Forget The Mueller Questions, These Are The Twelve Questions I’d Like Trump To Answer!

The New York Times just broke a story publishing a list of 49 questions the Mueller investigation would like Donald Trump to answer. The questions are a result of negotiations between the Special Counsel’s team and Trump’s lawyers. Discussions that came to an end when lead Trump lawyer John Dowd was fired resigned from the position. The questions were provided orally to the Trump lawyers who wrote them down and presumably are the source of the leak.

The questions are highly specific and center on Donald Trump’s knowledge about how certain decisions were made and what Donald Trump knew. They seem to be focused on whether or not Trump has obstructed justice. While I want those questions answered and have no doubt that Trump has obstructed justice, laundered money, paid illegal bribes to foreign countries, violated FEC laws regarding contributions (paid off women he had affairs with to aid his election effort) and of course conspired with Russia. The 49 questions cited by the times aren’t really the ones I want to be answered. I want him to answer these:

a a a a a a a a a a a questions

  1. What is your reading level? I’ve seen you struggle with documents, sounding out words and showing off your Hooked On Phonics skills but can you read at better than a 5th-grade level? Inquiring minds want to know.
  2. Are you disappointed that even though you got to be President, you can never be a made man because you’re not Italian? Hanging out with mobsters half your life and always being shut out when the big meetings were held and the real decisions made, had to hurt.
  3. Who does your hair? Normally the stylist to the President would try to capitalize on the fame and build their business based on their relationship with you. In this case, there’s a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA) requiring you never to reveal their name and expose them to shame.
  4. Do you pick out your own clothes? You’re allegedly a rich man, you can do better than those ugly coats and super long ties. Maybe you’re trying to distract from that gut but it’s not really working.
  5. What’s up with your fixation with women that look like your daughter and why do you tell your women that? In a related question, do you ask them to call you Daddy?
  6. What do you and Melania talk about when you’re alone? Of course, it’s possible you have an arrangement where you are never alone together? Separate bedrooms and all. Here’s a tip; stop trying to hold her hand in public. It’s clear she’s not feeling you.
  7. When you lie (which is all the time), do you realize you’re lying or just not care? Your lies aren’t even good at the moment and certainly don’t age well. You are the exception to the rule that, “The Truth Will Set You Free!” In your case, the truth will lock you up?
  8. You know Barack’s is bigger right? That’s gonna haunt you the rest of your life that you’ll never be the man he is, in every meaning of the word.
  9. What did Omarosa do in the White House? I’d say something about her lack of knowledge about any policy matter but I forgot that would make you equal.
  10. While we’re on your black sycophants, what’s the deal with the black guy with the sign and t-shirt at all your rallies and how much do you pay Diamond and Silk, Pastor Mark Burns and Dr. Darrell Scott? Whatever it is it isn’t enough unless the price for selling your soul has really gone down.
  11. How well do you think you’ll do in jail and would you rather be in the same prison or different prisons than Donald Jr and Jared?
  12. How does the President of the United States end up with the worst lawyers of all the people in the White House that had to lawyer up? Maybe you should have looked a little further than Fox News for applicants?

How Bill Cosby Became Willie Horton and O.J.

Yesterday I wrote an article about the Bill Cosby verdict where he was found guilty of three counts of Aggravated Indecent Assault and he faces up to 30 years in prison. Bill Cosby has been accused by 60 separate women of various forms of sexual assault, most involving Cosby giving the women drugs and taking advantage of them while incapacitated. I left no doubt that I believe Cosby to be guilty of much of what he has been charged with. If I didn’t accept the word of any of the women that have come forward against him, Cosby’s own words in a deposition taken between 2005–2006 where he admits to giving women Quaalude’s for the purpose of having sex, were enough for me.

Many people have responded to my article with comments ranging from refusal to believe in Cosby’s guilt to wondering why he is being singled out for prosecution to why did the women wait so long to relating it to Cosby’s attempt to purchase NBC. Many of the respondents feel the case had a lot to do about race and I happen to agree with them. It is possible both for Cosby to be guilty and some of the rationale for his persecution to be about race.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, campaigned on the promise that he would prosecute Bill Cosby after his opponent, Bruce Castor, the District Attorney in 2005, refused to bring a case against Cosby at that time. Castor said in 2014, “I wanted to arrest Bill Cosby because I thought he was probably guilty, but being able to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt and thinking he’s probably guilty are two different things.” Kevin Steele ran campaign ads indicating, “Castor didn’t look out for Cosby’s victims.” The “victims” Steele fought for were almost all white and the images in some of the ads featuring an unflattering image of Cosby, were reminiscent of Willie Horton. The Montgomery County election that Steele ultimately won, came five months after Donald Trump announced his campaign for President. Pennsylvania unexpectedly went for Trump, in no small part by playing up to the fears of white people. You can believe Cosby to be guilty yet understand that his race played a role in his prosecution

There are no small number of people who wonder why Bill Cosby was tried, then retried after a mistrial, when other men, not eighty years old and almost blind, are not being persecuted for similar charges? Nate Parker, a black man, was acquitted of rape charges in 2001. Fifteen years later, when his film, “Birth of a Nation” received critical acclaim and was gaining steam for the Academy Awards. A coordinated campaign to besmirch him was unleashed and his film suffered greatly. Casey Affleck, who settled 2010 civil suits claiming sexual harassment, won the Oscar, shortly after the allegations became widely-known. R. Kelly still is involved with young girls. Donald Trump has been accused by 19 different women and of rape by a then 13-year-old girl… he’s President. You can believe Cosby to be guilty and be aware of a double-standard. Harvey Weinstein has been accused by more than 70 women of sex related charges including rape, and has yet to be charged. It is alleged that New York City and Los Angeles County are “considering charges.” Perhaps, like O.J. Simpson, the race of the victims made the prosecution care more than they might have otherwise? If Cosby had been drugging and attacking black women, would he have faced a second trial?

There were moments in the trial that greatly increased the chances Cosby would be found guilty. His 2005–2006 deposition was allowed into evidence in which Bill Cosby described his behavior in several cases including Andrea Constand, his accuser in the Pennsylvania case where he was found guilty. The deposition was given conditionally, it could never be used against him… and yet it was. The judge also allowed five additional women to testify to bolster the prosecution’s case. You can believe Cosby to be guilty, and wonder if he got a fair trial.

The accusations of several women was not enough to jail Donald Trump, or Roy Moore, or many other rich and famous men. In a he said, she said scenario where the she is a white woman and he a black male. Did he ever have a chance? One can believe Cosby to be guilty. And wonder about the fairness of it all?

One last thing, the press coverage since the verdict has been one white woman after another taking a victory lap after the guilty verdict. I don’t begrudge his victims being able to salvage some small satisfaction at what will be as close to justice as many of them will ever get. Yet some of the coverage seems almost gleeful as the #MeToo movement settles on #JustHim. Charlie Rose is planning a television series, interviewing other men suffering inconvenience from having their abuse uncovered. Mark Halpern is planning a comeback. Harvey Weinstein is the poster boy for sexual abuse yet he is still rich, and free. The woman who accused Emmett Till, Carolyn Bryant Donham, admitted she lied and got the 14-year-old Till beaten and killed. She’s 82-years old, not much older than Cosby. No jail cells being prepared for her. There is no inconsistency in thinking that Bill Cosby is guilty, deserves to be sentenced and jailed, and yet having it leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Bill Cosby: Guilty!

In Norristown, PA today, Bill Cosby was found guilty on three counts of Aggravated Indecent Assault in a Montgomery County courtroom. He was found guilty specifically of a January 2004 assault of Andrea Constand, a Temple University employee, who claims Cosby gave her three blue pills and a sip of wine. She awoke to find Cosby digitally penetrating and groping her, forcing her hand on his penis, according to her testimony.

Five other women testified at the trial corroborating similar stories of being drugged by Cosby, including model Janice Dickenson. All but one claimed they were sexually assaulted by Cosby after being drugged. Entered into evidence was a deposition of Bill Cosby taken between 2005–2006 where he admitted having given women Quaaludes for the purpose of having sex.

“Q: You gave them to other people?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you believe at that time that it was illegal for you to dispense those drugs?

A: Yes.

Q: How did (the doctor) know that you didn’t plan to use [them]?

A: What was happening at that time was that, that was, Quaaludes happen to be the drug that kids, young people were using to party with and there were times when I wanted to have them just in case.

Q: When you got the Quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?

A: Yes.

In the deposition Cosby acknowledged having sex with several other women after giving them drugs and sometimes making cash payments through Educational Trusts from his foundation or otherwise. It is fair to mention that the deposition was never intended to be made public and that Cosby’s understanding is that it never would be. It was a condition of a settlement he might not have agreed to had he known the testimony would ever see the light of day.

By August of 2016, 60 women had come forward to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault… 60. There are those who claim this was all a set up to bring down a powerful black man who was rumored to be attempting to buy NBC. There are those that claim “all the women are lying” in an attempt to make a name for themselves or get paid.” Some say, “it’s all a conspiracy.”

I think we can all agree that it’s sad that a man of Cosby’s age and poor health is looking at possibly spending the rest of his life in prison. Each of the three counts he was found guilty of carries up to a 10-year-sentence which if added together would be thirty years, Cosby is presently 80-years old. Cosby’s lawyers promised an appeal and it’s very possible he could fight the case until his death and never serve a day of time? But poor health is not the same as not guilty.

I’m thinking of a 71-year-old white man who has been accused by 19 different women of sexual abuse and in at least one case… child rape. Many that like Cosby but dislike this man would have no problem finding the other man guilty based on the combined weight of credible testimony. That man has made separate payments of $150,000 and $130,000 to keep his dalliances quiet and a recent raid of his lawyer’s office may reveal many more. If you would see the white man that you dislike strung up for his crimes, what then of Cosby whom you once admired? 60 women!

I grew up idolizing Bill Cosby, more so as a serious actor for his groundbreaking role in, “I Spy,” which was already in re-runs when I discovered it. I liked him as a comedian and for what I knew of him as a man. Yes, it’s true that people are using this case and Cosby’s conviction to advance their own purposes and careers. Some may be looking to make some money off of Cosby’s ordeal. These things being true have nothing to do with Cosby’s guilt or innocence.

By his own words, Cosby gave young women drugs for the purpose of having sex, with them often not knowing what they were. The piper was a long time in coming, but must be paid!

The Ubiquitous, Awesome Luvvie Ajayi: AAMBC Literary Awards Nominee; Blogger of the Year

I’ve known for months I’d be writing this article, introducing Luvvie Ajayi, as one of the nominees for an AAMBC Literary Award. It seemed reasonable to do a bit of research to supplement that which I already knew. The question soon became not what to include but how do I leave out so much?

I knew her to be a New York Times Best-Selling Author based on her 2016 book, I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual. I had bought the book, twice as I gave the first copy to a friend. I knew she was the co-founder of, “The Red Pump Project,” a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate women and girls of color about HIV through bold programming and digital initiatives. I didn’t know that HIV is the leading cause of death of death for black women ages 25–34, I encourage everyone to find a Red Pump Project event in your area and support it.

I’ve followed Luvvie’s blog for years which is both inspirational and humbling. I started a blog two tears ago, a blogger I know with a good sized national following said she gets about 25,000 views a month. I had a month when I had that many views and was about to get a little cocky until I saw some time ago where Luvvie got over 100,000 views on a single post and averaged then about 300,000 monthly. She gave a TED Talk that since November has gotten over 2 million views.

A recent post, “About the Weary Weaponizing of White Women Tears, has had almost 24 thousand Facebook shares as of this writing. Her broadband provider contacted her about having to charge her more because for all practical purposes she broke the Internet!

Luvvie has started a new Podcast called, “Rants and Randomness.” I listened to a few episodes and now I imagine I hear Luvvie wherever I go. I’m driving in my car, listening to NPR and I thinkI hear Luvvie. Then I realize it actually is Luvvie, giving feedback on the final episode of “Scandal.” Her live tweets and reviews of Scandal episodes were one of the zillion things for which she is famous. I walked past a magazine stand and think I see Luvvie with a solo magazine cover after previously sharing covers on Essence and Ebony. I must have been seeing things.

Luvvie would be the first to tell you that she got where she is by hard work. Fifteen years of writing, ten of public speaking, hustling, marketing, networking, crashing and then repeating the cycle again. Her book is being developed into a cable comedy series by Shonda Rhimes. She shows up any and everywhere and there’s two things you can count on; her shoes will be fly and she didn’t get there by flying on Spirit Airlines with whom she has a hate/hate relationship.

What you get from Luvvie no matter the medium, is realness and the unvarnished truth. She uses humor but will snatch some edges from time to time as required. She stays true to herself, her Nigerian roots, and does far more behind the scenes to support worthy causes than you could ever imagine someone with no time at all could make time for.

The AAMBC Literary Awards will be held in Atlanta, Georgia. June 8–10, 2018 as part of Black Writers Weekend.

InContempt: A Review

BET premiered a new series, “InContempt,” a legal drama focusing on public defenders, starring Erica Ash. I am a fan of legal dramas and the fact writer Terri Kopp with experience from; Law & Order, Justice, and In Justice, was behind the project was a plus. I saw a preview of a strong courtroom scene and immediately programmed my television to record the series with high expectations.

I watched the first episode and couldn’t decide whether I was more excited or disappointed. Instead of trying to survive on a strong premise and a talented cast (Mouna Traore, Christian Keyes, Eugene Clark, Megan Hutchings, Tobias Truvillion, and Richard Lawson co-star). InContempt tries to be too many things to too many people. Erica Ash as fiercely opinionated Gwen Sullivan, is out of control in every aspect of her life including her finances, sex life, family, and courtroom demeanor, with weekly panic attacks thrown in for good measure. Her outstanding legal scenes and eyeopening portrayal of the uphill battles clients face in a system designed to herd them to sentencing like cattle, are offset by making her personally weak and susceptible to anything to appeal to what I presume BET thinks its fans need to see. “The Quad,” another less than ambitious BET Series was canceled early into its second season by trying to be more prurient than relevant. Let’s hope InContempt doesn’t follow the same path.

The second episode was better than the first, several of the cast are beginning to break away from their stereotypical roles although not yet to the point where we care about them. I’m trying real hard to like this series and will continue to watch the series in hopes it hits a stride and reaches its potential. They would do well to stop trying to reach too many audiences and settle on one or two.

Admit It, You Don’t Hate “September” Because Some Random White Person Covered It.

So, Taylor Swift with no promotion released a single which was a cover of Earth Wind & Fire’s “September,” and social media went berserk. It was as if this were the epitome of cultural appropriation and Ms. Swift had committed the ultimate faux pas. The mere concept that she would have the nerve to do a song, which somehow became retroactively the new Black National Anthem, the moment Taylor Swift hit her first note.

There’s a few people not mad at her; Allee Willis, one of the song’s co-writers, gave her seal of approval which probably has nothing to do with the royalties she’ll get paid if the song is a hit. Phillip Bailey, EWF’s lead singer, liked the song, he said, “Music is free like that,” adding, “Ain’t Got Nothing But Love For Ya #freedomin music.”

Taylor Swift first earned the ire of the black community when she won the 2009 VMA’s “Best Female Video Award” which Kanye West promptly snatched and said Beyonce should have won for “Single Ladies” and Swift didn’t deserve it. While Kanye had a point, Taylor Swift became the poster girl for white woman victim hood and every accomplishment she’s had since has the taint of white privilege in the minds of many. The record must reflect she allegedly lied years later about Kanye West’s approving her use of lyrics written by West in another song. Regarding, “September,” Swift changed the lyrics of one line from the original, “the 21st night of September,” to, “the 28th.” Surely she must be hanged for that.

The uproar has been going on for days and I finally got around to listening to the song. It’s not going to be in my play list, I won’t be purchasing or even downloading the song so I can sneak and listen to it when nobody’s looking. But it was a nice, sweet, song, that she sang well. It was slower, used acoustic guitar instead of the EWF horn section, but it was nice.

Musicians have been singing songs that cross culture since the beginning of music. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis and others sang black music their whole careers. Ray Charles sang a country song or two. Prince did a country song originally written for and performed by Bonnie Raitt (I Can’t Make U Love Me) and nobody seems to mind as long as the money;s straight. Assuming the writer’s get their due, I just don’t see the harm in Taylor Swift doing a version of a song that remains beautiful no matter who sang it. As long as she never touches Frankie Beverly and Maze… we’re good.

Starbucks To Close Over 8,000 Stores For A Day To Conduct “Racial Bias Education Training”

Starbucks just announced they will close over 8,000 stores to conduct “racial-bias education training” in reaction to the backlash they’ve received since a store manager called the police and had two black men arrested for trespassing at a Philadelphia location while waiting for a third man without yet ordering.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson flew from Seattle to Philadelphia and spent time “listening to the community” and personally apologizing to the two men before announcing what he called, “the first of several steps.” The training will take place in stores across the nation on May 29 for its 175,000 employees. The curriculum is being developed in conjunction with input from local and national experts including; former US Attorney General Eric Holder; Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Heather McGhee, President of policy center Demos; and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.

Videos of the incident have gone viral, the store where it happened was temporarily closed and a boycott of Starbucks is being organized. The fate of the white female manager is still unclear. She left the job while an internal investigation continues but whether she quit or was suspended is uncertain. A protester carried a sign outside the store yesterday, “Is She Fired or Nah?”

The closing of the stores is a dramatic step in reaction to the protests. Rosalind Brewer, the company’s Chief Operating Officer and a black woman, said as the mother of a 23-year-old son, she found the cellphone videos “painful to watch.” In a video message, CEO Johnson said, “I will fix this!” Let’s hope he does.