The curmudgeonly, pale artifact that is Don Imus has once again raised the ire of enlightened minds the world over.
On Monday's show, Imus and Wolf were discussing Adam Jones' request Saturday that people stop using his nickname (Pacman). Wolf explained Jones was suspended from the NFL following a shooting at a Las Vegas nightclub, and he added that Jones had been "arrested six times since being drafted by Tennessee in 2005."
Imus' next words were, "What color is he?"
First of all, how dare he.
To pretend that he is not aware what race Adam (the artist formerly known as Pacman) Jones is, is perhaps the most indulgent pretence of ignorance that has been witnessed. The notion that anyone remotely attentive to the sports media would not be aware of Mr. Jones' heritage, through seeing his image in some medium, is simply not entertainable.
No, Mr. Imus was well aware of Mr. Jones 'race' when he put the question to Mr. Wolf. Well, well aware.
That means, that Mr. Imus asked the question with a specific agenda. And, as our readers would agree, asking about race in a veiled manner with a specific agenda, climbs the slippery slope that is racism.
The answer Mr. Imus received to his question:
Told by sports announcer Warner Wolf that Jones, who used to be nicknamed Pacman, is "African-American," Imus responded: "There you go. Now we know."
Now we know. As if we didn't know before the question was asked.
But, to what end this diabolical line of questioning?
"I meant that he was being picked on because he's black," Imus said in a statement released by his spokesman.
The incident becomes more offensive!
This response, calculated and after the fact, was clearly meant as means to throw water on the rapidly burning inferno.
How dare he!
How dare Mr. Imus pretend to be in a position to assume that an individual is being singled out because he is Negro. Are we to believe there is currency in Mr. Imus' statement just because in the past he expertly singled out the women of Rutgers Basketball because they were Negro?
We think not.
Clearly, Mr. Imus is attempting to sabotage Mr. Jones' image rehabilitation project by attempting to champion him. Knowing full well that his support will ruin Mr. Jones' efforts.
However, Mr. Jones can take measure and release.
Civil rights leader Al Sharpton, one of the chief critics who successfully pushed for Imus' firing from his televised radio show last April, criticized Imus' comments Monday.
"I find the inference of his remark disturbing because it plays into stereotypes," Sharpton said in a statement. "We will determine in the next day or so whether or not his remark warrants direct action on our part."
Mr. Imus' actions will be tried in the court of fairness and justice. The court of the National Action Network.
We anxiously await Rev. Sharpton's verdict on this case. And as we anxiously await, we reflect on some words Jemele Hill shared in her apology on espn.com (apology for using a Hitler reference that got her suspended):
When it comes to race, uncomfortable is best. How can we learn if we always feel good about where we are? The best checks and balances require that we re-evaluate, learn and grow.
Clearly, we get the best of both worlds awaiting Rev. Sharpton's verdict.
No on makes whites more uncomfortable than Sharpton; and no one makes it more difficult for Negroes to feel good about where they are.
Learn and grow we shall.
Through yet another course designed by Imus and Rev. Al.
And, eventually, we'll get to the part about re-evaluating things.