Vern’s Venting: As Real as a Four Dollar Bill

By Lavern Merriweather:

I noticed something when I was reading the several posts written by Brotha about the whole Ray Rice incident and that is he prefaced his comments by saying that he doesn’t support abuse of any kind. It, of course, got the wheels turning in my head.

I have never seen a white columnist or member of the media make such apologies before they speak out on an issue. Maybe that’s because their pathology of hypocrisy fueled by their arrogance and undeserved privilege won’t allow it. They don’t have to defend their position because the people that resemble them never have to come under any kind of fire. So, they in turn never have to justify making what could be seen as an insensitive viewpoint. Although I do understand exactly what Brotha was saying, he shouldn’t have to be the only one made to say it.

The same pious high and mighty folks in the media should also have to explain why it is that they continue to attempt to pass off bullshit as truth. By that, I mean I buy their self-serving and frankly racist sermonizing to further selectively demonize black men. I believe in their so-called outrage about as much as I believe it if someone handed me a four dollar bill.

I was reading the other day a comment from someone in the blog world that stated they would have put a foot up Ray Rice’s ass, if his wife was their daughter. When I questioned if they would make such a passionate declaration about the many white male athletes and celebrities guilty of spousal abuse, I was met with a haughty attitude. I had to remind that person that I thought this was about the issue of domestic violence, not your personal feelings about a certain celebrity that you like. However, that’s what this has seemed to boil down to. This isn’t about protecting women any-more than the Civil War was about slavery. This is about entitled, egotistical, insecure bullying fools that have an easier time judging others than themselves.

Do you think for one second that them being as quiet as possible about white males is because white males don’t commit depraved acts like violence against women? HELL NO! It’s because the lens that they want reflected is not meant to shine on them and certainly not on any of their misdeeds. Make no mistake there are a number of white male athletes, politicians, movie stars, and those in the media themselves that have very sordid accusations against them for harming women.

Congressman Rod Jetton, who is a Republican representative from Missouri, once CHOKED his mistress from Brazil. Keep in mind Jetton is one of those holier-than types from the conservative side that preaches family values one minute, yet has a mistress the next. On top of that, this creep thought it okay to strangle her much like weirdo rocker Ozzy Osbourne did 30 some years ago to his current wife Sharon.

You read that right. Ozzy choked Sharon and she almost died from it. However, he has never had to deal with even half of the outrage that black males face. Nor has Sharon, to my knowledge, had anyone in the media question how the hell can she stay with him.

They also have never quizzed semi star Pamela Anderson on why she didn’t leave rocker Tommy Lee of the band Motley Cure even though Ms. Anderson claimed that Lee once punched her in the face while she was holding their then infant son.

Infamous madam Heidi Fleiss who used to date obnoxious drug addled actor Tom Sizemore says that he was extremely abusive to the point where he once burned her with a cigarette. Yet, once again the cries of anger from the white led media brigade were silent, as usual.

That’s not even counting the sports world itself with their number of white male abusers, such as Phillies pitcher Brett Myers who hit his wife in front of a bar full of witnesses.

Atlanta Braves coach Bobby Cox has been arrested more than once for assaulting his wife. Once again, white males in the media didn’t ask her why she stayed with a jerk that would hurt her like that.

Race car drivers Danny Sullivan and Al Unser Jr. are both guilty of abusing partners. In fact Unser left his ex- girlfriend on the side of the freeway to fend for herself after striking her multiple times.

Hockey player Patrick Roy has a history of arrests regarding his ex-wife, and there have been at least 3 different stories I have heard of hockey players attacking the women in their lives.

Still, the conversation always begins and ends with black men as noted commentator Julianne Malvueax once stated so eloquently. My girl Julianne once said that why is it certain issues only get attention when there is a black man accused? Why indeed. There was no special counsel hired by the NFL or an image problem when Steelers quarterback Ben Rothelisberger was twice accused of rape. Nor was there any outcry when San Francisco 49ers standout Christian Peter was also accused twice of rape or when Green Bay Packer player Mark Chmura was accused of raping his daughter’s then-17 year-old babysitter.

The media, particularly the black folks screaming intensely about this so-called crisis like former running back Chris Carter, were tight lipped when there was a rash of white men said to be rapists. When I say ‘tight lipped’, I mean he was too chickenshit like a lot of black people in the media to demonize white males as the scourge of humanity.

For those of you who want to complain that we haven’t ever seen a video of a white male hitting a woman like in the Ray Rice case, I say so what? There WAS a video of a white man beating a black female pedestrian named Marlene Pinnock for what reason I still don’t know. And there’s another video of a cop from my hometown of Chicago beating a female bartender, because he was pissed that she cut him off. Those situations didn’t raise one voice of ire from the media, and while I get that those women aren’t their wives or girlfriends, there are plenty of media folks who have said adamantly that a man, under no circumstances, should hit a woman. They should have added ‘unless he is white like us’.

I like that Brotha didn’t and doesn’t condone violence either. However, I also don’t condone agreeing with a bunch of self-centered, arrogant assholes that refuse to recognize the evil of themselves that they happily point out in others.


16 thoughts on “Vern’s Venting: As Real as a Four Dollar Bill

  1. I liked Julienne Malveaux. She isn’t afraid to say what is on her mind. Neither do I because I’m just fed up with the self-righteous white men and women in the media talking about how violent our Brothers are when it comes to women when in reality it’s nonblack men, especially powerful white men, who are kings of violence against women. Violence against women is evil but we need to be consistent in calling out the men who perpetrated sexist violence.

    For those who didn’t know, the late Johnny Carson was known to beat his wives. Donald Sterling abuses his mistresses and sexually harass his employees for decades, Axl Rose once battered model Stephanie Seymour. Nobody wants to talk about those atrocities.

    What are your thoughts?


      1. @Lavern: And Johnny Carson was a racist he didn’t want to own that black grandchild his son had with that black woman.

      2. I knew he had a black grandchild but to disown his son because of that relationship. This is why I write so many posts about how phony many white males in the media are.

      1. He was also a drug addict. According to actor John Witherspoon, he would have, literally, bowls of cocaine in his office for him and his friends to sniff. So his being a wife beater is not at all surprising.

  2. Brotha Wolf,

    Here’s the original 1991 article on Johnny Carson’s first wife’s plight:

    Pleading Poverty and Demanding Money, Johnny Carson’s First Wife Tells the Sad Secrets of Her Troubled MarriageBy Michelle Green, Sue Carswell, Eleanor Hoover

    FacebookTwitterE-mail The hair is done in an unglamorous bob, and the face is lined and weary. At 63, Jody Wolcott Carson looks like anything but a former wife of one of America’s highest-paid celebrities. A nomad who reckons that she has lived in 28 places in the last 30 years, she owns little save two knit dresses, a handful of books and three shopping bags crammed with flotsam from former lives. In one is a squirrel’s nest of tabloid clippings sent by her 87-year-old mother in Nebraska—stories about the man whom Jody married at 22, the father of her three sons, and whom she has not seen—except on television—since the mid-’60s. [P] Sitting in the small one-bedroom apartment she is renting temporarily in New York City, she allows that people are usually skeptical when she says she is the first of Johnny Carson’s four wives. “Nobody ever really believes me,” she says. “They think I’m quite loony—I’m obviously a very suspicious character.” [P] A recluse who says that she loathes talking about herself, Jody is speaking out these days on the advice of Raoul Felder, the high-profile New York City divorce lawyer who is suing Carson on her behalf. Claiming that she can’t live on the $13,500 yearly stipend that she now receives from Carson, she is petitioning him to up the ante to $120,000—a modest sum, she says, given his $40 million a year income. “I’m just so worried about my future,” she says. “Women live a long time in my family, and I have to do something about it while I still have the energy. It’s something I’ve put off for a very long time.” [P] Felder—who has represented such exes as Robin Givens and Lisa Gastineau—is banking that public sympathy will be with Jody. “If Carson wins this case, he’s going to lose,” he says. “There’s nothing attractive about paying the mother of his three children $13,500 a year.” [P] Carson, whose lawyers will square off against Felder in a Manhattan court on Tuesday (May 1), has given no sign whether he will wage a full-dress battle against Jody. Legal entanglements with his exes are nothing new, of course, and take-my-wife jokes have become a Tonight Show standard. Both his 1972 split from Joanne Copeland and his 1985 divorce from Joanna Holland were attended by heated negotiations; reportedly, Joanne received a lump sum of $160,000, a valuable art collection and $75,000 a year; Joanna walked away with more than $20 million in cash and property. [P] Carson refuses to speak about the suit. Soon after Felder contacted his lawyers, he issued a statement saying “I will not discuss my personal life through trash TV or tabloid journalism.” When a television crew stopped him recently in an L.A. parking lot, he swore at the reporter. For their part, exes Joanne and Joanna have been notably restrained in their comments. “Johnny has a very Midwestern attitude about [LB]financial obligations), and he is a generous man,” says Joanne. Adds Joanna: “Jody has always had problems with Johnny that she hasn’t resolved, but I think he will do the right thing by her. After all, she was his first love.” [P] The daughter of a civil engineer and a housewife, Jody Wolcott was 21 and an art major at the University of Nebraska when she met John Carson. On their first date in 1948, she recalls, “he was cold, aloof and distant.” Still, she was captivated by the senior from Norfolk. Nebr., and she soon began working as an assistant in the magic act that he took to milkmen’s conventions and American Legion halls. [P] In 1949 John and Jody were married and settled in Omaha, where the ambitious Carson plugged away as a disc jockey and talk show host. “He wasn’t really around that much,” remembers Jody. “He was always working.” The pace (and the marital tensions) stepped up in 1951, when the two moved to Los Angeles with their year-old son, Chris: Johnny worked long hours as an announcer at a local CBS affiliate, and the pregnant Jody began to suspect that he was seeing other women. At one point, she later told journalist Laurence Learner (author of the 1989 Carson biography King of the Night), “he told me he had slept with [a fellow employee in Omaha[RB]. I couldn’t imagine why he would tell me.” [P] After second son Rick was born in June 1952, Jody says she tried desperately to recapture Carson’s attention. “I even dyed my hair blond,” she remembers. By her account, her only mission during their years together was to please Johnny. “That’s the way marriages were in Nebraska,” she says. “Men were very dominating.” Jody charges in her recent court filing that Carson engaged in repeated physical violence against her beginning in 1952. (Carson refuses to comment.) “John was violent; he drank,” she claims. “It was mostly at night when the kids were in bed. In the morning he would wake up and leave the house, and I wouldn’t see him for a couple of days. We never discussed it.” [P] By 1957, she says, the two were completely at odds. Carson had become the host of ABC’s Who Do You Trust?, and the couple had moved with their three boys to a palatial house in Harrison, N.Y. But the abuse and the infidelity continued, she claims, and her psychiatrist advised divorce. She says Carson flew into a rage when she suggested that they separate; in September 1959, however, he moved out, and their lawyers went to work. [P] Jody obtained a Mexican divorce in 1963, and she was granted $15,000 a year in alimony, $7,500 in child support and 15 percent of Carson’s gross earnings over $100,000, But she claims that Carson continued to threaten to seek full custody of their children, and she was beset by anxiety attacks. After contemplating suicide, Jody spent three weeks at a psychiatric hospital, then moved to a halfway house in Warren, Conn., for one year. In 1970, she wed New York City art director Don Buckley—in part, she says, to strengthen her case if Carson sued for custody. [P] Although she allows that Carson continued to pay alimony, Jody claims that he fell behind in handing over a percentage of his income. Shortly before her remarriage, she contacted her lawyer, who struck a deal with Carson’s attorneys. Though there is now some confusion about the terms, it appears that she agreed to give up her claim on his earnings in return for $160.000 plus $13,500 a year until 1999. Says Felder, whose attempts to modify this arrangement are based on the fact that the Carsons were divorced in Mexico: “She gave up millions and millions of dollars.” [P] According to Jody, the years since her 1973 split from Buckley have been lonely. She is long since estranged from sons Cory, 36 (a guitar player who lives in Hawaii), Rick, 37 (who has worked in TV) and Chris, 39 (an erstwhile golf pro who lives in Florida). “We’ve sort of lost touch,” she says of the boys, who reportedly each receive $50,000 a year from Carson. “Boys often treat their mothers the way their fathers treat their wives.” [P] Just getting by on her stipend and some savings, Jody says, “I’m in limbo right now, but I’m also probably a lot happier than most of the people I know. I’m not married to a man I don’t like. I don’t have a job I don’t like. I’m pretty free…. I just hate to look back on all this—it makes me so sad.” As for her ex, she says, “It isn’t really going to matter at this point what anybody says about him. What stars do in their private lives is curious, but it doesn’t affect how people like them on television.” [P] —Michelle Green, Sue Carswell in New York City and Eleanor Hoover in L.A.


  3. Very insightful. I was well aware of Johnny Carson’s past offenses because it was lightly touched upon with media outlets sometime in the very late eighties or early nineties, but nothing really became of it and ultimately his alleged transgressions were swept back under the rug as they’d rather not tarnish the image they created for him as America’s Golden boy.. I know that Ossie and Sharon once had an extremely tumultuous relationship. Charlie Sheen was once accused of shooting Kelly Preston; something Sheen and Preston both deny. Robert Blake no longer seems to be any interest to the media while OJ is behind bars occasionally the returned center of focus..

    I continue to emphasize that media/society do not hold the same standards for all of their citizens. White male offenses are dusted off in order to view them as redeemable, someone who turned their lives around, and etc., all while black males are held under constant scrutiny. Yet, I continue to stress this behavior… this double standard, it isn’t new. So, it’s no surprise Rice will replace Chris Brown, who replaced OJ as the poster boy for domestic violence.

    No woman, regardless of race deserves to be assaulted or brutalized by the man who claims to love her. Still, my focus and concern is with Rice and his wife; an extension of our black family…. Shamefully, there are too many Rice’s and Janay’s in our communities and families. . Though I understand the need to emphasize the hypocrisy, I still question why this precious man didn’t know his self worth before HE chose to beat down his queen as if she were nothing? Spit upon her, drop her limp body face down, and etc.

    I want to know what makes some of the males in our community as sons of females who gave birth to them(perhaps raised them as a single parent), who are brothers to sisters, they are uncles to nieces, and beloved grandsons to grandmothers still devalue and beat the woman that wishes to stay by their side?

    How can we protect Rice, Chris Brown, and the others if we start looking into someone else’s house instead of cleaning out our own? How can they protect themselves as well as the females they are in a relationship with? Should I campaign for fair and balanced media…as if.. or that we will get it together in order that we save ourselves and our families??? just thoughts..

    1. I don’t like violence either however when so many put on an false face of outrage that makes me feel the conversation is going in the wrong direction. Especially when white people get very quiet once a white man is named. The late and very great Johnny Cochran once said “if you can’t trust the messenger then you can’t trust their message”. That describes many white males to a tee and I forgot that Sheen shot Preston she was probably too terrified to tell the truth about what really happened.

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