It sure does feel good to bask in the glow of the CBC/Fox News debate victory and now over Imus being dropped by MSNBC. These victories involved grassroots, ordinary people outrage that demanded a real response from leaders. Edwards, then Obama finally took action to push back on the hate and mis-information the Fox News Network spews — and refused to cooperate. Clinton had no choice but to follow their lead on that issue, but she did make a choice to take a public and clear stand on Imus and what he represents. He is an awful man who has said awful things about her.

I saw the sound bite this am and it’s one of the longest I’ve heard played on TV for her in awhile. She spoke from the heart in the way only she can and sounded really good. Proof of her impact was felt in the email that one co-worker sent around to all the women in my office and the “cool” guys from the Clinton campaign:

When our children are young, we teach them to dream big and reach for the stars, and that if they work hard enough they can accomplish anything.

This year the Rutgers women’s basketball team defied the odds and lived up to their dreams, providing inspiration to every little boy and girl beginning to pick up a ball or open a book. These remarkable young women reached the pinnacle of success and won the hearts of basketball fans everywhere with their grace, skill, and poise. They are role models deserving our praise — and our support.

Don Imus’s comments about them were nothing more than small-minded bigotry and coarse sexism. They showed a disregard for basic decency and were disrespectful and degrading to African Americans and women everywhere.
Please join me in sending the young women of Rutgers a message of respect and support. Show them that we are proud to stand with them and for them.
— Hillary

She gets it. And so do just about everyone I’ve talked to. Male, female, white, black, brown and so on. She gets it and gets how to distinguish herself on moral leadership and parental values.

This whole Imus thing has been fascinating to watch. Ultimately, it’s not about this one “nappyheaded ho” comment. It really isn’t. This is not a big deal. The CBC/Fox news controversy was a big deal and yet it received relatively little MSM coverage, especially on TV if you compare it to Imus. No, this is not really about Imus or the Rutgers basketball team. It’s about race and sex and class and what the boundaries are. It’s about how we treat other people in America. The Imus issue touched a nerve and became a litmus test around the water cooler, at the kitchen table, in the boardroom and in the halls of government.

It’s a purple issue — not red and not blue. People all over America, particularly women, put themselves in the shoes of the Rutgers women’s basketball team and in those of their parents. They asked themselves how they’d feel if one of those girls had been their friend or their daughter. More white people than ever know black people personally and professionally and can experience real sympathy for them. I wonder if 5 or 10 years ago whether or not this would have become a national social crisis in the same way.

Asking someone how they feel about what Imus said about those young women is asking someone how they feel about athletic achievement, about scholastic achievement, about the treatment of women as equals and not sex objects, about racism and about the emerging black middle and upper class. I’ve only heard one person in my earshot use the term “politically correct”. We’ve gotten past that to what type of language is considered radioactive. And the shrugging, squirrelly answers from McCain and Giuliani are likely to help them with a shrinking o. Bush’s response was stronger for Pete’s sake.

What spoke the loudest though were advertisers. Women buy 70% of everything there is to be bought in the U.S. And women don’t like overt racism and they don’t like Don Imus. So the advertisers, who are also more interested than ever in African-American dollars, are among the real heroes here.

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