Of Course Donald Trump is a White Supremacist.

Former ESPN talk show host Jemele Hill posted a series of Tweets calling President Trump a white supremacist who has surrounded himself with other white supremacists.

Lots of white Americans promptly and violently responded in a way that suggests she probably shouldn’t have stopped there:

‘Cause nothing says “we’re not white supremacists,” like a bunch of white people publicly bullying a woman of color for speaking out on white supremacy. That’s helpful and definitely not racist.

The White House joined in the caucasian outrage, with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declaring that Hill’s comments constituted a “fireable offense.” Maybe it’s me, but if calling the President a white supremacist is a fireable offense—then him actually being one sure as heck should be.

This is the heart of the hypocrisy on display here, and the reason Hill isn’t wrong, even if you disagree with her conclusions or her methods.

You don’t get to hire Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka, and Jeff Sessions—and simultaneously mount a high horse of righteous indignation at the suggestion that you’re probably a racist.

You don’t get to spend a lifetime exemplifying the absolute insulation from accountability that is white privilege—and get to play the victim card when a black woman brings it up.

You don’t get to call a violent horde of torch-wielding nazis in Charlottesville, “fine people,” and blame the deadly violence on “both sides”—and then act as if charges of supremacy are without merit.

You don’t get to call kneeling NFL black players “sons of bitches,” strong arm team owners into blacklisting them, and mandate their displays patriotism—and try to escape the reality that you’re a racist. 

You can’t be the Presidential candidate officially endorsed by the KKK, and then bristle when people of color question your commitment to equality—especially when nearly every Cabinet appointment bolsters such questions.

And if you’re supporting this man, you don’t suddenly get to tone police someone for their audacity or cry “hurtful language”. If you’ve continually defended the King of Crass who you’ve applauded for “speaking his mind” and for “telling it like it is.”—that criticism of Hill doesn’t ring true. It also seems a disconnect to ask for a sports talk show host to be fired on grounds of inciting racial discord—when you voted for a man who has done nothing but fan the flames of bigotry.

In the wake of a white (and White House) wave of outrage, Hill has since publicly apologized for her comments and ESPN has “accepted her apology,” which honestly both feel like confirmation that she was probably right and evidence that Donald Trump’s America is turning back the clock on any progress we’ve made toward racial equity.

For a sports network whose heralded “30 for 30” series often documents the way sports, politics, and civil rights offenses have overlapped—you’d expect it to be among Hill’s most fierce defenders. I guess they haven’t been paying attention to their own programming—or they’re going to wait 20 years and feature her in an episode where they laud her candor.

We can argue all we want about what is or isn’t appropriate for a sports talk show host to comment on or whether Hill’s Tweets were abrasive to some, but that’s a fruitless diversion; it’s just talking around what we should be talking about here. It’s disingenuous for supporters of this President to feign offense at Hill’s tone or her bluntness. If they really want to call out vile hatred, stereotyping, and bullying—they need to check his recent resume again. That white people are more incensed by her comments than by Trump’s body of work, is exactly why we have a problem here.

White supremacy isn’t a club you officially join; something that either is or isn’t true. It isn’t like eye color or blood type or nation of origin. Saying you believe someone’s outward actions reveal a prejudice or an irrational fear is an opinion. Everyone is allowed to say what they see in us. People evaluate the fruit in other’s lives and make evaluations. You can disagree with their conclusions but that doesn’t mean they’re lying or wrong. Racism, homophobia, bigotry, misogyny, anti-Semitism can’t be proven or disproven. If someone says they see that in us we should pay attention.

Jemele Hill is a woman of color speaking plainly about her experience of America and about what she sees. Rather than arguing with her experience, telling her why she doesn’t see what she sees, or trying to badger her into silence—more white Americans should just shut-up and listen.

Maybe we should sit with her observations and sift them for their truth despite what feels offensive. Perhaps we should refrain from responding with the kind of ferocity and vitriol that illustrate exactly what she and others have been saying.

Maybe instead of defending a President whose Administration has displayed the very essence of privilege, white people should be trying to hear someone brave enough to speak that clear truth to a corrupt power. And if Hill’s position as a talk show host represents to you, a dangerous bully pulpit wielded irresponsibly, you may want to examine what the White House represents.

Perhaps white Americans should stop enabling bigotry at the highest levels of government and stop trying to silence people of color who speak out, whenever their words hit to close to home or piss us off too much. Maybe that outrage is an alarm going off inside us, telling us something stinks here—and it’s probably not a sports talk show host’s Tweets. Maybe we sense there’s hard truth there that we’d rather not deal with. 

Not only that, but the white clergy of this country needs to condemn Donald Trump’s coddling of racists and supremacists instead of excusing it from the pulpit, instead of normalizing it and pretending Jesus is okay with it.

And a network like ESPN who understands and usually leverages and exploits the way that sports, politics, and civil rights intersect—should be using Hill’s comments to further dialogue on the racial fractures in this country, rather than simply shutting her down and pretending to get back to why LeBron James’ legs are getting too old to whether another full season.

Jemele Hill is right to speak and she shouldn’t have to apologize for seeing what she sees. If you feel she unfairly lumped you into a lazy stereotype that doesn’t apply to you—maybe you’ll understand how frustrating that is, and you’ll try to be more willing to see people as individuals and not caricatures you can accessorize as you wish. Maybe as a black woman, Jemele knows what that feels like better than you and I. 

She’s giving White Americans yet another chance to prove that the pain of people of color is worth more than our discomfort at the expression of such pain.

Let’s not drop the ball.

 

Get John’s book, ‘HOPE AND OTHER SUPERPOWERS’ here!

 

 

103 thoughts on “Of Course Donald Trump is a White Supremacist.

  1. Jemele and John either A) Don’t know the meaning of the word supremacist and have redefined it to bolster their political hatred of a president, which makes them unreliable, or B) Have unknowingly conflated supremacist with nationalist, which makes them uninformed, or C) Have willfully blended the two, which makes them untrustworthy.

    In any case, equating Trump and his hires with neo-Nazi and KKK fools is absurd and counterproductive—and is the essence of bigotry. If Ms. Hill violated her contract with ESPN with her tweets, she should be fired.

    Removing this slanderous and bigoted post would be the responsible thing to do, John. You should hold yourself to the same standard you hold the president, and dismount from your own high horse.

    • Looks like we found the triggered snowflake. Conservatism truly is a mental disorder. wants someone to be silenced and ban freedom of speech UNLESS it agrees with him politically. Trump supporters are SICK.

  2. I’ve drifted away from the media over the years, but even I could see that both sides came to this little party with weapons in hand. Who in their right mind actually thinks that white supremacists are making a comeback??? They’re irrelevant to anyone who has a life. Give them your attention if you want to, but this only spotlights some pointless need to feel superior to idiots; not what I would call much of a standard. When someone points out that we should all have the right to freedom of speech, right or wrong; why are you so indignant and reluctant to extend to them the same courtesy? Censoring and silencing the opposition with ad hominem attacks doesn’t win an argument.

    In this age of identity politics I find it interesting and a bit ironic that a man who chooses to identify as a woman must have his/her wishes respected while you are in no way required to extend the same courtesy to those who have never identified themselves as white supremacists or racists. Why the double standard? You get to call them as you see them, but if anyone else points out that she is a man, they’re a “hater”, a homophobe, bigot etc. When there are actually people out there who admit and are proud of the fact that they are white supremacists, I wonder why one wouldn’t go after them instead of those who have never made this claim. I also find it a bit disingenuous to suddenly find this fault when he becomes President. It’s blatant nonsense. I didn’t vote for the guy. I don’t like him anymore than anyone else does, but just because he’s a bit of an idiot, doesn’t make him a racist. Calling him one doesn’t make him one either. Prove it.

    The Klan is a magnificent joke. They’re relics from the past. They’ve become a parody of themselves, and yet no one sees the punchline here at all. Why? Because they hit just a bit too close to home for most people; too close for anyone to admit. Hypocrisy that is glaringly hilarious for those of us who are able to see that white supremacists are a joke, if they’re even real to begin with. One can’t help suspect they were paid actors who just stepped into the most recent episode of The Twilight Zone. .

    What we hate most in others is what we most assuredly choose to ignore in ourselves. What bothers us most in others is what we are most unwilling to address in our own lives. Pull the 2 x 4 out of your own eye, and that speck in your neighbor’s eye will probably come out all by itself.

  3. Your point that Trump supporters have no ground on which to stand concerning Ms. Hill’s bluntness and tone is entirely valid. If you don’t have a problem with Trump’s crude behavior, you can’t get bent out of shape over someone else calling people names. Your claim is completely true. So, why make stuff up to prove your point? You say whites “violently responded,” yet I can find no such occurrence. Can you point to examples of all these white people (lots, in your words) who responded violently? Or is a tweet saying, in essence, “Bigot! I’m telling!” considered violence now? Cause if it is, you are an extremely violent person yourself.

    • Progressives (freedom haters) now consider ‘free speech’ to be criminal. They are working on changing the Constitution, so that ‘verbal offenders’ will be prosecuted & see long prison sentences. Their short-sightedness is colossal!

      • Most progressives are not working to change the Constitution nor taking away your right to speak. If that was true Rush Limbaugh and the like would be off the air. You have a right to speak and not be arrested, tried, nor convicted of your speech unless you purposefully incite a riot, or tell people to kill, or cause a riot or cause a panic. In those cases you could be arrested but most times that may not happen. You don’t have the right to be heard. You don’t have a right to someone else’s platform. We have a right to call you out on it and show you the door. We also have the right to decide to give you a platform if we so chose. That is what free speech is.

      • However, we do intend to prevent you fundies from using the First Amendment as a cynical and clever excuse to punish and take away the civil rights of LGBTQ Americans. We know what your deceitful fundie strategy is, inside out. The federal and state courts know it too. We plan to kill it dead as a doornail—and it will die.

        Maybe you can tell me why fundies deal in deceit and lies on an almost daily basis in this country? Maybe the truth never worked for you people because many of the so-called truths that you hold so precious are actually lies of your own fundie creation. God will not honor any lie or deceit that you try—even if you convince yourself that it advances the “fundie kingdom.” Maybe you should consider that the “fundie kingdom” and the Kingdom of God are two separate things, running parallel to each other but never really touching each other. I am warning you Leslie. God will not long tolerate fundie lies and deceit without punishing you people harshly. Donald Trump is just a brief breath on the fundie road to total destruction. Jesus is still waiting for you at the Mainline Christian churches—where he has been camped out since 33 A.D.

  4. Some self-awareness from Trump supporters would be refreshing.

    “Not every Trump voter is a white supremacist, just as not every white person in the Jim Crow South was a white supremacist. But every Trump voter felt it acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one.”
    ~ Ta-Nehisi Coats

  5. Another ‘Yes!’, John. Thank you for your wisdom, courage, and candor. With Steve: “Thanks for continuing to shine the Light so that we can see more clearly. ” Perfect.

  6. Pingback: Free Speech, Cassini Crash Triumph, Trump Supremacist, Bad Bannon – FairAndUNbalanced.com

  7. When I respect Jemele’s right to speak her mind, she is flat out wrong! President Trump isn’t a racist. Interestingly, prior to his running for the presidency, we never use to hear of these cries like we do now, but since he beat Hillary’s behind, we are now screaming he’s a racist.

    Some of the White people who are calling Trump a racist, are themselves racist people, and you can be assured that Black people know it!

    Donald Trump is NOT a White Supremist!

  8. Since when is Donald Trump a “white supremecist”? I don’t remember anyone talking abut the White Supremecist who was famous for saying “you’re fired,” or the White Supremecist who has his name on hotels all over the world, or the White Supremecist who was feuding with Rosie Odonnell.

    This is just a label stuck on him by his enemies and they all repeat it, knowing that in repeating a lie often enough it might be believed.

    Let’s face the fact that if you’re on the wrong side of the liberal fence, that is if you believe in more power for the people and less for the government, that men should marry women, or that babies in the womb should not be killed by abortionists, that you will be called a racist, or a “white supremecist,” or a “hater of women,” or an entire laundry list of nasty names simply for having common sense and/or following your conscience or religion.

    • As a white man, I’ll offer up this: white Americans don’t realize that having white supremacist beliefs doesn’t necessarily mean tattooing a swastika or “1488” on your chest.

      His statements about the Central Park Five, his statements about black people handling his money, and his opening election gambit of “Mexicans are rapists” isn’t the same as setting a cross on fire in the front yard of a black family. But they make noise. And the actual swastika toting, cross burners listen and like what he has to say.

  9. Pingback: Pastor John Pavlovitz Defends Jemele Hill and her Controversial Tweets About President Trump – BCNN1 WP

  10. Pingback: Pastor John Pavlovitz Defends Jemele Hill and her Controversial Tweets About President Trump – BCNN2

  11. Pingback: Pastor John Pavlovitz Defends Jemele Hill and her Controversial Tweets About President Trump | BCNN1 - Black Christian News Network

  12. White, white, white, white, white,white, white, white.
    Trump is not a white supremacist.
    Hill works for ESPN. She does not get paid to speak her political views.

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