The Situationist

Hoyas, Hos, & Gangstas

Posted by Jon Hanson & Michael McCann on April 12, 2007

Georgetown Wins 2007Last month, on the eve of Georgetown University’s match-up with Ohio State University in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, we observed that many fans have questioned the ability of Georgetown players–who, since the 1980s, have almost all been African-American, and whose reputation has frequently centered on their “athleticism”–to “grasp” the “complex, precise” offense used by Princeton University’s men’s basketball team for so many years. That offense was brought to Hoyas by John Thompson III (“JT3”), son of the famed Georgetown coach John Thompson, whom Georgetown hired away from the Tigers.

We argued that the origin of these doubts can be found in the largely subconscious knowledge structures and implicit associations in our minds and reproduced andPatrick Ewing Alonzo Mourning Allen Iverson reinforced in our culture and its institutions. In other words, doubting the capacity of African-Americans to master a relatively complex and intellectually demanding playbook is not a sports phenomenon; it’s an American phenomenon expressing itself in the context of college basketball.

Yesterday, we came across a column by Dan Daly in The Washington Times that provides some support for our analysis. Daly praises John Thompson III in his column, and is particularly effusive of Thompson’s capacity to get regular, mainstream American folks to like Georgetown basketball players again. We have excerpted pieces of Thompson’s column below (between the asterisks):

* * *

John Thompson and John Thompson IIIThis is a new experience, actually liking a Georgetown basketball team — liking the way it plays, the way it conducts itself on the court. You could appreciate the teams of John Thompson the Elder, their muscle and hustle, but they were hard to embrace. Indeed, they always gave the impression they didn’t want to be loved, wouldn’t know what to do with love, weren’t all that familiar with love.

It was a pose, a lot of it — a silly pose, really, this us-against-the-world, Hoya Paranoia nonsense. But it was the program’s persona nonetheless, and it served Georgetown quite well for quite some time, especially when it was going to three Final Fours in four years in the ’80s. Hoyas basketball in those days was the hoops equivalent of Shock and Awe; John Thompson would roll out his bound-for-the NBA centers — Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning — the way Hannibal rolled out his elephants . . . and then trample the opposition.

Georgetown HoyasBefore long, Georgetown became the favored team of America’s Young Gangstas, who made Hoyas gear their official uniform. Georgetown’s chip on its shoulder, its defiance, its physicality — all resonated in the angry, might-makes-right world of the inner city. No one could have anticipated such a consequence, of course, but it was the last thing the image-challenged program needed. The Georgetown Hoyas: [notorious Washington D.C. drug dealer] Rayful Edmond’s team. Talk about a good cause turned bad.

Happily, the current Hoyas are none of those things . . . .

It’s a new era on the Hilltop, all right. The name’s the same, but so much else has changed. One of these days, I’m firmly convinced, JT3 will recruit a white All-American; it just makes sense, given the nature of the Princeton offense.

And then the transformation will be complete.

* * *

There is a lot to react to there, but we’ll focus on just a few elements. Daly’s final point, it seems, is that as Georgetown basketball players play and act more “white,” and as they further distance themselves from the “gangsta” and “us-against-the-world” attitude commonly associated with urban-based, young African-American men, the more mainstream America will like them. Sadly enough, Daly is probably right, which would seem to say as much, if not more, about us and our race associations and attributions than it does about Georgetown University or Princeton University or David Stern Allen Iversonbasketball in general.

Indeed, this same point has been raised of the NBA’s recent efforts to “reign in” its players, approximately 81 percent of whom are African-American. Spearheaded by Commissioner David Stern, the NBA has recently mandated a dress code of all NBA players, collectively-bargained an age limit that prevents 18-year-old men–or, as Stern likes to call them, “kids“–from“Greek,” “Negro,” & Chimp (skulls presented by Nott & Gliddon - 1854) (from J. Eberhardt article) entering the NBA until enough “life experience” has passed in college; and, most recently, sought to prohibit NBA players from frequenting certain nightclubs. Most believe the NBA is motivated solely by economic considerations: forcing players to appeal more to mainstream America will improve the league’s popularity and generate more revenue for the league. But why does mainstream America want NBA players to look and act “more white”?

It seems the popularity of the sport of basketball or of particular teams or players depends on the extent to which they are associated with white or black stereotypes. The old Hoyas team comes off in Daly’s article as not quite human — angry, overpowering, unlovable, and unloving brutes (or perhaps elephants) in need of some civilizing discipline and leadership — the stuff of traditional conceptions of black men.

As far as we know, Daly’s column has elicited no significant reaction or outcry from the public. In our view, however, his analysis shares something in common with Don Imus’s scandalous description of the Rutger’s women’s basketball. When Imus described the women as a group of “nappy-headed hos” (see video below) he was reinforcing a longstanding and still robust cultural stereotype.

Perhaps Daly’s paragraphs are more palatable because he seems at times to treat the gangsta attitude or “pose” as as “silly” “nonsense.” Still, in the end, his point seems to be that a complex offense requires even more “whiteness” than JT3 has been able to create with his mostly black players.

Thus both are accepting and promoting damaging negative racial stereotypes — one through a failed joke the other through a serious argument or factual claim. The point of the comparison is not to suggest that we should heap our collective scorn on Dan Daly the way that many have on Don Imus for “revealing his true (racist) disposition.” Our point is to suggest the possibility that the same sort of problematic stereotyping that has given rise to the censuring, and now the firing, of Imus are often taken very much in stride — as obvious, common-sensical, even funny truisms. For a variety of reasons, our collective ire tends to be activated by some manifestations of such stereotypes but not other. To glimpse one of those reasons, it is illuminating to take a closer look at the Imus debacle.

The thrust of Don Imus’s ten-minute apology on Monday (see video below) was that he and his comments should be judged within their “context.” “I’m not a bad person. I’m a good person, but I said a bad thing. But these young women deserve to know it was not said with malice.” In his exchange with Al Sharpton, Imus stated,

“I think what makes a difference, a crucial difference is: What was my intent? Am I some rabid, racist, vicious person whose on a rampage screaming and got on the radio and turned on the microphone and said ‘here’s what think these women are’? That’s not what I did.”

Elsewhere he’s insisted: “I am not a racist. . . . What I did was make a stupid, idiotic mistake in a comedy context.” In short, consider my situation, and don’t judge my disposition.

Many Americans aren’t buying it. Today-show personality Al Roker had this to say on his blog on Wednesday:

Don and his wife have done a lot of good things. Raising money for charity, including a ranch for children suffereing from cancer and blood disorders. Yet, Don Imus needs to be fired for what he said. . . . The “I’m a good person who said a bad thing” apology doesn’t cut it.”

Roker’s point seems to be that the words speak for themselves, and they provide all the evidence we need that Imus is, his good acts notwithstanding, a racist. Mary Ellen Schoonmaker writes today that “Imus is a bully and a bigot, no matter how many good causes he’s involved in.” Similarly, when Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson asked why Imus would make such offensive remarks, the answer was treated as obvious: “The simple answer would be — all together now — racism.” “I can accept that Imus doesn’t believe he is racist, but ‘nappy-headed hos’ had to come from somewhere.”

That “somewhere,” many assume, must be his true, racist core — in his disposition. For instance, Elmer Smith, in one short op-ed, calls Imus’s remarks evidence of his “raw racism,” “quintessential racism,” and “stone-cold racis[m].” With those dispositionist presumptions, Imus’s apologies and contrition are viewed as disingenuous — a calculated, if transparent, attempt to cover up or deny the revealed truth of the matter — and his two-week suspension was seen as too weak a punishment.

rutgers-team.jpgWe want to suggest that Imus’s despicable phrase came not so much from “somewhere” in the heart of Imus, but from everywhere: from our history, our culture, our practices, and our explicit and implicit ways of making sense of our world. As has been summarized elsewhere on this blog, racial stereotypes are all around us and within us.

Such racial and gender stereotypes are neither new nor rare. They are robust and ubiquitous. They can be detected quietly swirling about in the minds of pretty much anyone who is raised in this culture. Such stereotypes and associations are likely influencing everything from what sports we like (or not) and what teams we love (or despise) to what we expect from certain players or teams and how we construe the behavior of those individuals or groups. More important, those stereotypes are probably influencing many of the interactions and attributions that occur in our society well beyond those on the basketball court. (Those are topics to which many of The Situationist contributors, including Professors Banaji, Kang, Krieger & Nosek, devote the bulk of their scholarly energy.)

In other work, one of us has explored why our reactions to comments like those Imus made are so vehement, while our reactions to slightly less blatant manifestations of racial stereotypes (such as those by Daly) are often quite anemic. There seems to be a threshold or “line” which, once crossed, elicits a response that is vastly different in kind than our response to those behaviors that fall just on the other side of that line. When we identify a “racist” — an individual reveals himself or herself to be explicitly racist — we excoriate that person, despite the fact that many common attributions reflect the same sort of cognitive presumptions or biases, although less blatantly.

Or is it “because of”? Don Imus insists, “I’m not a bad person. I’m a good person.” Few could deny that Imus has many times behaved as if he were “a good person.” And few among us would say anything else about himself or herself. And yet the stereotypes that we purport to abhor when articulated explicitly reside within most of us unexamined and unchallenged, sometimes wielding influence on our cognitions and behavior. We are, in a way, all carriers of the same virus that was manifested in Don Imus’s remarks. Are we bad people, therefore? And, if not, why are we so eager to find that, just because “‘nappy-headed hos’ had to come from somewhere,” that somewhere must have been Imus’s racist core? (To be sure, few of us can imagine ever uttering those words in the way that Imus did, but Imus’s job is to put into words, often extreme and offensive words, feelings and inklings that many in his wide audience already have.)

In her recent post on the moral obligation to be intelligent, Situationist contributor Mahzarin Banaji observed that,

“[f]rom study after study pointing to the bounds on our ability to be who we’d like to be, in a thousand different ways, the pillar of 20th century social psychology was erected to show that good people can be bad . . . and just as bad as bad people!”

We suspect that one way to avoid that moral obligation is by fixating on “the bad people” and assuring ourselves that we are not them. Put differently, by looking for and finding occasional dispositional “racists,” we may be able to avoid taking seriously the possibility that racism is in the situation and thus within ourselves.

“Here’s what I’ve learned,” Imus said in his long Monday apology: “You can’t make fun of everybody, because some people don’t deserve it.”

Imus seems to understand what he did as wrong in this case largely because he is feeling the brunt of the same weapon that he’s been wielding. He is conceding that the Rutgers women don’t deserve to be branded with his dispositionist label and that he, the purveyor of those hurtful remarks, doesn’t deserve to branded with a dispositionist label. Imus is feeling the sting of his own venom. The sword he lives by, has stuck him in the foot (which, of course, happens to be firmly ensconced in his mouth).

Interestingly, the Rutgers Women’s basketball team press conference held earlier this week had much in common with Imus’s apology: Don’t judge us by that label. We are good people. In fact, among us are “valedictorians, musical prodigies, future doctors and, yes, even Girl Scouts.”

What Imus doesn’t seem to realize is that his entire shock-jock career has been built on satisfying that craving to dispositionalize and further marginalize the vulnerable (be they members of groups that areDon Imus by Chip East for Reuters chronically oppressed or powerful individuals who are embroiled in scandal). He trades in dispositionalizing cultural stereotypes. And just as it makes some of us laugh along as Imus has made fun virtually everybody, it brings most of us a strange sort of satisfaction to identify the racist in our midst.

But we should be troubled by both dispositionalizing tendencies. To focus our unmitigated anger on Imus is to miss the situation — not so much the situation that Imus himself would point us toward, but the situation that we ourselves are all inhaling and exhaling.

If Imus really wants to learn the lessons of this whole event, he needs to begin by understanding that his own unexamined judgment regarding who “deserves” to be laughed at or punished is likely to be terribly wrong — and that the truth is not measured by the extent to which large audiences laugh along or protest. He needs to understand that the damage is done regardless of his own perceived “intent.”

If he feels unfairly judged for having unfairly judged, he should understand that he is simply the brunt of practice that is far larger than those two events. If he believes that his comments were wrong and hurtful, as he now insists they were, then he must also understand that whether or not there was “malice,” he has a moral obligation to recognize that “good people can be bad . . . and just as bad as bad people.”

And so do we.


24 Responses to “Hoyas, Hos, & Gangstas”

  1. Allen said

    This was a great article.

  2. rosewood1942 said

    Well cited and articulated posting. Nice work! Reading this was walking by a lilac bush vs new york city garbage bags.

  3. Brilliantly written. Wish I’d said that!


  4. Tim said

    I’m completely blown away.

    As I sat in an airport, waiting for my flight to leave, I hit this article as a way to blow off some time (great title, by the way). Instead, I’ll be sitting in my seat, doing quite a bit of self-examination, considering the cross-racial friendships and relationships that I’ve had through my life. I strongly suspect this is exactly the kind of reaction you were trying to evoke, and you succeeded. – Tim

  5. […] I’ll add to this later, I was up too late last night Really good article on the whole Imus fiasco. […]

  6. Frito said

    I can accept that Imus doesn’t believe he is racist, but ‘nappy-headed hos’ had to come from somewhere.”

    It did. It came from the movie School Daze. They mentioned Spike Lee and were referencing the Jigaboos vs. The Wannabes and the song “Straight & Nappy”.

  7. mwoodsh said

    i think it is also important to point out the gender differences in both situations. as a country, we are a lot more comfortable accepting insults toward the black man as apposed to the black woman.

    just to add to the list of stereotypes…

  8. Jess said

    Great article. I really enjoyed the read. Take care.

  9. thebethy said

    Hey. Enjoyed the article, and linked you from my blog. Thanks for writing, you gave us lots to think about.

  10. Doug S. said

    Everyone’s a little bit racist!

  11. […] my reading of The Situationist; they keep pumping it out at a good rate. I have not even yet read this fabulous looking post. So to back up a bit for now, check out the post called “Too Many to […]

  12. Matt said

    Together now, jump on the band-wagon. Attack Imus because he said something wrong. What about the self proclaimed ‘civil rights leaders’ that aren’t so civil? Where’s the band-wagon now?

  13. John said

    The article raised a question for me: Suppose, for the sake of argument, that part of what Imus means when he says he was speaking in the context of comedy is that his words were not meant to be truthful. Suppose further (probably counterfactually)that the “comedic” nature of the comment was intended to lie in the fact so well articulated by your article – that the collective unconscious is ready to label successful black women with such ugly terms, but to articulate it is to raise it into absurdity by bringing it into the light of day, and making us put the ugly epithet side by side with the actual women for whom it is such a grotesquely inappropriate description.

    Now, my question is – if we can suppose all of that, should the situationist welcome such a joke for bringing dark parts of the situation to light? Or renounce such a joke as doing mroe harm than good because the saying off the label reinforces its power?

    It seems to me that an answer has to depend upon a view about the role of consciousness in the psychology of prejudice (and I have no grounds on which to defend any). But I’m very curious to read what you, McCann and Hanson, think about this.


  14. Justus said

    I think they are missing an important point. Specifically, where do the terms “nappy-headed” and “ho’s” originate. It certainly is not from general use in the white community. Nor is it typically used by people typified as racist. They would simply call them rough looking nigger sluts. I know that from actually associating with enough of them in rural and large midwest and southern cities. In my practice, I work with people all over the midwest, southeast and on Long Island. Yes, I do find it offensive to black people. Do you consider being called a fat honkie bastard offensive enough to take a man’s livelihood? I don’t.

    The term originates from the hip-hop music of today. It is considered appropriate by many in the black community for some reason or other. I really can’t say why.

    I honestly think Imus was trying to be “hip” with today’s culture.

    A rap group, Nappy Roots, is an indicator. The language in most rap songs is characteristic of today’s society.

    As Michelle Malkin wrote in an article, ‘The Culture of “Bitches, Hos, and Niggas”’, she quotes the lyrics of several of todays rap songs:

    The No. 1 rap track is by a new sensation who goes by the name of “Mims.” The “song” is “This Is Why I’m Hot.” It has topped the charts for the last 15 weeks. Here’s a taste of the lyrics that young men and women are cranking up in their cars:

    This is why I’m hot
    Catch me on the block
    Every other day
    Another bitch another drop
    16 bars, 24 pop
    44 songs, nigga gimme what you got . . .
    . . . We into big spinners
    See my pimping never dragged
    Find me wit’ different women that you niggas never had
    For those who say they know me know I’m focused on ma cream
    Player you come between you’d better focus on the beam
    I keep it so mean the way you see me lean
    And when I say I’m hot my nigga dis is what I mean

    Let’s move down the Billboard list, shall we? The No. 2 rap track in the nation this week is by rappers Bow Wow and R. Kelly (yes, the same R. Kelly who was indicted five years ago on a raft of child-porn charges and is still awaiting trial). The “song” is called “I’m a Flirt,” and it’s been on the charts for 12 weeks:

    Ima b pimpin
    I don’t be slippin
    When it come down to these hos
    I don’t love em
    We don’t cuff em
    Man that’s just the way it goes
    I pull up in the Phantom
    All the ladies think handsome
    Jewelry shining, I stay stuntin’
    That’s why these niggas can’t stand em
    Ima chick mag-a-net
    And anything fine I’m bag-gin it
    And if she got a man, I don’t care
    10 toes and I wanna be, cause I gotta have it
    The final line:

    Now the moral of the story is cuff yo chick, ’cause hey,
    I’m black, fresh, and I rap, plus I’m rich, and I’m a flirt.

    Al Sharpton, I am sure, is ready to call a press conference with the National Organization for Women to jointly protest this garbage and the radio stations and big pimpin’ music companies behind it.

    Sadly, that’s a point I don’t think they will ever see. They only see things as a reason to berate another white man.

    Don Imus, who I do not agree with most of the time is an entertainer. He always has insulted almost everyone – even George Bush, John Kerry, Bill Clinton and Al Gore. But, especially hillbilly’s. His radio show had millions of listeners and was very profitable for MSNBC and CBS. Don Jo_____ (name disguised), a Democrat Party activist and union organizer friend at a local bar was even complaining about the show being cancelled as he always watched it in the early mornings rather than CNN or FOX. Myself and others know that watching FOX is a pariah for him as he hates anything that is balanced in any manner.

    Regardless, it is interesting to watch the double standard.

    If Sharpton had said something about a Mississippi white boy it would have been different. In my opinion, Imus’ biggest mistake was going on Sharpton’s radio show in the first place. The man does a lot of good for children with cancer. Yes, even black children. (Imagine that!) Now, thanks to the honorable reverend Sharpton, that may be minimized. It is a bad thing that happened, yet one that shows the power of the liberal media and the now apparent power of the reverend Sharpton. I cannot capitalize reverend in connection with his name because it isn’t deserved.

    Do you ever wonder how many deaths the reverend Sharpton is responsible for? He really likes being in the headlines. Look at the facts of his career: (I shold attribute this information to someone but honestly, I forget who originally wrote it.)

    1987: Sharpton spreads the incendiary Tawana Brawley hoax, insisting heatedly that a 15-year-old black girl was abducted, raped, and smeared with feces by a group of white men. He singles out Steve Pagones, a young prosecutor. Pagones is wholly innocent — the crime never occurred — but Sharpton taunts him: “If we’re lying, sue us, so we can . . . prove you did it.” Pagones does sue, and eventually wins a $345,000 verdict for defamation. To this day, Sharpton refuses to recant his unspeakable slander or to apologize for his role in the odious affair.

    1991: A Hasidic Jewish driver in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights section accidentally kills Gavin Cato, a 7-year-old black child, and antisemitic riots erupt. Sharpton races to pour gasoline on the fire. At Gavin’s funeral he rails against the “diamond merchants” — code for Jews — with “the blood of innocent babies” on their hands. He mobilizes hundreds of demonstrators to march through the Jewish neighborhood, chanting, “No justice, no peace.” A rabbinical student, Yankel Rosenbaum, is surrounded by a mob shouting “Kill the Jews!” and stabbed to death.

    1995: When the United House of Prayer, a large black landlord in Harlem, raises the rent on Freddy’s Fashion Mart, Freddy’s white Jewish owner is forced to raise the rent on his subtenant, a black-owned music store. A landlord-tenant dispute ensues; Sharpton uses it to incite racial hatred. “We will not stand by,” he warns malignantly, “and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.” Sharpton’s National Action Network sets up picket lines; customers going into Freddy’s are spat on and cursed as “traitors” and “Uncle Toms.” Some protesters shout, “Burn down the Jew store!” and simulate striking a match. “We’re going to see that this cracker suffers,” says Sharpton’s colleague Morris Powell. On Dec. 8, one of the protesters bursts into Freddy’s, shoots four employees point-blank, then sets the store on fire. Seven employees die in the inferno.

    And sadly it goes on even today.

    If Sharpton were a white skinhead, he would be a political leper, spurned everywhere but the fringe. But far from being spurned, he is shown much deference. Democrats embrace him. Politicians court him. And journalists report on his comings and goings while politely sidestepping his career as a hatemongering racial hustler.

    So, professor think what you may. The facts seem to point that you are simply led, like Bill Clinton and most of the media and professors, by the way the current political wind blows. They lick their finger and stick it in the air. Frankly they are being simple and do not actually think the subject matter through the fog. I would honestly hate to have one of them represent me in court. Maybe, because my lawyers have usually been Democrats that explains my lack of successful outcomes in the legal matters that have attacked me? In some instances they simply did not want to offend their neighbor while representing me on an opposing side. I’m beginning to think so. As all small town attorneys seem to be involved in politics, they need to assure votes and campaign money for those they support.

    But, it gets votes as most people do not bother to educate themselves with the facts.

    “If it looks good, it must be great.” That is apparently the mantra of today’s politically correct crowd that needs to be published. They are really in a bad situation. It is impossible for them to be published and write something as I did above – it simply is not politically correct. But, they can criticize today’s humanity or society and draw praise to themselves. Perhaps Toby Keith said it best: “It’s All About Me,” the difference is they don’t really care if it is the truth but instead they care about the appearance to others who may judge them.

    Honestly this has made me think. It is apparent that my attorney, and his staff, did not vigorously represent me because he did not want to offend his neighbor nor his neighbor’s politically powerful father in his own county. Nor did he want to spend the time representing me in a case against a bank whose Directors make large political contributions. Frankly, this fat, southern white boy is getting tired of the favoritism shown by the media and other so-presumed authority figures to people such as the much-enamored rev. Sharpton, not to mention the local perspective. I really don’t think I’m alone.

  15. Justus said

    To further clarify the last part of the post, I should have known better than to hire an attorney who counts as a close friend, James Carville. Even if he and I have spent hours working closely together on other cases.

    And, I even do his tax return!

  16. Chris B said

    I have notice that Hip hop producers recently stated that they use phrases such as “ho’s” and that it is acceptible because it is based on observation.

    There is a difference between observation and exploitation.

    there is a difference between freedom of speech and exploitation.

    there no freedom in exploitation and no clear sight in exploitation.

    As George Clinton wants said free your mind and your ass will follow.

  17. […] less recent post “Hoyas, Hos, & Gangstas” has received a good deal of praise and discussion. Hanson and McCann address some recent racial […]

  18. Robin Gill said

    I’ve only just seen this. Very interesting, as usual, but it seems to me that you haven’t followed your thesis through to its logical conclusion. Accepting the idea that “good people can be bad . . . and just as bad as bad people” isn’t difficult. And, let’s be honest, it doesn’t require research to be backed up – anyone who observes human behaviour even tangentially is forced to that conclusion in pretty short order.

    But what follows? If “good people can be bad . . . and just as bad as bad people”, then it follows that such ‘outrages’ are going to occur with a probability equal to 1. In which case, they are no more outrages than catching a cold is an outrage. I accept Imus’ statement that he’s not a racist as true – I see no reason, despite this article, to believe otherwise. Less condemnation and more resilience on the part of the outraged is what’s required. Life is harsh and people say silly things. Deal with it.

  19. […] history of the program, and the powerhouse is back. Perhaps as imortant, the Hoyas are changing the perception of college basketball and black […]

  20. […] Sources of Evil – Part IIThe Moon and Your EmotionsAbout The ProjectCrazy Little Thing Called LoveHoyas, Hos, & GangstasRed Sox […]

  21. […] To read a related Situationist post, see “Hoyas, Hos, & Gangstas.” […]

  22. Winston said

    If bringing up the subject of “nappy hair” makes you feel uncomfortable, shocked, pained… in whatever context, it’s because YOU TOO consider it to be unattractive and subsequently a sore subject. If I privately thought those girls in the red outfits were coyote ugly by dint of some atypical racial physical features, I’d form an angry mob and call for Imus’s head. But even if I didn’t find myself attracted to them for those reasons, I don’t pay any attention to those aspects of a person, and judge people on a case by case basis, by the content of their character, so my natural inclination would have been to condemn Imus for childish name calling. Being traumatized by it reveals that YOU secretly believe it about yourself, or about someone else. If someone said to me, “hey dork!” my main concern would be that they were childish and personal… even though I am kinda dorky looking – but I don’t have beliefs about myself that make it a traumatizing concern.

  23. […] a post published in The Situationist in the aftermath of the Don Imus firing last year, authors Jon Hanson and Michael McCann mused, …the stereotypes that we purport to abhor when […]

  24. […] Hoyas, Hos, & Gangstas (by Jon Hanson & Michael McCann) […]

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