Center for Ethics and Leadership

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shut up, Don, we all know what you meant

Don Imus opened his big mouth again. This time he tried to explain himself by saying that he meant that Pacman Jones was being picked on because he was black. No, you didn't. You made a racial joke that didn't work, and it is not the first time. Amazingly, Jimi Izrael of The Root told us all to lay off, that neither this remark nor the remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team were all that much out of line. Ethnic humor and insult humor have been around for decades and predate even Don Rickles -- if that's possible. There are still limits. They can be hard to define, but there are ways to see the line and deliberately cross it as George Carlin did (RIP, buddy) and classless ways to do it. We all know what you meant, Imus.

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