Kareem Abdul-Jabbar On A Point I Missed

In my posts on Megyn Kelly, I probably should have noted that one reason that Kelly might have felt emboldened to advocate racism to 2.4 million viewers is because she was hired as a racist. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar does not miss this point:

NBC might have sent her a mixed message when hiring her. Kelly made consistently racist statements while at Fox News, so when NBC hired her in 2017, its executives were saying: We’re rewarding your racism on Fox by paying you $69 million over three years. Then when she does the same thing that got her that mega-payday, NBC suddenly expresses socially conscious outrage. Not quite racist, but racist-adjacent.

I understand why Abdul-Jabbar might be less willing to simply call NBC racist than I am – part of that is based on our somewhat different definitions of racism – but while I was busy talking about whether or not NBC, post facto, was actually holding Kelly accountable for her racism and not punishing her for her anti-sexism (as limited as that might be), Abdul-Jabbar nailed the importance of NBC pre-blackface debacle behavior.



  1. says

    I understand why Abdul-Jabbar might be less willing to simply call NBC racist than I am

    I don’t think we can say “NBC is racist” but it’s pretty easy to say “that thing NBC did, hiring Megyn Kelly to be a racist talking head, was racist.”

  2. mountainbob says

    Abdul-Jabbar makes the point I learned in my early days being taught about gardens: if you plant a corn seed, don’t expect to reap snap beans. Seems simple, but it’s profound enough that otherwise well-intentioned executives sometimes forget to remember it.

  3. says


    Why not call NBC racist?

    I think the reasons you’re less than willing to call NBC racist are probably closely related to those of Abdul-Jabbar, and thus I would strongly suspect we have different definitions of racism.

    Maybe I’ll post something about the definition of racism later, though I thought I’d already done such not too long ago… I’ll look, and if I haven’t, then I’ll create a new OP on that topic.

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