Pop Culture, Race & Politics

All Sold Out: A couple thoughts about the “Fab Five,” Grant Hill, and the Uncle Tom stigma

Kyrie Irving put me in an extremely unusual and unsettling place earlier this fall. You see, Irving is the best 18 year old point guard I’ve ever seen¹. And, since I’m a mercenary when it comes to basketball fandom — I’m a fan of whichever team my favorite players happen to be on — it stands to reason that I’d become a fan of whichever school Irving happened to sign with.

But, Irving signed with f*cking Duke, and that changed everything.

You see, ever since they managed — in consecutive years, mind you — to beat my two favorite college teams ever (the 1991 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels and the 1992 Michigan Wolverines) in the NCAA tournament, my heart has reserved a special cabinet of hate for the Duke Blue Devils. Sh*t, even as a 12 year old I could sense that there was something inherently hateable about this unbearably preppy, unusually smarmy, and unapologetically arrogant collection of the spawn of astronauts, lawyers, politicians, and rapists².

To me, they stood for everything wrong about the way the world worked. There was no fairness in the fact that this agglomeration of rich assholes — people whose privilege meant they already won at life — should be allowed to be great at playing basketball too. To twist the knife in the gut even more, pundits, commentators, and columnists love to laud Duke for “playing the right way” and “respecting the game,” which is akin to a high school principal giving a trust fund senior a citizenship award, even though the senior was just caught f*cking a freshman on the hood of his Maserati Quattroporte in the school parking lot.

With that being said, it should come as no surprise that a part of me could relate to the statements Jalen Rose and Jimmy King made about Duke and black Duke players in ESPN’s recent documentary “Fab Five.”

From Rose:

“For me Duke was personal. I hated Duke and I hated everything Duke stood for. Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me. I felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.”

I too have always felt that Duke seems to prefer to recruit kids from more affluent backgrounds. And, although I wouldn’t go as far as call a black player who signed with Duke an “Uncle Tom,” I never got the feeling that black dukies were “down for the cause” (whatever the hell that means)

Of course, this — and “this” is a “general feeling about Duke shared by many African-Americans” — is all baseless bullshit. And, considering the fact that I too came from a middle class background with two married parents at home and went to a private middle school and a suburban high school, my bullshit was especially thick. Because I disliked the fact that they beat up on two of my favorite teams, I spun each possible positive characteristic into a negative.

They weren’t confident, they were arrogant. They weren’t team-oriented, they were masking the fact that they had no real talent. They weren’t talented, they were lucky. They weren’t hard-working winners, they we’re poseurs lifted to prominence by byzantine means. I allowed my disdain for their success and the attention given to them turn me into, well, a hater. And while Rose and King obviously were speaking about their past feelings, I don’t think either of them really stressed how wrong they were to feel that way, and that was very disappointing.

Oh, and about “Uncle Tom.

There are certain accusations that, true or untrue, forever stick with you. Men wrongly accused of rape are still thought of and treated as rapists by those who only need an allegation for confirmation of guilt. “Uncle Tom” carries a similar permanent stigma, and I can’t even imagine how frustrating it must be for a black person who has done nothing but do things the way they’re supposed to be done to always have their racial identity questioned.

This frustration was clearly evident in Grant Hill’s tomeic response to Rose and King’s comments about black Duke players. You could almost sense that this missive had been festering inside of Hill for decades.

It was a sad and somewhat pathetic turn of events, therefore, to see friends narrating this interesting documentary about their moment in time and calling me a bitch and worse, calling all black players at Duke “Uncle Toms” and, to some degree, disparaging my parents for their education, work ethic and commitment to each other and to me. I should have guessed there was something regrettable in the documentary when I received a Twitter apology from Jalen before its premiere. I am aware Jalen has gone to some length to explain his remarks about my family in numerous interviews, so I believe he has some admiration for them.

In his garbled but sweeping comment that Duke recruits only “black players that were ‘Uncle Toms,’ ” Jalen seems to change the usual meaning of those very vitriolic words into his own meaning, i.e., blacks from two-parent, middle-class families. He leaves us all guessing exactly what he believes today.

I am beyond fortunate to have two parents who are still working well into their 60s. They received great educations and use them every day. My parents taught me a personal ethic I try to live by and pass on to my children.

I come from a strong legacy of black Americans. My namesake, Henry Hill, my father’s father, was a day laborer in Baltimore. He could not read or write until he was taught to do so by my grandmother. His first present to my dad was a set of encyclopedias, which I now have. He wanted his only child, my father, to have a good education, so he made numerous sacrifices to see that he got an education, including attending Yale.

Hill ended his response with the type of pointed digs that only comes from people who’ve been deeply hurt.

I caution my fabulous five friends (Ha!) to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped them back then for their appearance and swagger. I wish for you the restoration of the bond that made you friends, brothers and icons.

I am proud of my family. I am proud of my Duke championships and all my Duke teammates. And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five.

Yikes. If ever a #shotfired hash-tag was appropriate, it’s now.

Hill has received a bit of criticism for the length, tone, and, since this was basically a response to quotes about feelings Rose and King had 20 years ago, timing of this statement. But, there’s no script or statute of limitations on expressing the type of pain that comes from having to undergo a racial identity interrogation, and I can’t fault Hill for basically saying “Ya’ll analog niggas can kiss my f*cking Dukie ass” in the most verbose way possible.

Whew. There’s a lot to digest here. Race, racial identity, how racial identity affects how we see the world, and whether there’s a “right” way to be black seem to be questions we’ll never fully answer, baggage we’ll always carry.

On a more positive note, this past season allowed me to release one of my burdens. Sticking true to my basketball fandom principles — and not wanting to miss out on watching a guy who had the potential to be one of my favorite college players ever — I did the unthinkable: I finally rooted for Duke.³

¹Yes. Better than Derrick Rose, John Wall, Chris Paul, Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, Mike Bibby, Jason Kidd, Ricky Rubio, Jay Williams, Baron Davis, and any other highly-touted 18 year old point guard you or I can name. This doesn’t mean that he’ll be as great of an NBA player as some of the guys I just mentioned — even though I’m pretty certain he will — but, he’s better at this stage than all of them were.
²Joking about the rapists part.
³Of course, Irving got injured 8 games into the season, and hasn’t played since. I haven’t been this disappointed since the last episode of Seinfeld

—The Champ

Filed Under:
Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • http://Fatgrlatheart.com Fatgrlatheart

    Wow. Good post.

    Was just writing the other day about me having to defend my blackness to other blacks and to Hispanics. “being black” means different things to different people but I don’t understand why people insist some of us are not “black enough”. Yes I speak spanish …but my ancestors were also enslaved Africans – just in the Dominican republic not the U.S.

    • themagicman

      Dude is not better than Marbury, Kidd, Davis, or Bibby in high school, but I see where u were going with post. These dudes are high school basketball LEGENDS. Great post nontheless again….

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “These dudes are high school basketball LEGENDS. Great post nontheless again…”

        yeah, i know these dudes were legends, I’m not dispute that they each were great. all I’m saying is that, from a pure basketball context, irving stands a bit above them all

        • Medium Meech

          Better than Sebastian Telfair?

          • http://twitter.com/Grice_Is_Right Jonathan

            Yall must not have seen him play the games for Duke he played…I live in NC…kid is good…

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

              exactly.

            • DQ

              Maybe I’m not seeing it, but to me he is on par with every other good point guard that went to Duke, but I’m not seeing him being better than any of the Duke alum that preceded him, and I have little doubt that he will meet the fate that virtually all Duke guards meet (whether they’re black or white). He will excel in the college program (as they all do) and he will falter in the NBA (as they all do). I think the strength of Coach K’s overall program hides their individual flaws and weaknesses.

              • http://twitter.com/Grice_Is_Right Jonathan

                Yeah…you must not have seen him play…i mean a whole game…you see Nolan Smith ACC POY right now….? Yeah, he was barely starting when Kyrie was on the court…

                Kyrie > John Wall….shooting is the difference…

                • DQ

                  @ Jonathan,

                  I saw few of his games and honestly his performance seemed less dominant than Jay Williams. Call me crazy. I just don’t think he nearly as good as you all are suggesting.

              • Medium Meech

                So you’re saying the biggest flaw in his game injury by way of hard pick set by a tree and his ducati? Or just old fashioned Grant Hill injuries?

                • http://twitter.com/Grice_Is_Right Jonathan

                  “So you’re saying the biggest flaw in his game injury by way of hard pick set by a tree and his ducati? Or just old fashioned Grant Hill injuries?”

                  I don’t get it, please further elaborate…if ur referring to Irving, it was a bad injury to which it seems as if he’s recovered from….from what i’ve seen, his biggest flaw (if not this toe), was that he’s 18, and that’s not really a flaw..lol

                • Medium Meech

                  @Jonathan. I was joking. Jason Williams, PG for duke? DQ said that he would meet the same fate as all other duke guards, I was saying two of the brightest stars’ careers were derailed by injury.

                • http://twitter.com/Grice_Is_Right Jonathan

                  LOL im slow…10-4

                • DQ

                  I’m saying we’re not seeing the biggest flaws/weakness in his game because he plays in a system that masterfully minimizes. That’s actually a compliment to Coach K.

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                “I think the strength of Coach K’s overall program hides their individual flaws and weaknesses.”

                i actually thought duke was holding him back a bit. like, if he was in calipari’s dribble drive offense at kentucky he might have averaged 22 and 8 this year

                • DQ

                  He would also have Calipari’s lack of team discipline. Part of what makes any player good, is the players around them and their discipline, and here Coach K excels better than most others (with perhaps the exception of Bobby Knight.) His players do their job.

            • Medium Meech

              I only said Telfair because they both looked great against high school competition. And yes, I consider those games at the beginning of the season glorified high school competition.

              • Intelligentleman

                I’m with you here. I need to see him against better competition to give him THAT level of respect. And honestly, I don’t know if that will happen in today’s college ball. Plus he ain’t staying in college long.

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                “I consider those games at the beginning of the season glorified high school competition.”

                so 31 against Mich St and completing owning Jacob Pullen of Kansas St. (a senior who was a first team pre season all-american) is glorified high school competition?

                • Medium Meech

                  Those last two games were his best, but I remember him having a lot of turnovers against K-State. The point of him not facing enough competition to come to that conclusion remains. I really would have liked the opportunity to see him play that whole season. Duke probably did too. Well, maybe not Seth Curry.

        • d.young1

          Hold up Dame!!!! K. Irving is a very good PG at the young age of 18 I agree. However saying he’s the best ever is quite a stretch. A young Steph Marbury at 18 would’ve ate Irving up. Steph was a killa! ..6’3”, strong, bungeez, and you had to guard dude soon as he entered any gym (crazy range). I know you didn’t forget about da young boy from Coney Island….Come on Dame….lol

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            I don’t know about that, cuzzo. I think Steph was more explosive offensively, but Irving’s game is a bit more completely. While Step might have been a better basketball player, Irving’s a better point guard (if that makes any sense)

            Steph was a f*cking monster though, I can’t lie.

            • http://twitter.com/Grice_Is_Right Jonathan

              “While Step might have been a better basketball player, Irving’s a better point guard (if that makes any sense)”

              Thank you Champ! To break it down even further…Irving’s best games would be 31 pts, 10 assts, 5 steals, while Marbury could go for 40 and 5 assts….I just don’t think we’ve seen the full development of Irving…he only played a month really…and he is worthy enough to be compared w/ the college greats…got Tarheel fans down here scared of him even before the season started this year…

              • Omar

                It should be clarified that the 31 points, 10 assists and 5 steals aren’t in the same game it’s more like 31 points and 4 assists or 17 points and 9 assists, which really doesn’t put him ahead of Marbury.

                All of this kind of depends on what you want from a point guard. Kyrie Irving but after seeing both videos of him in high school and his stats it would be hard to put him ahead of Marbury or Derrick Rose. Marbury in high school averaged 28 pts and 9 assists and consistently blew out competition when New York was still one of the toughest places in the Country. Derrick Rose averaged 25 pts, 8 assists and 9 rebounds and almost single handedly lit up basketball powerhouse Oak Hill whose point guard at the time was Brandon Jennings. I only really saw Marbury at Tech but I’ve seen Rose in high school and he was one of the most unstoppable guards I’ve ever seen.

                Kyrie is a great floor general, but people like Rose and Marbury were going to win the game for you, and if we are talking about floor generals you might have to put Ed Cota into the conversation too.

                • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                  “Kyrie is a great floor general, but people like Rose and Marbury were going to win the game for you, and if we are talking about floor generals you might have to put Ed Cota into the conversation too”

                  cota couldn’t score in an empty gym, so he doesn’t belong in this conversation.

                  anyway though, there are few things i’m more confident about than being able to assess point guards, and i think irving has the total package. time will tell if i’m right, though, but i doubt i’m wrong

                • Omar

                  “cota couldn’t score in an empty gym, so he doesn’t belong in this conversation.”

                  At 18 (high school) he could, and he managed talent on the floor as good as anyone in college basketball, also based on Irvings 8 games Cota has a better assist to turnover ratio. So it depends on what you’re looking for, Irving wouldn’t score as much (wouldn’t need to) with players like Vince Carter and Antwan Jamison.

                  “time will tell if i’m right, though, but i doubt i’m wrong”

                  I guess the tournament will tell but from where I sit I don’t see him having done much that Rose or Marbury haven’t, especially Rose.

            • d.young1

              I agree with you on that. @Jonathan well listen homeboy I’ll take 40 and 5 any day…lol We are talking at age 18 though….It didn’t get much better than Starbury. I have to see a little more from Irving to give him that label. A good stretch early on versus the likes of mid majors like Princeton and Miami(OH) isn’t overly impressive to me. Da kid’s nice not just loosely giving him the greatest 18 ever pg label…as of yet. I have Duke winning it again btw

              • http://twitter.com/Grice_Is_Right Jonathan

                This is like asking which would you rather have, $1 million or $1.2 million dollars…i mean either one is great…but his best game WAS against Michigan State…that’s not Princeton OR Miami of Ohio….also played Kansas State, Marquette and Oregon….no real slouches there…I still think that the best from this kid is yet to come and he’s the real deal….makes his team so much better and still gets it in even on a guard heavy team like Duke…

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                you didn’t see what he did to mich st and kansas state?

        • headliner

          First post, but good topic…..

          I know most of yall are East Coast, but the best 18 year old point guard I’ve ever seen was Randy Livingston from NOLA, one of only a few guys to win 2 national high school POY awards. Size, range, vision, great shot, jets, dude had it all, well until he blew out his knees before playing a game his freshman year of college, never recovered…..

    • http://lefthandscribble.tumblr.com LoveB_Jones

      Random, but I wrote a research paper on African ancestry in the Dominican Republic. It’s really an interesting subject. Hispanics don’t think you’re one of them b/c your skin is darker and Black Americans feel as if you deny your root simply b/c you identify as Dominican instead of Black.

      • http://GenevaGirl.net Geneva Girl

        I have a good friend who is Dominican, but says that he’s African American. He says that the slave ship just made a stop off there first. He feels that we’re all the same – and he’s right.

        • http://hotbiscuitsandgravy.blogspot.com Bengemin Grehe

          The thing about this, tho, is who is right? Since I’ve been to some other hemispheres around the world, I realize that we often define race as we see it in America. Essentially, we have an Americanized view of racism, which I don’t think should be used to define how other people view themselves.

          I do see your point, I just wouldn’t be so quick to judge the race of others, and how they wish to define themselves. The first time I went to South Africa is when I started to think that a lot of these definitions and stuff don’t really matter. Not to really judge South Africa or South Africans, but as an American, you haven’t really seen racism until you step foot into that country. Beautiful country nonetheless.

          • Leila

            “I just wouldn’t be so quick to judge the race of others, and how they wish to define themselves”

            Co-sign completely! I can’t tell you how many people tell me that I’m not really black and I’m African umm….I think it comes from what people are exposed to and how to define race. The truth is that there’s black people all over the world inc South America, New Zealand, Europe.

      • http://www.twitter.com/creolesoul CreoleSoul IS…TheUndeniable

        It used to annoy me to no end when some Black people think one is ignoring their Blackness when 1st generation Black people of foreign heritage regularly acknowledge that heritage, or when Black people of mixed heritage regularly acknowledge that heritage. Then I realized it was mostly out of ignorance, so I tuned a lot of it out.

        • Be On It

          For me, I got really annoyed not because people identified with their heritage/ethnicity or whatever, but when these same people fix their lips to turn around and challenge my blackness because of my skin color/hair (mostly west indians, sometimes latinas). Ok, so you get to claim your identity, but I can’t cuz YOU have issues with my color and culture? GTFOHWTBS

      • IET

        The same is true for Haitians.

      • Medium Meech

        I think black Americans get angry with Hispanics that don’t consider themselves black for that very reason. No matter where you go or how you what angle you take, black is always last on the bottom of the totem pole in social and aesthetic perception and economic status.

        Hispanics in general have an extremely unfavorable view of people of African decent. When a group of black people try to embrace the identity of an ethnic group that doesn’t accept them to escape the shared stigma of being black it its taken as a slight.

        We take it that way because you don’t take offense to the unfair characterizations, you instead choose to embrace them (and thus look down upon other blacks) and disassociate yourself from the reality that you are the object of their disgust by claiming only ethnicity and nationality pretending that race has no place in your identity.

        I understand that Sammy Sosa doesn’t consider himself black or even Dominican and black and that his wife isn’t black. But if you identify yourself as Dominican because of a shared cultural heritage and not because you are ashamed of the color of your skin, then why do you have to bleach it? And why are the people that look like you the ones that only ones that consider it shared?

        Whatever. We all have our own racial crosses to bear.

    • Girl Kanyeshrug

      “being black” means different things to different people but I don’t understand why people insist some of us are not “black enough”.

      I agree. I think its awful. I refuse to defend myself. I can go skiing when I want…

      • Girl Kanyeshrug

        skiing = Anything people consider ‘not black or not black ENOUGH”

    • Yoles

      hola chica (Blatinas UNITE)

      i constantly get into debates with black americans regarding my blackness… Soy Cubana, Soy Negra, Soy los dos…. its a battle but i keep fighting…

    • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

      Girl don’t get me started. Jamaicans ARE BLACK!!!! I don’t where this “islanders aren’t black” nonsense came from. We were all slaves once, we just got dropped off first and rebelled quicker. Cosign.

      • WayUPThere

        Talk dat ting to dem!

        Luckily in my experience, as I have aged I’ve found less people thinking that Jamaicans (and by extension islanders) are somehow not black.

        • Kimmy

          To be honest, I’ve never actually met a black Jamaican that thought they weren’t black. What I do see often is that they will say they are not African American.

          • V Renee

            “What I do see often is that they will say they are not African American. ”

            This is what I see too.

            Hell I prefer Black over African American .

          • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

            Exactly

          • Sula

            The thing is sometimes there is a definition of “Black” as in Black Americans that is meant to define people from this country who share the same culture… When being Black is defined that way, even my blue-black self understands that I may not be included in the conversation.

            Case in point: I had a colleague who was fairly light-skinned as in green/gray eyes, long auburn hair… She was creole I believe. And like I said, I am at the other end of the spectrum of color (read really dark-skinned. :))… It was funny to see our white colleagues facial expressions when she declared that I was not Black. :)… Instead of taking offense (because to be honest it’s a bit unsettling having an almost white looking girl call me not black), I just understood that she meant being Black American as in belonging to a certain culture that I am not part of … And if Black is defined that way, I totally agree.

            • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

              I say it all the time, what is Black? Who is really BLACK? We’re all descendants of Africans.

      • Kimmy

        Hi SFG! I get your point but remember not all Jamaicans are actually black, but I think you are talking about the ones that are black saying they aren’t. I think with Jamaicans, one issue is the fact that we identify so strongly with our nationality that we don’t always think of ourselves in terms of our race. I’m not making any excuses just offering a possible explanation.

        • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

          True. I know. Jamaica is filled with Blacks, Chinese, Indians and Whites. Majority of the Island is Black so people don’t feel the need to point out their race in terms of a color. Jamaicans do say they’re not African American where all Americans hear is JAs saying their not Black. One big miscommunication.

          • Kimmy

            Exactly!

          • CaribbeanQueen

            YES me and my mother were talking about this the other day.
            We dont identify as african-american, but we do consider ourselves black.
            african american means to me someone whose ancestors were slaves in the United States.

            • Be On It

              It’s funny and sad to me how the slavery experience is highlighted so much more in US history as opposed to the other slave-holding countries. It’s as if there is this cultural amnesia about the reason why those countries have black and black/mixedrace populations. I wouldn’t notice this trend so much if, in many conversations that I had with West Indians and Caribbean/South American latinos, they didn’t get visibly upset when I mention the slave-holding history of their country. Or that the practices favoring the granting of freedom, citizenship, et. al to mixed race individuals was dramatically restricted when the European colonizers sent women over, as opposed to just male soldiers and laborers.

              Too often, when someone of Caribbean/South American ethnicity is talking about what differentiates them from black americans, it comes off as less “hey, this is my ethnicity, fyi” and more “nope, I’m not from one of those slave families”, with nary a mention of their own history. If they know it at all beyond the fact that mummy and daddy (or grandparents) emigrated in 19XX.

              • CaribbeanQueen

                no!! i know my ancestors were slaves. but they were slaves in jamaica. and every generation since then has been born in Jamaica. and thats the difference to me. african-americans are those who have no caribbean, or actual African descent. every generation of blacks in their family has been born in the U.S. except for the ones who were originally brought over from africa.

                • Be On It

                  I get that you know that. I’m just talking about the experience I’ve had with other blacks from the Caribbean and South American part of the black diaspora.

      • niksmit

        It comes from people who don’t understand that “black” is not an ethnicity. So if you aren’t black like me, you aren’t black at all. We are really lacking in historical knowledge about the diaspora.

        • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

          “It comes from people who don’t understand that “black” is not an ethnicity.”

          BAM!

        • Medium Meech

          I don’t think black has a formal definition. Blacks in America aren’t really African Americans. Technically that’s more correct for a white guy from south America. I think originally black was just one of the words in a long line of descriptors for black people in America. Somewhere between colored and then coming full circle back to Ninja.

          • niksmit

            It doesn’t have a formal definition. For me personally, Black is an umbrella term for people with known African ancestry. It covers the entire African diaspora across all ethnicities and nationalities.

            Which Black people in America “aren’t really African Americans” in your opinion?
            I’m not really comfortable with telling people how to identify. My ancestry is U.S. based for as far back as I can go. I call myself an African American. It’s my ethnicity. It covers all the possible mixing, history, and distance that prevents me from getting more specific. I feel this descriptor sums it up and cannot be confused with U.S. Americans who are recent voluntary immigrants from the African continent (or descended from). When speaking to other knowledgeable people, they hardly ever refer to themselves as African, they specify their nation or ethnic group of origin. I don’t care about confusing other people. They need to be schooled IMO.

            • Medium Meech

              Good point about recent African immigrants referring to their country of origin. It is funny how the most racially diverse continent in the world is reduced to a single country.

            • Banana

              “Black is an umbrella term for people with known African ancestry.”

              I don’t necessarily agree with this particular point, only because there are like 8 African countries that are considered predominantly Arab (Egypt, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria). Are they considered Black too? It’s really a tricky issue, though I see where you are coming from with your overall post.

    • http://www.pnkwire.blogspot.com C.d.h.

      I know this dominican guy who claims that he is not black. Anytime he speaks he refers to himself as hispanic and not black and makes an extra point to do so, because to the us he looks black anyway, nobody even would know he was dominican if he didn’t constantly remind us of his “non-blackness” It’s interesting that you consider yourself black beacuse Im so used to that fool.

      • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

        I’ve seen this too. Alot of Afro Hispanics out here are insecure and rep their island by denouncing being Black. I have to remind them that they have brown skin and naps. LOL

      • Yoles

        those people are a different breed… sometimes it just because they don’t want to be lumped in with african americans, sometimes its because they just don’t want to associate themselves with what is seen as negative and sometimes its because in latin society the one drop rule goes the other way, so one drop of something else be it indio or white makes you that instead of black.

  • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

    like you i’ve never liked duke ever. the only two players i’ve ever respected that played for duke were grant hill and steve wojohowski. i can’t stand christian laettner. after his racial comments when he got the nba that just confirmed why i hated him.

    elton brand- hate him
    jason williams- hate him
    dante jones- hate him
    corey maggette- hate him
    chris duhon- hate him (x2)
    sheldon williams- hate him (x infinity)

    i’m with jalen rose. duke doesn’t recruit from the inner cities. they would never come to a city like i lived in a look at players seriously. perhaps that’s why i’m surprised they signed kyrie irving out of east orange, jersey (is that inner city?). i have two words that back up jalen rose’s claim about duke’s recruiting. trajan langdon. duke found quite possibly the only black high school player in the state of alaska. smh

    oh yeah. grant hill’s response was eloquent and typical. (in the words or jalen) he’s still a b*tch though.

    • @milesfan79

      Carlos Boozer was dookie from alaska too smh

      • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

        damn. how could i forget about him. and he played an extended period of time in utah which by association…..

        • WayUPThere

          Since this topic is so close to a former home (literally), I had to do some research. Turns out Kyrie Irving is from West Orange and went to High School at Montclair Kimberly Academy, a school whose name alone calls to mind sadittiness at its pinnacle.

          Being from the area, I can tell you this:
          West Orange is def a suburb- $1 million homes don’t lie
          Montclair Kimberly Academy is a prep school for kids who want the best of everything and specifically kids who DONT live in the inner city. At my high school, we made up stories about just how rich the kids were who attended MKA and how they used silverware at lunch. Thing is, the stories weren’t much of a stretch…smh

          Jalen continues to be right.

          • Naomi

            For some reason this made me think of serius jones v. murda mook. “Your government is Jonathan Ancrum, you went to Fordham prep…”

            • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

              not that was hilarious.

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

              “For some reason this made me think of serius jones v. murda mook. “Your government is Jonathan Ancrum, you went to Fordham prep…””

              still, for my money, the best freestyle battle evisceration ever

          • http://www.todisspits.blogspot.com MictheMessenger

            Alot of times though, these schools recruit kids from the hood to come play for them. To be honest, I can’t even hate them for doing it if they’re trying to get a better education and get out the hood.

            • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

              that’s the whole point though. duke doesn’t recruit from the hood. like they aren’t good enough to attend duke.

              • IET

                What if the recruitment locations are hood enough according to Duke?

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

                “that’s the whole point though. duke doesn’t recruit from the hood. like they aren’t good enough to attend duke.”

                i’m sure nate james, sean dockery, corey maggate, and william avery might dispute that. also, recruitment is a two-way street, and I don’t think a lot of the high level b-ball prospects from the hood are necessarily receptive to duke recruitment either

                • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

                  you know how you solve all this? all the top black sports stars start looking at HBCUs again. i bet that would throw a big monkey wrench in the game. imagine hampton being the number 1 seed and duke the 6th seed. it would be that way if segregation were still alive today. *shrug*

                • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

                  William Avery is from Augusta, GA. Augusta ninjas are naturally hood.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            “Since this topic is so close to a former home (literally), I had to do some research. Turns out Kyrie Irving is from West Orange and went to High School at Montclair Kimberly Academy, a school whose name alone calls to mind sadittiness at its pinnacle.”

            he may have started there, but i know he attended perennial powerhouse st. patricks his last two years of high school

            • WayUPThere

              Yeah St. patrick’s is a powerhouse indeed and they regularly send at least two to three kids to top programs a year but they’re a small school in a city (elizabeth) that’s half and half: not good, not bad.

              So for the purpose of making Duke look bad, using his first school works pretty well, although it doesn’t tell the whole story. He’s still from West Orange, which is definitely a suburb. Whoopi Goldberg just bought a house out there.

      • Medium Meech

        Trajan Langdon was too. Don’t sleep on Alaska being hood though. Joker the Bailbondsman represented.

    • WayUPThere

      Kyrie is from EO?! Coach K must have gone there with top flight security! lmao. But I’m sure Kyrie went to a local private school in the burbs so Coach K didn’t have to be in EO too much. I still don’t like Duke anyway.

      But in all seriousness, I was born and raised in East Orange, New Jersey and I have siblings and 2 nephews who still live there. When I was growing up it was inner city, but it wasn’t inner city in the sense that people were getting killed daily, although there were def drugs, gangs, violence. Hell, driving home from school one day, my dad used our van to stop some kids jumping another kid in the middle of the street. Ole boy ran to the hood of my dad’s van for cover.

      BUT that was in the 90′s. Currently, the city is on an upswing renovating properties and attracting new demographics, but it still has its rough patches and no one would confuse it with a cakewalk/suburb by any stretch.

      ps. 2520′s call the place “questionable.” http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-jersey/384935-east-orange.html lol

      • Mr. Gundam

        Speaking of my hometown there WayUPThere.

        Im atleast living in the town for a few more years. But, EO is nice place to live. Schools nearly every four blocks lol

        PS your right about the new demographics tho. Couple more ppl move in my apartment and all of a sudden they fix the vending machines and add one of those RedBox machines in the building smh

        • Classy6ft5

          “Schools nearly every four blocks lol”

          Shout out to EO School District!

          *I’m not going to put the name of my school on here…..might be some District workers lurking…..

      • http://twitter.com/mdrNJ2DC Trenton Famous

        I believe Kyrie Irving is from West Orange. Not hood. He went to St. Patrick’s in Elizabeth. Kinda hood.

        And yes, East Orange is still Illtown

    • http://www.ronbronson.com Ron

      Plainfield, New Jersey had hood tendencies, but Jay Williams didn’t go to Plainfield HS. Of course, my cousins from Newark always called it the suburbs growing up. And relatively speaking, it is. But not to the people who surround the place and it’s just gotten worse in the decade I’ve been gone.
      East Orange is most certainly the hood. Probably not to some kid living in the throngs of Newark, but East Orange is certainly inner city. Just for the record.

      • Ron

        And I was just in Irvington this summer with my best friend who is a Pastor in Newark. It’s Jersey, so you can still spend $300-400k for a house, but trust me…there’s absolutely nothing suburban about it.

        • coldsweat3

          I think he may be from Elizabeth, NJ. His dad played professional ball in Australia.

          Sadly Jalen Rose thinks I am a Uncle Tom. *holds head in shame*

          • Watson

            Kyrie Irving caught my attention a few years ago because I initially thought that he’s from East Orange, then I saw Irvington, but he apparently lives in WO now, after being born in Australia, plus he played at private schools in Montclair and Elizabeth. So I don’t know if EO can really claim him.

            As to whether EO is “inner city”, I grew up there way back, and I think of it as a suburb (of Newark), mostly low-rise, one, two and three family detached homes, plus some apartment buildings. To the extent that “inner city” means “black”, then I guess EO qualifies. “White flight” was running its course in the 50s and 60s when I was there.

            It happens that I played against Jalen’s dad Jimmy Walker(!! & RIP) in college. I can relate to what Jalen said about Duke. Good luck to him and Grant, and hello to everyone in East Orange.

    • @milesfan79

      as i look at this list it seems like if you’re blk and goto dook you are pretty much cursed entering into NBA, all players listed had short careers, washed up or didn’t live up to “hype”:

      Grant hill stayed hurt and missed his prime.
      elton brand, duhon and maggette are pretty much washed
      jason williams got hurt in motorcycle accident
      trajan langdon only lasted in nba abt 2 season
      boozer has had decent luck in nba so far but time will tell

      • http://twitter.com/Grice_Is_Right Jonathan

        Forgot about William Avery…who? Exactly…lol

        And I wouldn’t call Elton Brand washed, nor Boozer…both have had pretty decent careers with their respective teams…He’s valuable to the Bulls, as they paid a grip for him…

        People are piling on the criticism for Duke, but for ever Calipari coached team, we need a team that holds Blacks to a higher standard…get an education, win some titles, enjoy your college years…

        Calipari, like the Fab Five, has never won an NCAA Championship…

        • A Plus

          good points Jonathan. and if Calipari ever does win a title, i’m sure it’ll just be vacated at a later date

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            oh it WILL be vacated at a later date. lol.

          • Sula

            Agree with Jonathan’s points.

            And it may point to another sociological question, maybe kids from the “hood” want it more therefore are “hungrier” going into the NBA? I personally don’t feel any specific way towards Duke (I hate their mascots though), but I appreciate the type of basket ball players a la Grant Hill (only poster of a celebrity in my room growing up :))… My NBA team is the San Antonio Spurs so it’s easy to say that I appreciate a certain “type” of basketball players… and basketball in general.

            • DQ

              I hate the Spurs too.

              • Sula

                Not surprising… :P :)

      • A Plus

        if you’re blk and goto dook you are pretty much cursed entering into NBA

        nah, if you play ball and go to dook (love the spelling, you must be from carolina) you’re pretty much cursed entering the NBA. JJ Redick isn’t exactly an all-start. did you see when he got crossed up and his teammates were on the sidelines clowning him?!?!? hilarious.
        coach k recruits players that he knows will be great college ballers but don’t have the skills that will translate to the next level. and those that do have the skills, k somehow convinces them to stick around in college longer than they should, thereby destroying their draft status and hopes at playing at the next level (Singler). kyrie was an anomaly. k knew he’d be a one and done, but would give him a nice shot at back to back titles.

    • Naomi

      Smdh at shelden williams. freaking disgrace.

      • WayUPThere

        Shelden Williams…Ha! But he’s married to Candace Parker, and given the motto for this site, some would say that he’s #winning.

        Duke kids only stand out in the college game for the most part. Coach K doesn’t prepare them well for the next level and history proves it.

        • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

          yet everyone wants to hate on john calipari. even though he produces one and dones, he prepares his kids for the next level.

          derrick rose- mvp candidate
          john wall- rookie of the year candidate
          tyreke evans- rookie of the year

          4 first round draft picks in last years draft.

          duke’s track record speaks for itself.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            you forgot all the Calipari players who are probably in the prison system though. lol. i think it might even out. LOL

            • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

              lol you may have a point there but still i’d play for calipari before i played for coach k if my ultimate goal was to make it to the league.

          • http://twitter.com/Grice_Is_Right Jonathan

            Well hold on though…what’s the job of a college coach? Oh yeah, win Championships…everyone hates on Coach K for his kids suckin in the pros, but w/ those same 3 guys…

            Rose- (Choked in the NCAA Final)
            John Wall- (lost in the Elite 8? I know beat 1st round game, Wake (Go Deacs!) and Cornell (barely))
            Reke- (he ain’t do much in his year there)

            What did Calipari do other than manage the personalities of some kids that had the “1 and Done” rule not been created, would have went straight to the NBA out of high school…and the way he recruits, he obviously just does whatever he has to to get the kids there….so forgive me if im not crazy impressed….only kid i will say he “Coached” is Cousins….he got so much better from beginning to end of season!

            But Coach K takes kids that have no business being drafted, and gets them drafted…and I think it’s more of these kids being set up to look better than they are at Duke, than them just not doing well in the Pros….which is a sign of GOOD COACHING!

            Not a Duke fan, but I do think that w/ Duke, some people are guilty of “jumpin on the pile” (in football when a guy is down, other ppl just jump on top of the guys tacking him…for those that don’t know)

        • WayUPThere

          old motto for this site*

      • A Plus

        do you mean physical appearance or basketball skill? the world is still scratching its collective head trying to figure out how he pulled candace parker.

    • tgtaggie

      Sheldon Williams is one unfortunate dude. But he was winnin’ when he got Candace Parker. Also I am one of the biggest Duke haters too (I am hoping UConn will roll over them in the elite eight). That’s why my Tarheels is going all the way.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        you did see how Duke dismantled them in the ACC championship game right?

        • A Plus

          they played well, we didn’t. we also played two extremely tiring games the two days prior. and we destroyed them the previous week to win the acc regular season title outright, which speaks to our body of work over the entire season. but that’s neither here nor there…

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            you mean that inconsistent body of work? y’all ninjas are like luther vandross’s weight.

            • A Plus

              14-2 in the regular season = inconsistent body of work? ok.

              • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

                i was talking more of the tarheels in general. and talking sh*t. good regular season championship though. congrats.

                Zeller is a true superstar!

                • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

                  Crud, I got 404′d. Anyway Zeller’s mom has a t-shirt that says “Zeller is a true superstar”.

            • TiP

              Inconsistent AS HELL!!!!! I love it! Duke BABY!!! (n my vital voice)

          • http://twitter.com/Grice_Is_Right Jonathan

            The reason the games were tiring is cuz yall played terrible…it didn’t matter if yall were fully rested or not, the Blue Devils shot 61% from the FIELD in the first half…Roy couldn’t do anything…

            You’re playing in a Tourney these next few weeks too..not a season which covers a “full body” of work…6 games…win each, or go home…just like the tourney which yall just played in, but a lil longer…these freshmen better grow up, Barnes can’t score 50 every night, and he said so after the Clemson game lol

      • A Plus

        Taaaaaaaaarrrrrrrr

        Heeeeeeeeels

        • Sula

          My sister is about to become a Tar Heel… That should be interesting. :)

      • Sula

        (I am hoping UConn will roll over them in the elite eight)

        UConn has my sentimental heart as well… I was there front and center, when Emeka Okafor took the the trophy in 2004. Made me appreciate NCAA b-ball. Best birthday present ever.

    • miss t-lee

      “sheldon williams- hate him (x infinity) ”

      #hilarity
      This made my morning. For real, I’m CTFU over here.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      i can’t lie, i hated Shelden Williams too. i always felt he was way too soft.

    • LSQ
    • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

      i’m with jalen rose. duke doesn’t recruit from the inner cities.

      how is this a student athletes problem though? was Grant Hill not supposed to accept recruitment to Duke (where he’d have ample opportunity to make the most out of his education, since education is important in his family, apparently) so he could remain “down for the cause” in all outward appearance?? because there are certain types of black athletes who im sure have gone to Duke who didnt care for the state of the black community, all black Duke athletes have to carry that stigma? please.

      black ppl are harsh and unfair towards each other and i can see why he wrote his response. typical.

      • YaleGent

        agreed !

      • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

        i don’t have a problem with any black athlete for choosing to play for duke. my issue lies with duke university’s athletic program and their recruiting methods. like i said, i grew up in the inner city and i guarantee that a school like duke would have never looked at any kids who played for any high schools in my area. and yes we had great STUDENT athletes.

        • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

          i guess what im sayin is– Rose making his comments about Duke, and then spitting these very harsh and RUDE comments about Grant, specifically, makes it seem as if its Grant’s problem that he went to Duke. and thats just dumb.

          • http://biggerthomas.wordpress.com MadScientist7

            oh ok. i’m with you in that case. i’m not supporting rose’s comments about hill. maybe about latenner but not hill. lol

            • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

              lol fair enough

      • http://www.pnkwire.blogspot.com C.d.h.

        I was thinking the same thing. Don’t blame the players. If your problem is with the recruitment then thats one thing, but if someone offers you something that you are interested in should you not take the opportunity?

      • Sula

        Thank you very much.

      • Ivy St.

        Thank You! I agree.

      • Leila

        Agreed!

  • Tes

    *rereads post a third time*

    …yeah, so I’m thinking all of this is out of my league or over my head in some way. O.O I’m tired, somebody tell me how to feel about all this.

    • Lina

      Just know that Duke is the greatest and everyone else is just hatin’ lol

      • MzPW

        Just know that Duke is the greatest and everyone else is just hatin’ lol

        Ummmm…no.

    • @milesfan79

      Most would view a black person that likes dook basketball in the same manner you might view a black person that is republican, voted for mccain and wants palin to run/win in 2012!

      show me 1 black person that like dook and i’ll should you 50 that hate dook

      • http://hotbiscuitsandgravy.blogspot.com Bengemin Grehe

        It ain just black people, tho. Duke has probably the most hated basketball program in the country, and the majority of the country is very much non black. The only people that like Duke are Duke alum and Dick Vitale….and apparently The Champ.

        • Girl Kanyeshrug

          I met Dick Vitale..He’s really nice…

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “It ain just black people, tho. Duke has probably the most hated basketball program in the country, and the majority of the country is very much non black. The only people that like Duke are Duke alum and Dick Vitale….and apparently The Champ.”

          this is true.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        yeah, im with Grehe here…folks HATE duke across race lines. I think there are monkeys and elephants that hate Duke.

        • http://twitter.com/fixedwater fixedwater

          AMEN

        • A Plus

          you all would be surprised at how many regular ol black folks in north carolina, and…how can i say this in a pc way….white folks that live in homes that can be mobile…love duke. we call these people “wal-mart dook fans”

          • SpottieOttieDarlin

            ehh, I was raised in NC (and only recently left) and althought DOOK is hated by blacks/whites… DOOK is loved just as much in NC. I’ve had HEATED UNC vs dook conversations with people, black and white. Tempers flair, names are called, women and children have been killed… it’s SERIOUS.

          • Medium Meech

            Duke probably gained some fans in this demographic after the lacrosse scandal.

    • TheAnti-Cool

      @Tes

      I’m with you here. I might have to sit this one out in terms of commenting.

      I’ll just read and try to learn something today.

    • Yoles

      @ Tes

      you are NOT alone… i’m sitting on the sidelines right there with you… i read it and was like who is fab five? 20 years ago? what does this have to do with now? is this march madness? and a host of other questions i could not answer and do NOT feel like googling.. i’m taking my ignorance and cuddling up in it this time…

      • http://twitter.com/Grice_Is_Right Jonathan

        But it’s not just for the sports posters…it’s about the black folks from the hood vs. Black folks from the suburbs….and the whole notion of Black folks who are doing well, and from good households being ostracized b/c of things that are out of the childrens’ control…and the Fab Five kind of played on that heavy….it was more easily accepted in this situation b/c most everyone hates Duke…

        • LSQ

          right on!
          this is the earthquake of two tectonic plates of american black folks.
          Once upon a time (think the cosby days), we worked hard to be accepted -> and the debate was about “should we assimilate to be accepted by the majority?”

          the counter argument came at the same time through hip-hop. “Accept me for who I am, dammit”

          The glorification of thug life was not necessarily just machismo, but the counter argument to the “we got to behave like _them_ to be accepted by _them_” and its still a strong message to this day.

          Like in the wire, its a battle of socialization. The hip-hop generation’s battle is this.
          see http://www.hicktownpress.com/chanequa-campbell-and-brittany-smith-sleep-well-in-the-bed-that-you-made/ and the fact that chenqua claimed to be “Loud and Proud to be from the hood”

          in this case examples of two social classes (Jalen / Hill) find themselves in a rift, and its quite obvious why they won’t be able to just get along.

          • Sula

            I like this breakdown very much.

          • Medium Meech

            Great insight. I think this captures it perfectly.

    • keisha brown

      @ Tes, @AntiCool @Yoles

      start here (if you care enough)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fab_Five_(University_of_Michigan)

      the more you know…

      • Mimi

        I feel so proud of myself because I am not even a fan of basketball (both the pros and the NCAA) and I know about the people that The Champ has written about in today’s post.

        ::pats self on the back::

        • http://www.pnkwire.blogspot.com C.d.h.

          I don’t. O_o All I know is Grant Hill. lls oops *runs and hides*

      • TheAnti-Cool

        Thanks KB. :)

        Interesting stuff…

      • Yoles

        thx KB

        i came back and have been reading the comments and went to the link and now i’m more informed… i will say that now the comments are talking about other people irving, coach k whatever… i’m done with research tho… thx again!

    • WIP

      I guess I need to get a real work day in every now and then.

      • Classy6ft5

        LMAO!

  • @milesfan79

    “You see, ever since they managed — in consecutive years, mind you — to beat my two favorite college teams ever (the 1991 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels and the 1992 Michigan Wolverines) in the NCAA tournament, my heart has reserved a special cabinet of hate for the Duke Blue Devils.”

    I feel you pain, my HATRED for dook started when they beat UNLV, i’ll admit it might be petty and even racially charged but i HATE them! I get somewhat appalled anytime i meet a black man thats not a dook alum or durham native that will admit he is a dook fan. The root of my hate does stem from those game, i viewed as the “black team” vs the “white team w/the uncle tom black guys”, yea i’ll own up to it 100%. Im pulling my “i;m black so i hate dook” pass(shoutout to yday’s post).

    Grant hill response just further proved he what jalen was saying IMO. He chose to boast about blk dook players accomplishments and take cheap shot at end with “i never lost to fab five”. It was almost 20yrs ago!! His letter reminds me of a the nerd or fat chick from HS everyone picked on, that made it big/lose weight and comes back to HS reunion to show-off and tell everyone off. I really think he could hv contacted jalen offline/in private like grown man if it really pissed him off that bad.

    SB: check out the email elton brand recieved from dook slum when he chose to leave dook early, this reminds me of why i HATE dook:

    http://www.sportsgrid.com/nba/elton-brand-duke-letter/

    • Aceklub

      I think that “never lost to Fab 5″ was just some competitive smack talk. IMO, grant hill was trying to emphasize that black people come from all experiences and backgrounds and that we should applaud all blacks who were able to succeed rather than disregard them as not being “black enough”. At the end of the day, we are all one step away from catching “Rodney king” treatment.

    • Leila

      I see where they’re both coming from. I hate Duke too and Jalen made valid points, but he was out of pocket for calling the black players “Uncle Toms.” He’s allowed to express his feelings, but blame the school not the black players who went there. Grant Hill had almost no choice but to respond…..

      • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

        agreed.

        and they both have the RIGHT to respond. i appreciate both having the candor to express themselves.

    • WIP

      What exactly makes the black players “Uncle Tom”s?

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        nothing. they’re just recruited by and go to the white establishment school. nevermind that its a championship program and a good school. lol. its most perception about them though.

        plus folks need somebody to hate.

    • coldsweat3

      You do realize that calling blk Duke Players “Uncle Toms” shows a bigger cheap shot right? I think your hatred of Duke is seriously clouding your judgement. When he mentioned the accomplishments of the Duke Blk players i am confident it was to imply these people have gone on to great careers, WHICH ARE MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR ALL BLACK AMERICANS. This sort of response if not grant hill would have come from another source. Jalen wasnt going to be able to call someone a uncle tom for growing up in a two parent household and it was going to escape scrutiny. If you read the totality of Grant Hill’s response he goes on further(very eloquently i might add perhaps that good Duke education) to explain how at the time Duke even had one of the preliminary black historians as a professor at the school and he was able to learn alot about his own identity as an African so uncle tom, they are not.

      • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

        *nodding head in agreement*

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      I get somewhat appalled anytime i meet a black man thats not a dook alum or durham native that will admit he is a dook fan.

      lol. i’ve never applled anybody before. i think i like that.

      • SugaShane

        i’m a durham native…lived there 18 years and i know alot of duke fans..and carolina fans. maybe you should do a blog on the CRAZINESS that black people LOVE representing from the hood. what’s wrong with NOT being from the hood and being from the suburbs? duke probably didn’t recruit from the hood b/c there’s enough hood in durham to go around. LOL ok joking..but seriously…i think we are the only people in the world who love representing from the hood. like we NEED to stay poor and can only have credibility if we are. people who aren’t born in the hood or who have parents who didn’t struggle are all the sudden uncle toms. we won’t ever get anywhere with that mentality..but i’ve listened to a panel with michael eric dyson and a few other notable Black intellectuals who spent most of the seminar bragging that they had to struggle or they were from the hood. does this make me less black because although i can appreciate it, i didn’t come from there? it’s straight ignorance..for me, the disagreement is less about the color of my skin but more about socioeconomic status and having/not having to struggle or be poor. RUN TELL DAT!

    • A Plus

      are we the same person?

  • WayUPThere

    Yeah I think the biggest issue that people have with it now is the fact that Jalen never specified that he has come to think otherwise currently. Given Jalen’s new level of income and steady work with ESPN, I’m sure that his child is going to grow up in an affluent background and so his kid may be, by extension, one of the kids that he railed about as a 17-18 yr old.

    Secondly, I actually scoff at people who make anyone defend their blackness for merely being educated or trying to better my situation. It’s this systematic reinforcement (by black people no less) of the idea (created by the majority) that we are not supposed to be educated or successful that creates a lot of the problems that we currently face. We can’t unite and achieve much of anything when we’re too busy challenging each other’s authenticity and trying to “stay black” by doing things that will by and large keep us in the same tax bracket, on the same economic level, in the same neighborhoods, and retard progress across the board.

    Yes, that sounds harsh up there when I say that “I scoff,” but the icons that most of these people look up to (rappers, athletes, entertainers) are telling them (and everyone) MOVE OUT OF THE HOOD AND BETTER YOURSELF SOMEHOW. Lil Wayne, TI, and Jay Z and countless athletes are not shy about where they come from, but have said in interviews that where they came from was so bad they told themselves that they had to get out and then encourage others in those setting to do the same. Some even up initiatives and foundations to give back to those in impoverished communities, so that they can make something of themselves and get out of the cycle of poverty, violence, and sub-standard living.

    I never understand how one black person challenges another person’s blackness merely on the basis of education. How are you challenging my blackness when I’m trying to do a small part to elevate the perception of the race by being someone that refutes prevalent negative white notions of black people?

    • DanceHallKing

      Yeah I think the biggest issue that people have with it now is the fact that Jalen never specified that he has come to think otherwise currently. Given Jalen’s new level of income and steady work with ESPN, I’m sure that his child is going to grow up in an affluent background and so his kid may be, by extension, one of the kids that he railed about as a 17-18 yr old.

      In the documentary it comes across as pretty obvious that he doesn’t think that way anymore.

      • WayUPThere

        Yeah but people just want to hear him come out and admit that, and since he did that neither in the documentary nor in subsequent interviews, they are up in arms about it. I think Jalen knows better than what he thought as a 18/19 yr old but people want him to at least admit it openly, and since he hasn’t, they’re giving him hell.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        i dont know that i think it does in the documentary. what does come out is that Jalen felt bitter about Grant Hill personally. but i never got that he didn’t feel Duke generally recruited Uncle Tom arse ninjas. Grant was just directly personal.

    • Myseducation

      *co-sign*

      • keisha brown

        co-signs the cosign

    • WIP

      All this. And like you said, it’s black people that do it which makes the least sense in the world. Even if felt that way at 18, I wonder how many other black 18 year old males have this jaded perception?

    • http://twitter.com/SmartFoxGirl SmartFoxGirl

      Yep.

    • LuckBALady

      Thank you!! You said it way better than I could even try to.

  • ac dubois

    i totally get jalen’s sentiments, he just did not communicate them in the best way. had the whole “uncle tom” thing not been part of the discussion do you think people would still have a problem with how jalen felt? his feelings are real and I can honestly say I deeply understand how it hurts to feel like you are part of a losing game. i mean, black folks always want to talk about how we want equal opportunities and a fair chance and he was vocalizing his struggle to deal with the fact that he was not given on and lowkey envied those who were. this kind of reminds me of the shirley sherrod situation, except he didn’t lose his job.

    all of that aside,they were definitely taking shots at those players and it was more than trash talk. they used words like “soft” “b*tch” “pretty boy” “overrated p*ssy” to describe their peers. how did they think people would receive that? is that usual talk for ball players?

    • Cali

      “all of that aside,they were definitely taking shots at those players and it was more than trash talk. they used words like “soft” “b*tch” “pretty boy” “overrated p*ssy” to describe their peers. how did they think people would receive that? is that usual talk for ball players?”

      Umm, I would think that’s MILD compared to the real trash talk fans don’t get to hear, LOL!

      • V Renee

        I agree. They talk HELLA SH*t on the court/rfield/whatever.

        I’m actually in the process (not really but I’ve considered it) of creating a show in which I take clips of games and ad lib what I think players are saying to one another.

        A few examples:

        “You like how I ran that back don’t you p*ssy boy. You, in a ‘vette couldn’t catch me”
        “Yo mama can catch a ball better than you ol b*tch azz ninja”
        “This azz whooping hurts me more than it does you….don’t worry it’ll be over soon”
        “You need more people”
        “B*tch you are a non factor in this game” (shout out to EVE)

    • http://twitter.com/eazylittle Eazy

      Yeah that’s a little intense but it’s still typical trash talk…particularly if players don’t care for each other. Nothing I haven’t heard before

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “Yeah that’s a little intense but it’s still typical trash talk…particularly if players don’t care for each other. Nothing I haven’t heard before”

        yeah, but stuff like this typically stays on the court and in the locker room, not in a documentary

  • http://twitter.com/mdrNJ2DC Trenton Famous

    I don’t hate Duke players, I hate their self absorbed, corny, nerd ass Camron Crazy fans. Never have I seen a wacker assortment of lames, goofs and cornballs.

    Agreed with Champ’s point re: Grant Hill pent up frustration with being called an Uncle Tom. and Jalen Rose’s explanations notwithstanding, what did we really expect Grant to do? Jalen may have had a nuanced point, but the black blogoshpere/twitter seems to be all about defending Jalen and saying that we all “really” know the truth about Duke. I even agree with much of it. But Grant Hill got called out by name. He reacted appropriately, and got in that ass.

    • Aceklub

      You bring up an interesting point in terms of black world defending Jalen. Now I agree that Jalen has caught much hell and this has been primarily by the mainstream media. I appreciate his honesty and understand his point. Even with Grant Hill response , you still get the backlash from some with the “grant hill get over it, you priviledged, you should not feel any hurt from Rose comment. Get over it even though you blackness has been called out all your life b/c you have it good.”. It is similar to harvard univ story where black party was shut down b/c it was “too hood”. People were calling the rebuttal from the student, dismissing his disappointment on some “don’t act like you above us regular folks”

      • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

        you just made me think of another type of black pass that would go with yesterdays post– the “you come from a lower socioeconomic background so you can talk bad about those from a privileged background”

    • coldsweat3

      Personal feelings towards Duke aside. There is no way I can support Jalen’s Uncle Tom’s comment. For starters, its the wrong use of the term “Uncle Tom”, next the term should only be used by people who have read the book “Uncle Toms Cabin” which is a real catch-22 cuz then youd realize the statement makes no sense whatsoever. I think while Duke may not recruit out of the inner-city is it because they are snobby or because they want to maintain their academic standards? I am not implying that inner-city african-Americans cant go to Duke, im saying there academic standards may serve as a barrier to entry that is all. Duke is an elite Southern school first and a basketball program second.

      Grant Hills response was appropriate, not even just based off of being called out by name but the media needed a response from a black Duke player to set the record straight and so AA do not need to be considered less “Black” because they were fortunate enough to have a black Daddy.

      • Myseducation

        Here, here!

      • WIP

        “AA do not need to be considered less “Black” because they were fortunate enough to have a black Daddy.”

        Isn’t funny how we lament the problems black people have in America, yet when people overcome the barriers we ridicule them for not being black enough?

        • IET

          “One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro…two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” -W.E.B Du Bois

    • ac dubois

      if nothing else, Grant’s response should have also address the names that they called him on national television and pretty much attacked his masculinity.

      this may not matter to some but I definitely think that jalen misspoke when he used the term “uncle tom.” everything that jalen highlighted in his comparison with grant hill were all about social status. everyone is arguing that jalen is calling these duke players’ “blackness” into question but I think he was ATTEMPTING to address issues of privilege more than anything else, but he failed. blame it on the michigan public school systems lol

      • coldsweat3

        @WIP yah its crazy, we cant win from losing.

        @AC Dubois

        I dont think we can go putting words into Jalen’s mouth. Issues of privilege? This would make more sense in the context of white legacy and NOT black families which just started going to school and chose to marry and send their son to school. According to Grant Hill he was 2nd Generation college student, not exactly a crazy level of privilege. I think Jalen just looked foolish for his commentary, simple as that. If he was attempting to address privilege he would have used a choice of another word, Uncle Tom is not what comes to my mind when interacting with even a snobby black person.

        • ac dubois

          @ coldsweat3

          privilege is privilege. how do you qualify a “crazy level” of privilege?? and trying to take black folks out of the conversation of privilege won’t work. there is a black legacy see Our Kind of People by Lawrence Otis Graham (http://www.amazon.com/Our-Kind-People-Inside-Americas/dp/0060984384). lets stop pretending that the only people who have privilege in this country are white folks.

          I think I read someone’s comment below on the jack and jillers of the world and they pretty much highlighted how that privilege materializes for a lot of people

          and lets be real, a lot of people don’t say what they mean a lot of times. i can’t change his words, but that’s how his comments came across to me before I heard everyone else’s interpretations. his word choice of “uncle tom” was poor, but his message is entirely the same

    • http://twitter.com/fixedwater fixedwater

      AMEN
      (I’ve decided not to post any original thought, if I scroll down I’m sure someone else has said it for me)

    • A Plus

      I hate their self absorbed, corny, nerd ass Camron Crazy fans. Never have I seen a wacker assortment of lames, goofs and cornballs.

      funny thing is, before going to the school, most of them didn’t (and still don’t) understand the game of basketball. true story – first week of school, all the freshman attend a pep rally in cameron where coach k screams profanities at them and teaches them all the cheers and chants.

    • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

      @TF

      But Grant Hill got called out by name. He reacted appropriately, and got in that ass.

      exactly this.

    • Sula

      He reacted appropriately, and got in that ass.

      Agreed! And he did classy-like too. :)

  • Naomi

    I cannot stand the Duke for a myriad of reasons, but uncle tom was the wrong term to use. JUST WRONG. how about siditty (or however the hell that’s spelled lol), stuck up, snobby…but an uncle tom…cmon son!

    I like both Grant and Jalen, and from what I heard they are friends, so yea Jalen could have and should have made it very clear that that was how he felt at 18/19 but not anyone, or he should have just used other words. Again I say, cmon son!

    (Longhorns all the way!)

    • DanceHallKing

      I like both Grant and Jalen, and from what I heard they are friends, so yea Jalen could have and should have made it very clear that that was how he felt at 18/19 but not anyone, or he should have just used other words. Again I say, cmon son!

      Like I said above it’s pretty obvious in the documentary that that was the way he felt 19 years ago not today.

      • Naomi

        Maybe I should watch it again, but I don’t think they made it very clear about Duke and black players….at least to me.

        • Sula

          Yes, it was not clear enough… but maybe I need to watch it again as well.

      • keisha brown

        i havent seen it, but judging from what im reading/seeing – it’s not so obvious…

    • 516Hadaya

      “but uncle tom was the wrong term to use. JUST WRONG”

      I totally agree. I don’t particularly care about Duke (Go Kansas!!!), but uncle tom was just not right. Personally I was offended also. So you mean to tell me that just because very few of us black people who come from white collar families and live in $500,000+ suburbs are all uncle toms? smh Cas my dad was and still is far from being an “uncle tom”.

      But anywho I still agree with Jalen.

  • Ron

    The way this story has blown up in the media has just bothered me. The fact that Grant Hill felt the need to stoke the media fire really annoys me, but I suspect he was being pressured to give some kind of high minded response. Hence why he went to the NY Times, where the people who have no business chiming in on this topic will take him statement. In that sense, he’s basically demonstrated EXACTLY what Jalen was saying, even if it was ignorant in a sense.

    Grant should’ve been man enough to be call him up, bury the hatchet and the two of them go out and do some inner city outreach. That would’ve been a response that would’ve done Malcolm, Martin and whoever else proud. Instead? We get two millionaires duking it out in the mainstream media over what it means to be black, essentially.

    It’s frustrating and counter-productive.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      Grant should’ve been man enough to be call him up, bury the hatchet and the two of them go out and do some inner city outreach.

      i mention this downthread, but Jalen could also have let him know what he was gonna say too…lol. Via a phone call, and according to ESPN, Jalen just sent an errant arse “sorry” text to Grant Hill and then Grant saw the documentary and found out why he was apologizing. Takes two to tango. I do think Grant’s response should have been limited to: “I won a ring and I married Tamia. B*tch”

      • Mimi

        My brother is still a bit salty that Grant Hill was the man to take Tamia off of the market.
        Come to think of it, every man that I know has made mention that Grant Hill is one lucky SOB, simply because he has Tamia as a wife.
        IMO, because of this, I think Tamia is one of those underrated black s ex symbols.

        • keisha brown

          hot canadian black women for the win!
          *cough, cough…
          ;)

        • Medium Meech

          I was mad at that too. Then he gave her MS.

          • Sula

            Bwahahaha! He’s the one who gave her MS… Hilarity.

            If anything, her having MS and him staying by her side means that Duke dudes do get something right… marriage. #shotsfired.

            • Medium Meech

              You know who else was married? Uncle Tom. You know who wasn’t married? Jesus. Just saying…

              • Mimi

                ::clutches chest::

                Tell my mother that I loved her.

              • http://twitter.com/#!/NewYork2VA NY2VA

                I’m only lurking today because I have too much work to do to be messing with y’all nuckas today. However, Meech, your comment has kilt me dead, and I needed you to know that.

              • Sula

                Bwahahahaha! iCan’t with you today.

                :lol:

    • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

      @Ron

      why is it OK for Rose and the others of the Fab 5 to speak their minds in the commentary about the players/teams they played against in a documentary, but its not OK for a player specifically called out in said documentary commentary to have a response??? that makes NO sense. so hes supposed to just shut up and not have a reaction? FOH.

      this wasnt a comment that was made about Hill in secret and just so happened to be leaked to the public and Hill blew it up. the comments made were on national TV — in a reknown film series hosted by ESPN. so EVERYBODY is listening and watching. Rose didnt call Hill to alert him to his comments ahead of time. so why would it make sense for Hill to keep his comments about the documentary to himself and Rose?? again, FOH.

      theyve known each other since they were in HS. and for some one you consider a friend and colleague to say such harsh things about you on NATL TV simply because of your family upbringing and college-recruitment has GOT to be a blow. Hill had every right to publicly clear the air and set the record straight.

      • Ron

        ESPN had Jalen in their documentary. And then this stupid story keep getting ink, so he had to clarify because the powers that be seem to think he owed them an explanation. Grant should’ve been smart enough to realize what was happening here. That’s all I’m saying.

        • Sula

          Ron, c’mon.

          I mean, a friend talks about me (and a sizeable amount of the Black population mind you) on National TV with no prior information on what he said, and I have to monitor my reaction? I think not.

          I mean, if someone were to call me an Uncle Tom just based on what my background is, I would respond to them as well. Now if said person has a problem with it, they should check themselves before talking crazy.

          • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

            alla dis!!!!

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          whoa homes…you got that all wrong. lol. Jalen Rose is the exec producer of the documentary. in fact, he, jimmy king, ray jackson, and juwan were listed as producers. it was their call. ESPN had nothing to do with it. It just aired on ESPN. Jalen is clarifying b/c of something he said that he said and included intentionally in a documentary that he had final say in. it was his call. this wasn’t an ESPN thing at all. hell, like i said, Jalen texted Grant Hill to say “sorry” ahead of time b/c he knew what was coming b/c he had it in there on purpose. not that it was meant to be a dis to Grant Hill, but he knew what kind of impression it was going to have.

          • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

            im glad you mentioned them being producers because clearly ppl dont read credits.

  • CaribbeanQueen

    I think that this is sad, especially for the black community. we should be just as happy when we see the success of a black person from a good home as when we learn of another black’s rags-to-riches story. In my opinion, if they didn’t cheat and cut corners to gain their success, then I am happy for people in both situations. It’s not like Hill got things handed to him because of how he grew up. He still had to work hard to get to where he is. He still had to go to practice, do drills, lift weights, and do all that basketball stuff just like they did. And lets say they did recruit him because of his background? Thats Duke’s issue, not his. He had talent to go with his background. Why pass up an opportunity to play with one of the best college teams especially if you have dreams of making it to the NBA.

    • resIpsa

      precisely.

    • Ivy St.

      “Thats Duke’s issue, not his. ”
      Exactly!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “It’s not like Hill got things handed to him because of how he grew up. He still had to work hard to get to where he is. He still had to go to practice, do drills, lift weights, and do all that basketball stuff just like they did.”

      ***nodding head***

    • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem of the Ocean

      And lets say they did recruit him because of his background? Thats Duke’s issue, not his. He had talent to go with his background. Why pass up an opportunity to play with one of the best college teams especially if you have dreams of making it to the NBA.

      exactly this.