Washington’s Etan Thomas (above) was amongst the panelists at Morehouse College this week, alongside Spike Lee, Jim Brown, Stephen A. Smith, the Times’ William Rhoden, and of course, Rutgers’ Vivian Stringer and AOL Sports’ Jason Whitlock. The good news for Big Sexy is that after a brief face-to-face, Thomas would rather not “call you an Uncle Tom, a sell out, say you™re tap dancing for the media, putting down your people so that you can move up the ladder of success in a Clarence Thomas, Ward Connerly, JC Watts-type fashion.” On the other hand, Thomas also warns, “you came across worse than Bill Cosby” in a guest editorial from Slam Online.
I spoke to some of the students at the conclusion of the event and let me tell you, they did not hold you in high regard. One student said he wished I had more time to speak about holding the few black journalists we have accountable and how glad they were that I stood up to, in his words, your œUncle Tom way of thinking.You heard the one student get up during the question and answer portion and ask you how you can pride yourself on œamening, as he called it, all of the negative things that the media says about not only us, but the entire hip-hop culture. Hip Hop is not all negatively charged, prison culture embracing, gangster rap music, as you seem to think.
I™m sure you heard the abundance of sighs and moans when your quote about moving the NBA All-Star game to Europe was read. You said in an article entitled œMayhem Main Event at NBA All-Star Weekend that œDavid Stern seriously needs to consider moving the event out of the country for the next couple of years in hopes that young, hip-hop hoodlums would find another event to terrorize. You also said, œAll Star Weekend can no longer remain the Woodstock for parolees, wannabe rap artists and baby™s mamas on tax refund vacations. You went on to talk about how you felt as if you were walking in a prison yard when you saw all of the baggy jeans, white t-shirts, doo-rags, etc., and that you were in fear for your life.
You completely demonized them to the point that they began to be repulsed by your words before you even spoke them. You don™t understand that you were describing the attire of most of the young people attending the forum. Young people in college aspiring to become journalists, lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers, etc., were put into one big mass of negativity simply because of their clothing. Unfortunately, this is a label that is commonly placed on them by mainstream America.
Mr. Whitlock, hip-hop is not the problem. Baggy jeans and boots are not either. Hip-hop is a style and a culture that apparently you do not understand.