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Whitlock: Brandon Miller tragedy proves ‘Boyz n the Hood’ mentality has overtaken the suburbs

Wesley Hitt / Contributor | Getty Images

The Brandon Miller-Alabama basketball saga makes me think of the movie "Boyz n the Hood," the 1991 coming-of-age story about three black boys growing up in South Central Los Angeles.

Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character, Tre, lives with his father. Tre’s two best friends, Ricky and Doughboy, live with their single mother. Gangbangers shoot and kill Ricky. Doughboy avenges his brother’s murder, killing rival gang members. Tre initially attempts to participate in the revenge drive-by shooting, but hops out of the car and returns home to his father.

Doughboy, played by rapper Ice Cube, complains that the American media “don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s really going on in the ‘hood.”

The University of Alabama is not the ‘hood. It’s a sprawling, beautiful college campus in Tuscaloosa. But Doughboy’s sentiment applies. Corporate media don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s really going on in American culture.

The culture killed Jamea Harris, the 23-year-old mother shot in the face after Brandon Miller allegedly drove a gun to the scene of a dispute between Harris’ boyfriend and the childhood friend of Miller’s teammate, Darius Miles. The culture compelled Miller to make a terrible, tragic mistake.

Corporate media, the music industry, Hollywood, ESPN, Fox Sports, and professional sports leagues have mainstreamed, normalized, celebrated, and imposed the gang culture depicted in the movie Boyz n the Hood on young people, particularly black youth.

If you criticize the destructive and deadly culture prescribed to kids, you will be treated worse than an anti-vaxxer. You’ll be labeled a racist or a sellout.

There’s no mystery as to why Brandon Miller made the wrong choice on January 15. The culture demanded that he do so or face excommunication from the black race.

Black young men have to be down for their “boyz” or anything defined as “black,” regardless of right and wrong. It’s the same reason not one black NFL player was willing to publicly question the authenticity of Colin Kaepernick’s social justice kneeling. Racial solidarity trumped the truth. Everyone, including white players, coaches, and executives, took a knee rather than point out the obvious: that Kaepernick’s confusion over his mixed-race heritage caused his radicalization.

Groupthink is gangthink. Groupthink is a byproduct of extreme social pressure to conform to whatever has been normalized. The NFL platformed the primary propagandists – Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg – for gang culture during the 2022 Super Bowl. Hip-hop music is piped into virtually every stadium, arena, practice facility, and weight room in college and pro sports.

Miller, a good kid from a good family, succumbed to the culture. He did exactly what we’re programming kids to do. Hate the police. Don’t turn to law enforcement to fix a problem. Solve dangerous disputes with handguns among yourselves. Miller would be labeled a punk if he called the police rather than acquiesce to Miles’ request to bring the gun.

Men don’t stand up any more. Miller is really no different from Jerry Jones, who in 2017 took a knee before the national anthem with his Cowboys players. Miller is no different from Roger Goodell and Adam Silver, the commissioners who splattered their fields, courts, and uniforms with the Marxist slogans of Black Lives Matter.

Idolatry rules America. Racial idolatry is the culture’s weapon of mass destruction. Corporate America and the Silicon Valley-controlled social media algorithms forbid objection to whatever degeneracy is classified as “black culture.”

Brandon Miller is a great kid from a great family. He’s trapped in the destructive culture we created and continue to tolerate. We’ve been watching grown men fold, bow, and submit to this toxic culture for the last decade. Many of the journalists and broadcasters criticizing Miller had and have no problem worshiping at the altar of Saint George Floyd. NFL owners have turned over millions of dollars to an “Inspire Change” criminal justice reform movement that demonizes law enforcement and formulates sob stories for career criminals.

America is doing something wrong when the mistakes of criminals warrant an abundance of compassion and the errors of good people are unforgivable.

What happened to Miller, the star of Alabama’s No. 2-ranked basketball team, makes perfect sense in modern American culture. The 6-foot-9 freshman forward, a likely NBA lottery pick, followed the lead of professional athletes. Via social media and their public statements in the media, black professional athletes present themselves as court-appointed public defenders for career criminals.

Showtime Sports podcast star and former NBA player Stephen Jackson posted a video of himself bragging about hanging out with gangbangers on “O Block,” an infamous area on the South Side of Chicago.

It’s not difficult to see what was influencing Miller in the wee hours of January 15. Darius Miles, a little-used bench player, was the Stephen Jackson of the Alabama basketball team. Miles had all the street cred. Miles kept his boy from the hood (Michael Davis) close.

Miller allegedly responded to a text from Miles that initially asked for a ride to another location and then allegedly asked for Miller to deliver the handgun Miles allegedly left in the back of Miller’s car earlier in the evening. When Miller arrived at the scene, Miles allegedly retrieved the handgun and gave it to his childhood friend, Davis, who allegedly shot into a car Jamea Harris and her boyfriend occupied. Harris was killed.

Within days, police arrested Miles and Davis for murder. Alabama immediately dissociated itself from Miles, who only played in six games this season. Miller kept playing basketball.

This week, during a grand jury hearing, the public learned that Miller allegedly drove the gun to the scene. Prosecutors have stated there are no plans to charge Miller with a crime. He has been described as a cooperating witness, leading many people to wonder if he’s receiving preferential treatment because he’s a superstar athlete. Miller, Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats, and school president Stuart Bell have all been vilified for taking no action against Miller.

On Wednesday, a day after the public learned Miller’s alleged role in the tragedy, the freshman scored 41 points against South Carolina, sinking the game-winning shot.

Oats has defended his decision not to discipline Miller, saying Miller is a good kid who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Miller’s lawyer put out a long statement explaining Miller’s involvement in the tragedy. The entire incident is captured on video and allegedly supports the lawyer’s narrative.

The explanations might be difficult for some people to understand. But not for me. I believe Brandon Miller is a good kid. I believe we have placed good kids in a terrible predicament by forcing them to develop in a culture dedicated to undermining their development.

Punishing Miller isn’t the solution. Acknowledging and deconstructing the racially idolatrous culture that has captured America is what we need to do. Or maybe "Boyz n the Burbs" is what we deserve.
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