Controversial title, huh? I don't know Don Imus, and I've never listened to his radio show, ever. I have seen him on tv as I walked by a store or something, so I do know what he looks like. I would assume that, based on his appearance, he is not a follower of the Prophet Muhammad. Anyone who saw me would in all likelihood assume that I am not, either. Therefore, I (and these other imagined observers) are racists, as they are harboring a preconceived feeling or opinion, either favorable or unfavorable, based on my race, or what they assume to be my race based on my physical appearance. So we can all agree that we are virtually all racists on some level.
Now Mr. Imus, by his own admission, took his biases and stereotyping too far in his attempt to make his audience laugh, which is the sole stated purpose of his talk show. His remarks were offensive by any measure. Yet even if he truly believes what he said and stereotypes African-American female basketball players, based on their hairstyles, as sexually promiscuous, does that impair his ability to do his job, which is making people laugh as they listen to the radio? It does not. Nor does it promote prejudicial hatred at any level. Should he refrain from making these types of remarks on his radio show in the future, even if he truly believes them? Yes, he should refrain, because it will offend and alienate many of his listeners.
But holding certain personal beliefs should not exclude one from their right to doing a job. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson often call for people to lose the source of their economic livelihood as a result of comments expressed publicly by the offending individuals, even when these comments in no way impair the individuals from effectively performing their jobs, and even in the face of these individuals' expressions of regret and profuse public apologies, far more public and far-reaching than the offending remarks were in the first place. Mistakes are made by people in every walk of life every day of their lives, including Mrs. Sharpton and Jackson; this does not mean that punishment should always and only be in the form of depriving them of their right to their chosen vocations. If these remarks had been made by someone whose job was somehow, even remotely, related to their ability to perform their jobs effectively if and only if their decisions and resulting actions were completely unbiased by their views of different races, then they should no longer be able to hold that position. But a talk show host? I hesitate to admit this, but in my experience/exposure to these frequent and public imbroglios, the ones who consistently come out looking and acting more racially-motivated than any other party are the aforementioned Sharpton and Jackson.
"He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8:7)