Jon and John’s War Against The Black Vote

“Good job making it harder to vote, Jon.” “Thanks, John.”

I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter turnout machine.”

~ Doug Preisse, Republican Party chairman of Franklin County

Here’s the thing about the sacred right to vote.   It’s only a right as long as you have it.   They don’t have to take it away from all at once.   Killing it off by a slow death of a thousand cuts will get the job done just as effectively.

The hard-right conservatism of the Republican Party does not appeal to Black voters.  This is simply a fact.   Here in Ohio, a perennial battleground state, the Republicans recognize this and have resolved to address it by doing all they can to suppress the Black vote as Think Progress reported:

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has followed through on promises to restrict voting opportunities in his state. The change, announced Tuesday, eliminates extended early voting hours on weekdays, the final two days before Election Day as well as Sunday voting, a day typically important to African-American voters because churches use it to turn out votes.

The early voting period is vital to the elderly, low-income voters, and anyone else with limited means to get to the polls, not to mention that it cuts down on election-day long lines and chaos. MSNBC notes that in 2008, black voters made up 56 percent “of all weekend voters in Cuyahoga County, Ohio’s largest, even though they made up just 28% of the county’s population.”

Optional in Ohio.

Husted’s announcement comes on the heels of other Ohio initiatives to suppress turnout. Ohio just passed two bills that eliminates an entire week of early voting and end the practice of mailing absentee ballots.

Naturally Husted would never say he’s going to make it harder to vote.  The Big Lie told by the GOP is they are streamlining the process and making it fairer. 

“In 2014, absentee voters will have the option of voting in person for four weeks, or they can vote without ever leaving home by completing the absentee ballot request form we will be sending all voters,” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said. “Our goal is to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat and to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity in the voting process no matter which method they choose.”

“Easy to vote and hard to cheat?”   That’s a different line than Husted’s rap last year when his office and the state’s 88 country boards conducted investigations looking for fraud in the 2012 presidential elections and came back with 135 cases they recommended for prosecution.

Wow.  That many?  Go get those crooks, Jon-Boy!   Uh-uh.  Not so fast.  Every whiff of smoke doesn’t mean there must be a forest fire.

Voter fraud does exist, but it is not an epidemic,” Husted said. “To put this into context, … that’s 135 referrals out of more than 5.6 million votes cast.”

Oh.

Well, that’s disappointing, but 135 cases is good enough for the G.O.P.   Let’s go ahead and  shorten the early voting period by six full days and get rid of same-day voter registration.  While we’re at it let’s cut the number of voting machines in the state and increase wait time for voters at the polls.  Especially those old Black ones.   Watching them shiver in the November cold to cast their ballots will be fun!

This is how Husted, Gov. John Kasich and Ohio Republicans observe Black History Month.  By trying like hell to make the votes of Blacks history.

Once upon a time Blacks had to march in the streets and even die for the right to vote.   Just because marches aren’t popular and nobody’s dying doesn’t mean Blacks can relax and stop fighting to keep and protect their hard-won rights.

The Republicans are engaged in one of the historically most efficient political tactics: suppress the vote and by making it harder for people whom aren’t going to vote for you to for vote for the other guy, you win.  Voter suppression works for Republicans and that is today’s Black History Moment.  If we sit idly by it will be tomorrow’s Black future.

What the enemies of our progress take away we can take back.  IF we are willing to fight for it.    Hoping someone else will come along and get our rights back won’t do it.  When it comes to voter suppression Husted and Kasich are only getting started.

The secret of the GOP’s success.

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The Hypocrisy of the NFL’s N-Word Ban

“Don’t hurt me N-words.”

In yet another clumsily misguided attempt to exercise control over the players, the NFL is considering making the saying the slur, “nigger” on the field punishable by a 15-yard penalty.  Well, isn’t that sweet?   A league run by a pompous ass of a commissioner who cashed $44 million in checks last year given to him by 32 billionaires and millionaires and not a dark face among any of them are going to impose their morality upon the 70 percent Black young urban men who make up their teams.

The NFL is in full reactionary mode in the aftermath of the investigation into the sordid and ugly racial harassment suffered by Jonathan Martin by the crude Richie Incognito and other Miami Dolphins players.   Trying to impose a ban on a troublesome word won’t solve the problem of bullying in the locker room, but Roger Goodell isn’t one of the world’s most thoughtful CEO’s.   His approach is that of a hammer with nails all around him.

So if I’m a NFL player and I can’t say “nigger” but I can say “REDSKINS! REDSKINS! REDSKINS!”  that’s all good with Goodell?   Smells like a double standard to me.

“Wassup, my N-words?”

ESPN’s  Outside the Lines recently discussed the usage of “nigger” in popular sports and how the word is considered radically differently by generations with some seeing it as nothing but a vile and vicious insult while a younger generation that grew up dancing to it in rap music and hip-hop culture embrace it as a term of affection.

I didn’t get a lot out of the conversation except being disappointed in Michael Wilbon, a well-respected sports journalist,  shrugging off the slur as something he’s okay with because he uses the word when he’s kickin’ it  with the fellas.   The rationalization that it’s time to fight if a White guy asks, “Are you my nigga?”  but it’s all good when a Black guy does it is garbage.

There is no racial slur equal to being called a “nigger.” That is always the ultimate trump card a White person can throw on the table to insult a Black person. What’s the equivalent retort? White trash? Cracker? Republican?

Why someone thinks it is empowering to refer to themselves or others by a word that has always been to cast doubt on the very humanity of Blacks is a bafflement to me. I’m sure there’s an explanation of how this works, but I’ve never heard a good one.

I neither have nor want friends that feel comfortable in calling me a nigger and misspelling it as “nigga” is bullshit that doesn’t fly with me either.  Still, you can’t regulate and legislate “nigger” out of existence.   The NAACP staged a mock burial of the epithet several years ago, but that failed to kill it off.   How could it?  Only time, education and a greater sophistication of how unnecessary and stigmatizing it is to keep pumping life into what should be a dead word will drive the stake through its rancid heart.

Chris Murray, the Philadelphia-based sports journalist added his disdain for using “nigger” as a term among friends in his Facebook news feed with some in agreement and a few in vehement disagreement with one guy making a point of letting everyone know it too.

 Everybody in this thread is a nigger. I said it!!!

Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word

Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I made a common mistake.  I attempted to being reasonable with an unreasonable man.  I said, “Please brother, speak FOR yourself ABOUT yourself. If you want to wear that tag, wear if for yourself, but don’t try to hang it around my neck.”

“I don’t know any niggers, don’t hang with any niggers and don’t call anyone a nigger.”

Jeff Winbush oh yea…you a nigger too. And you know quite a few.

I’m a proud nigga. Gonna be one until I die. And Jeff Winbush do your homework before you try to insult me. Nigga!!!!

No hood talk, not tryin to be tuff. Just truth. Ya know, it ain’t bad bein a nigga. I’m just not a white mans nigger! Get the.point!

Nigga nigga nigga nigga.

Trying to insult someone you don’t know with an ignorant word is really kind of ignorant. It’s a strong indicator you have to resort to dumb words because you don’t know enough smart ones.  I’m a proud Black man and nobody’s nigger or “nigga” which is just a cowardly way of trying to remix a vile and foolish word.

You can’t polish a turd. Trying to reclaim “nigger” as a term of endearment is a fool’s errand and an epic FAIL.  You’re saying “we” never had a problem with the word when you mean “I” never had a problem with the word.

I DO have a problem with the word and the word has gone away from my vocabulary. I don’t associate myself with an ignorant word that has only been used to degrade and diminish the humanity of Black people.

For the sake of accuracy, there’s no such thing as a “nigga.”  That’s a hip bastardization of a troublesome word.   Either you believe in the slur or you don’t.  All in or all out.  I’m out.

The NFL should be too.  Out of trying to be the P.C. police imposing the ethical standards of White owners on Black players.   They should trust in the ability of the players themselves to police their own language and each other.   If the NFL really finds the N-word so offensive they should stop treating the players like that’s what they are.

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The Little Murders Matter Too.

Hadiya is gone, but she must not be forgotten.

Hadiya is gone, but she must not be forgotten.

The one thing I want to make clear is while I’m in pain over the murder of Justin Davis by Michael Dunn, I’m not in any more pain than I am over the death of a Hadiya Pendelton and the distressingly long list of Black people who meet their ends not at the hands of a trigger-happy Dunn or George Zimmerman, but through random acts of  cruel and destructive street violence.

Hadiya Pendleton was the innocent victim of gang warfare. President Obama mentioned her in his State of the Union address.

CBS 2′s Jim Williams talked to Hadiya’s parents, who despite their grief have been very busy in the past year. January 29th is an anniversary Cleo and Nate Pendleton dread.

Cleo Pendleton, Hadiya’s mother, called it “the darkest day of our lives.”

“I don’t look forward to the 29th at all,” said Hadiya’s father, Nate Pendleton.

“I’m afraid of the 29th because I remember what it felt like last year,” Cleo said.

One year ago Wednesday, their daughter Hadiya was shot to death near her high school. The 15-year-old honor student was the victim of alleged gang members who fired into a crowd.

“We grieve always. Talking to you, we’re grieving. Talking about our baby is sad because it’s in the past tense,” said Cleo Pendleton.

The Pendletons will mark the anniversary at an after-school assembly with Hadiya’s classmates at King College Prep High School, which has been decked out in purple – Hadiya’s favorite color.

Trayvon Martin’s parents.

I’m angry and I’m hurt, but not more angry and hurt than I am when the 11:00 news is on and there’s yet another shooting and yet another dead body on the South side of the city where I live.   I’ve written thousands upon thousands upon thousands about Black boys and Black girls and Black men and Black women and Black children who met premature and senseless ends at the hands of someone who looks like them.

To limit my outrage to White killers and Black victims or fatal encounters with cops marginalizes and trivializes the little murders that aren’t front page news, don’t spark marches or soul-searching speeches and commentaries or shake our collective consciences.   Every murder matters to somebody and it shouldn’t take an angry racist like Michael Dunn to make Justin Davis matter to me.

In 2012, USA Today columnist DeWayne Wickham wrote, “Taking on this problem is no civil rights photo op. It’s a campaign that could last as long as the U.S. military action in Afghanistan — America’s longest war. But the payoff for solving it would be huge. It could stabilize black communities…most important, a campaign to end these murders will save the lives of the thousands of blacks who are killed by other blacks each year, an effort that currently lacks the intensity of the call for justice for Trayvon Martin.”

Had Justin died from a bullet fired by a brother instead of a bigot would his death mean any less to me?   If Black life isn’t valued and treasured and protected among each other we can hardly be shocked when it is not valued by anyone else.

I grieve for every deplorable death in my community..  The tragedy of a murdered Black child is not magnified exclusively by the White skin of their killer.

We can do better.  We must do better.  Nothing less than our the future of the race is at stake and when our children are lost to  We can spare some family the agony the families of Hadiya, Justin and Trayvon live with every day.

To paraphrase Joseph Stalin, every kid’s death is a tragedy.  The fact we don’t know all their names should not make them only a statistic.

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“If They Take You In The Morning, They Will Be Coming For Us That Night”

Jordan Davis is Dead. But not murdered?

I wish I had something more to say about the fact that Michael Dunn was not convicted for killing a black boy. Except I said it after George Zimmerman was not convicted of killing a black boy. Except the parents of black boys already know this. Except the parents of black boys have long said this, and they have been answered with mockery.

Jordan Davis had a mother and a father. It did not save him. Trayvon Martin had a mother and a father. They could not save him. My son has a father and mother. We cannot protect him from our country, which is our aegis and our assailant. We cannot protect our children because racism in America is not merely a belief system but a heritage, and the inability of black parents to protect their children is an ancient tradition.

Ta-Neshi Coates/”On the Killing of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn”

James Baldwin (photo credit ReciteThis.com)

One might have hoped that, by this hour, the very sight of chains on black flesh, or the very sight of chains, would be so intolerable a sight for the American people, and so unbearable a memory, that they would themselves spontaneously rise up and strike off the manacles. But, no, they appear to glory in their chains; now, more than ever, they appear to measure their safety in chains and corpses.

The American triumph—in which the American tragedy has always been implicit—was to make black people despise themselves. When I was little I despised myself, I did not know any better. And this meant, albeit unconsciously, or against my will, or in great pain, that I also despised my father. And my mother. And my brothers. And my sisters. Black people were killing each other every Saturday night out on Lenox Avenue, when I was growing up; and no one explained to them, or to me, that it was intended that they should; that they were penned where they were, like animals, in order that they should consider themselves no better than animals. Everything supported this sense of reality, nothing denied it: and so one was ready, when it came time to go to work, to be treated as a slave. So one was ready, when human terrors came, to bow before a white God and beg Jesus for salvation—this same white God who was unable to raise a finger to do so little as to help you pay your rent, unable to be awakened in time to help you save your child!

Angela Davis

Angela Davis

We know that we, the blacks, and not only we, the blacks, have been, and are, the victims of a system whose only fuel is greed, whose only god is profit. We know that the fruits of this system have been ignorance, despair, and death, and we know that the system is doomed because the world can no longer afford it—if, indeed, it ever could have. And we know that, for the perpetuation of this system, we have all been mercilessly brutalized, and have been told nothing but lies, lies about ourselves and our kinsmen and our past, and about love, life, and death, so that both soul and body have been bound in hell.

Some of us, white and black, know how great a price has already been paid to bring into existence a new consciousness, a new people, an unprecedented nation. If we know, and do nothing, we are worse than the murderers hired in our name.

If we know, then we must fight for your life as though it were our own—which it is—and render impassable with our bodies the corridor to the gas chamber. For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.

An Open Letter to My Sister, Miss Angela Davis by James Baldwin/November 19, 1970

This innocent country set you down in a ghetto in which, in fact, it intended that you should perish. Let me spell out precisely what I mean by that for the heart of the matter is here and the crux of my dispute with my country. You were born where you were born and faced the future that you faced because you were black and for no other reason. The limits to your ambition were thus expected to be settled. You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity and in as many ways as possible that you were a worthless human being. You were not expected to aspire to excellence. You were expected to make peace with mediocrity. Wherever you have turned, James, in your short time on this earth, you have been told where you could go and what you could do and how you could do it, where you could live and whom you could marry.

Please try to be clear, dear James, through the storm which rages about your youthful head today, about the reality which lies behind the words “acceptance” and “integration.” There is no reason for you to try to become like white men and there is no basis whatever for their impertinent assumption that they must accept you. The really terrible thing, old buddy, is that you must accept them, and I mean that very seriously. You must accept them and accept them with love, for these innocent people have no other hope. They are in effect still trapped in a history which they do not understand and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it. They have had to believe for many years, and for innumerable reasons, that black men are inferior to white men.

Many of them indeed know better, but as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they know. To act is to be committed and to be committed is to be in danger. In this case the danger in the minds and hearts of most white Americans is the loss of their identity. Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up one morning to find the sun shivering and all the stars aflame. You would be frightened because it is out of the order of nature. Any upheaval in the universe is terrifying because it so profoundly attacks one’s sense of one’s own reality. Well, the black man has functioned in the white man’s world as a fixed star, as an immovable pillar, and as he moves out of his place, heaven and earth are shaken to their foundations.

A Letter to My Nephew by James Baldwin/ December 1962

James Baldwin. Right then. Still right now.

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To Blog or Get A Dog?

Yes, more of this. Definitely.

This is a Seinfeld blog post.  It’s nothing but a guy bitching cause he’s got a bad case of the winter blahs, ya feel me?

It has been one unbearably long, bitterly frigid, rotten winter. Not in the sense of the power’s out, the heat’s off, there’s no food in the fridge and I’m freezing to death here in the dark kind of tough. Just in the way when you step foot outside you think, “Damn, will I be glad when all this snow is gone and I can walk in the park without risking breaking my fool neck!”

Maybe it’s because I’m sick of looking out the window as I write and starting at streets, sidewalks and people all covered in a blanket of white flakes. It’s like watching too much porn. At first it’s kind of exciting, then it becomes routine and finally it’s just boring as hell.

So, part of me know this is just cabin fever, the winter of my discontent and weariness over a host of other issues on the job, family, money and health matters that writing is usually a release from, only not so much lately. Nothing feels exciting or fresh. Music, food, books, company, sex, it’s all ho-hum, so what and what’s on TV tonight? If this keeps up I might fall nod off standing up.

Even the old faithful of Washington politics, celebrity stupidity,  a high-profile racially motivated killing and weeping over the sad end of the San Francisco 49ers season doesn’t move me to write. Damn, Old Man Winter anyway!

I blame some this on blogging.  I’m good at it, but it’s not always agreeing with me.

When I started my blog in 2008 there was no plan I’d still be at it in 2014. The blog was only supposed to be something to mess around with in between freelancing gigs. It never was meant to be the be-all and end-all, but that’s what it is now.

And I’m kind of tired with it. It’s not that I don’t have things to say. It’s that I want to say those things in a different way and maybe in a different place.

I’ve written 907 posts, racked up 632,682 views, got 2,406 comments and deleted an ungodly amount of spam. I’ve been Freshly Pressed three or four times and in a week or two I’ll have 1,000 followers of my blog.   Like it matters.  Those are just numbers and while numbers never lie, they aren’t the whole truth either.

Blogging is mostly fun, but good blogging is hard work and finding something to say every two or so days that’s good is very hard work.

If I’m not psyched and pumped to get to the keyboard and look at it with the enthusiasm of unclogging a toilet, maybe I’m making what should be casual fun into hard work.

Dog Dance

Dog Dance (Photo credits: Giphy)

Caring for a blog and feeding it regularly with fresh content is becoming a grind.  So maybe  I might want to get a dog. If I have to invest in something that requires time, attention and my best effort maybe a four-legged companion that is always glad to see me no matter how full, empty or frazzled my brain is on a given day.

I love dogs, but I haven’t had one since my kids were kids, but the model we got was a little defective and didn’t work out too well. I’m thinking about trying again. The wife isn’t as crazy about the idea, but I don’t think she’ll go to war over the idea.

But she’s not delirious with joy either.

No dis of cat people. I’m a dog man, myself. Always have been. Cats can be playful but it has to be on their schedule..  Dogs?  Dogs bring the playful like water from the tap.

In my current winterlude of lethargy and lassitude, I positively crave a little playful.

I want a dog. I think I NEED a dog.  Until this miserable winter is over I’m sure not motivated to blog.

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The Brave One

michael-sam-brandon wade_AP

Michael Sam (photo: Brandon Wade/AP)

So we’ve got an openly gay man that wants to play in the NFL?  And he’s good enough to deserve a shot?  What’s the problem?

Michael Sam came out publicly on Sunday, likely setting himself to become the first openly gay player in the National Football League. And then a group of league executives reminded everyone why such an announcement probably didn’t happen sooner.

Speaking anonymously to Sports Illustrated, the executives said that the All-American defensive end from Missouri probably hurt his draft stock with his announcement.

“I don’t think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet,” an NFL player personnel assistant told SI. “In the coming decade or two, it’s going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it’s still a man’s-man game. To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It’d chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room.”

One longtime NFL scout said there’s “no question” the announcement will make teams less apt to select Sam in April’s draft.

An assistant personnel director said it will take “one confident general manager or head coach” with firm job security to take Sam.

Or at least a general manager or coach confident enough to go on record and declare, “I don’t care if he’s gay.  I care if he can help us win!”

I can’t remember the name of the player but a few seasons ago there was a guy the Tennessee Titans drafted who was supposedly “too cerebral” for the NFL.   This is a league that drafts guys with criminal records, “off the field” issues, disciplinary problems and drug dependencies.  This is a league that has guys who have committed crimes including drug dealing, gang affiliations, DUI’s, and a couple of murder raps (Aaron Hernandez, Rae Carruth, Jovan Belcher, O.J. Simpson, Ray Lewis(?).

Open the door, NFL or I'll kick it in."

Open the door, NFL or I’ll kick it in.”

The NFL makes all the right noises about being diverse and inclusive, but in all the ways that counts it’s no different from the days when Reggie White was saying he never played with a gay teammate.  Which of course is a crock.  White always played with gay players.  He just didn’t know they were gay and for Sam there is still a lot of  White’s homophobic ignorance in the NFL.

But this is no longer White’s NFL and in this case that is a good thing.

Maybe because of his size, Sam will have to play as a linebacker instead of a defensive end, but he’s got the credentials that say he should be able to play on Sundays as well as he did on Saturdays.

Sam never hid his sexual orientation at Missouri and from what is being reported, he went public with it before someone else did.  Let’s be real here.  College and pro football is like ham and eggs.   There are coaches in college whom are friends with coaches in the pros and they talk.   Does anyone really think they don’t talk about the players on their teams who might be gay or are?

There will be proclamations of how wonderful this is for gay rights and how far we’ve come as a country and my, look how progressive and enlightened we are!  Which is why in 2014 an openly gay football player is the lead story on programs that don’t do football stories, right?   Let us not be naive.  Homophobia and gay-baiting/bashing won’t be ended in a NFL team’s locker room anymore than it has in Vladimir Putin’s Olympic games.

Sure Michael Sam will be called names and subject to gay-baiting.  So what?  What rookie isn’t given a hard time? What Sam will go through will be a bit different sort of hassle.  As long as he makes plays on the open field that will matter far more than what he does behind closed doors.

I don’t concern myself with the sex lives of grown-ups as long as its only with grown-ups in their sex lives.   If Joe Montana and Jerry Rice turned out to be secret lovers on the down-low creep it wouldn’t lessen one bit the joy I received from all those victories they racked up.

We will see who’s brave enough to get past the ignorance on Draft Day.  The NFL is on the clock.

It will be a great day when the NFL is troubled less by players who kiss men than players who have killed men.

Coming to sack a QB near you next season?

Coming to sack a QB near you next season?

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George Zimmerman Wants Your Blood…Blood Money, That Is.

This man is a killer. Why would you give him your money?

Sometimes I’m asked, “Why do you write about George Zimmerman so much?”  Trust me when I say, I would rather not write about him at all.  In a perfect world he would be serving the next 25 years behind bars for the killing of Trayvon Martin, but there is no perfect world and as long as Zimmerman keeps getting in my face and flaunting his disrespect for the dead, I will never stop hounding him.

Zimmerman craves attention and his latest bid for it was the announcement he had partnered with a celebrity boxing promoter named Damon Feldman to stage a fight for charity.  The erstwhile opponent for the 30-year-old vigilante is rapper Earl “DMX” Summers who is 43 and fresh out of a recent stint in rehab.

“Prior to the incident, I was actually going to the gym for weight loss and doing boxing-type training for weight loss,” Zimmerman told Radar.com,  “A mutual friend put me in contact with Damon and provided me with an opportunity and motivation to get back in shape and continue with my weight loss goals and also be able to help a charity out.”

The “incident” Zimmerman referred to is the shooting of Martin.

DMX is eager for the match as he told TMZ.com, “I am going to beat the living fuck out him … I am breaking every rule in boxing to make sure I fuck him right up.”

DMX added, “Once I am done with him, I am going to whip my dick out and piss on him … right in his muthafuckin’ face.”

The “fight” would be a three-round, pay-per-view event.  There were no shortage of prospective challengers willing to punch Zimmerman in the face, but apparently they decided taking on a younger opponent might put the vigilante at too great a risk.

This isn’t the rapper Zimmerman wants to fight, but it’s the rapper that should fight him.

This is The Game. He is 6’5, 240 lbs. He didn’t much like that picture of him the Zimmerman groupies tried to pass off to trash Trayvon.  He has a Trayvon tattoo on his leg. He says, “I would box him to knock him out,” adding, “I would definitely take pleasure in it. It’s legal, and I want to show him you can solve your disputes without a weapon.”

It would be a short fight. Two hits. The Game hits Zim. Zim hits the ground.

But the ref would have to check George for weapons because we know he doesn’t process getting his ass kicked real well.   The last time that happened he wound up getting his ass handed to him. So he cheated and “won.”

There’s a natural, visceral and understandable urge to see Zimmerman get what little brains he has beaten out.   As his ex-wife Shellie said of him, “George feels invincible.”   What better way to prove that invincibility and his superiority than to take down another Black man who crosses his path?

The problem is that this wouldn’t be the delayed gratification everyone who believes Zimmerman got away with murder is craving.  Zimmerman is playing  us for fools.  He has no remorse for what he did.  He’s never apologized to The Martin family.   He’s simply trying to cash in on his notoriety.

The show must not go on.

There is a petition on Change.org to put a stop to this vile farce.

It’s a scary time we live in when a child murderer and domestic abuser is granted celebrity status and the opportunity to make money off the blood and tears of his victims. Sadly that’s exactly what we’re seeing, as news broke that George Zimmerman has been chosen to fight in a televised Celebrity Boxing Match slated for March 1, according to reports.

While the allure of such a spectacle may be strong for many, we must all be mindful of the fact that each person who tunes in would be contributing to the ratings that will help line Zimmerman’s pockets. After the hysteria has died down he’ll be richer (as will whoever fights him) and we’ll be his investors, not to mention perpetrators of his false celebrity status.

We must not stand for this. We must not watch idly as Zimmerman is allowed to make a mockery of not just his victims and their families but society as a whole. This is not entertainment, but rather a shameful spectacle indicative of just how low we risk sinking as a culture if we allow ourselves to tolerate and worse, participate in, such an atrocious display of callous inhumanity.

Any venue that would host this bullshit “fight” should be picketed, any charity that would accept Zimmerman’s blood money will be boycotted and any entrance George tries to enter thru should force him to run a gauntlet of protesters lined up on both sides raining spittle and flinging flaming bags of dog crap upon him.    And if no one else will do it, I will go and do it myself.

This is a monstrous travesty and a mockery of the murder of Trayvon Martin. If America has become so depraved, jaded and starved for fresh forms of “entertainment” it will tune into staged fights with a killer, then why not bring back donkeys vs. virgins shows and biting off the heads of live chickens while we’re at it?

This is an embarrassing and vulgar display of total contempt and shame on everyone involved in it and shame on anyone who would even dream of watching it.

The victim. Remember?

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May You Be In Heaven a Half Hour Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Philip.

Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967 – 2014 (photo by Mark Abrahams)

Super Bowl 48  was a hot mess.  Let’s discuss something else.

Today there is shock Phillip Seymour Hoffman is dead from an apparent drug overdose. Tomorrow, the judgments will come fast and furious on why he is dead.

If you don’t want to be judged, it’s probably not a good idea to be found in a room with a spike full of heroin in your arm. Hoffman was tremendously talented. You don’t win Best Actor Academy Awards for being a schlub. But talent is not enough. It’s never enough. The cemetery is full of talented people who make terrible decisions. The man was an Academy Award winning Best Actor for heavens sake and a husband and a father and a son and none of that matters now.

That could have been avoided if Hoffman could have outrun his demons. But they ran a little faster.

A small movie like Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, the last film directed by the great Sidney Lumet, makes for electrifying viewing due to Hoffman’s nuanced performance. Even big-time, splashy action fare like Mission: Impossible 3 provide Hoffman a chance to show off his acting chops as a memorable villain rather than just phone it in and pick up a big check.

It’s honestly shocking to me that Hoffman is dead.

It’s shocking because 46 is too damn young to die. It’s shocking because Philip Seymour Hoffman’s talent emerged and overcame his less-than-leading-man looks. It’s shocking because the guy checked himself into rehab last year after 20 some years of being clean. It’s shocking because while addicts and junkies die every day, nobody notices until it’s a name brand that kicks off.

It’s shocking because its sad, it’s unnecessary and the stigma that comes with treating drug addiction as a crime rather than a sickness is something we need to get serious about getting over.

The song remains the same. Only the lyrics are changed slightly.

Heroin is a helluva drug. R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman. Gone far too soon.

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