Who Is Kia Vaughn

By: Bob Parks

Today’s pop quiz question is… “Who is Kia Vaughn?” That’s an easy one, folks. So easy, I’m not giving out any prizes for the correct answer, so don’t even bother calling in. Everyone knows who Kia Vaughn is.

For you dunderheads out there, I’ll give you some lifelines.

Remember the whole Don Imus thing? He’s on the radio the day after the NCAA basketball tournament, calls the Rutgers women’s basketball team a bunch of “nappy headed hos”, apologized to Al Sharpton, apologized to the Rutgers women’s basketball team who accepted the apology, he lost his job at MSNBC, lost his job at CBS….

You know, Kia Vaughn?

Okay, time’s up. Kia Vaughn was one of the Rutgers women’s basketball team “nappy headed hos”!

Now why would I put it like that?

Well, on the same day Don Imus settles with CBS for his breach of contract dispute, Miss Kia Vaughn announced her slander and defamation of character lawsuit in state Supreme Court in the Bronx. And from what we hear, she’s the first and maybe not the last.

“The … false, defamatory, sexually denigrating and slanderous statements and comments against the women athletes of said basketball team were heard, believed and understood by millions of listeners … as factual pronouncements concerning the character, chastity and reputation of the plaintiff.”

Now what Imus said was stupid, especially on the radio where lots of people heard it, but did any of you who followed the story literally believe anyone on the Rutgers women’s basketball team was what Imus called them?

Well, in order to prove her case, Kia Vaughn’s going to have to show that we did.

The suit also claims that Vaughn was humiliated, embarrassed and publicly mocked for the comments. She told Oprah, “Our moment was stolen from us. Instead of us coming here to enjoy what we accomplished and how far we came, we had to sit back and look at media asking questions about what he said.”

While what Imus said was dumb, and it’s funny how we always have to keep on saying that, Kia Vaughn should have gotten herself an agent instead of a lawyer. Because of the route she’s now taking, Vaughn is coming perilously close to meeting the Snoop Dogg rap definition of “ho”….

On his use of the word Mr. Dogg told MTV, and I’ll translate, “We’re talking about women that are in the neighborhood who are not gainfully employed, and are latching onto men for support.”

Sorry about how all this looks, but if I called the Rutgers women’s basketball team a bunch of nappy-headed hos, nobody would be suing me because I don’t have a lot of money. Don Imus does and that’s what Miss Kia Vaughn’s lawsuit is all about.

Most of us had moved on. Personally, I had no idea of who Kia Vaughn was before Tuesday, August 14th. But now, when you hear her name and that of Don Imus, what words will be swimming through your heads and whose fault is that?

Bob Parks is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. (www.thenma.org). The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

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