Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Column: We should raise our voices like Jemele Hill

September 16, 2017

I’m not a person that likes to talk about race and the ills of our society a lot, but the Jemele Hill situation just doesn’t sit well with me. What really is getting to me though, are the people who think she’s wrong. 

I have a class where we talked about the situation briefly, and a student finished the conversation by saying “I think she should be suspended.” Why? I’m here to tell whoever’s reading this that Hill shouldn’t be suspended.

I should start by saying I’m not a fan of President Donald Trump. As a Black man in America, just when I thought the social climate couldn’t get any worse for me, Trump was elected president and it got significantly worse. 

Between the unlawful murders of our Black youth by killers who are rarely brought to justice, protesters who are met by the brutal hands of our law enforcement and all the other injustices we see every day, it can be argued that not much is getting better here for African Americans. 

Trump is only making that worse. A problem within the Black community is that some of the people we have with a voice don’t use them properly, or simply don’t use them at all. Not Jemele Hill. 

An active Twitter user, Jemele usually holds no punches on the app. When she addressed Trump, she made sure her stance was strong and firm. She called him a white supremacist and said that he only surrounds himself with such people. 

These are facts, whether you like them or not. That tweet started this whole hoopla, and many people think she should be suspended or fired. That’s not the case. She simply used her voice to express a true sentiment that some people might not be comfortable with or want to deny, but it’s indeed the truth. 

ESPN immediately separated themselves from her statements, and that was honestly a chance for them to take a stand and look better as a network. Trump has already made a crazy statement about them via Twitter, and that’s a slap in their face seeing as they allegedly tried to take Hill off the air and now have to save face for that too. 

Since ESPN made said statement, Sarah Huckabee exclaimed Hill should be fired and Trump dumped on ESPN as a network. The way they’re going about addressing Hill and ESPN sounds a lot like, “Shhhh. Be quiet. We don’t want people to know these things,” instead of, “She made false statements, what she said isn’t true.” 

Kudos to Hill’s colleagues for standing up for her because that could possibly very well be the reason that she stayed on-air as scheduled in the wake of these events. Kudos to everyone in the Michigan State community that’s standing with her as well, not only because she’s an alumna, but also because she did nothing wrong. 

We all have voices and should use them as we see fit, and Hill saw it fit to address Trump. 

As a young Black journalist, I appreciate and admire her actions. As long as people like her keep fighting the good fight, a change will eventually come. 

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