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 NEW YORK (AP) - Don Imus said Tuesday morning on his radio show that he was trying to ``make a sarcastic point'' with his latest on-air remarks about race, but that they had been misunderstood.
Imus resurrected his radio career six months ago with a pledge to mend the wounds caused by a racist and sexist comment he made about a women's basketball team.
On Tuesday he said he was following the spirit of that promise by calling attention to the unfair treatment of blacks - in this case the arrests of suspended Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones.
``What people should be outraged about is that they arrest blacks for no reason,'' Imus said Tuesday. ``I mean, there's no reason to arrest this kid six times. Maybe he did something once, but everyone does something once.''
He called the flurry of criticism surrounding the comments ``ridiculous'' and said that his program's cast is now more diverse than ever - and includes a black producer and two black co-hosts, a man and a woman.
``How insane would I have to be? What would I be thinking?'' Imus wondered aloud.
The latest comments by Imus to come under scrutiny were aired on Monday's broadcast. During a conversation about Jones' run-ins with the law, Imus asked, ``What color is he?'' Sports announcer Warner Wolf said Jones - formerly known as Pacman - is ``African-American.'' Imus responded: ``There you go. Now we know.''
The on-air exchange came months after Imus' return to work on a new show on WABC-AM following his firing from MSNBC and CBS Radio for calling the Rutgers University women's basketball team ``nappy-headed hos.''
When he returned to work, Imus gave a lengthy on-air apology and pledged to use his new show to foster an open dialogue on race relations.
Co-host Karith Foster, who is black, came to Imus' defense during Tuesday's broadcast, saying, ``People who interpret what you said as racist clearly didn't hear the whole thing, and they don't know who you are and what the program is about - and they obviously haven't been listening.''
Jones told The Dallas Morning News in Tuesday editions that he's upset by Imus' comments and plans to pray for the radio host.
``I'm truly upset about the comments,'' Jones said. ``Obviously Mr. Imus has problems with African-Americans. I'm upset, and I hope the station he works for handles it accordingly. I will pray for him.''
WABC and Citadel Broadcasting Corp. Vice President Phil Boyce said Monday that it was unlikely the broadcasters would take disciplinary action against Imus.
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