USA Today Writer Blasts Tupac, Hollywood

In an opinion piece that appeared in the nationally

circulated USA Today, film critic Michael Medved blasted Tupac Shakur and what

he called the show business tendency to "glorify violent and self-destructive

black thugs."

"Shakur's long criminal record and the almost

casual endorsement of violence in much of his music hardly make him a candidate

for pop-culture canonization, let alone for a 'peace garden' in his honor,"

Medved wrote. "His puzzling posthumous popularity, in fact, reflects the

degrading and ultimately racist notion that criminal violence represents an

essential and authentic element of African-American identity."

Medved, a Yale graduate who hosts a nationally

syndicated talk show which discusses politics and pop culture, is also a member

of USA Today's board of contributors

Medved goes into great detail about Shakur's

well known arrest record and his history of legal problems. Medved also furthers

his theory that blacks have to be criminalized in Hollywood in order to gain

acclaim by pointing out Denzel Washington's "Training Day" role.

"Consider this year's much-discussed Oscar

breakthrough for Denzel Washington, a universally acclaimed actor who leads

an admirable off-screen life as a devoted family man," Medved continued.

"He has most often played heroic idealists in his major films, but it took

his part in "Training Day"— as a brutal, drug-addicted, crooked

cop — to finally win him his Academy Award."

Medved also wrote that the African Americans

are playing into the "entertainment industry's efforts to emphasize African-American

violence by embracing even the most brutal criminals in their confrontations

with the police."

He gave the example of Robert Thomas Sr. In April,

Thomas was shot by a Sheriff deputy in Seattle. Thomas had a stolen gun in his

hand and various drugs in his body.

"His shooting by a sheriff's deputy made

Thomas the subject of several memorial services, vigils and demonstrations as

well as citywide agitation," Medved continued.

"Sadly, the cult worship of Shakur demonstrates

an ongoing condescension and double standard in attitudes toward African-American

males. Since he was a black artist (never mind the fact that he sprang from

an educated, intellectual and radical background) many patronizing public figures,

white and black, not only accept violent behavior — they expect it."

Medved penned 1992's controversial book "Hollywood

Vs. America." After the book was published, Medved says members of the

entertainment establishment denounced him as "stupid," "a Nazi,:"

and "a fundamentalist Christian fanatic," when in fact he is Jewish.