(April 9, 2007 – New York, NY) Last week, Shock-jockey Don Imus, of Imus in the Morning, made offbeat comments about the Rutgers University female basketball team during a broadcast of his radio show, which also happens to be broadcast on television by MSNBC. In the segment, Imus was reviewing a clip of the Rutgers/Tennessee women’s basketball final when he made racial comments about the student athletes on the Rutgers team, calling the mostly African-American team, which has eight black and two white players, “nappy-headed hos.”
Since the show aired, Imus has come under steep criticism by viewers across the country and by religious and civil rights leaders. One of the outspoken critics was Dr. Deforest B. Soaries, Senior Pastor at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, a congregation attended by the head coach of the Rutgers women’s basketball team and by several of the team’s athletes.
In addition to being a spiritual leader, Pastor Soaries is a community development advocate closely associated with Federation-member Renaissance Community Development Credit Union in Somerset, NJ. Pastor Soaries, who is responsible for developing the “D-Free” debt management program for members of his congregation and his community, will be a keynote speaker at the Federation’s upcoming 33rd Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved, June 6-9, 2007 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He will be headlining the opening session of the 7th Faith-based Credit Union Conference at New Orleans’ St. Louis Cathedral on June 7.
For more information or to register for the 33rd Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved, click here.
In a televised apology, Imus acknowledged and thanked both Pastor Soaries and the Reverend Al Sharpton for speaking with him, despite the fact that both have called for his resignation. Imus’ apology can be viewed on You Tube by visiting: http://youtube.com/watch?v=tTkdgalPpSg
Since the incident last week, MSNBC and CBS Radio have temporarily suspended Imus. Despite this action, many critics are still not satisfied and continue to call for his ouster.
© 2007 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.