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PBS’s Gwen Ifill speaks out on Imus.

Ifill, whom Don Imus once called a “cleaning lady cover[ing] the White House,” writes in the New York Times:

Every time a young black girl shyly approaches me for an autograph or writes or calls or stops me on the street to ask how she can become a journalist, I feel an enormous responsibility. It’s more than simply being a role model. I know I have to be a voice for them as well.

So here’s what this voice has to say for people who cannot grasp the notion of picking on people their own size: This country will only flourish once we consistently learn to applaud and encourage the young people who have to work harder just to achieve balance on the unequal playing field.

Let’s see if we can manage to build them up and reward them, rather than opting for the cheapest, easiest, most despicable shots.

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UPDATE: Al Roker: “It’s time for [Imus] to go.