AUTHOR’S NOTE: Between writing and publication of this piece, Anthony Cumia has deleted the majority of tweets on his verified Twitter account, including all of those related to this incident. Cumia stressed repeatedly that he would not do this because he was “the victim. I have nothing to hide.” I have attempted to recover many of the tweets via news outlets and Internet Wayback. The items published here are the least offensive ones, however they still contain strong and offensive language.
Take Howard Stern, remove what little intelligence and likability he has, add heavy doses of overt racism, Men’s Rights rhetoric, and mental instability, and you now have Anthony Cumia of the Opie & Anthony Show.
The term “Shock Jocks” is almost too tame for some of their antics. Gawker has kindly rounded up a brief history of their idiocy in the name of “entertainment.”
Some of the highlights include the time Homeless Charlie and Anthony gleefully discussed raping Condeleeza Rice, or when they incurred fines from the FCC as the result of a stunt where they directed a 17-year-old minor on the proper way to rub her phone into her vagina, and the time Cumia wore blackface while performing a song about OJ Simpson. Anthony frequently mentions the word “mulatto” on his show, an obviously poor substitute for the word he would rather say, but can’t. His overbearing racism bleeds into every aspect of the show.
So what finally caused SiriusXM to fire his ass after years of deplorable behavior, misogyny and racist antics? According to Anthony, he was just out taking photos in New York City.
Allegedly, Anthony “accidentally” snapped a shot just as a woman walked into the frame, and she objected to having her photo taken. What happened next is sketchy, but according to his twitter, Cumia claims the woman just started punching him “Because I was WHITE!!!!!!!!!” The proof he offers for his claim that he was innocent and randomly attacked without any discussion is dubious as the pictures of his alleged attacker show a woman from a distance walking toward him while talking.
This incident only came to light after several people responded to Anthony’s tweet with the valid question, “Who started it?” When he claimed that the woman started it, simply because she was black, people asked the next valid question of “Why didn’t you call the police?” His response? “White boy/black girl. We’re DOOMED.” He then proceeded to go on a twenty-hour rant about the woman, her race, and then degenerated into stereotypes that most racists use in order to justify their hatred — Black people are inherently violent. Black women just want to be sexual objects. Black people won’t discuss. Black people are savages.
SiriusXM released a statement saying it had “terminated its relationship with Anthony Cumia of the Opie & Anthony channel. The decision was made, and Cumia informed, late Thursday, July 3, after careful consideration of his racially charged and hate-filled remarks on social media. Those remarks and postings are abhorrent to Sirius XM and his behavior is wholly inconsistent with what SiriusXM represents.”
Cumia responded as victim mentalities often do:
He’s not the bad guy, here, remember? Sure, he promotes websites whose mission it is to provide the facts about a race made up of people who are “not human, and won’t stay in their places. They create, carry, and spread horrible diseases; and unweave the moral fabric of every society that accepts them.”
He isn’t a racist, he simply wants to have a conversation about something he feels passionate about. In this case, it’s stemming from his belief that “there is a set parameter for different people. I think you’re starting off at a certain base. Whether you can transcend that or not is very individualistic. But on the whole I do believe there are certain peoples that are, um, more advanced than others from the beginning, at the get-go.”
According to his twitter-feed, people are doing something horrible by trying to determine what actually happened. After all, he’s being completely reasonable in how he describes her.
Let’s move past the street harassment factors or the argument that the woman was in public and there was legal artistic basis for the photo, and examine the crux of what Cumia claims is the matter. He claims he was simply out taking photos and happened to catch a woman in the frame. He states that the image he happened to capture of her originally was a shot from behind and she heard the shutter as he took the picture. He claims she objected not via discussion but rather by an immediate leap to violence. A man of some celebrity was allegedly assaulted and then battered by a woman. Why on earth weren’t the police notified?
Cumia claims that not only was there a very loud altercation between him and his alleged attacker, but five men also joined in. In addition to THEM, Cumia further claims that there were other bystanders. And no one called the police. Honestly, Cumia should have filed a report if he stands by the fact that he was completely innocent in this matter. To hide behind repeated statements that because he was a white man and she was a black woman and therefore no one would have done anything is crap. It perpetuates the very racism that Cumia is trying to deny.
No human has any right to lay hands on another human.. There are two sides of this that we will never know, because remember – we are only hearing Cumia’s side of this. There was no police report filed. There’s been no admission to any alleged actions by this unidentified woman. And there are arguments to be made that Cumia may have been acting as the primary aggressor and she felt the need to defend herself.
Unfortunately, if this woman did batter Cumia as he claims, she justified all of his beliefs — per his own admission on twitter — about the black community. He doesn’t have to hide in the racist closet anymore. He has justification: He was the victim of a crime committed by a black woman, and remember — all black women are violent.
When white women have taken him to task for his issues he either tries to explain himself (on his twitter page before he scrubbed it) or reduce them to sexual objects in order to dismiss them: “You’re ugly. Waste of time.” Either way, he hasn’t reduced them to a racial stereotype.
Hiding behind the comments that white people cannot have a conversation about race is also bullshit. White people can talk about race. It’s the only way we’re going to be able to go beyond our inherent privilege and understand what race really means. What people CAN’T do is be RACIST in the conversation.
Cumia was being RACIST.
According to the first amendment, he’s allowed to say whatever he wants to say. What people are forgetting, as with the Duck Dynasty issue, is that there are consequences for speech, especially when speaking as a representative of your employer.
Dress it up in all the rhetoric you want, Cumia, but you know exactly what you were doing when you used the words and phrases that you did. One cannot live in our current society and not know what racial epithets mean and do. While SiriusXM might take you back after a public outcry in a few days, this incident revealed yourself for what you really are. There’s no hiding it under the guise of trying to have a conversation or for ratings or as part of your “radio personality.”
We know that people like Cumia wouldn’t rant like this if they weren’t confident others would back them up. Cumia speaks for the racist population in this country. This only goes to show that population is alive and well – and doing exactly what he wants them to do.