I love Marc Lamont Hill. He is a brilliant young brother, a tenured professor, and maybe even a prophetic voice. I wondered how long he would last at CNN, not because of anything he said, but because I honestly thought his head might explode after the 2016 election. He was really one of the best things about the Cable News Network. Putting him on camera with Angela Rye felt like watching me and my brother on TV, probably not a good idea, but super fun to watch.
Anyway, Brother Hill lost his job recently and I am really struggling to figure out why. He used a phrase that some anti-Semitic groups used, which, I understand could be problematic. “From the river to the sea,” which the Anti-Defamation League says is code for ethnic cleansing and wanting to see the nation of Israel destroyed. Hill denies that he was implying any such thing. He said he simply wants a Palestinian state free from Israeli occupation.
CNN is a privately owned corporation. They can hire and fire as they see fit. But if we as a nation attempt to silence the voices of those who are of the minority opinion, we will stifle our own progress.
I say that as someone who is often (almost always) on the opposite side of popular opinion. My brain works differently. I see things from strange angles, and if you know me, you know that I’m not one to shy away from sharing my thoughts. I have been told to be quiet, to sit down, to keep my thoughts to myself… only to have time prove that people should have listened. Popular opinion is not always right. Unpopular opinion is not always wrong. We would do well to listen to one another. We would do really well to listen to those who have been on the ground, who are doing the work.
This advice works as we address, the “Negro problem” or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It works when trying to solve the education crisis or the debt problem. It works on the mission field and in the boardroom.
It is my prayer that we all take the minority report seriously.