SELMA ON OUR MINDS: A representation of Mrs. King!

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2015

Part 5—The lives of our saints and our prophets:
One scene in Selma made us think that some Muslims may have it right.

In the scene in question, Coretta Scott King confronts Dr. King about marital infidelity. Working from memory, the scene goes something like this:

Mrs. King has received an audiotape from the FBI. It includes recordings of Dr. King having sex with other women.

Emotionally, Mrs. King asks Dr. King if he loves her. Portrayed like a bit of a cornered rat, Dr. King says yes, he does.

Mrs. King then asks Dr. King if he loves any of the others. Her question is followed by the world’s most gigantic pause.

“Say something, Dr. King!” the troubled analysts cried, right there in the theater. And at last! After the world’s most gigantic pause, Dr. King finally says no.

No, he doesn’t love the others. Mrs. King strides from the room.

As we watched this scene, it occurred to us that some Muslims may pretty much have it right. Perhaps we really shouldn’t allow representations of prophets.

If we allow such representations, it will inevitably happen! Some lesser figure will come along and offer a hackneyed, embarrassing portrait of our prophets. Or so we thought as we watched Dr. King portrayed a bit like a cornered rat.

That was the way the scene struck us; it may seem different to others. (We’ve only seen Selma once.) And alas! We also thought this:

It seemed to us, as we watched the scene, that Ava DuVernay may have some Big Ideas About Infidelity, ideas she was sharing through this portrayal of one of our greatest prophets.

This thought also crossed our minds:

It seemed to us that we might be better off if lesser figures like DuVernay were required to stage their morality plays without the use of the prophets. If they were required to share their Great Though Possibly Hackneyed Ideas in fully fictional form.

What do we mean when we call DuVernay a lesser figure? In part, we mean this:

This marital scene seemed a bit hackneyed to us; it was also invented. As far as we know, DuVernay has no way of knowing if any such scene ever really occurred.

The dialogue came out of her head. It provoked a highly negative reaction from Barbara Reynolds.

Reynolds is a former editor and columnist for USA Today. In a recent column for the Washington Post, she described her 30-year relationship with Mrs. King—and she said this marital scene simply couldn’t have happened.

“I met Coretta Scott King in the 1970s,” Reynolds writes. “Beginning in 2000, I sat with her periodically to record her accounts of her experiences, producing 1,000 pages of transcripts that I have turned into a biography that I plan to publish later this year.”

Reynolds says she knew Mrs. King quite well. In her column, she states her objections to that imagined scene in that movie:
REYNOLDS (1/19/15): [O]ne of Coretta’s most painful struggles was seeing her marriage maligned by persistent charges that her husband was unfaithful. The reports of infidelity were addressed in a major scene in “Selma,” when the Coretta Scott King played by Carmen Ejogo weepily asks Martin, “Did you love the others?” This is not something Coretta would have said. Though Martin’s alleged affairs have become part of his story, Coretta never accepted it. When Ralph Abernathy wrote about Martin’s alleged adultery in his 1989 autobiography, Coretta insisted it was simply an effort to boost book sales. Not only did she vehemently insist that there were no “others,” she certainly never addressed the issue with the weepy resignation portrayed in Selma. She argued that the image of Martin as an unfaithful husband was part of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s ongoing campaign to nullify his influence by destroying his marriage—and his life.

Coretta said she did receive a tape recording at her home in January 1965, a package she later learned was sent by the FBI. As portrayed in the movie, it is widely reported that the tape contained sexual sounds that were meant to incriminate Martin. But Coretta disputes that history. “When I listened to the tape, it had nothing to do with my husband having sex. It was a loud social function with people telling dirty jokes, nothing like what I have seen reported in the press,” she told me.

Despite these and other historic distortions, “Selma” has won a Golden Globe and two Oscar nominations (Best Picture and Best Original Song). Its misrepresentations might not bother those who buy the premise that moviemakers are not historians; that their mission is to entertain rather than educate, to dramatically pursue a riveting story regardless of its truth. But it is wrong for storytellers to engage in open miseducation, to fictionalize our heroes. Doing so robs real people of their historic truth, particularly when those people can no longer defend themselves.
Is that scene an “historic distortion,” built on a “misrepresentation?” Ultimately, we have no real idea.

We have no way to evaluate Reynolds’ various assessments. We can’t evaluate her assessment of what Mrs. King believed about these matters. We can’t evaluate her belief that Mrs. King “certainly never addressed the issue with the weepy resignation portrayed in Selma.”

What did Mrs. King really believe about her husband’s marital conduct? We have no idea—and alas! In standard journalistic fashion, Reynolds provides no reason for accepting Mrs. King’s claims that she thought her husband was always faithful.

Mrs. King said it, and Reynold believes it! In standard fashion, Reynolds seems to think that’s close enough for journalistic work!

In her column, Reynolds says the film’s overall portrait of Mrs. King “is pure Hollywood fiction”—“a particularly troubling mischaracterization of one of the [civil rights] movement’s most critical players.”

We don’t have a real opinion on that. Our reaction to that particular scene was somewhat different:

Reynolds thought the scene involved a mischaracterization. As we watched the scene, it occurred to us that some Muslims may have it right.

Creating an historical drama about major figures is a very difficult task. If a person honors basic accuracy, it’s very hard, and very challenging, to fashion a drama about the lives of such important figures as Dr. King and Mrs. King and even the cracker Johnson.

It seems to us that this undertaking imposes large burdens on a film-maker. Others may be a bit more cavalier.

In our view, it takes a special kind of Lesser Figure to invent highly personal scenes involving the lives of our nation's greatest prophets. It takes a somewhat clueless person—a person with a pair of (foot)balls which have been inflated to roughly the size of kumquats.

It seemed to us, as we watched that scene, that DuVernay might have some Big Ideas About Infidelity she wanted to share with us rubes. People share such ideas all the time, of course, in fully fictional novels and fully fictional films.

People like DuVernay have footballs so large that they decide to share their Big Ideas through representations of major historical prophets. That may not be a great idea, though it might appeal to a lesser figure with a high sense of self-regard.

As we watched that rather hackneyed scene, the analysts shouted at Dr. King, begging him to say something to his wife. It occurred to us that some Muslims may pretty much have it right:

Lesser figures like DuVernay probably shouldn’t traffic in representations of our prophets and saints.

We were relieved when Dr. King finally said no, bringing an end to that imagined scene. At the same time, we thought DuVernay’s impulses were perhaps poor.

What came next was even worse! We the liberals began to muse upon the nature of fiction!

Still available for discussion: What the heck is “fiction?” And why was Clint Eastwood snubbed?

Reynolds describes Mrs. King: In her column, Reynolds paints a fascinating portrait of Mrs. King. In part:
REYNOLDS: During [our] interviews, she insisted that she had felt a calling from an early age. Growing up in the Klan-controlled South, she was no stranger to terror. She saw her family home and her father’s sawmill burned to the ground. But she also saw her father refusing to live in fear and bitterness, a value system reinforced by her Methodist upbringing. Her resilient attitude easily fused with Martin’s, who learned from his father that nothing should make anyone stoop low enough to hate.

It was the bombing of her home in Montgomery, Ala., during the 1955 bus boycott, that assured Coretta that she could withstand any dangers that were placed in her path. She was home with a neighbor and her baby, Yolanda, when the bomb blew off their front porch. She said her father wanted her to move back home with him and her mother, but she stood her ground, fearing that moving the family would disrupt the movement. While committed to her roles as a wife and a mother, Coretta knew that there was an even larger purpose for her life.
Perhaps some Muslims have it right! Perhaps we should decide that people like these—our nation’s greatest prophets and saints—should be spared from representation by Hollywood “talent” with their inevitable Big Slightly Hackneyed Ideas.

104 comments:

  1. If the movement and the events around Selma were the focus and not MLK, then his sex life and marriage would be irrelevant and the use of the tape to undermine King could have been addressed without examining whether it was true or how Mrs. King reacted to it. Different choices like that may be part of why DuVernay was not nominated. She could have put her own reactions in the mouth of a peripheral character.

    I don't think any Muslims are right about not portraying prophets. Critics can deal with the missteps without declaring any lives out of bounds to artists.

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  2. Maybe film makers think you cannot sell tickets without sex, or in this case a sex scandal.

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  3. Here is another - detailed review of "Selma" . . .

    http://grantland.com/features/selma-oscars-academy-awards-historical-accuracy-controversy/

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    1. Thanks. A very interesting and informative review.

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    2. Harris says that DuVernay's inaccuracies are in service of yelling a larger truth, do it is fair to examine that truth. He says she creates an equivalence between King and Johnson as both juggling and caught between factions. Harris claims Johnson could have done more and moved faster, thus siding with King and DuVernay, although little evidence supports that view. Harris also conflates Johnson's concern about violence with a desire to impede King's efforts, an unfair interpretation of several out of context quotes. Was the civil rights movement really about the pace of progress when Johnson enacted groundbreaking, truly monumental legislation against considerable opposition and at great cost? I think that is a major misreading of history that can perhaps only be made by someone embedded in today's racial climate. To object that LBJ was no "hero" reflects that fundamental misunderstanding. It was not LBJ's movie but neither was he part of the problem. He deserves better. All the marches and seven all the violence that could have been brought to bear would have changed nothing about national law without LBJ because he was able to twist the necessary arms and willing expend the political capital. That DuVarney cannot see this makes me sad. When every city in America has a street named for MLK and there is a national holiday on his birthday, it is hard to argue that he has been overlooked by history, so what was the point? If it was "We did this without you," as Harris suggests, that is a giant lie.

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    3. Thanks. A very entertaining and self revelatory comment.

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    4. This is a disguised way of calling someone racist, which is what happens when you say anything other than @2:29 did above.

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    5. Actually it is a polite way of saying what I have been saying about your many addled comments all along.

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    6. "It’s little wonder that DuVernay’s movie, the first on the subject by a woman of color and the first not to view mid-20th-century civil rights purely as an example of presidential, judicial, or legislative beneficence, has distressed those who … would be far more at home in a room with President Johnson than with Dr. King."

      Mark Harris really rattles liberal cages with that pithy persiflage. WTG!

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    7. What is the point of upsetting people who are supporting racial progress? For example, the white cofounder of the SPLC is disappeared. He took risks in his own community. But DuVarney wants to tell audiences that civil rights is a black struggle, not something we all do together, because there is no success without including others in the struggle. DuVernay is more interested in slapping white people, punishment for her perception of past wrongs, not examining how progress was made.

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    8. Here is Harris's money quote concerning the enormous flood of bile heaped toward Selma:

      "There is a brand of criticism that is, to its marrow, not just anti-Hollywood but anti-culture; it’s a rare patch of ground that’s shared by the anti-MSM right, the doctrinaire left, political cynics, and opportunistic ax-grinders."

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    9. Pure name-calling. You call this a money quote but it makes no argument at all -- it is on the level of calling the other side a doo-doo head in the middle of a debate

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    10. "For example, the white co-founder of the SPLC is disappeared."

      Just for the sake of my continuing education.....

      Anonymous @ 4:13 - 2:48 - 3:36

      Please elaborate.

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    11. The reason liberals disparage distinguished black conservatives is because they are not representative of racial progress? How can one double minority director threaten the Democratic Party that takes for granted the support of the majority of black voters? This movie must keep Debbie Wasserman Schultz up at night.

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    12. cicero, please stop trying to out stupid @ 2:48. Pure originality beats hideously out of place talking points any day of the week.

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    13. @4:37, go read the Pinsky article Somerby quoted yesterday
      The only Jew in Montgomery willing to stick his neck out was a guy named Levin who cofounded the Southern Poverty Law Center
      But he was white do he couldn't be important in DuVernay's film, which she has stated was written to show that black people produced racial progress without help from whites.She focused on Selma so she wouldn't have to show any of the white freedom riders. Of course we all know no white people were killed for participating in the movement (can you tell this is untrue by watching Selma?). The movie is racial propaganda. Why would any of the older white Academy voters who were around in the 50's & 60's and who may have marched themselves admire a film with such an agenda. She made the mistake if discussing her intentions in interviews.

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    14. @4:48

      Where is this proper place you imagine where it is fair game to confront liberals with their historic intolerance of minority conservatives?

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    15. Thanks. I read Pinsky yesterday. I have also read your continuous contribution of idiotic gibberish for a couple of days as well.

      A "guy named Levin" was Joe Levin, Jr., who was a law student in Tuscaloosa when the Selma march happened in 1965. He helped found the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1971 six years later.

      It is easy to "disappear" someone from events where he never appeared.

      You might consider practicing such magic yourself.

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    16. Well cicero, now that @ 4:42 threw in a reference to the "only Jew in Montgomery" I guess your Debbie Wasserman Shultz comment is relevant too, eh?

      You are doing an admirable job of trying to keep up with @4:42 ad infinitum. If you were an NFL wide receiver the announcers would call you "crafty" and praise your "High Football IQ."

      But the issue is not simply the irrelevancy of your remarks. Even if relevant they are talking points, not original. You have been pantsed by a master. You are not in that league of dumb. Sorry to take the air out of your little balls. Go home. Or try the Canadian League.

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    17. Your beef is with Pinsky. Are you suggesting Levin was not active in Montgomery civil rights until 1971? Why not address what I said?

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    18. 5:32 ease up. You are so far ahead of cicero comments like the last one can only be considered as running up the score.

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    19. @5:32

      Warren Moon and Doug Flutie came from the CFL to the NFL. Your delicate sensibilities may have contributed to you being rejected from The Lingerie Bowl practice squad.

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    20. Don't know about the Lingerie Bowl. Doug Flutie was once the MVP of the Liberty Bowl (not to be confused with the Liberty Bell which is not sponsored by AutoZone).

      He was also the lowest NFL draft pick in the history of the Heisman Trophy.

      But don't ever, ever again mention him in the same commentary breath as Warren Moon.

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    21. Warren Moon was indeed a great NFL quarterback. Doug Flutie? Not so much.

      But then again, you're never afraid to put your ignorance on display about any subject. Why should football be different?

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    22. Warren Moon could out pass Flutie with two linebackers wrapped around his legs and one hand puching his wife in the mouth.

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    23. Cross post with 11:45.

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    24. Moon would still hold all the NFL passing records if only the media had a vested interest in seeing a black quarterback succeed a decade or two earlier than Rush Limbaugh pronounced that they did.

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    25. So many libs jealous of Doug Flutie. Odd considering he named his cereal after you.

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  4. The audience was being instructed to regard King's immoral behavior as insignificant since, if his wife was alright with it as long as he didn't love anyone who are we to judge? King was an important figure and an immoral man but we mustn't be allowed to know this.

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    1. The readership is being reminded that your incessant commentary, while idiotic, demonstates the power of the foolish notion that sexual behavior is a primary determinant of one's moral values? You are a fool but we musn't be allowed to notice so you call attention to it.

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    2. So, loyalty, adherence to one's oaths, denial of temptation and refusal to trade on one's charisma and power for sexual favors (he was a clergyman in the same sense as any priest who ever fondled a child), none of that reflects morality? Get real.

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    3. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a flawed human being. He was also a great human being.

      Both his worshipers, like Somerby, and his detractors, like Anonymous 2:12 and 2:56 have trouble wrapping their heads around the notion that he could be both flawed and great.

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    4. Sexual irresponsibility is not the only determinant of morality but it is a primary one. Violation of an oath is another. Failure to recognize either of these as determinant is a third.

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    5. "Great" is subjective. Some reserve the term for those who are not seriously flawed. Some don't. Lance Armstrong is a great cyclist or not a great cyclist.

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    6. If you want to make it a primary one, be my guest. But I'd rather not pry into other people's sexual behavior.

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    7. And I certainly don't think the FBI has any business prying into other people's sexual behavior. I'm funny that way.

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    8. Jackie didn't care about JFK's assignations. She even orchestrated the Arlington Eternal Flame in recognition of his passion for slap and tickle. Although Angie Dickinson. quipped JFK burned out after two minutes.

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    9. Somerby, based on his writing, has no trouble wrapping his noggin around multiple notions even in the limited space of a single blog post.

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    10. What JFK did was wrong. The problem is pretending otherwise.

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    11. cicero it is a well known fact that the only true stud in the White House in the past century was Warren G. Harding.

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    12. @3:37 it's not up to anyone to make it a primary one, it already is. The consequence of the idea that it isn't is what plagues the black community now more than anything else including "institutional racism."

      If there were a leader who spoke to family values with the same eloquence and effectiveness as King, the result would be more progress than could be achieved in any other way.

      Not going to happen. A group that is three generations into defining itself as aggrieved and that is told by the grievance industry that nothing is expect of them is not going to trade that lack of expectation in for expectation. They wouldn't be able to figure out why they should and never will because the grievance machine will keep churning out its bankrupt product.

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    13. I can forgive Ike because he was away at war a lot. Mamie made some mean fudge on the home front, however.

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    14. Don't forget she was also an alcoholic. Was she president? I think I missed that election.

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    15. Anyone know how to take the shovel out of 4:08's hands?

      Darn near deep enough to strike water soon.

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    16. Hey man, who invited the squares?

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    17. No. Jackie was never President though she was more popular than JFK in Europe. I think she may have given up her French/US citizenship when she married that Greek tycoon, however, and wasn't eligible after that. Of course, as cicero would remind us, that never stopped Obama.

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    18. 4:08, I will grant you the right to your opinion of what should be of "primary" importance in judging character.

      You obviously are incapable of extending the same courtesy to me, or anyone else.

      In re: King's sexual escapades, the bigger horror -- at least to me -- is that we found out about it through FBI wiretaps.

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    19. @ 4:18

      The Reagans.

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    20. Nancy Reagan broke up Reagan's first marriage and couldn't get along with his kids. Then there was the use of astrology in decision making, the analysis showing he already had Alzheimer symptoms while in office, and of course the illegal stuff like Iran-Contra. Not a great man.

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    21. Didn't say they were great. Said they invited the squares.

      I like the kids. Nancy's anyway.

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    22. Patti and Ron Jr. One famous for the most airbrushed Playboy centerfold and the other famous for exceptionally benighted political commentary. What's not to like?

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    23. 4:07@ From what I've heard they didn't call LBJ "the Texas Longhorn" for nothing.

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    24. The Texas Longhorn and the LBJ Library are registered trademarks of the University of Texas at Austin.

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  5. William Shakespeare wasn't around to hear Marc Antony's eulogy of Julius Caesar. Nor was he around to take down Henry V's stirring St. Crispin Day speech.

    So I guess he made it all up. What a gross violation of the Marquis de Somerby rules!

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    1. No one confuses his histories with fact. DuVernay is not presenting her film as fiction.

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    2. Neither did Shakespeare.

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    3. Don't be ridiculous.

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    4. I'm sure the Bard stood before his audience before each performance and told them that it was all fiction, and that it was only a coincidence that he named his characters after actual figures from history and based his play around actual historic events.

      Wouldn't want to confuse them.

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    5. Henry V. really didn't buy into Crispin's sainthood. He thought it was a bunch of Bollandist bullshit.

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  6. C'mon, Bobster. It's almost supper time. Nothing new about balls today?

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  7. Wait, now King is a "prophet??" What the eff? Bob, I realize you idolize the man, but come back to reality - this is getting uncomfortably close to religious belief.

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    1. King was a "filthy, abnormal, fraudulent animal" according to leading law enforcement authorities of his day.

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    2. This was written by an FBI asst director to Hoover and submitted as an anonymous letter from a supposed disillusioned civil rights worker. It was not the opinion of "leading law enforcement authorities of his day". It was part of Hoover's campaign against King. Hoover was one deranged individual in a position of great power but he did not represent the law enforcement community.

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    3. "he did not represent the law enforcement community"

      The intelligence of Howler readers is atstonishing.

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    4. "You're stupid" is not a response. Hoover was not the law enforcement community. He was a nut. People thought so during his time.

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    5. No one said you are stupid @ 12:29. You were compared to the "atstonishing" (sic) Howler readership. Do you find them stupid?

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    6. "It should be clear to all of us that Martin Luther King must, at some propitious point in the future, be revealed to the people of this country and to his Negro followers as being what he actually is – a fraud, demagogue and scoundrel."

      "the most notorious liar in the country"

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    7. This quote comes from that same FBI attempt to smear King. Please cite your source when quoting. Hoover didn't represent leading law enforcement authorities (note the plural you posted). Hoover was a nut.

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  8. Charles Blow hurled some R bombs around over the last couple days because his son was detained at gunpoint by Yale campus police.

    The plot thickens today. We find out the Yale campus police cop was black which Blow omitted from his article, and his son matched the description. Black and dressed similarly.

    Blow's son was safely released because he did what the officers asked instead of attacking them.

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    1. Charles Blow hurled no R bombs in his column. And the plot was fully laid out when Blow wrote his column;

      "Now, don’t get me wrong: If indeed my son matched the description of a suspect, I would have had no problem with him being questioned appropriately. School is his community, his home away from home, and he would have appreciated reasonable efforts to keep it safe. The stop is not the problem; the method of the stop is the problem.

      Why was a gun drawn first? Why was he not immediately told why he was being detained? Why not ask for ID first?"

      Blow didn't mention the race of either of the two officers involved. Nor his son's. He never mentions race at all.

      You do.

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    2. He implies this is another example of white police harrassing a black kid. He should have mentioned the cop was black.

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    3. And it's interesting how every white grievance, even those not even remotely connected to the topic under discussion, gets their airing in this combox.

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    4. We've begged for moderation.

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    5. Who should Bob moderate, Those with white grievances or lazy, dumb, disliked liberals?

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    6. Why was the gun drawn? Why was he not told immediately? Why not ask for ID first?

      Because, idiot, we empower law enforcement to take control of a situation and protect themselves even if it means putting aside niceties, because we in the civilized world understand that this is a tradeoff for their standing between us and criminals including violent criminals and sometimes at the expense of their own lives.

      What an ignoramus.

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    7. My comment about the increasing number of "white greivances" is not so much a call for combox moderation as it is a reflection upon the type of mentality Somerby seems to attract whenever he writes about race.

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    8. Folks like you?

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    9. Grievances on the part of those who recognize phony "racism" allegations, invented by the grievance industry, are different from grievances about nonexistent racism. One type of grievance is legitimate and one is a lie and an excuse to cover up failures in the black community that are not caused by racism but by several forms of social irresponsibility within the community.

      They can't be called "white grievances" or "black grievances" since there are both whites and blacks with both types, the real, existing type and the type based in fantasy.

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    10. Amen brother @ 11:10!

      Our grievances are better than their grievances produced by fat, lazy and disliked liberals at the Grievance Industry.

      Be sure and buy grievances only with the easily recognized stamp of cliched production at the Stupid Factory*.



      * The Stupid Factory is a creation of unregulated entrepeneurial genius using independent craftsmen unshackled by coerced associations and compensated to the highest and lowest degree of free market allowance.

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    11. There is no such thing as racism. Don't take my (and the SCOTUS') word for it. Just ask those "from the heartland", you know, "those with small town values".

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  9. It appears there is an abundance of historical work and commentary over the years to make it likely something very much like that conversation between Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King occurred. A dramatization like "Selma" is a personal interpretation of what the authors -- screenwriters, directors and actors -- understand to be history. Just because Somerby doesn't know the historiography of King very well doesn't mean something was dreamed up out of thin air.

    And if that delayed response to Coretta's question was so bothersome -- and there were some, by the way, who considered that long pause a brilliant piece of directing and acting -- how can the scene be described as "hackneyed"?

    I finally got to see the movie on Monday. I saw three of the nominated films this year, including the often-predicted winner, "Boyhood." In my opinion, there should be no question whatsoever that "Selma" belongs not only among the nominees, but also among the Top 5 as in the old days. To me it is beyond question that Duvernay deserves to be a favorite for Best Director -- there wasn't an ounce of fat in the film; it was a long film and I never once had the slightest inkling of wondering how much longer it was going to last -- and that Oyelowo deserved a nomination for acting. LBJ was not treated as a villain nor as unsympathetic to what King was doing; the portrayal of a politician sometimes annoyed to see his agenda being changed -- especially, the "War on Poverty" -- outside of his control was thoroughly believable

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    1. Not wondering when it would be over is a very.low standard of excellence.

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    2. At 2 hrs 8 min, Selma isn't that long, but critics tend to downgrade longer movies because it suggests the director cannot make choices.

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    3. Too bad urban legend isn't the wordsmith that Bob Somerby is when it comes to the cinematic arts.
      Bob didn't celebrate the fact that his own mind's eye was not dirfting. Like the great Maureen Dowd, who worried what today's black teenagers would think of LBJ while watching Selma, Bob kept his eye on audiences as well.

      "OUR SECOND-EVER MOVIE REVIEW: In fact, we recommend Bend It Like Beckham, a simpler but deeply good-hearted version of last year’s transplendent Blue Crush. Two-thirds through, we thought that Bend It was too simple-minded, but director/co-writer Gurinder Chadha delivers a marvelous, good-hearted ending. Our audience laughed very hard; applauded at the end; and stayed to watch every bit of the credits."

      Bob Somerby 5/27/2003

      OK, so it wasn't really "his" audience. But man, staying through the credits. That tells you a film is awesome!

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    4. You probably thought Boyhood was excellent too, Urban.

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  10. On Cheating, On Film, On Football

    Topics is the most recent Howlers? Sure! But lest anyone be tempted to say Bob Somerby is just a cynical blogger fishing for clicks, he has long visited these important issues:

    "If you’re wondering what to do with your time, why not turn to the greatest Pro Bowl film ever made–the superlative “girl power” classic, Blue Crush? In the 2002 film, the main character gets to smooch a bit with a quarterback who’s in the Aloha State for the Pro Bowl–and he’s almost as handsome and nice as Tom Brady!
    .....

    It’s the greatest Pro Bowl tale ever told!"

    Bob Somerby 2/8/2008

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    1. Do you really think that mocking Somerby will transform Selma into a great film?

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    2. No, but it might give a thinking person pause to reflect on Somerby's taste in movies. as well as his judgment, before his next installment of never-ending review of "Selma."

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    3. You obviously are new or cannot read, a big problem with today's inexperiecedm youth and lazy dumb liberals.

      None of us mocking Somerby give a damn about Selma. We are paid avengers of Somerby's mocking of Rachel.

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    4. If his review of Selma consisted only of a thumbs up then his taste would be relevant but he has made several substantive points that you have largely ignored. Do you really think Coretya Scott King would say nothing more to her husband than what DuVernay put into her mouth? She was a strong woman. It makes no sense, unless you want to suggest that black women should adopt a stand-by-your-man passivity for the good of the movement. Would her private reaction to her husband have been the same as her public one? Not likely.

      Delete
    5. Been quite some time since Somerby mocked Rachel.

      Guess he's read his Web traffic report and discovered he gets more clicks by race-baiting than Rachel-baiting.

      Delete
    6. Yes, Somerby's "substantive points".

      1. LBJ is treated horribly, which is an utter lie.

      2. No such scene occurred between Dr. and Mrs. King, despite -- as urban legend put it so well -- "abundance of historical work and commentary" that it did.

      Meanwhile, his review of DuVernay's directing skills and Oyelowo's actings, I'll file next his opinion of that all-time classic, "Blue Crush."

      Somerby should stick to things he knows something about -- like the real reason Gore lost the 2000 election.

      Delete
    7. Speaking of football, I understand Bob's go-to-guy on Deflategate says it was possible for a Pat's ballboy to deflate a dozen balls in the men's room in 90 seconds.

      For that and more on What Americans Really Think, go here:

      http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/super-bowl-xlix/deflate-gate-more-americans-think-patriots-cheated-poll-finds-n295236

      PS: For link challenged Howler readers, polls find the Patriots still trail the Cowboys as the most hated franchise in football.

      Delete
    8. You can appreciate the DCC and still loathe the Cowboys, yes?

      Delete
    9. Yes cicero, if you like things inflated above the recommended PSI.

      Delete
    10. O ye of little faith in Mother Nature.

      Delete
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