Jemele Hill, the controversial ESPN host who got in trouble for calling President Trump a “white supremacist” last year, is back in the news for her opinions on the president — and not surprisingly, they’re particularly barbed.
Hill, you may recall, disgraced herself in front of the country with her rants on anthem-kneelers — including getting suspended from her job for remarks she made on her Twitter account supporting the boycott of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. In spite of the suspension, she’s back at it again, this time over the president’s first State of the Union speech.
In an appearance on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show Sunday morning, Hill called Trump’s reference to standing for the national anthem in his speech a sort of “racial pornography” designed to appeal to his base.
Sharpton had asked her what she thought about the line in the State of the Union, which he said “came out of nowhere.”
Her response is likely to get a whole lot of people angry at her yet again:
“I wasn’t surprised, and I think this is going to be probably a constant thing for the president, because it’s a very easy dog whistle, it’s low-hanging fruit,” Hill said.
“It’s what I like to call racial pornography, because it’s a way to stoke his base. Look, in a weird way, I think it’s kind of weirdly brilliant because he has been able to hijack the entire conversation and to make this about patriotism.”
That last line is rather telling, since, apparently, none of this had to do with patriotism in Hill’s mind before Trump said those words. That says a great deal about just where her argument is coming from.
To dismiss the whole objection to anthem-kneeling as racist or white supremacist misses what the anger was all about. For fans, especially those who are or who have close relatives serving in the military or as first responders, this was a massive slap in the face.
It was an even bigger one to be branded a racist for it. Now, they’re being accused of consuming “racial pornography” by Hill, who obviously thinks she knows better than them what the argument is about.
Of course, Sharpton was one of the hosts who stood up for Hill after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Hill’s 2017 comments “outrageous” and said they constituted a “fireable offense.”
“The thing that is dangerous about this that I think that people are missing, which is what many of us in the civil rights community are saying, is that if ESPN does this (fire Hill), they’re going to face the wrath of a lot us,” Sharpton said last September.
Hill, for her part, has left ESPN’s flagship show, “SportsCenter,” for a position with the network owned Afrocentric blog The Undefeated.
Hill has said the decision to leave for the website — which, according to the Washington Free Beacon, “explores the intersection of race, sports and culture” — was “100 percent” hers.
As for Sharpton, when Hill actually was suspended for her comments about Jones on her social media account, there wasn’t too much of a display of “wrath” from the Rev. or any of his minions
Funny how that works.
Please like and share on Facebook and Twitter with your thoughts on Hill’s comments.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.