The Redemption of Don Imus

Until Don Imus made disparaging and racist remarks about the Rutger’s University’s women’s basketball team, I knew nothing of the man or his radio/television show. Now his show has been dumped in part because the public deemed it so, but more likely because key advertisers threatened to drop out and the big corporations had to consider their financial situation. But that’s a cynical post for another day.

After making two pans of brownies (by the way, if you ever want to diet, bake all of the time so you know how much sugar and butter go into baked goods), I was scrubbing away at our few pots and pans that aren’t packed in boxes. I began thinking about ways for Imus to find redemption in the midst of this scandal. Apologizing is a good first step, but there has to be something that works for the long term.

I don’t know Don Imus or his show all that well, but here’s what I’m thinking. Imus’s gift is his voice. He used it to make veritable bushels of greenbacks for himself and for the big corporations. On occasion Imus held fundraisers on his show, and he poured a lot of money into his ranch for children.

Now, no matter how awful Imus’s remarks were, I think we all want him to come out of this changed and singing a different tune. I hope no one wants him to be ruined. So my thoughts for his redemption go along this line: use his voice, or radio show, for nothing but nonprofits, charities, and other social causes.

There are thousands of nonprofit organizations working for equity in housing, providing healthcare and other basic human services, tutoring, counseling, teaching, and building better communities. These groups are always in need of ways to get their messages out, and what better way than a radio show dedicated to such groups?

Wouldn’t it be amazing if Don Imus started over with this new show, and on the first episode he interviewed a group working for racial equality? And the best part is he could still have his fair share of controversy, the people who run nonprofits are typically advocates for a cause and they are usually not very shy.

It’s a pipe dream at best and a stupid musing on a Friday morning at worse, but if anything, I wanted to illustrate a possible scenario with repentance and redemption. I think it could really work in the long haul for Imus, but what do I know? I’m just a blogger with two trays of brownies and a bunch of clean pots and pans in the kitchen.

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