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Obit: Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter (1937-2014)


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GUEST 21 Apr 14 - 06:23 PM
Ebbie 22 Apr 14 - 02:23 AM
Joe Offer 22 Apr 14 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 22 Apr 14 - 06:56 AM
GUEST 28 Oct 18 - 04:11 AM
Felipa 08 Jan 23 - 10:01 AM
Felipa 08 Jan 23 - 10:05 AM
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Subject: BS: OBIT: Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter
Date: 21 Apr 14 - 06:23 PM

He died Sunday.

Thank you B Dylan.

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter (1937-2014)
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Apr 14 - 02:23 AM

That travesty showed one of the darkest sides of American society. I shudder to think how often something similar still happens.

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Subject: ADD: Hurricane (Dylan & Levy)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Apr 14 - 03:01 AM

(Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy)

Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night
Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall
She sees the bartender in a pool of blood
Cries out, "My God, they killed them all!"
Here comes the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world

Three bodies lyin' there does Patty see
And another man named Bello, movin' around mysteriously
"I didn't do it," he says, and he throws up his hands
"I was only robbin' the register, I hope you understand
I saw them leavin'," he says, and he stops
"One of us had better call up the cops"
And so Patty calls the cops
And they arrive on the scene with their red lights flashin'
In the hot New Jersey night

Meanwhile, far away in another part of town
Rubin Carter and a couple of friends are drivin' around
Number one contender for the middleweight crown
Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down
When a cop pulled him over to the side of the road
Just like the time before and the time before that
In Paterson that's just the way things go
If you're black you might as well not show up on the street
'Less you wanna draw the heat

Alfred Bello had a partner and he had a rap for the cops
Him and Arthur Dexter Bradley were just out prowlin' around
He said, "I saw two men runnin' out, they looked like middleweights
They jumped into a white car with out-of-state plates"
And Miss Patty Valentine just nodded her head
Cop said, "Wait a minute, boys, this one's not dead"
So they took him to the infirmary
And though this man could hardly see
They told him that he could identify the guilty men

Four in the mornin' and they haul Rubin in
Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs
The wounded man looks up through his one dyin' eye
Says, "Wha'd you bring him in here for? He ain't the guy!"
Yes, here's the story of the Hurricane
The man the authorities came to blame
For somethin' that he never done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world

Four months later, the ghettos are in flame
Rubin's in South America, fightin' for his name
While Arthur Dexter Bradley's still in the robbery game
And the cops are puttin' the screws to him, lookin' for somebody to blame
"Remember that murder that happened in a bar?"
"Remember you said you saw the getaway car?"
"You think you'd like to play ball with the law?"
"Think it might-a been that fighter that you saw runnin' that night?"
"Don't forget that you are white"

Arthur Dexter Bradley said, "I'm really not sure"
Cops said, "A poor boy like you could use a break
We got you for the motel job and we're talkin' to your friend Bello
Now you don't wanta have to go back to jail, be a nice fellow
You'll be doin' society a favor
That sonofabitch is brave and gettin' braver
We want to put his ass in stir
We want to pin this triple murder on him
He ain't no Gentleman Jim"

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much
It's my work, he'd say, and I do it for pay
And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way
Up to some paradise
Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice
And ride a horse along a trail
But then they took him to the jailhouse
Where they try to turn a man into a mouse

All of Rubin's cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance
The judge made Rubin's witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger
And though they could not produce the gun
The D.A. said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed

Rubin Carter was falsely tried
The crime was murder "one," guess who testified?
Bello and Bradley and they both baldly lied
And the newspapers, they all went along for the ride
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool's hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game

Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell
That's the story of the Hurricane
But it won't be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he's done
Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world

Copyright © 1975 by Ram's Horn Music; renewed 2003 by Ram's Horn Music

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Subject: RE: OBIT: Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter (1937-2014)
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 22 Apr 14 - 06:56 AM

His demolition of Emile Griffith was shown on Uk TV back in the early 60s. A very impressive performance, but I think that he was a very limited fighter who depended too much on brute force.
Are there still voices who believe that he was guilty of the robbery or were they all laid to rest?

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Subject: RE: Obit: Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter (1937-2014)
Date: 28 Oct 18 - 04:11 AM

I watched film last night and this morning read up the information now available including several other convictions for firearms offences, beating up women and assualt which were not included in the movie.

A handgun and a shotgun was used in the triple murder and ammunation for both weapons was found in Carters car which he admited was his.

So do you think he wass guilty or was he set up, I changed my opinion this morning after reading all the evidence not included in the movie.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter (1937-2014)
From: Felipa
Date: 08 Jan 23 - 10:01 AM

The Story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter: Wrongly Convicted Boxer, Dylan’s Muse by Daniel Reifsnyder

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was a promising athlete born in New Jersey in 1937. He got his nickname as a result of his fast and furious punches, and an uncanny ability to achieve knockouts very quickly. In the 1960s, he went pro as a boxer, which kickstarted an impressive career that led him to become a top contender for the World Middleweight Crown.

That was, at least, until he was falsely accused of murder and convicted by a nearly all-white jury. Here are some highlights from his early career showing his incredible potential.

Being Black in the ’50s was ultimately a crushing existence of poverty, oppression, and daily persecution. Carter’s hometown of Paterson, New Jersey was divided and segregated by color; certain restaurants and establishments simply would not serve the Black community. Schools, busses, and most other institutions were segregated and separated, and the threat of violence was almost always present. During a hunting trip, Carter and his family were nearly run off the road by a white man in a truck.

Local police were no allies to the Black community of northern New Jersey either. People of Color were routinely harassed by law enforcement on the flimsiest of excuses (does this sound familiar?), and were often the first to be targeted as well as the last to be believed.

Unfortunately Carter got himself onto the police radar at an early age for attacking a man with a Boy Scout knife. According to Carter, the man was a pedophile who was preying on his friends and sexually assaulting him. But rather than investigate the alleged pedophile, Carter was quickly sentenced to seven years in juvenile prison at the age of eleven.

Perhaps if he had kept his head down, the young Carter could have eked out a life in this landscape of staggering inequality — but a fighter he was, and so he instead decided to take a stand by getting into activism. Initially, he marched and protested with Martin Luther King. He became an outspoken Muslim and increasingly used his rising star status and media spotlight to bring attention to the cause of racial injustice and equality.

His increasing success as a boxer allowed him to live loud. Carter wore expensive tailored suits and drove a new custom Cadillac with his name emblazoned on it; this level of swagger must’ve been highly unusual for white people to take in at the time, and Carter must’ve had a target painted on his chest. Here was a successful Black man, but someone already branded locally as a “troublemaker” from his years in juvenile detention.

It’s no surprise they were looking for an opportunity to take him down.

“Pistol shots ring out in the barroom night…”

And then, on June 17th, 1966, at 2 AM, two Black men entered a bar in Paterson and killed two white men and a woman, and wounding a third man. Carter, having spent the night club hopping, met his acquaintance John Artis, and was giving him a ride home when they were stopped by police on route.

Carter and Artis did not match the description of the shooters other than that they were both Black. After being hauled in for questioning and passing lie detector tests with flying colors, police trotted both of them in front of the victim who had been wounded. The witness, Willie Marins, insisted these were not the men that attacked the bar.

The woman who was shot, Hazel Tanis, miraculously survived and clung to life for a month before succumbing to her injuries. During that time, she was able to describe to police in detail, the look of the men who stood over her at point blank range and shot her multiple times. When she was presented with photos of Carter and Artis in a lineup, Tanis did not recognize either of them them. In fact, she pointed out two different individuals entirely.

But despite the lie detector tests and eyewitness statements from the victims, police singularly continued to pursue Carter and Artis as primary suspects in the Paterson killings.

“You’ll be doin’ society a favor… that sonofabitch is brave and gettin’ braver…”

Two career criminals, Alfred Bello and Arthur D. Bradley — who were committing a burglary in the neighborhood at the time of the murders, and one of whom was robbing the register of the bar right after the shooting — claimed to have witnessed two Black men exit the bar after the shooting started.

In return for dropping certain charges against them, the duo agreed to implicate Carter and Artis during trial. The state’s case was, unsurprisingly, very weak. Not only did they never find a murder weapon, but police also never bothered to conduct gunpowder tests on either man, which would’ve determined that they had recently fired a handgun.

Normally in a brutal triple homicide, the suspects might have bloodstains and splatter on their clothes; neither Artis nor Carter had any whatsoever. The prosecution claimed they found bullet shell casings in Rubin’s car — a fact that Carter’s attorney challenged. Those shells were not even of the same type used in the murders.

“The DA said he was the one who did the deed… and the all white jury agreed…”

Being a notable figure locally, and having been at multiple clubs that night, Carter was able to provide extensive witness testimony placing him elsewhere at the time of the murders. When he took the stand, he wore the same cream-colored suit he was arrested in the night he was accused. He did this to highlight the fact that witnesses claimed the men who shot up the bar (and did not match either man’s description) wore dark clothes.

Nonetheless, the jury (all white but for one West Indian) convicted both Rubin Carter and John Artis on all counts. The sentence: Life in prison. 

It is important to remember that this was 1967, a time of racial upheaval. The 1965 Watts riots were fresh in people’s memory, and the “Long, Hot Summer of 1967” which included 159 race riots across the country was happening at that very moment in time. The fact that here in small city New Jersey, two Black men allegedly killed three white people only underscored the racial tone. The white community of Paterson got its way this time; a troublesome, uppity Black man was put in his place.

While in prison, thanks in part to his celebrity status, Carter was offered a book deal, the result of which was a 1974 autobiography called The Sixteenth Round. After this book was published, many reporters, celebrities, and dignitaries were interested in his case, including Coretta Scott King, Muhammad Ali, Burt Reynolds, and Stevie Wonder; and contributed to Carter becoming a national conversation topic.
... ... ...

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Subject: RE: Obit: Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter (1937-2014)
From: Felipa
Date: 08 Jan 23 - 10:05 AM article continued

In the midst of all this, Bob Dylan met with Carter after reading his biography, and penned his newest modern day protest song, “The Hurricane.” In 1976, between being sung on tour, spun on the radio, and talked about in the media, the song helped raise even more awareness as well as funds to help Carter’s situation get a closer examination. It’s an incredible song that went all the way to #33 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Dylan stepped into the ring for Carter. But in doing so, he became a lightning rod for controversy himself.

Dylan was immediately accused of factual inaccuracies, including directly misquoting key figures in his song and exaggerating certain details of Carter’s career. Dylan’s label, Columbia, wrung their hands about this as well. Worried they’d be sued for libel, they pleaded with Dylan to change some of the lyrics and re-record the song; and, although he did, he was eventually sued by at least one witness.

Dylan won. Despite any inaccuracies it may have, the song was never intended to be one hundred percent factual.

One more note on Dylan’s song. I would be remiss here if I did not add a note about the fact that Dylan uses an offensive racial epithet in his lyrics. While offensive, and not something I personally would use in my own songwriting, it gets to the actual issue being discussed: Race in America; how we talk about race; how we engage with it; and how race affected the outcome of Carter’s wrongful imprisonment.

While I certainly don’t believe Dylan is racist, looking at this from a purely songwriting angle, it puts listeners in a difficult spot because the word he uses isn’t his to use. It’s a word that immediately triggers trauma in many individuals. And yet he does use it, and he makes us sit with it, shocked and uncomfortable. The goal, as with the rest of the song, is to shock the country to this injustice, both Carter’s and America’s.

One last complicating aspect of Carter’s story that gets little attention amidst the rest of the drama, but I feel is important to mention, is activist Carolyn Kelley’s 1976 accusation that Carter violently assaulted her to the point of blacking out in a hotel room. Though he was never charged for the assault, evidence and accounts do seem to truthfully corroborate Kelley’s retelling of the incident, and it did have a negative effect on Carter’s public appearance at the 1976 retrial when he was again sentenced to life in prison.

But in 1985, nearly twenty years after his original conviction, Carter’s life sentence was finally overturned and he was released from prison (Artis had been paroled just a couple years prior) due to the newly appointed Federal Judge H. Lee Sarokin granting a writ of habeas corpus. Sarokin found the trial to be rife with racial prejudice, “grave constitutional violations,” and found the state had withheld exculpatory evidence.

The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the judge’s decision to overturn, and with the Supreme Court declining to hear the case, the prosecution had little choice but to drop it. Sarokin never heard the Dylan song, and in fact declined to listen to it when someone presented it to him.

“That’s the story of the Hurricane…”

This is a mysterious story, with strange twists and a lot of uncertainty. The reason we tell the story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter is not to glorify an imperfect man put up on a pedestal by a cultural icon. We tell this story because of what it reveals in our own justice system, and the imbalances in sentencing and evidence-consideration when it comes to racial bias.

For Carter’s part, he used his newfound freedom in a way you might expect; he became a public speaker and advocate for the wrongly accused. He moved to Canada and became a naturalized citizen — perhaps understandably, no longer feeling comfortable in the U.S. He died of cancer in 2014, a free man.

Daniel Reifsnyder is a Nashville-based, Grammy-nominated songwriter, having started his musical journey at the age of 3. In addition to being an accomplished commercial actor, his voice can be heard on “The Magic School Bus” theme song and in Home Alone 2. Throughout his career, he has had the honor of working with the likes of Michael Jackson and Little Richard among many others. He is a regular contributor to several music related blogs, including his own,

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