Not surprisingly, Grant Hill’s New York Times op-ed yesterday in response to comments made in ESPN’s Fab Five documentary made for good TV discussion fodder. The PTI duo talked it over yesterday, but as it turned out, that chat paled in comparison to a segment devoted to the same subject on First Take this morning…thanks to an impassioned performance by Chris Broussard.
Asked for his opinion on Hill’s column, Broussard described it as an issue near and dear to him, which he reinforced as he delivered his monologue. He called Rose’s “Uncle Tom” comment “a bad choice of words,” deeming it “about the worst thing you can call an African-American.”
He also surmised that Rose truly doesn’t hold the “Uncle Tom” opinion about Duke anymore, as he most likely hopes that many of the students at his newly-established charter school may one day attend a school like Duke…and also, just for the record, emphatically said that “Grant Hill is no Uncle Tom in any way, shape, or form.”
But he really got going when he described how the Rose-Hill back-and-forth “exposes some dirty laundry in the black community” – an “identity crisis” that “stems back since we’ve been brought to this country as slaves.” He continued:
“We were told that being black is synonymous with the bottom, with what’s worst, with dysfunction, it was synonymous with being ignorant, with being irresponsible, with being poor, with being violent, with being subhuman – and sadly, this was not taught to one generation of blacks. This was taught to 10, 15 generations, and today, that mentality still is prevalent among many African-Americans.”
There was much more, like when Broussard spoke of hearing such stereotypes perpetuated “in hip-hop…[by] some of the artists we’ve had on this show, sitting in this very chair.” And when Skip Bayless started talking, Broussard still stole the show. Bayless mentioned the recent segment when the Fab Five’s Jimmy King defined an Uncle Tom as “a sellout.” Broussard:
“The brother that’s selling out the race is the one going to prison. Because nine times out of 10 he’s got children that he’s not raising properly because he’s behind bars.”
Strong words on a subject Broussard has clearly spent a good deal of his life pondering, and it came to a head in some compelling television. Watch below, via ESPN.