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Wandering Eye: Videos from Baltimore's own #blackbrunch protests, the hard-edged views on race from one Baltimore writer, and more

Wandering Eye: Videos from Baltimore's own #blackbrunch protests, the hard-edged views on race from one Baltimore writer, and more

Jeffrey Epstein is a name you might not have heard before—at least not before last week, when salacious allegations of underaged sex slaves consorting with Britain's Prince Andrew (and Alan Dershowitz?!) surfaced. Now it's all about Epstein, a patron of Nobel laureates and registered sex offender whose fantasy island hideaway supposedly served as the stage for orgies in which powerful and prominent men had sex with well-born teen girls flown in on Epstein's Gulfstream jet, which locals dubbed "the Lolita Express." But Epstein first came to public attention more than a decade ago, after flying Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, and Chris Tucker to Africa in his own 727. That's when the New York glossies started asking around. And—what do you know?—the second thing New York Magazine quotes is this ringing endorsement from Donald Trump: "He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it—Jeffrey enjoys his social life." Vanity Fair followed soon after, but the reporter there, Vicky Ward, was disappointed when editor Graydon Carter cut all the pimpy stuff she dug up out of her profile. So now she tells all about it in The Daily Beast. Rape-y rich guys? We're shocked. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

Baltimoreans who haven't come across www.jameslafond.com, which I stumbled upon while doing some online research about the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF), might want to check it out. The writer—apparently a real person named James LaFond, who's a boxer, stick-fighter, and self-proclaimed anarchist—insists he isn't a white supremacist or racist, and even claims he's been "targeted for death" by outfits such as "Baltimore Area Skin Heads" and "the Wasted Youth." But his hard-edged views on race are certainly politically incorrect­, and likely provide insights on what goes on inside the usually inscrutable heads of many race-obsessed Baltimore whites who seem racist. He classifies much of his writing as fiction, but some of it is commentary on real events, such as the ongoing crackdown on the BGF. So far, he's put out five BGF posts—here, here, here, here, and here—and they include the suggestion that BGF leader-cum-snitch Tavon White would make a good president. Entering LaFond's online realm—an unusual place that provides an elusive peek at something real and troubling—is, at the very least, a sociological foray that should be pursued with caution and eyes wide open. (Van Smith)

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Gawker wrote a story on Monday about #blacklivesmatter protesters disrupting Brooklyn brunches as part of a #blackbrunch campaign. But none of the local media—including us—noticed that on Dec. 28 a number of protesters marched into several Hampden bruncheries—there are videos of the Food Market, The Golden West Cafe, and Cafe Hon—singing "which side are you on?" and declaring that every 28 minutes in America an African-American is killed by police and then reading out names. The protests weren't well-documented by organizers on social media, but the YouTube videos are worth watching, if only for the awkward faces of white brunchers not sure how to respond. Hampden may not still be quite as white as its reputation, but it would be hard to tell that from these clips. Of course, it was brunch. (Baynard Woods)

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