How does a pimp count?

From the archives, when I was (more of) an OCD freak and taped every morning radio show to maintain my exhaustive song parody collection:

“How does a pimp count? Ho, ho, ho! Which reminds me – merry Christmas, from Mancow’s moooorning madhouse! On Rock 103.5, Chicago.”

I read an opinion piece in the WSJ today (yeah yeah I know… gotta stop doing that) with somebody with an unfortunate name* (on further research, a well-respected Rutgers professor) voicing their views about a recent media controversy after radio hack Don Imus** referred to the Rutgers womens’ basketball team as “nappy-headed hoes”, getting himself essentially perma-banned from the air (massive public outcry, a metric asston of advertisers bailing, then permanent cancellation of the Imus in the Morning show). It took specific offense to the “hoes” part, going on about how this meant “whores” (which was terrible-whorrible-no-good-very-bad), but that the pronunciation made it specifically racist, and segued from there into a lengthy psychoanalysis of (template <class T> ambient_generic maleRapArtist();) and his sad insecurity and lack of a father figure causing his preoccupation with Bitches ‘n Hos.

Waitaminnute… hoes?

I remember hearing about some race-related accusational controversy regarding the children’s book Nappy Hair a while back (guessing wildly: the author is probably not racist). But waitaminnit.


If that’s the deal, I’m not sure what the fuss is about. Hell, I use that term casually.

I’ve heard plenty of tasteless shit on the radio in my day, and while this certainly qualifies, equally foul shit (or arguably fouler) from other shock jocks has never generated this much of a reaction (unless there’s a nipple involved). For example, check out how KSFO in San Francisco feels about racist talk, hate speech and death threats. Mind you, this is a Disney-owned station (via ABC). In this case, when someone organized a boycott and encouraged advertisers to pull out, ABC/Disney’s response was to hit the organizer with a cease-and-desist, not censure the on-air personalities***.

I wonder if some of the folks involved in outcries like these**** have ever experienced true racist hate speech — like (NSFW!)this shit, pressed and sold in record stores as recently as the 1960s.

PS. The jury’s still out on whether the plural of Ho is Hos, Ho’s or Hoes. The Associated Press has standardized on “hos” as the preferred spelling; running a Googlefight also confirms it. I don’t like it, because the word’s pronunciation and spelling are then unnecessarily inconsistent. I guess with my preferred spelling, “The garden shed is full of hoes” is ambiguous. Then again, as soon as you go on the radio with it, all hell breaks loose either way (even if you’re not Don Imus) because the pronunciation is still ambiguous. For example, “garden hose” could refer either to something you wash your car with, or a job opening for a security guard at a brothel.

* “Lionel Tiger” (and bears, oh my).

** I didn’t care for the show. Although at 7:31am, my basic objection went along the lines of: *wake up* Agh, fuckin’ politics. Agh, fuckin’ country music….

*** perhaps the key difference is that they were saying “Allah is a whore” on-air, not “ho”.

**** a friend on LJ recently linked me to a thread on a Vegan recipes group, consisting essentially of 3 pages of racism allegations after someone mistakenly referred to Africa as a country. I replied with an amusing tale about my buddy GJM’s experiences at the DMV as a pasty white ‘African-American’, and mistakenly referred to Namibia as a city of South Africa :(


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