I nearly mentioned Marc Lamont Hill’s anti-Israel speech at the U.N. yesterday into this afternoon’s pot pouri, but ran out of space. It’s a good thing, because the story wasn’t over. CNN reacted to the speech late today by firing him as a regular contributor.
While condemning Israel and calling for strong international support of Palestinians and a new Palestine, he said in part,
“Contrary to western mythology, black resistance to American apartheid did not come purely through Ghandi and nonviolence. Rather, slave revolts and self-defense and tactics otherwise divergent from Dr. King or Mahatma Gandhi were equally important to preserving safety and attaining freedom. If we are to operate in true solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must allow the Palestinian people the same range of opportunity and political possibility. If we are standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people, we must recognize the right of an occupied people to defend itself. We must prioritize peace, but we must not romanticize or fetishize it. We must advocate and promote nonviolence at every opportunity, but we cannot endorse a narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in the face of state violence and ethnic cleansing….We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots action, local action and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.
The last part was the tipping point, it seems: the phrase “from the river to the sea” has long been used by those who advocate wiping Israel off the map. The Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center responded to Hill’s comments by calling them open support for the elimination of Israel. From Jewish Journal:
Sharon Nazarian, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) senior vice president for international affairs, told the Journal in an email, “Those calling for ‘from the river to the sea’ are calling for an end to the State of Israel.”
“It is a shame that once again, this annual event at the United Nations does not promote constructive pathways to ‘Palestinian solidarity’ and a future of peace, but instead divisive and destructive action against Israel,” Nazarian said.
Similarly, Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Journal in an email, “Justice requires a ‘Free Palestine from the River to the Sea’? Marc Lamont Hill is a confirmed anti-Zionist ideologue. His extremist, anti-peace views merit coverage on CNN, not as a paid pundit but as a supreme propagandist unfettered by facts.”
Hill furiously argued on Twitter that he was being misinterpreted, but to no avail. He is a Professor of Media Studies and Urban Education at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Hill would have had a stronger defense if he was not an open admirer of anti-Semite and routine Jew-hater Louis Farrakhan. I would have fired him years ago for being an outrageous race-baiter who sells anti-white bigotry and racial division on CNN using his academic credentials as false authority. A typical moment: when a Baltimore Court correctly threw out the politically and racially motivated indictment against one of the officers involved in the Freddie Gray death, Hill tweeted, in defiance of the evidence and law, “The acquittal of the Baltimore Officer is yet another reminder that Black life isn’t worth much in this nation.”
Let’s ignore all of the many other good and long-standing reasons to fire Hill however, and pretend he had previously been responsible, fair, and professional. Or we could pretend he was a mongoose. No, let’s just stick with responsible, fair, and professional to keep it simple…
Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day:
Should Marc Lamont Hill have been fired for his speech at the United Nations?
Just for fun, I’m now going to see what Jonathan Turley says about this, as he is a reliable defender of free expression when tenured professors engage in outright racist speech on social media and elsewhere…
Nope, so far no guidance from the professor.
Once again I should note that habitually confuse Hill with Neil Degrasse Tyson, another academic who abuses his credentials to engage in race-baiting. I think it’s because they both use their middle names, which has always seemed pompous to me. Tyson is also in trouble: From Patheos:
“Two more women, including a fellow astronomer, say Neil deGrasse Tyson is guilty of inappropriate sexual conduct. Dr. Katelyn N. Allers, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Bucknell University, told me that she was “felt up” by Tyson at an after-party following a meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in 2009. AAS didn’t have a mechanism for reporting sexual harassment at the time, but Dr. Allers says she probably would report the incident if it had happened today…Ashley Watson, a former assistant to Tyson …says she was forced to quit her job due to his inappropriate sexual advances. Watson worked directly with Tyson for several months. She says that, during that time, he put her in an uncomfortable situation by attempting to persuade her into sex, and demonstrated his “predatory tendencies.”
It looks like Tyson may soon join Hill in academic celebrity purgatory. I sure hope they don’t team up; then I’d never be able to keep them straight.