Jemele Hill hits a nerve

Photo courtesy The Atlantic

The always outspoken Jemele Hill hilariously sent closet racists into a frenzy following her expose “encouraging black athletes to stop subscribing to white schools” exploitation tactics.

The “Unbothered” host and writer for The Atlantic published an article titled “It’s Time for Black Athletes to Leave White Colleges,” something actual HBCU attendees and alumni have been saying from their illustrious institutions for literally forever.

She wrote, “They attract money and attention to the predominately white universities that showcase them, while HBCUs struggle. What would happen if they collectively decided to go to black schools?”

Caylin Newton, a quarterback at Howard University and the younger brother of Carolina Panthers star Cam Newton, wasn’t offered a scholarship from any of the Power Five conference schools. But in his freshman season he helped the Bison defeat University of Nevada-Las Vegas. There was no choice but to pay attention to the power that HBCUs could have with the right recruits.

If Florida A&M University had the same athletic budget as Florida State University, the whole infrastructure of Florida would be flipped upside down. An institution that once produced the best of draft picks and still the greatest number of black graduates would threaten the system that has consistently tried to keep them at the bottom.

Fox’s extremely far-right correspondent Tucker Carlson agrees with the sentiment that athletes should be reimbursed for their contributions to these big programs, but he said he finds it hard to believe that race plays a part in that discussion.

But the real problem is, people who disagree with what Hill said don’t care about the athletes generating millions of dollars for their schools while not profiting any for themselves; it’s that they don’t want those dollars benefiting HBCUs, and really black students.

“Meanwhile, black colleges are struggling. Alabama’s athletic department generated $174 million in the 2016-17 school year,” Hill wrote.

For context, in 2016, FAMU’s total endowment was $113.1 million. It is astonishing that an entire university’s worth is significantly less than one school’s athletic department budget for a single season.

To be all the way real, collegiate and professional sports rely on black bodies. Period.

Black men make up 2.4 percent of undergraduates in the major athletic conferences consisting of 65 schools, but 55 percent of football players and 56 percent of basketball players.

And for all those crying reverse racism, Merriam-Webster says racism is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

“Historically” is not synonymous with “black only,” and this is not the segregation that simple minds are trying to make it out to be.

In actuality, the current state of our HBCUs’ athletic departments, or HBCUs in general, is the actual product of perfectly executed segregation. Like before integration even happened, they are given inadequate facilities, they are underfunded, and the media refuses to give them the same exposure.

So, if anyone is receiving the racist end of the stick, it’s safe to say that it’s still HBCUs.

Despite being expected to win championships with third-string talent and hand-me-down equipment, HBCUs continue to give opportunities to those who otherwise would have been overlooked.

After all this uproar, what will continue to happen is the kid belonging to the white family with mediocre athletic abilities, who wasn’t good enough for Florida State or Duke, will be given a chance at the very HBCUs that they don’t want black athletes to go to.