By : Thadd Will
In all my 26 years on this earth I never would have expected a simple quote to be justified in such an indifferent light in mainstream culture; however, the old adage of “If you have nothing nice to say, do not say anything at all”, rings the alarm glaringly in the White House’s state of mind towards Jemele Hill’s tweets regarding the current president of the United States. Hill, an anchor for ESPN’s “SC6” program, called the president “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself with other white supremacists” in a lengthy Twitter diatribe September 11, 2017.
After doing my research of the tweets, I saw nothing wrong with what Hill stated about the so called president. Unfortunately, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee, in particular, called out ESPN to fire Hill for her tweets saying it is one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make. The ESPN PR team got wind of Hill and Huckabee’s comments and released a statement explaining that Hill’s personal views do not represent the company’s stance on the president.
Now by Wednesday evening, it was unsure if Hill would make an appearance on her show co-hosting with Michael Smith, but she took her usual place on set and did the entire show, discussing various sport topics as if it was another day in the neighborhood. A few hours later, Hill posted a message on Twitter to, as she put it, “address the elephant in the room,” She said, “My comments on Twitter expressed my personal beliefs. My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light. My respect for the company and my colleagues remains unconditional.”
Hill joins an extensive list of black women who have received backlash for speaking out against position of power. The role of white supremacy versus black women dates back to slavery times as early as the 1700s when white owners of plantations used their position of authority to rape black women because of inferiority and lack of consequences. The black woman’s voice was not protected then and over the years has never been shown the same respect as any black, white or foreign man has. Hill did receive minimal support for her statements as her co-host Michael Smith refused to do the show without her and several athletes tweeting that they support her comments directed to number 45. However, no one decided to kneel for Hill or take real action like they did for Colin Kaepernick as it showed how women are considered bottom of the barrel beings by all races including our own lacking the plethora of allies. As a result, white supremacy is able to overwhelmingly dominate because of their unity, no matter how disgustingly wrong they are about the issues. I want to thank Jemele Hill for using her platform to express her views on the issues at hand. Hill’s comments were not announced on television but on a platform where far barbarous things have been said about incompetent number 45. In my eyes, the White House felt offended because they knew in their hearts there’s validity in her statements.
Huckabee requesting Hill to be fired only proves Hill’s point of white supremacy using their power for their own doing and shunning the fundamental principles of freedom of speech. Number 45 used his freedom of speech to tell Billy Bush that you can grab women by the pussy and do anything you want with them. That sounds, smells and honks supremacy seasonless bullshit, but who am I to justify comments like that.
It also showed me a correlation between the system that is the White House and the organization called the National Football League who is blackballing Colin Kaepernick out of a career. Kaepernick used his platform to take a stance against the flag of the country by kneeling down on one knee during the national anthem before Week 3’s preseason game in 2016 versus the Green Bay Packers. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL media in an exclusive interview after the game. As the season ended, Kaepernick’s voice as an activist got bigger and his stardom as a football player faded away like a cold wash denim jeans in a high heat dryer.
Both Kaepernick and Hill used their platforms to express their freedom of speech. They did not put anyone in harm’s way but themselves and their family surrounding them. The elephant in the room is that they’re both African American and have followers that listen to their opinions on critical issues in the world. Hill’s rise to co-host “SC6” with Michael Smith granted her a voice to express her views, not only on Sports, but pop culture issues with television and film references daily. All in all, the hypocrisy towards Hill’s comments were completely judgemental and out of bounds. Number 45 has said plenty of outlandish things on his personal twitter account that have not receive this much backlash and it is disheartening. Hill is not the only one to speak out against number 45’s antics. For example, during the Miss America pageant, Miss Texas attacked the current president’s comments about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and got praised for her comments. I wonder why? Y’all know why!
In the most recent events of this storm for Jemele Hill, on October 9th, Monday afternoon the network suspended commentator Hill for two weeks for a series of tweets she made Sunday night calling for an advertiser boycott of the Cowboys following Dallas owner and GM Jerry Jones saying his players will stand for the national anthem and not disrespect the flag, and if they do, the player or players will not play. “If you strongly reject what Jerry Jones said, the key is his advertisers,” Hill tweeted at 10:50 p.m. ET Sunday. “Don’t place the burden squarely on the players,” responding to a tweet from a Twitter follower that listed some Cowboys’ sponsors, Hill tweeted, “This play always work. Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers.”
The day after Hill was suspended, she wrote “I love you @michaelsmith for being my biggest supporter, a great friend, terrific husband & father. I truly don’t deserve you. See you soon,” on Twitter at 3:25pm. Hill followed up that tweet with a picture of Michael at his “SC6” desk with the words “MVP” above the photo. However that same morning of the 10th, Number 45 wrote “With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have “tanked,” in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!,” on Twitter at 6:42am. There again, Number 45 shows his white supremacy privilege to name drop Hill’s actions when he has problems that he’s yet to address in his political world. Hill’s suspension is scheduled to end October 23. I believe her tenure as an employee at ESPN is down to months instead of years. It is obvious that ESPN is placing a ceiling for not only Hill but the rest of their employees on what personal views they can express even if it’s on their personal social media accounts.
The inevitable is out there on how Hill will continue expressing her personal views on social issues. Until change happens, the grind will not stop, voices will be heard and stances will be taken. Thank you, Jemele Hill, for using your platform to speak out on these issues. I hope that she continues using her voice for the betterment of black people and all people of color. I have your back, as do many others.