Women journalists condemn Imus slurs

For Immediate Release
April 9, 2007

The Journalism & Women Symposium joins the National Association of Black Journalists and others who have expressed disgust and outrage at the racist and misogynist remarks made by radio personality Don Imus.

Last week, Imus called members of the Rutgers basketball team – who had just played for the national championship – “nappy-headed hos.”

The comments insulted not just the young women who displayed the grit, discipline and athletic talent to reach the national title game. JAWS, a national organization of female journalists, believes he demeaned women in general. He disparaged not just African-Americans, but people of all races and ethnicities who care about decency and fairness.

After a storm of criticism, Imus offered a three-sentence apology on his Friday morning show. On Monday, he further acknowledged his remarks were “disgraceful” and “repugnant.”

As contrite as Imus now appears to be, these apologies are not enough.

Imus has made a career of such inflammatory nonsense. This is not the first time he’s been called to task – or that he has vowed to clean up his act. It’s too easy to mumble an apology at 6 a.m. and expect the fuss to go away.

This time, MSNBC, which simulcasts the “Imus in the Morning” show, and CBS Radio, Imus’ employer, should consider stiff disciplinary action. It’s time to make Imus think before casually spewing more such hurtful invective.