Jola Naibi

Writer and amateur photog. I seek to inspire and inform with the words I write and share and the photos I take. I have written a book of short stories: Terra Cotta Beauty, and I am working on a lot more. Reading and writing fuel my energy. In reading, I explore this vast and diverse world, in writing, I employ my over-active imagination and address the 'what-if' questions that life often throws at us.


No! It’s not alright

By on April 14, 2007

This past week in the US, there were heated debates everywhere you turned and the source of contention was a remark which some referred to as racist while others called it sexist and more people called it a mixture of both. Which ever way you look at it, Don Imus’ reference to the women of the Rutger’s Female Basketball team in unfavorable terms and which ignited a lot of unfriendly flames which ever side you stood on shone the spotlight on a term which has been tossed around for so long without anyone batting an eyelid making it seem as if it is alright.

Now all of a sudden people are talking about an insensitive term that has been popularized by many rap artists and which many of us women have had to endure being called for so long. When all is said and done, it is important to point out that Mr Imus could not have had the temerity to call those ladies what he did if he had not heard these rap artists make it seems like it was alright. It is not alright for him or anyone else to refer to a female of any race, color or creed in such a derogatory manner.

Being a major fan of good music and crediting myself with being able to listen to anything wholesome, I am disappointed at what most rap music has devolved into and it is a pity that people are making these rappers rich by paying to hear their mothers, sisters, daughters, aunties, wives, etc referred to in this manner. Whatever happened to good wholesome rap music the kind that Pete Rock and CL Smooth gave us in their deeply personal T.R.O.Y (They Reminisce Over You)…now it seems most rap music with the exception of a few (mostly gospel, I might add) have a Parental Advisory sticker on them indirectly warning the consumer to beware.

Back to the Imus incident, he has since made a personal and emotional face-to-face apology for his remark to the women of Rutger’s. His radio show which he used as a platform to make those remarks has been pulled off the airwaves. Let’s take the bull by the horns, and be honest with ourselves, Imus is being made a scape-goat here, the fact of the matter is the women of the world require a collective apology from rap artists and their producers and associated cronies for popularizing this term to the point where it is being picked up and thrown around so easily as if it is something acceptable. The ladies of the Rutger’s University Basketball team and their coach did the most beautiful thing of all, they forgave and moved on, just like all of us women have been doing every time we hear the lyrics of a song featuring this term…we shake our heads, bite our bottom lip while fuming internally and move on. It still does not make it alright