Can you imagine the outrage if a white commentator wrote an article with the headline "The 15 Most Overrated Black People?"
On Monday, African American Studies professor and political commentator Marc Lamont Hill published a piece at the Huffington Post entitled "The 15 Most Overrated White People."
To honor Columbus Day, Hill began his piece by bashing one of our nation's most beloved figures.
"Although history proves that Christopher Columbus was an immoral treasure hunter who merely stumbled upon a region that had already been 'discovered' by indigenous non-whites," wrote Hill, "we continue to praise the vicious conquistador as a hero."
"To honor the true spirit of Columbus Day," Hill continued, "I have created my own list of overrated white people. Of course, this list is not exhaustive, as there are countless other White people who are equally underwhelming."
Imagine a white person writing, "To honor the true spirit of Martin Luther King Day, I have created my own list of overrated black people. Of course, this list is not exhaustive, as there are countless other Black people who are equally underwhelming."
That would be the end of that person's career, wouldn't it?
By contrast, Hill will probably win a Pulitzer Prize.
Here are some of Hill's "most overrated white people":
- Elvis Presley for not writing his own songs, barely playing the guitar, and being a "worse actor than the entire cast of Belly."
- Ronald Reagan for being "largely responsible for shutting down mental hospitals, bloating the military, shrinking benefits for the needy, sparking mass incarceration, and declaring ketchup a vegetable for our children's school lunches."
- Justin Bieber: "Sure, the kid can sing and dance. But is he better than dozens of black R&B singers? Nope."
- Tim Tebow for being "[a]t best...a 2nd or 3rd string player" and proving "an old football axiom: Black men throw interceptions; White men are 'gunslingers.'"
- Babe Ruth for being "the beneficiary of smaller playing fields and a segregated league. It may be cliché to say, but there's little doubt that Ruth would have lower career numbers if he had been forced to face Satchel Paige and his peers on a regular basis."
- Bill Clinton: "Despite bombing Africa and the Middle East regularly, approving the Welfare Reform Bill, Prison Litigation Reform Act, and 'three strikes' legislation, Black folk regularly regard Clinton as a messianic figure. He may have been better than Bush, but Slick Willie was far from a savior."
- Sarah Palin: "Although her political career is likely over, Palin continues to be a powerbroker among Right wing extremists. Despite her lack of knowledge of policy or strategy, Palin is still a go-to pundit on conservative media outlets. No one destroys the myth of white supremacy more effectively than Sarah Palin."
To be fair to Hill, he did recognize the absurdity of Barack Obama winning a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
According to Front Page magazine, that caused him to embark on his list of overrated black people.
I can't find any evidence that he's published such a list though.