Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The new minstrelsy

What is wrong with this picture? Kat Williams is a complete moron. What possessed the BET comedian to put a noose around his neck and pose with it?

But he wasn't the only one making an ass of himself on the red carpet at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. Two members of the Jena Six -- who remain defendants in a criminal case -- showed up, blinged out, and throwing what looked for all the world like play gang signs.

These guys appear to be trading on their ill-gotten fame, and they are clearly being exploited by BET, which has contributed absolutely nothing to the serious dialog we need to have about the criminal justice system.

Scroll down and check out the pictures of the brothas who showed up at the awards show. Look at what they value. Bling. Jewels. Fake gang signs and pretensions of being "thugs" -- and simultaneously, millionaires.

Ah, irony.

It's fitting that this occurred at an event put on by BET. It's also fitting that the man who was supposed to host the awards, rapper T.I., was arrested just hours before the show on weapons charges:

Tobacco special agent, said one of Harris's bodyguards cooperated with authorities in the arrest. The bodyguard, whose name has not been disclosed, told agents he illegally purchased nine firearms for Harris since he began working for him in July. In these "straw" purchases, Harris fronted his bodyguard thousands of dollars for the weapons, the ATF agent's affidavit said.

Harris was convicted of drug distribution in June 1998 in Cobb County and has additional arrests and a probation violation for unlawfully possessing firearms.

On four different occasions, the affidavit said, he gave his bodyguard cash to buy firarms.The bodyguard said that in September he delivered a 9-mm pistol to Harris, who invited the bodyguard into his bedroom, the affidavit said. Inside, there was a walk-in closet with a safe tall enough for a person to enter with a fingerprint-reading scanner as a lock, the affidavit said. The safe contained multiple short rifles, including an assault rifle inside a black bag, according to the affidavit.

On Saturday, wearing a hidden wire and cooperating with federal agents, the bodyguard met Harris at a pre-arranged meeting place in Midtown and handed over the three machine guns and two silencers, the affidavit said. When Harris was told about one of the silencers, he said, "no flash, no bang," and later asked for the "change leftover" from the $12,000 he had given the bodyguard for the weapons, the affidavit said.

Harris was then arrested without incident.

At a press conference an hour after Monday's court hearing, federal agents displayed nine weapons they said were found in Harris's car and in the closet of his home. Among the weapons on display across a long conference table at the ATF office were an AK-47, a 9-mm handgun. Moments later they introduced three machine guns and the two silencers.

"Machine guns and silencers pose serious dangers to our community," U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said. "The last place the machine guns and silencers should be are in the hands of a convicted felon." ...
Brandishing the weapons that are killing our community is an act of sabotage. BET, T.I., the record labels and radio stations that promote this garbage are on a campaign of cultural genocide.

And it's no wonder kids like Bryant Purvis and Carwin Jones think nothing of showing up at the BET Awards looking like ... well ... like T.I.

If you're interested, contact BET at the number below:

1235 W Street, NE
Washington, D.C. 20018-1211

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