Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Will "Hitler" Comments Dog Jemele Hill and Keep Her In Chateau Bow-Wow?

Sure She's Sorry, Just Don't Call Her Black Imus

Jemele Hill was suspended on June 17 for using her Page 2 column on ESPN.com to intone that “Rooting for the Celtics is like saying Hitler was a victim. It’s like hoping Gorbachev would get to the blinking red button before Reagan.”
ESPN moved relatively quickly to put her on the shelf. But she was gone all of six days. The column's back, and now she'll also be appearing on "First Take" on The Deuce on July 17-18, during the "First and Ten" segment with fellow motormouth Skip Bayless.
Hill used her June 23 column to more profusely apologize than she had before.

Real apologies don't mix with rationalizations, so I won't insult your intelligence by offering you any.

This isn't about my editors because even if the word "Hitler" never appeared in the posted column last Saturday, that doesn't change the fact that I wrote it and, at the time, found humor in making a moronic comparison between a man who was responsible for killing millions to Detroiters who root for the Boston Celtics.
This is about my living up to a standard I expect of everyone else -- respect, awareness, honesty and accountability.

Fair enough. But still. I've previously written that Hill should have been suspended and not fired, though only five days away is more than a bit mild in light of Don Imus being sacked for "Nappy-Headed Hos" and Kelly Tilghman's two-week suspension for her Tiger Woods lynching remark.

In reading her column, and an interview she did with AOL, there's still a part of me that believes Hill feels she's not in the same league as the others and therefore merits less of a sanction. This, even though she freely fesses up that what she did was wrong and hurtful to many.
As she told AOL when asked about Imus: "I know some people were putting me in that category and it's certainly their right to do so. I feel differently and I think pulling Imus into this is kind of a distraction."
A distraction? That's a cop-out, to put it extremely kindly. And it's one she's intent on sticking to, based on a testy reply to a frequent and caustic commenter on her blog.
"[T]here are very important reasons I refuse to get roped into explaining myself in light of Don Imus. Just know it's bigger than you."

But bigger than you, Jemele?

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