Sunday, March 23, 2008

Jemele Hill Continues Her Quest To Become The Worst Journalist Of All Time

I have no idea who currently holds that title, but I can't see them doing so much longer as long as Jemele keeps up her recent pace of drivelish shit.

(A quick Google search reveals that she's far from the only writer out there to hold this opinion, but for our purposes let's pretend this whole perspective was her idea. It'll be more fun that way. And thanks to everyone who tipped me off about this.

LeBron's image clearly means a lot to him, maybe even as much as pursuing a championship.

Apples and oranges, you stupid bint.

And that's why I can't understand why he would allow Vogue to feature him with supermodel Gisele Bundchen in such a distasteful manner.

Here's a link if you haven't seen the shot in question yet. Jemele has the same image up in her article of course, but I don't want you going over there to see it and adding to her article's traffic unless absolutely necessary.

In case you haven't seen the cover, LeBron has Gisele in one hand and a basketball in the other. LeBron is dressed in basketball gear, with his muscles flexing, tattoos showing and bared teeth. Gisele, on the other hand, is wearing a gorgeous slim-fitting dress, and smiling.

Yes. And?

She looks like she's on her way to something fashionable and exciting.

Well, she's a supermodel. I'm not a supermodel, nor do I know any, but I'm pretty sure that all they do with their lives is put on nice clothes and attend events that are fashionable and exciting.

He looks like he's on his way to a pickup game for serial killers.

Why does it look that way, Jemele? Because he's black? It's because he's black, isn't it. (Actually, most serial killers in US history have been white, but you know what she's getting at. Black people = criminals!) You racist. Racist racist racist. A self-loathing racist, no less! You'd think in this day and age, we'd be able to get past this kind of thing, at least in the mainstream media. What kind of editor lets this kind of assertion go? "Hmmmmm... Jemele is saying that because James has a mean expression on his face and is dressed to play basketball, he looks like someone who likes to murder people... yeah, that works." Anyone with a brain should be insulted by this. Have you ever seen him play basketball? He makes that face like five times a game.

Now, maybe the point was to show the contrast between brawn and beauty, masculinity versus femininity, strength versus grace.

OK, sure, that works. I personally think it was really just more about showing a top model and a star athlete striking a fun and energetic pose. But whatever.

But Vogue's quest to highlight the differences between superstar athletes and supermodels only successfully reinforces the animalistic stereotypes frequently associated with black athletes.

Actually, it doesn't. What it does instead is reinforce those stereotypes in the minds of people that can't see past color and who bend over backwards to find racism in places it doesn't exist. In some cases, it may be because they are obnoxiously sensitive and find complaining about artificially offensive things like this soothing. Well, that makes them idiots. But at least they're not hateful. What we have here, based on that serial killer comment, is entirely different. This is ten thousand times worse than being an hypersensitive complainer with a stick up your butt. Break it down with me to its simplest terms- this is someone who's part of a group... who then sees a member of her group looking exactly as he often does while performing in his line of work... and then decrying it, because when she looks at the pose all she can see is the worst possible stereotype associated with said group. That's mind-bogglingly dumb. He's a goddamn basketball player who's well known for making intense facial expressions. When he appears on a magazine cover dressed as a basketball player and making an intense facial expression, the last thing you should be is offended.

A black athlete being reduced to a savage is, sadly, nothing new.

Reduced to a savage by who? The eye of the beholder.

But this cover gave you the double-bonus of having LeBron and Gisele strike poses that others in the blogosphere have noted draw a striking resemblance to the racially charged image of King Kong enveloping his very fair-skinned lady love interest.

This is also stupid, given how un-distressed Tom Brady's fucktoy looks and, again, the fact that LeBron looks like that all the time when he plays basketball. But at least the people who are taking that angle on the photo ostensibly managed to get past the idea that if a black guy looks angry, he's probably a felon. They got the "don't be an idiot" car down the driveway and out into the street. Jemele is stil in the garage.

LeBron is just the third male ever to appear on Vogue's cover, but it's hard to believe Vogue would have made Brett Favre, Steve Nash or even David Beckham strike his best beast pose.

Good point. You know who else probably wouldn't have been asked to pose like that? Tiger Woods. Or Tim Duncan. Or LaDanian Tomlinson. (Shawne Merriman? Maybe. But that's different.) You know who else they might've actually asked to try that pose though? Roger Clemens (pre-Mitchell report, of course). Or Brian Urlacher. Or, I know this is going out on a limb in terms of the definition of "athlete", but John Cena. So, nice try. This still has everything to do with LeBron the person and nothing to do with LeBron the African American.

...[W]e don't even have to dip back to the 19th century to see how images of black athletes have affected how we think and thus how we view sports. In 1994, Jack Nicklaus said there weren't more African-Americans in golf because "blacks have different muscles that react in different ways."

As stupid as that is, where's the Fuzzy Zoeller remark? I guess it doesn't work as well in this context.

And that backward thinking isn't limited to whites, either. Former ESPN NFL analyst Michael Irvin channeled his inner Jimmy the Greek when attempting to explain Tony Romo's abilities. Irvin surmised that Romo was good because his "great, great, great, great grandma pulled one of them studs up outta the barn [and said], 'Come here for a second.'"

All of that makes for interesting discussion. But you know what? It has abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with this magazine cover. Go look at it again. If you think the magazine editor or photographer set up that picture intending to reinforce any particular stereotypes about black men or white women or what happens when a black man holds a white woman, you're out of your fucking mind. The picture is about LeBron and Gisele looking like they're having fun while doing what they do for a living.

Or, shit, maybe I'm naive and stupid and everything Hill speculates about the photo's intent is actually true. But if you know for a fact that that's the case, please don't tell me. I kind of like living here in Noteverythinghastobeaboutracegoddammitville. (It's located in HeyIunderstandracismstillexistsbutfortheloveofgodletsnotmakeeverythingintoaracialissue County.)

15 comments:

Tonus said...

Now that this issue is out in the open, it's time we addressed Kevin Garnett's racism. Ever notice when he hits an important shot, the way he stands and poses and lets out this primal snarl... people see that and assume that black people are savages!

Why isn't Jemele writing about this? Is she laying down on the job or something? GAHHH that was a sexist remark, sorry!!!

Chris W said...

Usually when a minority claims that an image/statement/whatever is offensive and white people claim emphatically that it's not offensive and that the minority is trying to invent racism where it isn't and that the minority themself is the racist, I cough "bullshit" loudly.

This, however, is the one exception that proves the rule.

Seriously...how on earth do you find that offensive?

Ugh.....Extremist Sports Paparazzi Network.

Bengoodfella said...

Does anyone really think LeBron did not see the photos after they were taken? I doubt he would have agreed to let them use the picture if he was truly offended by it. I guess Jemele Hill thinks all basketball players are stupid.

What the fuck was she talking about with King Kong and all? Would it have been better if he had Vivica Fox in his arm? Then she would have bitched it is just making women seem like they are ornaments and objects. She needs to spend more time figuring out why she can't write a cohesive article and less time complaining about magazine covers.

CitizenX said...

Jemele Hill is completely right on here.

Additionally, the fact that he is dribbling a basketball plays into the stereotype of large black men as only being useful as basketball players. If this isn't racist, why isn't HE in an evening gown* and she dribbling a basketball?

I thought so.

*Note: This might also be racist.

Ryan said...

"Additionally, the fact that he is dribbling a basketball plays into the stereotype of large black men as only being useful as basketball players."

Actually, he's dribbling a basketball because he's LeBron MF James. Retard

Bengoodfella said...

Ryan, I hope you got the sarcasm in citizenx's post. I think he was being sarcastic when he made the comment about stereotyping because LeBron was dribbling a basketball.

I thought more about this article and I think I blame Jemele Hill's editor for it as well. Someone has to tell her and Simmons, "No!" when they come up with another half assed idea for an article.

John Foley said...

Hey ryan I'm pretty sure citizenX was making a funny. You might want to ease off with the "Retard" response.

dan-bob said...

Maybe Ryan was making a funny in response to CitizenX's funny.

Chris W said...

I don't think any of this is funny.

We're talking about RACISM people

larry b said...

CitizenX, the evening gown comment is not racist but it is homophobic. And we don't tolerate that around here.

CitizenX said...

Homophobic? What are you, some kind of mariotti?

larry b said...

And now you're degrading sanitation workers, diabetes sufferers, and midgets. ("Little people?" I'm sticking with midgets until I hear otherwise) Real classy. It's people like you that make the internet unsafe.

CitizenX said...

It's ok for me to say because I met him once. True story. I handed him his credentials for the NBA Draft.

I would hate to imply anything, but he actually is a bit fey in person.

larry b said...

I'll buy it. Doesn't sound that far fetched. Of course, Jeff Garcia has faced the same accusation.

Anonymous said...

I thought the article was over the top, but the basic idea isn't that ridiculous. It was definitely a reference to King Kong, which is what makes it offensive to some. I'm not sure how I feel, but I understand why some would be offended.