17 Aug 2007 Dutch Martin Speaks Out on Lawsuit Against Don Imus
Project 21 member Darryn “Dutch” Martin made the following statement with regard to the lawsuit for slander and defamation of character filed by Rutgers women’s basketball team member Kia Vaughn again Don Imus, former Imus co-host Bernard McGuirk, CBS Corporation and CBS Radio:
“As a race, blacks endured hundreds of years of slavery and then legalized segregation, brutal racism and other forms of discrimination well into the 20th century. We emerged from this hardship a stronger and better people. Now, after all that we’ve been through, a few unkind words from one largely irrelevant white man is causing so many of us to fall to pieces and this one person in particular to be so devastated that she has to sue for damages? This is the kind of knee-jerk victim mentality that makes us, now more than four decades past the civil rights era, look pathetic.”
Martin adds: “This shows that too many people are still fixated on race, and I’m looking beyond Don Imus. If Ms. Vaughn and other aggrieved black women really wanted to strike a blow against the use of words like ‘ho,’ ‘bitch’ and ‘trick,’ they would be suing Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z and other thug rappers and the record companies that have been proliferating and profiting off this kind of language for years. Don Imus was merely doing a poor job of parroting their words.”
On April 4, Imus called the team members “nappy-headed hos” during his nationally syndicated show. He was fired eight days later.
The lawsuit does not request a specific dollar amount. Vaugh’s attorney, Richard Ancowitz, says, “The full effect of the damage remains to be seen.” The suit was filed hours after Imus and CBS came to a $20 million settlement on the remainder of his contract. Ancowitz says the timing of the suit is a “complete coincidence.”
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21’s website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.