Tarantino vs. The Hateful Police Unions (Update)
Nov. 5, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Quentin Tarantino, he of “Pulp Fiction” and “Kill Bill” fame, has a problem courtesy of several police unions. He hurt their feelz in October when referring to Tamir Rice and Michael Brown, among others, as “the murdered,” and is now facing a potential boycott of his film “The Hateful Eight.”
A three-day event last month, Rise Up October was led by black activists and community leaders. The main event of the third day was a march from Washington Square Park to Bryant Park in Manhattan, demanding an end to police brutality. On the first day, activists put up a stage in Times Square and read aloud the names of young African-Americans killed by police across the country. Tarantino named Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old shot by Cleveland, Ohio police while playing with a toy gun in a park last year.
Other names read by Tarantino were Michael Brown, Jr., whose killing by Officer Darren Wilson sparked riots in Ferguson last year, and Rekia Boyd, a 22-year old shot in the back of the head by an off-duty Chicago policeman in 2012.
Tarantino referred to Rice, Brown and Boyd as “the murdered,”a remark deemed insensitive by Los Angeles Police Dept. Lt. Craig Lally, who is also head of the Police Protective League.
“Insensitive” is a strange choice of words to use, given the circumstances surrounding the deaths of those mentioned by Tarantino at the event. It’s also quite telling that Lieutenant Lally, head of a union designed to protect the enhanced rights of police over civilians, would deem this a remark guilty of offense. Yet Lally not only took the step of expressing his grievance with Tarantino, he threatened the filmmaker with financial harm.
“There’s an underground of people who are very pro-police, and you don’t hear about them until they get pissed off,” Lally told the LA Times. “And it’s going to be this underground that shuts down [The Hateful Eight], not the cops.”
The threat of shutting down “The Hateful Eight” to a filmmaker who has grossed an average of over $74 million dollars in profits through his lifetime sounds as valid as a chihuahua barking at a hurricane. Tarantino is a filmmaker with a history of flying in the face of tradition and established ideas to make a point; he once accepted a job as a “guest director” for Frank Miller’s “Sin City” in contravention of the Directors’ Guild of American rules just because he could.
We are in an age of offense, hurt feelings, and apologies ruling those who are media figures and in entertainment, so it’s natural that someone like Quentin Tarantino would issue a requisite “I’m sorry,” work with cops to promote good relations between the public and law enforcement, and maybe donate to a police charity, right? If you are of the sort to think Tarantino would follow that time-tested formula, unfortunately you are wrong.
“I’m not being intimidated. Frankly, it feels lousy to have a bunch of police mouthpieces call me a cop hater. I’m not a cop hater. That is a misrepresentation. That is slanderous. That is not how I feel. But you know, that’s their choice to do that to me. What can I do? I’m not taking back what I said,” Tarantino told the newspaper.
“What I said was the truth. I’m used to people misrepresenting me; I’m used to being misunderstood. What I’d like to think their attack against me is so vicious that they’re revealing themselves. They’re hiding in plain sight.”
Not one to mince words, Tarantino then takes the police to task by unveiling the bigger problem, something that people in his position have faced before:
“What they’re doing is pretty obvious,” Tarantino told the LA Times. “Instead of dealing with the incidents of police brutality that those people were bringing up, instead of examining the problem of police brutality in this country, better they single me out. And their message is very clear. It’s to shut me down. It’s to discredit me. It is to intimidate me. It is to shut my mouth, and even more important than that, it is to send a message out to any other prominent person that might feel the need to join that side of the argument.”
Truer words were never spoken. Instead of addressing the contribution factor as addressed in these pages before, the police unions are using their force to shut down those in prominent positions with the power and privilege to address the growing problems of police thuggery that pervade our nation’s public conscious. More and more people no longer trust the police as the time-honored public servants we once thought them to be. Because the police refuse to address the problems leading to the self-inflicted black eyes on their respective reputations, the only recourse they have is to attack those who are in positions of prominence that raise awareness of the problem.
Quentin Tarantino is the latest target. He refuses to back down, just as Thabo Sefolosha did. These are gentlemen with influence, money, and the national platform to bring more people to the table that will address police misconduct than have ever before. When those with greater resources than the average citizen decide to join the struggle against the culture of the “warrior cop,” it is highly feasible we will see a major shift in the public’s perception to a degree those of us who speak out against police misconduct never thought possible.
Mr. Tarantino: Keep strong. Do not be intimidated. And remember the words of Ezekiel 25:17 from “Pulp Fiction” during your struggle as quoted by Jules.
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper . . ..
UPDATE: Since writing this post, no less than the Fraternal Order of Police has threatened Quentin Tarantino for his anti-police brutality remarks.
The head of the Fraternal Order of Police said he has a “surprise” for filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
Jim Pasco, executive director of the largest U.S. police union, offered the creepy statement Thursday to The Hollywood Reporter, vowing to get back at the “Pulp Fiction” director for comments decrying police brutality at a rally last month.
Pasco wouldn’t give details, but promised the union will “be opportunistic” with the surprise some time before the premiere of Tarantino’s new film, ”
“Something is in the works, but the element of surprise is the most important element,” Pasco said. “Something could happen anytime between now and [the premiere]. And a lot of it is going to be driven by Tarantino, who is nothing if not predictable.”
What surprise could this be? Will they toss Tarantino against a wall? Will he get his leg broken at the premiere of “The Hateful Eight?” Nonsense, says Pasco.
Pasco said the plan isn’t a threat of physical violence. It will aim to hurt Tarantino “in the only way that seems to matter to him, and that’s economically,” he said.
This is the new mentality for those who head our law enforcement: Question our authority to kill and maim as we please and you will suffer. No matter your stature in America, if you show less than complete acquiescence to police and give nothing less than your full enthusiastic support for our every action, we will target you. We will hurt you, and we will make an example out of you.
If the Fraternal Order of Police can act this brazenly toward a man with Tarantino’s money and influence, I shudder for what this means to the average citizen.