ABC News’ Jennifer Parker Reports: Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., the chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee, told ABC News’ Sam Donaldson that the firing of Imus was "long overdue."
Rep. Rangel, an African American who represents Harlem in New York City, said "He’s been doing it for too long … I hope it goes far beyond him and that other people who are on the airwaves are disciplined in some economic fashion."
Rangel made his comments in an exclusive interview on Donaldson’s ‘Politics Live’ program which airs on the digital channel ABC News Now.
Imus has been fired from both CBS and NBC, after calling the Rutgers women’s basketball team "nappy-headed hos" on the air.
Rangel said he assumed that CBS was persuaded to fire Imus by advertising sponsors.
"I have to give a lot of credit to the sponsors who didn’t want to be associated with the arrogance and the insulting behavior that he has displayed," said Rangel.
"This is one of the best way to deal with bigots and racists in making certain that you don’t buy the products that support this type of behavior."
When asked by Donaldson about rappers who often use slurs to describe African American women, and comedians who use the "n" word on stage, Rangel said, "We have to make certain that no group of people find themselves without the power to strike back when people are just insensitive to their religions, their colors or whatever their creed."