Catchy (Sitting 35) Feel the Steel … February 11th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

(3580)

Tremaine Wilkerson was black…to this day.

He and Matthew had become friends in high school, mainly because Tremaine was the only black student within three counties and also, Matthew wanted to place on his college entrance application that he had a black friend.

Their closeness was cemented when the two of them were elected to attend a conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and they were driving around at night, in a car which they had boosted from one of the sponsors to go joy-riding, when they were stopped by an Atlanta police officer.

It was two o’clock in the morning and neither Tremaine nor Matthew appeared a drizzle over sixteen years of age. Matthew was at the wheel so the officer asked for a license and registration. (Matthew was impressed that he was able to come up with half of the request.) The policeman was not appeased.

The cop was greatly interested in Tremaine. For you see, Tremaine was a very large boy–the kind you think should play football or basketball, although he had given no attention to either sport. He had also allowed his hair to go natural–so he had a huge Afro, which would only have seemed appropriate for a dancer on Soul Train. The Atlanta constable did not find it particularly appealing.

He had Tremaine get out, pushed him up against the car, had him spread his legs and searched him for anything that might seem the least little bit controversial.

Matthew realized he needed to do something, so he interrupted the cop and said, “Listen, I have to admit I’m a bratty kid–wealthy–and this young fellow is my butler. He didn’t want to go out on this drive, but it was his job to keep an eye on me. I foolishly borrowed this car, and now I see how ridiculous it was. So if you will just forgive me, I’ll drive us back and we’ll never do anything so stupid again.”

Matthew knew the speech was very flimsy, but the policeman seemed relieved that the black fellow was not an equivalent, but rather, a servant. He gave a stern warning to Matthew and sent them on their way.

Tremaine never forgot it.

So when Matthew was trying to draft a plan to get information about what was really going on with Jo-Jay, Carlos and the mysterious death of Prophet Morgan, he decided to contact Tremaine, who was now married, living in Kalamazoo, Michigan, working as a chemist, writing poetry on the weekends.

Matthew outlined the following plan:

He wanted to use Tremaine’s ethnic appearance to scare the shit out of Michael Hinston. So Matthew hired four good-natured buddies who were “goon-like” to assist Tremaine in kidnapping Michael Hinston following one of his handball game at the local Y, and take the distinguished Congressman to the back unit of a storage facility in Alexandria, Virginia.

Tremaine listened carefully, trying not to interrupt, but about three-quarters of the way through the unfolding of the plot, he felt compelled to interject.

“Matthew, you do know I’m a chemist?”

“I do,” said Matthew, “but can I say that I’m interested in some of the other aspects of your chemistry?”

Tremaine frowned. “You mean the fact that I’m black and have a ‘fro?”

“Yes,” said Matthew, “and pretty muscular.”

“I work out,” said Tremaine.

“It shows,” cited Matthew.

Now Matthew knew that Tremaine was an altruistic soul. Matter of fact, Tremaine had a soft spot in his heart for the black kids on the south side of Chicago, and volunteered every summer for two weeks to assist with the young folks, and gave money based upon his budget.

Matthew offered, “If you’ll do this for me, I will donate $25,000 to the dudes from South Chicago.”

Tremaine shook his head. “You do know kidnapping is against the law, right?”

Matthew feigned surprise. “No…I wish you hadn’t told me.”

Matthew laughed but Tremaine didn’t. Yet for some reason the passive black man from the Wolverine State agreed to participate.

It was not terribly complicated. Michael Hinston popped out of the YMCA whistling a happy tune and was immediately nabbed by the four hired goons, had a bag thrown over his head, and was tossed into a nearby beat-up Ford van.

Realizing that Tremaine was not going to be prepared for such an encounter, Matthew had written a script for him.

“Lay there quietly and don’t say a word or I’ll slit your throat,” warned Tremaine, with too many delays for the speech to sound natural.

Congressman Michael kept objecting while offering money, favors and possible other Congressmen who would be better to kidnap because of their more powerful positions.

Cued by the script, Tremaine continued. “Shut up! Shut up, honky bastard! Shut up, Congressman Whitewash!” and finally, “Shut up or I’ll kilt you!”

There was one other line, which was, “Stop axing too many questions!”

Arriving at the storage unit, Matthew met the van with a finger on his lips, warning Tremaine and the goons to remain silent so the Congressman wouldn’t know he was present.

The script continued with stage direction: “Tremaine, you do the lines, and I, Matthew, will do all the motions.”

They carried Hinston into the storage unit, pulling down the door for privacy, sat him in a wooden chair, tying him to the slats and legs. Michael was obviously distressed. Matthew motioned for Tremaine to read his next line.

Tremaine looked down, reading ahead, and then back up at Matthew, perplexed. Matthew nodded, encouraging him to go ahead, so Tremaine uttered, “I be knowing that yous be a killer. You kilts the Prophet and took the young woman and spit her out in the jungle.”

Tremaine turned to Matthew, looking like he had just bitten into a lemon. Matthew again encouraged him to continue.

“I be’s tellin’ you this one time. You talk or I’m gonna cuts your tongue out and stick it in your hand.”

Tremaine stepped back and admired himself for this particular performance. When Tremaine mentioned “cut your tongue out,” Matthew lifted the bag, stuck a knife underneath and rubbed the cold steel against Michael’s cheek. Matthew then pointed at Tremaine.

Tremaine glanced at the script, and using his best inner-city voice, growled, “Feel the steel.”

Michael peed his pants.

It was unpleasant to experience, but made the goons standing in the background giggle uncontrollably. Matthew tried to silence them but he, himself was quite amused.

There was no need for further intimidation. Michael began to expound on the story of his life. He shared everything he knew–which ended up being very little.

He explained that he had been coerced by the CLO to have Jubal Carlos arrested in Vegas, and to suggest that there should be an investigation into Jubal and the movement over the mysterious murder of Morgan.

He knew nothing about Jo-Jay.

He knew nothing about further plans.

And he closed off with a whimpering sigh, whining, “I’m nobody. Just ask anybody.”

Matthew believed him. He walked over and quietly loosened the ropes on Michael’s wrists and legs. Tremaine had one final line:

“You stay here for an hour, you white bastard, and then you can loosen yourself and leave. But don’t you be makin’ trouble for my people. Life began in Africa, and your life could end there.”

When Tremaine finished the line he gave a huge grin and a thumbs-up to Matthew, approving the script.

Matthew, Tremaine and the four goons departed.

Matthew made good on his $25,000 donation and gave a thousand to each goon.

So for under thirty thousand dollars he found out nothing, except as always, the easy explanation was never the correct one.

 

 

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G-Poppers … December 11th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2779)

Jon close up

 

There is only one culture.

It’s called human.

It possesses two working parts–love and do:

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Without this culture permeating the inhabitants of Earth, we naturally become adversarial, and therefore dangerous to one another.

  • Feel free to have all the customs you desire.
  • You can have hot food or bland food.
  • You can name your God whatever you wish.
  • You may adorn yourself in native costuming.

All of that is terrific, as long as you’re willing to join the human culture, which is love and do.

And membership requires that you abandon certain ridiculous notions:

1. You are not exceptional. You are just part of a huge family.

2. You are not better than anyone else.

3. You have not been sent to earth to enlighten the other races and peoples.

4. You are not alone.

5. You are not persecuted, and if you feel you are, please let us know.

G-Pop wants his children to understand that to continue to promote cultural differences which also highlight irreparable schisms among us is to propagate the climate for war.

There is only one culture. The sooner we celebrate that common culture while appreciating each other’s diversity and customs, the better off we will be.

The more often we acknowledge that the only evil is the absence of the good of acceptance and humility, the better our chance will be of peaceful co-existence.

G-Pop speaks plainly. Don’t come to him with an insistence on superiority and think that you will be able to make a case for your uniqueness.

It is in commonality that we find our strength.

And until we realize that whether it’s male or female, Jew or Greek, black or white, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu or whatever–our only responsibility is to love and do.

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G-Poppers…May 8th, 2015

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Popper

 

For a very brief season, G-Pop taught a college class.

On opening day, he asked his students to take a quiz. Needless to say, the room was filled with quizzical expressions.

He presented them with 10 questions. He told them that in determining their answers they could take into consideration wealth, poverty, male, female, gay, straight, black, brown, Native American, statistics, history, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Hispanic and white.

This was the test:

Who is more likely…

  1. …to steal something from you?
  2. …to commit violent murder?
  3. …to molest a small child?
  4. …to open a casino in Nebraska?
  5. …to take their children to Disney World?
  6. …to graduate with honors in mathematics from MIT?
  7. …to be in the military?
  8. …to be a billionaire?
  9. …to be a genius?
  10. …to believe in God?

Even though there were a few mumbles and grumbles from the student body, all completed the test and turned it in to G-Pop.

The next day when they arrived, he passed the tests back to them unmarked.

Then he said, “All of you completed the test. All of you, in some way, shape or form, decided to take into consideration the factors I mentioned in determining your answers. I’m going to allow you to grade your own papers and give yourself a score. I will tell my answers and you can evaluate how well you did.

Let’s start with #1.

Who is more likely to steal something? The answer is a thief.

Commit a violent murder? A murderer.

How about molest a small child? A pedophile.

Who will be opening that casino in Nebraska? A venture capitalist.

And of course, the person who would take their children to Disney World is a good parent.

Who’s the math whiz? An excellent student.

Who would join the military? A patriot.

A billionaire? A budding successful entrepreneur.

How about a genius? I would say a hard worker.

Is there some type of individual who’s more likely to believe in God? Yes. A person of faith.

G-Pop paused. All the students had their eyes glued to their papers, reviewing their answers. A point had been made.

For after all, social justice does not begin when we recognize blatant bigotry in the world.

It starts when we acknowledge the prejudice in our own hearts.

 

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G-Poppers… April 10, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Popper

Little fellow came and asked G-Pop to make up a poem on the spot. G-Pop sat for a moment and then began:

 

You’re too young. You’re too old. You’re too thin. You’re too fat.

 

You’re too strong.

You’re too weak.

You’re too talented.

You’re too talentless.

 

You’re too white. You’re too black. You’re too smart. You’re too dumb.

 

You’re too early.

You’re too late.

You’re too much.

You’re, well, you’re just fine.

 

Unlike Goldilocks, the world never finds a bowl of you that suits them fine.

 

So listen to people

With ideas, little man,

Who give you the power

To do what you can.

 

G-Pop finished and gave a big smile to the little guy.

Little fella said, “That’s not a poem. It doesn’t rhyme.”

G-Pop sighed and replied, “How about the final two lines? They rhyme. Aren’t you supposed to save the best for last?

 

And by the way, my son.

You’re a picky one.”

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Published in: on April 10, 2015 at 12:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Jesonian: Good in Your Sight … March 8, 2015

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2525)

cute baby biggr border

Republicans and Democrats.

Religious and atheist.

Men and women.

Black and white.

Gay or straight.

We seem to live in a time when we love to square off against one another into camps of conflict. Anyone who suggests similarities between these warring compounds is considered to be quaint or foolish.

Trying to resolve the difficulty often places you in the center of the field of fire and therefore criticized by both sides.

One day Jesus stopped and breathed a public prayer. Actually, he wasn’t too fond of public prayer, warning that it could be a pretense. But on this day he felt it was important to make sure those around him understood his meaning. He thanked God that the heavenly Father had “hidden truth from the wise and prudent.”

That’s the way it is today. Some people think they’re wise and some people think they’re prudent. The wise people are proud because of what they know. The prudent folk tout what they believe.

And when knowledge meets belief, there’s an immediate conflict–because to some degree, all knowledge requires a certain amount of belief, and all of our beliefs should be challenged by knowledge.

But I guess it’s just easier to brag about being smart or brag about how you’re going to heaven.

Jesus said true knowledge is delivered to babes–God wanted it to be that way, and it was “good in His sight.”

Nobody wants to be a baby. It’s much more fun to brag about being wise or prudent. But for every piece of wisdom I gain, I must admit that it was   gained, which means at one time I did not have it.

So to some degree, I am perpetually ignorant, trying to move forward in my understanding. And for each time that I extol the value of prudence, I also have to accept that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen–or maybe not prudent.

It places me in a no-man’s land, where I am vulnerable to learning and dependent on mercy and grace.

I am a baby to my own planet. Any time I feel that I’ve achieved maturity and adulthood, I am always thrust back to the high chair, to be spoon-fed new knowledge, to reveal a fresh flavor of my faith.

How can we teach people to cease battling with one another over knowledge or belief instead of realizing that without having both, we are incomplete? Because every baby has to learn how the planet works and certainly is dependent on the love of a father.

  • Jesonian is when we’re not afraid to be babies.
  • Jesonian is when we abandon being wise or being prudent.

I am convinced that the truth about Republicans, Democrats, men, women, gay, straight, religious, atheist, black and white is yet to be fully ascertained.

I want to be there when the next shipment of revelation comes through, and instead of being entrenched, be ready, like a baby, to suckle the nourishment.

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Published in: on March 8, 2015 at 1:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Quatrains of Suicide … August 19, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2327)

I feel so bad

Bad is happening everywhere

Everywhere is closing in

In desperation, I exit

cave with light

Sometimes green with envy

Sometimes yellow with cowardice

Oftentimes red with anger

Always black with despair

 

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Published in: on August 19, 2014 at 12:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Peep Show… September 1, 2012

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She was about to begin her comedy routine. She lifted her arms, extended them toward the audience and declared with great jubilance, “I am so glad to be here in front of all my peeps!” This was followed by a cheer from the congregated horde.

It reminded me of a note I received in my email yesterday. It was from a fellow in the Buckeye State who had been deliberating whether to have me come in to share with his congregation. He had come to a decision. He felt that it was best to “pass” on the opportunity. Even though he found my material to be intelligent, powerful and poignant to our times, he believed that my outreach was a poor match for his particular gathering.

We have become a nation obsessed with the religion of our own individuality.

Even though we don’t want to establish this uniqueness by pursuing new efforts and goals, we find our value in being set apart by our preferences. It’s why the Republicans and Democrats scramble around trying to hit the right buttons to bring the favor of various portions of the electorate. For after all, the theory is that Hispanic voters want different things from black voters and senior citizens have special requests which are quite divergent from those of young people. We keep trying to play to an audience of our peeps.

It creates a three-point philosophy that continues to separate us off into tinier and tinier segments instead of coagulating our nation into a force for good. The minute you believe that different people have different needs which must be handled differently, you create the following climate:

1. “I believe I am normal.” Even though you may try to please other people and reach out to meet their desires, no one is of a mindset to think that these other people actually have a better way of doing things. Otherwise we would adopt some of their practices for our own. The minute you believe you have “peeps,” you will start to reluctantly try to find a way to reach everyone else, while privately wondering why they aren’t more “normal”–like you.

2. “Because you have preferences which are different from mine, try as I might to be magnanimous, I view these variations as weaknesses which I must adapt to in an attempt to gain your favor.” If we believe that people have great chasms of difference from us, we will have a tendency, human as we are, to perceive them as underlings. I know there are those who will disagree with these observations, contending that they have the toleration to experience diversity without drawing conclusions, but honestly, that would only be true if some of the discoveries being made ended up being part of their personal philosophy.

3. “Because I believe that I am normal, and that your preferences, though permissible, are somewhat weaker, my attempts to reach you may come off as condescending.” It would be similar to playing hip-hop music in front of a black audience and hiring a mariachi band for an Hispanic gathering. Yet that’s exactly what we do. Just like high school–juniors feel they are superior to sophomores. It isn’t true, but it gives a sense of exhilaration to lord it over an underclassman. The minute you assume that any group of people will react uniformly in a particular way when given certain stimulus, you are not only condescending, you are certainly guilty of prejudice.

So do you see the problem? Once we believe that each one of us has a particular “bird of a feather” that we are “flocking together” with we are in danger of awkwardness and even bigotry towards people who are different from us. Here’s what I would like to say to that comedian who felt she had found her “peeps,” to the Republicans and Democrats who are constantly trying to plump up their message to reach a variety of clumps, and to that fellow in Ohio who felt he had a pulse on his group of people, and understood their boundaries:

It is the job of every person born of woman to find a way to be a human being instead of just following the example of their culture.

We are all heart, soul, mind and strength.

Since I know that, I gear my message and life to the knowledge that our emotions are touched by commonality. In other words, everybody hurts. Everybody gets older. Everybody needs to learn to laugh at himself. Everybody would gain greater power by ceasing to worry.

Since I know we all have a soul, our spirits are enriched by a loving God who anticipates that we can do better. It doesn’t do any good to preach just a loving God, or certainly to present a disapproving one. Since God is your Father, whether you’re black, white, red or yellow, you want Him to love you and you’re glad He thinks you’ve got more to come.

We all have a brain, and our minds are renewed by seeing what works–not merely by education, conversation or job training. We’re human beings. We need to see what works to allow it to find root in our consciousness.

And finally, we all have a body–and that particular physical unit is enlivened by finding simpler ways to achieve good health. Don’t complicate it. Make it easy.

I don’t care what audience I’m in front of. I don’t care if they’re young, old, black, white or from another planet. As long as I don’t believe in this foolish, short-sighted pursuit of categorizing off our race into little ant hills, I have a chance of reaching them.

Because quite bluntly, folks, I don’t believe I am normal. In some ways I fear normalcy because it has a tendency to settle for mediocrity. I don’t think your preferences are weaknesses. Matter of fact, I am curious if many of them might be better than mine. And I will never be condescending to you because I have too many foibles of my own that can easily be pointed out as evidence of my inadequacy.

But I will address your heart. We will find common ground.

I will speak to your soul. I will tell that soul about a loving God who really believes His children can do better.

I will infiltrate your mind by allowing you to see things that are working instead of just advancing theories of politics and theology.

And I will be vulnerable to you by telling you that my body is in need of improvement and I am on a quest to ascertain simpler ways to discover good health.

Finally, I have no peeps. Just people. And all of them are my family … if I make myself available.

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