Hill, on "Black News Tonight," was interviewing Christopher F. Rufo, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, about Critical Race Theory and asked "And if I were to say right now to you, Christopher, 'what do you like about bering white?' What would you say?'
It's a clever, loaded question and, understandably, Rufo did not have a response prepared. If he had said there was nothing he liked, it would have seemed insincere and evidence that he was plainly self- unaware. Had he conceded there was quite a bit he liked about being white, his words might have been interpreted as revealing racism or white privilege. However, he could have answered in any one of a number of ways, including:
1) "It's not for me to question a decision made by Almighty God. Further, we've had well over two hundred years of "whitesplaining," in which blacks are told what they must think. It's time for whites to listen to African-Americans and in that spirit I'd like to ask you, Lamont, 'what do you like about being black?'"
2) "Mostly, Marc, I consider myself lucky for, irrespective of race, the values passed on to me; values which have allowed so many of us to make the most of opportunities afforded to us by this great country we have to learn to live together in."
3) "I haven't thought about it much, Marc. What do you like about being a millionaire?"
4) "I don't dwell on my race and and therefore would never recommend the destruction of the state of Israel. So what do you like about being an anti-Semite, Marc?"
We have an opportunity to not just offer solidarity in words but to commit to political action, grass-roots action, local action and international action that will give us what justice requires and that is a free Palestine from the river to the sea.
It was an unambiguous call to arms to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state, invoked by the Palestinian Liberation Organization and later popularized by Hamas. Still, any one of a number of responses unconnected with the MIddle East would have served as an effective rebuke.
If a white talk show host had asked "what do you like about being black," a public outcry would ensue from coast-to-coast. There would be a demand that the individual be fired from his or her public and private employment.
Nonetheless, as youth would say in bygone days, "this is a free country." Thankfully it is, and Marc Lamont Hill, consistent with our liberal values as a nation, remains employed in both the public and private sectors. But we should remember who and what he is.