I'll admit to being somewhat reluctant to address radio personality Don Imus' racist and sexist commentary related to the Rutgers women's basketball team and their performance in the Final Four. In disparaging the Rutgers team because of their race and sex, Imus continued an unfortunate tradition among some radio and television personalities of denigrating women athletes and combining that denigration with racial hostility as well. My initial reaction to Imus' comments was, "This again? Haven't we been hearing this kind of stuff for too long?" It's emblematic of the gender and racial stereotyping that is all too common in society generally, but in this case, it's particularly disheartening because Imus was picking on young women who were accomplishing a great deal as student-athletes.
Unfortunately this type of commentary is all too common. It's not just limited to women athletes, but targets all women, and particularly women of color, who are apparently not worthy of a measure of dignity from Imus.
I can only hope that Imus' comments and the outrage that they provoked don't take away from the accomplishments of the players and of their coach, C. Vivian Stringer, and the fabulous showing of the Rutgers team this season.