Tag Archives: violence

You are More Likely to Die Violently … Outside the City

Whooops! Did I really say that?

That’s right, despite all the caterwauling by the racist right about “black on black crime”, the simple fact of the matter is that drunk white folks in Wyoming kill more people percentage wise than black folks in many cities.

Those who said they have driven within two hours after drinking any alcohol report an average of 11 such trips in the past year (males 14.4 vs females 5.9 trips). Whites account for 84 percent of all monthly trips, while this groups comprises 77 percent of the 16 to 64 year old population. The percentages for monthly alcohol trips and population are: Blacks — 5 and 9 percent; Hispanics — 5 and 7 percent; Asian Americans — 1 and 2 percent; and Native Americans and Eskimos — 3 and 2 percent. About 3 percent of whites, 2 percent of Blacks, 2 percent of Asian and 7 percent of American Indian/Eskimos age 16-64 report being stopped by the police for suspicion of drinking and driving.

What this feeds isa high DUI rate in rural and suburban areas.

You’re More Likely to Die a Violent Death in Rural America Than in a City

In one popular explanation for the mass exodus from urban America over the last several decades, people left the city because the city wasn’t safe. In suburban and rural America, by contrast, the cars drive slower down cul-de-sacs, random crime is less common, and gunfire is scarce. You’ve probably heard this before.

Here, however, is the data: Yes, homicide-related death rates are significantly higher in urban parts of the country. But that risk is far outweighed by the fact that you’re about twice as likely to die in a car crash in rural America than you are in the most urban counties. Nationwide, the rate of “unintentional-injury death” car crashes, drownings, falls, machinery accidents and the like is about 15 times the rate of homicide death. Add together all the ways in which you might die prematurely by intentional or unintentional injury (as opposed to illness), and your risk of death is actually about 22 percent higher in the most rural counties in America than in the most urban ones.

All together, your risk of injury death actually goes up the more rural the community where you live.

This finding comes from a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, published in theAnnals of Emergency Medicine. The study looked at every injury death in America between 1999 and 2006 (excluding death by terrorism the researchers considered Sept. 11 too much an outlier to contribute to our understanding of these public-health patterns). That number totaled 1,295,919 deaths. Each was tagged to the county where the injury took place, with counties classified on a 10-step continuum from urban to rural.

The main finding inverts many of our assumptions about danger and place: “When considering all mechanisms of injury death as an overall metric of safety,” the authors write, “large cities appear to be the safest counties in the United States, significantly safer than their rural counterparts.”

On the below two illustrations from the paper, the map of population density by county (top) directly contrasts with the map of death rates (bottom):

Across the whole population, the top three causes of death were motor vehicle crashes, firearms and poisoning. But start to break these numbers down by region, age group and even race, and the picture gets more interesting. Motor vehicle crashes, for example, lead to 27.61 deaths per 100,000 people in the most rural counties. But that number is just 10.58 deaths per 100,000 people in the most urban counties.

Other risks you might expect are more common in rural areas, like injury from machines and environmental events like flooding, animal attacks or exposure to the cold. As for guns, the risk of firearm-related death is actually pretty consistent across the country, population-wide. But firearm deaths are significantly higher in rural areas for children and people over age 45. In the city, they’re much higher for people aged 20 to 44.

Race also played a curious factor. Rural counties with large black populations had lower risk of injury death than rural counties with fewer blacks. For Latinos, the pattern was the opposite.(BTx3 thinks it’s the crazy white folks on Youtube effect)



Posted by on September 29, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life


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More Police Violence in Chicago

Chicago cops beating people up is no big surprise,. The department has a long reputation of questionable tactics. Beating up one of their fellow Government employees? No Problem!

Police Investigator: Cops Beat Me Up

The dash-cam went dark as soon as officers saw his ID. Then an officer allegedly taunted him, “What are you going to tell me next? You can’t breathe?”

CHICAGO — A man who investigates the Chicago Police Department for a living was beaten by officers once they discovered what he did, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.

George Roberts is a supervisor at the Independent Police Review Authority, the agency responsible for investigating claims of police misconduct and officer-involved shootings. On New Year’s Day 2015, Roberts was pulled over after he left a bar. One of six officers who stopped Roberts found his IPRA identification badge.

Immediately afterwards, the police dashcam recording the traffic stop cuts to black; Roberts alleges in his federal lawsuit against the police this is because another officer intentionally turned off the camera. Roberts’s attorney claims police paperwork did not even note any footage existed. In fact, police only admitted to its existence when Roberts’s criminal counsel discovered it during his trial for driving under the influence.

With no footage to contest their account of the incident, police told the media that Roberts was drunk and swerving his vehicle and that he refused to answer questions or to take a field-sobriety test. They arrested him for minor traffic violations and DUI. Police said he fell asleep in the back of the squad car and he soiled himself.

Roberts was acquitted on the DUI charge in a bench trial and he says police are lying about what really happened after the dashcam went dark—that he was thrown to the ground before he was handcuffed and put in the back of a squad car.

At 6-foot-3 and 315 pounds, Roberts’s wrists were too large for the single pair of handcuffs police slapped on him, his lawyer says. When Roberts complained that even the slightest movement caused the cuffs to cut into his wrists Officer “R. Adams” allegedly taunted him with Eric Garner’s last words.

Former IRPA Investigator, Lorenzo Davis

“What are you going to tell me next, you can’t breathe?”

Roberts, who is black, claims he was pulled out of the car and thrown to the ground again—a collision so violent that it made him lose control of his bowels. From there Roberts was taken to the lock-up, where he stayed overnight in his soiled clothes.

The only visit from an officer that night was borne not of concern but jubilation, according to Roberts. A white-shirt officer, which denotes high rank, peered in on Roberts as he sat defeated on the cell floor, then pointed and laughed.

IPRA is used to getting beat up by Chicago’s cops.

Lorenzo Davis, who along with Roberts was one of just two black supervisors at IPRA, is also suing the city. Davis says he was fired after refusing to whitewash investigations of three fatal shootings carried out by Chicago police officers. While Davis remains unsure whether police targeted Roberts, he is sure that telling the truth about cops gets punished.

Detective Dante Servin, Rekia Boyd

“Some people seem to think that someone saw him and recognized him, saw him in a bar and saw him drinking,” Davis says of Roberts. “That was a theory initially—that this would be a way to get back at someone who worked at IPRA.”

The only time IPRA had the balls to suggest terminating a cop was after the state’s attorney already charged him in a homicide, which hadn’t happened to any other cops in IPRA’s lifetime.

In 2012, Detective Dante Servin fired his unregistered handgun from his car, killing Rekia Boyd. (Servin has maintained he saw a man with a gun near Boyd, but investigators revealed the man was holding only a cell phone.) Servin was charged with involuntary manslaughter but was acquitted by a Cook County judge in April on the novel basis that Servin should’ve been charged with first-degree murder…More…

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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter


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A Conservative Sees the Light

Meet “The Southern Avenger“, late an advisor to Rand Paul,  in earlier times –

The ‘Southern Avenger’ Repents: I Was Wrong About the Confederate Flag

States’ rights? Heritage? I was wrong: The Confederate flag has always been about race.

As a Charleston, South Carolina-based conservative radio personality known as the “Southern Avenger,” I spent a decade defending the Confederate flag that is yet again the center of so much controversy.

I said the flag was about states’ rights. I said it stood for self-determination. I said it honored heritage.

I argued the Confederate flag wasn’t about race. I believed it. Millions of well-meaning Southerners believe it too.

I was wrong. That flag is always about race. Whatever political or historical points the flag’s defenders make, there will never be a time—and never has been a time—in which millions of Americans have looked at that symbol and not seen hatred.

We can argue for the rest of time whether this is fair or not. And for the rest of time, that symbol will still be seen in an overwhelmingly negative light.

Those who see hatred have political and historical reasons too.

This has always been the Confederate flag debate game. One camp’s arguments are supposed to trump the other’s.

I’m not here to settle those arguments. I tired of them years ago.

But I am here to say there is something at stake far more important than this symbol.

Heritage might not be hate. But battling hate is far more important than anyone’s heritage, politics, or just about anything else. We should have different priorities.

I now have different priorities.

Dylann Roof is a reminder of what’s at stake.

The week before a white supremacist murdered nine black men and women in my hometown of Charleston, I was angry at my fellow conservatives.

A 14-year-old black girl attending a pool party in McKinney, Texas, had been manhandled and thrown to the ground by a police officer. The girl had done nothing except talk. She was just standing there with other teenagers.

It was revolting to watch. I asked others to imagine it was their daughter.

The overwhelming response was that she was a “thug” who was “no saint” and needed to be taught “respect.” The comments were as revolting as the act—an adult mob praising the assault of a 100-pound, half-naked and scared black kid. Ipleaded again for people to stop defending this. It got uglier.

It bothered me greatly, probably because at one time I might have done the same thing.

In my role as a conservative radio personality, I would’ve likely joined in in calling a group of excited black teenagers, or protesters, “thugs.” I might have called illegal immigrants criminals or worse. Muslims would’ve been slandered asterrorists.

Ugliness was a stock-in-trade.

I thought a big part of being conservative meant picking a “side” and attacking the other. I thought not caring what others thought or felt was part of it. Some of my Confederate flag debates certainly reflected that mentality.

This is something ideologues do and is by no means exclusive to the right, as evidenced by the way some liberals cartoonishly portray conservatives, Christians, and, yes, Southerners.

Ideologues ridicule and dehumanize people at the expense of their personhood. Ideologues believe some groups must be attacked, and although the groups are comprised of flesh-and-blood human beings, it’s better not to think of them as people too much—it could get you off message.

It’s crude collectivist thinking. It’s an intentional lack of sympathy. It’s dehumanization. It’s at the heart of everything that’s wrong with our politics and culture.

In its most extreme form, it’s what’s wrong with Dylann Roof.

Between the reports of his racist words and manifesto, we know Roof had a mission: to murder black people. Entering the Emmanuel A.M.E. Church Wednesday and sitting with the group for an hour, Roof confessed that he “almost didn’t go through with it because everyone was so nice to him.”

But instead he chose to “go through with his mission.” He had to shrug off their kindness. These weren’t people. They were just “blacks.” They were on the wrong side.

Roof’s hateful tunnel vision led him to commit pure evil.

What is the polar opposite of such hatred? The forgiveness demonstrated by Roof’s victim’s families. Said the daughter of Ethel Lance, “I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you.”

“And have mercy on your soul. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people but God forgives you, and I forgive you.”

This is humanity. It is a rejection of collectivist thinking. It is the epitome of sympathy. It’s grace. It’s love.

My attraction to libertarianism a number of years ago began a journey of rejecting groupthink and placing primacy on the individual. Once you start down the path of putting individual human beings above whatever group they belong to, it puts politics—and everything else—in a new light.

Putting people before an agenda or broad prejudices puts us all in a much better place. It can, and should, make us repentant of our past behavior. It did for me.

A 14-year-old girl at a pool party isn’t a “thug” who deserves abuse. She’s a child. Decent people should view her as such.

We can be more decent….more…

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Posted by on September 8, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life


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Faux News Lies About Police Shootings

Unable to get the two Police Chiefs in this video to lie about the deaths of Police Officers, Faux News resorts to incendiary racist lies on the chryons on the screen…

Fox News Hypes Imaginary Boost In Violence Against Police

Fox News dedicated an entire segment Sunday to what host Chris Wallace described as a recent increase in violence against police. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn joined to blame the supposed uptick on “self-styled activist” voices and a “relentless propaganda war” against police from “our network television stations.” 

A series of high-profile shootings of unarmed black men by police officers over the past year have highlighted racial tensions and disparities in policing. But there is no recent upward trend in the killing of police officers, according to data collected by the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks police deaths. 

In 2011, the number of police deaths in line of duty caused by gunfire or stabbing totaled 70. That number dropped to 53 in 2012 and 33 in 2013, before rising to 47 in 2014. Thus far in 2015, 24 officers have been killed by gunfire or stabbing, on pace for a lower number than in 2014.

Overall homicide rates have, however, increased this year in a host of major cities, according to The New York Times. Flynn blamed that rise in killings on lax gun laws, saying that too many convicted criminals have access to firearms.

A number of us have suffered from recently weakened gun laws that have made it much easier for our criminals to gain access to firearms,” Flynn said. “When the major cities met a few weeks ago, all of us noticed the phenomenon — a lot more rounds are being fired at each shooting and overwhelmingly being driven by people with criminal records shooting people with criminal records. That’s driving our homicide rates.”

Put simply – there is no war against the Police – by BlackLivesMatter, or any other responsible group. There is however a problem with our gun laws, promoted by the very same folks now trying to make up lies about Police shootings.


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Posted by on September 6, 2015 in Faux News, The New Jim Crow


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Cop-on-Cop Violence

Seems the trigger happy Police in Arizona have just capped one of their own…

Trigger-Happy Cop Shot One of His Own and Kept Blasting Away

The number of signs that Albuquerque Police Lt. Greg Brachle ignored or didn’t see before putting nine .45-caliber bullets into his fellow officer’s body are simply staggering.

There was the fact that Brachle knew Det. Jacob Grant was involved in a drug buy last January, a sting the superior officer walked up on while Grant sat in an undercover police car. There were Grant’s clothes, an outfit specially worn according to a safety protocol to prevent friendly fire incidents. Even Grant’s position in the car—behind another undercover narcotics agent in the driver’s seat—was to signal to other officers that the two men were cops.

But most damning—and the most confusing part of it all—is that Brachle and Grant were well-known to each other. For nearly two years, they worked in the narcotics division of the department.

The lieutenant and the detective had “substantial, frequent, and almost daily interactions with each other,” said the civil lawsuit filed last week against the city of Albuquerque and the police department.

According to Bernalillo County court documents filed by Grant’s lawyer, Grant was taking part in a drug buy with another undercover officer while the sting was being monitored by Brachle and others. A briefing was held prior to the bust and officers in attendance learned not only of Grant and his fellow undercover cop’s presence in the car, but also of descriptions of their clothing and seating positions. Brachle didn’t attend the briefing, Grant’s lawyer says, but nonetheless took an “active and aggressive role in the operation.”

Brachle went against protocol by approaching the driver’s side of the car Grant was sitting in. The lieutenant again broke the rules when he ripped open the door and started firing into Grant, alleging without offering a single “hands up,” or “freeze,” according to the complaint.

Brachle’s actions were called “overzealous and aggressive,” in Grant’s lawsuit. Another way of saying it might be that Brachle went John Wayne, swooping into a situation he apparently knew little about, guns blazing. Even if Grant wasn’t a cop, Brachle’s alleged zealousness to fire on a suspect presenting no apparent threat would be disturbing.

Brachle first putting two bullets into Grant’s torso at point-blank range. The detective’s body slumped over in the back seat, Brachle fired seven more times as Grant tried to crawl away.

“Please stop shooting,” the detective pleaded as the lieutenant kept firing.

The damage was substantial: Almost all of Grant’s vital organs were struck and he lost 80 percent of his blood that day, nearly dying. After several surgeries, Grant can expect a lifetime of more medical work and costs to recover.

The lawsuit filed by Grant’s lawyer says not only did Brachle ignore training, protocol, and all manner of common sense while firing on his fellow officer, but he also violated Grant’s constitutional rights by using an excessive amount of lethal force.

Not really surprising though – this is the Police Force who shoots unarmed homeless people

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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Domestic terrorism


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Predicting Schizophrenia – And Implications for Gun Control

First off – not all (or even a majority) of people suffering from Schizophrenia will ever become violent. However in a country which suffers the highest level of violence in the Industrialized world, and over 10 times the number of Mass Murders of any other country…Which not coincidentally has the most pathetic mental health system…

Maybe it is time to look at another way to avert the violence. Can we identify and treat those with Mental Illness which are likely to become violent?

I haven’t taken time to calculate the numbers – but it also seems that a disproportionate number of people killed by the Police are in fact folks suffering from mental disease – specifically Schizophrenia who are 14 times more likely to suffer violence than non-sufferers of the disease.

The Virginia Tech Shooter had been diagnosed with severe psychotic breaks (Schizophrenia) but was still allowed to obtain the weapon with which he shot and killed several dozen of his classmates. Most research indicates he was an outlier in terms of violent behavior.

Should we, as a society examine ways to predict violent actions, and deny those folks access to guns? Admittedly, this is a thorny Constitutional and legal question.

Computers Can Predict Schizophrenia Based on How a Person Talks

A new study finds an algorithmic word analysis is flawless at determining whether a person will have a psychotic episode.

Although the language of thinking is deliberate—let me think, I have to do some thinking—the actual experience of having thoughts is often passive. Ideas pop up like dandelions; thoughts occur suddenly and escape without warning. People swim in and out of pools of thought in a way that can feel, paradoxically, mindless.

Most of the time, people don’t actively track the way one thought flows into the next. But in psychiatry, much attention is paid to such intricacies of thinking. For instance, disorganized thought, evidenced by disjointed patterns in speech, is considered a hallmark characteristic of schizophrenia. Several studies of at-risk youths have found that doctors are able to guess with impressive accuracy—the best predictive models hover around 79 percent—whether a person will develop psychosis based on tracking that person’s speech patterns in interviews.

A computer, it seems, can do better.

 That’s according to a study published Wednesday by researchers at Columbia University, the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in the Nature Publishing Group journal Schizophrenia. They used an automated speech-analysis program to correctly differentiate—with 100-percent accuracy—between at-risk young people who developed psychosis over a two-and-a-half year period and those who did not. The computer model also outperformed other advanced screening technologies, like biomarkers from neuroimaging and EEG recordings of brain activity.
“In our study, we found that minimal semantic coherence—the flow of meaning from one sentence to the next—was characteristic of those young people at risk who later developed psychosis,” said Guillermo Cecchi, a biometaphorical-computing researcher for IBM Research, in an email. “It was not the average. What this means is that over 45 minutes of interviewing, these young people had at least one occasion of a jarring disruption in meaning from one sentence to the next. As an interviewer, if my mind wandered briefly, I might miss it. But a computer would pick it up.”

Researchers used an algorithm to root out such “jarring disruptions” in otherwise ordinary speech. Their semantic analysis measured coherence and two syntactic markers of speech complexity—including the length of a sentence and how many clauses it entailed. “When people speak, they can speak in short, simple sentences. Or they can speak in longer, more complex sentences, that have clauses added that further elaborate and describe the main idea,” Cecchi said. “The measures of complexity and coherence are separate and are not correlated with one another. However, simple syntax and semantic incoherence do tend to aggregate together in schizophrenia.”

 Here’s an example of a sentence, provided by Cecchi and revised for patient confidentiality, from one of the study’s participants who later developed psychosis:

I was always into video games. I mean, I don’t feel the urge to do that with this, but it would be fun. You know, so the one block thing is okay. I kind of lied though and I’m nervous about going back.

While the researchers conclude that language processing appears to reveal “subtle, clinically relevant mental-state changes in emergent psychosis,” their work poses several outstanding questions. For one thing, their sample size of 34 patients was tiny. Researchers are planning to attempt to replicate their findings using transcripts from a larger cohort of at-risk youths.

They’re also working to contextualize what their findings might mean more broadly. “We know that thought disorder is an early core feature of schizophrenia evident before psychosis onset,” said Cheryl Corcoran, an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University. “The main question then is: What are the brain mechanisms underlying this abnormality in language? And how might we intervene to address it and possibly improve prognosis? Could we improve the concurrent language problems and function of children and teenagers at risk, and either prevent psychosis or at least modify its course?”

Intervention has long been the goal. And so far it has been an elusive one. Clinicians are already quite good at identifying people who are at increased risk of developing schizophrenia, but taking that one step farther and determining which of those people will actually end up having the illness remains a huge challenge…More…

Victims of Schizophrenia are about 3-4 times more likely to commit violence than the non-affected population, but less likely to commit violence than alcoholics or drug users with mental illness. They however are 14 times more likely to be the victims of violence.

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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in General, 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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