April 21, 2014, - 12:01 pm

Rubin Carter Wasn’t a Hero Then . . . Or Now: Myths & Facts About “Hurricane” Carter

By Debbie Schlussel

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.

Read more on the many myths about Rubin Carter, many of which are masterfully laid out in painstaking detail here, “Top Ten Myths About Rubin Hurricane Carter and the Lafayette Grill Murders.”

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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19 Responses

I cringe every time I hear the word “narrative” in connection to anything historical. I automatically know lies and fiction take the place of facts and what actually happened. Case in point, the “Palestinian narrative”…Oooh I just hate that phrase! It’s just a “history” of a fake people made up of a pack of lies, “revised” truths and twisted facts.

Red Randy on April 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm

I agree that better role models are needed, I like your articles on Lucius Theaus, and Dr. John winters, both of whom were great role models

mindy on April 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Why let the facts get in the way of a good PC story. I’m very familiar with his history and Debbie, you are spot on. He was simply a low end street hood.

HK on April 21, 2014 at 3:01 pm

I can remember how disappointed I was, years ago, upon learning what was really what concerning Rubin Carter and his murder case. As usual, Debbie, your post covers the reality, A-Z.

My disappointment has nothing at all to do with who I learned R.C. was in reality. But the song was one of many Dylan gems I haven’t allowed myself to listen to in years; don’t think I could enjoy it. But, oh, that music–those violins!–and the masterful Dylan lyrics (albeit false as they are).

lee of the lower case "l" on April 21, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Of COURSE that devil,and John Artis, murdered those 4 people! Thousands and thousands of criminals and murderers since that night,and absolutely none of them have ever been suspected as possibly being linked to it! And why did they even do it? Typically,childish,immature,hot-headed Black Racist thuggery,for “revenge”.

Hopefully Cal Deal,whose website was a true gold mine of information about Carter’s true pathological nature,will get that site up and running again.

The original OJ, now burning in Hell,with “Judge” Sarokin,Howard Cosell,Mike Douglas,and every other self-righteous Leftist-Liberal no longer with us,who ipso facto believed he was innocent,simply because he was Black, and fell for all the pathological lying that they ignorantly believed was “charm,”,”charisma” ,”warmth” and “intelligence”, and screamed to set him free.

His case,and not dealing with Black racist psychos like him smartly,or properly as in the past,is but one of many examples of how the justice system in the US has been deliberately destroyed by Communists,Marxists and other Leftist totalitarians,since the 1960s, all to do nothing but destroy Whites for a false,cintrived litany of “sins”.

CharlesMartel on April 21, 2014 at 3:24 pm

No doubt that he did it.

DS_ROCKS! on April 21, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Zimmerman uttered the unmentionable ‘N-word’ in that song and nobody said a thing. He was also [quietly] sued by Patty Valentine, but you don’t hear much about that either.

#1 VATO on April 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Zimmerman uttered the unmentionable ‘N-word’ in that song and nobody said a thing. He was also [quietly] sued by Patty Valentine for mentioning her name, but you don’t hear much about that either.

#1 VATO on April 21, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Amazing the number of ‘conservative’ talk show hosts who like Dylan. They seem oblivious to his politics, his background and the lyrics of his output (I really don’t want to call it music.)

Little Al on April 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Yep, for the most part, the media has strongly advocated the myths about Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, rather than disclose the facts about him. But thanks to the groundbreaking journalistic work by Chuck Stone, who died April 5 of this year, that was featured in the Philadelphia Daily News many years ago, Stone exposed many of the disgusting facts about Carter. And yes, Stone was a black jounralist, making it even more important for the cover-up artists to avoid dealing with the facts. (Also problematic for them is that one of Carter’s victims was a Muslim woman.) I couldn’t find Stone’s original pieces about Carter, but here’s an article that tells some of the real parts of the untold story, as a supplement to the link of 10 myths about Carter that Debbie included in her article. http://www.martinlutherking.org/hurricane1.html

Ralph Adamo on April 21, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Little Al, Bob Dylan’s politics can be called conservative as much as liberal. He was an admitted fan of Barry Goldwater and 99.9% of his songs were apolitical. He wanted nothing to do with the 1960s counterculture. And when they started appropriating his songs he dropped out of the biz for a few years and returned as a country crooner. It’s the same as J.D. Salinger. A guy who was so disgusted by the mainstream’s appropriating his work that he ‘dropped out’.

Vivian on April 22, 2014 at 9:13 am

Another recent example of the white washing of black crime was the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case. If Zimmerman hadn’t shot Martin in self defense he probably would have wound up in a hospital or morgue with his head bashed in. But of course Martin was the good guy and Zimmerman the bad guy.

Jerry G on April 22, 2014 at 9:18 am

Sadly it was the fact that the movie starring Denzel Washington is where I got my facts about Rubin Carter. It was my Dad who is also a big Washington fan that pointed out to me the BS about the whole affair. He basically told me what I’ve come to know that Hollyweird will take someones life story and embellish it a little. With Carter’s they went into full fakery mode to make this weed smell like a rose. Even Bob Dylan (whose voice hits me like nails on a chalkboard)had to get into the act with his song that they played over and over again in the movie. I’m sorry that he died of cancer as I wouldn’t wish that on my own worse enemy but the way everyone in the press and elsewhere are fawning over they guy is just ridiculous. So much so that I think the early morning host looked like she was about to cry on the air when she announced Carter’s death. I’m sure that race huslters like Jessie “Selma” Jackson and future cement shoe wearing Sharpton have said nice things about Carter. I’m surprised that our “Race Healer”-in-Chief hasn’t come out and said anything. Maybe he told his two kids privately that if they had a grandpa…

Ken b on April 22, 2014 at 10:15 am

i’d never heard any of the real history of carter… it never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to fool so many people, for decades, like myself.

too bad, i love(d) that dylan song and sang along on carter’s side like a sucker.

kirche61 on April 22, 2014 at 10:45 am

You can just about guarantee that every single liberal meme ever promulgated is…BS.

Thanks for this posting, Deb.

Prometheus on April 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm


Jimbo on April 22, 2014 at 9:46 pm

When I first heard Bob Dylan’s song about Carter back in
the early 70’s, I remember thinking how could the cops
frame an innocent man. But then in 1976 on appeal,
advances in forensic technology absolutely proved Ruben
Carter GUILTY for the triple murder he committed in 1966.

Carter’s case is typical of many convicted murderers. He
filed endless appeals over the course of 3 decades and
finally had his conviction overturned on a minor technicality.

All it takes is one liberal judge. As is usual for these
cases, his lawyer ran to the nearest microphone to declare
that his client was proven innocent. The truth is that he
waited for witnesses to die, in this case detectives and
forensics experts and attacked every failure to cross a t
or dot an i in the legal proceedings.

The SOB was as guilty as Elmer Geronimo Pratt and O.J.

Leonard Jones on April 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm

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