I have been struggling with myself whether to write this article or not. If you know me at all you may know me as an actor and singer. You may also know that I am pretty outspoken and do not shy away from weighing in on politics, even to my own peril. To say that my politics have hurt me in the business would be an understatement. I will not say where, how, when, or by whom, but I have been blacklisted.
This I know for a fact. So, for the past week I have struggled deeply. You see, Quentin Tarantino is one of my favorite filmmakers. His dialogue is the equivalent of a modern day Shakespeare. I await each new film of his and have hoped to work with him. I can no longer remain silent. I am deeply saddened and angered by his recent condemnation of the men and women who put their lives at risk for us in an attempt to withhold law and order.
While there are incidents that are sometimes tragic ,they are not the norm, for the most part offenses are reported and punishable. We live in a time that seems to be like the unrest we experienced during the sixties. The student unrest, the Weather Underground, the SDS, the Black Panthers, and the anti-war movement have been lying dormant like a virus that has been brought under control, but we find that it is slowly morphing and mutating into a new form even more virulent and infectious.
I have written more than several articles concerning what happened in Ferguson, also in regards to the current incidents of violence that have taken place, some of which appear to be excessive. I mentioned how when I grew up there was respect for the Police. Even when at times I myself have been stopped for a speeding ticket or traffic violation. At those times it may have flashed in my mind that I may have been in the right and felt emboldened, but instead of being disrespectful I was taught to respect the man in blue.
I grew up with the feeling that police officers were not the enemy. They were not as QT called them—“murderers.” Rather they were there to “protect and serve.” Today’s video games and films have slowly created in the youth a different reference, and portray law enforcement as the enemy or corrupt. This is not to say there are no bad apples, but they are not the norm. They are the tiny exception.
So when someone as high-profiled and influential to impressionable youth, a pop culture icon, comes out and calls those who risk their lives “murderers,” this becomes one of the most egregious and misguided acts someone of responsibility can commit.
When Tarantino does this we can only gather that there is silent compliance from the Hollywood elite. I can only imagine a screening at Quentin Tarantino’s house where the high fives of his friends are saying “right on Quentin,” “Man, you have got a load of balls.”
I wonder if anyone said to him, “Wait a minute, slow down, think this through—your condemning the folks who protect us all, you’re being emotionally irrational and misguided.” And where is the rest of Hollywood standing up for the police? Once again, silence of the lambs, the gutless wonders.
Well, I cannot be silent. My younger sister was murdered by her ex boyfriend when she was 21. Shot and buried alive in a shallow grave. She wasn’t found until a year later and it was a New York City Police officer that helped me. Sonny Grasso, one of the most decorated New York City cops. He was the Detective Roy Scheider played in The French Connection. I met him through Frank Sinatra, when I did my first film Cherry Street.
When I was told my sister was missing I went to my friends, Frank Sinatra and Jilly Rizzo. They told me to call Sonny. When my Grandfather was murdered in Astoria,Queens—hit over the head by a lead pipe when I was only 9 years old—I remember the New York City officer from Queens that came out to our home on Long Island and helped my father through the tragedy.
When my Grandmother died in a bad car accident it was a police officer who held her head in his lap keeping her out of the rain and from drowning. I lived in Manhattan for years and still spent a lot of time there. I love these men and women that care enough to put their lives on the line day in day out for us. I ask once again for a day of solidarity for all to show their support and stand with the Police in our nation.
I wrote an article asking for this and what happens instead, Hollywood comes out to call the police “murderers.” No one gave a shit that I asked for a day to stand with law enforcement. When I asked a friend of mine in New York to help me organize this he said he couldn’t do it because of the “politics of de Blasio” and he makes a living as a Democrat and cannot rock the boat!
We do not get leadership from the Mayor of New York or the White House to teach and show the nation that while there may be incidents of unfortunate tragedy, they are not the norm. I call on you—the elite of Hollywood—to stand with law enforcement. I ask Quentin Tarantino to apologize to the men and women he denigrated. It is harmful and misguided. And do this not because of box office repercussion, but because it is the right thing to do. It’s the correct message to send to the youth and society, not a message of anarchistic jingoism that is subverting and poisoning. All lives matter. Every, single human life. The race baiting must stop.
Why is there a deafening silence from mainstream media? What do all the funny men have to say now? Nothing? I do not like where our society is going. It stinks like a garbage heap. A big steaming pile of horseshit dished out by leaders that say dip in your spoon and eat up. They tell us how good it tastes and to dig in. I for one will pass on the dinner invitation. I rather eat alone. Apologize Quentin, you’re too damn talented not to.