So What Did We Learn from Jemele Hill?

By:  H.T., Website:  Rogue Black Nerd

Jemele Hill was suspended for 3 weeks on ESPN for suggesting that people should target the NFL’s advertisers, and of course, social media decided that this was a great injustice that shall not stand.  I’m just gonna say it, this isn’t gonna work.  First of all, it’s not the NFL that’s keeping Kaepernick out of the league.  It’s the OWNERS that won’t hire him because all in all, as right as Colin is, the politics of his protest whether it continues or not is a pain in the ass PR wise when it’s safe to say there isn’t one team with a sizable portion of its fanbase that either doesn’t agree with Colin or doesn’t want to hear about his protest anymore.  Fact is, you can’t really say Kaepernick’s exile from the league is why ratings are down because if it truly was impacting things the way they said, one or many teams would offer him a spot just to end this.  Clearly the downturn isn’t so bad that it’s gotten him a job.

What caused the downturn is that now we can’t PRETEND that football is apolitical.  Now, because of the internet and the news, Colin’s protest has gone from being about a very serious issue to being more about flipping off an already unpopular president.  Combine this with now Cam Newton’s stupid decision to make light of a female reporter’s knowledge on football, and this is why football is losing viewers.  Not because of Kaepernick but because we can’t just have games without expecting a corporation in control of other multimillion dollar companies to fight injustice.  And therein lies the problem with all of this:  Jemele really thought that by messing with the NFL’s money something would change.  The NFL can’t force a team to hire Kaepernick.  No team wants him because doing so could potentially scare away season ticket holders in droves because let’s face it, the NFL fanbase is VERY conservative.  There’s no way around it.

Combine this with the fact that Jemele Hill has since apologized for her actions and essentially pissing off ESPN, I think it’s safe to say what I’ve always said about black people working in white spaces:  when you enter these sorts of fields you must always remember that yes, you should help other people like you, but you and the people you help must remember that no matter how much you hate it, you MUST conform to the culture of which this company holds.

This is Sylvia Mathis, the first black woman to become an FBI agent.  Aside from being a very accomplished woman and garnering many awards over the course of her career, it’s clear that she knew how to move in the FBI as an agent, both as a woman and a black person.  Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t about knowing one’s place or the like, it’s about knowing that essentially you are in a foreign land, and while the ways of lands evolve, one cannot expect the ways to quickly evolve to cater to a minority.  So it is the duty of the minority within the culture they’re into to control their fate rather than demand that the powers that be GIVE them what they need if it is not guaranteed.

Now you ask, what does this have to do with Jemele Hill?  Jemele knows the score.  Jemele was HIRED because she talks about touchy issues so they can’t effectively silence her and still appear as though they aren’t biased.  But Jemele knows what the deal is, thus why she apologized.  See, it’s people who likely aren’t anywhere near where she is position-wise that love to talk about the injustice she faces when the reality is that this is just how things are.  People have gotten so used to media and politicians that say anything to stay in office that no one likes to consider that maybe sometimes YOU become the politician trying to get a second term.  So many black people, millennials especially, have grown up being catered to and thus don’t understand what it means to compromise.  But alas, this is where we are.

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