Sunday, March 20, 2011
I could have told Jalen Rose that nobody wants to hear the truth.
You can tell a lot about a university and a country based on who it excludes and who it exploits.
Upper Middle Class and Middle Class Black Folks can be mad at last Sunday Nights “The Fab 5” documentary on ESPN all they want. But, kudos to the Jalen Rose produced documentary that earned high ratings. I’m just sorry that the folks watching didn’t get what they watched. Instead of dealing with the issue of college athletes being exploited, we have spent a whole week on who is and isn’t an “Uncle Tom”. Who knew that “The Fab 5” would air black folk’s dirty laundry?
Jalen Rose said the comment below in the documentary -
“For me, Duke was personal. I hated Duke. And I hated everything I felt Duke stood for. Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me. I felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.”
This is what Upper Middle Class and Middle Class Blacks heard when he said the above comment –
“Blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah if you were black and played for Duke University you are an Uncle Tom”.
Keep in mind that these comments were made when Rose was a teenager. Jalen Rose also said the following –
“Schools like Duke didn't recruit players like me. I felt that they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms. ... I was jealous of Grant Hill. He came from a great black family. Congratulations. Your mom went to college and was roommates with Hillary Clinton. Your dad played in the NFL as a very well-spoken and successful man. I was upset and bitter that my mom had to bust her hump for 20-plus years. I was bitter that I had a professional athlete that was my father that I didn't know. I resented that, moreso than I resented him. I looked at it as they are who the world accepts and we are who the world hates.”
The above comment apparently bothered Grant Hill and he felt the need to write an op-ed in the New York Times. In it he quoted some Latin (good to know that someone else besides Clergy, College Professors and Treasure Hunters in Movies know Latin). He mentioned his ties to my frat brother the great Historian - Professor John Hope Franklin.
Side Note: Usually blacks get mad at our white counterparts when they reference black folks that they know in order to seem like they are cool with black folks but I digress…
He also talked about former Duke University players and how successful they are now. To all of this I say…..yawn!!! I have nothing personal against Grant Hill. We are from the same state and we both come from 2 parent homes. He was an excellent player in college and he seems like a nice guy. And his wife is HOT!!!!! But he read into this statement and wasted his time trying to defend what can’t be defended. People call Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and “Uncle Tom” all the time. Do you think he cares?? He doesn’t care what black folks think about him. He probably doesn’t even realize he’s black until he looks in the mirror. If someone calls you an Uncle Tom, laugh it off and keep on trucking!!! That title is so played out that it should have been retired with the word “Honky”.
Side Note: In the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” where the name came from, Uncle Tom was not the person that he has been portrayed in modern society. Uh Oh! My bad for ruining that for black folks that love to hang that title on other blacks.
Let me break down what Jalen said so we can separate what he meant and what you heard.
WHAT JALEN SAID: Schools like Duke didn't recruit players like me. I felt that they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.
THE BREAKDOWN: No the players aren’t Uncle Toms. That is silly and something I would expect a teenager to say. But he was right about Duke being selective in their recruiting. Duke basketball players are usually well groomed, well spoken, and tattoo less. In college and after college, you never hear about them getting arrested. These are all good things and it should be something Duke should be proud of. But let’s be honest….. Duke has a reputation for being snobby and everyone knows it (well except for Duke Students and their Alumni).
Side Note: most of the people I know that have a degree from Duke are cool people. But they weren’t snobby to begin with either.
The only people that like Duke are people that went to Duke and people that wish they could have gone to Duke. Talk to long time black Durham N.C. residents and see what they have to say about the university. But again, let me say that all of this is completely okay. Duke Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has the right to obtain the type of players he wants. And Duke has the right to enroll the type of students that will enhance their reputation.
WHAT JALEN SAID: I was jealous of Grant Hill. He came from a great black family. I was upset and bitter that my mom had to bust her hump for 20-plus years. I was bitter that I had a professional athlete that was my father that I didn't know. I resented that, moreso than I resented him. I looked at it as they are who the world accepts and we are who the world hates.
THE BREAKDOWN: Jalen admitted that his anger came out of him being JEALOUS!!! What part don’t folks understand? His logic is the same reason kids make fun of other kids for doing well in school. Or why kids are picked on for wearing designer clothes, taking ballet or speaking proper English. There is a resentment among blacks that is based on our economic standing. This isn’t anything new!! It’s just that Upper Middle Class and Middle Class Blacks don’t want to discuss it. It’s uncomfortable to talk about because they hate feeling the need to justify why they live in a nice neighborhood and their children attend good schools.
So what was not discussed this week? The exploitation of college athletes from the schools they attend and the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). All the money that the University of Michigan made from selling Fab 5 paraphernalia and they never received a cut. All the money the NCAA made from their television games and ticket sales and the Fab 5 never received a cut. Now this is the part where you probably say “why should you pay college athletes?” I was the same way until I realized the money that these student athletes were making for their schools. You have student athletes who can’t afford a hamburger and schools are making money off these kids. They could at least receive a stipend for their service. Even a pimp lets his ho keep some of their money from trickin….