Since Quentin Tarantino has already reportedly decided to offer some sort of an apology, this may be a case of way more than enough, but way too late. On his NewsOne Now program Tuesday morning, host Roland Martin offered up a defense of Tarantino that made mics in neighboring counties drop.
The Pulp Fiction auteur sparked a serious backlash and calls for a boycott of his films last week when he spoke out against police brutality at a rally in New York City’s Washington Square. Here are Tarantino’s full remarks at that event, all 30 seconds of them:
“I’m a human being with a conscience. And when I see murders, I do not stand by . . . I have to call a murder a murder and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”
That remark, and the rally itself, churned a lot of angst from people anxious to connect the protest with the murder of Officer Randolph Holder several days earlier, a cheap desecration of his sacrifice. The late Officer Holder had no more to do with police brutality than this protest had to do with him, but conservative pundits and police unions have nonetheless exploited him in an effort to undermine calls for accountability.
Much of the campaign against Tarantino consists of a shift in the retelling of his remarks, in which conservatives will swear to God he said that all cops are murderers. This is a popular premise with folks who seek to undermine the movement for police accountability, and it is utterly false. On Tuesday’s NewsOne Now, Roland Martin laid waste to that talking point.
In a panel discussion on the Tarantino flap, Republican strategist Shermichael Singleton tried out the “all cops are murderers” straw-man, and Martin let him have it, like, three times:
Roland Martin: Nowhere in there did he say “all,” he said “When I see those murdered, I call the murdered the murdered, that’s what he said.
Shermichael Singleton: Who was he talking about, though?
Roland Martin: He’s talking about people who have been killed by cops!
Shermichael Singleton: It sounds like, Roland, he’s talking about all law enforement.
Roland Martin: Where did he say “all?”
Shermichael Singleton: He didn’t say all, but it sounds like it, Roland.
Roland Martin: Play it again, Shelley!
I think “Play it again, Shelley!” should be Martin’s new Twitter handle.
He wasn’t finished yet, though. After challenging the notion that cops who refuse to condemn killings like that of Eric Garner, or to ever intercede for citizens in any of these incidents, are “good apples,” Roland went to work on another popular anti-#BlackLivesMatter talking point. Singleton asked Roland why no one in #BlackLivesMatter cares about black-on-black violence. Mistake.
Shermichael Singleton: Why haven’t we heard Black Lives Matter talk about the killings in Chicago?
Roland Martin: Actually, they have.
Shermichael Singleton: When, Roland?
Roland Martin: On this show!
Shermichael Singleton: When else, Roland?
Roland Martin: Hold on, you asked. What you don’t know is that most of the people in Black Lives Matter got involved because of community violence.
…No, no, no, you said who? Tamika. Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, DeRay, Netta, Ashley Gates. Do you want me to continue? I thought so.
Unfortunately, the mainstream media is populated by ill-informed and timid folks who have been badly spooked by the bogus “Ferguson Effect” narrative, so most Americans will never get to hear that kind of truth. Police unions, with the help of the conservative media, have been working hard to dampen the groundswell of support for police accountability, and there’s no one in the mainstream media with the courage to take them on. If they ever decide to, Roland’s example is a good place to start.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.