Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Strong African American Women (SAAW) Power

April 13, 2007 by  
Filed under Weekly Columns

(Akiit.com) Radio Shock Jock Don Imus’ statements about the Rutgers University Women’s Basketball team have been widely condemned. His subsequent apology and remorse has been and will continue to be debated. You would like to think that someone with his bully pulpit would be smart enough to realize that words can be both hurtful and harmful. Words and symbolism are and will continue to be an important part of our American discourse. He was irresponsible and wrong.

As with everything in America, there will be political fallout from his comments. First, it will be interesting to see if the mainstream media does not get lost in the hoopla surrounding the disgusting and vile remarks of Imus, and ignore once again this significant shift in the American Politic and mindset.

Second, all of the political candidates, political pundits, and political insiders who are lined up to appear on his show now face a problem of choice on whether to appear as a guest. It will be interesting to see how many people will line up to be guests on his show when he returns from the two week suspension handed down by CBS and MSNBC. Another question yet to be answered: Will he have a Show when he comes back?

Lastly, do not forget the context in which all of this is happening. There are hotly contested Presidential primary races in both parties, and specifically, the timing of the presidential primaries for the Democratic Party has turned up the heat. This is of major importance for all Strong African American Women, who have traditionally voted for the Democratic Party in large numbers.

With the South Carolina primary scheduled for January 29, 2008, and the creation of what the media is calling, “Super Duper Tuesday” on February 5, 2008 (which will involve at least 23 states holding their Democratic presidential primaries) this two week period could prove to be a pivotal moment in this campaign. More than half of these states have a significant African American population, and the influence of SAAW voters will be significant. The importance and influence of who will be the next Democratic presidential nominee will rest in the hands of SAAW’s.

In closing, Imus’ remarks are eerily reminiscent of other remarks shared about SAAWs, which focus primarily on physical attributes and implied illicit sexual behavior. It appears that SAAWs are not to be commended for their political savvy, business acumen, journalistic skill as SAAW Gwen Ifill discovered, nor their athletic ability, which the talented Rutgers players displayed as they earned a berth in the Women’s Final Four. The time to disregard or ignore their influence and contributions in our country is over.

Note to all of the Democratic Presidential Candidates: If you want the support of Strong African American Women, it is not enough to “talk about it, you have to be about it”.

By Leroy Jones, Jr.

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