Sharpton to meet with Imus on-air, but still wants radio host fired for Rutgers remark By MARCUS FRANKLIN, Associated Press Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Even as he scheduled an on-air meeting with radio host Don Imus, the Rev. Al Sharpton said he still wants Imus fired for his racially charged comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. Sharpton said Sunday he intends to complain to the Federal Communications Commission about the matter. “Somewhere we must draw the line in what is tolerable in mainstream media,” he said. “We cannot keep going through offending us and then apologizing and then acting like it never happened. Somewhere we’ve got to stop this.” Sharpton and MSNBC announced that Imus would appear Monday on Sharpton’s nationally syndicated program. Meanwhile, the Rev. Jesse Jackson planned a protest in Chicago, and an NAACP official called for Imus’ resignation or firing.
Jackson said his RainbowPUSH Coalition planned to protest Monday in Chicago outside the offices of NBC, which owns MSNBC. He said Sunday that protests were being planned across the country. “If he has a right to use that platform to insult and degrade, then we have a moral obligation to picket NBC and to protest,” Jackson said. “If he can violate us in that platform in the name of free speech, we’ll be picketing NBC in the name of free speech.” James E. Harris, president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, demanded Sunday that Imus “resign or be terminated immediately.”
I can’t help but shake my head as I read this article. Mind you, I agree that Imus shouldn’t have said what he said (though I’m not all up on the lingo so I’m not sure what the definition of some of what he said was). Imus said some stupid stuff, and maybe he should lose his job for it. However, the part that makes sad and angry at the same time is Sharpton and the NAACP’s response.The call for reconciliation and forgiveness gets really old because that’s not what their calling for. I don’t think they understand what reconciliation and forgiveness mean. Forgiveness of Imus would mean that they would say, “You said some stupid racist stuff on your show, and it hurt us. But you know what, everyone makes mistakes. I’ve done similar or the same, and we’re all flawed; so please, don’t do that again, and lets all move on.” That seems like forgiveness to me, and I’m not the best at it. I’ll be the first to admit it. In fact, I’m in need of a lot of forgiveness all the time. I screw up too.
But they’re not interested in forgiveness. What they want is recompense. Forgiveness means the debt goes away; it no longer exists. Reconciliation is a meeting together to right wrongs. They want payment. They haven’t given up the debt; they want it paid and they want it paid in full. Which is why it’s sad to read this article because these are some really angry people. They have a lot of anger inside of them. Did America screw up at some point in it’s history? Yes. Should we do our best to fix what we’ve done wrong? Yes. Do we still have problems with racism, sometimes without realizing it? Yes! But what we need is a helping hand, some friendly advice and some forgiveness. America owes some recompense. But some forgiveness and reconciliation on both sides would go along away. Even for someone like Imus.
**UPDATE** As if to affirm my opinion, after Reverend Sharpton had Imus on his show, I saw this printed on Foxnews.com:
“Don Imus should not be “let off the hook” for his racially charged comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team and should be fired no matter what he says to defend himself, the Rev. Al Sharptonsaid Monday as the talk jock appeared on his radio show.
“I don’t know what’s in your heart and I’m not going to call you a name, I’m not going to call you a bigot. I’m going to say what you said was racist, I’m going to say what you said was abominable, I’m going to say you should be fired for saying it,” Sharpton told Imus.”
Like I said, I don’t think he and the people working with him are interested intrested in forgiveness or reconciliation, just recompense and retribution.