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George Floyd murder hurts

Every time I see a video of a black male being murdered by the police I cringe. That person in a choke hold or being riddled by bullets could be me.

I am upset by the murder of George Floyd because he died like an animal when that Minneapolis police officer pressed on his neck so severely that Floyd’s only resort to try to save his life was to utter “I can’t breathe” and “You are killing me.”

This ongoing blemish in America is so shocking and so frightening that even white America is saying “Hold on. What’s going on here?”

Black lives matter.

Before I go on let me address a common retort that I hear from people when they hear those words. They counter with “white lives matter” or “blue lives matter.”

Here is how I counter. We already know that white lives matter. We already know that blue lives matter. What we must pound into America’s head is that black lives matter also. We have families who love us. We chase the American dream like everybody else.

But I believe that in a moment of stress that it is easier to kill a black male than a white person. We’ve always been considered savages in this country unless we can catch a football or penetrate the lane and dunk.

And let me throw in one more. Or if you can write or talk about sports to the masses. I have benefitted by celebrity.

Over the years I’ve gotten business cards from police officers from Walled Lake, Detroit, West Bloomfield, Waterford, Grosse Pointe and the Oakland County Sheriffs Department who’ve shared similar stories.

So why did these officers give me their business cards? They’ve told me that anywhere from 95 to 99 percent of their fellow officers are good people. They will stop you, write a ticket and send you on your way with a smile. But they admit that there are odd balls in their departments who don’t like black and brown people and want to make sure that the full blunt of the law is thrown upon their shoulders no matter how minor  offense.

I feel lucky.  But everybody does not have a guardian angel looking over their shoulders. And what happens to me if I am in LA, New York or Minneapolis?

I am not in law enforcement. I am not a judge or attorney. But I’ve seen enough to say that the police officer that murdered George Floyd should be charged and put on trial.

And let’s end this madness.

If I every run into one of these cops they have invited me to give them a call so they can make sure things do not escalate.

send send you on your way.

The stories they tell are similar, that 95 to 99 percent of their blue brothers are grea They said they liked my work in the media and want to make sure that if I run into one of these rouge officers that I get out of the situation safely. They invited me to call them and they would make sure I am OK.

I am lucky. Most black males don’t have guardian angels looking out for them. Some are treated like animals. Some are killed for minor offenses or traffic stops.

It sickens me. It scares me.

Usually when

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Our social distance party during Covid-19

I miss my neighbors.

Joe, Nancy, Frank, Bart, Melissa, Julie and their bundle of children.

I see them every day. We sort of speak to each other every day. But it is a quick hello, how are you from 30 to 40 feet away as we go in our own direction.

Today we are trying something different. We are having a social distancing party in the back yard. The goal is to remain 6-10 feet away. But we won’t treat each other like zombies from another planet.

We will actually talk to each other and not yell. We will actually get to see how everybody is doing. We will eat and we will drink almost like normal human beings.

We won’t hug. We won’t kiss. We won’t pat each other on the ass, although ass patting is allowed under new guide lines during this Covid-19 crisis that has gripped the world.

I just want to get close enough to my neighbors to see bald spots, gray hair or new freckles that popped up. Who lost weight? Who gained weight? Who looks older? Who looks younger?

Just normal stuff.

My wife Abs won’t be there. Thank God. She is the female version of Dr. Anthony Fauci. The difference is her guidelines are much tougher. She does not want me to eat at our social distance party.

But I figure if we can eat a meal from a random restaurant delivered by Door Dash that I can eat a hotdog grilled by Joe, Frank or Bart.

People bitch about the rules set by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. You are lucky that Gov. Abs is not in charge. Cars would be stranded all over the state because she would not see buying gas as an essential purchase. Our state would open in the fall — of 2025.

Maybe.

Normally, this weekend I’d be at the St. Mary’s Fair sipping on a beer and listening to music. Or watch my son Brandon avoid me as he’s hanging with friends. I miss that festival and hopefully I can attend next year.

I get a great consolation prize. I get to see my neighbors today.

And we won’t have to yell at each other from 30 feet away.

 

 

 

 

Take the food and run

doordash-square-redWhat would you do if Door Dash delivered a meal to your door step that you did not order?

We were hoping that the neighbor that got the free food would say this meal does not belong to me. You have the wrong address. Can you take this food to the right address.

Well that didn’t happen and my son Brandon did not eat the meal he craved all night. Instead he had to eat crab cakes that I made two hours ago and were not only cold but breaking down.

Here is what happened. Brandon craved barbeque and shelled out $18 for Door Dash to deliver a bar be que dinner. Sometimes when you GPS our address it takes you to another home a block away.

That’s what happened this time. The driver drove up, said delivery for Brandon. The man reached out, took the food and ate it. I’m not sure I would eat food that was not ordered by me during a Pandemic.

What would you do?

Take the food and run? Or give the food back?

Just curious.

 

The world has always been a crazy place

september-9-11-attack-11This has always been a crazy world.

The other day I told my children that they have had to experience nuttier things than I did as a kid. They’ve been alive for 911, Donald Trump and the Corona Virus.

I was wrong. During my childhood I experienced the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. I watched the evening news as police attacked blacks with police dogs and water hoses because they wanted equal rights.

During my life time a white man could not marry a black woman without being thrown in jail. I lived in the middle of the 1967 Detroit riots. And my cousin talked about being turned away from entering certain bars  because of the color of her skin — in downtown Detroit.

Some of you lived through World War I, World War II and the Holocaust. Do any of you remember the fear of Russia and the United States possibly blowing up the world?

Turmoil in the Middle East has been a concern for centuries and now many of us are confined to our houses or only going out in public after we put on our masks to protect us and others from this virus that came to us from a half  a world away.

In our last election we voted for two people that none of us liked.

I was wrong to tell my children that their childhood was more troubling than mine. I guess when you are living it as a kid, weird turns to normal.

I expected world leaders to be killed. I expected blacks and whites to clash.

Today my kids expect people to be killed by Corona virus. They expect conservatives and liberals to clash.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The night Karl Malone bloodied Isiah Thomas

malonethomas I got mad at Isiah Thomas because he wasn’t talkative following a 1991 game in Salt Lake City when Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone split Thomas’ head wide open.

I thought Thomas was being an ass by not talking. What I didn’t realize is the man didn’t know where he was. He sort of stared at reporters and didn’t say much. Once I realized he didn’t know his name my anger subsided.

The internet claims that Thomas needed 40 stiches to close the cut. That’s not true. There were about 45 internal stitches and 50 external stitches. That’s nearly 100 stitches. It was that bad. His wife Lynn Thomas said doctors equated the injury to being in a 55 mile an hour car crash where the air bags do not deploy.

We always talk about how the Pistons banged up Michael Jordan on his way to being the greatest player ever. Thomas got hit way more times than Jordan. And harder. The Malone elbow was the most vicious I’ve ever seen in more than 30 years of covering sports.

Thomas was always picking himself off the floor. This time he had to be helped up before being driven to the hospital.

Thomas get leveled by Bill Cartwright, Horace Grant and even by teammates in practice. Remember he got into it with one of his best friends on the team — Bill Laimbeer.

During an early regular season game against the Jazz Thomas had ever intention to light up Jazz point guard John Stockton. I was told to watch out for some fire works from Thomas. There was a history. Stockton was picked for the 1992 United States Olympic Dream Team and Thomas was not.

Thomas was salty over the omission and he wanted to bust Stockton’s ass by out playing him every time they met. Malone knew this and wasn’t going to let his teammate get embarrassed.

So he laid out Thomas early in the game with an elbow and blood splattered all over the court. I was surprised a brawl didn’t break out. But Malone was such a big and powerful man that not even the Bad Boys wanted to mess with him.

Pistons guard Darrell Walker wanted a piece of Malone, but luckily for him officials blocked his path and ushered him to the dressing room. Or there would have been more blood. Walker’s blood.

We didn’t get many comments from Thomas that night. Once I understood why my anger subsided. He kind of sat in front of reporters, shook his head a bit and was led to the team bus.

He was still wobbly from the hit.

ESPN flubs Bad Boys walkout story

Pistons walkESPN did exactly as expected.

It did not present a major component of the Bad Boy Pistons walk out story line during Last Dance, the documentary about the dynasty Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan.

It was predictable. It was expected.

It is what everybody does who chronicles this important passing of the torch. The day before the walk out Michael Jordan sat in the end zone seats at the Palace and destroyed the Pistons legacy. It was mean spirited and it was calculated to rid the world of the Pistons rough and tumble ways on the basketball floor and usher in the more pleasing legacy of Jordan and the Bulls.

Jordan said the Pistons were Bad Champions. Bad for basketball. Shameful. When Jordan spoke the Bulls were up 3-0 against the aging Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals and by that time the entire world knew the two-time defending champion Pistons were toast and the running of the Bulls was just beginning.

Then a day after destroying the Pistons franchise Jordan expects the Pistons to shake hands? John Salley did shake the Bulls hands. But we never see that footage.

Previous to the Pistons walk out we have the Boston Celtics walk out of the Pistons. Yet we never hear about that. The only footage we see is of Kevin McHale shaking hands with Isiah Thomas at mid court. And that only happened because Thomas intercepted McHale who was trying to sneak out of the Silverdome with teammates Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson and Robert Parish. The world is left to believe that the Celtics gave it up to the Pistons after the Pistons finally passed them.

That is not true.

The 1980s was an era of bad blood and fierce rivalries. It does not make it better or worse than what we see today. It was just different.

The Pistons run was never supposed to happen. The passing of the torch was meant to pass from Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to Michael Jordan. The Pistons, however, got in the way and their story is getting the short shaft.

Being a good sport means shaking hands of your opponents when they beat you. However, must you smile and say everything is OK when your opponent does something as vicious and calculating as Jordan?

I agreed with the walk out then. I agree with it today.

Maybe I am sensitive to this because I was one of those ink stained reporters who listened to Jordan that day dog the Pistons. I wrote about it and commentated about it. But if you go by media reports that day never happened.

Maybe it was a figment of my imagination.

Last dance is the most powerful and far reaching documentary that ESPN has done. For generations this is what future fans will be told. The Pistons were thugs. The Bulls finally passed them. And the Pistons were bad sports for not shaking hands.

That’s it.

There is an important missing link that is being swept under the rugs.

Shame ESPN.

Shame.

Shame.

Welcome to Foster Hall, the new age dorm

dormitory_wakakusa_3Our home is now a dormitory because of the Corona Virus.

And that could be the case for at least six more months.

Daughter Celine, now a junior at Stanford University takes online classes in her bedroom. She has a sign on her door that reads Stop when she is in class or deep in a study session. She switches to Go when she is taking a break.

We feed her and house her just as they did at the dorm at Stanford.

A few feet away son Brandon is finishing his senior year at West Bloomfield High School. He claims that he is not bothered that he could finish the year with no prom, no Senior all night party and no graduation party.

Graduation is still on the books for the final week of May. But school officials warn parents a May graduation may never happen. A tentative date of Aug. 2 has been set. That of course may not happen either as our state remains on lock down.

Brandon is a Spartan at heart and he received good news last week that he has been accepted at Michigan State University. I was prepared to watch my some attend Western Michigan, his top choice until MSU came through.

I am advising him not to attend MSU in the fall if the school continues online classes. We are prepared to keep the dorm open a little longer and have him take online classes at Oakland Community College. Its a lot cheaper and this allows the boy to get a job near the house and put money in his pocket.

MSU can wait until winter.

I’ve canvassed the neighborhood and we are in a similar boat families are hosting their children who huddle in the basement, their living rooms and kitchens for online classes at Michigan, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Cornell and Kansas (Rock Chalk).

Clothes, mini fridges, books, microwaves and other personal items remain locked inside real dorms across the country because kids were ordered out of real dorms and didn’t have time to fetch belongings before returning home.

Celine was quarantined in California for seven days, tested negative for Covid 19, and then flew home. Because she traveled through airports in San Francisco and Detroit we quarantined her in our basement for 14 days as a precaution.

 

Social distancing is boring

empty barIt’s Friday night in the big city.

And I’m bored stiff. I want out of the house. I want to hoist a beer, tell a joke and hug a friend. But I cannot. Every bar and restaurant is closed. And even if they weren’t I’d remain home.

There are two new words in our lives. Social distancing.

Staying in is the right thing now for society. Social distancing is pure anguish for me, but it is what we must all do. We must do our part to make this corona virus pandemic go away as quickly as possible.

I never knew how much I needed outlets until spending most of the last seven days in the house. I want to go to a movie. I want to go to Willson’s Pub and I want to go to Mexico Lindo for a margarita.

I want to window shop at 12 Oaks, check out the new streets and shops on the Avenue of Fashion. And why not? How about a quick trip downriver?

I want to tip my friends in the restaurant business who have gotten very few hours the past week. They can’t get unemployment because they remain employed. They are simply earning zero hours.

We don’t want our young people congregating for fear of spreading the disease to older people who are more likely to die. I don’t want the Corona virus because I am one of those old people.

My family became upset because I left the house for my monthly oat meal run at Trader Joe’s in Bloomfield Hills. But I didn’t even get to stock up on oat meal because the line to get in the store was 30-40 people deep.

My guess is they don’t want too many people in the store at the same time.

There goes those words again. Social distancing.

I am not a social distance person. I am a hugger and shit talker. I love to smile and am learning how to laugh again.

I can’t wait for that first Blue Moon, that next joke and that next laugh in a crowded place.

I am a social guy, not a social distancing guy.

 

 

Corona Virus freedom restrictions could cause military state

Close-up photo of US marine with his rifleWe held the Last Supper this afternoon at Red Coat Tavern in West Bloomfield.

It was the final meal the men would have together until Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s  3 p.m. shut down of full service in thousands of restaurants across the state of Michigan.

One of the men at the last Supper was a military man who was called into active service earlier in the day.  He predicted that the worst is about to hit us. It won’t be because of the corona virus. The worst is about to come because of bad human behavior.

He wasn’t called to active duty because something exploded in Iran or Iraq. He was called to active duty to police you and me.

The government is anticipating people becoming antsy and unruly because of the freedoms that are about to be taken away from us. He predicts 8 p.m. curfews and other restrictions that will send our citizens over the edge.

Afterall we don’t want to become another Italy, Iran or China.

That is why he was summoned for active duty and must go away for some quick training.

The shit is about to hit the fan.

Here is how these things usually work. Somebody will be out in the streets after curfew. A military person will remind the person of the curfew and demand they go home. The person will refuse and a subsequent melt down results in confrontation.

Our rights are being taken away because of the corona virus. Restaurants and bars are closing. Games are off the air. This all means people can’t stop in their local watering hole for a burger and beer while watching a basketball or baseball game.

Soon you must hustle home from work to be home at a certain time.

The government has already stressed the importance of a new term called social distancing where we must remain six feet from one another in a restaurant that cannot be 50 percent occupied or an event that cannot exceed 50 or 250 people.

We are being told that these new rules must be strictly enforced to stop the spread of corona virus. Everybody is not buying in, which is going to cause problems between the public and authorities.

Brace yourselves. It won’t be the corona virus that gets you. It will be other people. It will be like the Walking Dead. We are no longer fearful of the walkers. It’s the living and breathing human beings that are scary.

 

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