Martin Luther King wasn't robbing no bank when he was shot dead…


"We live in a system so insane," says comedian/monologuist/diet visionary Dick Gregory, tearing it up at the NAACP's 97th annual convention, "that once you get into a position to determine public policy, they will kill you.

"Malt liquor is made in white beer companies but only sold in black neighborhoods, and you don't get suspicious?" continues the 73-year-old breathatarian. "They put a thing in it called manganese and once you get so much manganese in you you will kill your mama, but they got you believing that's [normal for you to act that way]."

Much much more.

"I understand that many African-Americans distrust my political party," President Bush continues.

My favorite Gregoryism of them all, in support of his all-fasting diet, supplemented by breathing in pure air, absorbing the direct light and energies of the sun, and bathing in pure water:

"I look at the obituaries every morning and ain't nobody listed but you eaters."

NEXT: What's the Proper Libertarian Voice on Iran?

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  1. It’s sort of refreshing to be able to point at someone and say, “That guy’s a real wingnut,” and not be talking about someone I’m going to vote for in the next election.

  2. Yep – he’s an idiot and about as helpful to race relation in this country as Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson and Marion Barry.

  3. Which wingnuts do you normally vote for, Jake?

  4. Reminds me of the conversations I often have with my neighbors on my walk home.
    But it also reminds me of the conversations after about 20 posts on a thread here.

  5. Hey, mk4myday,

    “As a champion miler at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1953, he had used his star status to integrate the town’s movie theater. But as a star comic, Gregory became a national black hero. He marched with MLK throughout the South for civil rights. He was jailed and beaten by Birmingham police for parading without a permit in 1963. In ’65, he took a bullet in the knee while trying to calm a crowd during the Watts riots. In ’67, he ran for mayor of Chicago against a crooked Richard Daley and lost. In ’68, he ran for president against a crooked Richard Nixon and lost that too, but he did manage to pull in an astonishing 1.5 million write-in votes.”

    So, uh, what have you ever done for race relations in this country? Ever taken a bullet?

    Didn’t think so.

  6. Just like Hitler got gassed for Germany.

    Okay, I’m kidding. I just wanted to see if I couldn’t squeeze a Godwin moment out of something entirely unrelated 🙂

  7. “I understand that many African-Americans distrust my political party,” President Bush…

    Two words Dubbya: Southern Strategy

  8. Tim Cavanaugh wrote: “monologuist”

    Now that’s not fair. I know for a fact Dick Gregory speaks at *least* one other language besides English.

  9. Joe, what’s your point? That people who haven’t gotten hit by bullets during race riots can’t criticize statements made by people who have? That once someone’s done something good for race relations, everything they say or do in the following decades is therefore also good for race relations?

  10. Pro Libertate, people like you who make mocking comments in light of this poor man’s obvious insanity are just like the ones who staffed the concentration camps.

    (If you’re gonna Godwin then, for Godwin’s sake, do it right!)

  11. Papaya,

    My point is a rather simple one about common decency and respectful those who have earned it. I’m afraid it’s either immediately obvious, or it will forever elude you.

  12. joe,

    I’m an admirer of things Dick Gregory has done in the past, but in the context of this rant, mk4myday is right–it’s a crazy rant, and certainly not productive.

  13. It sounds like Gregory is a fruitarian, not a breatharian. Fruitarians are kind of crazy and unhealthy, but they’re at least an order of magnitude less crazy than breatharians, who believe human beings can survive on nothing more than air and water.

  14. Furthermore, a quick internet search indicates that manganese is in all beer, not just malt liquor. One example, at the link there is a page listing the ingredients of standard German pilsener beer, which includes manganese.

    Strange, when I googled “manganese” and “malt liquor,” I couldn’t come up with a single repetition of Gregory’s conspiracy theory. Maybe it’s his own personal pet theory.

  15. Despite what Gregory might think, malt liquor is sold all over the place, although it’s more popular in poor neighborhoods, since a forty gets you pretty fucked up for not much cash.

    But I guess he doesn’t get out much!

  16. I’ve never understood how Gregory passes for a comedian. As far as I can tell he isn’t even trying to be funny. He’s just another angry black man. Perhaps a little (but just a little) more unhinged than most. Maybe people think he’s funny because he’s never killed anybody.

  17. Dick Gregory was pretty funny in his day. The fact that he’s a survivor, and a bit fucked up, shouldn’t be held against him, when you consider the two other possible fates of the talented comic:

    1. Off the drugs, high on life, and no longer funny. Dan Ackroyd, Robin Williams, etc.
    2. Life fast die young, etc. Lenny Bruce, John Belushi, etc.

  18. What about Ocean Spray “Grape Drink”?

    I’ve only ever seen that in a convenience store in South Central…

  19. My point is a rather simple one about common decency and respectful those who have earned it.

    There’s nothing inherently worthy of respect in a black person fighting to improve the treatment of black people. That’s just enlightened self-interest. What’s impressive is when people fight for what’s right even when that means going against their own interests (e.g., the many Jewish civil rights activists and the handful of black leaders who support gay rights).

  20. Why doesn’t the Libertarian party try to recruit the fringe black political block? Mainstream black leaders are dedicated statists, but the militant fringe seems pretty damn anti-government.

  21. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen malt liquor in every Arizona grocery store I’ve set foot in.

    Even those Smirnoff/Bacardi girlie drinks are malt liquor.

  22. Which wingnuts do you normally vote for, Jake?

    The ones with the “L” after their names. In that context, I am, of course, a proud wingnut as well, having actually once run for Congress as a Libertarian.

    Luckily, I lost, since you just can’t trust people who’d run for Congress.

  23. “What about Ocean Spray “Grape Drink”?

    I’ve only ever seen that in a convenience store in South Central…”

    People purchase what they want to purchase, and consumer product companies know the geography. Consider ice cream — strawberry and nut based flavors (particularly butter pecan and black walnut) compromise a much great percentage of the total in african-american neighborhoods than they do in white neighborhoods. If ice cream companies ignored this simple fact they would be doing their customers a disservice.

    Likewise a combined corporate / government conspiracy would be pushing everclear, not malt liquor. People are different. Recognizing this fact isn’t always racist.

  24. All beer is malt liquor, isn’t it? Beer that is labeled as malt liquor is usually just beer with a higher than average alcohol content. And yeah, you can buy it anywhere. When I was younger, I had never spent time in a predominately black neighborhood but I also never had a problem finding a 40 of Mickey’s, King Cobra, etc. in my poor and undiscerning college days.

    You can make the point that it is more heavily marketed to blacks. The old Colt 45 commercials come to mind. I do notice that liquor stores in poorer neighborhoods usually have a larger section of the aisle devoted to malt liquors along with those disgusting Club premixed cocktails. But isn’t that just a sign of a larger population of drunks? I see this in poor white and latino neighborhoods too.

  25. ok, I give. What’s up with the .wvx extension? Ain’t working in Safari.

    “They always talk about Russia dropping the bomb. I got news. If it happens, it’s gonna be more like the 10,000 bombs. There’ll be a 100-megaton bomb for New York, a fifty-megaton one for Chicago, a thirty-megaton for Cleveland and a quarter-megaton job for Grosse Pointe. And it better be painted white ’cause if it’s black, they ain’t gonna let it in!”

    The rest of his schtick might be pandering crap* , but *that* is fucking funny.

    BUSH: But we also went to another stop, a stop Reverend Jesse Jackson knows all too well, a painful moment in his life and in the life of our nation reflected in the Lorraine Motel.
    The prime minister and I went there. It’s now the National Civil Rights Museum.
    By they way, if you haven’t been there, you ought to go.

    This might sound like it, but this isn’t pandering. The Civil Rights Museum is somewhere you ought to go.

    *I’m assuming, based solely on the one link I *can* read, that he’s linked here based on being an “american original” than any wisdom he does or does not possess. Which I appreciate, ’cause I never heard of this guy before.

  26. isn’t malt liquor marketed to college students and pro beer pong players?

  27. No matter the racio-socioeconomic strata of your neighborhood, one simply just can’t find Crazy Horse (labeled “Made with ingredients”, I kid you not) malt liquour any more.

  28. First internet gambling and now malt liquor. Shit, can’t I have any fun?

  29. Jennifer, you know that many Nazis thought that women did not look sexy in the shower. That’s a fact.

    Um, I drank some malt liquor in my earlier drinking years. Is that why I went to law school? But for the Bull, I’d be a formerly wealthy dot-com engineer of some sort. I’d get angry about this, but all I can feel is slothful apathy.

  30. MLK has turned into something he was not. He may have contributed to society, but he was no Saint.

    He should never ever be refered to as a Dr. It has been proven that he plagerized word for word almost 1/3rd of this thesis. Even the University admits it, but decided to not take his doctorate away.

    Why? Because in their words in the black community it is normal to use the works of other writers. Huh?? What an insult to black Americans. Plagerism is stealing. What they are essentually saying is that, “you know those black people, they cant help but to steal”.

    I have no thoughts on beer.

    And George Bush will never get any votes from the NAACP. Ever. Give up the ghost already.

  31. he’s linked here based on being an “american original” than any wisdom he does or does not possess.

    I don’t know. He’s an American original all right, but when I see a 73-year-old still kicking ass after cancer and a horrible freak car accident, I think: Maybe there is something to this breathatarian stuff…

    It’s worth looking into Dick Gregory’s career a bit. He was really funny in the sixties, and he kind of demonstrates the old saw that madness and genius are near allied.

  32. Jennifer, you know that many Nazis thought that women did not look sexy in the shower. That’s a fact.

    From what I’ve heard about those showers, I think non-sexy is a legitimate judgment.

  33. Egad. I wasn’t thinking about those showers. I’m avoiding Nazi-based humor for a while. Not counting Hogan’s Heroes, of course 🙂


  34. And George Bush will never get any votes from the NAACP. Ever. Give up the ghost already.

    True. In fact, his chances of being re-elected to a third term are practically nil.

  35. Whatever happened to Pink Champale? Now that was my kinda malt liquor.

  36. Stevo, he could always take a break and then run again. He could do an FDR (if my history is correct).

  37. No. He’s done:

    No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

  38. “Some people give up pork..salt..all those good things, because they want to live. You gonna feel like a damn fool laying up the hospital dying from nothing!” -Redd Foxx

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