NOW's Maretta Short
by Addie Stan from addiestan.blogspot.com, April 11, 2007
As the first
African-American president of the New Jersey chapter of the
National Organization of Women (NOW), Maretta J. Short has a
thing or two to say about Don Imus and his attack on the Rutgers
University women's basketball team. Here's Retta with Amy
Goodman on "Democracy Now":
AMY GOODMAN: Reverend Al Sharpton, joining us on the phone
from New York. He is going to be having Don Imus on his
radio program at 1:00 EST. Maretta Short, also with us,
president of the National Organization for Women, New Jersey.
Maretta Short, what is NOW calling for?
MARETTA SHORT: Well, thank you, Amy. Yes, well,
right now we're asking for people to go to our website and take
action by sending messages to the general manager, Chuck
Bortnick, of radio station WFAN, which produces Imus's show, and
to Karen Mateo, communications vice president of CBS Radio,
which owns WFAN, and to MSNBC television, which airs and
promotes the show. Imus's message is racist to the core,
is sexist to the core, and it’s totally unacceptable.
And our Web page is nownj.org, by the way. And on
Wednesday at 2:30, there is going to be a protest and rally at
Rutgers University at 350 Martin Luther King Boulevard. So
those who are asking, “What is Al doing about it? What is
NOW doing about it? What is NAACP doing about it?” you
have work to do. You are NOW, you are the NAACP, and it's
time for us to move on this. Imus's actions are totally
AMY GOODMAN: Maretta Short, you are in New Jersey.
Have you spoken to people at Rutgers?
MARETTA SHORT: Well, right now, I’m waiting for call
backs. I have put out calls as -- last night, and I’m
waiting for the calls to be returned. Right now, I’m
reaching out to some members of the Rutgers basketball team.
I have not spoken to any of them as of yet, but I certainly am
looking forward to it.
AMY GOODMAN: And has NOW met with General Electric, which owns
NBC, or NBC officials or MSNBC or WFAN or CBS, which owns FAN?
MARETTA SHORT: Yeah, that is a very good question, and I
want to get to that later. But I think that it's important
to say, about these apologies that Imus is supposed to make,
there's certain things you can't apologize for, Amy. You
can apologize for stepping on somebody's toe, bumping into them,
but you cannot apologize for the filth that has come out of his
mouth. I mean, I think it's utterly, utterly disgusting,
and it targets a certain audience that nobody's focusing on:
the white male beer-drinking eighteen to thirty-eighters.
What makes them feel it's OK to do that? So now, his show
is creating an audience that thinks that talking in that way and
insulting people and spewing out that hatred is acceptable.
It is totally unacceptable.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you both for
being with us. We'll certainly report on what happens
today, the latest developments, what Don Imus says on Reverend
Al Sharpton's radio show and what the plans of the corporate
networks are in dealing with Imus in the Morning.
MARIETTA SHORT: OK, well, Amy, thank you very much. And I
just want to say that this is coming to us on the thirty-fifth
year of the anniversary of the Title IX, when women have been
given the equal opportunities in education, including sports,
whereas years ago we just did not have that sort of thing.
And, by the way, it was introduced by a woman of color, Patsy
Mink of Hawaii, and I think that's a very important point to
bring out, as well.
AMY GOODMAN: Thank you very much.
REV. AL SHARPTON: I agree. And we certainly support the
rally at Rutgers, and we'll be doing rallies at CBS and NBC on
Friday and Saturday of this week. And we'll keep you
AMY GOODMAN: Thanks very much, Reverend Al Sharpton and Maretta
Short, the president of New Jersey NOW.