Stephen A. Smith Says the Quiet Part Out Loud About the DeSean Jackson Saga
When DeSean Jackson did the antiSemitic double-dip of promoting Louis Farrakhan and posting what he thought was an Adolf Hitler quote, my immediate reaction was, “I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for NFL players and owners to condemn his actions.” So I was nonplussed when the Philadelphia Eagles sent out a toothless condemnation missive that boiled down to, “DeSean has been a very naughty boy… and we’re going to hold off on judgment and action until we see how the winds are blowing.”
Sure enough, the response to this very Jewish issue has been almost total silence from active players; at the time of this writing*, the only active player man enough to say anything about Jackson is Zach Banner of the Pittsburgh Steelers (retired NFL player Emmanual Acho said some things although his stance was “DeSean’s heart was in the right place, but he was ignorant,” while retired lineman Geoff Schwartz was his usual standup self). This all occurred while I was on vacation back in the United States so I got to watch ESPN for the first time in years (I treat ESPN the same way I treat McDonald’s; something that used to bring me unlimited joy, but is now best experienced once in a blue moon). While watching ESPN, I had the displeasure of taking in “First Take.”
Why Stephen A. Started Off Well, But Then Went Off the Rails
First Take is one of my least favorite shows because it boils down to Max “Cliff” Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith yelling at one another for several hours with neither usually making any poignant remarks. However, during this particular episode, Kellerman (Jewish) and Stephen A. (not Jewish), were discussing the DeSean Jackson saga. I expected Stephen A. to have a take that I found weak, but boy was I not ready for what he came up with:
Stephen A. starts off on some shaky ground in the first segment, and has to get “educated” by Kellerman, who does a tremendous job of holding Stephen A.’s hand while explaining how ungodly terrible DeSean Jackson’s posts were. It is actually one of the most redeeming segments I have ever seen from Kellerman; not only does he have an abundance of patience with Stephen A., but he makes the salient point that his status “as a Jew” has nothing to do with him taking offense with what DeSean Jackson posted.
That is exactly the point. Everybody of every race, creed, and background should be offended by what Jackson wrote whether or not Jackson thinks his words are being misconstrued. If you read what Jackson wrote and are not offended, you are revealing your complete and utter ignorance as to what it means to be antiSemitic.
In Stephen A’s defense, he says exactly that. And honestly, it is one of the best parts of the segment for Stephen A. because not enough people say, “I don’t know, I need to educate myself.” Whenever you hear that the immediate reaction should be, “ok fair enough, go educate yourself, and let’s have this conversation.” But that is also the point where Stephen A. goes off the rails.
Where Stephen A. Says the Quiet Part Out Loud
In the very next segment discussing Stephen Jackson’s comments defending DeSean Jackson as “speaking the truth,” Stephen A says the quiet part out loud when it comes to Black Lives Matter and antiSemitism. Stephen A. reveals just why he is so angry at Stephen Jackson:
Yes, Stephen A. admits and laments the disgusting nature of Stephen Jackon’s words, but listen to that again. Listen to the part starting at just before the three-minute mark. According to his own words, what is the reason Stephen A. is really upset about Stephen Jackon’s actions? It is not the words themselves, but rather, that his words and his actions are distracting from the black lives matter movement. Stephen A. is saying the quiet part out loud. All you have to do is listen.
When people like me lament and hold off on joining things like the black lives matter movement, it is because of situations just like this. Stephen A. seems to think only one narrative can exist at the same time. That is obviously not true. You can worry about all black lives (and denounce the Marxist #BlackLivesMatter group) while also highlighting the rampant and increasing antiSemitism in America.
The same antiSemitism that is prevalent in both the black community and white woke leftists that allow people like Ice Cube, DeSean Jackon, and Chelsea Handler to promote Louis Farrakhan and think that is acceptable. It is the same antiSemitism that accounts for the majority of violent assaults against Jews and makes them 3.65 times more likely to be the victims of a hate crime than black people.
So yes, when somebody like me points these things out, it is not to say simply, “listen to only this narrative” as Stephen A. so vociferously got upset about, but rather to say, “look, this is bad and this thing over here is also bad.” Both of these things can exist at the same time. But to many people—especially people with platforms and in positions of power—they do not want to listen to that or admit it. They want you to concentrate on only their agenda, and that is not fighting for equality (as Acho rightfully pointed out).
This is of the utmost importance for Jews because it is the same sordid tale we know all too well. For some reason, we have not learned our lesson despite Jewish history being replete with instance after instance of stuff like this happening and nobody caring because it does not fit their agenda or their narrative. It is time for everyone to be more receptive when people start saying the quiet part out loud. We all need to start paying attention and truly listen or the next time something like this happens and there is no uproar, we will have only ourselves to blame.