'What's Wrong With Being Sexy?'
As I've listened to the pundits and news anchors parse his idiotic words, though, I'm struck by a strange omission. Let's call it Tiger Woods Syndrome.
Tiger Woods is often referred to as a "black" or "African-American" golfer. He is virtually never referred to as a "Thai" or "Asian" golfer, despite the fact that he is equal parts of both ethnicities. This is certainly not due to an anti-Thai bias in America, but to a preoccupation with race as exclusively a question of black and white. Still, it's worth bearing in mind.
In the current shock-jock fiasco, Imus' words are routinely called "racist" but are only occasionally flagged as "sexist" as well. Clearly they were both—and one could argue that the sexism was actually worse.
Calling the Rutgers basketball team "nappy-headed" was definitely racist, but while the term "ho" certainly has racial overtones (thanks, rappers!), it also has an unambiguously sexual meaning. Calling an entire basketball team made up of successful young women "whores" is glaringly sexist and spectacularly uncalled for.
Imus deserves every rotten thing he's got coming to him. I hope Tiger Woods would agree.