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Donald Trump Congratulates the Cleveland Cavaliers (but just the…

On a day when it was revealed that Donald Trump’s campaign manager was let go by Ivanka Trump and that his campaign had almost no money, The Donald tried to offer some congratulations to the newly crowned NBA Chamption Cleveland Cavaliers.  However, in classic Trump style he managed to forget Finals MVP Lebron James, star sidekick Kyrie Irving and everyone else that is black on the team! He gave a big shout out to Kevin Love, but Trump has obviously moved well past dog whistle politics and has gone full racist bullhorn with this one.  Try to laugh if you aren’t crying while watching this:

(Be sure to give the video a like on YouTube when finished watching)

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Donald Sterling to Accept Position as 10 pm Anchor…

The NBA dropped the hammer on Donald Sterling, punishing him for saying racist comments to his girlfriend (cannot wait for her VH1 show Senior Citizen Dumpster) and for basically embarrassing the league and making the LA Clippers a non-viable business.  Of course, the NBA and many people have known him to be a vile, almost cartoonist racist villain, fulfilling every negative stereotype he could get his fingerprints on for decades, but in this day and age, one viral strike was all it took.  And of course, good riddance, but it begs the question, where does a racist billionaire go after running and ruining an NBA franchise for so long?  Well it did not take long for one media empire to scoop up this newly available talent full of fresh ideas on business, race and paternalism.  That is right, Donald Sterling is going to Fox News!  The decision was actually announced at 1:30pm when Fox News learned that Sterling would be given a lifetime ban.  “We could not be more thrilled to have acquired the talents of Donald Sterling today,” said Fox news President Roger Ailes, “He is a proven business leader in real estate and sports, a creator, not a taker, a man not afraid to say unpopular things and younger than our core demographic. so he should really help us reel in the next generation of racist centenarians!”

His future with Fox News is so bright... he has to wear shades

While this may seem like a controversial hire, some of Fox News’ highest profile people think it will be a slam dunk.  “Some of my best friends are black,” said Sean Hannity, “but let’s be honest they do smell and Donald Sterling still gave them food and shelter and cars.  That is a compassionate conservative I can believe in.”

“The pinheads on the left can whine all they want, we now own the 90-110 white demographic,” shouted a demonstrably pleased Bill O’ Reilly.

The show does not have a title yet, but rumors have it that some possibilities thrown around by Team Sterling are “Ivory and Ivory,” “Slumlord Billionaire,” and “Sharecrop Stories.”  A feature of the new show that seems to have a lot of traction in early meetings is tentatively called “Nigstagram” in which Sterling will showcase various women on Instagram with black men and then rate them on a scale from “Race Traitor” to “She Can Still Have Sex with Me for Money”

Sterling is said to be disappointed in the NBA’s decision, but eager to begin working on his new project.  It is slated to begin in September 2014.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on PodomaticiTunes and NOW on STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe on one or more platforms today – all for free!

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This Week’s Best Reasons to Quit Comedy

Every week represents a new wave of opportunities to want to quit comedy for so many people.  “Oh he has an hour special!” or “How the fu*k did she get on Late Night TV?” or “Why does my bank balance have a negative in front of it – does that mean the bank owes me money?”  Twitter is a constant stream of “93 retweets? You have to be kidding me!” and Facebook is an overflow of good comics spending too much time having to (or not having to really) defend themselves and bad comics claiming they are above having to defend themselves.  I saw a “comedian” drop what I will call crude statements about the Cleveland rescue in succession, basically daring someone to say “you are not funny” so he could start yelling from the mountaintops “I am a comedian and I go to places you are afraid of!”  And you just want to say in a calm and rational voice, “No – you are just not funny.  Now you are offensive, but just because some people who are funny are offensive, does not mean it is a causal relationship.  Funny can be offensive, but offensive does not mean funny.”  But instead I just debated unfriending the person for 5 minutes for constantly flooding my Timeline with bad comedy.  But because I am glutton for punishment I did not.  But this inspired me to give you my top reasons why you should quit comedy this week (possible recurring theme)

1) Because a middle aged dude minding his business in Cleveland is funnier off the cuff and is way more charismatic than you are.  There are a lot of unfunny human beings doing comedy and I like to imagine that Charles Ramsey, the hero from Cleveland, was probably a great up and coming comedian who did not test well with millennials or middle aged white people and was turned away from the industry.  The bad news is, with these metrics guiding stand up comedy, comedy may suffer, but the good news is the world may have a lot of very funny and toothless heroes in the coming decades.

Now of course if you want other reasons to be annoyed – the video has 125 dislikes as of this typing – can we not find these people and eliminate them from society?  A lot of people like the death penalty for murder.  Not me.  Those people are outliers who cannot be deterred usually.  Prison is enough to deter the normal person.  I am for the death penalty for things like littering.  Because the average asshole who litters with a garbage can near him or the guy who gives a dislike to a video like this is probably making everyday life worse for more people. 

And just like good comedy, don’t skip to the two minute mark like half the assholes on the web encourage you too – see the story and enjoy the buildup to some classic comedy!

2) Because the web is constantly looking for villains to put on cyber trial.  This week there have already been two “controversies” regarding humor throughout my Internet circles.  One is the article today from Slate about the response to Charles Ramsey.  I cannot say I disagree with the general premise of the article, but I also think it ignores the fact that unlike some other situations, Charles Ramsey was actually a poised, confident and funny dude.  I appreciate sensitivity to issues like this, but I also think it is part of the Internet’s 100% rate of finding a villainous angle to things.  I am sure there are pockets of the population enjoying the Ramsey video for the wrong reasons – like if you are more obsessed with him saying ribs and “MacDonald’s”, than his great “Deeead Giveaway” tag line then you, to paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, might be an asshole. 

But the real story occupying many in the comedy world is the recent back and forth between a blogger and comedian Sam Morril.  Here is the blog that started all of it.  Sam wrote a fine response on Facebook and the blogger replied with this.  I think Sam is funny and all of the jokes she cited have made me laugh in person.  The only problem is that it is getting tiring and annoying to keep defending comedy.  If Sam was not good at comedy then I would have a problem with his jokes.  But they are funny and clearly intended as humor so the discussion ends there for me. But in a world where every slight and every incident and every thought has the potential to become viral or widespread this blow up is going to become the norm.  Every person who is offended or unamused or somewhere in between has a bullhorn known as the Internet.  And that would be reason enough to quit comedy this week, if not for number 3.

3) Because Comedians and the Internet always turn these issues into overly thoughtful circle jerks.  At some point between hours 12 and 36 of a “comedy controversy” it becomes an irritating circle jerk of thought and debate.  First comes the rallies to Sam’s defense, then come the attacks on the bloggers, then come the tweets and posts about “debate” and “respect” and “art” and then comes the congratulating each other even if on the opposite sides of this thorny “issue.” I actually saw two comedians have a semi-debate on Twitter and then have the equivalent of a social media hug it out and agree to disagree.  One day, philosophers and school children will ask, “Which came first, the blogger who took comedians too seriously or the comedians who took themselves too seriously and made themselves relevant to bloggers?”

4) Because a manager arranged and cancelled two meetings (one by simply not calling back).  OK this one was just for me, but a reminder that after a decade I still ain’t sh*t!

5) Because Funny or Die stole the Huffington post’s mojo and posted a list of funny women you should be following on Twitter.  The only possible good that might come out of this is if the pro women on Twitter HuffPo folks get into an East Coast-West Coast war with Funny or Die’s female tweet fans and then both go down in a hail of bullets.  See that is a murder joke, not  a rape joke.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on Podomatic or iTunes. New Every Tuesday!

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Performance Anxiety

This weekend I worked a few shows in Long Island.  The crowds were typical Long Island – politically conservative (finally I got to see some Carl Paladino signs!), comedically crude (with obvious exceptions within each audience).  My clever jokes got polite laughter and any joke that I had that included the word fu*k or sex received much more positive feedback.

The real dilemma for me, however, was the late show on Saturday night.  I was sitting at the club bar pre-show watching the Knicks game and Knicks bearded forward Ronnie Turiaf was on the screen.  Here is what I got to hear from one of the caucasion bar patrons, who was waiting to go into the late show:

“Can anyone teach these guys to trim a beard!  Look at this guy – he’s like the other guy with the beard… (NY Jets receiver) Braylon Edwards – these guys can’t trim their beards! (Pointing at the screen) Maybe if this guy got another stint in jail they could teach him to trim his beard!  (mumbling with his friend) – Nigga please! (back slapping laughter)”

Now, as far as I know Ronnie Turiaf is not a criminal, but he is a black man playing basketball, which to some people is the same thing.  But I have to go perform comedy and try to entertain this obviously racist piece of sh*t?  Of course my joke about my Mom sponsoring my father for 46 cents a month got raucous laughter, which it generally does, but after many years I can start to tell when an audience is enjoying it too much.  I do not mean to make this seem like Dave Chappelle, who quit his show, in part because he felt like he was giving white people too much license to gang up in mean spirited laughter and N-word dropping on satires of black people.  But it certainly felt a little like that.

I never really considered leaving the club because it was one audience member and I am in no position to burn comedy bridges, but the fact that that man and his friends and many of his ilk sat in judgment of my comedy and may have been entertained by me makes me want to vomit.  I thought as I got older I would see less racism, but it seems the more I meet people and see different groups of people as I perform comedy, the more I see the uglyside of people.  I am in the unique position of looking fairly white to the untrained or underexposed eye and I have always been privy to hearing real racism – not the rants of wild-eyed racists who want to lynch negroes, but the prejudicial jokes and bad taste that go with the everyday, ordinary racist who thinks he or she is outside the presence of minorities.  It is still ugly in America, but this weekend was the first time where this reality infected my comedy career.

Perhaps this is what they wanted this weekend.

When I got on stage and told the crowd I was half-Haitian, half-Irish, a Caucasian male in the front row shook his head and said, “no way.”  And I laughed and said, “Maybe you are right – perhaps my Dad has been lying to me my whole life.  Or maybe you are just wondering if you said anything racist near me.” 

The deafening silence that followed that line in the club was the best thing I heard all night.

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Can Skin Color Be An “Image Problem?” The NFL…

Yesterday on ESPN.com there was a poll asking, “which sports league is has the most damaged image?”  The poll results of over 60,000 respondents were as follows:

  • NHL (hockey) – 2%
  • MLB (baseball) – 6%
  • NBA (basketball) – 33%
  • NFL (football) – 60%

Now I agree that football must be number one, but the 33% that selected the NBA make me curious, especially when compared to the 6% that thought baseball had the worst image.  Baseball is of course the sport that has been/is rife with drug abuse and performance enhancement that prompted congressional hearings.  But perhaps people just don’t care that much anymore, but having your entire league called dirty would seem to be pretty damaging.  And it cannot hurt when 90% of your league is Latino and White (a/k/a not black).

Hockey can be dismissed as statistically insignificant since the only people who picked it had to have been hocky-only fans or people just goofing around.

That leaves the NFL and the NBA accounting for 93% of the image problems.  The NBA has had its image problems, but only two incidents stick out in the last decade – the Kobe Bryant rape allegations and the melee in Detroit a few years ago.  Both bad, but the Bryant allegations stemmed from a willing sexual partner, who went to his room and then alleged unwanted forms of sex.  If true, then Bryant is still a rapist, but there is a boatload of reasonable doubt there.  As for the melee in Detroit, Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson are batsh*t crazy, but they were assaulted first (via soda cup).  And who can forget Jermain O’Neal’s sliding punch during that melee – it would have made Jackie Chan proud!

But that is really all that has made headlines for the NBA recently.  Sure 10 years ago there was the “Who’s My Daddy?” story in the NBA about paternity issues and that still is a major issue, but is it more prevalent than the NFL?  Other stories from the NBA recently have been aboutgreat superstars playing great basketball.  Allen Iverson struggling with alcohol addiction would probably seem sadder if did not look like people’s image of a gangbanger. 

Now I am writing this not about the 40,000 people that answered that football was having the biggest image problem, but the 20,000 random ESPN.com visitors who picked the NBA.  How can you pick the NBA as having a worse image than the NFL (and with the recency effect I would expect these numbers are actually higher, given that the NFL has the more recent scandals, than they would be if the timing were equal)?  Here’s some “evidence”:

Who’s My Daddy

The reigning king of paternity is Travis Henry with 9 kids by 9 women by the age of 28. The New York Jets new cornerback  Antonio Cromartie had to get an advance on his salary to handle several alimony payments.  Even if the leagues have identical problems, the NFL’s have made the more recent headlines.  And while we are here, Tom Brady seemed to avoid any scrutiny for knocking up his girlfriend and then leaving her for a model.  I guess it’s cool if you are Tom Brady. Perhaps because Tom Brady is a ladies’ man.  If he were Donovan McNabb he might be “shirking his responsibilities.” Or maybe not, but that is just one case. Let’s continue looking at the total body of information.

No real image problem here. Why?

Rape & Pillage

Ben Roethlisberger has turned out to be a possible serial rapist.  Even if he and Kobe did nothing wrong – what is more lacking in character from comparable stars – consensual sex in your room that goes too far, or banging drunk girls in bars while your bodyguards prevent the girl’s friends from entering?  You’re right – being black. (I am not defending Kobe, obviously).

If you'd been arrested in Georgia then we'd have a really interesting debate.

Murder Was The Case That They Gave The NFL

Murderers – Ray Lewis, Rae Carruth, Donte Stallworth (this season) – one alleged, two convicted – all NFL.  And on a related, but lesser note – Dog killing – Michael Vick, the ASPCA’s Hitler.  I don’t think it is the same level as the things above, but let’s not pretend that it did not tarnish his image and the NFL’s a little.

Male Enhancement

Performance enhancing drugs – I only know that Rashard Lewis was suspended for an over the counter (allegedly) substance.  There have been a lot more Shawne Merrimans and Bill Romanowskis in the NFL.

Two Tickets To The Gun Show

Pac Man Jones – punches strippers in the face – his entourage paralyzes a bouncer at a club with a stray bullet – he is the poster boy for bad character in sports.  Marvin Harrison – gun incident.  The worst the NBA has had – Gilbert Arenas – who turned out to be the worst practical joker (or the best if you think like me).

My favorite picture, perhaps of all time. A jerk? Yes. A criminal? Yep. As bad as Pac Man Jones or Marvin Harrison? Not even close.

So the NFL has the NBA trumped on felonies, paternity superstars, animal abuse and performance enhancement drugs, so the question is, what does the NBA have that the NFL doesn’t:

A higher percentage of black men. And those black men have lots of visible tattoos.  In the NFL the only black divas are the wide receivers, but in the NBA they are all divas, except for the occasional smart, hard working, scrappy white guys.

Give me a break.

Isn’t it clear that the 33% are either stupid or prejudiced?  This is the response I got on Facebook to that question:

So wait, nothing even resembling a majority number in a bullsh*t espn.com poll is supposed to make a statement about what people think about black people?
Travis Henry? Sheee-it Shawn Kemp invented that shit.
As far as I know, Ben Roethlisberger’s accusers aren’t fairing too well…and lastly, I actually happen to agree that football players in …
See MoreAmerica in a lot of cases are frakking animals (whte or black) and most hoopsters aren’t…buuuut football is a sport that has a much stronger team identity of hardworking guys who get paid SUBSTANTIALLY less than their NBA primadonna counterparts. This stix in the craw of the white people who might-MIGHT be responsible for this socalled 33%
 
Now I agree that the poll has no scientific merit, but I have no reason to believe that it is not an accurate snapshot of the average sports fan in America.  But the person who commentedhas always commented whenever  have made disparaging anti-Republican/Joe Lieberman comments so I am guessing his political leanings are to the right, even if not far right.  And this is instructive – look at the immediatetly defensive tone as if I was calling him out.  Some quick counters:
  • So if racism is not in a majority it is not worth calling out?
  • All People? – no just the 20,000+ average sports fans who see the NBA as a bigger image fu*k up than the NFL
  • “Hardworking team identity” – sounds like Hilary Clinton appealing to the Western PA voters in the 2008 primary
Now I am not casting any aspersions on the commenter, but I do feel the language of the debate is telling (after all he eventually agrees with part of my point that the NFL is worse than the NBA). And I understand not wanting race to be infused where it does not belong because it is such an inflammatory topic, but sometimes it has to be. For every Tawana Brawley there’s a Rodney King; for every Duke Lacrosse Team, there’s the four cops who shot Amadou Diallo.  Just because racism is damaging and touchy does not mean that it can’t be easy to see sometimes.
 
I honestly believe there is no way to say that the NBA has a bigger image problem than the NFL without being prejudiced or stupid.  Image is made by headlines and superstars.  The NBA has almost all black superstars.  The NFL has several white superstars and they are basically the front men for the band that is the NFL (Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Brett Favre).  Now the negative headlines are overwhelmingly with the NFL, but the well known white faces are overwhelmingly with the NFL as well (sorry Dirk Nowtizki and Steve Nash).  And apparently for 33% of sports fans (I’m willing to make that extrapolation, even though the poll does not probably reach more low income, non-computer having sports fans) the faces trump the crimes.
And if you asked me, is 33% of America at least a little racist, I’d probably answer yes, so the poll only shocked me because I thought sports fans would see beyond that in greater numbers.  But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – after all I sat next to a white  guy at a Steeler game last year who called an opposing team’s player a Nig*ger, all while wearing the jersey of a nig*er named Santonio Holmes.  I’d hate to see that guy at a basketball game, but I’m pretty sure how he would answer that ESPN poll.