Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Uncle Toms, Duke, Jalen Rose, and Grant Hill

The New York Times, today, released an Op-Ed wherein which current NBA player and former Duke star Grant Hill responds to the comments made by Jalen Rose on ESPN's "Fab Five" documentary. During which, Rose made the claim that Duke only recruited "uncle Tom's" and had no interest in the likes of he or other black players from urban, violent, impoverished neighborhoods. Rose went on to express the resentment, which at that time boiled close to a vitriolic level, toward Hill, and black athletes like Hill who were from less humble beginnings. Today, the Times published a piece where Hill feels the need to defend black success stories, in particular his own, and others from the Duke program. The piece can be found here. Grant Hill is either completely aloof or deliberately abstruse regarding Jalen Rose's comments. His Op-Ed was a rebuttal toward a comment that was never made or implied. On top of that, I find it extremely misfortunate that many on the blogosphere, Twitter, and the comment section of that very piece are lauding Hill for his writing ability, vernacular, and "class". It is without question that Hill deliberately wrote the piece in such a manner as to disparage Rose, selecting only from the lexicon of academia, while passive aggressively patronizing the members of the Fab Five.
Not once in the documentary, though, did Rose disparage Hill for actually being from a warm and supportive family, rather, he expressed a bitterness and a resentfulness toward it. He was spiteful and jealous. One could certainly see how a youth from an at-risk area such as Jalen Rose could harbor such feelings. For Hill to dismiss these thoughts shows a real ignorance on his behalf. Rose has nothing to apologize for, unfortunately, the word police, the thought police, and the race cowards will continue to applaud Grant Hill. But, at what end? Further dismissing the realities of millions of minority adolescence in low-income areas with broken families and dysfunctional homes? I certainly hope not, as this will only further the gap between "black elites" and "urban blacks" at a time when unity amongst all blacks is especially key.

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