Don Imus Is Back! A Win For Free Speech? ~ Random Waves of Insight
Have Posts Sent To Your Inbox!
Enter your email address:

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Don Imus Is Back! A Win For Free Speech?

In October I posted about the issue of Fighting Racism vs. Preserving Free Speech, and I cited a couple of firings that occurred because of racist remarks. Don Imus had made a few of those, and lost his job because of it. Well, now he's back on the air. At 6 a.m. (EST) on Monday, you'll be able to hear him on WABC-AM.

What does this mean? Didn't he get fired for having racist ideas, and communicating those ideas? Isn't he still the same person? Couldn't he say racist things in the future?

Yes, he might. I for one don't think he will, given the consequences of his previous racial remarks. However, the fact that he is back says a few things about society.

People will tolerate (or be forced to tolerate) individuals known to have racist inclinations, if it will generate revenue. It's been made clear that the decision to rehire Imus is more based in business than anywhere else.

However, just because people are going for the money doesn't mean that that's all there is to it. If he truly was considered an evil man, it would probably be more difficult for him to get back on the air. A lot of people probably understand that older generations lived through times during which racism was rampant. Therefore, forgiveness isn't too difficult a consideration.

I agree that racist remarks are unkind, hurtful, and should be limited, but for the most part only at the individual level. I greatly value free speech, and sometimes it seems being politically correct means giving up your right to speak freely. Thankfully, the fact that Imus is back seems to communicate that free speech has won an important battle in an ongoing war.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.