    I disagree. Particularly the claim of ” spiteful, desperate pleas for attention” seems out of place.

  13. I wouldn't use 'mean' to describe Marines. I would use 'blunt' or 'not terribly concerned with pc'.

    Mean, well, it just makes them mad, and that's not a good thing to have.

    The Reason piece: wow, what a bit of hypocrasy that is. Trades a bit in, 'I can do it but you can't'. Some of it is right, but the leveling of blame is sorta off the mark. I'd add that Will Farrel trades in this type of humor ad naseuem. Anyone remember the movie 'How High?' Or how about 'Soul Plane'? This is just a silly argument about nothing. If we allow one person's irreverent humor we have to accept all are valid. Imus made an insult. Woohoo. Big deal.

  14. “If we allow one person's irreverent humor we have to accept all are valid.”

    I disagree. There's a huge difference between South Park making a 'n-word' joke and a Klansman making one. The article was poorly written, but attempted to discover the difference.

  15. “Isn't ANYONE upset by my slamming the Irish? I mean, they're all paddy o'dogguns anyway, but will not one Son of Eire condemn me?”

    No, meladdy! We figures ye're either takin the piss out'o us or ye're goin te wind up dead in a bar some place. No worries fer us, don't ye know?

    (with apologies to any real Irishmen if I just butchered your dialect)

  16. “There's a huge difference between South Park making a 'n-word' joke and a Klansman making one. “
    True. There is a difference.

    One is entirely mean-spirited while the former is only partly so. But does intent matter? I think by making intent behind the irreverence matter you're arguing angels on pins. How much is acceptable and why that level over a less exclusive one?

    What's the difference between say, Chapelle saying 'me and my nigger friends' and Larry the Cable guy saying the same thing? Both are humor, but one would have 'elements of the Klan' while the other wouldn't(LtCG as far as I can tell isn't a Klansman or a racist, but he does wear hats with the Confederate flag which leaves him open to attack in this pure hypothetical situation, and proll'y in real life too.).

    If it's simply bigotry why hasn't Maher been shut down for his anti-religionist views and opinions when he slanders us continuously? I
    ve never heard a good explanation why being an anti-Catholic bigot is acceptable, but racist isn't.

    Personally, I think the rule has something to do with love of subject. If you're being irreverent but show a love of the subject you can get away with it. Ralphy May for instance, with his bit about Black movie theatres. But that's a subjective thing.

    So I go with a simpler rule: so long as it doesn't push one to committ violence, directly, all irreverence has to be stomached. Klansman making racist jokes or Carlin making the military are homos because everything they use is phallic makes little difference since I've never seen a good rule for why it's okay to insult and denigrate group a but not group b.

    THat doesn't mean I think it's acceptable. No, it just has to be tolerated.

    I think the article failed as well. Calling people cracker-ass-cracker while trying to explain why epithets hurt and why some people can do it but others can't? Yeah, that's really smart and showing the difference real well. It fails because the author didn't learn the lesson either: you have to love and be accepted in something before you can get away with such a statement. Just being king-god multiculturalist doesn't make it okay. He touches on it with his Japanese friend, but totally throws it away in his attacks on Coulter and Imus. What a dimwit that guy was. He had it in the palm of his hand and then tossed it away for some cheap shock and derision of those not 'cool' like him.

    “”but will not one Son of Eire condemn me? “
    Why? We all know that people from the Dakotas don't really matter since you're all white trash who talk funny. /snark.
    ACtually, I think if I pushed this to the Notre Dame website we'd get some hate mail coming your way. Or I could just print it off and drive up to South Bend. It's only 3 hours and I wouldn't mind visiting their library.;)
    (ry is short for Ryan Patrick, dontchaknow)

  17. Crackers and white trash in the Dakotas?

    It's not like I ran into many fellow Sons of the Confederacy when I grew up out there. It seemed the white ones were all either squareheads or Hutts.

    This thing with Imus is tribal – primordial. It has the necessary cruelty component anyway.

  18. Adam,

    You are so much better – not just in terms of ideas but also presentation — than your cohosts. Your practice both in political opinion and in political presentation will help you a lot, if you choose to persue that career.

    (Do you have a vidcast feed or just your appearences on the show?)


    You're right that trying to look at South Dakota through a southern lense is risky. The South Dakota branch of the Klan, for example, was an organization for displaced northerners to terrorize northern-European immigrants.

    The only racial slur that is relevent to South Dakota that I have seen in print is “cauckie,” which was run by the Argus Leader in the context of “Every Day is Cauckie Day” (written by an indian responding to criticism of South Dakota's “Native American Day”),


    I agree on your review of the Reason/Beckerman article.

    I think “tolerated” is a good word to use, and one that's important to realize when we talk about free speech. Toleration does not mean liking or even granting respect to. It means not trying to criminalize.

    In a way, I'm sympathetic to those who oppose Imus. A free marketplace of ideas allows attacks on those ideas. I would be much more upset about attempts to use the state compulsion to create desired ends: say, by criminalizing criticism of Imus, or legally forcing networks to hire representatives of this or that group,


    You provo coal-cracker! [1]

    [1] http://www.rsdb.org/search?q=Irish

  19. “squareheads or Hutts.”
    Lol. Okay, I know what a squarehead is, but Hutts? There's too many options. Are we talking related to Jabba the or something else?

    Dan, I hear you. Like I said, I don't go for Imus. I honestly don't go for anything done in-house by Cartoon Network. But this just went over the top. This Imus thing wasn't even 'Salad Bowl', it was fighting fish in a tank.

  20. Hutts is a pejorative reference to Hutterites. They sort of pronounce it like hoots. I rarely heard it growing up in the 60s, though people would say derogatory things about the people who lived in colonies.

    Now when I go home I hear it fairly often. The colonies appear to be thriving, so I guess people are somewhat resentful.

    Dan may have a different take on it.

    I believe squareheads was the term of endearment Russian Germans used for immigrants from Scandinavia. That was before my time, but I heard old men shoot it off once in awhile.

    There were very few blacks in South Dakota when I was a kid. The tiny college in Wessington Springs loaded their basketball team up with black players from places like Los Angeles. I can remember watching them play. They were great.

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