Photo: Mike Coppola (Getty Images)
“De nigger woman is de mule uh de world.”
— Zora Neal Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Do me a favor.
Before reading this, open another tab and Google “Beyoncé Vote.” Because when I call Bette Midler stupid, I don’t want anyone to think it is an insult. Google returned 21 million results when I performed the aforementioned search. The first result came on October 29, 2016, when The Hill published a story that’s headline was literally: “Beyoncé Urges Fans to Vote.” The second was a Blavity article announcing that Jay-Z and Beyoncé allowed fans to vote at their “On the Run” tour. The last link on the page led to this picture on Beyoncé’s Facebook account:
Image: Facebook (Beyonce)
Miriam Webster defines “stupid” as: “given to unintelligent decisions or acts,” “acting in an unintelligent or careless manner” or “lacking intelligence or reason.”
Because I know Bette Midler has access to search engines, when she carelessly tweeted that Beyoncé should urge the Beyhive to vote, the call to action from the privileged head of pickled cabbage known as Bette Midler lacked intelligence or reason.
Although the 52 percent number is quoted often, Pew Research’s Validated Voter Survey, considered the most accurate exit poll from the 2016 election, says that 47 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump and 45 percent voted for Hillary Clinton. That same poll shows that 98 percent of black women voted for Hillary Clinton.
Graphic: Pew Research Center
So, of course, Black Twitter went bananas on Bette for arbitrarily singling out Beyoncé instead of projecting her white-womanery on all the stars with significantly whiter female fanbases.
Although Midler’s tweet upset many people, I totally understand where she’s coming from. She’s not being racist. She’s using facts.
Black women picked their cotton, nursed their babies and swept their floors as white women sat on plantation porches sipping mint juleps. A black woman started the #MeToo movement that white women coopted and benefitted from. Black women started the Movement for Black Lives after a certain white woman referred to black people as “superpredators.” And then, black women turned around and supported her.
White women kept Jim Crow alive, in part so they could move to the front of the voting line. White women have never ever been on the side of Black America, so we shouldn’t be surprised when it’s reflected in a tweet. Shitting on the floor and calling for their mammy to mop it up is part of the long history of white feminists. So I get why the wadded up piece of Kleenex suggested that Beyoncé clean up the mess white people made.
But mostly, it’s because Bette Midler is fucking stupid.
Photo: Oliver Contreras (Getty Images)
After pledging allegiance to his lord and savior Donald Trump, Kanye West earned the eternal scorn of the black community and it’s been a bumpy ride ever since.
Yet despite his unprecedented heel turn, that MAGA money is different—as evidenced by Mr. Kardashian topping Forbes’ 2019 list of highest-paid hip-hop acts for the first time ever.
According to Forbes, the Chicago native can thank his burgeoning fashion empire for helping him reel in an astonishing $150 million, nearly twice as much as his former mentor Jay-Z, who came in at a distant second with $81 million.
In 2018, Kanye placed 10th on the list with an impressive $27.5 million. But with Yeezy, his lucrative footwear and apparel partnership with Adidas, set to collect over $1.5 billion this year, it’s clear that the “Jesus Walks” rapper is living his best life.
After Jay-Z, number three on the list is Drake. The reigning heavyweight Spotify champion of the world pulled in $75 million, while Diddy came in fourth with $70 million. The top five is rounded out by Travis Scott, whose $58 million has Kris Jenner’s fingerprints all over it.
Here’s the full list, including newcomers Donald Glover at number 10 and Cardi B at 13:
20. Pitbull ($18 million)
19. Wiz Khalifa ($18.5 million)
18. Nas ($19 million)
17. Future ($19.5 million)
16. Birdman ($20 million)
15. Meek Mill ($21 million)
14. Swizz Beatz ($23 million)
13. Cardi B ($28 million)
12. Nicki Minaj ($29 million)
11. J. Cole ($31 million)
10. Childish Gambino ($35 million)
9. Migos ($36 million)
8. Kendrick Lamar ($38.5 million)
7. DJ Khaled ($40 million)
6. Eminem ($50 million)
5. Travis Scott ($58 million)
4. Diddy ($70 million)
3. Drake ($75 million)
2. Jay-Z ($81 million)
1. Kanye West ($150 million)
That’s a combined $860 million, a 33 percent jump from last year’s $648 million. Damn!
I suppose now would be an opportune time to ask The Root for a raise.
The racial slur-spewing New Jersey high school wrestling referee who forced a black student to cut his dreadlocks has been suspended for at least two years after a civil rights investigation resulted in implicit bias training, a legal warning from the NJ Attorney General and a rule change for black athletes across the state.
In December, WPVI reported that wrestling referee Alan Maloney gave 16-year-old Buena High School student Andrew Johnson an ultimatum: Lop off your locs right now or forfeit your wrestling match. After Maloney told Johnson that his headgear covering his hair was not in compliance with New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association rules, a video went viral showing a woman cutting the teen’s hair with a pair of dollar-store scissors usually reserved for creating high art turkeys after you’ve traced your hand on a piece of construction paper in third grade.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division on Civil Rights (DCR) also announced that Maloney would be suspended for the next two wrestling seasons. Furthermore, everyone in the state involved with wrestling will undergo implicit bias training
According to NJ.com, Maloney had previously faced scrutiny for using a racial slur at a gathering of wrestling officials in 2016. And by “scrutiny,” we mean “the floor,” after Preston Hamilton, a black ref, “slammed Maloney to the ground over the remark.”
The investigation revealed that Maloney said Johnson’s locs were “abrasive and altered” and therefore were a ”hindrance to his opponent,” adding that Johnson’s hair was “not in its natural state.” A volunteer coach told Maloney: “I don’t know why you’re making him do this, his hair isn’t too long.”
“It’s not the length,” Maloney replied. “His hair is unnatural.”
Johnson was reportedly afraid that he would have to forfeit the match, which would hurt his team, so he followed the ref’s orders. Then, according to documents obtained by The Root, Maloney instructed a trainer to “Cut until I say so” or “Cut until I say it’s good.”
In response, the NJSIAA removed the portion of its rulebook that requires student’s hair to be “trimmed,” “well-groomed” and “in its natural state.”
“The term ‘well-groomed’ is extremely subjective and there is no standard to meet such an arbitrary expectation,” explained the rulebook’s “rationale” section. “Hair that is manipulated poses no threat to either wrestler.”
The DCR also issued a new “Guidance on Race Discrimination Based on Hairstyle” to enunciate the State’s position on hairstyle-based discrimination, with a particular focus on hairstyles closely associated with black people.
The memo reads, in part:
Discrimination that is ostensibly based on hair can inflict the very kinds of harms and “personal hardships” that the LAD highlights as consequences of discrimination, including “economic loss; time loss; physical and emotional stress; and in some cases severe emotional trauma … or other irreparable harm resulting from the strain of employment controversies. Therefore, just as it would likely violate the LAD to refuse to hire an Orthodox Jewish man because he wears payot, or to refuse to hire a Muslim woman because she wears a hijab, or to refuse to hire a Sikh person because they wear uncut hair, it is unlawful to refuse to hire or to otherwise treat a Black person differently because they wear their hair in a style that is closely associated with being Black.
That means that as a general matter, employers, housing providers, and places of public accommodation covered by the LAD—including schools—may not enforce grooming or appearance policies that ban, limit, or restrict hair styled into twists, braids, cornrows, Afros, locs, Bantu knots, fades, or other hairstyles closely associated with Black racial, cultural, and ethnic identity. Any policy specifically singling out such a hairstyle will generally constitute direct evidence of disparate treatment under the LAD and unlawful discrimination on the basis of race. In addition, hair-related policies that are facially neutral—such as requirements to maintain a “professional” or “tidy” appearance—will likely violate the LAD if they are discriminatorily applied or selectively enforced against Black people.
“The results of the DCR’s investigation leaves no doubt that repeatedly disgraced referee Alan Maloney was flat-out wrong in his abhorrent treatment of Andrew,” Johnson’s attorney, Dominic A. Speziali, said in a statement. “The DCR also concluded that one of the justifications Maloney gave to investigators for requiring Andrew to cut his hair—the existence of “tape or rubber bands in his hair”—was later “demonstrated to be false.”
White Supremacist Busted on Charges He Ran Black Candidate Out of Race for City Council in Charlottesville, Va.
White nationalists exchange insults with counterprotesters during the Unite the Right in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty)
One day, a black activist aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement was announcing his intent to run for City Council in Charlottesville, Va.—and the very next day, he was out. Apparently, for good.
Now, federal prosecutors say they know why the candidate, identified in court papers only as “D.G.,” stepped away from the race: He received a number of violent threats from a white supremacist named Daniel McMahon, the Washington Post reports:
McMahon of Brandon, Fla., was arrested Wednesday and charged with bias-motivated interference with a candidate for elective office, accused of cyberstalking and threatening the candidate to the point that he dropped out of the race, prosecutors said.
Federal authorities say McMahon is also a notorious white supremacist leader known on right-wing, racist online hubs by the alias “Jack Corbin,” with McMahon, according to the indictment, frequently pushing the idea that “white people are superior to members of other racial, ethnic and religious groups,” according to the Post.
McMahon, through his attorney, denied all the charges, according to the Daily Progress.
However, the Progress reports that the story of the black candidate identified as “D.G.” in the indictment correlates to that of activist Don Gathers, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter chapter in Charlottesville.
Gathers did not comment on the report, but on Jan. 7 of this year, he and another activist announced that they would be running for a City Council seat in Charlottesville, Va. The city was the site of the infamous “Unite the Right,” white supremacist rally and the counterprotest that all ended with a white supremacist mowing down counterprotester Heather Heyer.
White Supremacist Who Plowed His Car Into Charlottesville, Va., Counter-Protestors Begs for Mercy…
After being convicted of the murder of activist Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others when he …
Read more Read
The next day, Jan. 8, Gathers announced he would not be running after all, blaming “recurring” health issues, according to the Progress. He said he would resume his campaign, but that day never arrived.
Prosecutors charge McMahon sent the candidate “a slew” of violent threats the night he announced his campaign.
As the Post outlined:
McMahon, 31, allegedly threatened the candidate with violence because he was a black man campaigning for office, causing him “to fear death and serious bodily injury” if he were to go forward with his campaign, prosecutors said.
“As alleged in the indictment, this defendant was motivated by racial animus and used his social-media accounts to threaten and intimidate a potential candidate for elective office,” U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen, of the Western District of Virginia, said in a statement. “Although the First Amendment protects an individual’s right to broadcast hateful views online, it does not give license to threats of violence or bodily harm.”
Photo: Bob Levey (Getty Images)
Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, born Daniel Hernandez, continues to prove tea was made to be spilled as his epic testimonies against his former associates Anthony “Harv” Ellison and Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack, alleged members of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, continued for the third day.
‘I’m About to Die’: Tekashi 6ix9ine Chokes Up As He Recalls Being Beaten, Kidnapped By His Former…
Disgraced rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, also known as cooperating witness Daniel Hernandez, has spent the …
Read more Read
At this point, I’m convinced that the rapper-turned-cooperating witness is petitioning to have snitching added as an official sport in the 2024 Olympics, because this dude is diming any and everybody out on his quest for freedom and an elusive gold medal.
On Thursday, according to Buzzfeed News, the tattletale turn-up continued as Hernandez outed Harlem rapper Jim Jones as a member of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods:
Tekashi, whose birth name is Daniel Hernandez, is on trial for racketeering, drug trafficking, and other crimes, and was asked by prosecutors who Jones was.
“He’s a retired rapper,” Hernandez said in a Manhattan federal courtroom.
“Is he a member of the Nine Trey Bloods gang?” prosecutors asked.
Hernandez replied, “Yes.”
Jones being gang-affiliated isn’t exactly breaking news, but to out that man in the middle of a federal racketeering case?
But that was just the tip of the iceberg, as the “FEFE” rapper also took the time to inexplicably point the finger at one of rap’s brightest stars: Bronx bombshell Cardi B.
While being grilled on his decision to join the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods in order to further his career, prosecutors implied that the “I Like It” rapper did the same thing, according to transcripts collected by Complex:
“You knew Cardi B was a Blood, right?” defense attorney Alex Huot asked.
“Correct,” Hernandez said.
“You knew she made music videos with Blood members in the background of her, right?” Huot continued.
Cardi being gang-affiliated isn’t exactly breaking news either, but wanting no parts of a melted My Little Pony (thank fellow The Root staff writer Anne Branigin for that one, not me) fucking up her bag, Cardi’s label, Atlantic Records, was quick to shut that shit down.
“This is not true,” a rep told Billboard.
And never one to miss an opportunity to harness the power of social media to set someone straight, Cardi responded as well.
She also dropped this since-deleted tweet, clarifying her alleged gang-affiliation, per TMZ:
Hernandez’s next court appearance will likely occur during his sentencing, which isn’t expected until January 2020. But in the interim, the disgraced rapper wanted to make it perfectly clear why he’s dragging man, woman, and child down with him.
When asked if the motivation behind his testimony was to help the government or to increase the likelihood of receiving a lighter sentence, he kept it a buck:
“Little bit of both.”
The day many of us thought we’d never live to see has finally arrived.
In recent years, while mass shootings have dominated both headlines and cemeteries, calls for gun reform have escalated to deafening levels. As frustration and fears mount, and as organizations like the NRA have kept a stranglehold on maintaining the status quo, an unlikely hero has arrived in the form of Colt—the gun manufacturer responsible for producing the AR-15 assault rifle.
Colt, the manufacturer of the AR-15 rifle, has announced it’s exiting the consumer rifle market as demand for high-powered, semi-automatic guns wanes.
The consumer market for rifles has “experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity” and there’s too much supply of AR-15 guns on the market to justify making more, the company said in a statement. Colt will still manufacture other consumer guns, including pistols and revolvers, and it will continue to expand its network of dealers.
Yes, you read that correctly: AR-15s will no longer be produced for consumers outside of the military or law enforcement. And as it is the weapon of choice in an increasing number of mass shootings, including shootings in Parkland, Fla., Newtown, Conn., and Las Vegas, Nev., this is a pretty damn big deal—if not entirely unexpected.
But is Colt making this move purely for altruistic reasons? Or is there something else at play?
“The public is getting very alarmed about what’s happening with assault rifles in the hands of potential mass shooters,” John Donohue, a Stanford Law professor and expert in gun policy, told Time. “Colt may just be feeling better to get out of that particular market, and they’re offering this purely economic manufacturing argument rather than addressing the political realities right now as the justification for this decision.”
Timothy Lytton, a Georgia State University law professor and author of Suing the Gun Industry, echoed Donohue’s sentiments.
“They don’t want to be associated with a gun that’s becoming increasingly viewed as a shabby crime gun, when their brand is supposed to be bigger,” he also told Time. “The danger for them in this—and this is something that they’re well aware of in their messaging, is that when gun companies tend to respond to this sort of pressure, there’s a huge backlash from the gun rights community.”
But regardless of their motives, Colt wants to make it explicitly clear where they stand on the 2nd Amendment.
“Colt has been a stout supporter of the Second Amendment for over 180 years, remains so, and will continue to provide its customers with the finest quality,” Dennis Veilleux, president and CEO of Colt, said in a statement.
Next on the list? The AK-47.
Screenshot: WTKR TV
Leo and LeeAnn Bienaime were like many first-time parents: apprehensive, unsure, and deferential to the advice of their doctors. But late last month, when the couple went to the hospital after LeeAnn reported feeling “intense” contractions, doctors told her to go home and come back later.
The Bienaimes followed the hospital staff’s instructions. Hours after returning to their home in Chesapeake, Virginia, LeeAnn gave birth to a beautiful baby—in her bathtub.
“I was certain that we were just going to be admitted … In all of our classes and appointments, they told us that when you’re having contractions five minutes apart for a minute long, for one hour, you should come in to the hospital,” LeeAnn told ABC News on Tuesday. “And we had been timing them.”
But upon arriving at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth the evening of Aug. 23, the couple were told they wouldn’t be admitted because LeeAnn wasn’t 5 centimeters dilated. She was 80 percent effaced (meaning, her cervix had substantially thinned out), but only 2 centimeters dilated.
The Bienaimes spent two hours at the hospital waiting for her to dilate further—all the while, LeeAnn reported having painful contractions. Two doctors eventually told her to go home and return to the hospital when she was 5 centimeters dilated, she told ABC. LeeAnn had her doubts, but ended up taking the doctors’ advice.
“I don’t know what that means because I’m a first-time mom. How do I know if it’s 5 centimeters?” she said.
The pain continued surging through LeeAnn’s body when she returned home. When Leo asked if her water broke, LeeAnn recalled “[feeling] this pressure and then I felt the head.”
Anxious and unable to believe what was happening, LeeAnn ended up in the bathtub as Leo phoned 911, trying to recall birthing videos he’d watched, he told ABC.
“She said she felt the head and it’s like, ‘Oh wow. I’m not tired anymore,’” Leo said. After prompting her to give him “one good push,” the baby “slid out” into his daddy’s arms.
Thankfully for the Bienaimes and their baby, Joachim, there were no major complications. Still, LeeAnn is frustrated by the experience. In hindsight, she says, she should have stood her ground at the hospital.
In a statement to WTKR TV, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, citing patient privacy laws, said they couldn’t comment on the Bienaimes’ specific case.
Unfortunately, LeeAnn Bienaime’s experience isn’t out of line with that of other black patients, specifically black mothers. Black maternal mortality rates for black women are more than three times higher those of white mothers—more than half of those deaths occurred after the day of the delivery, reports The New York Times. And experts say health issues aren’t squarely to blame for why this disparity occurs.
One 2016 study cited in a recent Oprah Magazine article found oncologists who took an implicit bias test showed those doctors testing higher for bias had shorter interactions with their black patients. Those patients also reported feeling less supported in their interactions with doctors, and said they had less confidence in the suggested treatments.
“At first I was angry, and I mean rightfully so, because everyone I would talk to after I told them told me I shouldn’t have been told to go home,” LeeAnn Bienaime told ABC, adding that she’s sharing her story as a lesson to future mothers.
“Had I known to really advocate for myself, I still would have been at the hospital,” she said.
Activists stage a protest July 1, 2019, to mark National Reparations Day outside the Washington, D.C., residence of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to address remarks McConnell made this summer opposing reparations that protesters considered “offensive and dismissive.”Photo: Alex Wong (Getty)
With the nation’s renewed focus on whether or how to compensate black Americans for the evils of generations of chattel slavery in the U.S. and its systemically racist aftermath, some have questioned who should qualify for reparations should such reparative justice come to pass.
William “Sandy” Darity, a Duke University economics professor and longtime proponent of reparations, tells the Washington Post the answer is simple: Reparations should only go to black Americans directly descended from Africans enslaved on U.S. soil.
So, basically, Michelle Obama, who can trace her lineage to people forced to toil for free in these United States, yes. Barack Obama, whose African father immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1950s, no.
As Darity explains, per the Post:
In defending his rationale for limited eligibility for reparations, Darity notes that the majority of black immigrants came after the civil rights period in the 1960s. While it is clear that more recently arrived black Americans have faced discrimination — and in many cases have ancestors who were enslaved — Darity said he finds it hard to argue that those who immigrated voluntarily deserve the same reparations as the descendants of those brought to the United States in chains.
“If you told me that the only way that I could have a reparations program is that if I gave it to more people, then I’d say okay,” Darity said with a laugh. “But I’m trying to think about how we craft a case that is specific to the United States government as the perpetrator, and I think it becomes very difficult to argue that the United States government should pay reparations to people who have chosen to come here.”
That said, Darity, along with a dozen academics and activists, are getting ready to begin work on the “Planning Committee for Reparations,” with the goal of creating a report that explains, as the Post reports, “not only a rationale for why descendants of slaves should be paid reparations but also suggestions for how to implement such a program.”
However, critics of Darity’s stance on limiting who should be eligible for reparations — including many who support reparations overall — say it encourages xenophobia as well as reductive infighting among black Americans and blacks who came to the U.S. from the Caribbean and Africa who have also experienced systemic racism on these shores.
Some also point, the Post reports, to Darity’s support of American Descendants of Slaves, or ADOS, a recent faction of black American reparations supporters, criticized for what many see as their nativist stance toward black immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa.
In any case, as longtime reparations supporter Nkechi Taifa of Washington, D.C., told the Post, parsing out slave lineage among black Americans would prove “difficult”:
“It’s extremely difficult to separate classes of black people. The idea that unless you can actually trace your family directly to a slave that you haven’t been subject to the legacy of slavery is a bunch of hogwash.”
That said, Taifa, like many reparations advocates, is pleased that the matter is a topic of national conversation.
On Juneteenth this year, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, held hearings on calls for a commission to “study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans.”
‘An Idea Whose Time Has Come’: Congress Hears the Case for Reparations on Juneteenth
The contributions of African Americans to this country—and the matter of what the federal…
Read more Read
The hearings featured such luminaries as writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose 2014 treatise on the subject, “The Case for Reparations” for The Atlantic, brought the subject to the fore for a new generation of Americans.
The topic is also a talking point for next year’s presidential election, with a number of Democratic hopefuls — and some Republican naysayers — weighing in on the subject.
Cory Booker Secures 12 Co-Sponsors for Reparations Bill
Presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has secured 12 co-sponsors for his…
Read more Read
When thinking about reparations, Darity says it’s about the present as much as it is about the past. As Darity told a writer for The Outline:
“I think there is a tendency to think more about the horrors of slavery without thinking about the horrors that we’ve experienced since slavery ended. It’s not just because they [black people] had ancestors who were slaves. It’s because of that ancestry coupled with an array of atrocities that followed the end of slavery. And those atrocities are still going on.”
Photo: Mark Wilson (Getty Images)
The Trump Administration has made it its mission to ruin the lives of immigrants, and their latest ploy might be one of their most nefarious yet.
According to Buzzfeed News, Trump’s administration has proposed a substantial increase in the fees associated with appealing deportation cases or attempting to get their claims reconsidered by the courts. If instituted, the escalated costs could dramatically overhaul the immigration system and impact whether immigrants are able to appeal judges’ decisions in their deportation cases. Additionally, it could prevent immigrants from ever becoming legal citizens.
But just how much of a “substantial increase” are we talking about here? Prepare to be disgusted.
From Buzzfeed News:
In a draft Department of Justice regulation obtained by BuzzFeed News, officials have proposed that immigrants pay $975 to request an appeal of an immigration judge’s ruling and $895 to request a case be reopened or reconsidered with the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Currently, the fee to apply for each of these requests is $110.
I’m trash at math, but last time I checked that’s an increase of more than 700 percent—which is complete and utter bullshit.
“They are essentially depriving people of the right to appeal,” Rebecca Jamil, a former immigration judge in San Francisco, told Buzzfeed News. “That is big money. It’s a substantial increase of fees that’s beyond the reach of people.”
But despite being well beyond the reach of many of those who would be affected, it’s well within the scope of the Trump Administration’s penchant for cruelty.
This proposal requires a 60-day comment period and has yet to go into effect.
“I absolutely think this will deter people from appealing decisions, even if they are unjust,” Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, said.
If you were participating in the betting pool on what it takes for a rich white man to face justice in America, I’m sorry if you put your money on a single dead body or even two dead black men. As it turns out, three black men must overdose at a wealthy white man’s home before police will finally say: “Enough is enough.”
At least that’s the case with Ed Buck, a wealthy white Democratic donor who was charged with running a drug den after a 37-year-old man overdosed inside Buck’s West Hollywood, Calif., apartment last week. If you’re playing at home, that’s two relatively young black men who have been found dead inside the wealthy 65-year-old tech entrepreneur’s home in two years and another who has fled Buck’s apartment and called for help after being injected with methamphetamine.
Buck, 65, was charged with one felony count each of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.
According to the DA’s office, Buck was accused with injecting the victim with methamphetamine at the defendant’s apartment in the 1200 block of Laurel Avenue in West Hollywood. The man survived.
“I remain deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal predators,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement. “With this new evidence, I authorized the filing of criminal charges against Ed Buck.”
Lacey previously resisted charging Buck in the two prior deaths. Although she is known to be hesitant to charge white men with killing black men, her office now calls Buck a “violent, dangerous sexual predator,” who “mainly preys on men made vulnerable by addiction and homelessness.” The court motion adds that Buck used “narcotics, money, and shelter” to manipulate young black men “into participating in his sexual fetishes.”
An Arizona native, Buck relocated to Hollywood after making a small fortune with a company that provided driver’s license information. The “millionaire, self-acknowledged homosexual and registered Republican” eventually left Arizona and the GOP because of their LGBTQ intolerance and became a major political donor. Over the years, he has donated millions to Democratic candidates including Hillary Clinton and California politicians.
On July 27, 2017, Gemmel Moore was found in Buck’s bathroom after Buck allegedly injected the 26-year-old with drugs. Moore had voiced his fear of Buck to numerous friends and family members, even writing in his diary that Buck had a penchant for drugging young black men whom he had in his home.
The Curious Case of the Black Male Escort Found Dead Inside a Wealthy Democratic Donor’s Home
On July 27, 2017, 26-year-old Gemmel Moore was found in the bathroom of a West Hollywood, Calif.,…
Read more Read
On January 7, 2019, 55-year-old Timothy Dean, a well-known fashion consultant for Saks Fifth Avenue, died of an overdose at Buck’s apartment. Dean’s death was ruled “accidental” and Lacey vowed to investigate.
According to the L.A. Times, the most recent victim actually left Buck’s apartment after prosecutors say Buck personally gave the man a “large dose of methamphetamine” on September 4. The man, called “John Doe” in court papers, returned to Buck’s apartment on Sept. 11, and Buck allegedly gave him another “two dangerously large” doses of meth. Authorities say Buck tried to prevent the man from calling for help but he finally escaped.
Multiple men, all young, black and gay, have come forward since Moore’s death with evidence that Buck often encourages the men with whom he keeps company to take drugs. Dean’s friends assert that he didn’t drink or do drugs. One man, Damar Love, has publicly shared pictures taken inside Buck’s apartment showing drug paraphernalia. Another provided journalist Jasmyne Cannick screenshots of himself surrounded by drug paraphernalia. In a journal entry, 26-year-old Moore wrote that Buck introduced him to illicit substances.
“I honestly don’t know what to do,” the journal excerpt reads. “I’ve became [sic] addicted to drugs and the worst one at that. Ed Buck is the one to thank he gave me my first injection of crystal meth it was very painful but after all the troubles I became addicted to the pain and fetish/fantasy.”
The charging documents also allege that Buck’s actions caused the death of Moore and Dean, explaining: “The defendant’s predatory acts and conscious disregard for human life must be stopped.”
Buck is set to be arraigned Wednesday and prosecutors have recommended $4 million bail. Buck’s attorney promised that Buck would fight the charges “vigorously.”