By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
7.14.16: National – (Politics): Such a natural in front of the television camera, Mr. D.L. Hughley, an African-American comedian and best-selling author, has made a smooth transition into cable news punditry, mostly discussing politics and race, an opportunity no doubt catalyzed by the publishing of his satirical literary work, ‘Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Years.’
As of late on cable news, the former television star – who in 1998 created his own sitcom for ABC entitled ‘The Hughleys’ – hasn’t been laughing nor making others laugh, rather he’s making some think, and others uncomfortable, with his provocative commentary; and at least once in the week past, during a segment with CNN’s Mr. Chris Cuomo that covered the recent killing of a Minnesota black man by police, he cried.
“It’s too much, it’s too much,” Mr. Hughley, referring to the police brutality inflicted upon the loved ones of African-Americans that often goes without condemnation from anyone outside the race, said.
Mr. Hughley when on-air, regardless of the channel, isn’t hiding the fact that he’s distrustful of law enforcement; the corrupt and murderous history of American policing, coupled with its brutal present-day tactics, doesn’t allow for the father of three – a father so worrisome of police violence that he claims not to be able to fall asleep until his grown children arrive home – to give cops the benefit of the doubt, in any situation.
The cynical view of policing held by Mr. Hughley, who said to Mr. Cuomo that every black or brown parent he knows has given a talk to their children on how to survive police encounters and that in and of itself is abhorrent and immoral – a similar statement was made yesterday by The New York Times’ Mr. Charles Blow during CNN’s town hall on race and policing: “How immoral it is that we should have to give a certain group in this country a toolbox to survive which should otherwise be an innocent interaction” – was on full display last night when the comedian went head-to-head with Fox News’ Mrs. Megyn Kelly in a fiery segment that went viral and has critics of it calling Mr. Hughley a racist.
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When discussing both the case of Mr. Philando Castile in Minnesota and Mr. Michael Brown in Ferguson, and the public’s affinity to rush to judgment before all the facts are gathered – an act which Mrs. Kelly criticized – Mr. Hughley said there’s a benefit of the doubt given to police officers that’s not extended to anyone else, and that he, given all the malfeasance by cops he’s witnessed in his lifetime, remains unwilling to view cops as fully innocent until proven guilty.
Mr. Hughley acknowledges that his experiences have shaped his world view, as is true with any human being; for example, those who have never encountered law enforcement in a consistently confrontational and aggressive manner would have a hard time understanding the repeated criticism of police by groups like Black Lives Matter, which former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani – who often tells black men and boys how to act in public to avoid police brutality: comply, comply, comply! – characterized as a terrorist organization.
Calling Mr. Giuliani a “brutal Mayor,” Mr. Hughley, who wears fashionable Fedora hats during cable news appearances, asserted that old white men telling black men how to behave is ridiculous, and that to tell black men to speak a certain way to avoid police aggression is no different than telling a woman how to dress so that she doesn’t get raped.
Like with his comedy, Mr. Hughley as a pundit is raw, jabbing and, some could say, polarizing. But, unlike with his jokes, Mr. Hughley is seeking justice and change, not applause and laughter, for what’s happening, and what’s been happening to black men, women and children at the hands of police is no laughing matter.
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Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
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