Archive for Sunday, September 17, 2017

Opinion: What did Jemele Hill get wrong?

September 17, 2017


Let’s consider the evidence.

He was sued for systematically refusing to rent to African Americans and settled out of court.

He demanded the death penalty for five black and Hispanic kids charged in the notorious Central Park jogger rape case — and refuses to recant to this day, though the young men were long ago exonerated and set free.

He had a disdain for African Americans so pronounced that, according to an employee at one of his casinos, supervisors would remove black workers from the floor and ensconce them in a back room whenever he came through.

He was once quoted as saying of a black accountant: “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”

He retweeted racist and anti-Semitic insults from Nazi sympathizers, called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and said a judge was unfit to preside over a case because of his Mexican heritage.

He led the inane “birther” movement that claimed President Obama was born in Kenya.

He suggested moral equivalence between white supremacists and those who oppose them.

He is embraced by bigots, who recognize him as one of their own. Said former Klan leader David Duke, “We are determined to take our country back. ... That’s what we believe in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump ...”

So what, pray tell, did Jemele Hill get wrong? Last week, the co-host of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” issued tweets calling the so-called president, among other things, “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”

You’d have thought she advocated kindergarten classes in Satanism from the speed with which ESPN disavowed her for what it called “inappropriate” tweets. Hill would eventually apologize for putting the company in such an awkward position. But ESPN’s response was mild compared with the White House’s rebuke. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders pronounced Hill’s tweets “a fireable offense.”

Really? Well, if Hill deserves firing for calling Trump a white supremacist, then what does he get for actually being one?

But we already know the answer, don’t we? Donald John Trump is a man whose cognitive and moral deficits would, in a sane country, render him unfit to clean toilets at a reasonably respectable strip club. But he became president. And as Ta-Nehisi Coates argues in the new issue of The Atlantic, he was elected largely because of his racism — not despite it — having run on an implicit promise to restore white primacy after eight years of the black interloper Obama.

And here, someone will protest that she voted for Trump, but doesn’t consider herself a white supremacist. Yet that hypothetical voter and 63 million others did vote — knowingly — for white supremacy even if they disavow the ideology for themselves. So what’s the material difference?

There is none. That’s a bitter truth some of us would prefer not to face, indicting as it does cherished myths about ourselves and our country and how we overcame.

For the record, the only “fireable offense” here is Trump’s impersonation of a president. But make no mistake: Even if he is held accountable in 2020, it won’t fix, or even address, that frightened, primitive thing inside them that led so many to reach out to him in the first place.

So the fact of the matter is, Jemele Hill got nothing wrong. No, she’s in trouble because she did the opposite.

She told entirely too much truth.

— Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald.


Gary Stussie 6 months, 1 week ago

If you say it often enough it must be true!

Pitts is getting pretty stale! His broken record condemnation of President Trump is not thought provoking beyond the nagging question of why JLWorld would continue giving him a platform for this crap.

"He is embraced by bigots" ... When you have only 2 choices, every special interest group that votes has to support one of those two. Hillary was softer on crime and not very supportive of our police. Is it appropriate to suggest that "she is embraced by serial killers"?

Paul Beyer 6 months, 1 week ago

Definitions "There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See" This appears to apply to those who blindly support trump.

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

Gary is right, Pitts is getting stale. What is new or productive in this column? Nothing.

By all means, call out Trump if as president he does something wrong, but continually calling him a white supremacist is akin to those that continually called Obama a Muslim or a Kenyan.

Further, a president cannot control who supports him. Each and every president has had despicable and even evil people vote for them. Trump has denounced the KKK and other hate groups

Pitts and others like him need to focus on the president's current actions and quit dwelling on the past. We get it, Trump was not a class act, has skeletons in his wide open closet and is not my nor others first choice for a president, but president he is. So let's move forward and make the best of the situation that we can instead of working overtime to divide our nation.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 1 week ago

Evidence speaks for itself. Not only is he a racist, he is a bigot of the worse kind. Unless you're rich and beautiful or worship him without question, he will make fun of you, deride you, or lie about you. But go ahead and worship him. Are you going to vote for a Kardashian next? Maybe one of the duck guys.

Bob Smith 6 months, 1 week ago

Meanwhile, in Chicago, black men are murdering each other right, left, and center. Das Lennypitts doesn't seem to be bothered by that.

Ray Mizumura 6 months, 1 week ago

Wrong. And I doubt if you're really bothered by it, either. You just bring it up because you're unwilling to/incapable of refuting LP's argument.

Ray Mizumura 6 months, 1 week ago

Wrong for you, too. What I said regarding Bob is also true for you.

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

Bob and Justin, you're right. This is the problem with many on both sides today - faux indignation and concern.

Trump is a racist, a bigot, a sexist, blah,blah blah....okay we get it. You don't like Trump and he is imperfect, a bully, and has no filter. There I agree, but what purpose is there in constantly saying it. He is and will be president so why not focus your energy on something meaningful like ending the violence in major cities, ending the generational poverty and the dependence on drugs and government assistance that plague the families and especially the children who live in them.

Trump's recent joining with Pelosi shows he is open to working with Democrats so why not try it instead of constant personal attack?

It isn't worth anything if your party comes out on top if our country remains divided, angry and on the verge of civil war?

So I say, knock off the political rhetoric amd focus on fixing real problems.

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

Here is the problem with Pitts - he offers no solutions and is divisive because he constantly attacks].

Even in the column you cited he offers no solutions and attacks for no purpose.

"Lawmakers refuse to consider measures favored by the vast majority of us to keep guns away from those who should not have them. Yet we keep returning these paragons of moral idiocy to office. That includes Sen. Marco Rubio, who spoke at your funeral."

Why was it necessary to attack Rubio? He took the focus off on the issue and shifted to Rubio being an idiot.

Bob Summers 6 months, 1 week ago


Hill is the classic congenital Liberal. A fine specimen to observe behavioral attitudes of those under the influence.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 months, 1 week ago

Isn't it interesting that the Trump supporters have managed to change the topic from Trump's racism to Chicago's gang problems.

Could you try and defend your lord and master instead? Come on, give it a try.

Paul Beyer 6 months, 1 week ago

Defending trump with valid reasons is beyond their capabilities. Deflection is all they can do since they are incapable of an honest defense of his "actions".

Bob Summers 6 months, 1 week ago

Hill is Liberal code word "racist". Frankly, what Liberal is not?

Trump is not a pajama boy.

Trump is not a pajama boy. by SalBando

Bob Smith 6 months, 1 week ago

Jemele forgot that her employer may not want to be associated with whack-a-doodles right now.

Brock Masters 6 months, 1 week ago

Defend Trump the man? Nope can't do it. He is not a man of high character and principles, but he is our president and I can support some of what he has done and protest against other things he has done.

Between Trump and Clinton I chose Trump and do not regret it. Clinton was as lacking in character and principles as Trump and offered nothing for me. With Trump I expected and got a conservative justice, someone that would undo many of the Obama EOs and stand up to the world. So yes, I can't defend the man and didn't vote for him in the primary, but I am glad he is president and not Clinton.

My three top choices for the nomination in order of preference were Carson, Rand and Fiorina but none made the cut when it came time to vote.

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