April 21, 2014, - 12:01 pm
Yesterday, the media was all abuzz about the death of “noted civil rights activist” Rubin “Hurricane” Carter whose boxing career was “ruined” after he was “falsely accused” of a murder he did “not commit.” Don’t believe the hype.
Carter, who died Sunday, was the beneficiary of multiple myths and fiction created by Hollywood, the media, and a Bob Dylan song, most of it fairy tales. In fact, Carter was a thug who’d been involved in several crimes before the murder he may have committed and of which he was never acquitted or proven innocent.
Even the liberal New York Times wasn’t down wit da struggle on the Hurricane Carter mythology. In 1999, the NYT’s Selwyn Raab wrote this about that year’s hit movie, “The Hurricane,” starring Denzel Washington and based entirely on Carter’s own biased account of his life:
Whatever its intentions, ”The Hurricane” falls into the category of history contorted for dramatic effect.
In the movie’s version, a racist White cop menaces Carter from age 11 and finally frames him for the murders of three White people at a bar. But as the NYT’s Raab points out, there was no such racist White cop in the real life version of events. And, contrary to the movie’s portrayal, Carter was no upstanding citizen, but a criminal thug who liked to drink.
The film also sterilizes Mr. Carter’s history before his arrest for murder. He is characterized as a nearly model citizen who overcame persecution as a juvenile and remade himself as a boxer and civil rights advocate. What is omitted is that Mr. Carter served four years in prison as an adult for three muggings, crimes that later tarnished him as potentially violent and damaged his cause in the murder case.
Unfortunately, as we all know, now more than ever in the TMZKardashian generation, if it’s no the silver screen, people take it as the gospel.
But here are a few facts that don’t come into play in most of the mainstream media and race merchant mythology and remembrances of the newly departed Hurricane Carter:
* A bullet and shotgun were found in the Dodge in which he was picked up, and the car resembled the getaway car from teh scene of the murders for which Carter was imprisoned. Even the NYTimes points this out.
* The conventional story is that Carter was targeted because he was a civil rights activist. But there’s absolutely no evidence he was ever any such thing. In fact, all of the evidence is that he was just a thug and a lowlife with some boxing skills who was out for himself, carousing at bars and cheating on his wife.
* The claim is that Carter was exonerated. But that’s simply not the case. He was tried and found guilty TWICE. But those convictions were set aside on the grounds that he didn’t get a fair trial. Prosecutors simply decided not to try him a third time because so much time had passed and because of all the bad publicity against them and in Carter’s favor. That’s not an exoneration. And, by the way, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder. Do you believe that means he was exonerated of killing Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson? Even the jurors didn’t believe that.
* The Bob Dylan song, “Hurricane,” has a number of false claims in it, just like the movie. Among them, Bob Dylan pooh-poohs Alfred Bello, a petty thief who fingered Carter. But, in fact, Bello’s tip to police was what led them to Carter’s getaway car, which looked exactly like that which other witnesses had identified. Criminals often supply the best information as tattletales on other criminals. In fairness, I’ll note that Bello later recanted his testimony (after two trials), and this is what led to the release of Carter from jail after two guilty verdicts, but . . . .
* Several of Carter’s alibi witnesses from the first trial recanted the alibi testimony at his second trial, saying Carter told them to lie for him and that they did. Carter and his co-conspirator in the murders, John Artis, gave several different, conflicting alibis for where they were when the murders took place. Carter’s book conflicts with some of the claims he made. Rubin Carter was never one to get his story straight.
* Bob Dylan sings of Carter that “one time he could-a been the champion of the world,” but while Carter was a skilled boxer, there is no evidence he’d have won. On the contrary, his career was on the decline. The current world champion had beaten him, and he lost more than half of his fights after that.
* There is a claim that Carter was about to being college on an athletic scholarship. This is also bunk, and there’s no evidence of it whatsoever.
Sadly, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter died yesterday with most of those who hear the story believing the typical narrative that he was yet another Black achiever and model citizen doing good whose life was destroyed by evil, White racist cops.
Yes, there have been many instances of racism in this country–many of them of late Black racism on Whites, which get short shrift in the media, Hollywood, and Bob Dylan songs. But this simply wasn’t one of them. And it’s not the only fairy tale “raaaaayyycism!” story that has now become fake American history.
It’s false narratives and race merchant fairy tales like this that leads half of America to believe that we owe them Obamaphones, ObamaCare, affirmative action, welfare, minority set-asides, and every other entitlement imaginable.
And that ain’t no jive, bro.
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