Trump v Jesus – An Interview with The Bunion

Recently Donald Trump made headlines with comments he made about Pope Francis.  Francis made references to Trump’s stance on immigration as relating to Christianity, and Trump went in as he usually does;  full of bravado and insults.

With that we were excited as we already had an interview set up with ‘The Donald.” Intrigued at his ferocious attack on The Pope, we scrapped our previous agenda on discussing foreign policy and the economy.  Instead we wanted to ask his opinions on another revered religious figure, Jesus Christ Himself.  As usual, he was enthusiastic to voice his opinion.  Enjoy the transcripts.

The Bunion: Thank you for coming Mr. Trump.  Let’s get to the point.  The Pope challenged your views on immigration which sparked a debate.  What do you think Jesus would have to say about the tiff between the two of you?

Trump: Listen, I know Jesus.  He’s been an awesome messiah.   This is in spite of the salacious circumstances surrounding his birth.  I mean, who does he think we are buying this fantasy about a virgin birth?  I mean is he kidding or what?  

The Bunion: Wait a minute…

Trump:  I have people in Jerusalem right now who have proof that Mary was not impregnated by a spook, (though I love black people) or a ghost for that matter.  Joseph was under pressure and he owed some debts so he had to get in line and support the conspiracy.  I’ll be revealing the results of my very comprehensive investigation soon.  It’s going to be amazing when you see what I’ve uncovered.  But Jesus is a wonderful guy!  I’m just saying we should all seek to know the truth!   It should be noted that he himself had many advantages that I didn’t have.  As you know I started with only a million dollars.  Jesus had three wise men.  I don’t know about you but where I come from, the Italians associate ‘wise men’ with the Mafia!  Well anyway it appears they gave him more than some fragrances if you know what I mean!?  No wonder he’s held power for so long right?  The Pope is afraid to side with The Donald. Because he knows he could have a leg or an arm broken, or worse end up swimming with the fishes in the Dead Sea.  However, if Francis or whatever his name is apologizes, I will forgive him and offer him my protection.  I’m talking about better protection than Farrakhan is providing for Beyonce!

lk021916_color

 

The Bunion: Wow.  Ok.  Well, Jesus did perform miracles.  You do know that right Don?  Have you preformed any miracles?

Trump: You mean that turning water into wine thing?  That was a bootlegging operation.  I told you that Jew was connected.  But I’m not judging.  I love the Jews.  The Jews have been very good to me! 

The Bunion: But Mr. Trump, the disciples never mentioned a word about Mafia connections.  The books in the bible, specifically the gospels in the New Testament all maintain that miracles happened. Not just the ‘water into wine’, I’m talking about healing the sicks and casting out demons.  Are you disputing all of that?

Trump: I’m glad you asked that question!  Let’s talk about the ‘disciples.’  They were thugs and criminals.  You do recall when that Peter guy chopped off the ear of one of Jesus’ detractors.  Sounds like criminal behavior to me!  These guys were a rag tag group who terrorized everywhere they went.  If you read ‘One Two, or Three Hezekiah, you would know that.  But that’s OK.  I’m here to teach you.  The government was able to turn a states witness against him… Judas.  But he was also mysteriously murdered before he could testify!  Still, I think they all turned on Jesus because last I saw, they weren’t around when he was crucified.  Now listen, how can you be a winner if you are hanging from a tree with nails in your hands and feet?  People get excited about Jesus being crucified for their sins.   I don’t know about the rest of America, but I admire messiahs who don’t crucified!  Elect me for president.  I’m telling you right now I will not be crucified.  Crucifixion is for losers!  I am a winner!  

The Bunion:  Are you sure you want this on the record Mr. Trump?  There are many Christians out there who may take offense to what you are saying here.

Trump:  I’m only telling you what I know to be true.  Not to speak ill of the dead.  But if Jesus is alive, then surely Fox News, CNN or your magazine can get an interview or a recent photo.  I don’t mean a painting.  I mean Jesus standing next to a Toyota on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.  He probably would drive a Toyota right?  Whatever. He’s dead that’s my point.  I’m alive and I’ll never die.  Dying is for losers.  I am a winner.  My disciples are loyal!  Vote for me, Donald J Trump and America is going to be winning so much, The Pope will gladly beg to offer his robe and his sceptor just to have a meeting with me in the Oval Office.  

Editors Notes:

****Since this interview, a new poll shows that support among Christians for Trump has risen 18%.

FB_IMG_1456338141000

 

Next Week: We are interviewing Ben Carson and Clarence Thomas.  Carson will discuss his blackness and Thomas will discuss…

Advertisements

Race, Responsibility & Basketball Moms on That Spice (Explicit Language)

Those that know me, and those that read me are not surprised to know I am not afraid to confront so called controversial issues.  This includes the most sensitive topics concerning politics, race and religion.  Those who are closest to me know that I am just as active, aware and nuanced in my living.

When I first started officiating I had long dreadlocks.  And as a new official, many of the places I reffed were far away from home.  It wouldn’t be unusual for me to travel 40-60 miles away from home for 1 or 2 Jr. high school games. Some games would be in small towns in Southern Illinois or Southeast Missouri.  In many cases, I was the only person of color I would see until I was close to home again.  Most of those experiences were positive.  There were plenty of times I got funny looks.  Curious looks perhaps.  But I always focused on two things.  #1) Doing my job.  #2) Being myself.  Part of my personality is to have fun with young people.  Anytime there is an opportunity for a little laugh, or even a moment to insert some humor, I would do it.  It put kids at ease, some who may have not ever had any interactions with a black male.  It also made many of the parents, family and fans comfortable too.  Often many would walk up to me on the way out and say something like, “Hey ref, I really like how you teach the kids.”  Or, “It’s so cool how you interact with them.  Thank you.”   Those words always encouraged me.  This is because I always felt that when it comes to meeting new people, or people who have different backgrounds and experiences, there is an opportunity to connect.  As a black man, I always believed it is my duty to be a part of the solution when it comes to race.  I know that if I am the one in a few people of color some white people come across, they could never say they didn’t witness a black man of grace and class… and dreadlocks.

Those that know me know that  I tend to practice what I preach. I don’t embrace sacred cows.  I can praise and support a person 100% in one area, and criticize a behavior of the same person in the next breath.  Mostly we are not the sum of one act or two mistakes.  There are many opportunities for nuance.  We all need to make improvements.  And then there are times when right is right and wrong is wrong.

Saturday, while officiating some youth basketball, a group of women walked into the gym and assembled along some bleachers underneath one of the baskets.  (They happened to be black) Soon it became obvious which 6th grade child on which team belonged to them. One woman in particular really got into ‘coaching,’ shouting instructions for all to hear.  My partner, who was white, (a man I had never met before) called a foul on her preferred team.  She shouted to the penalized player that he did nothing wrong and that the official made a bad call.  We ignored her.

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Spice is originally sold as an incense, but has now swept the military community with controversy as a ‘legal’ designer drug. However, Marine Corps Order 5355.1, issued Jan. 27, directly prohibits the use, distribution, sale and possession of it and others like it. (Courtesy photo)

At halftime he and I discussed the sideline ‘coach,’ and he told the tournament supervisor and myself that on the previous night, the same woman called him a ‘cracker ref.’  We both noticed the smell of marijuana around the entire family where they sat.  If I wasn’t going back and forth, I would surely have caught a contact.   I told my partner, “She can coach all she wants.  No worries there.  But if she calls you anything like that this game, she’s going to leave today.  And let me tell you up front, you won’t have to say a word.  I will take care of it myself.”

We got to the second half of the game and 5 minutes didn’t go by before this woman stood up, and while talking at the kids on the court said, “I don’t give a fuck!”  I paused for a moment, a bit surprised at what just flew from her pie hole.  I blew my whistle and told the sister she had to go.  She started to make a scene stepping towards me.  I told her that she was not allowed to stay in the gym while lobbing F bombs in the presence of these children.  The supervisor then came over and asked me what was going on.  After hearing me he concurred and instructed her to leave.  This is when things got really incredible.  The woman, in addition to saying that she didn’t have to go anywhere walks up to me and goes on a tirade.

You a punk ass bitch!  Yea that’s right I said it.  Whats up? *Walking towards me.  (I smiled at her but held my ground.)  That’s right you and your momma a punk ass bitch. You can suck my dick you bitch ass motherfucker!  (I smiled more waving my hand as she walked slowly backwards to the exit) You and your momma can suck my dick!  Bitchass! You too! (talking to the supervisor)  I’ll be back motherfuckers!  

*** And here I was thinking that weed made you more lax, not psycho!  She must have been smoking that spice or something!

After all the madness we finished the game.  Many parents came up to me and thanked me for ridding her from the premises.  It’s as if they were waiting for someone to step in and remove this cancer of presence. They said she disrupts the games every weekend.  The coach of the team she favored asked to speak with me privately.  He thanked me profusely.  Said it embarrasses him as a coach as well as her son who has to put up with it in front of his teammates.

The supervisor of the gym (who happens to be white,) and who happens to be a friend, felt comfortable enough to say to me, “And people wonder why there are problems sometimes between blacks and whites.”  Though the fan could have been any color, I knew what he meant.  She exemplified every single negative stereotype known to man about black people.  What I told him was this however, “This is the bigger point.  As I told my partner, he wasn’t going to have to deal with her if she acted a fool.  I would.  This is all I ever ask of white people.  When they see their own acting out a certain way, handle it!  Don’t leave me out there by myself.  I’ll stick up for you when you are right.  She wasn’t going to be able to say, “the white cracker ref” did anything to her.  I need that same support.  So stick up for me when I’m right even if others who look like you may think you’re wrong!”  (Cause her entire family mother-fucked me on the way out the door.)

I’m glad my supervisor and friend had my back this day.

 

 

 

Don’t Cry for Him Judge Scalia? Conversations and Conflicts of a Judicial Tyrant

Sitting at my computer I got a notification on my phone.  I opened it and said, “Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Found Dead in His Home.”  The moment was surreal.  Kind of like the moment I learned Natalie Cole had died.  For me it just came out of nowhere.  Mouth wide opened I took my phone to where my wife was sitting and just showed her the screen.  She hesitated as well with a look of, “like for real?”  

The next thing I told her that as the members of the GOP find out what we just learned, they will be scrambling as hard as they ever have in order to come up with a talking point about the open position on the court that President Obama has 11 months to fill.  “Make no mistake.  There are emergency meetings and conference calls being set up we sit here to orchestrate a plan.  For them the timing couldn’t be worse.  They are going to block whomever he nominates.

Within minutes my wife and I went to dinner.  By the time we started to eat I saw that Mitch McConnell had demanded that the POTUS not nominate anyone in Scalia’s seat and that if he did, they would block the nomination.  By the time the GOP debate in South Carolina began, the message had been repeated a thousand times.  I started posting my own views on social media.

You know how after every mass shooting republicans never want to talk about gun control?  They say things like, “We haven’t even had the funerals yet and here you are trying to politicize this tragic experience.”  It’s not like they ever want to talk about it regardless of how much time goes by.  But I digress.  I expressed that the man’s body isn’t even cold yet and here they are politicizing his death.  I expressed that right wing conservatives don’t care anything about Scalia.  They only care about what he stood for and what he represented.  They cared that he reinforced their beliefs and helped solidify laws that crushed black people, poor people, gay people, and women.  Their court appointed ace in the hole, their god who brought vengeance on anything that wasn’t rich, Christian and Caucasian was suddenly and without warning taken.  And now just a few hours from him being put in a morgue, the right wing establishment is devouring their god like he’s high priced steak and lobster.

In the midst of this I became fascinated with my own response to finding out Scalia was dead.  Unlike Natalie Cole death, I wasn’t at all sad.  I felt some kind of joy about it.  I’ve had a secret list of 3 people who I’ve said to myself, ” I won’t wish death upon them.  But if they die, I won’t be mad.”  Scalia happened to be on that list.  And no I won’t write the others.  98% of me rejoiced that this tyrant of a man won’t be able to ruin anymore lives, or do any more damage than he’s done beyond previous judgments that the rest of us will have to live with.  2% of me felt kinda bad for the 98%.  Because I am a person who is full of love and compassion, it seemed a tad bit unsettling that I rejoiced.  I could never see Scalia, a man who loved himself perhaps more than any other Supreme Court judge in history actually retiring.  Death was the only way out.

mitch

As I posted short commentaries on Scalia’s court decisions and the GOP’s hateful responses to Obama’s presidency once again, I waited for reactions from people who may agree or disagree with my observations and opinions.  I wondered especially if any of my African-American friends were experiencing the same inward duality that I was.  Black folk in general are raised not to celebrate ones death.  No matter how evil that person is or was.  My guess is that’s related our faith and history in Christianity. It hasn’t been often in my lifetime that a significant oppressive figure had passed on.  I know well the history of assassinations against progressives.  I know of state sponsored murders of people who fought for freedom for me and those who look like me. But when was the last time a figure whose name is so polarizing for black people been so suddenly and permanently removed… even naturally?

I sent text messages to a few friends of mine.  “Dude, Scalia is dead!”  One wrote back, “I see.  Sad.” I responded,  “Sad for who? Not us!”  He responded that loss of live is loss of life.  He did not agree with Scalia judicially or politically.  We exchanged a few more sentences and phrases.  But one of the things I mentioned is that if I did not grieve for Osama Bin Laden when he met his end, how could I grieve a man who has spent his life’s work attempting to destroy every piece of equality and progress we’ve fought to achieve?  It was only a couple months ago when Scalia said in open court that black people needed to go to lesser and slower schools because we were too stupid to function in the ‘big ones.’

As custom, it’s natural to speak good of any figure who holds such a prestigious position.  People have described him as brilliant, colorful, a legal giant.  I wouldn’t use those words.  But I’m not the only one.

Tim Wise put it this way: While I revel in the death of no one, I cannot abide the hagiographic nonsense that is presently being offered by persons across the spectrum about how Scalia was “passionate” and brilliant, ad infinitum. There is nothing brilliant about putrescence, nothing insightful and worthwhile about venality posing as insight. To say that there is nothing unconstitutional about executing innocent people (as he did in fact say), or that it’s OK to imprison persons for “gay sex,” among other things, is never the work of a genius no matter the big words and poetic flair with which they might say it. Those opinions are evil, vile and worthy of utter derision. They are not the work of a genius, but a fetid little man whose moral calibration slouched towards those of Torquemada and the Inquisitors. I feel for his family and mourn their personal loss. And that is the extent of my mourning, as it is the only type of which one such as this is deserving.

More on Scalia’s legacy in this link:

Perhaps some may think my Bin Laden comparison was a stretch.  Though I could argue judicial terrorism on blacks, women, gays and poor people, I can bring it closer to home.  If I lived during The Civil War, would I mourn the death of Robert E. Lee?  How about Jefferson Davis?  These people fought to keep my people in bondage.  If Scalia had the wherewith while he was here, whose to say he wouldn’t bring back slavery?  I can easily see him saying, “If the Founding Fathers wanted slavery to end, they would have indicated this in the text.  Since they didn’t, I don’t see anything unconstitutional about it remaining in tact.”

scalia

I discussed some of this on social media with a very well respected minister Traci Blackmon.  She is as progressive and courageous as Christians go.  She expressed via her Facebook page; “Tonight I offer prayers for the family of Justice Scalia. He was not a friend to me or my people. But he is still God’s child.”   As I write this it has 430 likes.  Some talked about his children and the devastation they must be feeling.  Others were less than sympathetic.  One person’s response in particular touched on my earlier thoughts:  “Yes I know. I felt guilty and unChristian like to have no sadness in his passing, almost a glimmer of happiness. I checked myself and voiced it. But there it is.”  Another responded, “What an example of God’s grace. Thank you for helping me check my own internal feelings. I did not wish him ill, but I am delighted he’s no longer on the bench. I pray that our next justice will have more compassion and understanding.”

Ahhh see where I’m coming from? What is to say the original sentiments were wrong?  Is it possible that it’s natural to delight in the death of your oppressor and not at all unrighteous?  If it is righteous, would I care to pray for the family now that he’s dead?  Does it matter what his family thought of his work?  Did the Jews say prayers for Adolph Hitler’s family members after he died? Did my Christian parents and grandparents believe it properly pious to pray for the family of Alabama Governor George Wallace after he died?  I understand that THEY were not the ones siccing vicious attack dogs on us and spraying us with water hoses while authorizing police to savagely beat us in the public streets.

Where exactly is the line of demarcation?  As I told Traci, I just don’t know.  Proverbs 11:10 says, When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

Regardless, I know what the right wing establishment feel.  Not only will they hold Scalia up as a hero of epic proportions, they want to do everything in their power to replace him with one just like him if not worse.  Someone who hates me, my wife, my mother, my kids, my grand kids. Hoping and praying that this doesn’t happen is not something I am conflicted about at all.

SCOTUS Blog on Recess Appointments to the Supreme Court

 

 

Fool Me Once… How Maurice White Got A #1 for EWF and ‘Dabbed’ on Barry Gibb!

white

I won’t go on and on about how much of a genius Maurice White, the original front man for Earth Wind and Fire was.  We all know this, right?  Not to be missed he was also an astute businessman!  Here is just one example:

The year was 1977.  A film was being made and produced called, “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band.”  This film would be based on a rock opera as told through songs created by The Beatles.  An all star cast was assembled full of music artist, rock bands and Hollywood’s acting royalty, including. Peter Frampton, Aerosmith, Billy Preston, Alice Cooper, Steve Martin, George Burns, and at the time the hottest group of the year The Bee Gees; still blazing from their successful blockbusting soundtrack from the film “Saturday Night Fever.”  Each recording artist was to remake and perform a Beatles song as part of the movie.

Earth Wind and Fire were asked to be a part of the project as well.  But Maurice White was not amused or interested.  Many in the industry didn’t understand why.  Music in movies were lightening in a bottle.  In addition to Saturday Night Fever, the producer for Sgt. Pepper, Robert Stigwood, was also working on another blockbuster hit in, “Grease,” starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John as it’s main characters.  Michael Shultz was brought on as director.  Shultz had directed dozens of top grossing and cult followed projects such as, “Car Wash, “Which Way Is Up,” “Greased Lightening” and “Cooley High!” Easy decision.  Right?  Wrong.

Earth Wind and Fire (EWF) had already played in a movie previously called, “That’s The Way of the World.”  It starred Harvey Keitel as a record company executive.  EWF portrayed fictionalized characters of themselves, a struggling group trying to get a record produced and released.  The movie however, how can I say this… ummm it sucked!  Like it was really bad!  Even Keitel says it’s the worse movie he’s ever done till this day.  In spite of that, Columbia Records’ release of the LP by the same title became one of the group’s biggest signature records.  White was not about to put himself or the group in a position where the possible failure of a movie could hurt the sales of EWF’s music and brand.  It was Paul McCartney’s persistence that convinced White to take on the project.  He encouraged Maurice to do the song HIS way.  He had 100% autonomy.  The chosen record was, “Got To Get You Into My Life,” from The Beatles 1966 album, “Revolver.”

Sgt_peppers_lonely_hearts_club_band_poster

Maurice got to work on the vocal arrangements and the brass sections performed by the, “EWF Horns,” played by members Don Myrick, Louis Satterfield, Michael Harris and Rahmlee Michael Davis. He obsessed over every detail convinced it had to be a hit. When McCartney heard the finished product he absolutely loved it!  It was a great tribute but done in true EWF fashion.  Basically it would become and Earth Wind and Fire song, not merely a remake.

After the movie was completed, cast and production members were allowed to see a pre-screening.  All of the music was to be kept secret from the public until the company promoted the movie and the soundtrack.  After the viewing, Maurice wasn’t just devastated, he was pissed off.  This movie was bad.  Really really bad!  (Not again!)

Not to be defeated, White had a few months to work with before this colossal failure of a movie was to be released.  Though Stigwood’s record company (RSO) had the rights to the soundtrack, Maurice via EWF still had rights to the song through Columbia.  Maurice, confident he had a hit on his hands arranged for Columbia to release the record as a single several weeks before the movie debuted.  Since EWF was not releasing new material that year, they attached “Got To Get You Into My Life” on, “The Best of Earth Wind and Fire Vol. 1″‘s album.  To his delight the single shot to #1 on the Soul Singles Chart and #9 in the Hot 100.  As he predicted, “Sgt. Pepper,” the movie bombed.  So did the soundtrack.  Since I was a Bee Gees fan, at the age of 11 I caught a city bus to Scottsdale Mall in South Bend, Indiana to see the movie.  After falling asleep during this debacle, I walked out of the theater dazed and confused.

Meanwhile as Maurice White smiled all the way to the bank with yet another hit single, Barry Gibb, lead singer of The Bee Gees seethed!  He called the pre-release of the single a double cross.  Why?  Because in spite of the other artist in the movie, the main focus of the characters in were on the Bee Gee brothers, Barry, Robin and Maurice.  Since the movie flopped, nobody looked down on Aerosmith or EWF.  They were looked at like co-stars.  The backlash was solely on The Bee Gees!  Barry refused to ever speak to White again.

There are many stories of great times, sex, drugs, debauchery, back stabbing and money disputes in the music industry.  This is by far one of the shrewdest moves and funniest stories I have ever heard.

Maurice White, Thank you for the music.  It will last forever!