August 21, 2009 by Marc Lamont Hill
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!
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