From a longtime (black and conservative) reader:
Explanation: Imus made his ignorant comments on national radio, Wright made his in church to a private audience. Imus was just denigrating black women for fun there was no political or social motive or angle, just to slur black women or at least these black women. Wright was making a political comment, albeit a wrong and ugly one. Typically, religious and political speech are more protected than commercial speech. Try as you might but unless Wright went on the radio, TV or some other mass media medium and voiced racist white stereotypes, it isn’t the same, other than in the broad general context that both were wrong. But what are we 5 years old, we can and you do break these down into more adult terms when appropriate.
Me: I certainly agree there are differences between Wright and Imus, but not all of them are nearly so beneficial to Wright. Wright sold DVDs spouting his bile. Imus said something idiotic on the spur of the moment. Wright’s insults come from a thought-through worldview that comes from decades of reading, writing and speaking. Imus is a pompous shock-jock. Wright, to my knowledge, is completely unapologetic and unrepentant about his views. Imus went on a nationwide apology tour. These, too, are distinctions worth making.