Don Imus has been making racist remarks about Arabs and Muslims for years and no one listened when Arabs and Muslims complained. That's because in our American society, we have set up a glass ceiling. Rise above it, you get slammed. Stay below the Racial Radar screen, no one cares.
Imus is a reflection of the intolerance that is accepted in America and that hypocritical system that separates racism that is tolerable and racism that is intolerable. One might argue, "Everyone is racist in America. It's just that some are more racist than others."
But Imus has been spewing his hatred forever about other people like Arabs, Muslims, Pakistanis and more and no one has every expressed a word of disgust about that. Not even the minority groups now screaming about Imus' latest stupidity on Adam "Pacman" Jones.
Here is what Imus and his "crew" of radio bigots said November 12, 2004 during the funeral of Palestinian President Yasir Arafat:
DON IMUS, host: They're [Palestinians] eating dirt and that fat pig wife [Suha Arafat] of his is living in Paris.
SID ROSENBERG (MSNBC SPORTS ANCHOR): They're all brainwashed, though. That's what it is. And they're stupid to begin with, but they're brainwashed now. Stinking animals. They ought to drop the bomb right there, kill 'em all right now.
BERNARD McGURK, Imus' producer: You can just imagine standing there.
ROSENBERG: Oh, the stench.
IMUS: Well, the problem is that we have Andrea [Mitchell, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent] there. We don't want anything to happen to her.
ROSENBERG: Oh, she's got to get out. Just warn Andrea, get out, and then drop the bomb, kill everybody.
MCGUIRK: It's like the worst Woodstock.
ROSENBERG: Look at this. Look at these animals. Animals!
McGuirk is out there defending Imus today and so are his bosses at Citadel Broadcasting, which tolerates racism from others on their line-up, including Sean Hannity.
This isn't just a problem with white racism. It is also a problem with the Intolerance Industry driven by minority groups that have risen to levels of power who only defend themselves.
In a few weeks, UNITY: Journalists of Color will be meeting in Chicago. Arab Americans have been after UNITY to give them a larger role and recognize them as "journalists of color" too, but they won't.
They tossed us a bone, that we suggested, one panel to discuss Arab American issues in journalism. But nothing else.
UNITY consists of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans. I don't blame them in this racist world for not wanting to move over and share space with other minority groups. Because even though they have achieved some levels of power in America, they still have to fight for the scraps.
And when a racist like Imus spews his hatred, so openly, as he did 14 months ago in bashing the Rutger's Woman's basketball team, or just stupidly as he did in reference to Jones, the glass ceiling applies.
The bosses at Citadel said they don't expect to reprimand Imus this time. I wonder what Imus' comment might have been to that if the tables were turned?
"Citadel's boss won't fire him? What color is he?"
"There you go. Now we know."