IT AMAZES ME the level of brainwashing my people have suffered. And to the Uncle Toms out there trying to make excuses for the racist comments of Don Imus, please explore your history.

Stop comparing this incident to the lyrics of hip-hop. Did hip-hop open the door for slavery? Did it open the door for the four little girls blown apart in Alabama? Did it open the door for the thousands of black people lynched in this country?

For the Tuskegee experiments? For the execution of Martin Luther King? For the disgraceful treatment of the people in New Orleans?

No - bias, racism and a 400- year superiority complex did. Please stop reaching for reasons to defend this racist. Racism is a disease that this country may never recover from.

Can you excuse rappers for what they say? No, but as usual you're brainwashed into shooting the messenger instead of the true culprit. Just like drug dealers don't go to jail (drug sellers do), the owners/sponsors of the record companies, press, websites, magazines and radio stations get a free ride when it comes to hip-hop.

I'm a producer and I hear many, many uplifting songs by young artists but they know that if they do uplifting songs, they won't get a deal or get played on the radio.

We don't control the airwaves. They pay for the videos, they choose who gets signed, they choose who gets played on the radio, they choose who gets the writeups in the newspapers, they choose who gets the awards, they choose who broadcasts and they choose who gets shown on the news. We don't.

Do they have the right to criticize us after we criticize our selves? No! If you starve a child, do you have the right to laugh at him and call him skinny?

No, because you are the cause the problem. Can a white person call our queens "nappy headed ho's" because a few rappers do? No, because he is a part of the climate of bias and racism that contributed to the low self-esteem and self-hatred felt by many of our young people.

Jay T. Austin III, Philadelphia