Stanley Crouch’s Latest Rant On The Black Community

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I was looking at Booker Rising a Blog for our right of center African American friends as it gives me such fodder for my own posts. Stanley Crouch has a story titled “What a Crime: Denzel and friends pretty up a Drug Thug.” Stanley feels that this real life gangster Frank Lucas was given qualities that he just didn’t have and thus making him more seductive to the black youth who will undoubtedly rush right out and watch this black American Gangster. He feels that Denzel’s portrayal of Frank Lucas shows him as a “soft-spoken and sophisticated man who closely studies the written word and only explodes into violence every now and then.” Yet he was in actuality an illiterate thug who was super violent even putting a hit out on his own brother only to squash it since his mother was already grieving the death of another son.

Movies such as Casino, The Godfather trilogy, Goodfellas, Once Upon A Time In America, Traffic, Prizi’s Honor, The Transporter, Pulp Fiction, Scarface, Fight Club, Reservoir Dogs, Carlito’s Way and for television the Soprano’s are all a bunch of extremely violent films that glorified drug use, drug sales, prison life and of course murder on an astronomical scale. I don’t think that this one will be any different. There have been super violent black gangster movies as well such as Sugar Hill, Menace 2 Society, Colors, Boyz In The Hood, Juice, New Jack City and Super fly. Yet they did not spark a real increase in the inner city violence which has been going strong for a while.

According to Stanley, “That such icy qualities are not in the movie makes it a highly crafted piece of poisonous eye candy.” He obviously feels that our black youth are so vulnerable and so pathetic that they lack the sophistication of white kids to see a movie and not run home to the “ghetto” and start shooting it out gangster style. White kids as well as black watch these movies to almost excess and yet no one attributes any abhorrent behaviors white kids do to this. What is the reason for this; black kids are unable to distinguish reality from fiction or are they just more prone to mimicking gangster type violence.

Stanley also comments that Washington should be more responsible in the roles he chooses due to the influence on our youth. The movie the Basketball Diaries was a dead ringer for the Columbine school shootings yet where was Mr. Crouch, to point out that Leonardo DiCaprio should have been more responsible in the movie roles he decides to play since he is very influential in the lives of a lot of young teens. Doing a little research for this film I looked up whether or not inner city violence go up after any of these films and the answer was a resounding NO. Not any instances of any increase or decrease in any violence after super violent films were released. That should put Stanley’s mind at ease to find out that our kids really aren’t that stupid after all and no that reality and fantasy are separate.

With his conservative views he should understand that the movie isn’t a direct correlation of the real life events because that isn’t what makes money. This is all about the bottom line with movies. These people that are funding these films are out to make money not tell the real story of some supposed illiterate black gangster. This is capitalism at its best and since most conservatives have a firm base in money he shouldn’t be asking such idiotic questions as to why they didn’t portray him straight from history. Hell even our presidents are given larger than life stories to make them historically greater than they were. Did Washington admit to cutting down the cherry tree because he couldn’t tell a lie? Or would it be better to portray him as the hateful slave owner who subjugated untold amounts of blacks? No, money talks and that is the bottom line on this movie, making more money and that is inherently American. Maybe Stanley should stick to critiquing jazz instead of movies.

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5 Comments

Filed under Actors, African, African American, American society, Black community, Black Culture, Black Family, Black on Black Crime, Black People, Culture, Movie reviews, Personal, Propaganda, Racism, Random Thoughts, Rant, Social Issues, Subjugation

5 responses to “Stanley Crouch’s Latest Rant On The Black Community

  1. brotherpeacemaker

    You know what? Stanley Crouch should be more responsible with the comments he makes at other people in the black community! Excellent post!

    Peace

  2. Based on this post (and without having completely read his story), Crouch’s comments are just what I expected from him. The argument “That such icy qualities are not in the movie makes it a highly crafted piece of poisonous eye candy” is insulting to Black youth. I guess he feels that Black urban youth are just far too stupid to realize the dangers of drug selling, and quite simply that every Black kid in the hood aspires to be a drug dealer. As usual, shame on him.

  3. theblacksentinel

    It is a shame that he has been held up as a voice for the black community since he seems to have such disdain for us all.

    Thanks for the reply

  4. godsta

    COMMENTARY: Drug Dealer Frank Lucas, Denzel and Dad

    My Father as a kid delivered groceries to the first drug kingpin “Bumpy” Johnson, who at the time, lived in the corner building on 120th street and 5th Avenue, across the street from Mount Morris Park. He use to tell me these colorful stories with admiration, about this man. Bumpy was an employee and conduit for the mafia, helping to orchestrate the distribution of heroin into Harlem and surrounding communities in the 1940’s, an epidemic that would later spread and engulf the entire country for generations to come.

    The street gangs of the 40’s would become some of the first addicts, their members would ultimately form the first ruthless drug-gangs of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Families were destroyed individual lives ruined, violence and crime across the board increased at staggering rates. In spite the gains from the Civil Rights Movement, as a community we never fully recovered from the initial impact of the flooding of drugs into our communities.

    Frank Lucas, portrayed by academy Award winner Denzel Washington in “American Gangster”, was the driver for Bumpy Johnson until his death by heart attack in 1968. By the time Mr. Lucas took power- the Harlem community had been decimated by this epidemic and the second generation of addicts already overwhelmed the streets. Like the Hip Hop culture violent movies have a tremendous impact on our children. Our young-people are continually bombarded with negative messages that unfortunately help shape and mold their character, Al Pacino’s as Scareface is still a popular image on T-Shirts.

    The moral of the story is not that the bad guy gets it in the end. Too many hopeless kids who are engaged in criminal activity, view the demise of these individuals in a fatalistic and morbidly glamorous way. Enlighten by our past history and current events we have to be careful not to glorify criminals. Mr. Lucas has the right to have his story told but as parents, mentors, big brothers and sisters, we must always monitor the messages and more important the response to the message portrayed in media.

    Dad’s discussions about Bumpy, were a small part of the rich history of the community that he shared with me. He gave me, as I did my son, Claude Brown’s definitive book on life in Harlem, “Manchild in the Promise Land”, when I was a teenager. He also talked about Malcolm X and Dr. King, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. Together we watched, Gil Noble’s informative program “Like It Is”. My love of history and current events came from my dads talks about the Bumpy Johnson’s as well as the Dr. King’s of this world. He taught me to discern the messages that would bombarded me in my life-time. He knew then that no matter what, there would always be plenty of people like Bumpy Johnson and Frank Lucas around to share theirs.

    Brotherman

  5. theblacksentinel

    Godsta,

    You are buying into the propaganda. Do you really believe that our children are so stupid they will act out what they see in a movie just because it has been romanticized? I as a child have watched movies such as Superfly and Scarface both of which glorified death, drugs murder etc. Yet, I nor any of my siblings ever went and acted any of it out.

    You yourself say that your dads stories of gangsters made you have a love of history, why can’t that happen for other children? Why is it that we think that the reason our kids are engaged in bad activities is somehow the fault of movies, music, television etc.

    Maybe we should look at another reason for this violence, since as children we were exposed to as much violence and maybe more if you count cartoons etc. And no one attributes the gangs etc. to our entertainment.

    I would like for you and Stanley to realize that if you are going to say that “our” kids will fall prey to glorified movies then why aren’t white, Asian, Hispanic or others falling prey as well. The problem is that makes our kids seem idiotic that others can figure it out but somehow they are “more” susceptible to gangster movies.

    Thanks for the reply

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