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Opportunists alight

Dear Editor:Unless you have been wrapped up in the nail-biting drama of Aspen’s mayoral race, you probably are aware of last week’s firing of Don Imus for racially insensitive remarks that he made about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Like flies to road kill, two of our country’s greatest opportunists, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, expressed their outrage and spearheaded the demand for Imus’ punishment.There is no question that Imus’ attempt at humor crossed the line, and the celebrity and media pressure that immediately followed achieved the agenda of having him fired from his job. Apologies and second chances brushed aside. But still, one has to wonder, where have all of these beacons of social consciousness been for the last 10 years while the airwaves of radio and television have been so brutally assaulted by the words and messages of rap culture? Killing cops, raping women and popping a cap in someone just for fun are all common themes of this genre. Condemned? Hardly. Many of these artists are seen being celebrated on various award shows like the Emmys. Should the supporting networks and advertisers of these shows be held accountable for this offensive content? Why haven’t Imus’ attackers gone past the symptom and addressed the disease?Imus’ characterization of the members of the Rutgers’ team as “nappy headed hoes” certainly wasn’t nomenclature of his own creation. Instead, it was a poor attempt to be hip and express the vernacular of the “hood.” The elimination of the double standard that has held back African Americans for so long can’t be corrected by replacing it with another double standard. Disrespect for women can’t be shielded by the freedom of artistic expression. Terms like hoes and bitches have no place in music of any style.Additionally, I would ask Sharpton and Jackson to revisit their condemnation of the three innocent Duke Lacrosse players who they so prejudged and vilified. They should only hope that their apologies (if given) fall on more understanding ears than Imus’ apology did. I await those apologies from the good reverends with baited breath. There’s probably a better chance of solving Aspen’s entrance crisis than ever hearing any apologies from them.Rod McClainAspen


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