Everybody Else Be Quiet: Dr. Bernice King defends Jemele Hill against ‘racist’ and ‘segregationist’ accusations
Article By J.T. Wyatt // EEW Magazine // Race Issues
Sports journalist Jemele Hill is being called a “racist” and “segregationist” after writing in The Atlantic that black athletes should refuse white universities in favor of Historically Black Colleges and Universities as a way of bridging the wealth gap.
Hill, 43, was told by an online critic that “MLK would be ashamed” of her, but the daughter of the iconic civil rights leader begs to differ.
“I do not view your essay as a call for segregation, but as a possible path to equity and justice; a way to ensure that HBCUs get the funding that many of them sorely need,” tweeted Dr. Bernice King, CEO of The King Center in Atlanta, Friday, Sep. 13.
Hill, a former ESPN anchor, said, despite backlash, she is “proud” of her very first article written for the publication’s October issue titled, “It's Time for Black Athletes to Leave White Colleges.”
In it, she argued that elite black athletes could “bring some welcome attention and money to beleaguered black colleges,” and also “disrupt the reign of an ‘amateur’ sports system that uses the labor of black folks to make white folks rich.”
While the editorial focuses specifically on analyzing the economic effect black athletic enrollment would have on black colleges’ bottom line—and nothing more—conservative outlets like Fox news accused her of attempting to “re-segregate” America, while Washington Times said Hill is “hating on Caucasians.”
Dr. King, 56, whose concise Twitter commentary cut to the heart of the matter, remarked, “Building Black institutions and businesses is a way to desegregate money and policies. That’s critical.”
And she’s right about that.
The crux of Hill’s argument is this: “Black athletes have attracted money and attention to the predominantly white universities that showcase them … Meanwhile, Black colleges are struggling.”
Hill’s in-depth research revealed that, in 2016-17 school year, Alabama’s athletic department generated $174 million. On the other hand, Prairie View A&M, the highest profit-yielding HBCU, brought in less than $18 million during the same time period.
You do the math.