Dear 100 Hour Board,
Is the word "nappy" considered derogatory? If so, feel free not to post this. However, I find that word to be the only racial bit that Don Imus got in trouble for. If it's not derogatory, then he was simply referring to their being black, which isn't racist to me. What he called the Rutgers team was certainly not appropriate, but was it really racist?
Oh, yes, nappy is derogatory. When he called them a bunch of "nappy-headed hos" it was definitely offensive. (I believe the "nappy-headed" part was his way of insulting them for their [black] hairdos.) In fact, I looked it up, and the OED has this definition: "U.S. slang (freq. derogatory.). Of hair, esp. that of a black person: frizzy."
It seems to me that the entire insult was racially motivated, even if parts of it aren't specifically talking about African-Americans. Was it wrong to say? Absolutely. Is it getting blown out of proportion? I think so. See Board Question #35405 and the link Optimus Prime included.
If it's any comfort to you, Google doesn't say anything about it being derogatory, and before this question I had no idea of its racial and offensive meanings (I always thought it meant something like... knotty).