Now That’s Thuggin: Michael Grimm Threatens Reporter


noun \ˈthəg\

: a violent criminal

Full Definition of THUG

:  a brutal ruffian or assassin :  gangster, tough
For the purpose of having a common point of reference, I started off this post with the dictionary definition of the word thug. In our day, the words used to describe personal behavior have the power to stigmatize and put many on the defensive, even when they should not be. Some of you may have heard about an incident involving Congressman Michael Grimm and NY1 political reporter Michael Scotto over a question about fundraising that he refused to answer. Grimm walked off, then came back to verbally assault Scotto for doing his job. During the exchange, he threatened to throw the reporter off of a balcony.
Contrast this exchange, with the controversy about Richard Sherman and his post-game remarks. Sherman, while he did trash talk, did not threaten anyone with violence. Yet, he was called a thug numerous times all over the internet. Thuggish behavior involves violence or the threat of it to intimidate a person. If one goes according to the dictionary definition, then the behavior of Michael Grimm fits it more than the uproar over Sherman’s remarks ever could. However, we aren’t dealing with dictionary definitions, but coded language used to attack. The term thug only applies to Black men who are behaving in a socially unacceptable manner.
Keep in mind that Grimm is an elected official. Which nominally means that he is supposed to be held to a higher standard than, say a football player who was pumped up after a win. Politicians are supposed to be questioned by reporters, that is part of the role. If you don’t want to answer questions, then you should not run for office. Grimm behaved as a man who feels he is above reproach. That kind of thinking is dangerous. We have to hold everyone to the same standards. There was no immediate and visceral backlash as was the case with Sherman. Grimm’s behavior will blow over soon, while Sherman is still getting questions from the media that have more to do with social stereotypes of rich Black athletes than the person he is. While Grimm has apologized, let’s all be more accurate in our language we use to describe unacceptable behavior.
– Marc W. Polite
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  1. Thuggery Sells. Like SEX we wouldn’t be talking about him if he hadn’t acted like a thug. To me he is a big bully getting in this young mans face like that. No boundaries getting into this reporters personal space. what happen to NO COMMENT! That still works.

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