I’m just asking.
Last week Darrent Williams, cornerback for the Denver Broncos was murdered in a drive-by shooting. While others with Williams were wounded, it appears as if he was the target. While the car the killers allegedly drove was recently found painted over near the Denver airport, they still remain at large.
For Jemele Hill, Williams’ death is the latest in a sad trend:
Over the past 12 months, three NFL players have been shot, and in the past couple weeks, police discovered one NFL player, Bears defensive lineman Tank Johnson, had enough weapons in his home to mount a terrorist attack. University of Miami lineman Bryan Pata was shot to death at his apartment complex in November. In Denver alone, three notable athletes have been shot since 2003 â€“ Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter, Denver Nuggets guard Julius Hodge and now, tragically, Williams.
One unavoidable commonality about these episodes of gunplay: all of the athletes are black.
Quick fact. There are a little over 1500 NFL athletes. In one year, three of them were shot. This is unfortunate….but far from a trend. But what does Hill say next?
It leads to an inevitable question from all of us, but particularly mainstream America: Why do black athletes often seem to find themselves either holding a gun or staring down the barrel of one?
Note how she juxtaposes “us” against “mainstream America.” I assume “mainstream America” means “white America” but I have no idea who “us” us. The question she asks didn’t inevitably pop up in MY head. Hill’s math is a bit off too…Often? 3 out of 1500 is often? For Hill the problem is a black culture that glorifies violence, from the rootta to the tootta. (apologies for the John Witherspoon quote.) America is a violent place, she notes, but nobody glorifies violence more than black people, HENCE BLACK PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE AFFECTED BY IT.
There are a number of leaps she’s making…particularly given that we’re only talking about three cases.Â But in Pattersonian fashion she makes all those leaps with the grace of a gymnast (with two left feet).
I’ve got to get back to my Black Power Fantasies syllabus, but suffice it to say that Ms. Hill’s work would never have gotten through the editing process if she had dealt with most other populations.
God damn, I wish Ralph Wiley were still here. But in the meantime if you want to reach Ms. Hill you can do so here.