Don Imus is a jerk. He’s ugly — both physically and in his heart. I laugh at those who would give him another chance in radio, using the logic that “everyone screws up once and is entitled to a second chance.” For Imus, fired by CBS Radio after his brutal verbal attack on the Rutgers University womens basketball team, has been engaging in bully antics for decades. He just happened to go one step too far with the Rutgers ladies. So the idea that he deserves a second chance is laughable. This isn’t exactly Bill Cosby who acted out, you know.
But I have a problem today. Not with Imus anymore, but with one of the players on the Rutgers team.
Kia Vaughn, a center for Rutgers, has filed suit against Imus and CBS, claiming that Imus’s comments about the team (he called them, among other things, “nappy-headed ‘hoes”) damaged her reputation. No dollar amount was listed in the suit.
OK. Not to be mean or cold here, but … WHAT reputation? Have you ever heard of Kia Vaughn? Did Imus defame her personally? Did he single her out in his rant?
Imus’s comments were ridiculous and terribly mean-spirited. No question about that. But I gotta tell you — the Rutgers team ate that stuff up. Instead of taking the high road and saying, in effect, “We don’t care what you say about us; WE know how terrific we are. So Don Imus can go to hell,” they seemed to bask in the victim’s spotlight.
So here comes Kia Vaughn with her lawsuit and again I have to ask: what reputation is she referring to? If it’s with her friends and family, then surely she can’t mean that those people would question how wonderful a person she probably is. Is being lumped into a group that’s been called “nappy-headed ‘hoes” harming her chances of finding a job? Of pursuing her Master’s degree? Of finding a spouse? Of having children? Of getting a piece of the American Dream?
To me, it would only seem to harm those chances if Vaughn herself allowed it to.
Kia Vaughn knows she’s not a nappy-headed hoe. Her friends know that. So do her teammates. And her coaches. And her school’s administrators. And it certainly won’t come up during a job interview. Until today, I literally had never heard of her. But as you can see, I’m already giving her the benefit of the doubt as to the level of her character. I’m assuming she’s a neat kid.
But all this lawsuit against Imus and CBS is doing is simply perpetuating something that should be put away. Imus said his thing, he was properly lambasted for it, he lost his job, and now we move on. Kia Vaughn should do the same. The sooner she sheds the victim cloak, the sooner she can get on with her life and continue to prove Don Imus wrong — not that she needs to.