Tag Archives: media

France – And American Right Wing Racist Hate Speech

The horrific and despicable attacks in Paris, France will dominate the news cycle for at least a week to come. However for most Americans living in America, and especially for minority Americans, the threat of being harmed by International terrorism is about the same as getting hit by a meteorite from the sky while walking down the street. The threat of being the victim of Domestic Terrorism, either violent – or nonviolent through word, symbolic attack, or state sponsored through the Law Enforcement is an everyday reality.

A “Hate Crime” is an act of Domestic Terrorism by different euphemism. The last week’s series of death threats against black kids at U-Mo, Howard, Mich, Bowie U, and now George Mason illustrates just how common race or ethnic based Domestic Terrorism is. Not even discussing the murders at a Church in Charleston. More people in the US have been killed by Domestic terrorists since 9-11 than jihadis.

Part of the reason for that is, despite the success by ISIS in recruiting a few disaffected Americans to their murderous case – Islamic Fanaticism has no real outlet in America. There is no newspaper spouting “Kill the Infidels” daily in articles across it’s front page, no cyber madrasas teaching the religion of hate, no web sites teaching how to blow up your neighbors for the Islamic fanatic cause… And no television or cable channel(s) dedicated to the views of violent Islamic Fanatics.

But there is for the racist white wing.

“Allowable Terrorism”, brought to you by the right wing media, each and every day.

And so the hate speech begins: Let Paris be the end of the right’s violent language toward activists

In a still developing situation, the city of Paris, France, is under attack by terrorists armed with guns and explosives. Many dozens of people have been killed. A still undetermined number of people have been wounded. The terrorists took dozens of hostages in a concert hall. French police and military forces have been deployed. There is mayhem and blood in the streets of Paris.

President Obama has correctly described this day’s horrific events as “an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.”

Terrorism is politically motivated violence against a vulnerable population that is designed to intimidate, sow fear, create panic and alter public policy.

Terrorism is serious business that kills people, breaks bodies and alters lives.

It is not a game.

In the United States, the right-wing media and movement conservatives have for decades consistently used eliminationist and other violent rhetoric to describe liberals, progressives and other people with whom they disagree. As was seen in the recent attacks on a Charleston-area black church, and other violence by right-wing anti-government militias, such rhetoric does not float in the ether of the public discourse, harmless and unacknowledged. No, it does in fact lead to action.

In recent months, the right-wing media has used language such as “terrorism” and “violent,” or that the latter is “targeting police for murder” to describe the Black Lives Matter movement. Such bombastic and ugly screeds–which are wholly unfounded, with no basis in empirical reality–have also been used by right-wing opinion leaders to describe the African-American students who are fighting against racism at Yale and the University of Missouri.

There are many examples of this type of incendiary rhetoric from conservatives and their sympathizers.

A few examples.

Bill O’Reilly has declared “war” on Black Lives Matter and in doing so described them as a type of contemporary Ku Klux Klan (KKK). At its height of popularity in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the KKK was America’s largest terrorist organization. It was responsible for the murders of thousands of African-Americans. In contrast to the KKK, Black Lives Matter is a group dedicated to protecting the human rights of all people against state-sponsored violence and police thuggery and murder.

Ben Carson, in his designated role as a black conservative whose primary purpose is to disparage black Americans and to excuse-make for white racism, recently told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that the black and brown students who are advocating for their full rights and respect at Yale University are ushering in “anarchy” and “this is just raw emotion and people just being manipulated, I think in many of these cases, by outside forces who wish to create disturbances.”

Likewise, Fox News has repeatedly described the student protesters at Yale and Missouri using the same language. O’Reilly has even gone so far as to suggest that Black Lives Matter and the students who are protesting racist treatment are part of a cabal that is engaging in “fascist” behavior and “running wild” against white people. Trumping his allusions to “fascism,” on his October 22, 2015 episode of his TV show, Bill O’Reilly even made the absurd claim that Black Lives Matter is akin to the “Nazis.”

These are implicit threats and overtures to violence as racial authoritarian fascists are a clear and present danger to democracy and freedom. Thus, they must be eliminated by any means necessary.

Other critics of the student activists at Yale University and Missouri such as The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf have even made the absurd claim that so-called “safe spaces” are being “weaponized” by student activists in order to deny free speech.

Terrorism has been practiced in the United States. It was used by a Herrenvolk white settler society built upon the genocide of First Nations peoples and the enslavement of African-Americans to control, intimidate, and murder non-whites. The decades of Jim and Jane Crow white supremacy were also a form of State-sponsored terrorism as well. Political violence continues in the present where in too many of America’s communities, police and other security forces kill with impunity, force the black and brown poor into a state of “custodial citizenship”, and act in a thuggish and illegal way towards the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

Black Lives Matter stands against such violence. The student protesters at Yale and Missouri who are fighting for fairness and justice stand against violence. Liberals and progressives as a matter of principle, a belief in the Common Good, and a humane society stand against violence.

Despite what the right-wing media, Bill O’Reilly, and the opinion leaders in the White Right routinely bloviate, those groups and individuals are not terrorists.

Real terrorists have killed people in the streets of Paris. The right-wing media needs to take note of that fact and moderate their rhetoric and abusive language accordingly.

Given the American right-wing’s casual habit of using violent language to describe their foes, and to gin up fear and anxiety among the movement conservative base, the Fox News’ right-wing echo chamber and its elites should be ashamed given the death and destruction that terrorism actually reaps in practice.


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Black Woman Photobombs Trump Speech

Hey! Want to be on National TV?

Easiest photobomb in the world is for a black person to show up at a Republican candidate’s speech. They put every one of the half dozen or so which show up at the major rallys in seats behind the candidate to be “visible” as supporters.

This woman objected to being used as a black prop.

Organizers seat woman behind Trump ‘because she’s black’ — so she silently protests by reading her book

An Illinois woman became an Internet celebrity after she read a book during a campaign speech by Donald Trump.

Johari Osayi Idusuyi, a student at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, said she brought a copy of “Citizen,” an award-winning book on everyday racism by Claudia Rankine, to a rally near her home, reported WICS-TV.

“I’m genuinely not interested in him as a person, but if you have the chance to see a presidential candidate, why not?” Idusuyi said.

She and some friends ended up with a spot directly behind the Republican candidate after seeing an open seat and being invited into the VIP section by a campaign staffer.

“I think we were chosen for obvious reasons,” Idusuyi told Jezebel. “We are minorities and there weren’t a lot of minorities there. He also instructed us to sit in the middle, so we kind of already knew what this was.”

Idusuyi insisted she went into the rally with an open mind, but she took out her book and began reading after Trump demanded the removal of some protesters, and she said supporters cheered after a supporter removed a woman’s Obama hat and tossed it into the crowd.

“I thought, ‘That’s bullying, that’s aggressive,’” she said. “I don’t think Trump handled it with grace. I thought, ‘Oh, you’re really not empathetic at all.’ That’s when the shift happened.”

She decided to take out her book and read it conspicuously, realizing she was on camera behind Trump.

“Why not use the opportunity to promote a great book?” Idusuyi said. “I didn’t expect to get in an argument with the people behind me.”

Idusuyi gained online notoriety after video showed a white man sitting near her tapping her on the shoulder and angrily telling her to put away her book.

She can be seen telling the man to leave her alone, and she puts the book back in front of her face and resumes reading.

“The man, he was mad but not as mad as his, maybe, spouse,” Idusuyi said. “He had a more calm demeanor, just like, if you don’t want to be here, leave.”

She said the woman wouldn’t let it go.

“The woman kept saying, ‘If you don’t want to be here then leave. You didn’t even stand for the Pledge of Allegiance,’” Idusuyi said. “I said, ‘I do want to be here, that’s why I’m here. You don’t know who I am. I’m reading my book because I’m uninterested. Did you not just see what happened? This person disrespects women, minorities, everybody and you’re still supporting him. He’s not saying anything of substance.’”

She said the couple seemed like nice enough people, but she didn’t appreciate the way they treated her.

“I don’t think they have any right to tell me what to do,” Idusuyi said. “The lady, actually, she mumbled something. I didn’t hear but my friend told me the next day that she said, ‘I’m so glad you’re not my daughter,’ or something along those lines — and I was thinking, ‘I’m glad I’m not your daughter either!’”

She said Trump had not won her vote.

“I came here, yes, to observe a man that I already had low expectations for, but I thought maybe he could change my mind,” Idusuyi said. “Maybe it was just a media thing, and I’m judging too fast based on what the media says, and I was wrong — (but) I wasn’t. He was exactly what I expected him to be and his supporters are exactly what I expected them to be.”


Posted by on November 13, 2015 in The Clown Bus


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Blue Liars Matter – 4 Cops Shot Themselves…Media Lies About BLM

Amazing story! I don’t agree the Fox Lake Officer shot himself for any other reason except getting exposed for criminal activity though. Most of the lying is coming from the Faux News and associated right wing press – as well as some heads of Police Unions.


These 4 Cops Lied About Getting Shot to Manufacture Outrage Against ‘Black Lives Matter’

Four cops from four different departments lied about shootings they were responsible for, and their lies were used by media outlets and pro-police groups to implicate Black Lives Matter protesters each time. It turns out that in all four cases, the officers involved either shot themselves, shot their own car, or were shot by a fellow officer.

Officer Terry Smith

In June, it was reported that veteran police officer Terry Smith was shot in the back by an unknown assailant, and Black Lives Matter protesters were implicated. Then, in September, US Uncut published an article showing that the entire story was fabricated.

Smith and his partner Gregory Hudson claimed they saw a champagne-colored Buick in the parking lot prior to the shooting, which led to a bogus manhunt for the car. Now, the Houston Police Department believes that it was actually Hudson who shot Smith. Smith was put on desk duty September 2nd, but no disciplinary action was taken against him.

Officer Bryan Johnson

In September, local media in the Boston area reported the following incident involving police officer Bryan Johnson:

At a news conference Wednesday night, Millis police said a cruiser was traveling on Forest Road when an officer noticed a red or maroon pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction, and when the two vehicles met, the driver opened fire on the police cruiser. The officer spun around and, in an attempt to avoid the gunfire and seek shelter, he slammed into a tree and the cruiser burst into flames.

Shortly after, the Millis Police Department admitted that Johnson lied and that he fired his own weapon at his cruiser “as a plan to concoct a story that he was fired upon.” Johnson was terminated and subsequently charged with multiple felonies

Officer David Houser

In October, David Houser from the England, Arkansas police department turned himself in after admitting to fabricating a shooting during a routine traffic stop. Local media initially reported the following:

Investigators said when Houser approached the driver’s door, the driver pointed a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun out of the window at him. Houser reportedly shoved the gun away from him, but was hit across the chest when the suspect fired the first round.

Houser described his supposed shooter as a “Hispanic man with little to no hair.” Houser was arrested as a result of his lies, but England police are still openly supporting him. THV11 quoted his former boss:

“Even though I’m not his chief anymore, I’ve told him that I’m going to be his friend, as well as the officers that worked with him. We’re not planning on turning our back on David. David’s a human being and our job is to assist people and be there for people.”

Officer Charles Gliniewicz

The next fabricated incident, which occurred last week, involved the carefully planned suicide of Lt. Charles Gliniewicz, who was found dead on September 1st. Police conducted a manhunt for his supposed killers. The Chicago Tribune reported:

Gliniewicz, 52, was on routine patrol around 8 a.m. when he radioed that he was responding to suspicious activity, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. He started a foot pursuit, but no one heard from him after that, authorities said. His colleagues responded and found him shot in a marshy area near U.S. Highway 12, a main road through town, authorities said. His gun was found near him, said Lake County Undersheriff Raymond Rose. Gliniewicz died at the scene, Rose said.

On November 4th, Fox Lake Police admitted that Gliniewicz had actually killed himself, likely to avoid prosecution for multiple crimes he committed, including embezzlement and money laundering from the department.

Reactionary pro-cop protesters used his death as an excuse to hold “Police Lives Matter” protests in a clear effort to implicate Black Lives Matter protesters in the death of the officer.

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Posted by on November 9, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter


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The Rise in Right Wing Terrorism

One of the major problems with the current right wing is that way too many conservatives live in an alternate universe of “facts”, most of which a easily disprovable in less than a minute of examination on the Internet. Conservatives rabidly believe in this false narrative, and it is getting more extreme every day. These false narratives and “facts” are poured into conservative brains every day by the right wing media, whose sole goal is to generate outrage as a tool to manipulate the base.

Another one of Ronald Rayguns “gifts” to screw America was the elimination of the “Fairness Doctrine” in the media. This allowed the formation of media utilizing the public airwaves which didn’t and doesn’t adhere to any level of journalistic integrity, honesty, or morals.

This shit is getting crazy.

BTx3 just joined the legion of “doomsday preppers”, and added his faithful “hand cannon” to his Bug Out Bag.

This is right-wing terrorism: The frightening new rise of church and clinic arson — and why you won’t hear about it on Fox News

While Donald Trump is bragging about closing mosques to fight Islamic terrorism, there has been an under-reported surge of right-wing terrorism recently in the U.S.

 Since July, when anti-choice crusaders released hoax videos that falsely claimed that Planned Parenthood sells fetal body parts, there has been a rash of arsons at clinics, at least one of which doesn’t perform abortions. Just this week, police in New Hampshire arrested a teenager threatening a Planned Parenthood with a hatchet. After the racist church shooting in Charleston in June, itself an ugly act of domestic terrorism, there were a series of fires at black churches across the South.

And now St. Louis law enforcement fears that there’s an arsonist on the loose in the city, setting fire to churches with predominantly black or racially mixed congregations. This is on top of what the Southern Poverty Law Center was already calling a resurgence in domestic terrorism across the United States.

That we are living in an era of major conservative backlash is not news. From the wholesale assault on reproductive rights to the dramatic increase in restrictions on voting to the bizarrely enduring Donald Trump campaign, the evidence everywhere suggests that right-wing America is freaking out and lashing out. They can feel their control over the country, which has a black president and legal gay marriage now, slipping out of their fingers.

The temper tantrum has grown so massive it’s threatening even the Republican party, which is being torn apart by purity tests and fury over even the slightest hint of cooperation with liberals, who are seen as a subversive threat to be stomped out instead of fellow citizens to work through your issues with.

So it’s really not a huge surprise that, with right-wing anger levels so high, a small number are taking it to the next level and setting fire to churches and clinics. Unfortunately, this isn’t really getting the media attention it deserves.

The summer’s church burnings got a smattering of coverage, but less than the debate over the Confederate flag. The fire bombings and arson attacks that have hit four Planned Parenthood clinics since interest renewed in attacking the organization have barely registered in the national media, according to a report by Media Matters. These St. Louis burnings are so frequent and close together that they are getting more national media coverage, but it has barely gone beyond bare bones reporting to dig into the deeper issue of the connection between the rise in right wing radicalism and the rise in domestic terrorism.

“The media need to report these incidents as what they are: domestic terrorism,”Ilyse Hogue of NARAL said in a recent press release on the clinic attacks. She is exactly right about that. Terrorism, by definition, is violence enacted in order to assert your political will. And while none of these have been as horrible as the Charleston shooting, this rampage of right wing arson attacks should still be very concerning. These are no ordinary crimes, but an attempt to use violence to cheat the democratic system and to intimidate people through the threat of violence. You know, terrorism.

It’s tough to report on this because, inevitably, conservatives while whine and throw tantrums in an attempt to silence discourse about right wing terrorism. Last week,the Justice Department created a new position to coordinate agency responses to domestic terrorism, a reasonable idea since domestic terrorists kill more Americans than foreign terrorists do. This position focuses on all forms of domestic terrorism, whether they are motivated by racism, Islamic fundamentalism, or Christian fundamentalism.

In the past, when the Obama administration tried to address domestic terrorism,they faced an ugly backlash from conservatives who dismiss, despite all the evidence to the contrary, the fact that all this hateful right-wing radicalism does inspire violence. This time, possibly because the shootings in Charleston were so horrific, the backlash response has been muted in mainstream conservative spaces like Fox News.

Still, the more fringe right was going nuts. WorldNetDaily published an alarmist article suggesting that this was part of “Obama’s legacy of targeting conservatives” and denying that domestic terrorism is real, claiming that all the anti-government and racist attacks are about “mental illness” instead. (They don’t even acknowledge the issue of anti-abortion violence.) The article also asserts that it’s a cover story for what is actually an attempt to—what else—take all your guns away.

Bryan Fischer at Renew America wrote that Obama has ” an abiding hostility to people of Christian faith”, and that this renewed effort to stomp out domestic terrorism is evidence of it.

Breitbart News, which is closer to the mainstream of conservatism, though it isn’t quite on the level of Fox News, also raised the alarm, putting “domestic terrorism”  in scare quotes and trying to discredit the Southern Poverty Law Center and minimizing right-wing terrorism.

The fact of the matter is that a lot of conservatives are more interested in evading responsibility and avoiding hard conversations about what kind of extremism they’re producing than about actually taking measures to stop terrorism. A recent exchange on a Facebook page advertising a protest at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Pullman, Washington, is a small but terrific example of how these things go. The clinic, which does not perform abortions, was set on fire and suffered extensive damage in September. Video shows someone throwing a flammable object through the window. But even though their extensive picketing of the clinic almost certainly inspired the arsonist, anti-choicers in the area kept picketing the burn site.

One young conservative showed up at the Facebook page organizing one of these protests to express that he is “concerned, very concerned, about this new Planned Parenthood protest that is scheduled for a week from tomorrow in Pullman again”, because of the arson and because the clinic “does not even provide abortions”. He was concerned that this would ignite the “supposed war on women image”. In this, he is correct. Few things scream “war on women” like following up an arson with a protest in service of cutting women off from affordable contraception and other non-abortion reproductive health services.

However, the young man’s concerns were blown off. “But John….just because some arsonist committed a crime does not mean we should stop advocating for the life of the unborn, or caring about the health of women,” a woman immediately replies. (When antis talk about “the health of women”, they’re usually referring to their belief that non-procreative sex, even if accomplished just with contraception, is inherently bad for women.) Soon after, the young man’s post was deleted, though it’s unclear if the organizers took it down or he did, for fear that his reasonable opposition to seeming to support misogynist terrorism would make his fellow anti-choicers dislike him.

It was a small moment, but indicative of the indifference that conservatives demonstrate to terrorism done in their name. Considering that would-be terrorists generally think they’re expressing community values, that shrug response is going to be read as support. In light of this, it’s all the more important for the media to cover acts of domestic terrorism. If nothing else, it will raise the heat on ordinary conservatives to condemn these acts, hopefully discouraging future terrorism. It might even lead to a debate about how radical right wing politics are inevitably going to lead to some right wingers thinking violence is the solution when democratic methods fail.



Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Domestic terrorism, Faux News


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Black Podcasters Replacing Talk Radio

When I saw this one, my initial thought was “Podcasting”…How 90’s!” However there is obviously a gap not being filled by commercial radio, with worldwide reach, and a low cost of entry for the ‘caster…And an audience, principally of Millennial connecteds.

This obviously is the author’s take on the best black Podcasts, and go to the site to see the rest.

11 Black Podcasts Leading The Golden Age Of Audio

You could say that we’re experiencing a kind of renaissance in podcasting. While mainstays like Radiolab, This American Life (and wildly popular spinoff, Serial) have driven the world of storytelling and conversation, a new crop of interesting, innovative, and engaging podcast shows have emerged in the last couple years. Among those new shows are podcasts hosted by black people who are introducing interesting perspectives in the still very white, very male podcasting world.

There are countless podcasts with black hosts on politics and pop culture that are changing the game, but below are 11 shows that exemplify the current Golden Age of black podcasting:

1. The Read

It’s safe to say that no “best podcasts” list would be complete without The Read, so let’s just get this one out the way. Hosted by YouTuber Kid Fury and his BFF, writer Crissle West, each weekly show features hot topics, listener letters, and a “read” where the pair cuss out everything from f***kboys to rude Best Buy workers. If you’re not listening to this show already, why?  The duo perfectly balances hilarious pop culture commentary with observations on real-life issues like police brutality.

3. Black Girls Talking

On this podcast, four intelligent and endlessly witty black women (Alesia, Fatima, Aurelia and Ramou) meet up for topical conversations on pop culture, politics, and race. It’s a simple but powerful format, and the ladies have had amazing guests come through to chat, including journalist Janet Mock and comedienne Charla Lauriston.

4. Black Girl Nerds

Black Girl Nerds fills a much-ignored niche in the podcasting world, appealing to black women everywhere who love all things geeky. An offshoot of the blog of the same name created by Jamie Broadnax, the show generally delves into an eclectic range of topics. On any given week Broadnax and guests may discuss Afrofuturism, Sleepy Hollow, cosplaying while black, and Jem nostalgia. It’s a fun, badly-needed reminder that not all black women are alike.

6. The Combat Jack Show

The Combat Jack show is the number one hip-hop podcast, and rightly so. Each week a wide array of personalities including Talib Kweli, Deray McKesson, Feminista Jones, and Marc Lamont Hill are brought on to discuss the latest in current events. What makes this show so great is that it highlights the fact that hip-hop culture is bigger than just music — it’s also political.

7. For Colored Nerds

For Colored Nerds adds another perspective to the black nerd dialogue, as best friends Brittany and Eric get together every week to discuss nerd culture from both a male and female perspective. But it’s not just nerdism that the pair focus on — in the above episode, for instance, they have a fascinating conversation about finding and keeping mentor-mentee relationships for black people in the creative world.

Check the all out,you may become a fan.


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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life


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Iceberg Slim – Pulp Fiction

Iceberg Slim was the nom-de-guerre of a Los Angeles Pimp, whose story became famous when he turned to writing. At least one movie, and countless bad-ass characters in the movies are based on his character and style.

Not sure why the renewed interest – but Slim is part of 40’s-60’s black history, and was a model for others (apparently still) – as well as a character from which numerous movie depictions were based. Before the Drug Dealer of the 70’s – the black pimp was more likely to be at the top of criminal enterprise in poor black communities. These guys would flash their money and “power” based on a “Players Ball” purportedly created in the 1974 Movie, “The Mack” – although such “annual conferences” existed long before that in Chicago. Apparently some of these guys are still around as you will see in the video at the bottom of this post.

I remember watching from the street one of these back in the late 1970’s, at a certain club located in downtown Washington DC. Lots of flash, jewelry, and outrageous outfits.


The Pulp Fiction Pimp Who Inspired Chris Rock, Jay Z, and Snoop Dogg

Robert Beck was the godfather of Blaxploitation, one of the most influential African-American voices of the 20th century—and also among its most violently misogynistic.

For many of his 73 years on the planet, Robert Beck—aka “Iceberg Slim,” the subject of a new biography, Street Poison, by African-American literature professor Justin Gifford—was a lousy human being.

Beck—who by his own account violently brutalized women during his quarter-century-long career as a pimp, and later mythologized his felonious lifestyle in a best-selling memoir and a series of popular pulp novels—raised misogyny to an art form.

The smooth-talking, cold-hearted Beck, whose nom de plume celebrated his detached and chilly streetwise demeanor, was the vain and selfish only son of an irresponsible mother; a careless father of three mixed-race daughters and the estranged stepfather of a Caucasian son; and a manipulative and philandering husband who only redeemed himself in a second marriage late in life as his years of prison, drugs, and hard living took their inevitable toll.

Albeit ghetto-famous, with countless fans, he died penniless in Los Angeles of diabetes and gangrene; his fancy above-ground berth at Forest Lawn was paid for by Mike Tyson, one of Beck’s many celebrity devotees, who also include Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Quincy Jones, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Ice Cube, and Ice-T (the last of whom co-produced a 2012 documentary tribute, Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp).

And yet, by Gifford’s estimation and that of others, Beck—born Robert Lee Moppins Jr. (later Frenchified to Maupins) in the slums of 1918 white-racist Chicago—was also one of the more influential voices in 20th century black culture and literature, to be ranked alongside James Baldwin, Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison.

Indeed, Iceberg Slim’s 1967 novelistic and poetic autobiography, Pimp: The Story of My Life, and his later works are widely credited with inspiring the Blaxploitation film genre and the beginnings of hip-hop and rap. His nine published books—translated into a dozen languages while one, Trick Baby, was adapted into a feature film—had sold an estimated 6 million copies by the time of his death, which might have made him the J.K. Rowling of black pulp fiction, if only his royalties were commensurate with his sales.

Beck’s pain and rage at having been callously exploited by his white-owned publisher, Holloway House—much as he had exploited and abused his revolving stable of prostitutes—is a recurring theme in Gifford’s meticulously-researched narrative.

The fact that Beck’s biographer is also white and middle-aged—an academic of somewhat younger vintage, Gifford teaches at the University of Nevada—is testament to the enduring crossover appeal of Iceberg Slim’s story.

It begins in Chicago’s Black Belt, during a period of lethal viciousness by white thugs against African Americans who dared venture out of the ghetto. Terrible race riots and mass murders comprised a history of violence that doubtless shaped Iceberg Slim’s adult identity as a revolutionary and Black Panther partisan.

Three incidents in his childhood seem to have left a searing imprint and shaped his future.

His biological father, a cook who’d grown up in “Nashville’s upwardly mobile and respectable black working-class society,” according to Gifford, had plunged headlong into the Black Belt demimonde of whoring and gambling, and saw his son as an inconvenience.

His mother, Mary, left her husband, taking her infant son with her, after refusing his demand that the baby be abandoned on a church doorstep—“so,” Iceberg Slim recounted, “he hurled me against the wall in disgust.”

The second formative experience—the memory of which forever haunted Beck and twisted his feelings about women—involved being 3 years old and sexually molested by a babysitter while his single mother toiled all day at a laundry. According to his autobiography, the babysitter forced him to perform oral sex.

“I remember more vividly the moist, odorous darkness and the bristle-like hairs tickling my face,” he wrote, “and most vividly I can remember my panic, when in the wild moment of her climax, she would savagely jerk my head tighter into the hairy maw.”

According to Gifford: “The event deeply scarred Beck—as his hateful language suggests—and he later attributed his anxious and violent relationships with the women he pimped to this incident.”

The third seminal episode—after his mother’s 1922 marriage to a devoutly churchgoing community leader and successful businessman, Henry Upshaw, whom Beck loved as his only real father—was her reckless decision to leave Upshaw after nine happy, stable years for a charming but violent street hustler.  Relocating from Chicago to Milwaukee with his mother and her boyfriend, Beck fell into bad company in the red-light district and became “street poisoned,” as he put it in his memoir. (Beck ultimately took the surname of his mother’s third husband, Ural Beck, a hardworking railroad employee in Milwaukee, whom she married in the early 1940s.)

“At the height of his career,” Gifford writes, “he would intentionally draw upon his traumatic memories—especially of the babysitter, as well as his mother’s betrayal during his teenage years—to fuel his cruel treatment of his prostitutes,” using a wire hanger as his preferred instrument of discipline….The rest here

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Posted by on August 22, 2015 in Black History


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MMA Star Rhonda Rousey Challenges Floyd Mayweather

Bit of advice Floyd – this is one woman you better not try smacking around.

Ronda Rousey: I Could Beat Floyd Mayweather In ‘No-Rules’ Fight

Ronda Rousey says she can take Floyd Mayweather in a “no-rules” fight.

In a Reddit AMA on Monday night, the UFC women’s bantamweight champion was asked if she could beat the boxer “in a ruleless fight.”

Her response (emphasis hers):

Floyd is one of the best boxers of all time. He would definitely beat me in a boxing match. I unfortunately don’t get into “matches”. I fight for a living. In a no rules fight, I believe I can beat anyone on this planet. Boxing is a sweet science with strict rules that I respect very much and aspire every day to improve at. But you said ruleless fight, and that’s my honest answer. 

The comment comes just days after Mayweather took a verbal swipe at Rousey.

“I’ve yet to see any MMA fighter, or other boxer, make over $300 million in 36 minutes,” Mayweather said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Thursday. “When she can do that, then call me.”

The two have been trading verbal jabs for more than a year, with Mayweather famously saying, “I don’t even know who he is” when asked about her last summer.

Rousey got some sweet revenge last month, beating Mayweather for the “Best Fighter” award at the ESPYs.

I wonder how Floyd feels being beat by a woman for once,” she said after the win, referring to his long and well-documented history of domestic violence. “I’d like for him to pretend to not know who I am now.”

Rousey also referred to his history of violence against women in May, telling Access Hollywood the two would probably never fight “unless we ended up dating.”

No holds barred? I’d put my money on Rhonda if the fight ever reached the ground.


Posted by on August 11, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life


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