How Black Panther Got Roseanne Fired And Why Others Need To Be Careful


Roseanne Barr made a racist tweet and within hours, ABC canceled her show. Her show was leading in the ratings and making lots of money, and none of it mattered. And it’s all because of the Black Panther movie.

Although ABC made an announcement about Roseanne’s tweet being, “inconsistent with our values,” I don’t know how credible that is. Long before she tweeted about Valerie Jarrett being the offspring of an ape, she referred to Susan Rice an an ape in 2013. ABC knew who and what Roseanne Barr was when they green-lit her show. They simply decided that what they really valued was money.

Roseanne has made several statements in the past couple days saying, “I am not a racist,” and “I have never been a racist.” I don’t doubt that she believes that in her heart. She and many others have redefined racism in their own minds such that almost nothing qualifies. Even her apology was racist, she said she was only joking about Valerie Jarrett’s looks when calling her an ape. But back to Black Panther.


The Black Panther movie just dropped $1.3 Billion with a capital “B” in box office receipts in theaters worldwide, stepping on toes and snatching edges while doing so. With the sequel in the planning stages, ABC’s parent company, The Walt Disney Company, has to be concerned with its ability to renegotiate to bring back Director Ryan Coogler, and get it’s mostly black cast to return including Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong and Letitia Wright and to ignore Roseanne’s racism as they discuss their salaries and future relationships with the company. Black Panther may have made some of them stars, but their marketability will now travel. It might get a little harder to say, “Wakanda Forever” with the bitter taste of Roseanne’s tweets in their mouth.


I wish I could say it was the threat of an economic boycott of ABC. They probably had as little to fear from that as the NFL did over Colin Kaepernick. They do need the ability to get deals done and to at least appear to have some of those values they referred to. If Black America ever did wield its economic strength like a sledgehammer, it would be something to behold! Quite a few celebrities are building their brand on “not being politically correct” or “telling it like it is.” They would be well served to pay attention to what just happened to Roseanne Barr. Just because your President seems to be getting away with it on a regular basis, doesn’t mean that you can or that he won’t eventually get his.

Roseanne Barr: “I Am Truly Sorry For Making a Bad Joke…”


When Roseanne Barr woke up this morning, she was the star of a controversial but undeniably hit television show. By early afternoon, her show was canceled, she’d been dropped by her agent, and racists everywhere are crying foul. In response to a political tweet about African-American former Presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett; Barr described Jarrett as the child of “Muslim brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.”


The outrage began immediately, Consulting Producer Wanda Sykes tweeted out she had quit the show. “ I will not be returning to @RoseanneOnABC.”


Co-star Sara Gilbert disavowed the tweet. “Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show.”


A couple hours later, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey ended speculation about Roseanne’s future; “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show”


Throwing dirt on the body, ICM Partners her agents, dropped her as a client. In an internal memo they wrote, “ “We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning. What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency. Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client.”

Roseanne herself began a series of effusive apologies including one that said it was a “bad joke about her political views and looks.” She really should have run that apology by someone before issuing it. Racists on twitter are threatening a boycott of ABC and we’ve yet to hear from our President who she admires and tried to emulate. ABC doesn’t get a pass either for just now recognizing that Roseanne is abhorrent and repugnant, she was all those things before the tweet and you didn’t care. Trump has previously said that “Roseanne” was “about us.” I couldn’t agree more.

The Return of the Mothership: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic Reunite


George Clinton recently released the first recording under the Parliament label in over 38 years. “Medicaid Fraud Dogg,” contains 23 tracks and is almost two hours long. The first single, “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’ Me,” brings back all the funk you associated with Clinton and features vocals from Scarface and Mudbone.


George Clinton has been in the game for a long time. He led both Parliament and Funkadelic and the name, “Parliament-Funkadelic” became synonymous for whatever combination of performers from the bands was performing. They gave us “The Mothership Connection,” in 1975, “One Nation Under a Groove,” “Flashlight,” in 1978, along with “Atomic Dogg,” in 1982. Clinton went on to collaborate with Prince in later years and was introduced by Prince when inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Parliament-Funkadelic at the time was the largest band ever inducted. And now they’re back!


In addition to the new music, Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic will be among the headliners at the Richmond Jazz Festival, August 9–12, alongside Gladys Knight, The O’jays, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Tony!Toni! Tone!, Brian McKnight, Joss Stone and more. They are currently on a tour which will take them to Belgium, Brussels, France, Norway, and Poland before bringing the funk back home to America.


If you’ve never experienced a P-Funk show. There’s probably no way to explain it to you. Hearing their music is one thing, seeing them live quite another.

“ We love to funk you, Funkenstein
Your funk is the best 
Take my body, give it the mind
To funk with the rest (kiss me on my ego)
Hit me with the one and then
If you like, hit me again
We love to Funk-a-stein”

Dr. Funkenstein — George Clinton — Parliament Funkadelic

The End Is Near! (The Trump Presidency Faces Certain Doom)

While it is not quite certain how it ends. That the Trump Presidency is crashing to an end is certain. The proof lies in the increasingly desperate measures the President and those surrounding him are taking to stave off impending disaster. They have taken to distraction as their only means of defense because the facts are not on their side.

Because of the nature of news cycles, it’s easy to forget that Gen. Michael Flynn, one of Trump’s closest advisors, long ago became a cooperating witness, presumably against Trump. His son Donald Jr, along with Jared Kushner and Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, have had multiple undisclosed meetings with Russians, all of which they lied about, sometimes to the FBI which is in and of itself a crime.

Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, blatantly sold access to the President, collecting millions of dollars based on promises only one man could deliver on. One thing Trump would have learned at the side of the New York mob figures he associated with, is to always get his cut. Trump did business with the Salerno and Castellano crime families, whose ready-mix concrete built Trump Tower, along with hundreds of undocumented Polish workers he paid $4 an hour, often working without gloves and hardhats. Trump was never so rattled as when the FBI raided the offices/hotel/home of Michael Cohen and carted off all his records. Imagine the strength of the evidence required to get search warrants against the President’s lawyer? Trump got his cut and the FBI now has the records.

Trump’s ability to avoid prosecution throughout his life had depended greatly on his ability to pay off would be regulators. It’s why the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement never followed up seriously on complaints against Trump. Why Pam Bondi failed to investigate the fraudulent Trump University after he donated $25,000 to he re-election campaign for Florida Attorney General. He bragged about buying favors from politicians during the Presidential campaign which is one of the few times he told the truth.

“Follow the money,” is an axiom often used in law enforcement. Following Trump’s money shows a seedy trail of money laundering and a flow of Russian money into Trump’s coffers. Trump hotels in Toronto, Panama, condo’s in New York and Florida, golf courses around the world all show Russian money buying his properties at overinflated prices. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the data and cannot be bought off which is a devastating combination for Trump.

There is no quick and easy process to remove a President, no matter how incompetent or criminal. Trump is not likely to resign, an indictment of a sitting President is unlikely,  Impeachment remains the most viable option. The current Republican-controlled Congress is not inclined to impeach Trump but the evidence has yet to be presented. Robert Mueller and the condemning words of cooperating witnesses Michael Fynn, Felix Sater, George Papadopoulos and others will place the nails in the coffin. Look for someone else close to the President; Michael Cohen, Donald Jr, Jared Kushner or even Ivanka to save themselves and spike the nails tight.

It will get messier before it ends. Look for Trump to do any and everything to derail the investigation including firing Robert Mueller and any in the Justice Department that stands in his way. Nixon tried it to no avail and it won’t work for Trump either. Trumps supporters in Congress will melt away as their own reelections take precedence over the support of the mortally wounded President. They will slink away before their own appeasement and support get too close a look.

Impeachment itself will be messy. Republicans in the House will try to explain away the evidence as it comes out bit by bit. But the Impeachment will be televised. The public will see for themselves what others have worked so hard to help hide. The House will ultimately vote to impeach and send the matter to the Senate for trial.

The Senate will take it up reluctantly, they will send a representative to the President to try to convince him to resign, he doesn’t have the votes. Fox News, however, will tell Trump what he wants to hear. They will tell him to stand fast, the evidence is tainted, he’s the victim of a “Deep State.” The Senate will vote him out because they ultimately are self-serving and they can get more done with a Pence than a mortally wounded Trump. Bill Clinton was able to not only survive but to thrive after facing Impeachment hearings. The feeling then was that the punishment didn’t fit the crime. Donald Trump has literally sold out his country and will get no such pass.

As far as the timeframe, Impeachment won’t likely come until after the mid-term elections in November. Whether the Democrats retake the House or not, the margins will favor Trump less and his crimes will be acknowledged by enough to take up the case. While Trump and his allies try to convince us of conspiracies, spies, and lies. The Impeachment will be televised, Trump’s end nearer each day.

 

Together We… Kneel


I confess I’d been working on another article in my head for the past couple weeks titled, “Together We Stand,” in support of the Together We Stand national non-profit as they prepare to reboot their website. I will still owe them an article but I got sidetracked by the NFL announcing their new policy allowing players to remain in the locker room during the playing of the National Anthem but requiring any players on the field to stand. This was basically the NFL assuming a submissive posture before Donald Trump in announcing this unilateral decision without even consulting the players union (NFLPA).


This policy fails on multiple levels, first and foremost it attempts to dismiss the legitimate concerns of the mostly black NFL players about police brutality, racial inequality, and the ever-present injustice after each shooting of an unarmed black man or woman by police. A new video is circulating of Milwaukee Bucks NBA Player Sterling Brown being tased by police over a parking violation. The incident wasn’t about the violation but the requirement by the Milwaukee police of complete and utter capitulation by the black man in their presence. The NFL is now asking the same of its players. Have your little protest, but out of the sight of our fans, sponsors, and most importantly our President who has deemed you unworthy.


This policy has been condemned by the NAACP who said, “Protest is an American tradition; by protesting we work to hold our country accountable to its highest ideals. Instead of coming together to address an issue disproportionately plaguing the African-American, the NFL owners have chosen to bury their heads and silence players.” That’s what the whole policy is about… silencing players.

The new policy was well received by the President. He said, “You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem and the NFL owners did the right thing if that’s what they’ve done. You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem or you shouldn’t be playing. You shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.” There we have it, the President says pretty much, “Go back to Africa and all the shithole countries you came from.”


Part of the policy allows the league to fine teams and not individual players for violations of the new rule. NY Jets Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson said he would pay any fines related to his players kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner. He said, “As I have in the past, I will support our players wherever we land as a team. Our focus is not on imposing any club rules, fines, or restrictions.” Despite that statement, he did not vote against the policy.

The NFL may think it avoided a public relations disaster. Instead, it has likely incited one. Rather than hiding the player’s protest, it will shine a brighter light on them. There will be split-screen coverage of the players on the field and those in the locker room. When that gets banned, you’ll see Snapchat and YouTube video’s from inside the locker rooms and Instagram pictures. The protests will be Live-Tweeted and the players will be asked about their protests in locker room interviews, overshadowing and obscuring the results of the game. The only question remaining is, “What will we the public do?”

Previous attempts to support the players included boycotting the NFL over issues like the NFL blackballing Colin Kaepernick and other issues. However well intended the boycott, it wasn’t supported by enough people to make a difference and Kaepernick still doesn’t have an NFL job. There will come a time as protests continue in some form when more players get singled out for having taken a stand. For steadfastly pointing out America’s imperfections and its lack of will to deal with unaccountability of police for their actions. There will come a time when those players will require us to stand… or perhaps kneel, together with them. Don’t let them down!

Impeachment or Indictment? That is the Question.

Each day, new revelations reveal the depths of depravity of the Trump campaign, administration, family, and the President himself. What is also apparent is that in every instance reported by the media, Special Counsel Robert Mueller already knew and has known for some time. The final report when issued will be damning, incriminating and it will be clear to the majority of Americans that it’s time for him to go. The question will be, how to proceed?

The two primary options, excluding the unlikely scenario of Trump’s Cabinet committing mutiny and conspiring with VP Mike Pence to remove him for being unfit mentally or physically, is to have him indicted in criminal court or impeached by Congress.

There is an open-ended legal question as to whether a sitting President can be indicted. The issue has never been settled by the Supreme Court, nor is it delineated in the Constitution. There are two Department of Justice findings suggesting it shouldn’t be done but neither carry any legal weight, they are simply Justice Department rules. Filing an indictment will generate a round of appeals as to whether the indictments themselves are legal and the protracted court battle could last well past the President’s term in office, at which time any indictments could be filed without objection on those grounds.

Impeachment is a political process vs. a legal one. It depends on getting a majority of the House of Representatives to vote for impeachment, after which the Senate would conduct a trial, which would require a two-thirds vote to remove the President. Timing is critical as there would be a world of difference between Impeachment proceedings led by House Republicans as opposed to House Democrats if they regain control of the House, Under Republicans, they would draw up the Articles of Impeachment (what crimes will be considered) which would likely be narrow and limited. The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee would normally conduct the proceedings and could disallow certain areas of questioning as not being directly related to the Articles and could control witnesses testifying before the House. An attempt at Impeachment prior to the mid-term elections would likely face rejection unless the Mueller report is so compelling it cannot be denied. That won’t keep Devin Nunes, Mark Meadows, and others from attempting to reject the Mueller findings and blame some vast deep state conspiracy against Trump. Should Democrats take control of the House in November, Impeachment becomes much more likely but Democrats shouldn’t jump the gun and get ahead of the report from the Special Counsel.

Should the President be impeached; witnesses may be compelled to give testimony that might be excluded from a criminal trial. If the President is later indicted, that testimony could likely be used against the President and the possibility of a successful indictment leading to a guilty verdict intensifies if he were impeached first. Even an unsuccessful Impeachment will bear fruit in later criminal action taken against the President and those surrounding him.

Most importantly, the impeachment will be televised. Not only will America have the chance to hear first hand of Trump’s high crimes, misdemeanors, and moral failures. Each member of Congress will have to stand up and indicate whether they put Party before Country. They will either continue to protect someone that has literally sold out the nation, putting his personal interests and wealth before any consideration of the people. Or, our representatives will do the will of the people. Trump has not been able to do this alone; it took Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Devin Nunes, Mark Meadows, Lindsay Graham, and from time to time even John McCain who found mavericking a little too tough on some crucial votes. Like the village it takes to raise a child, it also took one to support a would-be dictator.

Indictments will still be there awaiting Trump when he finishes his term. In perhaps wishful thinking, I find it hard to believe our government will stand for allowing him to pardon himself. Criminal and civil actions will follow Trump the rest of his life and there is no one more deserving. For the moment, using the legal means of impeachment, we must rid ourselves of this menace before he does any more harm.

 

Trump Word For The Day: Discovery

Forgotten amidst the omnipresence of Stormy Daniels and her attorney Michael Avenatti is the defamation suit brought by Summer Zervos, a former “Apprentice” contestant. Miss Zervos accused Trump of “inappropriate sexual contact,” saying he “ambushed” her,  “tried to kiss her repeatedly” and “touched her breast.” Trump responded by saying Zervos and “all the other women” lied, accusing her of making up the incidents to help Hillary Clinton. Zervos lawyer, Mariann Meier Wang argued in court,  “Trump cannot be allowed to attack a woman who has factually described his sexual groping and be allowed to get off scot-free.”

Trump has fought the lawsuit, seeking its dismissal, yet The First Department of the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division just refused to stay the lawsuit and is allowing Summer Zervos to proceed with pre-trial discovery. New York Supreme Court Justice said, “No one is above the law, It is settled that the president of the United States has no immunity and is ‘subject to the laws’ for purely private acts.” That ruling relied heavily on a 1977 Supreme Court ruling indicating Bill Clinton, a sitting President, could be sued in Federal Court.

a a a a a a a a a a a summerr

Zervos has requested records regarding accusations that Trump  “subjected any woman to unwanted sexual touching and/or sexually inappropriate behavior.”  She is also requesting tapes known to exist from The Apprentice where Trump says demeaning things about women, is seen engaging in inappropriate behavior and alleged to have used the “N” word as well. Forget the Access Hollywood tape where Trump describes what he does. We may yet see Trump actually engaging in sexual assault and harassing women.

Given the Mueller investigation, raid of his lawyer’s home, office, and hotel, and possibility of both his son and son-in-law facing indictment. Perhaps “Discovery” isn’t high on his list of priorities. If he has any concerns remaining about his image? It should be!

“InContempt” Live Tweet Every Tuesday Night at 10 pm Eastern


From the first preview of the legal drama InContempt, I was hopeful. The series focuses on a group of public defenders and could have as easily been named Injustice or Rigged System. The ensemble cast starring Erica Ash, Christian Keyes, Mouna Traore, Eugene Clark, Richard Lawson, and Tobias Truvillion had the talent. Law & Order veteran writer Terri Kopp had the pedigree. I watched the first episode and it left me unimpressed. It had moments of brilliance but in my mind spent too little focus on the courtroom and too much on the inability on seemingly anyone to control their libido. I had intended to write a review of the first episode, but reminiscent of Oran “Juice” Jones in his one Top 10 hit “The Rain,” I chilled.


After the second episode, I wrote the review, but was still mildly disappointed. Erica Ash as Gwen Sullivan had some great scenes but was disappointing outside of the courtroom. I wanted her to take more control of her life as opposed to being weak and reactive every moment in her personal life. The series seemed to have reached the lowest common denominator of now canceled, “The Quad,” and other BET series, focusing on sex and sensationalism and not giving us characters we could care about. Still there were moments, and I persevered.


View at Medium.com

I watched the third episode, the fourth, and the fifth. Lo and behold the supporting characters began developing and being less stereotypical, the issues got real, InContempt had become everything I had hoped for and now it’s must see TV.


Join me each Tuesday night at 10 pm Eastern as I Live Tweet “InContempt” at #InContemptBET, #InContempt and #BET. Help out with the running commentary and your take on the action. See you there!

William Spivey

AAMBC Journal Writer

Trump’s Wars And The Rising Body Count


While Trump supporters are hoping he is included in the discussion for the Nobel Peace Prize. The truth is there are already thousands injured and dozens dead that wouldn’t be if not for Donald Trump. As a result of Trump doing what other American Presidents would not, moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem with nothing for the Palestinians in return. Israel responded to Palestinian protests by killing 58 people including a baby and several children and injuring over 2,700 during protests on the Gaza Strip. There are claims of Palestinian provocation yet there is no accompanying death toll on the Israeli side. One thing that is certain, without Trump’s Embassy move, more people would be alive today.


In another area but still involving Israel. Iranian forces and Israeli’s have directly faced off. While most of the American media says that Iran crossed a red line by sending missiles towards the Golan Heights in Israel. Those reports don’t mention that Israel had attacked Iranian troops several times in Syria, including an airstrike on a military base in Syria killing seven Iranians. The only thing that had kept Iran from striking back previously was the desire to maintain the peace accords that Trump reneged on. After the United States pulled out of the agreement, Iran sent missiles toward the Golan Heights and Israel responded with attacks on almost every Iranian base in Syria.


Some Israeli leaders are open in their desire to go to war with Iran, ostensibly to keep them from developing nuclear weapons. If they do go to war, it’s likely the US gets dragged into it as well, something Israel was less certain it could do under other US Presidents. Much of the world including Japan, Guam, and South Korea are fearful of what might happen when Trump gets into a room with Kim Jong-Un of North Korea. Who knows what kind of distraction Trump might be looking for to cover up the Special Counsel administration and new reports on the band of thieves that surround him.

We won’t count his preannounced airstrikes in Syria where Russians propping up Bashar Al-Assad were told to get out of the way first, although a dozen or so Syrian villagers were killed. The one constant in all Trump’s wars is that the people actually dying aren’t among those Trump (and many of his followers) care about. If he did he’d look for ways to admit more refugees rather than leave children in the way of his own missiles, Syrian chemical weapons or Israeli “self-defense.” Trump representatives celebrated and partied in Israel at the Embassy opening while not far away, bodies were being carted off. There were a couple statements issued blaming the protesters for their own deaths. The body count is rising, sooner or later we’ll start to get to real numbers.

Trump’s Wars And Their Death Toll

While Trump supporters are hoping he is included in the discussion for the Nobel Peace Prize. The truth is there are already thousands injured and dozens dead that wouldn’t be if not for Donald Trump. As a result of Trump doing what other American Presidents would not, moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem with nothing for the Palestinians in return. Israel responded to Palestinian protests by killing 58 people including a baby and several children and injuring over 2,700 during protests on the Gaza Strip. There are claims of Palestinian provocation yet there is no accompanying death toll on the Israeli side. One thing that is certain, without Trump’s Embassy move, more people would be alive today.

a a a a a a a a a a a gaza

In another area but still involving Israel. Iranian forces and Israeli’s have directly faced off. While most of the American media says that Iran crossed a red line by sending missiles towards the Golan Heights in Israel. Those reports don’t mention that Israel had attacked Iranian troops several times in Syria, including an airstrike on a military base in Syria killing seven Iranians. The only thing that had kept Iran from striking back previously was the desire to maintain the peace accords that Trump reneged on. After the United States pulled out of the agreement, Iran sent missiles toward the Golan Heights and Israel responded with attacks on almost every Iranian base in Syria.

a a a a a a a a a a a gazza

Some Israeli leaders are open in their desire to go to war with Iran, ostensibly to keep them from developing nuclear weapons. If they do go to war, it’s likely the US gets dragged into it as well, something Israel was less certain it could do under other US Presidents. Much of the world including Japan, Guam, and South Korea are fearful of what might happen when Trump gets into a room with Kim Jong-Un of North Korea. Who knows what kind of distraction Trump might be looking for to cover up the Special Counsel administration and new reports on the band of thieves that surround him.

We won’t count his preannounced airstrikes in Syria where Russians propping up Bashar Al-Assad were told to get out of the way first, although a dozen or so Syrian villagers were killed. The one constant in all Trump’s wars is that the people actually dying aren’t among those Trump (and many of his followers) care about. If he did he’d look for ways to admit more refugees rather than leave children in the way of his own missiles, Syrian chemical weapons or Israeli “self-defense.” Trump representatives celebrated and partied in Israel at the Embassy opening while not far away, bodies were being carted off. There were a couple statements issued blaming the protesters for their own deaths. The body count is rising, sooner or later we’ll start to get to real numbers.