Doug Robinson: 'Fab Five' documentary brings black racial divide into focus

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  • eagle Provo, UT
    March 26, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    The vast majority of all Utahns have no conceivable idea what Jalen Rose has lived through.

    I would recommend to all that they watch the 1994 documentary "Hoop Dreams." I think this well made documentary, based on the lives of two inner city Chicago youths that didn't make it to the NBA in the end, will give you a glimpse into what Rose's life might have been like. Incidentally, the brother of one of the featured players in Hoop Dreams died of violence, as did the father of the other player featured in the documentary, many years after the documentary came out. Rose is one of the few lucky ones that played well enough to make millions in the NBA. Others can use basketball hopefully to get an education to better their lives. Coaches like Steve Fisher, vs. Coach K generally, have been more receptive of giving the inner city player a shot. One thing you could see from the documentary was the love these players have for Fisher, even today.

    Finally, I don't think Rose believes Grant Hill to be a Uncle Tom but was expressing what he felt back in 1991.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    March 26, 2011 5:20 p.m.

    What has happened to America is very alarming. The moral fiber has "frayed". Therefore, it is okay to live a life where sex is free and easy and a one parent family is a "badge of honor" instead of a mark of shame on an immoral society. It has been stated by Mark Scheuer of the C.I.A. "Bin Laden" unit that radical Muslims have a belief in God while Western society believes in none. The "Fab Five" was a group which was "anti-society" much like the "gloved hands" at the Olympics. They have now taken their influence to the NBA. There are signs that a future NBA strike may be based on radical motives. I would comment as someone with an Irish background that 12 percent of the American population is Irish which is comparable to that of African-American. My Irish grandmother had a third grade education and lived an honorable family life as many African-American women. However, 70 percent one parent families is way too high.

  • 3ULLS3Y3 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2011 4:45 p.m.

    I have not worn Jalen Rose' shoes. I don't know how good they feel, if they are made of solid gold or just leather and polyurethane, similar to my own pair of basketball shoes. And since I've not worn his shoes, I've not walked in them, or run down the streets of his neighborhood. I don't know what it's like to live in his neighborhood, or if he had posters of motivational thought by LDS prophets on the walls of his home. I don't know what he has had to bear, but I appreciate that he speaks his mind and doesn't sugar-coat his trials and feelings on the subject matter.
    Sometimes its hard for those of us who grew up in homes of inspiration and love to practice tolerance towards those who did not. Is it not satisfiable to know there is a recurring problem we're so distant from it that we judge those who experience it as mere farm poultry and immature? We can do better.

  • Y4LYFE Lubbock, TX
    March 26, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    I didn't read the article, but this was about big time money from boosters. Someone short version me with this "race" stuff.

  • Scott1 Draper, UT
    March 26, 2011 12:37 p.m.

    Hey, maybe the Mormons aren't so off the mark when they teach abstinence before marriage.

    I also tire of able-bodied people who complain about being poor. Yes, many people definitely have advantages and a great head start in life. I was, however, inspired by many classmates of mine who came to the U.S at the end of the Vietnam War and had nothing, but they got busy and studied hard for years and worked themselves into great careers. Even if you change your attitude and improve your life from an illiterate bus-boy to a literate restaurant manager, then that is to be commended. Attitude (along with work) can take you a long way in life.

    Jalen Rose is a turkey. Maybe he should be hated for working hard at basketball and having a very lucrative career. It used to not make sence to me why "Thou Shalt Not Covet" would be included within the Ten Commandments. But now I understand that coveting can be very destructive for all involved. If you want more out of life, get off you hind end and work. Quit being jealous and be proud of what you have.

  • Sokol Las Vegas, NM
    March 26, 2011 12:03 p.m.

    I think you make really good points about Black children. There is one point I would raise and that is also equally as clear-our courts do everything they can to eliminate fathers from the lives of their children, unless they are wealthy fathers that can afford good lawyers. In a state like Connecticut, judges award custody to mothers as much as 90 percent of the time, even if the father is a fit parent.

  • CA. reader Rocklin, CA
    March 26, 2011 11:34 a.m.

    Living near Sacramento I got to witness the continued bad act of Chris Webber. He ignored the first US Grand jury subpoena. The second was served by 2 FBI agents who informed that if he ignored that one, he would be taken to the next one in hadcuffs for contempt of court.

    Webber then proceeded to lie to the grand jury, as did his dad and aunt. The US Attorney in Detroit then indicted all three of them so he could leverage a guilty plea from Webber for perjury. Apparently Webber viewed the investigation into his taking money all through high school and college as a black/white thing so he lied to the grand jury.

    Webber had a tremendous opportunity to set a great example for black youth everywhere by simply admitting that he had received the money but apparently he thought he was smarter than the US Attorney. He was not even a a target of the investigation. If he would have told the truth he would have avoided the embarassment of having to admit his lies and further embarass himself and his family.

    That was a dumber move than even calling a timeout he didn't have.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 26, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    Instead of criticizing, people like Jalen Rose ought to look at people like Bill Cosby or this Cobb guy as examples that the black commumnity ought to emulate. Calvin Hill receiving those encyclopedias has had a great impact not only on his life but is also affecting the lives of others for the good. Jalen Rose ought to learn that and embrace it. The black community needs more good examples. Men like Colin Powell, Bill Cosby, Cobb, Calvin Hill, yes even Barak Obama. Men who will show these people that being successful and having a good family is good. This Uncle Tom crap is just that. Crap.

    As David O. McKay said, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." Jalen Rose ought to learn that one lesson.

  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    March 26, 2011 11:02 a.m.

    I saw this doc when it first premiered and I did think that--like most of the ESPN docs, it relied a little too heavily on the race angle. It seems that with the Miami Hurricanes doc and this one especially, the ESPN producers want to re-write history a bit for the sake of sensationalism. The Miami doc was full of comments like--"we were white America's nightmare," and such. The Fab (which I really enjoyed) was much the same. I don't really remember being a white guy who was shocked by 5 black freshmen wearing black socks. I thought they were a bunch of really talented kids and didn't see them as "ghetto blacks." Mr. Howard has become on of my favorite non-Jazz players and Jalen Rose gives huge amounts of money to create reading rooms in poor communities. He also has helped another Fab 5 player build emergency operating rooms in the Congo. I took Mr. Rose's comments as what I think they were. A guy describing how he felt as a kid. He did not say--"I feel and will always feel, the Duke players were Uncle Toms."

  • Nathan_Orien Los Angeles, CA
    March 26, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    I appreciated what I saw as the main message of this story - that traditional American values are vital to a healthy society - but I think the article ended very flat, unfortunately. "Somehow, all of that has been lost on a generation." Somehow??? Is that truly all you can say, Mr. Robinson? Why not finish the job and point out the root cause? The reason for this tragic loss is because of well-intentioned* but misguided Democrats who replaced the responsibilities of the black father in the home, with uncaring tax dollars, via various affirmative action policies, which go by many names and disguises.

    *benefit of the doubt

  • onewhoknows Providence, UT
    March 26, 2011 8:38 a.m.

    This was an interesting read. My brother spent time in New Orleans and was constantly told by blacks that the white man was holding them down. After reading this I think it is more a case of them holding each other down. If a culture teaches a kid that it is not cool to do good in school, well, where do you start with fixing that?

  • financenco Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2011 8:17 a.m.

    The problem is that students haven't been taught correct history. The good, bad, and ugly. There is a difference when one is brought up in learning that the founders were slave owners, or only white or black people are evil. And another to know that the Constitution was an anti-slave document, disigned to cut off slavery in a way the South didn't see coming. And that many whites, as well as blacks died so that people could have equal opportunity. And still learn that there were people who really were evil and treated people with cruelty, so we learn not to go that way again. It is okay to be white, black, yellow, or green. I happen to be white, lived close to poverty line, almost homeless, lived thourhg life in a one parent household, minus 3 divorces my Mom went through, lived through abuse, and more. Kind of breaks the white stereotype. I still went to college, and worked my tail off to get to where I am at. I didn't hate another because they were blessed to have a better family I had, no matter the color. I am successful, becasue I worked hard.

  • skinnyreporter Farmington, UT
    March 26, 2011 2:57 a.m.

    Grant Hill and his ilk can learn to get along with others of his race if they will just take the new course offered over the radio, "Hooked on ebonics." After taking the course myself, I now can understand the lyrics of most rap songs and even can understand the drug dealers and criminals portrayed in movies. This class could be a great healer.

  • SJ Bobkins Gilbert, AZ
    March 26, 2011 2:42 a.m.

    Why is it that government officials are so fearful of even talking about black on black crime? A black male has a 4000% chance of being killed by another black than by a white. National murder stats at the FBI web site point out how huge the problem is and why. Because we just, as a society, will not stomach target at a group of people united in race. Teens and families of color need the same security as everyone else hopes for. Any inner city high school has as it's biggest challenge, keeping weapons out of the school. Watch the crime show 48 hours, the numbers of killings by race on race, will shock you. Why can't we skip the PC and help blacks to a safer environment? We build more and more prisons in place of taking the bull by the horn and getting control of hand guns. A black man age 18-25 is 4 times more likely to be in prison as to be attending college. There will never be enough prison beds to house all those who commit violent crime, Solve violence at the home level, then at the street level.