A few days ago, ESPN’s Jemele Hill called Donald Trump a white supremacist.
The backlash was immense and has dominated a good amount of both the sports media and national media narrative. Instead of forcing you to search for her comments, I’ll just lay a few of them out right here in front so we all know where we stand. (You should go and read the entire thread from that conversation, but here are some of the more potent tweets that landed her in hot water.)
Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
The height of white privilege is being able to ✌ ignore✌ his white supremacy, because it's of no threat to you. Well, it's a threat to me.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
He has surrounded himself with white supremacists -- no they are not "alt right" -- and you want me to believe he isn't a white supremacist?— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
No the media doesn't make it a threat. It IS a threat. He has empowered white supremacists (see: Charlottesville).— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 12, 2017
He is unqualified and unfit to be president. He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 12, 2017
The tweets went viral.
Various right wing news outlets and talking heads called for her firing. Donald Trump chimed in, finding time in his busy, busy schedule of firing off tweets about North Korea, terrorist attacks in London and “The Wall” to defecate out a tweet condemning ESPN, saying they — like most of the other news media, apparently — are failing.
The White House then commented on the matter, saying that Hill’s comments were a fireable offense — which may be the scariest takeaway from this whole thing. Think about it: The White House clamored for a private company to fire an employee over a political opinion. That way leads to totalitarianism, my friends.
ESPN reportedly sent her home after a contentious meeting on Wednesday, but couldn’t find a replacement for her when co-host Michael Smith refused to go on the air without her.
From The Washington Post:
According to ThinkProgress, which Thursday cited “two sources familiar with the situation,” the sports network “reached out to two other black ESPN hosts,” Michael Eaves and Elle Duncan, to take Hill’s place that evening. They declined, and Smith reportedly also refused to do the show without Hill.
Somehow, Jemele Hill finds herself smack dab in the middle of a racial maelstrom that has been ravaging our country since its inception. But, now, it is churning more violently out of control than ever. Donald Trump’s rise to power — borne on the wings of racially-charged, vitriolic rhetoric coupled with a promise to restore young, disenfranchised white men to power — has been like throwing accelerant on a fire that never really stopped burning.
Recently, TMZ tracked down Kevin Durant and asked him what he thought about the whole mess. Durant, unsurprisingly, stood behind Hill. Why would he waver? He’s already made it clear he would not visit the White House if invited, and has said quite literally he “doesn’t f—k with” Trump.
"I'm behind Jemele. I support her. That’s what it’s all about. She’s standing up for what she believes in. I’m with it." - Kevin Durant
Well, it might be pretty obvious, but we support Jemele Hill as well. You can’t lie if you’re not wrong, and Jemele was not wrong about Donald Trump.
Donald Trump is an embarrassment to our great nation. He has, as Hill said, “surrounded himself with white supremacists.” He has had a HUGE hand in encouraging the violence and discord we see sweeping our country, most recently in Charlottesville, where thousands of neo-Nazis and white supremacists took to the streets, chanting his name as if it were their literal battle cry.
A young woman died that day.
Sure, Trump wasn’t behind the wheel of that death car, but he was the one pumping the tank full of gas.
Trump is a danger to our country, to our stability, to our future, to our youth, and to every single person of color, no matter their race or place of origin.
He stands for violence. He stands for intolerance. We see black people being murdered in the streets by the very people who have sworn to protect them. We see anger, filth, and racially driven discriminatory laws being dragged across the White House steps. There is a travel ban. There is gerrymandering.
This is not a f*cking joke. This is real. Our great nation is tearing itself apart, and the only thing Trump is presiding over is its quickening destruction.
I, for one, stand alongside Jemele Hill, and stand up with every single other person who has a conscience and who wants to see equality in this country.
I stand with everyone who wants to see peace. Who can’t stand the thought of Nazis in the White House, or white supremacists openly marching in our streets, calling out Trump’s name while he does nothing to hinder them. I stand with everyone who feels like we’ve made a critical error that will take decades to unravel, if ever we can climb out of this hole.
Our history as Americans is littered with missteps and violent deeds. Let us not stand idly by while we add another chapter to the sad volume of our uncaring past.
Now go ahead and tell me to stick to sports. I dare you.