Press

Task Force: Give serial offender Don Imus the pink slip

Date: 
April 11, 2007

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

WASHINGTON, April 11 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force today called for the termination of radio host Don Imus from his job for his repeated on-air racist remarks, the most recent involving the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, whose members he labeled “nappy-headed hos” on his nationally syndicated radio program Imus in the Morning, simulcast on MSNBC.

According to the media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, Imus has referred to African-American journalist Gwen Ifill as a “cleaning lady,” to New York Times sports reporter Bill Rhoden as a “quota hire,” to Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz as a “boner-nosed... beanie-wearing Jewboy” and to the New York Knicks as “chest-thumping pimps,” among many other racist rants.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“Don Imus blurted out unvarnished racist and sexist epithets at the Rutgers women's basketball team, a group of star athletes and star student citizens. If this was an isolated incident, a sincerely made apology might be considered, but Don Imus is a serial offender and his ‘I’m a good person’ protestations ring hollow. His defamations rend the social fabric and insult, demean and degrade all of us, but especially the undeserving targets of his rage. There is no excuse for his employers to allow him any further access to the public airwaves. Enough. Give Imus the pink slip.”

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.