6 Beloved Icons With Skeletons In Their Closets
For as long as human beings have inhabited this mess of a planet, we've done our part in being downright hostile towards each other. So it's no wonder that some of us wanna believe that there are some good people in existence and may look towards beloved celebrity icons for comfort. Unfortunately, like everyone else, celebrities are also susceptible to awful behavior, like …
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Supported A Bunch Of Bad Policies
The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg was famous for pushing forward the historic Roe v Wade earlier in her career and becoming a feminist icon to boot. Her death left political turbulence in her wake as it left the Supreme Court a Republican majority, eventually leading to the mess going on with reproductive rights at the moment.
With a career that prestigious, you'd think that RBG was a pretty much perfect human being. However, that's far from the case, as RBG had plenty of problems during her life. For starters, RBG wasn't always on the right side of history when it came to her decisions in the supreme court. For example, in the court case Samson v. California, the court decided that police could search prisoners on parole without a warrant at all, a massive breach of prisoner rights, which RBG agreed with Clarence Thomas and the majority on.
In the Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation case, RBG sided with the court against the tribe reclaiming their lost land, even citing a horrendously racist document as a defense. Along with a host of other terrible court cases she gave her approval to, she also at one point told Colin Kaepernick that his kneeling protest was "disrespectful" to the flag, which is a bit like going back in time and telling MLK that his protests are too "uppity."
The bad parts of RBG's legacy haven't actually been brought up much, and most people just seem content on comparing her to Biggie Smalls. Speaking of rappers …
Tupac Shakur Sexually Assaulted A Woman
There isn't much to be said about Tupac that hasn't already been said before. The legendary west coast rapper made hit after hit (some after being dead) and is one of the best known and most influential rappers ever to exist. Tupac has become a pop culture icon of some kind, for better or for worse:
But even worse than shoddily made biopics was when Pac was sentenced to prison time for participating in a gang rape.
The story starts with a woman named Ayanna Jackson. Back in 1993, Jackson, then 19 years old, was invited to Tupac's Parker Meridien hotel room to hang out. The two both had a history and knew each other in the past, maintaining a sexual relationship for a while, but things took a bit of a sinister turn that night. She quickly discovered that they would not be alone and were joined by three other men.
Tupac kept pressuring her into having sex, which she did not want to do, and eventually was assaulted by the men and Tupac. Jackson would later recount the story and how Tupac brushed it off entirely. A year later, Tupac was convicted in court of rape and served a year and a half, though he vehemently denied that rape took place. At least this time, a conviction happened, instead of the millions of other times when nothing happens at all.
Mother Teresa's Charities Were Kind Of Awful
Mother Teresa is probably the most famous Catholic nun of all time. She is best known for her very large history of philanthropy, like making homes for HIV and leprosy patients, running soup kitchens, family counseling programs, orphanages, and so on, all under her charity called Missionaries of Charity back in the 1950s. This all earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, and she went down as one of the most selfless religious figures in history. That is … until you actually look at what this so-called charity was actually doing.
Most of the houses and facilities built and operated by her charity were reportedly very "rundown and unsanitary," and sometimes they weren't even free. Some facilities even reused hypodermic needles on patients, along with a host of other medical treatment issues that happened under her watch.
Furthermore, some of her initiatives left communities in worse shape than when they started, like how she gave the wrong perception that the city of Kolkata was just diseased-riddled poor people needing to be saved by a Catholic white woman, as mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya once pointed out. Recently, her legacy has come under new examination in light of new discoveries and complications, leading to a bit more insight and scrutiny of Teresa's airtight image of a holy, selfless woman of God. Good thing too, as the world could do with a bit less self-righteous white women who think they alone can save brown people.
Martin Luther King's Sexism
The most famous figure of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King's legacy is a testament to endurance and human rights against all odds. His name is pretty much synonymous with protest and has become an everlasting symbol of prevailing justice. Of course, he was assassinated by a white supremacist, was on the FBI's most-wanted list for years, and America whitewashes him to this day, but nonetheless, he's beloved. But with every cherished celebrity, there are shades of grey, like King's misogyny, that rarely gets discussed.
King's misogyny comes in two colors: both his outright disdain towards female civil rights leaders and his covering up of a sexual assault. The former is centered around Ella Baker, a prominent civil rights leader, who wasn't allowed to be a leader at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, as King thought that only men should lead.
The latter involves one of King's longtime friends, a Baltimore pastor named Logan Kearse, who was accused of raping a woman. King dismissed this and allegedly covered it up, as revealed by a new trove of evidence released by the FBI not too long ago.
Steve Jobs Was A Terrible, Abusive Father
Outside of helping to build Apple as an empire, Steve Jobs was also known to exploit the labor of his colleague, most notably Steve Wozniak, take most of the credit for things other people did, and die in a spectacularly stupid way that was possibly preventable. If you ignore all of the other terrible things about Jobs's legacy, he at least brought the world overpriced phones that go obsolete every few years. Thank God for that. But that's not all there is to him, as Jobs was just as much of an abusive father as he was an abusive CEO to his employees.
Back in 2018, Jobs' daughter, Lisa Brennan, detailed her experiences with her father growing up, and it's nothing short of grotesque behavior. Jobs would threaten Brennan, telling her that he wasn't going to support her with college or whatever ... when she was only nine years old. She didn't have proper heating in her room, the dishwasher was never fixed, and he didn't even pay for her tuition at Harvard. It was only when neighbors and friends chipped in to pay that she received any help with school.
On top of that, he was an absolute tyrant of a parent, having the most rigid rules that she was expected to follow at all times. She had to be home at a very specific time and could not spend any time with her mother, and if she complained at all, he would verbally abuse her. We would say that this changes how we see Jobs, but then again, what do you expect from someone who helped kill himself by sticking to an all-fruit diet.
Nikola Tesla Was Huge Into Eugenics
Nikola Tesla is considered one of the most influential inventors of all time, being just as famous as Thomas Edison himself. The story of his betrayal by Edison and dying a penniless death has served as the inspiration for a few movies and even a webcomic. He's best known for his contributions to alternating current electricity, but a lesser-known fact about him that people gloss over is that he was also pretty big into eugenics.
Around the 1930s, Tesla started writing some pretty disturbing ideas on how to treat the mentally ill and criminals, and arguing for forced sterilization to keep the human gene pool clean of undesirables. This extends even further, with him writing about how by the year 2100, all undesirables will have been purged from the gene pool, leading to a perfect race of human beings, free of the so-called 'filth' of the world. These writings are kind of weird coming from a Serbian man, whose own people and culture have historically been targeted for mass persecution, but that's how the dice rolls, baby.
Tesla's own projections on what he thought perfect humanity would look like add an unfortunately black mark to his legacy, but considering that one of the biggest companies in the world is named after him, it looks that mark got faded pretty easily.
Top Image: Steve Petteway