Hopkins, McNabb and Willful Ignorance

It's time to end the "house vs. field" debate among African Americans.

(Continued from Page 1)

I'm not convinced that the mind-set referred to there is always "willful ignorance." I think it's often "unintentional ignorance," fueled by stereotype-driven messages that bombard the minds of Hopkins and his ilk. And since most of those messages are delivered through the media, what better vehicle to counteract them?

African-American athletes are among our most visible symbols of black life. Consequently, they have the best ability to influence a large audience -- certainly audiences larger than the numbers who tune in to the likes of scholars Henry Louis Gates Jr. (The Root's editor-in-chief), Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson when they appear on TV.

So whenever a Hopkins, a Rose or some other high-profile athlete or entertainer utters nonsense about the definition of blackness, we should all welcome the opportunity to -- as Wilbon said -- shout them down on through every outlet possible.

Hopefully, the more that happens, the less ignorance there will be. Willful or otherwise.

Deron Snyder, an award-winning journalist who covers sports, politics and pop culture, is a regular contributor to The Root. He can be reached at deron@blackdoorventures.com.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.
The Root 100 People's Choice Awards  
Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM