Las Vegas and Black Conspiracy Theories
Lately, I’ve been revisiting different conspiracy theories that involve Las Vegas and the black entertainment world. The #BlackConspiracyTheories Twitter thread is at the top of my 2018 MUST Follow list. It wasn’t until the recent release of my novel: ”Lights Out at the Moulin Rouge” that I even began to give any thought to other stories involving African Americans and conspiracy theories. But now, I find myself wondering how many of the black conspiracy theories I’ve heard about that actually involve Las Vegas. The popular ones are over-exposed to the public but some black conspiracies are little-known stories, like the one I base my book on.
Moulin Rouge in the News
My primary reason for wondering about other conspiracies is because my novel is about a little known 1955 black conspiracy (though others may not agree with this assessment). In my book, I tell you how this conspiracy affected many black entertainers during that era, including Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and more. Yes, I definitely want to get as much exposure and visibility for ”Lights Out at the Moulin Rouge” and make as many sales as possible. But I also want to draw attention to this story, particularly because it is really relevant right now.
The address of the former Las Vegas Moulin Rouge (900 West Bonanza Road) is CURRENTLY up for sale and the historical significance of the property does not seem to be of concern to Nevada. Apparently, it doesn’t matter that the property earned a place in the Historic Registry in 1992. That is one reason why an upcoming blog post will be devoted to discovering what the inclusion into the Registry is supposed to mean.
Just last year (November 2017), the landmark managed to dodge the county’s bullet after it was almost purchased and turned into a welfare office. Needless to say, this would have been a slap in the face to African Americans, especially Las Vegas residents. This issue touches me on so many levels as an African American writer and former Las Vegas resident. Through my research and writing about the Moulin Rouge, I have truly come to appreciate the importance of the 1955 establishment and what it meant to black residents and entertainers in Las Vegas, as well as around the world.
Many unsettling events that occur in the world of black entertainment are often explained away with a convenient excuse, even when others scream conspiracy. For instance, in 1955, with opposition from every direction, The Moulin Rouge was never meant to open, succeed, or stay in business. The fact that some kind of conspiracy was responsible has always been glaringly obvious. The theories and speculation about the Moulin Rouge has been more about what the exact nature of the conspiracy actually was. Just who was behind the conspiracy and why. Was it the mob just being the mob? Was it competitive casinos and businesses owners on the Strip? Was it about race or involving a hate group? The notion that the Moulin Rouge was destined to close due to bankruptcy or financial ruin was the convenient excuse that was used to explain everything away.
Other conspiracies have used similar types of convenient excuses to explain questionable events. In the case of Tupac Shukur, rather than looking at theories about the record label turmoil, or police involvement; gang retaliation became a convenient excuse, although many still think: “Possible, but not plausible.” And of course, there are those who believe that O.J. Simpson’s Las Vegas arrest was orchestrated, specifically because he managed to get off on murder charges in Los Angeles. Apparently, even though this high-profile case initially got a lot of attention when he was on trial for murder; after Las Vegas arrest, the outcry of “conspiracy” was not as loud for O.J. the second time around. For whatever reason, the Las Vegas case simply became another overlooked possible black conspiracy that no one cared enough to bother with.
Black History Month Agenda
Black History Month is right around the corner and time always seems to fly quickly because it’s a short month. So I already have an ideal about the subjects I want to cover. I’ll be posting thoughts on some of the other black conspiracies in the entertainment world that I happen to learn about, especially if they relate to Las Vegas in any way. If you know of any you’d like to share, simply Follow me on Twitter – @charmbaker – and use the hashtag: #BlackConspiracyTheories to respond, or you can email me and provide some details.