Harjo: Imus has a record of insulting Natives
"I was going to give the Imus story a pass until the Pew Research Center reported that 62 percent of white Americans think it's been covered too much. By contrast, Pew's weekly News Interest Index found that 44 percent of African-American respondents said the amount of coverage was right and 18 percent said there was too little coverage.

Imus has a public record of having insulted many peoples, including Americans Indians, from a position of white privilege and perceived superiority.

I remember Imus using disparaging terms for Native people; claiming Navajo men prefer men and sheep to Navajo women; questioning Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell's Indianness; alleging that Taos Pueblo's legal rights are bogus; and characterizing tribal casinos as illegitimate.

I wrote and called him about these things and asked others to contact him, too. His anti-Indian chatter tapered off and, after the Mohegan Sun Casino entered into a business arrangement with Imus, I never heard the Imus crew make any other crude remarks about Native peoples.

The Mohegan Sun was not among the advertising heavy-hitters that expressed their disapproval of the Imus slurs by withdrawing sponsorship from the program. American Express, Sprint Nextel and the others that pulled their business are to be congratulated, along with African-American journalists and leaders, for pressuring the networks to cancel ''Imus in the Morning.''

''One thing is for certain: This is about a lot more than Imus,'' said CBS President/CEO Les Moonves in an April 12 statement on Imus' firing."

Get the Story:
Suzan Shown Harjo: Why the Imus story still matters (Indian Country Today 4/27)

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