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The Marc Lamont Hill Affair

Posted on October 4 2009 2:00 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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The image of Assata Shakur, a "Freedom Fighter" according to Marc Lamont Hill

The image of Assata Shakur, a "Freedom Fighter" according to Marc Lamont Hill

On August 25 David Horowitz wrote a post critiquing the O’Reilly Factor‘s decision to use use Dr. Marc Lamont Hill as a commentator on the subject of Iran. Hill’s specialty is hip-hop music:

Tonight he interviewed Hill for an entire segment on the subject of Iran, as though Hill had anything intelligent to say on the subject. Mr. Hill do you think we should give Iran three months or six months to let the UN inspectors in? How would Marc Lamont Hill know? How would he even be in a position to make an intelligent speculation?  By his own account, Hill is an expert on “hip-hop culture,” i.e., rap music. His academic degree is in education. What are his views on foreign policy worth, unless putting him on was designed to show up the shallow views of the left? Hill is in fact a knee jerk leftist, a defender of ACORN and a man whose attitudes toward race are a throwback to the sixties. I wonder if O’Reilly understands that putting on such a lightweight feeds the racism of low expectations. There are  very intelligent blacks (and leftists) who could provide an interesting foil for conservative views if that was the agenda. Having a Columbia professor of rap music comment on the foreign policy views of Karl Rove (who was featured in the preceding segment) is demeaning to Rove and embarrassing to every African American watching.

Hill responded to this critique not to Horowitz himself but to his friends on Twitter. On September 27 Horowitz responded, noting a new, disturbing development discovered upon arrival at Hill’s Twitter page:

Hill has now had the bad judgment to respond to my post on his Twitter. This has revealed another side of Hill which is equally illuminating. His Twitter web page is wall-papered with one of his heroes, Assata Shakur — a fugitive killer, wanted for the cold-blooded murder of a New Jersey state trooper in 1973. She has been protected for all the intervening years by the most sadistic dictator in the Americas, Fidel Castro.

So here’s another dimension to the poor judgment Fox has shown in selecting Marc Lamont Hill, out of all the black intellectuals available, to talk about cultural issues (let alone international affairs.)

Hill responded with 20 additional tweets, including a confirmation of his devotion to Shakur. Horowitz blogged again on September 28:

Marc Lamont Hill is at it again, posting twenty tweets on my reply. First the important one:

“Assata Shakur is an American hero & freedom fighter. I’ll always stand next to her.”

This says everything you need to know about Hill. He believes Communist terrorists — Shakur was a member of the “Black Liberation Army” — literally at war with the most democratic and racially integrated society in the world are heroes. And he believes that Shakur is innocent, which makes him as dumb as the average radical believer. (Shakur killed the policeman in a pitched battle 10 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act.)

The 27th’s blog post got the attention of Accuracy In Media’s (AIM) Cliff Kincaid who interviewed Hill and published a story on the 28th:

What’s more, an article on his web page, which appears under Hill’s by-line and photo, declares that Shakur, who is still on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, is “one of the great heroes in the Black Freedom Struggle” and proclaims, “Mother Assata: I am eternally grateful for your life and example. I give thanks to the ancestors for you. I pray for your continued protection and pledge to support you and our people until I die. In Beautiful Struggle, Marc.”

Is this another “personal opinion?”

Curiously, Hill told me that he didn’t write the article in question and that it was posted by someone else under his name. He said this kind of posting on his site hadn’t been an issue “until now.” How convenient.

He emphasized that he doesn’t support a cop-killer. “If I thought that she had done it, I would not support her,” he said. That goes without saying. Who in their right mind would support a convicted cop-killer?

Kincaid dug deeper into Hill’s radical views in two subsequent columns for AIM, making new discoveries:

In the same way that Van Jones was exposed originally by New Zealand blogger Trevor Loudon by using Internet search engines to look into his controversial background and writings, over the course of just a few days Accuracy in Media has been able to determine the following about Hill from public sources:

  • He called the notorious anti-white, anti-Jewish Khallid Muhammad a “mentor, teacher, and revolutionary hero,” and believes that the black racist died not from a brain aneurysm but was assassinated. Muhammad was so extreme that he was ousted from the Nation of Islam because of his hatred of Jews.
  • He gave a lecture on “The Importance of Ideological Training in the New Millenium (sic)” at the Polymathematic University’s “Political Education Program for the Poor Righteous Communist Party.”
  • He declared on a “MySpace” page that the people he’d like to meet personally include Assata Shakur, Louis Farrakhan, Fidel Castro, and Mumia Abu Jamal, another convicted cop-killer.
  • He speaks on “The Importance of the Nation of Islam to Hip-Hop Culture” and says that he once belonged to something called the Ansaaru Allah Community, an Islamic sect with doctrines similar to the Nation of Islam that has been accused of being a religious cult.
  • Hill’s “MySpace” page features a slide show of such figures as Assata Shakur, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and Ella Baker, who just happens to be the namesake of the Ella Baker Center, founded by Van Jones.
  • The Marc Lamont Hill website includes a graphic and obscene “Sex With Timaree” segment that features advice from a “Sexpert” on how to enjoy the “Land o’ Anal” or anal sex.

Hill told me in an interview that while he supports Shakur (his Twitter page is plastered with police photos of the fugitive), he was not the author of an article under his by-line and on his website that hails her escape from prison and grant of political asylum in Cuba. However, the article concludes with the name of “Marc.”

Seemingly as a result of these revelations, Hill removed the image of Assata Shakur from his Twitter page and deleted his myspace page.

On October 3 I seized on Kincaid’s research to challenge Hill to either stand up for or disavow his positions instead of trying to scrub the record. Hill has not yet responded to NewsReal’s invitation for debate.

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