Finally, JUSTICE! Well, let's say a step towards justice for the firing of Don Imus . While American society has capitalized on negative portrayals of black female bodies for centuries, finally, someone is being held accountable for the constant perpetration of these offensive representations. Now, let's not be euphemistic, New York Times, for intolerant speech of the racist and misogynistic variety does not translate to "racial remarks" . Calling a group of women "nappy-headed hos" is both racist and misogynistic, and the fact that a nationally syndicated radio host would even think that such terrible words could somehow be heard as acceptable demonstrates that the white supremacist commodification of the black female body is a legacy of slavery that has transformed itself, under the auspices of capitalism and satire, into a cultural mainstay that proudly links us to glorious times of the past. At least, CBS deemed this incident objectionable enough that it severed ties with Don Imus. Don Imus, himself, isn't the problem, though; it is a society that willingly tolerates the negative images of human beings that are propagated for mass consumption.
Even worse, when these images are black ones, for, unlike much of the rest of America, our representations in society only encompass a fraction of a spectrum created and supported by exploitative white supremacy and patriarchy. There is no authentic self in this spectrum, for it is too constrained; as a result, we are degraded in our exoticization and exoticized in our degradedness.
So, Barack Obama, don't turn this into an issue about rappers because their misogynistic comments are not tantamount to those of Don Imus. Because of our monolithic representations in society, black social problems are usually seen as the detrimental outgrowth of cultural deficiencies associated with our racial essence. Oh, Barack Obama, you traitor, our community is more diverse than your ethnic makeup! You cannot criticize hip-hop culture to those who do not understand this crucial fact, for, to them, you are really just censuring blackness. Culture is constitutive of race, but certainly not everything to it. When culture is so narrowly represented for a minority group, the two become entangled in knots of oppressive cultural hegemony. Hip-Hop is not all to blackness, America, but, since many of you see it as so, I hope the exotic beauty of black femininity enslaves you with a paralyzing erection, so that, in our natural rush to rhyme, we will have the time to find the perfect beat that will fight your verses of racism. And as we do this, we criticize our own, lamenting the misogyny and homophobia that goes on within our own communities. But, oppressor America, even in this age of gentrification, I hope you don't hear it. For this conversation, this discourse, goes on and will continue to go on behind the same ghetto walls of oppression that you whipped us to erect.