Let me say from the outset that I do not know Jemele Hill outside of seeing her on TV. She could be a great human being and she deserves my respect for succeeding in a business that has always been dominated by male figures. As a sport analyst, she does a great job of presenting her audience with facts and figures in ways that Grantland Rice proud. However, when it comes to the recent kerfuffle that she has gotten herself embroiled in, let me completely and brutally honest here, I could give two shits about her “travails”.
The reason I say this is two fold. The primary reason is the fact that Jemele chose to present the ills of the world through a partisan prism and in the process, either willfully or ignorantly, is actively perpetuating this system of “us versus them” mentality that is the root of our problem as a society. She is doing the same thing that the rest of the jackals in the Corporate State Media are doing; by appending all the excesses of this repressive ideology of capitalism and institutionalized nepotism on Trump, she gives cover to the invisible hands of malice that is bleeding all of us.
Trump has become the biggest straw man this side of Oz; every iniquity you can think of—from the excesses of the military-financial complex to the evils of the prison-industrial complex—has been placed on the shoulders of the Mar-a-Lago buffoon. Calling Trump a “white supremacists” is part and parcel of this grand deception; are we to believe the issue of structural racism was in remission from 2008-2016 and only reared its head on January 20th of 2017? Jemele pretends to be outraged by Trump but where was her rage when Obama transferred $14 trillion dollars to the top 1% as he fed the rest of Americans to the wolves of Wall Street?
I said last year that the “liberal left” would all the sudden start caring about immoral wars, the mind-numbing wealth gap between the haves and the have nots, and a litany of societal woes they overlooked the whole time Obama was in the White House. “Style and grace” they crowed as if Obama’s smooth talking helped struggling mothers in Chicago or fed starving children in the Appalachians. Sure enough, the minute Trump green lighted the first bomb dropped in Syria, the left came out swinging while conveniently forgetting that Donald is continuing the war that Barack initiated.
Gabby Douglas has nothing on the gymnastics the liberal and conservative establishment has been doing since Trump’s inauguration. Once collectively mum during eight years of Obama immoral domestic and foreign policies, partisan lemmings are out in force protesting the very policies they were condoning during the era of the “first black president”. While Obama was singing Al Green songs during the day and bombing Syria and Libya back to the stone ages away from the public eye at night, not a peep was heard from the very elites who now pretend to be outraged by Trump. Jemele chose to cast her lot with this duplicitous crowd and I’m supposed to be outraged for the flack that she is getting?
There is another reason I’m actually miffed by this whole issue. In all honesty, I grow leery of people screaming “white supremacy” and in the process feeding into the divisiveness that this system of global oppression is dependent on. Let me explain using my native land Ethiopia so that people can view this from another perspective. The current government that is in power in Ethiopia refer to themselves as the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF). Most of the top echelon of the TPLF are from the Tigray tribe. They gained power using the pain of once oppressed people as a political weapon to rally Tigray people to their side.
Now that they are in power, the TPLF regime has reverted to the same pernicious policies they rebelled against. In fact, they doubled down as the Ethiopian government has unleashed neo-Apartheid to oppress people based on tribe. The only thing that changed is that position of the privileged; once marginalized, the Tigray tribe have been elevated to the elites in Ethiopia and enjoy all the benefits tribal primacy confers. The remaining tribes in Ethiopia are in an uproar and a lot of people have taken to tribal slurs to speak against the wickedness of the TPLF junta. Political activists and human rights advocates in Ethiopia who oppose the Ethiopian government can be heard chanting slogans like “down with Woyane”.
But the word “Woyane” is one that many Tigray people cherish. Woyane means rebel in Tigrinia; a vast majority of Tigray population—both at home and abroad—count many in their families as former soldiers and participants in the Woyane rebellion. So when people blame the evils of the TPLF government on Woyanes as a whole, this creates a societal fracture where Tigray people feel no other recourse other than to support the very government that is impoverishing the masses without regard to tribe—Tigray people suffer too. You see, most Tigray people in Ethiopia are not enjoying a life of opulence; outside of having the empty pride of their tribe being in power, the majority are suffering like the rest.
Not only is it factually wrong to cast the sins of the few upon the masses, it is also counterproductive. Yet this is exactly what most people do as they let emotion hijack their logic. Bashing people with myopic rhetoric only perpetuates the very system of repression that we are all outraged over; sadly, people who could otherwise be our allies in this struggle are driven to support the status quo that most of us stand against. This is how a fraction of humanity is able to lord over billions; they shatter us into islands of grievance and then sit back and laugh as we turn on each other like crabs in a barrel.
If you want to stand against this system of capital greed and Wall Street larceny, focus your attention on the crooks and their accomplices and stop gnashing your fellow sufferers. It is the height of fatuity to train your ire at “white supremacy” because using narrow-minded rhetoric that ascribes injustice to the masses of one group hides the hands of those who truly bleed society. Plus, to assume that being “white” somehow confers a privilege is asinine, I’ve been to various missions over the past two years and who I saw were “white” folks eating donated food and living in hopeless conditions. Put down the hashtag for a minute and travel to the foothills of Kentucky or the mountains of West Virginia and you will witness poverty that will shock your conscience.
Here is an idea, how about stop putting an adjective in front of injustice and actually take on the injustice on its own. Injustice is economic terrorism that is being practiced by Wall Street and political autocracy that is being loosened by the two equally bankrupt parties in DC. Don’t let one sided partisan hacks distract you from realizing the source of our collective struggle and don’t let tribalism blind you from understanding the ways of the powerful. Be smart and think; the elites have subjugated this planet by way of brilliant planning and meticulous execution. We will have to be smarter than them if we are to regain our freedoms or be forever enslaved to their cunning.
As for Jemele, I’ll let others come to her defense while lacking the courage and conviction to discuss the issues I detailed above. I will reserve my empathy for the struggling mother in Chicago who can’t earn enough to buy her children three square meals a day and the suffering father in Wheeling who just got laid of from his job at the coal mine. While Jemele is counting her paychecks from the corporate behemoth Walt Disney Company, the masses on all sides are getting the Mickey Mouse treatment as they hoodwink us with outrage. I won’t shed a tear for Jemele as she eats from cheese trays in Bristol, my concern is reserved for those who have to eat government cheddar and struggle in silence. #ImWithThem
“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.” ~ John F. Kennedy
If you appreciated the message behind this article and you want others to see how this system of manufactured outrage is used to repress us, share this article on social media using #ImWithThem
Check out the Ghion Cast below where I discuss how the left/right divide is being foisted on us in order to keep us continually distracted and fighting.
I’m still waiting for ONE person who is part of the establishment (professor, pundit or politician) to lead this discussion below about social constructs that are imposed upon us.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.