Jemele Hill vs. ESPN And The 45th President
There’s a reason why Donald Trump has the support and admiration of so many White supremacists.
His desire to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the United States (and also having Mexico pay for said wall). Saying horrible and largely inaccurate things about Barack Obama and what he has and hasn’t done when he was President. Saying horrible and disrespectful things about the grief-stricken parents of a soldier who died while defending his country. The travel ban. Wanting to get rid of DACA. His response to the hate march and terror attacks in Charlottesville resulting in the death of Heather Heyer. And so many other things that would take so many more paragraphs to list and describe.
And yet, despite all of that, there are people who truly can’t bear the thought of people referring to President #45 as racist. Because if there’s one thing that bothers White people (and if a sentence starting with the words “Not all” is forming on your lips and/or fingertips at this very moment, I highly recommend that you shut the fuck up), it’s not racism or acts of racism. It’s being called a racist or being accused of racism.
Which brings us to ESPN sportscaster Jemele Hill. Who earlier this week wrote this on her Twitter in response to Kid Rock’s claim that he intends on running for Senate, and that the media is making him appear to be racist:
He loves black people so much that he pandered to racists by using a flag that unquestionably stands for dehumanizing black people. https://t.co/ukbl3RodoP— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
And that soon led to her tweeting this:
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
How is it a "false narrative?" Did he hire and court white supremacists? Answer: YES— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 12, 2017
Donald Trump is a bigot. Glad you could live with voting for him. I couldn't, because I cared about more than just myself— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 12, 2017
I hate a lot of things but not enough to jeopardize my fellow citizens with an unfit, bigoted, incompetent moron. But hey, that's just me.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 12, 2017
ESPN didn’t respond particularly well to what Jemele said about President #45…
…and after recovering their monocles which had fallen into their drinks, they tweeted this in response:
ESPN Statement on Jemele Hill: pic.twitter.com/3kfexjx9zQ— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) September 12, 2017
And if that wasn’t enough, White House Press Secretary
Busy Philipps Sarah Huckabee Sanders became involved in the situation and seemingly made things even worse when a reporter asked for her input on what Jemele had tweeted. Fortunately, Sarah wasn’t holding a Tiki torch while responding:
White House says tweets by ESPN's Jemele Hill calling President Trump a white supremacist are a "fireable offense" https://t.co/4SVUR9Knt9— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 14, 2017
Which only resulted in more people showing their support for Jemele and speaking out against President #45 and his administration by stating the obvious with their own tweets, and many of them did so under the hashtag #NaziBucketChallenge.
I'm in television and I'm also calling President Trump a white supremacist. Anyone else?— Michael Green (@andmichaelgreen) September 13, 2017
I am a Jewish woman and a public defender and I am calling Trump a White Supremacist.— Eliza Orlins (@eorlins) September 15, 2017
Anyone else? https://t.co/5vSzmR1chb
I'm a mother/wife/other and I am calling Trump a White Supremacist.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 15, 2017
Your turn! Ready? Go! https://t.co/ybO387cFsj
I'm an attorney, a journalist, a Black woman, and a sentient life form and I'm also calling trump a white supremacist. https://t.co/6ZTLyTYEOn— ☀️Imani Gandy☀️ (@AngryBlackLady) September 14, 2017
I'm a grouchy, old, angry, white guy veteran and even I can see that Trump is a goddamn white supremacist a-hole. #NaziBucketChallenge 😡🖕— chaplinlives (@chaplinlives) September 15, 2017
In lieu of a separate hashtag, I'll just add that Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions are white supremacists as well. #NaziBucketChallenge— Steve Redmond (@sjredmond) September 15, 2017
Maxine Waters, April Ryan & now Jemele Hill. BW are calling this admin out like no one else & ppl r tryng 2 punish them 4 it. https://t.co/Jjb0km3P4V— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) September 14, 2017
Why is #JemeleHill fighting for her career for a comment about a man who stated that there's "fine people" within white supremacist groups☝🏾— Cynthia Erivo (@CynthiaEriVo) September 13, 2017
Jemele Hill tells the truth about Trump being a white supremacist, ESPN responds by folding like a lawn chair. pic.twitter.com/uQRQGs9AMS— DESUS & MERO (@desusandmero) September 14, 2017
We are with you @jemelehill ✊🏾— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 13, 2017
I'm on Team @jemelehill…— Reggie Miller (@ReggieMillerTNT) September 13, 2017
Sign me up! https://t.co/MhqJvgesgh— DWade (@DwyaneWade) September 13, 2017
Waits for everyone defending PewDiePie's "free speech" to do the same for Jemele Hill.— jay smooth (@jsmooth995) September 13, 2017
Dies waiting like that dog on Futurama.
While also pointing out the hypocrisy of Jemele Hill being targeted for punishment because of her words against the President, whereas ‘Miss Texas’ Margana Wood was equally harsh and accurate with her own words against President #45 and the response to her was the complete opposite.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders wasn’t the only person to publicly go after Jemele Hill for what she said, as former baseball player Darryl Strawberry (I know, I wasn’t expecting that name to pop up in regards to this story either) decided to get in on the action as well:
“I think no one should call anyone anything. President Trump, he’s a great man to me. He was always gracious to me. I really love him, his family, I was on his show, and he’s always been kind to me … I’ve known him quite well and every time I’ve seen him and been around him he’s always been so gracious with me and I’m always grateful for that…I never want to sit and point fingers at someone like the president of the United States. He’s got a job to do, and we all need to pray for him. We all need to support him.”
Jemele finally decided to respond to all of this on Twitter:
Which some reporters interpreted as an apology, even though apologizing is not at all what Jemele Hill did:
Jemele: i said what i said— Eric Haywood (@EricHaywood) September 14, 2017
ESPN: ok cool apology accepted https://t.co/vc87ciZD8K
And just when you thought that ESPN couldn’t possibly look any worse in this situation, ThinkProgress came through to prove us all wrong:
EXCLUSIVE: ESPN tried to kick Jemele Hill off the air and replace her with another black host https://t.co/vzp6qI23vQ— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 14, 2017
Hill — who was caught in the middle of a firestorm of controversy that began on Monday night when she tweeted that President Donald Trump was a white supremacist, which escalated when ESPN issued a statement on Tuesday reprimanding her comments and which exploded when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Hill’s tweets were a “fireable offense” — was calm and composed throughout the hour, and the show went on as usual.
However, two sources familiar with the situation told ThinkProgress that this was not the original plan.
ESPN originally tried to keep Hill off the air on Wednesday evening, but [Michael] Smith refused to do the show without her, the sources said. Both sources also said that producers reached out to two other black ESPN hosts, Michael Eaves and Elle Duncan, to ask them to serve as fill-ins for the show — but Eaves and Duncan did not agree to take the place of Hill and Smith, either.
At 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, Eaves expressed his frustration with that day.
Man.. this day got me like..— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) September 13, 2017
While also proving that there were people who had Jemele’s back, and not just on Twitter.
ESPN of course denied all of this:
Our statement: "We never asked any other anchors to do last night’s show. Period.” https://t.co/EJhnjbr7yq— Chris LaPlaca (@espn_chris) September 14, 2017
And did so in a way that’s as believable as James Woods telling us that he doesn’t do cocaine.
(Which he does not. Let me state that again: James Woods DOES NOT DO COCAINE AT ALL!)
See? Amber Tamblyn agrees with me.
As of right now, Jemele is still employed by ESPN and working her desk at SportsCenter, and her colleagues have no interest in throwing her under the bus in order to make themselves or their employers look good.
Considering that there were no lies whatsoever in anything that Jemele Hill tweeted, I’d say that’s a good thing.
They came for Jemele Hill— Frederick Douglass (@HITEXECUTIVE) September 15, 2017
And Twitter said fuck you.#NaziBucketChallenge
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