Don Imus, one of the most popular radio talk show hosts in the United States, was fired Thursday evening for comments made about the Rutger's University women's basketball team. Specifically, Imus called the players a bunch of "nappy-headed-hos." (The basketball team is comprised of many inner-city black women)
I have never liked Don Imus. I think that his show was terrible and that he is an arrogant jerk. Nonetheless, I am angered by his firing. Imus was fired because a number of politicians and minorities expressed outrage at his "racist and insenstive" remarks.
What ever happened to the idea that "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?"
I first experienced political correctness fanaticism as a high school student in Vermont. As a politically conservative student in an extremely liberal school, I was often chastised by my teachers and fellow students. For example, I was labeled a racist for my opposition to the policy of affirmative action. It was that experience in high school that showed me who the real intolerant people were: those that refused to tolerate alternative view points. Back then, I assumed that such people were limited to liberal places like college towns and major cities. However, in the past seven years, political correctness fanaticism has spread to all parts of the country.
The Don Imus firing illustrates how freedom of speech is being obliterated based on the notion that it is unacceptable to offend others. I acknowledge that Imus' employers have the right to fire him, but I fear that the number of politicians calling for his firing are evidence that we are losing our freedoms of thought and speech. I have no doubt that, one day, it will be illegal to make "offensive remarks." When that day comes, I'll have some mighty big choices to make.