Efforts by Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson may have led to the firing of radio personality Don Imus, but the activists are drawing criticism from those who accuse them of selective morality.
The backslash comes a day after Imus was fired by NBC Universal after calling members of the Rutgers squad “nappy-headed hoes” and “jiggaboos,” following the team’s loss to the University of Tennessee during the NCAA women’s basketball tournament championship game.
As a result of the controversy, NBC Universal cancelled the simulcast of the shock jock’s nationally-syndicated show on MSNBC.
Although it condemned Imus’ negative remarks toward the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, the Christian Defense Coalition is questioning why Sharpton and Jackson crusaded against Imus and not against rap record labels and rap radio stations that promote sexism and racism as well as degrading and demeaning statements against women.
“The comments of Don Imus regarding the Rutgers women’s basketball team are repugnant, hateful and demeaning, not only to women, but to all of
society,” said Christian Defense Coalition director Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney. “The outpouring of criticism and condemnation against his vile
words are both warranted and justified. However, one wonders why Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton are showing selective moral outrage
in the matter.”
Sharpton and Jackson have been among the most vocal critics of Imus, who apologized for his statements and appeared on Sharpton’s radio show to address the situation.
Rap music has been targeted by critics who see a link between Imus’ comments and the misogyny of the genre.
“Why aren’t they leading protests outside of rap record labels or radio stations where rap performers portray women in the most vile of terms every day?,” asked Mahoney.
Mahoney also asked why Sharpton and Jackson haven’t called “for record label executives and DJ’s to be fired, who spew forth degrading remarks about African-American women in a far worse manner than Don Imus?
“I simply ask Rev. Jackson and Rev. Sharpton, where have you been when women are being violated like this every day by rap and hip-hop artists?
Despite Mahoney’s views, Sharpton has taken steps to address the negativity in rap music.
The activist was among those who met with
rappers and attended a peace rally last week following an alleged assault on the 14-year-old son of Czar Entertainment founder Jimmy “Henchmen” Rosemond.
No matter what, Mahoney believes Sharpton and Jackson should expand their crusade to include everyone responsible for the negative treatment of women and other individuals.
“My hope and prayer is that both clergymen are not basing their selective response on the fact that Don Imus is white and most rap artists are African-American,” Mahoney continued. “The demeaning and degrading of women must be condemned continually on every level. It shouldn’t matter if those hateful comments are being made by ignorant, thoughtless white talk show hosts or by ignorant, thoughtless black rap performers.”