The Double Standard on ‘Hoes’
Remember when Don Imus saw his cushy CBS Radio and MSNBC career go up in smoke in 2007 when he tried very early one morning to make one of his fake misanthropic jokes about the Rutgers women’s basketball team being “nappy-headed hoes”? Black activists demanded his firing. Advertisers fled. The corporate suits, appalled and fearful of the terrible publicity, canned him.
But if you’re a black rapper, terms like this advance your career. The female rapper Nicki Minaj has a very hot new video called “Stupid Hoe.” She uses that same term to snap at other women — “We ship platinum, them b—-es are shipping wood / Them nappy-headed hoes, but my kitchen good.” (Don’t hurt your brain trying to make sense of it.) Minaj even threw the n-word in the lyrics: “How you gon’ be the stunt double to the nigga monkey?”
The video broke YouTube records by clocking up 4.8 million views in its first 24 hours on the site and 11 million over the weekend. But outrage from our elites? Hello? Anyone? So far, the silence is deafening from America’s major race-card players.
Back in 2007, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton — the dynamic duo of racial correctness — met with CBS chairman Leslie Moonves to demand Imus be given the boot. When they won, Jackson called the firing “a victory for public decency. No one should use the public airwaves to transmit racial or sexual degradation.”
Sharpton added: “It’s not about taking Imus down. It’s about lifting decency up…We cannot afford a precedent established that the airways can commercialize and mainstream sexism and racism.”
Sumner Redstone, chairman of the CBS Corporation board and its chief stockholder, had told Newsweek that he had expected Moonves to “do the right thing.” Translation: Bye-bye, Imus.
It seems rather clear that Imus deserved some punishment, even if his dismissal might be excessive. So why were the reverends applauded universally for their activism?
Because all of their fuss wasn’t about “public decency” or “degradation” or media companies “mainstreaming racism and sexism,” not really. It was about race, and about how whites: can’t say “indecent” things about blacks, not even in jest. But blacks can use those very same words — however they wish — with the ugliest of intentions, if desired, with impunity. Where are Jackson and Sharpton over “Stupid Hoe” now? Cricket, cricket.
The Washington Post is running a major series this week on the self-esteem issues of black women in America. But when will the Post and other media scolds discover this song and what it says — and shouldn’t say — about black women?
As for degrading public decency, the song has 10 uses of “bitch,” 10 F-bombs and unsurprisingly, 37 uses of “hoe.” The refrain, if you want to call it that, is “You a stupid hoe” — repeated 14 times. A verb, like the word “are,” was apparently not necessary. This has to be one of the dumbest, most illiterate songs ever to go viral.
Just because Minaj caused a major YouTube splash and just because the elites were silent, doesn’t mean the reaction was favorable. Anyone who clicks on it quickly learns this is not a song, but a droning, rapid-fire, hip-hop headache. The video is so jumpy it could cause epileptic seizures. In the first few days, YouTube watchers gave the Minaj video about twice as many dislikes as likes — 176,000 to 87,000.
Some commenters just nailed it: “You know, if she’s trying to call someone else a stupid hoe, it doesn’t help her case too much when she’s on all fours, dressed like a leopard, trapped in a cage and whipping her hair everywhere.”
But this is my favorite: “36 seconds in and I was losing the will to live.”
Last summer, Minaj shocked many by having a breast pop out as she performed on ABCs “Good Morning America.” Why the Disney-owned network put this woman on is anybody’s guess. She was performing the song “Where Them Girls At,” with classy morning-TV lyrics like “You can suck a d–k, or you can suck a ballsack.” In her “Stupid Hoe” song, Minaj raps twice “you can suck my diznik.”
Minaj is an artist for Cash Money Records, now a subsidiary of the Universal Music Group, which brags that it is “the world’s largest music content company.” (The French media conglomerate Vivendi did not include UMG in its NBC-Universal deal.) If one accepts these boasts, no one in the world can “mainstream racism and sexism” faster than these people. Let’s see if the Imus firing squad ever says a word.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center.