Jemele Hill Says Black Athletes Should Leave White Colleges For HBCUs; Gets Called ‘Racist’ And ‘Pro-Segregation’

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JULY 05: Jemele Hill speaks at 2019 ESSENCE Festival Presented By Coca-Cola at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 05, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Jemele Hill Says Black Athletes Should Leave White Colleges For HBCUs; Gets Called ‘Racist’ And ‘Pro-Segregation’

The former ESPN commentator’s latest op-ed for The Atlantic has some crying foul.

Published September 6, 2019

Written by Jarod Hector

In a recent article published in The Atlantic, staff writer Jemele Hill posits, the overall health of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) would improve exponentially if top Black prep athletes chose to play there instead of predominantly white institutions (PWIs).

On its surface that’s a compelling argument and makes complete sense in a vacuum. PWIs that sit atop the revenue generating college athletics industrial complex rake in massive annual profits, largely off the unpaid labor of Black student athletes. 

In the article Hill writes, “Alabama’s athletic department generated $174 million in the 2016–2017 school year, whereas the HBCU that generated the most money from athletics that year, Prairie View A&M, brought in less than $18 million.”

A wide, but not shocking disparity. 

Hill continues, “Beyond sports, the average HBCU endowment is only one-eighth that of the average predominantly white school; taken together, all of the HBCU endowments combined make up less than a tenth of Harvard’s.”

Again, no surprise. 

There are certainly more nuances and subtleties that need to be addressed, but ultimately that isn’t the point. Hill’s general argument has merit and is sound.

While she was lauded and praised by some, the ex-ESPN commentator who was famously suspended for calling Donald Trump a ‘bigot’ and ‘white supremacist’, was attacked from a predictable corner of the Internet. 

Conservatives on Twitter said Hill was ‘advocating for segregation’ and is ‘literally racist.’

Hill has responded to some of her critics whom appear to be uneducated on HBCUs, as the segregation word was thrown at her several times. 

HBCUs are open to all students of all races, creeds or nationalities. Many white and other non Black students attend and are faculty at HBCUs.   

Of course an article on race and urging for Black people to take control of their own destiny and “take away” control from white people would surely elicit this type of reaction on social media. 

As always, these platforms remain a cesspool of misinformation, misguided, dangerous zealotry and total ignorance.

Some critics of Hill asked, predictably, what would Martin Luther King Jr. think of this idea? 

Well, considering MLK was a Morehouse man, he’d likely be in full support. 

The whataboutisms and cries of “racism” from a certain segment of the population is a train that’s never late and always on time. 

Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE


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