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Why Does Marc Lamont Hill Discourage African-Americans From Pursuing Success?

October 3, 2009


AIM’s Cliff Kincaid had another top-notch column yesterday which presented further research into the radical politics of Fox News Contributor Marc Lamont Hill. Kincaid highlighted the following quote from a February 2008 op/ed by Hill:

For whites, an Obama victory would serve as the final piece of evidence that America has reached full racial equality. Such a belief allows them to sidestep mounds of evidence that shows that, despite Obama’s claims that “we are 90 percent of the way to equality,” black people remain consistently assaulted by the forces by white supremacy. For many black people, Obama’s success would provide symbolic value by showing that the black man (not woman!) can make it to the top. Although black faces in high places may provide psychological comfort, they are often incorporated into a Cosbyesque gospel of personal responsibility (“Obama did it, so can you!”) that allows dangerous public policies to go unchallenged.

(I’ll leave aside that Hill does not specify the “mounds of evidence” demonstrating “black people remain consistently assaulted by the forces by white supremacy.” He also fails to note what public policies would be “dangerous.” There’s a bigger ideological fish to fry here.)

For poor children — of all races — born into the ghetto, what is the path out of poverty? Who are the symbols and role models they should embrace to inspire them? Are they anti-capitalist, anti-American figures like Assata Shakur, Fidel Castro, and Mumia Abu-Jamal which — until recently — Hill trumpeted from his websites? Or do the life stories of Barack Obama, Bill Cosby, Condoleezza Rice, Oprah Winfrey, Thomas Sowell, Jay-Z, and, yes, Marc Lamont Hill himself present more useful narratives?

Hill can mock the idea all he wants but a “Cosbyesque gospel of social responsibility” works. The American Idea — that in this country one can achieve personal success as a result of taking responsibility for oneself and participating in the free market system — has been demonstrated time and time again to be true no matter the skin color or gender of the person engaging in it. And Hill’s personal success is evidence of this whether he can realize it or not.

Part of this “gospel” of personal responsibility is honesty. Now that his previously expressed radical views have been exposed Hill has a few options:

1. He can risk his lucrative position as a Fox News contributor by defending the politics and leftist symbols which the majority of the country finds repugnant. (The “Free Mumia!” cult is marginal even among leftists. When Michael Moore of all people admits that a “progressive” movement is off base — as he did in Dude, Where’s My Country? — then perhaps that should cause some reflection.)

2. Hill can reexamine his politics. He can have his own “second thoughts” and explain how he no longer holds the same views he once did. He can do the same thing as Obama — throw his radical friends and symbols under the bus in order to engage the American mainstream.There’s nothing wrong with changing one’s political opinions.

The above two options are intellectually honest. The third, which Hill has chosen to pursue thus far, is not:

3. Hill can hide his actual views by changing his twitter page’s background, deleting his myspace, and trying to ignore his critics. In this fashion Hill can “have his cake and eat it too.” He can collect his Fox News money and present center-left views on The Factor while retaining his radical credibility in the leftist culture of the uxniversity.

This third option is not acceptable. The intellectual culture cannot function if its participants are deceitfully hiding their true political convictions.

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  1. GBArg permalink
    October 4, 2009 5:08 am

    The Left has a problem in honestly presenting their opinions, because they revulse the average American. Boiled down, they will fail politically if they are straightforward and honest.

  2. Laura permalink
    October 4, 2009 5:10 am

    Sadly, Prof. Lamont seems to be exploiting the African Americans just like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who thrive on race-baiting and “poverty pimping.” To listen to these guys one would think all the African Americans (outside of Hollywood and the Hill) are oppressed, poor blacks who can’t get anywhere because “the man” is holding them down. I’m not seeing it. Are there poor blacks? Yep. And there are poor whites as well. Are there well-to-do middle-class blacks? Yes, indeed. I live in a lovely neighborhood in Charlotte, NC where there are LOTS of prosperous African American families. What a joy! I just wish people would be honest and quit this shameless exploitation…are you listening Prof. Lamont?

  3. Jonathan permalink
    October 4, 2009 8:13 am

    In approximately 30-50 years, the three main ethnic groups will achieve parity as voting blocs. The economic problems that this country will surely develop in the interim will form the backdrop for real racial division, driven by unethical, agenda-driven politicians. Real trouble is looming on the horizon.

    Sadly, blacks have been made the political football of ideology for over 100 years. America badly mishandled black affairs throughout its history, starting with slavery, through reconstruction, through the civil rights era, right up to today.

    Many whites have no clue how radicalized many in the black community have become. The profound ideals of MLK are sadly on the wane.

  4. jac mills permalink
    October 4, 2009 10:11 am

    I don’t think Lamont Hill could risk his lucrative position at Fox — as long as he remains black. Come on folks, face the fact that he is on O’Reilly’s show because he IS black. Surely! I say that as a Fox fan.

  5. j c original permalink
    October 4, 2009 4:31 pm

    jack mills hit it right on the head..He’s on Fox because he’s Black. Period. Fox figures we’ll bring some new viewers. Fox judges him by the color of his skin. MLK had something to say along those lines.

  6. Keith permalink
    October 4, 2009 4:36 pm

    Some people get confused of what success really is, some black folks think if a small percentage of them that make it, all black folks have made it, thats like saying we live in a post racial society because we have a black president.
    african americans have the highest unemployment rate of any race of people in the country with just 12% of the population, and one of the highest incarceration rates of people in prison.
    We have BET without black ownership, we have Essence magazine without black ownership ..ext.
    Moving forward as a people means you have to create more businesses with ownership and control of your money, I don’t see much ownership and control of our money. I see the asian community that has been more successful than us because they know if you’re going to to lower your unemployment rate, you have to own your own business so you can create jobs for your people, that might explain why they have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.Look at how they market themselves by creating Chinatowns all over the country.It would be difficult for african americans to even think on that level, or implement it.
    A job doesn’t create wealth, ownership does, so let’s be clear of what progress really is

  7. Richard Brandt permalink
    October 6, 2009 9:08 am

    Last week, Dennis Prager said that individuals and groups that are oppressed or mistreated have a choice in terms of how they respond.
    1. They can contribute to a world where no one is subject to such mistreatment.
    Something like Rodney King saying: “Can’t we all just get along?”
    Like Mr King, Mr Prager belongs to a group that has suffered due to their race or religion.


    2. They can CHOOSE to be angry. I believe that group leaders may tell people that they have a duty to be angry. That this is part of their group’s identity. To me an example for Native Americans could be: “Don’t be an apple: red on the outside, and white on the inside.”
    Or for people to be told that doing well in school is “acting white.”

    Folks, don’t we make choices in life? Don’t we tell a lie. It doesn’t work. And we resolve not to do this again. Or do others make us mean or bitter? Before we get even with those who we feel have mistreated us, maybe we should spend think about all those who do things everyday that help us meet our daily needs. – or who make the world just a bit nicer.


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