The Butler


“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” (2013) is a Hollywood film about a Black butler at the White House who served American presidents from Eisenhower to Reagan. It stars Forest Whitacker. Lee Daniels directs yet another cringetastic film.


  • Forest Whitaker: Cecil Gaines, a White House butler
  • Oprah Winfrey: his wife
  • David Oyelowo: older son
  • YaYa Da Costa: older son’s girlfriend
  • Elijah Kelley: younger son
  • Mariah Carey: his mother
  • Lenny Kravitz: fellow butler
  • Cuba Gooding, Jr: fellow butler
  • Terrence Howard: neighbour and friend
  • Vanessa Redgrave: head of the plantation where he was born
  • Robin Williams: President Eisenhower
  • John Cusack: President Nixon
  • Jane Fonda: Nancy Reagan

Oprah was the most believable.

Best part: seeing YaYa Da Costa, especially in her glorious Afro.


Our Story: Gaines and his older son are, amazingly, present at many of the turning points of civil rights history, he at the White House, his son on the front lines. Gaines’s “quiet voice” helps Presidents Kennedy and Johnson see Blacks as human, thus leading to the passage of important civil rights laws.

Gaines and his son fall out over the civil rights movement. Gaines thinks that if Blacks work hard and fly right, Whites will do right by them. He himself has gone from poverty to middle-class comfort and stability.

Meanwhile, Gaines works such long hours that Oprah Winfrey turns to drink and to the attentions of Terrence Howard.

The film ends with Gaines about to visit Barack Obama, the first Black president.

The film was “inspired” by the true story of Gene Allen. That means they read his story in the paper and got the idea for the film. They added:

  • the cotton fields of Georgia,
  • the rape of his mother,
  • the murder of his father,
  • the older son (he is completely made up),
  • the younger son dying in the Vietnam War (he lived).


The racism and history in the film are cartoonish. For example, in the film the Klan attacks the Freedom Riders at Anniston, Alabama in the middle of the night with hoods on and crosses burning. In real life, they did it in broad daylight, after church, dressed in their Sunday best.

The White screenwriter put these fictional words into Martin Luther King, Jr’s mouth:

“Young brother, the black domestic defies racial stereotype by being hardworking and trustworthy. He slowly tears down racial hatred with his example of strong work ethic and dignified character. Now, while we perceive the butler, or the maid, to be subservient, in many ways they are subversive, without even knowing it.”

Hollywood has a long history of “subversive” films showing Blacks as servants, from “Gone With the Wind” (1939) to “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989) to “The Help” (2011). Apparently we were overdue for a new one.

Gaines, ever the House Negro, opposed his older son fighting for equal rights because he might be killed, yet does not oppose his younger son’s decision to fight in Vietnam, where he – is killed. The double standard seems lost on him and the film.

See also:

Kanye West: Jesus Walks


This went to #2 on the American R&B charts in 2004. I like this video. Kanye West did not. He made two more using his own money: one for $500,000 directed by Chris Milk and then one for $40,000 directed by Coodie Simmons and himself.

See also:


Yo, We at war
We at war with terrorism, racism, and most of all we at war with ourselves
(Jesus Walks)
God show me the way because the Devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me) with me, with me, with me [fades]

You know what the Midwest is?
Young & Restless
Where restless (Niggas) might snatch your necklace
And next these (Niggas) might jack your Lexus
Somebody tell these (Niggas) who Kanye West is
I walk through the valley of the shadow of death is
Top floor the view alone will leave you breathless Uhhhh!
Try to catch it Uhhhh! It’s kinda hard hard
Getting choked by the detectives yeah yeah now check the method
They be asking us questions, harass and arrest us
Saying “we eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast”
Huh? Yall eat pieces of shit? What’s the basis?
We ain’t going nowhere but got suits and cases
A truck full of crap rental car from Avis
My momma used to say only Jesus can save us
Well momma I know I act a fool
But I’ll be gone ’til November I got packs to move I Hope

[Hook x2]
(Jesus Walks)
God show me the way because the Devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks with me)
The only thing that that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now
(Jesus Walks)
And I don’t think there is nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
(Jesus Walks with me)
I want to talk to God but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long

To the hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers even the strippers
(Jesus walks with them)
To the victims of Welfare for we living in hell here hell yeah
(Jesus walks with them)
Now hear ye hear ye want to see Thee more clearly
I know he hear me when my feet get weary
Cause we’re the almost nearly extinct
We rappers are role models we rap we don’t think
I ain’t here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I’m just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathie Lee needed Regis that’s the way I need Jesus
So here go my single dog radio needs this
They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tapes
But if I talk about God my record won’t get played Huh?
Well let this take away from my spins
Which will probably take away from my ends
Then I hope this take away from my sins
And bring the day that I’m dreaming about
Next time I’m in the club everybody screaming out

(Jesus Walks)
God show me the way because the devil trying to break me down
(Jesus Walks)
The only thing that that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now
(Jesus Walks)
And I don’t thing there’s nothing I can do now to right my wrongs
(Jesus walks with me… fades)
I want to talk to God but I’m afraid because we ain’t spoke in so long

Christopher Lollie


Christopher Lollie with his children

Christopher Lollie (1986- ), a Black American musician, was tasered and arrested by St Paul, Minnesota police for Sitting While Black. They did that in front of his two children while he was trying to pick them up from day care. He caught some of it on video with his mobile phone.

At about 9.50am on January 31st 2014, Lollie, after working an overnight cleaning shift, sits down in what appears to be a public area.

A minute later a guard from the First National Bank Building tells Lollie it is a private “employees only” space. Lollie says he was waiting to pick up his children in about ten minutes from New Horizons, a nearby day care. The guard calls the police.

When the video starts Lollie is already walking towards the day care. A White police officer is walking alongside him. Here is some of what was said:



Officer Lori Hayne: I want to find out who you are and what was the problem back there.


Lollie (police photo)

Lollie: There is no problem, that’s the thing. … Why do I have to let you know who I am? Who I am isn’t the problem.

Hayne: Because that’s what police do when they get called, they identify people.

Lollie: Well, I know my rights, first off. Secondly, I don’t have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws. [explains he was waiting to pick up his children] … That’s a public area. If there’s no sign that doesn’t say, “This is a private area, you can’t sit here,” no one can tell me I can’t sit there.

Hayne: The problem was -

Lollie: The problem is I’m black. That’s the problem.

Hayne: (laughs)

Lollie: No, it really is, because I didn’t do anything wrong. .. I was sitting there by myself – by myself – not causing a problem with anyone.

Two other White officers appear, Michael Johnson and Bruce Schmidt.

Lollie: Please don’t touch me.



Schmidt: Well, you’re going to jail then. … Put your hands behind your back, otherwise this is going to get ugly.

Lollie keeps saying he did not do anything wrong. Schmidt keeps telling him to put his hands behind his back, warning that he will taser him. The screen goes black. Then you hear children.

Lollie: That’s my kids right there!

Schmidt: (screaming) PUT YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK!!!

Lollie: Don’t choke me. I have asthma, sir.

Then the clicking noise of a taser, then Lollie crying out in pain and asking for help.

The police arrest and charge him with:

  1. trespassing,
  2. disorderly conduct and
  3. obstruction of the legal process.

Dave Titus

The president of the St Paul Police Federation, Dave Titus, said of the three officers:

… you couldn’t get nicer individuals. This guy was acting like a jerk.

A friend of Lollie’s daughter:

When I saw them doing that to Allahna’s daddy, it made my heart feel so sad.

On July 31st a judge dismissed the charges after Lollie’s lawyer presented video and eyewitness accounts. The police gave back his mobile phone.

See also:


New York police, 2013

In 2013, New York City police killed:


1. Peter Jourdan, 37

date: January 3rd 2013
place: Fort Hamilton Parkway Station, Brooklyn
weapon: gun
crime: moving between subway cars
risk factors: paranoid schizophrenia

Three plainclothes officers said they showed their badges and asked for ID before Jourdan started shooting.


2. Ryo Oyamada, 24

date: February 21st 2013
place: Queensbridge, Queens
weapon: none
crime: none
risk factors: pedestrian

Hit by a police car. Police lied, saying they put on their  flashing lights before they hit him.


3. Kimani Gray, 16

date: March 9th 2013
place: East Flatbush, Brooklyn
weapon: none
crime: none
risk factors: stop and frisk

Police say he pulled a gun on them. Eyewitnesses say Gray had nothing in his hands. Protests and riots followed.


4. Jackson Alexandre, 28

date: March 23th 2013
place: Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
weapon: knife
crime: stabbed roommate
risk factors: madman

Came at police with a knife.


5. Thomas Robinson, 50

date: June 19th 2013
place: East New York, Brooklyn
weapon: gun
crime: armed robbery
risk factors: shooting at police


6.  Jose Muniz, 52

date: June 20th 2013
place: Norwood, Bronx
weapon: none
crime: drug deal
risk factors: police custody

Police saw him put a baggie of cocaine in his mouth. While trying to arrest him, wrestling and using pepper spray, he fell to the ground and started choking. They got him to a hospital but he died soon after.


7. Felix Coss, 61

date: July 6th 2013
place: Williamsburg, Brooklyn
weapon: none
crime: none
risk factors: pedestrian

Hit by a police van.


8. Deion Fludd, 17

date: July 12th 2013
place: Ralph Avenue Station, Brooklyn
weapon: none
crime: fare jumping ($2.50)
risk factors: running from police

Police broke his skull and his spine in two places, paralyzing him. He died of his injuries months later.


9. Kyam Livingston, 37

date: July 21st 2013
place: Ditmas Park, Brooklyn
weapon: none
crime: breaking an order of protection
risk factors: police custody, alcoholism

In jail she was in pain for up to seven hours before police took her to the hospital. She was dead on arrival of an alcoholic seizure.


10. Shaaliver Douse, 14

date: August 4th 2013
place: Melrose, Bronx
weapon: gun
crime: shooting
risk factors: pointing gun at police


11. Eric Zaman, 33

date: August 14th 2013
place: Cypress Hills, Brooklyn
weapon: none
crime: speeding
risk factors: -

Died in an accident after the pursuing police car hit his motorcycle.


12. Carlos Alcis, 43

date: August 15th 2013
place: Brownsville, Brooklyn
weapon: none
crime: none
risk factors: weak heart

Died of a heart attack after police raided his home by mistake looking for a mobile phone thief.


13. Barrington Williams, 25

date: September 17th 2013
place: East 161st Street Station, Bronx
weapon: none
crime: selling subway MetroCard swipes
risk factors: asthma, running from police

Died of asthma after being chased by police.


14. Unidentified man, 26

date: October 31st 2013
place: Castle Hill Houses, Bronx
weapon: gun
crime: shooting
risk factors: shooting at police


15. Rexford Dasrath, 22

date: November 18th 2013
place: Bushwick, Brooklyn
weapon: 7-inch steak knife
crime: threatened murder
risk factors: learning disability

Came at police with a knife.


16. James Torres, 44

date: December 26th 2013
place: Morris Heights, Bronx
weapon: gun
crime: armed robbery ($80 + iPhone)
risk factors: -

Torres did not pull his gun on police. They shot him dead anyway.

Also: Four off-duty killings.

Source: October 22nd Coalition (2014), Google searches (2014).

See also:

Police Shooting

Here is a list of unarmed Blacks killed by police in the US. It is extremely incomplete. A complete list for just 2005 to 2012 would have at least 760 killings. I have only 6% of those. This list is just the tip of the iceberg.

Those in bold are linked to posts of their own:

2014: Victor White III (Iberia Parish, LA)
2014: Dante Parker (San Bernardino County, CA)
2014: Ezell Ford (Los Angeles, CA)
2014: Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO)
2014: Tyree Woodson (Baltimore, MD)
2014: John Crawford III (Beavercreek, OH)
2014: Eric Garner (New York, NY)
2014: Yvette Smith (Bastrop, TX)
2014: Jordan Baker (Houston, TX)
2013: Barrington Williams (New York, NY)
2013: Carlos Alcis (New York, NY)
2013: Deion Fludd (New York, NY)
2013: Jonathan Ferrell (Bradfield Farms, NC)
2013: Kimani Gray (New York, NY)
2013: Kyam Livingstone (New York, NY)
2013: Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr. (Austin, TX)
2013: Miriam Carey (Washington, DC)
2012: Chavis Carter (Jonesboro, AR)
2012: Dante Price (Dayton, OH)
2012: Duane Brown (New York, NY)
2012: Ervin Jefferson (Atlanta, GA)
2012: Jersey Green (Aurora, IL)
2012: Johnnnie Kamahi Warren (Dotham, AL)
2012: Justin Slipp (New Orleans, LA)
2012: Kendrec McDade (Pasadena, CA)
2012: Malissa Williams (Cleveland, OH)
2012: Nehemiah Dillard (Gainesville, FL)
2012: Ramarley Graham (New York, NY)
2012: Raymond Allen (Galveston, TX)
2012: Rekia Boyd (Chicago, IL)
2012: Reynaldo Cuevas (New York, NY)
2012: Robert Dumas Jr (Cleveland, OH)
2012: Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr (Orange County, CA)
2012: Shantel Davis (New York, NY)
2012: Sharmel Edwards (Las Vegas, NV)
2012: Shereese Francis (New York, NY)
2012: Tamon Robinson (New York, NY)
2012: Timothy Russell (Cleveland, OH)
2012: Wendell Allen (New Orleans, LA)
2011: Alonzo Ashley (Denver, CO)
2011: Jimmell Cannon (Chicago, IL)
2011: Kenneth Chamberlain (White Plains, NY)
2011: Kenneth Harding (San Francisco, CA)
2011: Raheim Brown (Oakland, CA)
2011: Reginald Doucet (Los Angeles, CA)
2010: Aaron Campbell (Portland, OR)
2010: Aiyana Jones (Detroit, MI)
2010: Danroy Henry (Thornwood, NY)
2010: Derrick Jones (Oakland, CA)
2010: Steven Eugene Washington (Los Angeles, CA)
2009: Kiwane Carrington (Champaign, IL)
2009: Oscar Grant (Oakland, CA)
2009: Shem Walker (New York, NY)
2009: Victor Steen (Pensacola, FL)
2008: Tarika Wilson (Lima, OH)
2007: DeAunta Terrel Farrow (West Memphis, AR)
2006: Sean Bell (New York, NY)
2005: Henry Glover (New Orleans, LA)
2005: James Brisette (New Orleans, LA)
2005: Ronald Madison (New Orleans, LA)
2004: Timothy Stansbury (New York, NY)
2003: Alberta Spruill (New York, NY)
2003: Orlando Barlow (Las Vegas, NV)
2003: Ousmane Zongo (New York, NY)
2001: Timothy Thomas (Cincinnati, OH)
2000: Earl Murray (Dellwood, MO)
2000: Malcolm Ferguson (New York, NY)
2000: Patrick Dorismond (New York, NY)
2000: Prince Jones (Fairfax County, VA)
2000: Ronald Beasley (Dellwood, MO)
1999: Amadou Diallo (New York, NY)
1994: Nicholas Heyward Jr. (New York, NY)
1992: Malice Green (Detroit, MI)
1985: Edmund Perry (New York, NY)
1984: Eleanor Bumpurs (New York, NY)
1983: Michael Stewart (New York, NY)
1981: Ron Settles (Signal Hill, CA)
1979: Eula Love (Los Angeles, CA)
1969: Mark Clark (Chicago, IL)
1969: Fred Hampton (Chicago, IL)
1964: James Powell (New York, NY)

I did not count people killed during protests, riots, massacres or executions. I did not count those killed by vigilantes or security guards.

Note that “Black”, “unarmed” and “killed” all have grey edges. That said, I apply some common sense to police accounts. Shooting yourself after being handcuffed counts as a police shooting. Weapons seen only by police count as Phantom Negro Weapons.

Do not draw any statistical conclusions from this list. It is heavy on New York and 2012, for example, simply because I know more about them.

See also:


Darren Wilson has raised nearly $400,000 so far on GoFundMe.com. Compare that to Michael Brown’s family’s $250,000 – or George Zimmerman’s $200,000. Wilson is the White American police officer who gunned down Michael Brown, a Black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

Some who gave money said stuff like this:

“We appreciate your service in the animal control division of the Ferguson police department.”

and this:

“Let this ‘GoFundMe’ serve as an example to all cops in America: The general public will support you, especially if you pull the trigger on violent criminal thugs.”

GoFundMe has since deleted those sort of comments and returned the money of those who made them. (GoFundMe’s cut is 5% of all money raised.)

Before this stuff disappears down the White American memory hole:

James Bennett ($250): The real America is with you !!!!

Former Cop ($200): Remember … you fought what others fear.

Mike Berman ($100): All self-respecting whites have a moral responsibility to support our growing number of martyrs to the failed experiment called diversity.

Michael Brown ($100): I dindu nuffin but mayn now i do somtin

Brad Moody ($100): I thank all Police, you are the “Thin Blue Line” protecting normal Americans from aggressive and entitled primitive savages. America is surely at the Tipping Point — http://kvisit.com/S38ScAw

Richard Hoslinger ($100): Darren and those like hin are all that stand between Americans and anarchy. After 60 years of supporting the blacks I give up.

Terry Newsome ($100): Keep fighting the lying dirtbags who are dividing our country! Gov Nixon, Obama, Holder, Sharpton and Jackson. All of them are TRASH.

Jason Doyal ($100): … Proud of you for getting one less criminal off the street. He was clearly a bully. And there is no telling who he was going to try and kill next.

American Crusader ($50): Waste of good ammo. It’s my privilege to buy you a replacement box.

Freda Stone ($50): He made a mistake, he should not be crucified because a black man instigated his own death.

David durant ($50): I support officer Wilson and he did a great job removing an unnecessary thing from the public!

Diane Schroeder ($50): I am so sick of the blacks using every excuse in the book to loot and riot. Look at the 3 yoa black girl just recently shot and killed by a black thug and no one is protesting that it makes me sick. God Bless you officer Wilson. I support you in every way. Diane

Daniel Makin ($10): The cities in this country have been ruined by the thugs,gangs, rapist! They are 18% of the entire population and commit over 50% of all murders. Its do time we put them on notice if you act like a animal the police will have to act swiftly to stop you! No Eric Holders No obamas to save the savages!

Amelia Rideau ($5): Just a n——-ly donation. Sorry for being such a n——-.

Polis Right ($5): They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

William Dieffenbach ($5): They are the way they are, and will always be the way they are, it is in their nature.

Source: mainly Dan DormerMother Jones, Guardian, ColorOfChange.org.

See also:



Roses laid on the street where Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, was gunned down by a White police officer, now on paid leave

Some of what public figures in the US have tweeted about Michael Brown and Ferguson (from August 9th to 22nd 2014), here listed in order of Twitter fame:


Justin Bieber @justinbieber


Barack Obama @BarackObama 12 Aug 2014
“The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking.” —President Obama. Read the full statement: http://ofa.bo/s0cW


Taylor Swift @taylorswift13


Justin Timberlake @jtimberlake


Oprah Winfrey @Oprah


Eminem @Eminem


Miley Cyrus @MileyCyrus


Drake @Drake


Beyoncé Knowles @Beyonce


Snoop Dogg @SnoopDogg 12 Aug 2014
mike brown rip !! God help us http://instagram.com/p/rmxWv-P9EH/


Kanye West @kanyewest


John Legend @johnlegend 12 Aug 2014
The fact that the small town Ferguson police dept has all this equipment should disturb us all. Priorities.


Pharrell Williams @Pharrell


Bill Cosby @BillCosby


Tyler Perry @tylerperry


Questlove @questlove 11 Aug 2014
jesus. 48 hours w/o watching news. just recapping the #Ferguson events god bless #MikeBrown’s family & may St Louis find peace & justice.


Macklemore @macklemore




Hillary Clinton @HillaryClinton


Kerry Washington @kerrywashington 12 Aug 2014
“@JamilSmith: Go through @WesleyLowery’s timeline tonight describing the Michael Brown protests in Ferguson. America, 2014. Nothing to add.”


Keke Palmer @KekePalmer 10 Aug 2014
Oh my Lord, bless Mike Brown & his family. This is terrible. Why y’all? Why do we do this to each other.


Erykah Badu @fatbellybella 16 Aug 2014
I want peace. Sad for his mama. “@b_steez: @fatbellybella how you feel about this mike brown incident ?”


Michelle Malkin @michellemalkin 11 Aug 2014
Cuz nuthin sez “social justice” better than hurling a trash can into a bus stop shelter to protest a shooting ==> https://twitter.com/AntonioFrench/status/498678682056392705


Iyanla Vanzant @IyanlaVanzant 21 Aug 2014
A long day in Ferguson. My heart is heavy but my Spirit is renewed. As
an elder I AM WITH YOU & FOR YOU! @handsupseeme too!


Paul Ryan @PRyan


Spike Lee @SpikeLee 14 Aug 2014
This Memorial To Our Slain Young Brother Mike Brown Went Up Today At The HQ Of 40 Acres In Da Republic… http://instagram.com/p/rsFicwyqkO/


Cornel West @CornelWest 19 Aug 2014
Here are my comments on #Ferguson. #BBCNewsNight http://bit.ly/1tej0cY


Ann Coulter @AnnCoulter 21 Aug 2014
“no national Democratic politician… has risen to give voice to the anger we’re seeing in Ferguson.” – http://nyti.ms/1kZcwxg


Senator Rand Paul @SenRandPaul 14 Aug 2014
We Must Demilitarize the Police. #Ferguson #PoliceState READ my Op-Ed: http://time.com/3111474/rand-paul-ferguson-police/ … @TIME


Madonna @Madonna


Ted Cruz @tedcruz


Terry McMillan @MsTerryMcMillan 14 Aug 2014
And the police who shot and killed Michael Brown is on administrative paid leave? For doing a good deed or what? Sick.


Ms Lauryn Hill @MsLaurynHill 21 Aug 2014
An old sketch of Black Rage, done in my living room. Strange, the course of things. Peace for MO. – MLH https://soundcloud.com/mslaurynhill/black-rage-sketch


Jeb Bush @JebBush


Juan Williams @TheJuanWilliams 19 Aug 2014
The growing anger in Ferguson, Missouri http://video.foxnews.com/v/3736926115001/the-growing-anger-in-ferguson-missouri/ … @FoxNews


Bob Herbert @BobHerbert 22 Aug 2014
My recent post on #Ferguson is now at @BIllMoyersHQ. http://billmoyers.com/2014/08/22/ferguson-the-fire-this-time/


Patrick J. Buchanan @PatrickBuchanan 19 Aug 2014
Buchanan: Is Ferguson Our Future? http://goo.gl/fb/AX1byx #columns


Walter E. Williams @WE_Williams


Lee Daniels @leedanielsent


John McWhorter @JohnHMcWhorter 13 Aug 2014
The larger meaning of Michael Brown’s murder. This one’ll get hate from both sides, but it’s what I think. http://shar.es/1nc6V2

See also:



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