Where are Sharpton and Jackson?
Rape Jokes About Condoleezza Rice as Offensive as Insults against Rutgers Basketball Team
For Release: May 12, 2007
Contact: David Almasi at 202/543-4110 x11
In light of popular radio hosts joking on-air about violently raping Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the black leadership network Project 21 is asking: Where are Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson?
Both Sharpton and Jackson protested when the now-fired Don Imus called the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos," but have issued no comparable condemnations regarding jokes about raping the Secretary of State.
On May 9, XM satellite radio hosts Greg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia laughed and gave encouragement to a guest, "Homeless Charlie," on their May 9 program who said he wanted to have sex with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Cumia added, "I just imagine the horror in Condoleezza Rice's face... as you were just like holding her down..." and having sex with her and punching her. Homeless Charlie later said he wanted to have sex with Laura Bush and called Queen Elizabeth a "horse-faced bitch."
The May 12 Washington Times reports that both Sharpton and Jackson refused repeated media requests for comments about the matter yesterday.
"The shock here is not in the comments of Opie and Anthony or their guest, but in the silence from black leaders and groups that pretend to be about equality and tolerance," said Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli. "Being a successful black conservative such as Condoleezza Rice apparently automatically disqualifies her from the support of the vocal civil rights leaders."
XM spokesman Nathaniel Brown told the Associated Press the company "deplore[d]" the comments made on the "Opie and Anthony Show" but did not say if there would be any disciplinary action. On May 11, Hughes and Cumia apologized for the segment, saying: "We apologize to the public officials for comments that we made on our XM show on May 9th. We take very seriously the responsibility that comes with our creative freedom and regret any offence that that this segment has caused."
The pair was fired by CBS Radio in August of 2002 and CBS Radio was later fined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for sponsoring a contest in which a couple reportedly had sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. Satellite radio has no federal content restrictions.
"However vilely they acted, I respect free speech and am not calling for Opie and Anthony to be fired. I do take issue with the fact that the mainstream media has failed to show much interest in people making jokes about raping the Secretary of State," said Project 21 member Bob Parks. "Remember the racist depictions of Condoleezza Rice in cartoons from the Boston Globe's Thomas Oliphant and the New York Times's Jeff Danziger that didn't seem to create the slightest chirp from Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson? These two have positioned themselves as the civilian version of the FCC, and the media lap it up. Why the silence now over the Queen, Laura Bush and Condoleezza Rice?"
Project 21's Borelli added: "Will Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson eventually scream racism over Opie and Anthony's misbehavior and for boycotts of XM Satellite Radio or call for them to be fired? Or will the dynamic duo impersonate 'The Invisible Man' and disappear from this scene to once again illustrate their selective moral outrage?"
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or Project21@nationalcenter.org, or visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.
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