Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jalen Rose vs. Grant Hill

Recently an ESPN documentary was shown about the dynamic Fab Five that played at Michigan during the 1992-1994 seasons. The guys changed college basketball. The most noted part of this documentary is the fact that Jalen Rose calls rival Duke players most notably Grant Hill an "Uncle Tom." I agree the comments from Jalen Rose came from a younger, frustrated person who was clearly upset that his upbringing wasn't like that of Grant Hill's. Michigan is no community college though. He had the same opportunity to get a quality education at Michigan as Hill did at Duke. I also feel that the term "Uncle Tom" is too strong to be used in this instance. Hill and the other black players didn't shuck and jive to get on the team. They played great basketball, and came from two parent households. Rose is essentially saying that he resented Hill's upbringing. He needs to be upset with the "man" who left he and his mother alone to struggle. Jalen has yet to apologize for his past comments in any of the television appearances which would lead one to believe that he still feels the same way. By Rose calling the black players Uncle Toms, he is also calling all the black students that ever attended Duke the same ugly name. That is just disrespectful. What this writer fails to realize is that Jalen Rose is now the person that he has proclaimed to have disdain for. He is the establishment. His children are privileged, they will go or already attend private school, he is wealthy, his children are coming from a two-parent home. Also while Jalen is toting the ghetto pride flag, his own Fab Five team mate Chris Webber went to the same type of private school as Grant Hill! He also came from a middle class two-parent household! But they don't want to say that. They just want to make Hill and his teammates look less than, feel inferior to, and further perpetuate the hate that is steeped in our culture. I know what the definition of this term is and in this context it is being used to describe those black people who come from a traditional nuclear family complete with a comfortable living situation and higher education. First off, I believe in free speech as much as the next person, if not more. Now I understand playing at a collegiate level will bring out all types of feelings and cause things to be said. Rose said while speaking with Skip Bayless ,that he understood the context of what he said, that is NOT the same as an apology. I say that he owes him and the rest of the players and students an apology because it discredits their talent and disrespects them as individuals. Grant Hill's response was printed in the New York Times and is basically saying that he is not apologetic for where he went to school, who his parents are, or how "black" he is in comparison to Rose or anyone else. Rose apologized via Twitter to Hill before it aired but has yet to say it publicly or remove it from the final cut. One could even go as far as saying that the Fab Five were "Uncle Toms" for choosing not to attend HBCUs. I would say not to judge each other and the sooner we can get away from belittling our own the stronger and better we will be. I'm not taking either man's side. This is just my opinion. Formulate your own.
Link's to both Grant's response and the documentary are below.

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