Written by @kristenshylin_
Sports journalist Jemele Hill joined Don Lemon’s CNN segment, where she shared her thoughts on NBA hall of famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s recent op-ed.
In an article from the Hollywood Reporter, the former professional basketball player questioned why there is no backlash from the Black community over the recent anti-Semitic remarks.
”Recent incidents of anti-Semitic tweets and posts from sports and entertainment celebrities are a very troubling omen for the future of the Black Lives Matter movement, but so too is the shocking lack of massive indignation.”
Hill acknowledged that she agrees with Abdul-Jabbar’s op-ed, stating that the former player was not wrong in addressing the Black community’s lack of outrage.
Abdul-Jabbar’s article came right after Nick Cannon’s last “Cannon’s Class” episode. The actor and TV host came under fire following his discussion of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
Although the former WildNOut host received extensive criticism for his podcast, Hill said she did not see enough outrage from Black people, suggesting that it stems from them trying to prevent from being accused of going against the social justice movement.
”There are people who give no care about the Jewish culture, who are using DeSean Jackson, Stephen Jackson and some of the entertainers that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar mentioned as a way to undermine and try to eat at the credibility of the people who are out there fighting for justice,” Hill said on the Thursday’s night show.
The Atlantic staff writer also added that the Black community’s reluctance to condemn Nick Cannon’s recent controversial remarks roots from fear.
”We’re in this moment, this very thoughtful and critical moment where we’re having conversations about race, and because you have Black people who are at the center of these controversies, people worry that, OK, if I come out and I criticize Nick Cannon, that’s going to be perceived as if I’m being against Black people, who in this moment are fighting for something really important,” Hill said.
The journalist proposed that there would have been more outrage if the topic involved a White person condemning a Black person.
”I think that’s why you have seen a little less outrage than maybe you would have seen if this involved somebody White saying something about somebody Black,” she said. “Nobody wants to be accused of undermining and undercutting the struggle.”
In addition to speaking on Cannon’s previous podcast, Hill also weighed in on athlete DeSean Jackson’s Instagram posts, which contained a series of anti-semitic statements.
”In their minds they think that they’re saying something that’s educational, that’s historically accurate, and something that is not anti-Semitic,” Hill said to Lemon. “I think part of the reason that they think that way is because they don’t understand some of the same stereotypes and tropes that they’re pushing about Jews owning everything, about feeding into these conspiracy theories that they have master control over a lot of different industries. That they’re also at the same time putting on full display the very reasons why they were persecuted by Hitler to begin with.”
The anti-semitic claims made by Cannon and Jackson indicate that they are unaware of how they are offending and hurting the Jewish community, Hill continued.
”I don’t think that they’ve ever really had the type of conversation that would allow them to have that level of empathy or sympathy, and they must understand that anti-Semitism is a huge component of white supremacy, which we’re all trying to fight,” she said.
In Hill’s latest piece, “The Anti-Semitism We Didn’t See,” she addressed anti-semitism within the Black community. She also insinuated that Black people tend to unconsciously ignore other oppressed minority groups while fighting for change.
”And sometimes we get so wrapped up in that fight, that we tend to denigrate other marginalized groups and say, ‘no, we were persecuted the most. No, we have been through the most.’ And we disrespect what other marginalized people have been through. We may not do it on purpose, we may not do it with malice, but that’s what we do nonetheless. It’s kind of what I did.”