Imus not our worst enemy

Forget Don Imus. Who will save me from the black men, the rappers, who degrade black women every day and proceed with business as usual?

Last night I was in The Famuan newsroom speaking with students when Jesse Jackson and Michael Eric Dyson appeared on the tube speaking to a CNN host about the episode that has received wide media coverage.

Clips from Al Sharpton were shown; I received the e-mail from the National Association of Black Journalists and I’ve read that columnist Clarence Page has even weighed in.

Enough already.

Where was the outrage when Bob Johnson allowed his brainchild, BET, to pilfer misogyny at its best on the minds of our young, impressionable students? Where is the battle cry when our students are repeatedly victimized by our own people so much so until we take on the behavior of our oppressors? We denigrate, we belittle and we shame, but we think it’s cute.

I often listen to our student station WANM-FM 90.5, touted the #1 HBCU station in the nation.

I applaud that it is student-run and students receive some excellent experience. I listen to the morning gospel, the mid-day jazz and the early afternoon old school mix. But I was shocked and immediately changed the dial, when I hopped in my car last night and heard some song about a woman and her “booty.” The repeated lyrics just added insult to injury.

Now I had just left The Famuan newsroom where Jackson, Dyson and Sharpton were protesting Imus’ presence on the airways and even threatening to boycott the advertisers who support the show.

Well, where is the boycott of BET or did I miss something?

The students concluded that Jackson and Sharpton have played out. The students began to ponder who in their generation will take up the fight? Their consensus was Cousin Jeff.

Allll righty, then.

Where does that leave us as a people?

Byron Hurt is trying to tell us the truth about rap, and no one is listening. His PBS documentary “Beyond Beats and Rhymes” lays it out clearly for us, but we cannot hear. It is quite visible, but we cannot see.

Have we become so warped until we miss the point? Have we become devoid of consciousness?

I pray not.

We as educators must teach and instruct every chance we get.

We at least should raise the conscious level of our students.

We must have these conversations. We must save this generation one student at a time.

Yes, forget Imus. I don’t expect any better from him. But I do expect the best from my people. No one can save us but us. Let’s start today.

Valerie D. White is co-adviser to The Famuan. She can be reached at