Despite the firing of Don Imus, corporate media continue to attempt to divert attention from long-established institutional sexism, in order to depict Black youth culture as the vector of the disease. The American reality is one of pervasive celebration of violence, in general, and violence against women, in particular - a white cultural invention. Black rappers, who are owned and controlled by white corporations, did not create this culture of violence and misogyny, but are made the scapegoats for a much deeper national social crisis - a landscape in which "The Godfather" and "Goodfellas" are revered as "classic" films.

The notion that Don Imus was somehow inspired by African American culture to casually refer to Black female athletes as "nappy-headed hoes" amounts to an inversion of history. White racism and male chauvinism shaped the image of Black females - and males. For centuries, this culture countenanced mass rape of Black women and emasculation of Black men. Unfortunately, this culture has also influenced the thinking and behavior of some segments of Black America - an internalization of self-hatred. But make no mistake about the root cause of the pathology: a horrific history of dehumanization of African Americans of both sexes.

Perhaps our individual motivations are totally benign. But perhaps if those who unconsciously subscribe to class-based colorism realize the origins of their preference for the light-skinned was based on wealth and not race, their idea that "black=poor" will fall flat because it should be obvious that people from dark-skinned races, regardless of economic situation, are dark-skinned. And therefore, using skin color as a gauge of economic status is not as relevant for subSaharan Africans and aboriginal Australians as it is for North Africans and Asians.

The Rome District Attorney had brought the case to trial based on the claim of the supposed victim, but was soundly undone by witnesses who said the girl had admitted the sex between she and Dixon had been consensual. Apparently she feared that her father, a virulent racist, would kill both Dixon and herself if he learned that she had willingly slept with a black guy. So she changed her story, but not before undercutting her own credibility, and not before re-enacting one of the longest-standing Southern traditions on record: that of a white female falsely claiming to have been raped by a black man in order to save face with daddy. It's a tradition that speaks to the way sexism and racism have long interacted: white men in this case, maintaining their own domination of white women by rigidly circumscribing the sexual freedom of the latter in explicitly racial terms, thereby hoping to keep blacks in line as well as their own daughters, wives and sisters.

What Blair and the Imus-said-bad-things-but crowd are about is evading the central problem: institutionalized racism and the political economy of the Black community – or rather, the place of people of color in the political economy of the countries involved. It is as if we are being asked to accept that hundreds of years of slavery, colonialism, discrimination and racist violence have produced no legacy. The fact, is if you go into the center of most major British or U.S. cities, you find half or nearly half of the young Black men don't have a means of earning a living. Add to that a dearth of affordable housing, restricted access to healthcare and vastly inadequate schools and it can hardly be surprising that there is anti-social and unacceptable behavior.

Just because Whites have been hearing some Rap and Hip Hop artists using the terms 'ho' and 'nigga', making statements about their 'ghetto' disposition when relating to each other, this does not mean that Whites should use such terms to or about Africans, including in jest. I never met one White person who was unclear about this. But because Imus, a White icon, crossed the line and had to pay (temporarily, as Whites are already supporting him), Whites are suddenly pretending that they do not understand the difference. Whites should know that because of racism, Africans have been experimenting with different ways to create enclaves for themselves. Rap was born out of this.

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