01.02.07

MSNBC’s Celizic Examines The “Lifestyle” Of Darrent Williams’ Killers

Posted in Hip Hop, Racism Corner at 8:06 pm by

In what might be the first bona fide WTF column of 2007, MSNBC’s Mike Celizic shows off some scary detective/sociology chops ; not only is he fairly certain Darrent Williams’ shooter was black, he’s also very familiar with his or her CD collection.

If Williams had been shot by police, there would be rallies with thousands of persons demanding justice. If one or more of the cops were white, Al Sharpton would be front and center, demanding an end to the victimization of young blacks by law enforcement officials.

But it is likely that this will turn out to be another black-on-black shooting. And that™s a lot harder to get a soundbite out of. Besides, to condemn it would require condemning a culture that too often celebrates in music and lifestyle guns and retribution and a twisted idea of honor.

A member or members of the group had a difference of opinion with a person or persons in a club they had visited. Williams™s party left the club “ a sensible decision. But they hadn™t gone far before the occupants of an SUV “ people who hadn™t been introduced to sensible behavior; that sort of thing makes for lousy lyrics in the songs they listen to – that pulled up alongside them raked the limo with gunfire, wounding three people, Williams fatally.

Given that Celizic is such an expert in this mysterious, sinister culture he refers to, I suspect his talents are being wasted on MSNBC, and would really go a long way in helping the Denver police.

Observes Sports Media Watch’s Paul Sen,

Celizic is like so many people, white and black, who blames violence on music and clothes, as if someone who wears a suit and tie and listens to Frank Sinatra isn’t capable of murder. The vast majority of serial killers and rapists in this country are white males. In fact, “Every single sexual deviation is overwhelmingly dominated by white males. And most sexually related ritualistic crimes are committed by white males.” Does anyone assign to white men and their associated culture the characteristics of rapist or murderer? Does anyone write articles decrying the music they listen to or the clothes they wear?

Usually not, no. Though perhaps they should.

28 Responses to “MSNBC’s Celizic Examines The “Lifestyle” Of Darrent Williams’ Killers”

  1. David Roth says:

    Celizic is also playing a role. He’s a super-devout Jew (hence the Jack Abramoff-style hat on his head; it’s not like Bubbs put it there so he could be identified in photos), but he didn’t get into his sky-is-falling culture warrior Mushnick-plus routine until catching on nationally, I think. He was a columnist for my hometown paper — the Bergen (NJ) Record — when I was a kid, and while he was as hacky then as he is now, I’m pretty sure this jeremiad stuff is new. If also, as the guy from Sports Media Watch points out, both old and played-out as hell.

  2. Don says:

    Next Stop, Nowhere. Anyone who suggests that the stereotyped personality of the white teenage nerd or nerdy adult male is NOT stereotyped as a perverted serial killer has no African-American friends in the computer industry. Calling the squirrelly loner sys admin “Dahmer” or suggesting the overweight DBA eats people and buries them in his yard are part and parcel of jokes that African-American friends of mine made on a regular basis years back. How do you think the African American community interpreted the Columbine Massacre when during the crack wars teenagers who looked like their own kids were frog-marched in front of the cameras? Righteous indignation and a hatred of goths. The loner white male stereotype was expressed over and over and over again in both the Atlanta child killings and the DC Sniper killings (which I lived through) and in those cases the murderers were not weird white males. Same attitude expressed during the hunt for the BTK killer but he was a weird white male. Same attitude made the Zodiac Killer famous, but buried SF’s racially-charged Zebra Killer maniac. I guarantee you that stereotypes of Italian mobsters connected with Sinatra and Dino are real and are found throughout the pages of 1960s and 70s Mad Magazines. I’ll toss out a phrase for your Rorsharch test: “Hippy cult leader.” Didja picture Manson in your head or Bobby Seale? I’m not saying that it’s racially sensitive for white people to talk about someone else’s music and culture and guns, it’s not. But Chris Rock did many bits on the subject. Chris Rock was not wrong to make those connections. At some point if one is critical of white southern baptist culture or cold new england culture or the culture of Jihad or violence in heavy metal or drug overdoses amongst ravers then one can also draw a conclusion that defending one’s honor over silly slights, as expressed in rap songs, invites violence in people who either cannot or will not process the music as fictional commercial art and not factual news. There isn’t a one of us who didn’t stand in the back of the room during the hardcore days because skinheads were going to screw up the pit. The guys with the guns are the skinheads of rap. “You think we’re all zombie killers? You’re the killers! Your whole sick society!” (Quincy, ME)

  3. Kurt says:

    From a comment posted on Paulson’s blog:

    According to the United States Dept. of Justice, 48.5 percent of rape offenders are black (compared with 32.8 white, 15.4 percent “other” and 3.2 percent not known). Meanwhile, black males make up approximately 6.5 percent of the country. Furthermore, serial killers are so rare that to break them down by race is pure silliness. Violent crime rates, however, are seven times higher for blacks compared to whites. (http://tinyurl.com/6msws)

    So, I would say to you as well, get your facts straight first. You not only come off as ignorant, but also as as race-baiter.

    Also, the Denver Post is reporting that a) the suspect is indeed black, and b) Williams was hanging out with a rival gang of the suspected shooter. That would be Celzic’s reference to violence, retribution, and twisted ideas of honor.

    Reading Comprehension 101, really.

  4. GC says:

    Kurt,

    which race do you think is being baited by pointing out the connections between musical taste and propensity to kill are tenuous at best?

    as far as reading comprehension goes, if Celizic had access to the Denver Post’s details about the shooter and/or who Williams was hanging out with that night… that still wouldn’t have supported his wild generalizations about “lifestyle”.

    Two people were stabbed to death at Chris Chelios’ sports bar in Detroit yesterday. I look forward to further MSNBC editorials about the violent culture surrounding ice hockey.

    As always, thanks to Don Smith. It’s good to know you have African-American friends.

    “there isn’t a one of us who didn’t stand in the back of the room during the hardcore days because skinheads were going to screw up the pit.”

    while, other than those who were in the pit (or weren’t in the room to begin with), no.

  5. susan mullen says:

    Facts are most helpful. The murder and maiming weren’t carried out by the free lance writer from MSNBC (possibly he’s on staff now, but he used to be free lance). The outrage over a reference to music encouraging violence would be much more helpful if directed toward the criminals, those who gave birth to them and raised them. I’ve looked into the subject. Take a history of
    guys in prison–it’s often no surprise how they ended up there. But, if you’d rather change the subject and say there are no predicting factors and nobody’s bad, etc., fine. Apparently you haven’t been stabbed, robbed, or murdered yet.

  6. GC says:

    Susan,

    you can call it “outrage” if you wish, but there’s still no sensible way you or Celizic can draw any conclusions about musical tastes and criminal behavior. I’m not “changing the subject”, I decided which subject I wanted to discuss. If you’re disappointed I’ve not expresed greater rancor towards Williams’ killers (whom I won’t prefer to know much about without substantiation), how’s this for you :

    I BELIEVE MURDER IS VERY, VERY, WRONG.

    I certainly haven’t claimed “nobody’s bad”, but music isn’t a “predicting factor”.

    Though I’ve not been stabbed, I have been the victim of two armed robberies and one car-jacking at knifepoint. Since you’re almost as all-knowing as Celizic, I’m sure you already know the race, nationality and top 10 desert island discs of the preps.

    But you are correct on one count. I’ve not been murdered. If ever someone tells me that you’re totally full of shit, I’ll have to correct them.

  7. Kurt says:

    GC,

    Please address your link to Paulsen’s blog about the “vast majority” of rapists and murderers being white males. I provided you a link that disproved that absurd allegation – take some responsibility for this site and correct the error.

    As for the people stabbed in Chris Chelios’ bar … well, if you can’t see the difference between an actual NFL player getting stabbed and a patron of a bar owned by an NHL player getting stabbed, then you are beyond hope.

    As for your focus on the whole “musical” aspect of Celizic’s article — well, do you deny that a lot of rap music concentrates on violence and the denigration of women? Really? Here’s a small sampling, from glorified thug 50 Cent:

    It’s the money that – makes shit get ugly
    It’s the money that – makes these hoes love me
    It’s the money that – makes niggas wanna slug me …

    First it happened to Stretch then to Pac and Big
    I’m convinced it can happen to anybody kid
    so I get vest up when I get dressed up
    in the hood it’s messed up, niggas runnin’ ’round shootin’ shit up

    Good god, that is tough just to read. Again, this is just one small example. I could go on all night. I just find it humorous when black people get all up in arms about somebody claiming that rap music is violent. Ummm …. no shit it is!

    As for the rest of Celizic’s article that you quote, I am wondering if you can deny the truth to any of it. Read again what he wrote: Besides, to condemn it would require condemning a culture that too often celebrates in music and lifestyle guns and retribution and a twisted idea of honor.

    You’re telling me with a straight face that rap music doesn’t celebrate guns, retribution, and a twisted idea of honor? Susan is right: perhaps if you devoted half of your anger toward the real culprits here – the person/people who murdered Darrent Williams – your bullshit would be better received.

  8. GC says:

    Kurt,

    since you’re the expert on reading comprehension, perhaps you can show me where Paul Sen claimed the majority of murderers were white. While I’m not vouching for the veracity of his claims, I’m not misquoting ‘em, either.

    I think the incident at Chelios’ bar was no more or less a statement about the nature of ice hockey related violence as the Williams shooting had anything to do with hip hop. Lest we forget, Williams was the victim.

    “do you deny that a lot of rap music concentrates on violence and the denigration of women?”

    No. But I also would argue that hardly all of rap music consists of those elements and a rich musical genre of some 30+ years vintage can’t so easily be pigeonholed. Not unless you’ve got some kind of hangup about the music or the people that make it.

    In short, I don’t think hip hop is any more or less about a celebration of guns, violence and a twisted sense of honor than “The Sopranos”. But if you’d like to blame HBO and Time-Warner for Darrent Williams’ death, please, knock yourself out.

    Still, I congratulate you on finding some obscure Fiddy lyrics. I shouldn’t have to explain to a rational adult that one mainstream megastar isn’t fully representative of a multidimensional art form. But if any rational adults would like to write in, that’s ok, too.

    It shouldn’t be necessary for me to express anger at Williams’ killers. I mean, not only should the tragic nature of his death go without saying, but he and other victims are done a huge disservices by the same tired stereotypes being thrown around.

    There’s all sorts of reasoned ways to break down the proliferation of gun violence. One of ‘em might be how easy it is to obtain a gun. If you wanna tell me with a straight face the G-Unit is more to blame than Chuck Heston, I think we’ll have determined where you’re really coming from.

    “I just find it humorous when black people get all up in arms about somebody claiming that rap music is violent. ”

    Uh, yeah. Hopefully you’re pissing yourself, then, at a white guy insisting that CD’s don’t kill people.

  9. Don says:

    How nice that I get lumped in with the kooks. I posted first.

    From what I saw in passing I understood that both the victim and people they think might have been suspects were at the same music club and hence, then, being a fan of the same kind of music. If that is incorrect then I stand corrected!

    I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree that being a fan of certain kinds of music is not a predictor of behavior. It has always been my belief that a computable percentage of people assign the same values to music for the same reasons. This theory can fall under the academic practices of semiotics or axiology/ value theory. I use those terms from cultural studies. An acquaintance who was a philosopher used to call this “meta-ethics.” And it’s very real.

    People are not interested in music for different personal reasons. 1000 people might like a song for 1000 reasons, but 1 million people like that song for only 1000 reasons and you’re going to find 200 of them that like it ironically and 500 that like it because they are angry and 20000 that like the bass line in that one part of the song. When it comes to how 20 million people relate to, let’s say, the Beatles you begin to see enough of a sample that it’s obvious. We aren’t talking 200% more likely to hurt people because they prefer the Helter Skelter to “she loves you,” it’s probably more like 5%. But if you’re going to say that people like aggressive music without owning or building an aggressive personality or that certain beats don’t generate visceral reactions amongst a percentage of the audience, then I just have evidence to the contrary and we can start with nu metal and Woodstock ’99 or loud/quiet/loud in the Pixies/Nirvana/Fugazi. I have seen aggressive rifts occur before fights started, I have seen the aforementioned loud/quiet songs stop aggressive behavior at Fugazi shows.

    If you can tell the kind of music someone likes with some percentage of certainty based on how they dress then there is external causality related to musical choice.

    Look at mid-80s studies on Suicide Clusters and the Heavy Metal suicides. We’re now getting computing power heavy enough to run calculations on these kinds of “unknown” or anomalous cultural behaviors in the previously “soft sciences.”

    While I quoted Quincy Punx in my piece to reflect the obvious media hyperventilation (the Quincy episode is “Next Stop Nowhere”) I have no doubt of a causal link between choosing music and predicting behavior and reacting to music causing behavior over a large enough population sample.

    I apologize for any negative connotations drawn from my initial post, I assure everyone that it was a chance to talk about violence and culture and bring up Charles Manson, the Zodiac Killer and other violent anomalies of California 1960s culture.

    Don

  10. David Roth says:

    Am I missing something, or are these paragraphs new to Celizic’s piece? They fall between the two quoted by GC above:

    It’s hardly unique to inner cities. White Protestants and Catholics happily gunned each other down and blew each other up for decades in Ireland over similar misconceptions. Iraq is torn apart by people with guns and differing opinions about their shared religion.

    No matter what you call it, it’s the idea of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and an ounce of lead for a handful of words. And in America, more whites die in gang killings than do blacks, so it’s not a racial issue; it’s a societal issue. If people can get that through their heads, maybe we’ll be able to start doing something about it.

    The common thread is people who feel powerless and disenfranchised by society. For most of us, the American Dream is a good job, 1.6 perfect children and a home in the suburbs. For too many, the dream is a Glock and somebody to use it on.

    Some will try to find a way to blame the victim. Williams was out on the town at 3 a.m. with a group of friends, and they went to a night club. To the finger-pointers, that will be enough.

    The piece is still a mess, structurally and intellectually, but Celizic seems to be making an attempt to soften what comes across in the clip above as some pretty boilerplate NY Post-style racial politicking. I’m going to stay out of the rest of the debate, but I think GC’s point about the Sopranos — or The Godfather, which predates hip-hop but has the same fixations on perverse and undignified “honor” and violence — is well-taken. Much of mainstream hip-hop’s hangups and (myriad) ignorances are not, I’d argue, significantly outside our culture’s mainstream. And while it hardly needs pointing out, our chief executive’s ignorant intransigence, criminally blase approach to the real costs of mass violence and narcissistic and dangerously individuated sense of personal honor are in large part what is keeping us in this nightmare of a war. “(Victory) is a word the American people understand,” the President told the Iraq Study Group. “and if I start to change it, it will look like I’m changing my policy.” There is no rap lyric scarier than the vanity, ignorance and misplaced priorities in that statement.

  11. GC says:

    ” if you’re going to say that people like aggressive music without owning or building an aggressive personality or that certain beats don’t generate visceral reactions amongst a percentage of the audience, then I just have evidence to the contrary and we can start with nu metal and Woodstock ‘99 or loud/quiet/loud in the Pixies/Nirvana/Fugazi. I have seen aggressive rifts occur before fights started, I have seen the aforementioned loud/quiet songs stop aggressive behavior at Fugazi shows.”

    And I’ve seen the noted critic ladyperson G–na A—old claim a Jimmy Buffet concert was one big rape-fest getting ready to happen. If you’ve got any studies on the aggro-quotient fostered by “Margeritaville” be sure to pass ‘em along.

    “If you can tell the kind of music someone likes with some percentage of certainty based on how they dress then there is external causality related to musical choice.”

    if the way I dress could tell you that I own more Moe Bandy records than Urban Verbs records, that would really be something. It might also mean that Moe Bandy was more prolific, too.

    Sorry for lumping you in with the kooks, Don. But again, it’s good to know you have African-American friends.

  12. Don says:

    I knew the moment I hit submit that I wrote that you were going to counter with Gina. I walked away from my computer and said, Goddamn it I didn’t address Gina Arnold.

    The aggro quotient of Margaritaville is liquor and I don’t need to address straight edge here and how that was a conscious attempt to channel negative behaviors into quasi-positive behaviors via the idea of revolution restarting culture. Or for that matter, the promotion of breakdancing battles and skill-building by hip hop pioneers like Afrika Bambaataa as a way to discourage negative behavior. Watch… Style Wars and NWA videos and you’ll see hip hop styles that embrace and reject positivity.

    If musical settings, musical choices, musical styles did not attract people with negative mindsets or encourage negative behavior at concerts then what would be the purpose of creating women-friendly events during the Riot Grrrl era? What would be the purpose of Straight-Edge? What would be the purpose of protest folk music? What would be the purpose of any style of music that consciously tried to affect culture? Did they all fail or something?

    In Washington, DC there was a concerted effort in 1986 to counteract lunkhead behavior and change the style of music presented as a way to affect the behavior of “the scene.” Dischord called it Revolution Summer and while it had lots of negative aspects, such as encouraging groupthink and inventing Emo, they were probably outweighed by the positive. I believed in high school in the concept of straight-edge as a way to navigate life. The Bad Brains believed in the power of writer Norman Vincent Peale to create a positive outlook on life and in music.

    I read a scientific abstract recently (friend is a research scientist) that claimed that the mind of a teenager in adolescence is physically and chemically built to assign values to music, as in mythological values, differently than adults. In other words music is more important to us as teenagers because of the chemical make-up of our brains during adolescent hormonal increases that dissipate over time and make new music less meaningful aka “old man syndrome.” I cannot find references to this now and this conversation is dying.

    Don

  13. Don says:

    and seriously, isn’t the African-American friends joke just a little too cold? I’m white, my family is white, my wife’s family is white, but we live in a majority African-American city that has been majority A-A my entire life. When discussing A-A views of perverted serial killers, should I have instead turned to my office mate and asked him to respond to a website he never read or couldn’t I just paraphrase him?

  14. GC says:

    Don,

    I’m glad you have some white friends, too. But I would have no problem with your encouraging your workmates to respond to something you read in CSTB, even if they are members of the A.A. (or the A.A.A. for that matter).

    “If musical settings, musical choices, musical styles did not attract people with negative mindsets or encourage negative behavior at concerts then what would be the purpose of creating women-friendly events during the Riot Grrrl era? What would be the purpose of Straight-Edge? What would be the purpose of protest folk music? What would be the purpose of any style of music that consciously tried to affect culture? Did they all fail or something?”

    I would’ve hoped that all of the above aspired in some way or another to address larger issues in the real world than bad vibes at concerts. And I suspect they did. But again, I think there’s a world of difference between musical taste and criminal behavior, just as I think there’s a world of difference between teen identity politics and having a political conscience. I don’t think either of us would have to think very hard before naming persons who dug Straight Edge bands who continued to drink.

    I’ve not argued that music can’t affect culture. I am arguing, however, that it is the height of folly to ignore how culture affects music. Each example you cited —- s.e., riot grrl, protest folk — was a reaction to the cultural and political climate.

    In my opinion (and I might have to defer to a hip hop scholar like Kurt), the same could be said of rap. Some of the lyrical content is as much a reflection and a reaction to things that already exist in the real world as anything else.

  15. Kurt says:

    GC,

    As for Paulsen’s claim, I was thinking of this part of his post – “Does anyone assign to white men and their associated culture the characteristics of rapist or murderer?” – which you did not quote. My apologies. However, the claim that the vast majority of rapists in this country being white is INCORRECT – and yet still you have it quoted on your blog. I am wondering why that is.

    I think the incident at Chelios’ bar was no more or less a statement about the nature of ice hockey related violence as the Williams shooting had anything to do with hip hop. Lest we forget, Williams was the victim.

    The incident at Chelios’ bar involved a bus boy – who had just been fired – killing two employees. Remind me again what this has to do with hockey, other than an NHL player owning the place?

    As for Williams, once again you are (purposely?) misrepresenting what Celizic actually wrote. He said: “to condemn it would require condemning a culture that too often celebrates in music and lifestyle guns and retribution and a twisted idea of honor.”

    The “culture” is the type of people Williams surrounded himself with. Thugs. Gang members. These are facts. This is also what ultimately led to his death. That culture celebrates – in music, among other things – guns, retribution, and a twisted idea of honor. That is the “connection” Celizic is drawing between the Williams murder and rap music. Now, I would like to see you dispute the truth in that claim.

    To draw a comparison to the Sopranos is just absurd, seeing as we all know that is a TV show, and therefore … fictional. And as I said in my earlier post, that 50 lyric was just ONE example of many, many, many other available ones. To dismiss it as “obscure” just shows how intellectually dishonest you are being.

    Also, it shouldn’t have to be explained to “rational” people such as yourself that merely obtaining a gun and actually using a gun to murder somebody are two entirely different things. Again, why draw such a weak comparison?

    As for the “black people all up in arms” comment, I wasn’t talking about you specifically, I was talking generally. And if you are white, well, then you have the absolute worst case of the White Guilty Conscience that I have ever seen.

  16. Hot Shit College Student says:

    Squirt,

    “That culture celebrates – in music, among other things – guns, retribution, and a twisted idea of honor.”

    Leave the Toby Keith fan club out of this.

  17. Don says:

    “I’ve not argued that music can’t affect culture. I am arguing, however, that it is the height of folly to ignore how culture affects music. Each example you cited —- s.e., riot grrl, protest folk — was a reaction to the cultural and political climate.

    In my opinion (and I might have to defer to a hip hop scholar like Kurt), the same could be said of rap. Some of the lyrical content is as much a reflection and a reaction to things that already exist in the real world as anything else.”

    We would not be in disagreement. I explained many times to crushed college students that they should have thought about the musical choices of some failed date before they had that one night stand because they are reflective of personality and potential activity.

    Don

  18. GC says:

    “The incident at Chelios’ bar involved a bus boy – who had just been fired – killing two employees. Remind me again what this has to do with hockey, other than an NHL player owning the place?”

    Y’know, Kurt, you might actually be catching on here. My point, since you need it spelled out to you, is that the random killing of two employees at Chelios’ bar is no greater commentary on the nature of ice hockey and it’s surrounding culture, than Williams’ killing tells us anything about hip hop.

    “The “culture” is the type of people Williams surrounded himself with. Thugs. Gang members. These are facts. This is also what ultimately led to his death. That culture celebrates – in music, among other things – guns, retribution, and a twisted idea of honor. That is the “connection” Celizic is drawing between the Williams murder and rap music. Now, I would like to see you dispute the truth in that claim.”

    You’re jumping (again) to some wild conclusions about the culture in question. Unless you know a lot more about the killers than the most basic generalities you’ve quoted (whoa, they’re gang members. The Jets or The Sharks?), I don’t think you’re qualified to say much else. There’s facts and there’s conjecture.

    “To draw a comparison to the Sopranos is just absurd, seeing as we all know that is a TV show, and therefore … fictional.”

    And a guy rapping is…real life? Why is one considered a form of artistic expression while the other is a bogeyman for for society’s ills?

    Dude (and I think everyone knows what I mean by now when I say “dude”), I don’t care if you can quote 300 similar passages, each of ‘em denigrating women, dropping n-bombs and glorifying violence. I don’t care if you can quote 3000 similar passages. You’d still be writing off an entirely valid musical genre by only skimming the surface of what’s out there.

    That said, I don’t even think the lyric you quoted does your point any justice. It’s a grim, cynical message, to be sure, but hardly one that glorifies a criminal lifestyle, at least in the context you provided.

    “it shouldn’t have to be explained to “rational” people such as yourself that merely obtaining a gun and actually using a gun to murder somebody are two entirely different things. Again, why draw such a weak comparison?”

    Allow me to blow your mind for a second : making it more difficult (or impossible) to obtain a gun might make it more difficult to shoot someone. Wheras I’m still waiting for the first news account of someone having been killed with a hip hop CD.

    “As for the “black people all up in arms” comment, I wasn’t talking about you specifically, I was talking generally.”

    Generally, racially, whatever, man.

    “And if you are white, well, then you have the absolute worst case of the White Guilty Conscience that I have ever seen.”

    With all due apologies to Minor Threat, the only thing I’m guilty of (today, anyway) is providing you with ample rope to hang yourself. If taking exception to casual stereotyping ranks as white guilt in your version of reality, I wish you the best of luck dealing with the rest of the planet that isn’t just like you.

  19. Kurt says:

    Paulsen’s link – with it’s factually incorrect information – still remains on your site. Surprise, surprise.

    than Williams’ killing tells us anything about hip hop.

    Straw man argument. I will AGAIN quote Celizic, because you have yet to address what he actually wrote: “to condemn it would require condemning a culture that too often celebrates in music and lifestyle guns and retribution and a twisted idea of honor.”

    Maybe the 3rd time will be the charm.

    There’s facts and there’s conjecture.

    Fact: the suspect vehicle is registered to Brian Hicks.
    Fact: Hicks is “a veteran criminal and gang member in jail on attempted-murder and drug charges.”
    Fact: “Hicks, 27, is awaiting trial on charges he tried to kill two women outside a nightclub in 2005.”
    Fact: one one the wounded women was killed just days before she was set to testify against Hicks.

    A quote from the article: The Rev. Leon Kelly, who helps Denver teens escape gangs and drugs, said he heard that Williams was with members of the Bloods street gang on New Year’s Eve and that they had a conflict outside the Shelter with members of the Crips.

    “In the gang world, respect is a major issue,” Kelly said. “Someone may have felt disrespected. The shooting wasn’t random.”

    Kelly said he knew Hicks to be affiliated with the Crips, as did another source familiar with the case.

    http://www.denverpost.com/ci_4942657

    But those minor details make you uncomfortable for some reason. Why is that?

    making it more difficult (or impossible) to obtain a gun might make it more difficult to shoot someone.

    Right to bear arms, ever hear of it? But maybe you’re right, though – I mean, it’s illegal to buy & sell drugs, but that shit never happens.

    Wheras I’m still waiting for the first news account of someone having been killed with a hip hop CD.

    Straw man. You’re good at those. Have you addressed Celizic’s actual comments yet? Or are you saving that for another “racism corner” (gotta love that) post?

  20. Hot Shit College Student says:

    Kurt, I didn’t want to involve myself any further in this because you’re a moron, and debating whether or not rap music=murder is hardly worthy a lengthy discussion at CSTB, or anywhere for that matter. But if you’re going to get all constitutional with firearms, you should probably get caught up on the right to a fair trial and innocent until proven guilty parts.

  21. Kurt says:

    debating whether or not rap music=murder

    Do they teach Logic at that college you go to?

    You’re worse than GC. Please tell me who has said: rap music = murder. Thanks.

    You’re right, though – if there’s anybody who’s deserving of the whole presumption of innocence thing, it has to be a guy who is already on trial for the murder of two women.

    But when the guilty verdict does comes back on whoever killed Williams, here’s hoping GC will run another post. And if I had to wager on a guess on what type of “lifestyle” this murderer led, it wouldn’t be on a guy who listens to emo rock.

  22. GC says:

    “because you have yet to address what he actually wrote: ‘to condemn it would require condemning a culture that too often celebrates in music and lifestyle guns and retribution and a twisted idea of honor.’”

    I’ll address it right now. He’s full of shit making sweeping generalizations about music and lifetsyle.

    I thank you for the Denver Post police blotter, but none of those details about Brian Hicks would cause me to reach any conclusions about his musical taste. But the quote you suppled from Rev. Kelly (“Someone may have felt disrespected. The shooting wasn’t random.”) is hardly a fact. That’s conjecture.

    I’m also not sure what you hope to accomplish by quoting a Denver Post report that appeared on the 3rd of January in order to back up Celizic’s column from January 2nd. I was apparently selling Mike short — not only are his detective/sociology chops pretty awesome, but he’s one heck of a soothsayer, too. Who knows how fast they’d have caught Jon Benet Ramsey’s killer if Celizic had gotten involved?

    I’m very familiar with the right to bear arms, thanks. It’s always nice to hear from a hardcore protector of such basic human liberties.

    “If there’s anybody who’s deserving of the whole presumption of innocence thing, it has to be a guy who is already on trial for the murder of two women.”

    I’m sorry, you’ve lost me there. Perhaps you’re getting your comments to this blog mixed up with another running conversation you’re having with someone else.

    “when the guilty verdict does comes back on whoever killed Williams, here’s hoping GC will run another post. And if I had to wager on a guess on what type of “lifestyle” this murderer led, it wouldn’t be on a guy who listens to emo rock.”

    And if I had to wager a guess on what kind of prosecution the Denver D.A. will mount, I’ll bet it will have more to do with the actual evidence than whatever was on the accused’s iPod. But even if I’m to believe wholeheartedly that Darrent Williams’ killer was a hip-hop fan (which would make him, what, totally in step with the majority of americans under the age of 35?) I’m still not going to draw any conclusions about the music and criminal behavior.

  23. Kurt says:

    He’s full of shit making sweeping generalizations about music and lifetsyle.

    Let’s deconstruct what Celizic said, piece by piece: to condemn it would require condemning a culture that too often celebrates in music and lifestyle guns and retribution and a twisted idea of honor.

    What culture is he talking about? Gang culture, thug culture? Check. (PS – how would Celizic know Williams used to be affiliated with gangs? Maybe he read this Denver Post interview with Williams – from last month – in which Williams was quoted as saying: “I was hanging around gang members. The local Crips had people I called friends.”)

    http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_4753155

    Does gang culture celebrate guns? Check.

    Does gang culture celebrate retribution? Check.

    Does gang culture celebrate a twisted idea of honor? Check.

    Does rap music celebrate any and all of these things? Check.

    Okay, have the last word, I’m done.

  24. GC says:

    Celizic doesn’t specify which culture he’s refering to, Kurt. And if he wanted to draw a parallel between Williams’ choice of pals and the CB’s subsequent slaying, he could well have attributed the same Denver Post interview. Of course, if he did so, he’d have also been correcting in citing that Williams’ “affiliation” (which the late Bronco stressed, never included membership) ran from the ages of 12-17

    Williams’ adult lifestyle also included hanging out at Dave & Busters. Anytime you, Celizic or anyone else would like to wax poetic about the dangers associated with spending time in such establishments (and the culture and lifestyle they represent), I’m all eyes and ears.

    I thank you very much for allowing me to have the last word on my own blog. What you lack in perspective you more than make up for in graciousness.

  25. Kurt says:

    While America is generally a violent place, no culture in this country glorifies violence more than the African-American community. And consequently, no other racial group is as disproportionately affected by it.

    This isn’t to say black people invented violence or have a penchant for it. But far too many of us glorify shooting people for revenge, perceived slights or to prove toughness.

    Hey! Jemele Hill is racist too! GC can’t wait for your posting on her column!

  26. GC says:

    Kurt,

    I’ve not had the pleasure of reading Ms. Hill’s work. Though I’ve certainly read quite a bit about it, mostly from the head of the Princeton Univ. physics dept.

    Based on the excerpt you’ve provided, I might survive without going any further.

    That said, there’s a world of difference between flat out saying violence is glorified in the African-American community (and “that isn’t to say black people invented violence or have a penchant for it” is a somewhat reasonable cavaet) and innuendo about “music and lifestyle.”

    Which isn’t to say I wouldn’t find something else objectionable in Ms. Hill’s column. But given that you’re the one familiar with her work, by all means, start your own fucking blog if you’d like to call her a racist.

    But again, you did say “have the last word, I’m done”, and I can only hope you are better at keeping your promises to the other important people in your life.

  27. Kurt says:

    I find it curious that you’ll read a seemingly random MSNBC column, but not one from the WWL. For the record, my “racist” label of Hill was obviously tongue-in-cheek – although I guess for someone who throws out the label so frequently, it might be tough to distinguish. But Hill did draw the same parallel to “culture” that Celizic did. So what’s this “world of difference” that you speak of?

    Am I to assume you haven’t read Whitlock’s column, either? Or that you chose to overlook what a black writer had to say about the situation, because you wouldn’t be able place the “racism corner” tag on it?

    White athletes go to nightclubs, drink and chase women as much as black athletes. But somehow white athletes tend to make it home without drawing a weapon or getting shot.

    The difference isn’t skin color. It’s culture.

    Hey! He’s talking about the same culture that Celizic and Hill are talking about! When you write your post about Whitlock in the “racism corner” be sure to let me know. And there’s more:

    Fighting a violent culture, particularly one that is producing major revenue for its promoters in the rap music, video game, TV and movie industries, is as risky as holding a march in the streets of Selma, Alabama in 1960.

    Hey – there’s the music reference along with culture! Hmmm … maybe Celizic, Hill, and Whitlock are all on to something. And maybe you’re just an apologist of the very worst kind. That’s possible too, right?

  28. GC says:

    Kurt,

    As I’ve already explained the world of difference to you once, I don’t think I’m obliged to do so a second time.

    As far as my reading choices are concerned, I’m not a regular reader of ESPN.com’s Page 2. If you think I’m missing the boat, so be it. But again, if you’re very eager to praise or disect the works of Ms. Hill, by all means, start your own blog.

    For the record, not once have I called Celizic a racist. But if you’d like to cite other, alleged examples of my casually calling someone a racist, please knock yourself out.

    No, really. knock yourself out. I mean, with a hammer or something.

    There was nothing random opening a discussion regarding Celizic’s column. The Williams shooting was a previously running topic here and another blog that I link to (Paul Sen’s Sports Media Watch) had a provocative reply.

    I have no idea what you’re onto regarding Jason Whitlock. I mean, if you’re bummed that I’ve not highlighted his colum alongside that of Celizic, wtf? Am I obliged to read everyone? It isn’t as though Whitlock hasn’t been pilloried in this space, and but since you’re asking, some of his more questionable musings have been included in the “racism corner” category. I mean, did you actually bother to read this blog before making such a wrongheaded suggestion?

    http://www.cantstopthebleeding.com/?p=7876

    I would hope Whitlock’s numerous appearances in CSTB would remove any possibility that I’m hesitant to take exception to a black writer’s work.

    Since you’re dying for a rebutal to a column I’ve not read (and you’ve not even bothered to link to), I’ll do my best. So bear with me :

    a) there are, believe it or not, white athletes who’ve had trouble getting home without drawing a weapon or being shot (or beaten). Eddie Waitkus. Barrett Robins. Cole Ford. BU’s Kevin Schaeffer.

    b) if Whitlock honestly believes that video games, movies and rap music are to blame for a violent culture , maybe he and Joe Lieberman can run for president & veep on the Dipshit ticket.

    Since you are at this point, habitually posting after promising you’d stop, I do implore you (again) to start a blog of your own so you can show the rest of us (or at least me) how it’s done properly. When i’m not apologizing for murderers or shilling for the purveyors of musical thuggery…I’m all about self-improvement.

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