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Oh, those colored criminals!

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The first career I became interested in was anthropology. When I was eleven or twelve, I read several books by or about Margaret Mead. I was also curious about how human behavior developed. As a witness to group conflict in the South — class and racial — I was already in a culture worthy of study. I still find myself asking: ‘What made him (or them) do that?’ quite often. Earlier tonight, I was browsing blog entries when I happened across one about singer Chaka Khan‘s adult son being charged with murder. The blogger, True Focus, had plenty to say about ‘bad’ celebrities.

Living in a time in which the line between truth and fiction has virtually disappeared, as evidenced in recent events, one can never be too skeptical. Let’s remember that today society says “it’s ok, even expected, to use whatever and whomever you can to succeed.” As a result we have Britney Spears, who marries twice (or at least pretends to marry) for publicity; not to be undone, Janet Jackson grabs the headlines with indecent exposure before the world for publicity; Michael Jackson flirts with the charges of pedophilia for a chance at ‘wowing’ a crowd dancing on a hood of an SUV for publicity; Martin Lawrence was arrested for erratic behavior just days before he had a new movie coming out for publicity; Kobe Bryant is accused by a woman who could not have had a spottier background — he got publicity; Snoop Dogg arrives at an award ceremony in a swat-like style armored car while the blinding camera flashes capture cops drawing guns. . .and when it’s all over (you know the story, charges are dropped, settlement is reached, or case is dismissed on a technicality) we glorify them. They are bigger than ever. We’ve all played our small parts in a ‘reality’ movie that will play on a global scale, and we didn’t even know it.

The blog entry is poorly reasoned and badly written. But, another aspect of it stands out, as well. All of the celebrities the fellow is taking to the woodshed, with the exception of Britney Spears, are African-American. Considering that most public figures are white, including those who may be guilty of bad behavior, one wonders why he chose to flagellate black celebrities.

The blogger does not stop digging. He goes on to accuse Chaka Khan of having her son kill someone to obtain publicity for her new album.

Will Chaka Khan, a celebrity in grave need of some publicity-rev draw the line at the attention that a murder charge against her son may bring her way?

. . .Oh by the way, Damien Holland is an aspiring music producer, whose superstar mother Chaka Khan has a new CD release due out October 5, 2004 on Sanctuary Records.

Blogger Casper, of Chromatic Musings, responded that the charges had already been dropped against Holland because of a lack of evidence. It appears that Holland and the young man killed scuffled over possession of a shotgun. The gun went off.

So, we have a blogger who singled out African-American celebrities for accusations of criminal behavior. He then molded a claim that the black celebrity mother of a biracial man is so depraved she would suborn killing to promote her work. To an unbiased observer, there is no reasonable basis for his behavior. If he is going to criticize celebrities, he should have a legitimate basis for doing so. And, he should not decide who to criticize based on the color of the person’s skin.

I am much too squeamish to be an anthropologist. The first time the indigenes wanted me to eat an insect or I couldn’t get a nice, warm shower, that would be all she wrote. But, studying behavior in any microcosm, including the blogosphere, can be enlightening. What made him do that?

Note 1: This entry also appeared at Silver Rights.

Note 2: There is more good blogging at Mac-a-ro-nies.

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About The Diva

  • http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/031226660X/qid=1096646889/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/103-9847302-3651062?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 Brad McTaullife

    Mac Diva,

    Do yourself a favor… Before you post, do some investigative work to determine whether there was even a ‘murder’ at all? Here is the brilliance of these stunts. All you know in detail is the sequence of events that you have read or heard in the news– the story they are telling you. But I challenge you to find any forensic evidence that confirms that a murder took place… crime scene, blood at the crime scene, the hospital where victim died… That’s public info. Do the leg work.

    I’ve been a police officer for 27 years and I hate to admit it but I have experienced that some industries use the judicial system for publicity. You wouldnt believe how many bogus, pranks come our way. Obviously, the blogger TruthFocus is gently addressing an age old but real issue that has deteriorated social sensibilities and is now being projected through media, testing the gullibility of the public. There is alot of politics behind it all, and alot of money.

    It’s not about denegrating the blacks. Unfortunately, perhaps unfairly, the criminals that we see more in the news are the blacks. That means that in order for a publicity stunt to be successful, the story has to be credible. That means that the public has to believe it. And they will be more likely to believe that the blacks commit more of the crimes.

    I will admit I don’t know enough to comment about this case. It is possible that these elements exist but based on what I’ve read nothing indicates that. But just for your own information to keep in the back of your head. If you can’t, a minimum, verify the fundamental information, it probably didn’t happen.

    On your comments about race , I would just refer you to a excellent book:
    The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America by Larry Elder

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    A young man was shot and killed in Damien Holland’s apartment with only the two of them present, according to news reports. There was probable cause to arrest Holland while investigation was occurring. However, he has not been charged because of insufficient evidence. Of course, he can be charged later, if additional evidence is discovered.

    My objection to True Focus’ account is that it is inaccurate and biased. The only connection Chaka Khan has to the situation is being Holland’s mother. There is absolutely no evidence she had anything to do with the shooting. It takes a warped mind to accuse someone of suborning murder without a basis for doing so. My guess is that he is so blind to the humanity of people of color that he sees nothing wrong with printing blatantly prejudiced and inaccurate ‘information’ about them.’ After all, it is ‘only them.’ That makes it fine to malign a woman, who, for all he knows, is a pacifist. Unfortunately, that attitude is very much present in the criminal justice system and partly explains the disproportion of people of color arrested, charged and convicted of crimes they did not commit.

    You have the same problem if you actually believe that most celebrities involved in criminal cases are African-American. The most prominent public figure charged with a a crime this week was Phil Spector. But, for people like you and True Focus, that will not register.

    I have no interest in reading the blathering of a professional handkerchief head like Larry Elder.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Note: if you click on the “IP” at the bottom of the first post you find two posts, one from “Brad McTaullife” and one from “True Focus.”

    Does that mean they’re the same person?

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Oh, Christ! A cop with the attitude expressed in that entry is a very biased cop.

  • Brad McTaullife

    Actually, True Focus and I are former field colleagues. But to your comments about racism, if you read carefully, I do not believe that only blacks are involved in criminal cases. I reject that notion. What I’m trying to communicate is that that is what the media projects, therefore that’s what the public expects. In fact, as you precisely point out with Phil Spector, there are several prominent whites who have been involved in criminal cases but the media does not give it their cases same treatment. As a result, the public is conditioned to continue to think a certain way.

    But the point is that non-prominent and prominent people, do use and abuse public resources to forward their goals. As I stated before, I don’t know this case that well, but the material evidence that supports that a crime occurred is lacking.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Hmmn, interesting that your former colleague posted from your IP address on Monday.

  • Brad

    Actually sir, this is not my place. I am here as a guest. I am using someone else’s computer. But clearly, you are not interested in honest dialogue because you seem to veer off into conspiracy theories every chance you get.

    I suggested Larry Elder because based on your responses, I presumed you are black. And Larry Elder is one of the very few eloquent and critical thinking black authors who addresses issues of race, which is clearly your paramount interest. I would have recommended a book by Jesse Jackson, but to my knowledge, he hasn’t written a book.

    You have a good day.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    The theories, dear Brad, seem to be all yours.

    I simply asked about the different names with the same IP address.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    So, Brad/True Focus, your biased thinking is now the media’s fault? I don’t think so. The mainstream media does a reasonably good job of keeping the focus on the facts in stories about crime and other topics. No reputable newspaper would accuse Chaka Khan of having her son shoot someone to get publicity for a new album. Nor would most sane and unprejudiced people do so. The responsibility for this warped thinking is yours.

    As for your effort to lecture me on who to read and the law, I am not in need of advice from a semiliterate person who hasn’t a clue what he is talking about.

    One of the problems we have at Blogcritics is that anyone can join. So, we regularly attract members who can barely read and write. We also get some who are extremely prejudiced. (A reflection of the fact that much of white America is still extremely prejudiced.) You have the distinction of fitting into both of these categories.