"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)


"Absolute id crashed into absolute superego...as the uptightset man in America shook hands with just about the loosest."

(Mark Feeney on the 'Elvis meets Nixon' meeting)


"Elvis is everywhere"

(Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper)


"...especially in the South, they talk about Elvis and Jesus in the same breath"

(Michael Ventura, LA Weekly)








Elvis was a racist? (#2)

'Elvis was not a racist' E'Elvis was not a racist' EIN sets the record straightIN sets the record straight

Elvis Presley and the society of hate

"The so-called 'King' is a poor hero"

NUVO Newsweekly
January 12, 1994

Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Mother f___ him and John Wayne.
- Public Enemy, "Fight the Power"

A distant relative of mine went to see the very last Elvis Presley concert, which was held in June 1977 at Market Square Arena. From all accounts, it was a travesty of a show. Elvis was fat, half-dead, bloated and sweating, tossing soaked scarves into the audience, walking through cruel parodies of his songs.

Nevertheless, the distant relative said it was like being in the presence of a great man, an almost holy man. Other people just saw an overweight drug addict in his last, most pathetic performance.

A few months later, Elvis died a junkie's death, all alone, like junkies before and since. Yet he is a hero.

That's one thing I've never figured out. When black rappers like Chuck D. or 2Pac become famous, it scares a lot of white folk. Even Minister Louis Farrakhan, a true holy man, is seen as a threat. But look at the heroes of some of us Caucasians.

In some circles, the cops who beat the hell out of Rodney King are heroes. Some people would have been happier if they'd killed him. To some sick people, James Earl Ray, the killer of Martin Luther King, is a hero.

In some parts of town last week, Elvis Presley's birthday was celebrated as if it was a holy day.

Along with J. Edgar Hoover, a fellow sexual deviate and drug abuser, Presley has come to symbolize pure and absolute corruption. In Elvis' case, he did it up Vegas style. All that is bad about America has its fulfillment in Presley. I've got a reason to believe we all won't be received at Graceland.

There has never been a worse role model in America than Elvis Presley. A fat, bloated drug addict who took every drug in the Physician's Desk Reference and ate every piece of fried food he saw, he died for the sins of two generations of racist Americans.

He sold himself, his beliefs and his talents to a two-bit huckster, drained the passion from his music and became a puppet for Vegas sleaze-oids. His career was the definition of "sell-out" and "prostitution."

Like Brando in On the Waterfront, Elvis coulda been somebody. He could have used his celebrity like John Lennon or Bob Dylan did, for a positive purpose. He could have done much to bridge the gap of understanding between blacks and whites by teaming up with somebody like Ray Charles or James Brown.

But he didn't. He bought Cadillacs, shot at TVs with shotguns and took bottles of pills at a time. What a waste. If Elvis was alive today, he'd be dead, because he was a junkie and junkies die. That's a rule that has been true for 2,000 years or so.

Point blank, Elvis, our so-called "King," stole most everything he knew from black people and black culture, just as America itself became rich and prosperous through the use of slave labor. King Cotton and all that.

But since he was what they used to call a "gentleman Southerner," Elvis had a guilty conscience. Not enough, mind you, to actually stop him from being a racist, just enough to keep him sleepless most nights.

That's why Elvis is popular to this day. We like to feel a little guilty, but not too much ‹ the guilt of the plantation owner. Elvis owned him a big plantation, built on the back of the blacks.

You read old books and you see accounts of how the Indians were massacred, how Japanese-Americans were imprisoned during World War II, and you can see why 50 million Elvis fans can't be wrong.

America has participated in genocide against certain people for more than 400 years if you check. That's murder now matter how you look at it. We've destroyed entire cultures, captured and enslaved groups of people of all colors and even unleashed radiation on our own people. So should it be any surprise that instant karma has hit us and knocked us in the head?

It's the Hate That Taught Hate, or, What Comes Around Goes Around. If you don't understand that there's still blood on our hands, and that we have to account for the past as we move into the future, then you're behind the times and you'll end up on the losing side in this one.

The rebellions in Los Angeles in 1992 weren't isolated incidents. There's a new kind of music out there, a kind Elvis wouldn't understand. It's the New Horn Beat. The horns blare out of cars, wail out of sirens, boom out of speakers. They explode out of guns. It's a kind of music that's different from the old school, the way guys in the ¹60s and '70s acted.

People are much more violent now. People won't take it anymore. The cities are due to explode again next summer, and both sides seem to be getting ready.

Elvis will not be a factor in the outcome.

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'Elvis was not a Racist'- A Spotlight Revisited: Back in 2005 EIN's Piers Beagley wrote an in-depth look at Elvis' background & cultural influences, discovering a man that not only helped the local black community but who was also key figure in the racial integration of popular music. As James Brown said, "I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There’ll never be another like that soul brother" and Muhammad Ali, "Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you'd want to know."
Now in 2012 EIN's good friend Bernard Tanner, Jr. sent us a wonderful letter explaining his reaction when faced with young adults in his hometown of Altanta Georgia accusing Elvis of being a racist.

He says.. "My refusal to back down against their impassioned but wrong-headed and false accusations of Presley's race bigotry shocked them.... .. And (often) lost in these arguments is the fact that Elvis was supernally gifted as a performer and as a vocalist. And that he marshaled those rare gifts to the African-American cultural and musical construct and helped to give those musical idioms, not only a much wider acceptability, respect and legitimacy - but supernally so!
CLICK HERE to see this excellent article re-visited.
(Spotlight Article, Source: ElvisInformationNetwork)

C;lick to return to "Was Elvis was a racist?" archives




'Elvis was not a racist' EIN sets the record straight





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"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"

(Dr. Garry Enders)


" Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"



"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"

(humorist Dave Barry)


"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"

(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")


"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"

(Nick Tosches)