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Jan 26th
Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako In the NEVERLAND of Free Speech . . .
In the NEVERLAND of Free Speech . . . PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Thursday, 12 April 2007 07:43

Editor's Note: The welcomes Jesse Jose of Seattle, Washington, and his column. Mr. Jose writes also for several Filipino-American publications, some of which print his column. Eventually we will negotiate with Mr. Jose to write some articles exclusively for this online publication. Mr. Jose's opinion and views do not necessarily reflect those of the editors, webmaster and staff of the But we will defend his right to Free Speech (pun intended).

A Cup o' Kapeng Barako

By Jesse Jose

So, what in God’s name is a “nappy-headed hos”?  First time I’ve heard it. 

It’s a racial slur, some people said. 


Puh-lease.  What does it mean?  How did it become a slur?  In what lingo?


According to news accounts, Don Imus, a syndicated national radio talk host of WFAN-AM in New York City, owned by CBS, uttered those words to describe members of the mostly-black Rutgers University women's basketball team, the day after the team played but lost the NCAA women’s basketball championship game against Tennessee.

Imus’ show is broadcast to millions of people on more than 70 stations and on MSNBC and CBS television networks.

Imus was talking about the game on his show with producer Bernard McGuirk, and it went like this:

“That’s some rough girls from Rutgers,” Imus said.  “Man, they got tattoos….”

“Some hardcore hos,” said McGuirk.

“That’s some nappy-headed hos there, I am going to tell you that,” Imus then intoned.

Now, maybe I am naïve, but why are those words that were exchanged between Imus and McGuirk offensive and interpreted as racial slurs?

The Rev. Al Sharpton, a Black civil-rights activist and a radio pundit himself, said they were. “Somewhere we must draw the line in what is tolerable in mainstream media,” he said.  “We cannot keep going through offending us and then apologizing and then acting like it never happened . . . we’ve got to stop this.”

Stop what?  Free speech?

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, another Black civil-rights activist and leader of the RainbowPUSH Coalition, said, “If he has to use that platform to insult and degrade then we have the moral obligation to picket NBC and to protest."

Protest what?  Free speech?

“If he can violate us in that platform in the name of free speech,” Jackson added, “we’ll be picketing NBC in the name of free speech.”

Long live free speech then.  In America, free speech in any form can never be curtailed.  So I say, march on, Reverend.

Meanwhile, in IRAQ, a “democracy” on the march, according to Mr. Bush, there are some free-and-fiery speeches going on, too.

This one came from an enigmatic Iraqi leader, who has emerged from the chaos of the war there: Muqtada al-Sadr.  He’s a Muslim cleric and commands an enormous following among Iraq’s majority Shiites and has close allies in the Shiite-dominated American PUPPET government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

He said: “You, the Iraqi Army and police forces, don’t walk alongside the OCCUPIERS, because they are your archenemy.  God has ordered you to be patient in front of your enemy, and unify your efforts against them – NOT against the sons of Iraq.  You have to protect and build Iraq.”

If I may practice, too, my right to FREE SPEECH, I’d like to say: Hey, I like this guy.  He’s got chutzpah.  Yeah, but that doesn’t mean I sympathize with the enemies of my adopted country.  Nor am I an unpatriotic sonamagun.  I love America.  I’ve laid my life for America as one of its warriors, and I’ll do it again and again to defend this nation’s way of life and all its freedoms, especially its most cherished freedom . . . to FREE SPEECH.

Last week, when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Senator and president wannabe John McCain about the nightmarish situation in Iraq, McCain said: “You know, that’s where you ought to catch up on things, Wolf.  General Petraeus goes out there almost everyday in an unarmed Humvee.” 

McCain added that Americans can now walk safely in “many parts” of Baghdad.

Blitzer then asked CNN’s Baghdad correspondent, Michael Ware, a hook-nosed, beleaguered, but tough-looking journalist, the same question.

“To suggest that there’s any neighborhood in this city where an American can walk freely is beyond ludicrous,’ said Ware.  “I don’t know what part of NEVERLAND Senator McCain is talking about . . .”

In the NEVERLAND of free speech, probably.

McCain also boasted that when he recently visited Baghdad with other GOP politicians, they drove from the airport to a central Baghdad marketplace, mingled with shoppers and haggled over the price of rugs, without any incident . . . or getting blown up by suicide bombers.

But what Mr. McCain didn’t tell us was that while there in that marketplace, they all wore heavy body armor and heavily-armed American soldiers in their armored Humvees encircled the marketplace.

Also, American snipers nearby closely watched the crowd from concealed, strategic places.  And U.S. helicopters hovered above.

And, how long did they stay in that marketplace?  Exactly ONE HOUR, if y’all care to know.  Yes, exactly one hour, no more, no less . . . In the NEVERLAND of free speech.   

That day, four American soldiers on their EXTENDED tour of combat duty were killed in Baghdad.  Another four, the following day.  Over the weekend, ten: Bringing to 3,280 and COUNTING the number of our soldiers who have died there . . . In that NEVERLAND of free speech. 

And if y’all wish to also call me a “nappy-head hos,” fine with me.  This is America, the NEVERLAND of free speech.   # # #

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 November 2007 15:14

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