April 17, 2007, - 4:18 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Yesterday, I gave my “Debbie’s Notes” summary of Oprah’s Don Imus Race-fest. Unfortunately, it was only Day One. Here’s the “Debbie’s Notes” from Day Two:
Oprah introduced Benjamin Chavis, head of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network. Except that isn’t his real name. It’s Benjamin Chavis Muhammad. Why did she skip the full name? Hmmm . . . . Then, we heard Chavis proclaim:
Don Imus’ awful comments. . . . Don Imus is a racist. Don Imus is a sexist.
It was hilarious to hear him utter that, along with the cheering of his friend Rap mogul Russell Simmons who hand-picked Chavis Muhammad to head up the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN).
In fact, Chavis Muhammad was fired as executive director of the NAACP, when he was caught trying to pay off a female NAACP employee with whom he was having a sexual relationship and had harassed. She threatened to sue. He illegally (and without NAACP knowledge) took NAACP funds to pay her off. When he got caught and was fired. He attacked–who else?–the JOOOOOOS. He converted to Islam, joined the Nation of Islam, and became Louis Farrakhan’s right-hand man. From there, he was hand-picked by Simmons to head his hip-hop group.
From my March 2004 Jerusalem Post column, “Hip-Hop Hypocrisy: Russell Simmons’ Def Sham“:
Simmons announced his “One Mind. One Vote” campaign on ABC Radio. His aim to register millions of young urban voters might seem laudable. But Simmons’s HSAN is headed by Farrakhan’s righthand man and has supported some frightening, anti-Semitic candidates.
The individuals include Benjamin Chavis Muhammad. The president and CEO of HSAN, Chavis Muhammad was organizer of Farrakhan’s 1995’s “Million Man March” and 2000’s “Million Family March.” In 1994, he was fired as executive director of the NAACP when he reportedly stole at least $64,000 to settle a sexual harassment suit.
He blamed his ouster on “right-wing Jews.” Rather than allow him to remain an anti-Semitic pariah, Simmons personally sought out and hired him. Chavis runs Simmons’s current hip-hop voter-registration drive.
So, again, Mr. Chavis Muhammad, who is the sexist and bigot? Hmmm . . . Sounds like you surpass Don Imus in that department.
Predictably, just like yesterday, when she had Weird Al Sharpton on, HOprah did NOT point any of this anti-Semitic history out.
Rapper “Common” blames Slavery for the “ho” and “bitch” comments in rap, not the rappers:
This started back 300 years ago when women were devalued and dehumanized through slavery.
HUH? When did slavery end? Just how many centuries does it take to change?
Hypocrite Russell Simmons starts yelling at the brilliant, courageous Jason Whitlock and then asks Oprah not to allow him to respond. Predictably, HOprah agrees, and doesn’t allow him to respond. Then, Simmons starts yelling again at Whitlock, telling him that rappers have done more for Black civil rights than any civil rights leader. I can hear Martin Luther King, Jr. turning over in his grave.
Rapper Common says that its no problem that rappers call women “hos” and “bitches” becuase, hey,
I tell my daughter I love her all the time. And, you know, women can’t be ministers or have full roles in a lot of churches.
HUH? How does that have anything to do with the price of tea in China?
Finally, New York Daily News columnist Stanley Crouch gets back to being a good guy and tells the hip hop industry creeps, including Simmons and Chavis Muhammad, that they are “clowns.” (He made all kinds of absurd comments yesterday, saying White people “are on an audio safari.”) Unfortunately, HOprah gives the hip-hoppers plenty of time to respond and yell at him, and doesn’t let him answer them. Predictable.
Tags: ABC Radio, Al Sharpton, Benjamin Chavis, Benjamin Chavis Muhammad, China, civil rights leader, columnist, director of the NAACP, Don Imus, Don Imus Race-fest, executive director, head, HSAN, Islam, Jason Whitlock, Jerusalem Post, Jr., Louis Farrakhan, Martin Luther King, New York Daily News, president and CEO, Rap, rapper, Russell Simmons, Stanley Crouch, USD