When's a lawsuit not a lawsuit?

When it's suing the wrong entity.

Hey Joe: What do you think about Kia Vaughn suing Imus for his "nappy-headed ho" comment? I've been called much worse.

Rosie O'Donnell, New York, New York

I think there's a book in this answer, though I wouldn't be interested in writing it. I love the philosophy of George Washington Carver when he said, "If I know the answer, you can have it for the price of a postage stamp. The Lord charges nothing for knowledge and I will charge you the same." Therefore, if I can pass on information to the public for free, I am satisfied with that. Anyway, Vaughn — being at this institute of supposed "higher learning" — has a great idea in suing Imus.

At this point, however, Rutgers — like every other black or white college — hasn't reached the stage of higher learning. Like the rest, Rutgers is just a step above high school. And neither institution has deemed it mandatory to teach students about the great continent of Africa nor the great deeds that blacks have contributed to America. History has recorded that upon entry to the United States, blacks were reduced to a nationality of amorals, and accumulated such names as "slave," "Negro," "colored" and "black." Oddly, the latter was preferred by blacks as a source of pride, though when whites used the word it meant anything but. Then, with the passage of the 14th Amendment, blacks became American citizens. The title "African American" would eventually become the standard identity for blacks, but it failed to rectify the dehumanization of them.

With history to back it up, a member of this group could be addressed as an "African-American Negro-Colored Black." Nothing could be more slanderous. This is where Vaughn currently stands.

However, even with her college background, it's clear to me that she isn't familiar with the Constitution and, in all probability, neither is her lawyer. This is why I said earlier that she had a great idea: Had she been taught about blacks' history at the high school and college levels, the lawsuit would've been filed against the Constitution and would have named Imus as an accessory. The Constitution has slandered blacks in every manner and gave people like him the same privilege.

I recently watched Oprah Winfrey's show related to the whole Imus debate. There was a collection of black dignitaries at the studio and Gayle King was at Atlanta's Spelman College with a group of black female alumnae. Don Imus was forgotten. The subject focused on black rappers calling black women "hos." I knew then that most of the people in both places didn't know the Constitution. Rappers were granted freedom of speech. Oprah and her bunch should attack the Constitution.

When black rappers fight among themselves, whites classify it as black-on-black crime. The Constitution is a document containing white-on-black crime and needs democratizing. If I recall correctly, Don Imus has been awarded a $20 million lawsuit settlement. While the court system clogs prisons with blacks, it serves as a haven for white millionaires. I doubt if Vaughn's lawsuit will get to first base.



Prince Joe Henry, one of professional baseball's original "clowns," was an all-star infielder for Negro League baseball teams in Memphis, Indianapolis and Detroit throughout the 1950s. But up until the late 1940s, Prince Joe didn?t know anything about the Negro Leagues. His knowledge of organized baseball was limited to the Cardinals and Browns games he attended during his preteen years at Sportsman?s Park, accompanied by lifelong buddy Eugene "Gene" Crittendon, who could pass for white. Perhaps Henry?s most vivid memory of those games: Upon entry, white ushers would politely escort the boys to a small section of the left-field stands reserved for "Colored." After climbing past several tiers of bleachers, they?d arrive at their stop, rows and rows behind their white counterparts. Even at a young age, the boys were conscious of the double standard -- and determined to vent their disdain. The opportunity would arise with the urge to urinate. Rather than head for the latrine, the boys would edge their way to the front of the section and let fly. As the liquid foamed its way down the concrete steps toward the white kids, Henry and his pal would ease back and relax, politely rooting for the visiting team to beat the hell out of the Browns or the Cards. After all, Henry and Crittendon hailed from Brooklyn, Illinois, a small, predominantly black township just east of the Mississippi River. So hospitable were the residents of Brooklyn that they were known to take in a rank stranger, treat him to breakfast, lunch, supper and a night out on the town -- and afterward, if he messed up, treat him to a good ass-whippin'. Direct questions on any and all topics to heyjoe@riverfronttimes.com. If we don't like yours, we'll hit Joe with our own.

 
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