Down From The Tower


As always, my mail bag is bulging (no hetero). Here’s what some of it says:

I hear you on Fox News saying that people who attend the town hall meetings to oppose Obamacare are racist? Are you really that stupid?

Thanks for that awesome question! No, I didn’t say that. And, no, I’m not (quite) that stupid. It would, of course, be unreasonable to suggest that everyone who opposes a Black president is racist. From where I sit, however, the only ones offering such a straw argument are those who are unwilling to acknowledge the clear racism that comes from particular pockets of political opposition.

I did, however, say that there is a racial undertone to many of the meetings that I’ve seen. In addition to the use of racially coded language, many of the attendees have brought paraphernalia that prominently display the N-word, swastikas, and other not-so-subtle symbols of racial hatred. While this doesn’t represent the majority of crowds –most people have sincere, though misguided, critiques of the President’s reform project–  it definitely creates an almost palpable sense of racial animus at the events. To ignore this is to covet post-raciality at the expense of reality.

Michael Vick has just signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. What the hell were they thinking?

From a purely football perspective, this pick makes perfect sense. The Eagles were able to obtain the best backup quarterback in football at a bargain basement price. While some may overestimate the amount of punch he can add to the Eagles rigid pass offense, he’ll be a great insurance policy for Donovan McNabb, who regularly misses games due to injury. This opportunity also allows Vick to learn from McNabb and coach Andy Reid, who can teach him to read defenses and develop discipline in the pocket. If he’s rehabilitated, and I believe he is, the Eagles can trade him at the end of the season for a valuable piece. From a broader social perspective, the signing is a reminder that everyone deserves a second chance. Vick’s behavior was inexcusable, but he has paid his debt to society. Now it’s time to let him return to his chosen profession and earn his keep.

After hearing you talk, I’m convinced that someone like you could never have a real Ph.D. Did you even attend graduate school?

Thank you for that sincere and penetrating question. In all honesty, I only use “Dr.” for commercial purposes, sort of like “Dr. Pepper” or “Dr. Dre.” I do, however, hold honorary doctorates from the most prestigious schools in Venezuela, Iran, and Kenya, where I’m sure you believe our president was born. Please don’t tell anyone!

12 thoughts on “Down From The Tower

  1. Lol that last one was funny Marc. You should dig out more of your emails, I know you get a lot that are ignorant, intriguing and ridiculous like these three.

  2. “As always, my mail bag is bulging (no hetero). ” [slapping my knee laughing]. . .too funny.

    “I only use “Dr.” for commercial purposes, sort of like “Dr. Pepper” or “Dr. Dre.” and these “mega church pastors” lol.

  3. LMAO @ Dr. Pepper!!

    w/regards to M Vick: Philly is also the only city where the fans would laugh and step over a PETA protestor outside the stadium. As much as I cant stand the Eagles (and any other Philly teams for that matter — shh, dont tell my husband. . . ), I will admit their fans are diehard crazy and defend their team like there’s no tomorrow!

  4. LOL @ No Hetero, this was a good one! U haven’t received an honorary doctorate from a Cuban University yet though?! I’m sure it’s coming though 😉

  5. Dr. Hill,

    I have become a true admirer of your commentaries on Fox News. Your eloquence, coupled with obvious intellectual context, have impressed me greatly. As a white man with exposure to both ends of the racisim perspective, I would suggest that these persons that attack you are simply blind to their own prejudices. In what seems like a long time ago, I was a college basketball player for four years on teams in which at least half of the players were black. One night I made a stupid comment about how I thought an athlete (who’s identity I can’t remember) looked like another. I started a firestorm amongst four of my roomates, all of whom said I was a racist and was not even aware of the fact. This accusation was based on the age old idea that white people believe all, “blacks look the same.” I was in complete denial about that fact and can still remember vividly how being accused of such a negative attribute hurt me badly. I truly respected all those guys and cared about them as my friends. I was also honored to be their teammate. But, they were right. I did have biases that I was unaware of, although they were not negative or hateful, just ignorant/unaware biases. I think we were all wrong that night…. they recognized my bias but attributed to a negativity that I did not feel. (One of those present in the room at that time is the current head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Mike Brown. So, I guess now I’m a name dropper?!)

    I think most whites believe they are not racisit when in fact they probably are in one way or another. And, most blacks, having been on the negative end of such biases for so long, have attached greater negativity to the actions of whites than might have been intended. O’Reilley was wrong. That was definitely a racially charged atmosphere at that town hall and your inability to illustrate that point to him is just one more example of a white person ignoring those facts placed before him becasue he refuses to see or believe them as they really are.. There were two different levels to that conversation and he simply refused to acknowledge the complexities of the details you were presenting. I admire how cool you remain under those conditions on national televsion. Hannity, O’Reilley, etc., all make their arguments in sound logic based upon general facts. (Ironic, isn’t it, after all their attacks on Obama after the Gates issue.) The general facts he presented to you that night were correct, but not the specifics, which you tried to illustrate to him. It happens with almost all of these popular political talk show pundints, as I’m sure you are aware. But, the real chasm is in the fact that he doesn’t understand your perspective and I, after many years of thinking on the subject, am just now starting to form a basic understanding. We simply need to have a more open and honest dialect in which we try to understand the other side.

    I am a fan – keep up the awesome commentaries! You should be complemented on your even mindedness and stout logic, to say nothing of your incredible eloquence. I hope for you every success. (And, my wife of 18 years thinks you are HOT! I have to kick her out of the room when you’re on the air.)

  6. LOVE that last paragraph:)

    Yesterday i went ghetto TWICE…first on the subway, then the bus.

    on the subway some ol’ cracker around my age was standing in front of the door staring off into space, and since i had to be downtown half an hour ago i just cut in front of him…and he PUSHED ME. Of course i asked him if he was out of his mothereffing mind, and he said something to which i replied i would whup his ass and he said he’d call the police!

    MY volume rose from 110 dbs to…well another time…just found out my next door neighbour died—55 and she just retired:(

  7. Marc,

    I think you’re right. There is a racial undertone to the debate on healthcare. I think black people who refer to whites as “crackers”, “honkeys” etc. are themselves racist. . Two wrongs do not make a right. As a white person who for years has been understanding of the plight many black people have suffered at the hands of whites I have little sympathy for blacks who use this kind of language. And remember, as loud as black people are in proclaimning thier support for President O’bama, I have every right to proclaim my disagreement with him. I did not blindly vote for him nor can I sit by and blindly approve of everything he does. Those who do are doing themselves and the nation a great disservice regardless of their skin color.

  8. Doc, you DO know that the “graduater” movement will require you to provide your diploma…and not a copy from Penn’s archives. 🙂

  9. I don’t think it was his intention, but Dan Roberts’ comments exemplify the type of racism that is present in the health debates as well as much of the more fervent attacks on President Obama, in general. It’s the racist fantasy that is “reverse racism.” It’s the idea that if black people gain power they will treat white people as badly as black people have historically been treated by whites, rape white women, etc. Racially derogatory terms directed at whites are not equal to racially derogatory terms directed toward blacks, if only for the historical reality of what these words have created. Although the term reverse racism is fairly new, it harkens back to some very old ideas that have driven racism in U.S. for centuries. Check out Birth of a Nation if you’re one of those people who like to use movies as cultural reference points. I know I am.
    I wouldn’t reduce all critics of Obama to racists, but I question why those who have non-racist criticisms of him wouldn’t want to acknowledge the racism in order to distance their more valid criticisms from it. The only answer that I can come up with is that the racism of poor or working class whites has often been fanned to economically and politically benefit more upwardly mobile whites.

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