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ESPN Ombud: Network Can't Make Mistakes on Race

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Matt1735, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Matt1735

    Matt1735 Well-Known Member

  2. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Intriguing takes from the Ol' Ombud and Jemele Hill. I would caution Hill's "because I got a response, I was on to something" mindset.

    It brings up, once again, the intriguing idea of "subconscious racism."
  3. gingerbread

    gingerbread Well-Known Member

    That's not a fair take on Jemele's "mindset."
    I thought she made an eloquent point:

    "I can guarantee you that when I write a column critical of black people -- when I talk about how the black community should not make a martyr of Michael Vick for going to jail -- readers do not see it as a racial setback," Hill said. "I get glowing feedback for my 'thoughtful criticism.' But when I flip the coin and ask the mainstream to take a look at themselves, then I'm setting racial progress back."
    How does she understand the discrepancy between the positive response to "Black Magic" and the negative response to her column?
    "People don't mind looking at the past," she said, "but when you force them to examine the here and now, that's when they get prickly, because we like to think we have made it through this.
    "I don't understand why it isn't common sense to see that we might be past the first layer of overt racism, but that overt racism becomes subconscious racism and it has seeped everywhere. I am just trying to get people to be more aware of how even a seemingly benign image like the Vogue cover can further all sorts of stereotypes that I am afraid we have become so accustomed to we don't even see them anymore. That was the root of that column."
  4. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Yes, but when Jemele adds this, talking about the response:

    I think Alma is fairly summarizing her mindset. And I think she's wrong on that point: the fact that what you wrote set people off is not a sign that people want to talk about the issue. It very likely means they just want to vent about how misguided they believe the piece to be.

    Having said that... I didn't have a problem with Jemele's original piece. I was pretty surprised to see the LeBron-as-Kong cover and I don't think it's a stretch to suggest it plays into long-standing racial stereotypes.
  5. dcdream

    dcdream Member

    I surprised to see little comment on this thread.
  6. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    1) Of course, Vogue and Leibovitz exploited race, sex, and beauty. Doesn't everybody?
    2) I love Jemele Hill's columns, but I'm not with her on that cover as a "benign image."
    3) Intriguing thought in Schreiber's column: "comments" on the internet do not reflect readership; real reporting gets far more page views than opinion pieces. That's why I like Schreiber's columns; they contain both reporting and opinion.
  7. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    Did she ever address Bobby Knight? That fawning bullshit should have been mentioned at some point. It was downright embarrassing.
  8. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    That's just a well-done ombudsman column.

    She hits the good and the bad and makes solid comments.
  9. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    This is the first time I've ever seen this written or heard it spoken.
  10. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    I don't adore her work in blanket fashion, but I was one of the ones who exhorted the local multitudes to give her a goddamn chance, early-on, when she was being hectored beyond endurance . . . and she's come through handsomely . . . better than most. Do I love all her stuff, blindly? Hell, no. But right now, it looks to me as if ESPN made one helluva good bet on her.
  11. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    the 'subconscious' thing bothers me, too.

    action is what matters. not what you think, and not what you don't even know you think.

    you may want to steal a fancy car - but you don't. you may want to scream fire in a crowded theater - but you don't.

    action is the bottom line. if you treat everybody the same, but harbor some bias internally, is that racism? not in my book.
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