The Defense Of Brandon Miller Is Nothing More Than The Bigotry Of Low Expectations: David Hookstead

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It’s time for people to stop using the bigotry of low expectations to defend Alabama basketball player Brandon Miller.

The college star and future NBA player was revealed last week to have driven the vehicle carrying the alleged murder weapon used in the killing of Jamea Jonae Harris in January. The single mother was gunned down in January in Tuscaloosa, and Michael Lynn Davis and former Alabama player Darius Miles are facing capital murder charges in relation to the killing.

When it was revealed Brandon Miller drove the vehicle carrying the alleged murder weapon, several questions and confusion arose. His attorney has claimed Miller never personally handed off the weapon and was already on his way when Miles texted that he needed his gun.

Brandon Miller is being treated with kid gloves. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

However, Miller nor his attorney have denied that the Alabama star knew the gun was in the car or ever claimed he never saw the text message, which is believed to have said, “I need my joint a n****r rl jus got fakin.” That means we have to ask one simple question:

Why are people defending Brandon Miller like we have to assume he didn’t or shouldn’t have known better?

The defense of Brandon Miller is starting to get downright embarrassing.

Now, let’s be crystal clear so there’s no zero confusion. Brandon Miller is not accused of breaking a single law. Police view him as a witness, not a suspect. That’s something his defenders love to remind anyone asking questions.

However, you can be guilty of making mistakes without breaking the law. Happens all the time. Not being charged with a crime doesn’t mean you didn’t display incredibly poor judgement. Jay Bilas might claim everyone has handled the situation well, but once you dig into the facts, that’s just not true.

Let’s start with two of the most common defenses seen of Miller: age and he simply couldn’t have done anything differently.

Miller isn’t a child.

Privately and publicly, I’ve seen many point out Brandon Miller is a youthful freshman who couldn’t possibly have known the foolishness of what he did.

Stop. Just stop with that defense. Brandon Miller is an adult man. He’s 20. He’s not a child. The Alabama star is not a kid. He’s a full grown adult man who drove a vehicle carrying an alleged murder weapon to the scene where a young woman was slaughtered. Brandon Miller at the age of 20 drove the vehicle carrying the weapon used to slaughter a defenseless single mother in her early 20s.

For anyone claiming he’s just a kid, there are plenty of American servicemen who fought in the jungles of Vietnam and on the beaches of Normandy his age and younger who would like a word. So, we expect a 20-year-old to carry a rifle in a foreign country in a war, and that’s fine. However, we can’t dare assume a 20-year-old Alabama basketball player should have made better decisions? Am I understanding that correctly? Twenty is old enough to go to war but not old enough to know transporting a loaded, unlocked weapon to a teammate texting for it after partying isn’t wise.

Folks, if you truly believe that, I would ask you what the difference is. Why is Brandon Miller at the age of 20 to be treated like a child but other 20 year olds are not? Let’s take a little walk down memory lane.

History proves there’s a double standard.

There’s actually a PERFECT comparison here for how different people of roughly the same age have been treated much worse than Brandon Miller has been.

Enter Duke lacrosse from 17 years ago.

Duke athletes Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were 19 and 20 at the time they were accused of sexually assaulting a stripper. David Evans, a few years older, was also arrested. It was a complete and total hoax. They hadn’t done a single thing wrong. It was one of the most evil things we’ve ever seen in the modern criminal justice system.

Defenders of Brandon Miller have clearly embraced the bigotry of low expectations. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Yet, at the time, nobody was talking about how young they were. Nobody was treating them with kids gloves. Society was ready to hang all three in the public square for something that never even happened.

Below is a screenshot of an actual headline that ran in 2006. It wasn’t about how young they were or were just kids. It was how they were from rich families.

Duke athletes were treated much different by the public than Brandon Miller

Duke lacrosse players weren’t treated like children or given the same leeway by many as Brandon Miller. (Credit:

The obvious difference here is the Duke players were actually arrested over something that was complete fiction. They received zero benefit of the doubt.

Brandon Miller at the age of 20 – an age old enough to die in war or carry a gun in Alabama – is to be viewed as too young to be treated as a grown man. Are black adult basketball players somehow less than rich white lacrosse players? If your answer is yes, congrats, you should take a long hard look in the mirror because that’s the textbook definition of the bigotry of low expectations.

Everyone involved is roughly the same age. Yet, two very different standards. Why is that? That’s a question I would like Brandon Miller’s defenders to answer.

What else should Brandon Miller have done?

While the age defense for Brandon Miller is truly unhinged, an equally unhinged defense is that there’s nothing else he could have done.

I’ll tell you one thing he could have done. The Alabama star could have immediately called the police. Assuming everything Alabama and Miller’s attorney have said is true, did Miller ever call the police? Did he not? That seems incredibly relevant.

If he had called the police instead of showing up in a vehicle carrying a loaded handgun, Jamea Jonae Harris could still be alive.

That’s just a fact. Assuming that Brandon Miller couldn’t have done anything else is, again, textbook bigotry of low expectations. I’ve heard this argument privately a lot, and it’s mind-boggling. I’ve been told college students don’t like cops and you can’t ever call the cops on your teammates. Here’s an idea. Saving your teammate’s life from being destroyed is more important than him being upset about alerting the police.

The defenses of Brandon Miller are getting embarrassingly bad. (Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images)

Is it not? Would you not do that for your friends or children? If you would, but you don’t think Miller should have done the same as a grown man, that is, once again, textbook bigotry of low expectations. You’re asking us to believe Brandon Miller as an adult man is so dumb he couldn’t possibly have done anything differently. Why is he dumb? Why shouldn’t he have known better? Has any evidence been presented to support that?

Of course not. It’s nothing more than assuming Brandon Miller as a black adult basketball player must be so unbelievably dumb he didn’t see any issues with his conduct. I don’t believe that because I don’t think your average adult is possibly that stupid.

The bigotry of low expectations is clear.

I recently ran a Twitter poll asking what people would tell their own children to do in Brandon Miller’s shoes. The results were overwhelming to not arrive in a vehicle carrying a gun.

Stop and ask yourself: If someone texted you they needed a gun after the club, would you really bring it or would you alert literally anybody? Here’s another idea, stop the car and turn the hell around. I know a lot of people with combat experience. In fact, just Saturday morning, I spoke with a former SEAL Team 6 commando about this situation. As a trained killer and weapons expert, he was STUNNED by the fact Brandon Miller actually showed up. Let me guess: the man trained to handle weapons is wrong and the Alabama fans are correct when they say Brandon Miller did nothing wrong?

The defense of Brandon Miller is the embrace of the bigotry of low expectations. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Again, I can’t stress this enough. At no point has Miller or his attorney ever claimed he didn’t know about the gun or the text. His defenders claim that might be the case, but if it is, why haven’t we heard that?

I think just about every parent on the planet – including Alabama fans – would admit they would never tell their child to drive to a location where a person texted them “I need my joint a n****r rl jus got fakin.”

It’s absolutely crazy there are people who think driving to a situation after being sent that text, which nobody has denied he saw, is a rational and sane decision.

Brandon Miller drove the vehicle carrying alleged murder weapon. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Brandon Miller didn’t break the law. There’s no question about that, but he made mistakes. The moment you get a text about a friend needing a gun and you don’t alert literally anybody in a position of power, you’ve failed as an adult. Brandon Miller’s failure ultimately played a role in Jamea Jonae Harris being murdered. That’s something he’ll have to sleep with for the rest of his life, and the moronic defense takes won’t change that.

While Alabama can’t deal with Miller’s conscience, for his clear lack of judgement, the star player should be suspended at a minimum. You can’t have a player display such poor decision making and then suit him up continually. Miller must be held to the same standard every other adult is held to, and that means he simply can’t be put on the floor. The bigotry of low expectations defense doesn’t change any of that.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.


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  1. Wow David! A real journalistic treatise on a serious subject. Congrats! Impressive! … Two points to add:

    There is an old adage involving big time college FB / BB players doing “thugish things”. “ALWAYS have “a walk-on” involved to take the blame.” … Darius Miles was the closest thing to that in this. Miles was a reserve with little/no impact on the team’s success. He and his buddy killing the girl was a 24 hour story … there are 20+ such black-on-black shootings in Chicago every weekend … yawn.. The ‘Bama fan base shrugged … nothing to see here. …….. THEN THEIR SUPERSTAR Gets Involved and KABOOM!. Quick … get Jay Bilas and a few fast-talking lawyers to start parsing phrases and “definitions of IS” … We Got To have Brandon Miller to have our Greatest Season Ever! ……
    If Miles had called a whozit to bring him his gun at 3 AM that whozit would be in jail beside Miles … BUT NOT THE SUPERSTAR! Not one member of Alabama lunatic fringe fan base gives a rat’s a** about Miles, his accomplice or Jamea Harris … they just want their Superstar to keep playing so the team keeps winning. ….. and 99% of Big Time College Fan bases would be reacting the exact same way.
    Oh … about Duke LaCrosse. I wrote 15+ columns about that Journalistic Train Wreck back in 2006 … Disgraced DA Mikey Nifong … Crystal Mangum the Truck Stop Ho … and the Lynch Mob Media that tried to railroad those boys. Did you know that the escort service that supplied the Ho was named Bunny Hole Entertainment? YOWSA What a hoot all that was ….

  2. Why isn’t the gun manufacturer and distributor at fault here, if the gun isn’t made and distributed, none of this happens. Surely those manufacturers know what their products can be used for. Where do we draw the line in terms of guilty by association, people have to be responsible for their actions, not everyone around them because then the line gets blurry very fast.

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