Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  If you broadcast our audio commentaries please consider a recurring donation to Black Agenda Report.

Freedom Rider: Sex Tapes and Butlers

  • Sharebar
    Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Racist propaganda comes in many forms, and from many sources. Russell Simmons and Lee Daniels are well-paid Black purveyors of the anti-Black propaganda arts. Daniel’s turns history and truth on its head in The Butler, while Russell Simmons depicts Harriet Tubman as a whore who turns tricks for freedom.

     

    Freedom Rider: Sex Tapes and Butlers

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The fact that Simmons chose to make Harriet Tubman a character in a porno reveals much about him, his feelings about black people and his high regard of white people.”

    On August 14, 2013, Russell Simmons posted these words on twitter: “Funniest thing I’ve ever seen Harriet tubmans [sic] sex diary.” Those are words guaranteed to catch one’s attention, the way a bomb going off gets attention. Simmons wasn’t lying or joking either. His latest entertainment venture, All Def Digital, had in fact produced something he called The Harriet Tubman Sex Tape. For the worst and most despicable reasons possible, Mr. Simmons chose to commit a character assassination of Harriet Tubman, one of the greatest in the pantheon of black American heroes. By extension he defamed not only Tubman, but all black people and perpetrated the worst slanders used against black women. The fact that Simmons chose to make Harriet Tubman a character in a porno reveals much about him, his feelings about black people and his high regard of white people.

    One might conclude that Simmons is nothing more than clueless and ignorant of the history of this country and of his people. Yet his treachery shows something far worse than obvious misogyny, self-hatred and stupidity. This so-called parody existed because Simmons determined that the path to success must go straight through the heart of our heritage and bring down a woman whose actions were above reproach. Simmons obviously believes that his success depends on black people being demeaned and willing to laugh about it.

    Simmons claims that he wanted to show Tubman “turning the tables” on the slave master. The vulgar and stupid impresario, entrepreneur, mogul doesn’t even know why Harriet Tubman is so revered. By first stealing herself away from the chattel slavery system and then taking hundreds of other people from their slave owners, she turned the tables quite adroitly, all without having sex with anyone. She followed up her individual feats of bravery when she led a Union attack on Confederate forces near the Combahee River in South Carolina in 1863, the only woman to have led an army into battle in the Civil War.

    Simmons obviously believes that his success depends on black people being demeaned and willing to laugh about it.“

    In Simmons’ turgid imagination, the woman who John Brown referred to as “General Tubman” becomes nothing more than a whore. An enslaved woman had no means by which she might empower herself. She had no control over her body and thus no control over her sexuality. She could be forced to have sex with any white man or even with a black man when slave holders wanted to create more babies and thus more profit. For Harriet Tubman to have overcome these circumstances with her bravery and genius, only to be depicted as a woman who enjoys having sex with her slave holder is the worst thing that any black person might do to her memory.

    Black people should have had nothing worse than Russell Simmons to contend with, but he chose to do his dirty work in the same week that another awful depiction was unleashed by Hollywood. Lee Daniels’ The Butler is a train wreck of a film which leaves a bad taste for anyone even dimly aware of the basic facts of American history.

    The Butler is a fictionalized account of the life of Eugene Allen, a man who served as a White House butler from the Harry Truman through Ronald Reagan administrations. This story could be interesting on many levels but in the hands of the ham fisted and black hating Daniels the civil rights movement is in the end just a useful backdrop for absolving white people of any guilt.

    Daniels does know what makes for an engaging film and it is this skill that makes The Butler so insidious. He cleverly depicts how the lead character, named Cecil Gaines for the purposes of the movie, must escape from the cruelty of Jim Crow era South, where America’s apartheid took shape. Most of the black actors in the film are talented and popular audience favorites. The combination of seeing our experiences validated in an entertaining film guarantees box office success.

    Lee Daniels’ The Butler is a train wreck of a film which leaves a bad taste for anyone even dimly aware of the basic facts of American history.”

    It is true to this very day that black people show two faces, or in the case of people like the Gaines character, only one face, not being allowed to be fully human when interacting with white people who have power over them. Having seen lynching and terror, Gaines is fearful for himself and for his son who chooses to be in the forefront of the black freedom movement.

    What might have made for an intriguing dynamic is turned into a hodge podge of phony hopefulness about how the “good negro” inspires white people to do the right thing. Movies of course depend on some degree of dramatic license. But it is absurd in the extreme for the Gaines character to literally be serving breakfast to presidents and their top staff people as they discuss what to do in Little Rock, Selma or Birmingham.

    Every president in the movie confesses his sins to the magical Cecil and then tries his best to help the Negro. In fact, however much or little any of these presidents did was dependent upon the intensity of the struggle among the masses of people and not by their liking of any domestic worker. Yet the Lee Daniels butler inspires Eisenhower to send troops to integrate Central High School in Little Rock. John F. Kennedy spent most of his term in office looking for ways to placate the Dixiecrats. He and his brother Robert were opposed to the March on Washington and any other actions that might force them to do the right thing. As for the Freedom Riders, Kennedy asked an aide, “Can’t you get your goddamned friends off those buses?” In the end he was forced by the demands made in the streets to finally give a speech in support of a civil rights bill.

    The movie does tell some historic truth but with an underlying message that political action is acceptable only within very narrow parameters. The son in the film goes on a journey from the lunch counter sit-ins to the Freedom Rides to the Black Panthers. Daniels should have just left the Panthers alone instead of depicting them as disrespectful young people who never remove their black berets and give offense at the dinner table. But he couldn’t leave the Panthers alone. If white people can be appeased with the right attitude there is no need for radical politics to be taken seriously. The Black Panthers also have to be brought low in the popular consciousness of a Lee Daniels movie.

    Not only are white people made good if the black people around them are silent enough, but the black people in Daniels world don’t amount to much. Their relaxation time is spent drinking and dancing and cheating on their spouses, while at work they tell dirty jokes in mixed company and get angry if a co-worker gets a perk. No wonder white people have to be coaxed into helping them.

    Daniels should have just left the Panthers alone instead of depicting them as disrespectful young people who never remove their black berets and give offense at the dinner table.”

    They live happily ever after because Barack Obama is elected president of the United States at the movie’s end. All is well in Daniels land where eventually the right kind of protest brings white acceptance and a black face in the highest place.

    Lee Daniels and Russell Simmons are also in high places. They get the deals to create images of black life because they can be replied upon to do the right thing by white people. Russell Simmons is a bottom feeder who didn’t even know how to be smooth with his slander. Lee Daniels is made of sterner stuff and knows what black people want to see. We want to see black people on screen who do great things even if it is just getting a raise for the domestic help or sneering at the struggles of young people when they try to change the system.

    After being properly scolded for the sex tape horror, Simmons removed the sex tape from his site and now says he has plans to produce biographies of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. He probably has no real interest in doing this but for the sake of argument he must be treated as if he does. He can’t be trusted with our image ever again and must never be allowed to live down this shameful episode.

    Daniels will probably get more movie deals and more opportunities to create outwardly uplifting fare that is in reality anything but. He is equally untrustworthy but more dangerous. He is after all the man who gave us Precious.

    Black celebrities cannot be given a pass to treat us any way they want but the yearning for black success is still quite strong. As with politicians and other misleaders, they get consideration where none is deserved. Hopefully there will be no more black historical figures in sex tapes or white people being given phony and undue credit, at least not for a while. Two such episodes in one week is simply too much.

    Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

    Share this

    This is my first time i visit

    This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work. I have been meaning to write something like this on my website and you have given me an idea. Ford Makassar

    Easily, the article is

    Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.
    payday loan company

    Thanks combination of

    Thanks combination of suitable and useful information and well-written sentences that will certainly entice your sense.There are so multiple comments here that are really entertaining and conducive to me thanks for sharing a link especially for sharing this blog. BetNesia

    cougar dating sites free

    This is an extraordinary rousing article.i am essentially satisfied with your great work.you put truly extremely accommodating data. Keep it up. cougar dating sites free

    I came onto your blog while

    I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises
    Edward Bass

    Really great post, Thank you

    Really great post, Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up!
    Cheapest Backlink Service

    The first several months of

    The first several months of my site there were no comments; just give it time; now they come in like crazy every day! Thanks.
    no deposit bonus

    I also benefit from learning

    I also benefit from learning the assessments, but learn that alot of people ought to stay on essay to try and add worth in the direction of the authentic weblog release.
    Binary Options Small Minimum Deposit

    Good Post, I am a big

    Good Post, I am a big believer in posting comments on sites to let the blog writers know that they’ve added something advantageous to the world wide web!
    Binary Options No Deposit Bonus

    Great Post

    This is an excellent post I seen thanks to share it. It is really what I wanted to see hope in future you will continue for sharing such a excellent post. Soup

    Really great Post

    This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much. Keep up the good works. Yola

    Once I thought about things

    Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it!
    Pos Receipt Printer

    TV personality Brian Dowling

    TV personality Brian Dowling will take to the stage once again to present the evening, along with British actress Cerrie Burnell. smart travel

    As soon as you know one

    As soon as you know one person, go round knocking on everyone's door in your flat/block with them. You will be less nervous in a pair and you can then meet quite a few people. Get each new person to join you on your rampage! Phen375 customer reviews

    I simply want to tell you

    I simply want to tell you that I am new to weblog and definitely liked this blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog.
    share url in all facebook group

    Useful Report

    Your information is really useful for all thanks for this. hr consultancy bangalore

    Once I thought about things

    Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it!
    www.boudoirbilleder.com

    Once I thought about things

    Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it!
    Forex Trading

    Really Wonder

    Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! Simply put your blog post to my favorite blog list and will look forward for additional updates. Simply wanted to write down a word in order to say thanks to you for those wonderful tips. digital marketing company bangalore

    I really like the dear

    I really like the dear information you offer in your articles. I'm able to bookmark your site and show the kids check out up here generally. Im fairly positive theyre likely to be informed a great deal of new stuff here than anyone else!
    man made diamond pendants

    I came onto your blog while

    I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises GM Tech2

    Thanks for a very interesting

    Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else may I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a undertaking that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such info.
    ke chua hang

    Thanks for a very interesting

    Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else may I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a undertaking that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such info.
    Joy Casino

    I simply want to tell you

    I simply want to tell you that I am new to weblog and definitely liked this blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog.
    download wordpress themes

    Once I thought about things

    Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it!
    apartment in hoan kiem

    I simply want to tell you

    I simply want to tell you that I am new to weblog and definitely liked this blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog.
    social page of PTA Builders

    Once I thought about things

    Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it!
    buy facebook likes cheap

    I came onto your blog while

    I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises
    clash of clans astuces

    Once I thought about things

    Once I thought about things like: why such information is for free here? Because when you write a book then at least on selling a book you get a percentage. Thank you and good luck on informing people more about it!
    happy new year images 2015

    I am always searching online

    I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!
    art 37 viterbo

    Mmm.. good to be here in your

    Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site.
    corsi viterbo

    Great post! I am actually

    Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here. buy fifa 15 coins

    I would love to stop by. But,

    I would love to stop by. But, I think it might have to wait until this summer. I did not know that Serlkay had ever expanded its size. I must say that a succesful family owned business in this day and age is a very refreshing sight! As well as this is a very refreshing site! GM Tech2

    I agree with your blog and i

    I agree with your blog and i will be back to check it more in the future so please keep up your work. michael kors outleti love your content & the way that you write.
    GM Tech2

    I am always searching online

    I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!
    magic store

    it's really nice and meanful.

    it's really nice and meanful. it's really cool blog. Linking is very useful thing.you have really helped lots of people who visit blog and provide them usefull information. payday cash advances

    Hi there, I found your blog

    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me.
    man made diamond earrings

    I would like to thank you for

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it. free classifieds in uganda

    I simply want to tell you

    I simply want to tell you that I am new to weblog and definitely liked this blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog.
    magic shop

    I came onto your blog while

    I came onto your blog while focusing just slightly submits. Nice strategy for next, I will be bookmarking at once seize your complete rises
    man made diamond engagement rings

    Thank you for posting such a

    Thank you for posting such a great article! I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. Keep up the good work!
    Locksmith Plantation FL

    What a blog post!! Very

    What a blog post!! Very informative and also easy to understand. Looking for more such comments!! Do you have a facebook? I recommended it on digg. The only thing that it’s missing is a bit of new design.
    sistemi di gestione grosseto

    It was great to see the old

    It was great to see the old printshop and everyone who works there again. I am excited to see a printing business still operating and growing, great job guys
    free leaks

    I hunted for housing

    I hunted for housing information, and I came across a real estate news Internet site,Los Angeles Real Estate Trends. I unearthed this blog post, A reasonable compromise to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. This post is super.The news and housing analysis on this site is first-rate, the cartoons are hilarious, and the PDF downloads are rich with content. I endorse checking out this web page to experience it.

    I am often to blogging and i

    I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information Buy SEO Packages buy quality backlinks manual directory submission pagerank backlink buy backlinks Buy High pagerank backlinks Social Bookmark Services Buy Link Wheel Service directory submission pr5 backlinks High Pagerank Backlinks

    Re: well

    The world is changing fast. people are also being changed.day by day we are becoming more dependant on degital system. how to be rich
    stop loss order
    world economy
    debt ceiling

    That is really amazing dear

    That is really amazing dear buddy keep it up and say all is well. how to be rich stop loss order world economy world economy

    and we are delighted this

    and we are delighted this sparked the beginning to our working relationship memory foam mattress reviews 2012

    monitor the words in our

    monitor the words in our dictionaries, paying particular attention to those words whose usage is shifting corsi di formazione grosseto

    The National Diversity Awards

    The National Diversity Awards have seen GSN grow from humble beginnings to the main media outlet for the LGBT community, across the UK and beyond. get your ex back program

    Clicky Web Analytics