Over the past week NYC deejay and radio personality DJ Cipha Sounds has been thrown through the ringer pretty well for a comment he made on-air, that honestly was one of the silliest and most ignorant jokes I've heard in awhile. Cipha subsequently apologized, but that wouldn't be enough as community leaders and activists alike are calling for his termination while Cipha remains under suspension from his job at Hot 97.
There are a few things I wanna say about this story. First off, hell yes, Cipha was completely wrong and outta bounds with what he said, but yo, this is the first transgression he's ever been guilty of (that I know of) in his long DJing and radio career. He was quick to apologize for his mis-deed and no matter what you think of that apology, the fact that he went ahead and did it promptly and admitted that what he said was moronic says a lot to me. I mean, lets not forget how long it took Don Imus to really understand the scope of what he said as being wrong.
Another thing that sort of rubs me wrong about this story is the fact that when it comes to brash, racial humor there doesn't seem to be a double standard in America. Cipha Sounds; a Puerto Rican from New York City blurts out a poorly executed, lowbrow joke about Haitian women on the radio and he's the devil and needs to be fired. Chelsea Handler; a middle aged white woman from New Jersey wafts her brand of senseless, tasteless, and racially tinged "humor" out to TV audiences every night and is revered as the next great late night act and given a huge contract. The woman actually uses a little person of Latino descent as a Sambo-like prop on her show and yet, I've never heard or seen anyone wave a finger in her direction. Chelsea Handler isn't the only other personality out there currently pressing the limits of racial humor and she won't be the last, but for some reason or another she's never lampooned for her statements.
I charge most of the outrage with Cipha and his comments as having to do with the devastating earthquake the island of Haiti suffered and their current continued suffering as a result of a deadly Cholera outbreak. I mean, what he said probably seemed to a lot of people like kicking Haitians while they're down. It seemed that way to me...and even though there is a small sliver of truth in his morbidly dumb statement (Haiti does have really high HIV rates) to somehow suggest that he doesn't have HIV solely because he doesn't mess with Haitian females (as if they all are infected) smacks of racist sentiment and really makes me question his thought process.
I think maybe Cipha himself needs to go ahead and examine why he might of said something like that and then maybe make some concessions to the local Haitian community. That's it really. To me, what he's done and said barely rates in the realm of racist cantor that is still permitted on the airwaves daily. See Rush Limbaugh. It was wrong, but he has a chance to rectify it immediately and he should do that. As for everyone else that is up in arms and just soooo outraged by this, take a closer look at some of the people and programs that spew the same ugly sentiments regularly...sheeeit, look at the corporations that back them to do so while your at it. Cipha Sounds is just a decent guy that said something really stupid once, not your villain.
-BIG D O