All In The Family: Dissing Don!

It’s time to Break It Down!

It has seemed for years now as though, we are living in an alternate universe. However, taking nothing away from the last three years of the Twenty-teens (2017-2019), 2020 has been downright other worldly. When the House of Representatives voted on December 18, to impeach Donald Trump (230-197 on one Resolution accusing abuse of power, and 229-198 on another, alleging obstruction of Congress), no one I know imagined that in six months, for most Americans, impeachment would have virtually disappeared from the daily narrative of news cycles. And not because we returned to some sense of normalcy, at least as far as the Trump era is concerned, but because a pandemic, the likes of which the world haven’t seen in more than a century (1918), has roiled our nation, and the world.

There are folks, most notably Donald Trump and his loyalists, who will tell you full-throatedly, that the pandemic is over. Both he and they insist, that he has navigated the currents of the pandemic expertly, and that he has been right on everything, from asserting the prophylactic effects of hydroxychloroquine, to lauding the curative powers of human ingestion and/or, injection of disinfectants. Keep in mind, that on February 26, Mr. Trump boasted, “You have 15 people, and the 15, within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero. By April 28th, there had been a million confirmed cases in the United States. Today, cases exceed three million, and over 130,000 have died from the disease. Moreover, through yesterday, the number of cases was rising in 37 states, and falling in only 4 states, all in New England. Cases in Arizona, California, Florida and Georgia are rising at alarming rates.

But, as you were probably able to glean from the title, above, COVID-19 is not the focus of this post. The preceding paragraph was just a not so subtle reminder that, as Mark Twain said of his own demise, the rumors of COVID-19’s death, have been greatly exaggerated. But, I digress.

It looks as though we are about to see another Trump-centric book drop, this one courtesy of a family member. Mr. Trump’s niece, Mary Trump has written a new book, entitled, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” It’s scheduled to hit the shelves next Tuesday, July 14th.

As with a number of books about Donald Trump, Mr. Trump, or those close to him, launched a series of legal gymnastics to halt publication of the book. As with John Bolton’s tome, last month, efforts to scuttle release of the book were unsuccessful. Bolton’s book dished about numerous insider details from the Trump administration. Ms. Trump’s insights also originate from a proximate perspective; one based not on political connections, but from familial ties.

Mary Trump is the daughter of Donald Trump’s now deceased elder brother, Fred Trump, Jr. Ms. Trump holds a Ph.D. in Psychology, and is a licensed clinical psychologist. She assails Trump in the book with scathing criticism on a number of fronts, including:

1. Labeling him a sociopath

2. Charging him with willful ignorance and hubris

3. Asserting he used complicity, silence and inaction to destroy her father

4. Accusing him of displaying a blatant sociopathic disregard for human life in his response to the coronavirus, as well as throughout his business career, the handling of her father’s struggles with alcoholism, and dysfunction and infighting within the family

5, Comparing him him to an unloved 3-year-old with a fragile ego, in constant need of bolstering, because he knows he is not what he claims to be

6. Alleging that he enlisted and paid a smart kid (whom she names) to take his SAT, due to concerns about his grades

7. Claiming that Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, accused Trump of using the death of Fred, Jr. for political purposes, by citing it while addressing the Opioid crisis

8. Describing Trump’s rise in NY Real Estate as predicated on his father’s financial support, which was necessary, due to Donald’s shortcomings

9. Citing Trump’s relationship with Attorney Roy Cohn as the catalyst for some of his notable current behaviors, including dishonesty and lack of empathy

10. Characterizing Donald’s relationship with Fred, Sr., as akin to that of the border wall to Donald Trump; a vanity project, funded at the expense of more worthy pursuits

The ten items above are just a few of the nuggets included in Dr. Trump’s book. I’m not promoting the book, or, using this post as an occasion to get in any extra digs at Mr. Trump. Rather this piece is to elevate one more point of view regarding the phenomenon that is Donald Trump. Buy it, don’t buy it; the choice is yours. Obviously, I don’t get a red cent from the proceeds, so I really couldn’t care less. What I am vested in, is spreading the news from any available vantage point about a creditable view of the principal occupant of the White House.

As a counterpoint, White House deputy press secretary, Sarah Matthews, said of the book, “It’s clearly in the author’s own financial self-interest.” She added, of the allegation Trump had someone else take his SAT’s, that is was “absurd” and “completely false.” Considering the many self-aggrandizing references Mr. Trump makes to himself being a big-brained stable genius, this particular point must be one Donald Trump finds deeply irritating. As for Mary Trump’s personal financial interest being served, well, duh! That’s hardly an argument against the basic claims laid out by Ms. Trump.

The first link below will take you to a story that gives more details about the Simon and Schuster book. Clearly, there are a lot of people who want you to know, what they know, about Donald Trump, as we head to November, and the much ballyhooed most important election to date, in our lifetimes. There have been, and will be lots more, books written about Presidents. It’s fair to say there may never have been one quite like this; written by, not just a close associate of a sitting President, but by a close family member who has known the principal, up close and in person, for decades, and with a less than favorable narrative.

No matter what one thinks of Donald Trump, nor of Mary Trump’s motives, she has been privy to some of the most intimate long-term family dynamics of Donald J. Trump. She has told her story, and from all pre-release accounts, it’s not a pretty tale. “All In The Family: Dissing Don!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

The Governor Signed A Bill: Mississippi Set “To Be Reconciled And To Move On”

It’s time to Break It Down!

Last week, it was NASCAR, yesterday, it was the state of Mississippi. Governor Tate Reeves signed into law a bill that, symbolically, let its people go. Mississippi was the sole remaining state to feature the Confederate insignia in its official flag. 

One supposes, given the independence of states, some state had to be last. For example, New Hampshire, didn’t adopt and observe the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, until the year 2000, fourteen years, after it was adopted as a federal holiday, in 1986. In retrospect, The Granite State acted swiftly. The Civil War ended with General Robert E. Lee’ surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia, April 9, 1865. It took 155 years, 2 months, 2 weeks, and 6 days for The Magnolia State to relinquish The Lost Cause. Whoosah!

OK, so technically, Mississippi didn’t adopt the flag, which has red, white and blue stripes with the Confederate battle emblem in one corner, until 1894. With that historical caveat, it’s fair to note that the banner waved over the state Capitol Building in Jackson for 126 years. It’s surely less than 155 years, but for contextual purposes, that was 15 years before the oldest living Mississippian on record, Mrs. Malinda Johnson, who was born (1909 in Carroll County, MS), and 11 years prior to the birth of the oldest living American on record, Mrs. Hester Ford, who was born (1905 in Lancaster, SC; moved to Charlotte, NC in 1953). In other words, there is no one living today who was alive when Mississippi adopted the flag that it flew until yesterday.

Governor Reeves, a Republican, had this to say about the change, before signing the historic legislation:

“This is not a political moment to me, but a solemn occasion to lead our Mississippi family to come together to be reconciled and to move on.”

Yesterday’s signing capped a swift referendum on the flag by the state Legislature. The bill passed Sunday. The Governor had committed to sign it if it reached his desk. A commission will now design a new flag, including the words, “In God We Trust,” and without the Confederate emblem. Mississippi voters will vote on the new design in November.

The Governor also said:

“I know there are people of goodwill who are not happy to see this flag changed. They fear a chain reaction of events erasing our history — a history that is no doubt complicated and imperfect.”

I understand those concerns and am determined to protect Mississippi from that dangerous outcome.”

A couple of weeks ago, in my Memorial Day post, I wrote about Old Glory, our nation’s flag, and the various flags that represented the Confederacy during its four-year tenure. Flags, banners, symbols emblems, and insignia representing the Confederacy have long been divisive proxies in American society. As with Confederate statues, the symbols have sparked an element of divisiveness in our country. Critics note that the flag represents the war to uphold slavery, while supporters call it a sign of Southern pride and heritage. Frequently, all of these symbols have been increasingly used as a rallying call for white supremacists. Moreover, the principal source of pride, of heritage, and even the most notable state’s right in the region was the right to own slaves as chattel property. Indeed, if cotton were King, slaves were metaphorically, the mint, working the land, and generating the King’s wealth.

As Americans, we often like to think of ourselves as exceptional. And there is no doubt, both individually, and as a nation, we are home to many extraordinary individuals, accomplishments, inventions, and discoveries. It is in that light, whenever I speak of, or write about the Confederacy, its flags, statues, and array of symbols, it is important to frame the discourse within the context of one simple observation. At the end of the day, no matter how magical anyone may have thought the period was, the Confederacy lost. That’s right, it L-O-S-T! It lost the war, and it lost the right to lord its symbols over the people it tried to claim as perpetual property, and over vast portions of the United States of America, and the many patriots, including slaves, who fought to ensure that such a perniciously evil and capricious system would neither carry the day, nor govern our nation. And when one thinks about that way, it really was not exceptional, in any way, form, or fashion.

Governor Reeves said all the right things. I hope he, and Mississippians of goodwill are committed to see it through to fruition, and that they succeed in avoiding the dangerous chain reaction outcome that he noted some of them fear. I wish them continued blessings, and Godspeed. “The Governor Signed A Bill: Mississippi Set ‘To Be Reconciled And To Move On!‘”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

Donald Trump: One Republican’s Take Down!

It’s time to Break It Down!

Every now and then I run across a point of view (POV) expressed so powerfully and poignantly, that coincidentally mirrors my view on a particular subject at that moment in time, that instead of creating a post, I, instead, share that POV. Given that prologue, you already know, today is one of those days.

Unlike most of the precedent posts of this sort from me, today’s contribution comes to you via third hand transference. Chris Cillizza, a CNN commentator wrote about an analysis of Donald Trump constructed, and shared by Steve Schmidt, one of the principal architects, and one of four founders, of a what is likely the most famous, or depending on your perspective, infamous, anti-Trump groups. As someone who works for CNN, Trump loyalists may contend that label applies to Cillizza too. Schmidt, however, brings an entirely different perspective and set of bona fides to the table. He is a founder of The Lincoln Project

Mr. Schmidt is a longtime (as in lifelong) Republican, and has deep ties to the GOP establishment, and to the Party’s orthodoxy. Of course, in contemporary reckoning, those are not necessarily perceived as the value adding components they would have been before Trump became the Master of the Republican Universe. Still, Schmidt’s involvement in the Party apparatus runs deep. He ran John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, he worked on Lamar Alexander’s 2000 presidential campaign, he worked on Capitol Hill for Republicans, he served as communications director of the House GOP’s campaign arm, and he helped Arnold Schwarzenegger become California’s Republican Governor, in addition to running Senator McCain’s presidential campaign. He has been a partisan GOP fighter for most of his life.

In other words, he is deeply ensconced, and long-term invested in Republican supremacy, as it relates to the American political landscape. Cillizza described Schmidt’s commentary as, “Brutal.” This is his unvarnished summarization of the Trump Effect:     

“Donald Trump has been the worst president this country has ever had. And I don’t say that hyperbolically. He is. But he is a consequential president. And he has brought this country in three short years to a place of weakness that is simply unimaginable if you were pondering where we are today from the day where Barack Obama left office. And there were a lot of us on that day who were deeply skeptical and very worried about what a Trump presidency would be. But this is a moment of unparalleled national humiliation, of weakness.

When you listen to the President, these are the musings of an imbecile. An idiot. And I don’t use those words to name call. I use them because they are the precise words of the English language to describe his behavior. His comportment. His actions. We’ve never seen a level of incompetence, a level of ineptitude so staggering on a daily basis by anybody in the history of the country whose ever been charged with substantial responsibilities. 

It’s just astonishing that this man is president of the United States. The man, the con man, from New York City. Many bankruptcies, failed businesses, a reality show, that branded him as something that he never was. A successful businessman. Well, he’s the President of the United States now, and the man who said he would make the country great again. And he’s brought death, suffering, and economic collapse on truly an epic scale. And let’s be clear. This isn’t happening in every country around the world. This place. Our place. Our home. Our country. The United States. We are the epicenter. We are the place where you’re the most likely to die from this disease. We’re the ones with the most shattered economy. And we are because of the fool that sits in the Oval Office behind the Resolute Desk.”

On it’s face, it is difficult to imaging a 3-paragraph narrative doing justice to the withering assault with which Mr. Trump has single-handedly pummeled our nation. However, if it could be done, I submit Schmidt had presented the definitive template. For his part, Cillizza doubled down by insisting that, despite its tone and tenor, Schmidt’s comments encapsulated “a decidedly succinct assessment of what Trump’s conduct in office — from coronavirus to protests over police brutality and back — have meant to the Republican Party and the country.” In thoughtful reflection, I can earnestly report, I concur. “Donald Trump: One Republican’s Take Down!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

Old Glory: One Nation, One Flag!

It’s time to Break It Down!

A year ago, at this time, I penned a post discussing the Toronto Raptors ascent to the NBA Title. I mention it today, only to underscore the fact the League hasn’t had a game in over three months, and is currently immersed in discussions to determine if, when, where, and how it will proceed to complete its season, and crown this year’s Champion. As a fan of the game, I remain hopeful that they figure it out, and let the games resume. It won’t be the same, but it will be better than ending the season with a “No Decision” verdict.

Today’s commentary will be brief. I frequently issue a special post around holidays. That saves time, but also is something I do in recognition of the fact that most folks have better things to do with their holiday breaks, than spend time reading blogs. Of course, in the age of COVID-19, the myriad of commitments to which we are normally tethered, is considerably lessened. Moreover, this weekend’s holiday, Flag Day (this past Sunday), is not one that was accompanied by days off, and may be officially considered a day of commemoration or observance, rather than an actual holiday. Still, I am opting to highlight it today.

Some people feel that during the span of this administration, we have been engaged in a series of culture wars. As I write that, I am aware there are those who will insist the culture wars predate this administration. And they do. But the temperature on most of them has been continuously elevating for the past three and a half years, often with considerable help from the chief occupant of 1600 PA Ave. 

These battles, and in some circles, there are genuine battles, though most are of the rhetorical variety, tend to revolve around topics such as race, class, economics and principally, for the purposes of this post, the Flag. So, let’s get to it. We are Americans, and as such, citizens, and/or striving to become citizens of the United States, emphasis on United. Our Flag, which the President has made quite a kerfuffle over, from time to time, is Old Glory, A.K.A., The Stars and Stripes.

For the brief duration of its existence, the Confederate States of America, A.K.A., the Confederacy, had three flags, between 1861 and 1865. Those flags were known as the “Stars and Bars,” (1861-1863, the “Stainless Banner,” (1863-1865), and the “Blood-Stained Banner,” used in 1865 from shortly before the Confederacy’s dissolution until the hostilities ceased. There was also a rejected national flag design used as a battle flag by the Confederate army, featuring elements of the “Stainless Banner” and the “Blood-Stained Banner” designs. 

While this particular design was never a national flag, it is commonly recognized as a symbol of the Confederacy. The Confederate States of America (CSA) waged war against the United States, in what is commonly called The Civil War. The CSA lost! In other words, the battle flag is the quintessential symbol of resistance, and ultimately, of the lost cause. Notably, it is the banner most frequently at the center of conflict, over the so-called (because it was never adopted), Confederate Flag. In the final analysis, and in the simplest of terms, it is the symbol and emblem of, to put it delicately, L-O-S-E-R-S!

As referenced earlier, Sunday (June 14th) was Flag Day. I posted a meme acknowledging the occasion, that in my opinion, was the be all-end all to the Flag discourse. It was short and simple, as every definitive statement should be concise. Shakespeare opined in Hamlet, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” The meme displayed Old Glory on a flagpole, fluttering against the backdrop of a blue sky, sandwiched between the words, THE ONLY U.S. FLAG THAT MATTERS, atop, and SINCE 1865!, underneath.

Mic drop; case closed”Old Glory: One Nation, One Flag!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

Root Cause Analysis: This Didn’t Begin With George Floyd

It’s time to Break It Down!

George Floyd, 46, died May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Cause of death, homicide by “asphyxiation from sustained pressure” when his neck and back were compressed by police officers for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The pressure cut off the flow of blood to his brain, an independent autopsy determined.

In the 15 nights that have ensued since then, a series of protests have arisen in over 75 cities across the United States, and indeed, worldwide. As May gave way to June, and we find ourselves on the cusps of summer (in the Northern Hemisphere), or winter (in the Southern Hemisphere), it appears that, here in the United States, we are well on the way to our next long hot summer.

Over these two and a half weeks, I have read and listened to countless debates about the tenor and tone of the protests, a number of which have turned violent. The protests, not the conversations.

Some folks argue that protesters are working at cross purposes with their own interests. They suggest that protesters are simply using Mr. Floyd’s untimely demise as an excuse for rioting and looting. This view seems to be particularly prevalent among conservatives/Republicans. An NBC News/The Wall Street Journal poll of 745 Registered Voters found that of those polled, 81% of Democrats, and 59% of Independents were more concerned about George Floyd’s death and the actions of police, than with violent protests. Conversely, only 29% of Republicans shared that perspective. 

In other words, nearly 6 in 10 Independents, and more than 8 in 10 Democrats were more concerned about Mr. Floy’s death, and the draconian, and irresponsible actions that led to it. Concomitantly, less than 3 in 10 Republicans were more concerned about the death than the reactions to the murder, or public lynching, as it has been deemed in some circles. The polling had a +/- 3.5 points error ratio.

George Perry Floyd, Jr., was a human being, an African American, a man, a son, a father, a brother, and a person who had lived in 4 states across the American South, Southwest, and Midwest. H mattered. He was a native North Carolinian, born in Fayetteville. His life mattered. But for all the reasons Mr. Floyd’s life, and especially his death, will forever be tied to America’s 2020 Summer of Discontent, notwithstanding, he is not the cause, but rather a symptom of the current societal angst and turmoil.

Herewith, the primer. If you subscribe to American folklore, you might believe that police, as we know them today, are as old as the Republic. They are not. The earliest policing was an informal practice, based on a for profit, privately funded model, employing part-timers. Some towns employed a “night watch” in which volunteers signed up for a certain day and time, mostly to look out for fellow colonists engaging in gambling or prostitution. Boston, the first, started one in 1636, New York followed in 1658, and Philadelphia created one in 1700. It was very inefficient, because the watchmen often slept and drank while on duty, and there were people who were placed on watch duty as a form of punishment.

The night-watch officers were supervised by a constable. That wasn’t a highly sought-after position either. Early policemen didn’t want to wear badges because these guys had bad reputations to begin with, and they didn’t want to be identified as people other people didn’t like. When communities tried compulsory service, “if you were rich enough, you paid someone to do it for you – ironically, a criminal or a community thug. As the nation grew, different regions made use of different policing systems.

The first publicly funded, organized police force with officers on duty full-time, like the first night watch system, was created in Boston, in 1838, just over two hundred years later. In the South however, the economics that drove the creation of police forces were centered not on the protection of shipping interests, such as in Boston, but on the preservation of the slavery system. Therefore, slave patrols were among the primary Southern policing institutions. The first formal patrols were created in the Carolina colonies in 1704. These entities had three primary functions: (1) to chase down, apprehend, and return to their owners, runaway slaves; (2) to provide a form of organized terror to deter slave revolts; and, (3) to maintain a form of discipline for slave-workers who were subject to summary justice, outside of the law, if they violated any plantation rules.

During the Civil War, the military became the primary form of law enforcement in the South. Over the course of Reconstruction, many local sheriffs functioned in ways analogous to the earlier slave patrols, enforcing segregation, and maintaining the disenfranchisement of freed slaves. Following the Civil War, these vigilante-style organizations evolved into modern Southern police departments primarily as a means of controlling freed slaves who were now laborers working in an agricultural caste system, and enforcing “Jim Crow” segregation laws, designed to deny freed slaves equal rights and access to the political system.

As the nation evolved, so did the methods and schemes designed to maintain order, in part by keeping the black man down, even if it meant separating him from his most valued possession; his life. Throughout the eras, from Slavery (1619-1865), to Reconstruction (1862-1877), to Jim Crow (1877-1954), to  Civil Rights (1954-1965), to Modern times 1965-Present), as rights and freedoms have evolved, so have the mechanisms used to disenfranchise and deprive black Americans from full and complete participation in fruits of our so-called exceptional country. The bottom line is black men were beaten and lynched in1620, and the same is true in 2020. That it happened 400 years ago stains the pompous assertion of exceptionality. That this wack and violent measure was used to kill black men in the 17th century was a travesty. That the tactic is still employed in the 21st century renders bogus, the premise that America is exceptional, at least in a positive way.

That contemporary law enforcement officers act in a capacity akin to 18th century slave patrols, in effect, hunting down, and/or killing black men without cause, or consequence, is the reason we are experiencing the current level of civil disobedience, unrest, and violence. In response, to those individuals who would prefer us to suffer in silence, and not act out, we have largely done that, and policemen and women are still killing black men. We are constantly told, these acts are the purview of a few bad apples, yet, the preponderance of good apples seldom reigns in the bad apples, and in fact, often sides with, and defends them. Just this past weekend, 57 Buffalo officers resigned because two of their colleagues were suspended for shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground, resulting in a cracked skull, and other severe injuries. The 57 officers comprised the entire Buffalo Police Department emergency response team. The officers will still be employed by the department but will no longer work on the emergency response team. Where were the good apples?

Consider that not long ago, Colin Kapernick, and other NFL players who kneeled as the National Anthem was played at football games to protest police violence against black men and women, were deemed S.O.B.’s, by the individual considered the leader of the free world. Today, the NFL Commissioner (and a litany of other business executives) says the League made a mistake in how it treated players, who were apparently ahead of their time in peacefully protesting the termination of black lives by officers of the law. What changed? Yes, Mr. Floyd was killed, but that in itself merely added to the too rapidly mounting carnage total. The ante was raised substantially by the ensuing protests. Corporations have committed to donate $billions to help right the many wrongs, in what amounts to the government sponsored plundering of black lives. I haven’t heard Mr. Trump amend his position on the subject. Of course he hasn’t recanted his DNA obliterated position on the Central Park 5 either, so, I’m not holding my breath. But it’s clear, numerous executives, businesses, and leaders, propelled by good will, common sense, and yes, a few videos, have come to see the light on the issue. That’s is at least a start. Black America does not need or want to get something off its collective chest. No, we want and need an end to systemic racism, and for police officers to take their knees off our necks, stop shooting us when we are unarmed, or when we are armed (since we have Second Amendment rights too), and posing no threat. Is that too much to ask?

In conclusion, the point is, Mr. Floyd’s death was the result of a senseless act of violence, and as The Reverend Al Sharpton said during Mr. Floyd’s eulogy, yesterday, a crime. The local police union and others are trying to shift the focus and responsibility to Mr. Floyd. His record has become a source of deflection. This, in spite of the fact that Officer Derek Chauvin, who’s knee to the neck, caused Mr. Floyd to expire, is the subject of 18 prior complaints, only two of which were closed with disciplinary action. This is an example of the kind of case, in which officers are often exonerated, or, simply not charged in the first place. It just so happened that Mr. Floyd’s case was captured, virtually from start to finish, on video. Chauvin was one of four officers involved at the scene. The three others, participated, either directly, or by shielding bystanders from intervening. None of them stopped Chauvin or administered CPR after Mr. Floyd stopped breathing and/or ceased to show signs of a pulse.  Moreover, consider this. It’s still not considered an open and shut case. That, in a nutshell, is why an inordinate number of people, and not just black people, but Americans of all persuasions, as well as individuals from other countries around the world, are in an uproar, or, paraphrase Fannie Lou Hamer’s immortal words, spoken 56 years ago, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” To wit…“Root Cause Analysis: This Didn’t Begin With George Floyd!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

57 members of Buffalo police riot response team resign after shoving incident

High Stakes Poker: Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em?

It’s time to Break It Down!

Let me begin at the end. My assessment is, this isn’t over yet!

So Mr. Trump asserted yesterday that the GOP will be “forced” to find a new state to host their convention as North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper stands by his demand that party leaders provide him with plans for a scaled down event amid coronavirus concerns. Bravo. Trump’s tough guy antics are cheered by many in his Party, and are absolutely drawing rave reviews from his hard-core supporters. Some of his most avid allies claim Trump enjoys the enthusiastic support of 97% of Republicans, a number, which they say, is a record.

I am hearing that Republicans believe Governor Cooper is a (politically) dead man walking. They contend the Governor is at best misplaying a bad hand, and at worse, outright overplaying it. They are thoroughly confident that Trump will not only be easily re-elected, but that the pending red wave will lead to reclaiming all the seats the GOP lost in the midterm elections, and, of course, that Governor Cooper is toast.

This is an interesting kerfuffle, to say the least. Not that long ago, Mr. Trump blithely deferred to Governors when it was time to make a decision on whether to develop and execute shutdown measures to blunt the spread of the coronavirus. He spoke, almost demurely, of federalism, and the role and responsibility of the Governors to figure it out for themselves. Some skeptics and cynics might conclude he was reticent to make the call, because like Pontius Pilate, he didn’t want his fingerprints to be associated with those actions. Because, of course, any downturn that might result from shuttering businesses, would have the effect of putting a damper on his self-proclaimed greatest economy ever…and subsequently complicate his bid for re-election.

Sure enough, while the virus had yet to peak in a number of states, he suddenly dispensed with the virtue of federalism, which he contended prevented him from invoking shutdowns, and proclaimed that it was time to open up, and that he personally would override any Governor who didn’t allow churches to re-open. Well, the move appeared to help him feel that he had reignited his mojo.

On Monday, the erstwhile, in control of everything, self-proclaimed law and order president made his way across Pennsylvania Ave. for a photo-op at historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, which had been subjected to fire damage the previous evening, during protests of the death of George Floyd. Ahead of him, law enforcement officials used smoke canisters and rubber bullets to disperse, what according to most news outlets on the scene, were peaceful protesters. It was initially reported that tear gas was employed. That was lated denied.

Tuesday, the events were reimagined, and the new narrative was that Attorney General Barr had ordered the show of force. For a guy who claims the ultimate authority, declares himself in control of everything, and who bragged about dominating, and emphasized the need to dominate ”unlawful” protesters, dominating lawful protesters, and hiding behind his AG in the wake of broad-based public pushback, is not a good look. In fact, to use Trumpian vernacular, it was weak.

But that brings us to yesterday, and his threat, or was it a bluff, to snatch the Republican National Convention (RNC) from Charlotte, and North Carolina. A number of Republicans on the ground, in and around Charlotte, claim Governor Cooper is playing politics. All I know is, when it was time to make the call on Stay-at-home orders, Mr. Trump was (again) happy to use someone else, Governors in that case, as human shields. Now, he sees an opportunity to put pressure on a Governor in a purple/swing state to submit to his “dominating” pressure. He see’s himself, as holding all the cards.

If the Governor folds, and accedes to Trump’s bluster, he has bent to the will of the omnipotent POTUS. If he resists, and adheres to actions he believes are in the best interest of the citizens of his state, and, I might add, anyone from out of state, who might be attending the Convention, he will be characterized as depriving the city and state of jobs, and the branding spotlight of hosting the convention. This latter posture will undoubtedly energize his base.

But let’s be clear. Trump is all about the glitz and glamor of the show. Between now and August, and between August and November, he’ll create dozens of political donnybrooks, and complain of countless sleights to manipulate Team Trump. And they will dutifully respond.

I have no idea what Governor Cooper will do. I have the sense he is relying upon North Carolina’s official healthcare professionals and experts to provide guidance about what to require of the RNC, in the way of an acceptable plan. I hope he will weigh all the pertinent factors and apply his best judgment.

It’s worth noting there are a lot of people in the Charlotte community who think the City should never have bid on the RNC, and who certainly believe local elected officials should not have consummated the deal. In the fog of the current nationwide unrest, stemming from Mr… Floyd’s death, amnesia abounds. It seems there is a collective forgetfulness, as a number of cities claim to be lining up to embrace the RNC, should Trump and company actually move it, that when this deal was made, Charlotte was essentially the only bidder. That was in no small part, due to the toxicity of the Party Leader, and the GOP Brand. A Leader and Brand, I might add, that have not in any discernible way, been enhanced since that time, to anyone but Trump loyalists. Perhaps, that’s all it will take for them to succeed.

I’ve been surprised before, and I could be surprised again. But, as I said at the outset, my assessment is, this isn’t over yet. High Stakes Poker: Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em?”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:







Memorial Day: What Your Teacher Never Taught You! (Edition V)

It’s time to Break It Down!

(Please enjoy a reprised edition of “Break It Down!” This post was originally published May 30, 2012 at:, reposted May 27, 2015 at as Memorial Day: What Your Teacher Never Told You!, again on May 31, 2017, and last on May 29, 2019.

This year, courtesy of COVID 19, we were presented with, what for most of us was a unique Memorial Day experience. It’s been more than a century since the United states has been caught up in a worldwide pandemic, the likes of the novel coronavirus. As such, the vast majority of Americans have never experienced anything quite like what we’ve been dealing with the past couple of months. But this is not a post about the so-called, “invisible enemy.” While there are those who insist the pandemic is over, the death toll continues to tell a different story. While the rate is slowing in many states, the nation’s total count is still on pace to eclipse 100,00 this week. More about all that in another post.

OK, so Memorial Day was earlier this week.  You may be familiar with my holiday week philosophy, which is: make it easy on the readers, who are always otherwise engaged, no matter the holiday.  Of course, in the process, I am also giving myself a break.  That makes for a natural win-win scenario.

With that overarching thought in mind, I will endeavor to apply three elementary rules of communication:

  1. Utilize the KISS PrincipleAKAKeep It Short & Simple (also Keep It Simple Stupid)
  2. Convey new or “not widely circulated” information
  3. Always remember to emphasizepoints and 2 above

Memorial Day is a federal holiday to honor America’s fallen soldiers.  It originated after the Civil War.  Falling between Easter and Independence Day, it is often equated with a late spring break, or a pre-summer respite.

The weekend typically includes a cornucopia of sports.  For example this week included the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600the NBA PlayoffsCollege Men’s Baseball playoffs, and College Women’s Softball competition, among others. I mentioned COVID-19 earlier, right? Scratch the sporting events.

Historically, there have been a plethora of activities thrown into the mix. As a result, the holiday is sometimes almost lost in the shuffle. That was less problematic this year. But wait; Memorial Day has a special cultural significance.  In fact, it is because of that nexus we should pay special homage to this late spring holiday.

The first well-known observance of a Memorial Day type was held May 1, 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina.  Over 250 Union soldiers that had been prisoners of war, died in Charleston, and were quickly buried in makeshift graves. A group of blacks, mostly freedmen, organized the observance and led cleanup and landscaping of the burial site.

Most of the nearly 10,000 people who attended were freedmen and their families.  Of that number, 3.000 were children, newly enrolled in freedman’s schools.  Mutual aid societies, black ministers, and white Northern missionaries were also in attendance.

David W. BlightProfessor of American History at Yale University, and Director of the school’s Gilder-Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition, described the day this way:

“This was the first Memorial Day. African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina. What you have there is black Americans recently freed from slavery announcing to the world with their flowers, their feet, and their songs what the War had been about. What they basically were creating was the Independence Day of a Second American Revolution.”

Professor Blight conceded there is no evidence that the Charleston event led directly to the establishment of Memorial Day across the country.  But the record is clear they formed the earliest truly large-scale event, complete with media coverage.  Their effort was the prototype, if not the catalyst.

Having said that, I believe I honored the rules established above for this post:

  • Told this story in a direct and uncomplicated fashion
  • Presented information I am confident most readers did not know
  • Recognized points and 2, were accomplished and closed the post

Enjoy your bonus time, and be sure to reflect on “Memorial Day: What Your Teachers Never Told You! (Edition V)”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the links or /

A new post is published each Wednesday. For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the links below:



He Started From The Bottom: Now He’s Here!

It’s time to Break It Down!

For the previous 5 Sunday evenings, I carved out a two-hour window to watch the 10-part Last Dance documentary, detailing, in general, Michael Jordan’s career as a member of the Chicago Bulls, and more specifically, the 97-98 Title run; the last in the second 3-peat. Hoops fan that I am, I decided before the series started, that I’d render an ode to it, afterward.

You don’t have to believe Mike is the GOAT, you don’t have to want to be like Mike, you don’t even have to like the guy…he’ll be fine. But if you appreciate hoops, especially the NBA variety, he set the bar very high, and the Last Dance documentary more than adequately filled in for the MIA League action. It played over the course of 5 weeks (every Sunday night), 10 hours (distilled from more than 500 hours of footage) of filling in the details about events you knew how would end. It’s hard to imagine it could still be gripping decades later…but it was.

Below is a summation, admittedly gleaned from a Tar Heel lens, that is one of the best things I’ve seen so far, in capturing the flavor of the series.

By Thad Williamson (Inside Carolina):

“The Last Dance: Owning the moment

Millions of Americans tuned in Saturday night to watch LeBron James host an inspiring TV special honoring the high school graduates of the Class of 2020. Many of those same millions no doubt tuned in to watch Episodes 9 and 10 of “The Last Dance,” completing the chronicle of the final running of the dynastic Chicago Bulls in 1998.

Earlier in these rapid reactions to this documentary, I said I was not a big fan of “greatest of all time” debates, and here’s why: true greatness comes in many forms and many shades, and greatness recognizes greatness. LeBron James wouldn’t be who he is as a basketball player without the impact and example of Michael Jordan, and he has used the template of cultural and commercial impact that Jordan largely created.

If in some respects, including his outspokenness on issues (which the elder Jordan has supported), James has taken that template a bit further, good: one would hope there is progress and growth from generation to generation. It’s possible to appreciate and be a fan of both men, both for what they have in common and who they are as individuals.

But leaving the “GOAT” debate aside, here are two claims I feel pretty safe in making:

First, Michael Jordan is the most influential player in the history of pro basketball. This is not just about his obvious impact on James, Kobe Bryant, and countless others. There’s no other pro basketball player that could be judged by serious people to be not only a definitive emblem of American culture but as a symbol of global capitalism (see historian Walter LaFeber’s 1999 title “Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism.”)

Second, Jordan is unsurpassed in modern pro basketball history in helping his team get it done in championship-level competition, every time. I’m not prepared to say “greatest” even in this category because no one can ignore Bill Russell and his 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons, including the last two as player-coach (averaging over 45 minutes a game in the playoffs!)

But the expanded, modern NBA is a different league than that of the 1960s, and here’s the baseline fact: Jordan’s record in the NBA Finals is 6-0. Every time his team got close, they got it done, by hook or crook.

Episodes 9 and 10 don’t really introduce any new themes or revelations, but do present a lot of details reminding viewers just how hard both the 1997 and 1998 championships were, and the full range of circumstances those teams had to overcome. Here are some standout points:

The “flu game” in 1997 vs. Utah was actually food poisoning. Jordan’s performance in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals while physically ill can only be characterized as super-human. Episode 9 lays out the full story that the real issue was a bad pizza that caused Jordan food poisoning. Jordan shouldn’t have played in the game, but did anyway. Overcoming a slow start, Jordan score 38 points on 13-27 shooting, including the go-ahead 3 point shot with 25 seconds left to give the Bulls a 3-2 lead.

Reggie Miller is right: In 1998, the Indiana Pacers were loaded, and perhaps had the best team. But Reggie Miller is also right that in the end, when it actually mattered, on the court on game 7 of the epic series between the Pacers and Bulls, the championship DNA of the Bulls rose to the occasion. Or as a friend of mine used to put it, the Pacers got “out-Michaeled.” (Also of note: that push-off by Miller on Jordan in Game 4 before his game-winner was ridiculous!)

The Bulls were definitely better team than the Jazz in 1998, period. Here’s evidence for that point: Chicago 96, Utah 54. The Jazz could legitimately have been expelled from the Finals for their Game 3 performance in Chicago. But they still had a chance in the series because Chicago was just about out of gas.

Rodman being Rodman. I’ll be honest, I completely forgot about the mini-drama about Rodman skipping practice during the Finals prior to Game 4, to go hang out with Hulk Hogan. Rodman then came off the bench to grab 14 rebounds and hit six critical free throws in a close Bulls win.

Scottie Pippen’s bad back in game 6. Just as the Bulls had to struggle to overcome Pippen’s absence at the start of the 1997-98 season, in game 6 Pippen’s ailing back seriously limited his movements. He soldiered anyway, acting as a decoy and even sinking some big baskets, but his pain meant even more of the load fell on Jordan in that decisive game. Jordan scored 45 points, taking 35 of the team’s 67 shots from the field. Dennis Rodman stepped up too (just like earlier in the year), draining an unlikely 20 foot jumper in the fourth quarter, but the end was all Jordan: two baskets against Bryon Russell in the last 41 seconds, and a critical weakside strip of Karl Malone to set up the winning basket. Jordan sunk the dagger jumper against the Jazz, and the Bulls won again to complete the repeat threepeat. That kind of record in the Finals isn’t luck, nor was it a case of the Bulls being vastly better than their opponents all those years.

The edge was Jordan, specifically, as these episodes emphasize, his superior ability to be fully focused in the moment and to play without fear or thought of failure. That mental edge, plus the skills and physical gifts, is what allowed him to “out-Jordan” the competition: every single time.

Other highlights from Episodes 9 and 10:

  • A moving segment focuses on Jordan’s relationship with long-time security man Gus Lett. Lett became a father figure to Jordan after James Jordan’s death, and is shown making a triumphant return from cancer treatment to the United Center for Game 7 against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bulls win, and Jordan makes sure Lett gets the game ball.
  • Scottie Pippen revealing his thoughts as Jordan brought the ball upcourt after stealing the ball from Malone to give the Bulls the chance to take the lead in game 6 of the Final: “Get the hell out of the way.”
  • The footage convinced me that I have for over 20 years mistakenly believed Jordan got away with a push-off on Russell on that final shot in Game Six. As Jordan and Bob Costas both observe, Russell was already faked out beyond repair by the time Jordan’s left hand made contact with him, and Jordan did not cause Russell to lose balance. Contact yes, but an actual foul? Not then, not now.
  • I loved the footage of Jordan in the hotel room in Utah after winning the sixth title, banging on a piano and displaying sheer joy in the moment. Someone asks him about going for a seventh title and Jordan declines to answer saying he wants to be fully present right there, right then. Channeling Phil Jackson, Jordan says “It’s the moment, man it’s the moment. That Zen Buddhist sh*t — y’all get in the moment and stay here! Just stay in the moment!” A fitting final thought from an athlete who did just that better than anyone else, time and again, from 1982 to 1998.”

For several years now, there has been an ongoing debate about basketball, and the individual most worthy of the title, Greatest Of All Times (GOAT). We live in a world in which the culture is often dominated by youth. To wit, the names I hear most frequently mentioned are, Kobe (may he RIP), LeBron and MJ. The second wave usually consists of Kareem, Magic, Tim Duncan, and Bill Russell. The Top 10 is rounded out by, Elgin Baylor, Larry Bird, and Wilt Chamberlain. Folks who know me best, particularly my sports/hoops proclivities, know three things:

  1. I’m a Tar Heel partisan through and through
  2. I’m am/was a Jordan fan, except when he played the Hornets (I’m a homer), and that one time they played the Lakers in the 1991 NBA Finals (I’m a Laker-lifer)
  3. By my reckoning, Wilt (100 points in an NBA game/Are you kidding me) is the greatest (Convince me I’m wrong)

Having stipulated the three points above, I hope you enjoyed today’s post, especially Mr. Williamson’s excellent commentary. For those who believe LeBron has eclipsed Kobe, and many do not, I believe he’s in hot pursuit of Michael. I expect him to surpass a number of Mike’s records before he retires. Perhaps, I’ll reassess at that time. For now, my vote goes to Jordan. No, I’m not going to turn to stats. Moreover, since it’s my blog, I don’t have to explain myself. And today, on this question, I will not. But if you want to take it up with me later, you know how to find me.

For now, as Thad said of Jordan, he owned the moment. And to paraphrase Michael in the link below, and Drake’s “Started From The Bottom, He Started From The Bottom: Now He’s Here!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:


Trump’s Voting Paradigm: Vote For Me, Or Don’t Vote

It’s time to Break It Down!

Mr. Trump is on record opposing mail-in voting. He calls it rift with fraud, and he insists that it puts Republicans at a disadvantage. He tweeted last month:

“Mail in ballots substantially increases the risk of crime and VOTER FRAUD!”

And here I was, totally unaware that the GOP was burdened with some kind of postal phobia. Here’s to new information. As I recently inquired of a GOP acquaintance, does this pox apply to service men and women, stationed abroad, who’ve been routinely voting by mail, for decades, when stationed overseas?

Apparently, Trump also has reservations about in-person voting, if it’s made available in areas where some residents may not vote for him, and or, for his candidate of choice. Over the weekend, Trump labeled efforts to make voting easier in a Special Election in California’s 25th congressional district, a “SCAM!”, demanding that “These votes must not count.”

A fair question, it would seem, is, does Mr. Trump support voting, of any kind? After all, he has previously railed against voting by mail. Now, he’s arguing against in-person voting. What is his deal?

As is so often the case with Trump, and by necessity, for his supporters, he has glammed onto positions that are polar opposites. As first glance, you may think, well, those two things are not exactly opposites. That, however, is because, there is a third tier to this story; voting by mail. An aspect that, oddly enough, despite Trump’s previous loud (and inaccurate) pronouncements, he finds voting by mail, in the 25th district, completely acceptable. So much so, that he, for all practical purposes, went out of his way to endorse it.

How so? In this case, Trump isn’t taking issue with the fact people in California’s 25th district — located in North LA and eastern Ventura County — can vote by mail if they so choose. After all, he even tweeted that this election was “supposed to be mail in ballots only” — perhaps because of reports that more GOP voters have mailed in their ballots to date than Democratic voters.

The reality is, experts say that mail-in voting doesn’t actually advantage one party relative to the other. However, as we’ve learned, over time, it’s not Trump’s thing to listen to experts — especially since he claims to know more than anyone us else about a long list of topics from “technology” to Democrats to terrorism.

This stable genius based brilliance, I suppose, explains Mr. Trump’s continuing to spew baseless claims (also known as “lies” when uttered by other people) that mail-in ballots are “corrupt” and “they’re forgeries in many cases.” As real experts have repeatedly made clear, voter fraud with mail in ballots is “relatively rare” and has dubbed Trump’s claims as “misinformation.” Take that for what it’s worth. I understand, Trump supporters prefer the musings and tweets of the self-proclaimed stable genius rather than the meticulously researched data collected by social scientists, trained in the field.

Fast forward to Trump’s claim that adding a new voting location in Lancaster, California is somehow about trying to “rig” the hotly contested election to fill a Congressional seat left open by the resignation of Democratic Rep. Katie Hill.

What apparently triggered Trump’s claim that Democrats “are trying to steal another election” was that Los Angeles County election officials recently added a new in-person voting location in the city of Lancaster — described by Trump as “the most Democrat area in the State.”

Ergo, why Trump has demanded these ballots cast by real, registered, eligible to vote Americans, “must not count.” #MAGA?

How Trumpian! That a President would call for votes not to count because they are cast in a polling location that he believes favors the opposition party, is, well, downright anti-American. It should not be overlooked that giving voice to what would be a transparent act of voter suppression, if carried out, would also make it more difficult for those in one of the most diverse cities in the district — Lancaster’s population is nearly 22% African American – to cast their ballot.

The clearest of ironies in this case is that, with the nearest in-person voting center nine miles away, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris joined Democrats in pushing for this voting precinct to be opened up to in-person voting. Parris, a Republican who supports GOP candidate Mike Garcia over Democrat Christy Smith, last week called for the county’s election officials to “immediately” open a polling location in the city, noting that, ”There should not even be the appearance of affecting the outcome by limiting the ability to vote. I don’t want to ‘jimmy’ the election.” Oh yeah, I guess you caught that part about the mayor being Republican. That stubbornly inconvenient fact directly undermines Trump’s tweeted claim that Lancaster is the most Democratic area in the state. What’s new?

Just based upon the previous points, this whole matter screams, “Trump doth protest too much, methinks.” But there’s more. It’s quite interesting that Trump’s outrage about Lancaster’s voting location does not extend to the two voting locations set up in Ventura County, which backed the losing GOP congressional candidate in the 2018 election. In fact, one of the Ventura County in-person voting locations for yesterday’s election is the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Imagine Trump’s reaction if it had been scheduled to place at a venue bearing the name, the Barack Obama Presidential Library!

Trump is gonna be Trump. His supporters are insistent that he do so; they love it. If you don’t, it’s up to you to respond in-kind by supporting candidates whom you believe represent you, your values, and your interests. Not those of this current regime, which it is increasingly clear, are”Trump’s Voting Paradigm: Vote For Me, Or Don’t Vote!”

P.S. At midnight Eastern Daylight Time, as expected, Garcia led Smith by a considerable margin. With 76% of precincts reporting, hr led 78,701 to 62,054, a 16,647 vote margin. It’s safe to say that amounts to an insurmountable lead.

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post:

Don’t Be Afraid: Pssst, Don’t Be Stupid Either!

It’s time to Break It Down!

This is a short post. I often write that at the beginning of the blog. Then I write more than I intended to say. As a result, I have to go back and remove that statement. That won’t be the case today.

I have on a number of occasions to discussed COVID-19 with people of varying ideological persuasions. At the end of the day, it seems, the chasm that separates opinions on politics and political ideology is alive and well in the coronavirus debate. If that’s really true, as I submit,  in all likelihood, even in this brief post, you’ll either really like it, or you’ll find it, and me, totally devoid of reason. And that’s OK.

I saw an individual write yesterday, as best as I could discern, in response to a comment I wrote, something to the effect of,” If you’re scared stay the hell home but don’t expect my life to be run by YOUR fear.” (sic)

That sentiment was expressed in response to something I wrote on the FB page of someone who fully embraces such notions, as do many. Believe it or not, I respect anyone’s right to feel that way. Period, The End…of my response.

Initially, the first death attributed to coronavirus in the U.S, was thought to have occurred February 26, near Seattle. It was recently determined by an autopsy, that a February 6 death in Santa Clara County, California was related. Even with that earlier timeline, it means that more than 71,000 people have died from the virus in just three months. That’s roughly 10,000 more than died due to this year’s 6-month Flu Season…for those who deign to compare COVID-19 to the flu. The pertinent detail about the distinction is, flu season ended a month ago; coronavirus deaths are still mounting, and current estimates, conservatively, are expected to more than double that number.

Even Mr. Trump, on Sunday, sharply revised upward his projected number of U.S. coronavirus deaths, saying that fatalities could reach 100,000. At the same time, he defied warnings from leading public health officials, renewing calls to expedite reopening of businesses across the country.

Also, on Sunday, in an interview with Fox News, Dr. Deborah Birx said the administration continues to operate on the assumption that the more likely scenario called for as many as nearly a quarter-million deaths – even with shutdown measures taken to date. She explicitly stated the following:

“Our projections have always been between 100,000 and 240,000 American lives lost. And that’s with full mitigation, and us learning from each other how to social distance.”

If you happen to be a person of color, in general, or African American, in particular, the odds are greater that you will contract the virus, and also disproportionately higher that, if you have it,  you will die from it. There are numerous reasons for this dynamic, including, a higher likelihood of being a frontline/essential worker, and as a result, being unable to shelter -in-place, or practice social distancing, living in crowded housing conditions, inconsistent access to healthcare, chronic health conditions, stress, income inequality, discrimination, violence, and institutional racism.

In Chicago, where African Americans comprise 33% of the population, they account for half those tested positive for coronavirus, and nearly three-quarters of the deaths.

Similarly, in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, African Americans make up 26% of the population, but 70% of deaths due to coronavirus. These examples are the norm, not the exception. Moreover, the trend is not limited to African Americans. Latinix/Hispanic, and Native American communities are also adversely impacted.

Today’s blog has but one point, and one point, only. That is to illuminate the relevant facts surrounding COVID-19, in order to enable you to make informed decisions that directly affect your well-being, and quite possibly save your life. All manner of misinformation, and frankly, misanthropic advice, is being floated about in our respective orbits.  It’s worth noting, early indications are, just because businesses have been permitted to re-open, doesn’t mean all business owners think circumstances are exigent for a safe return of their customers, of their employees, or for that matter, of themselves. As consumers, you are responsible for making that determination for yourself. Remember, in effect, you are the President and CEO of, You, Inc. I close, as I began. By saying, “Don’t Be Afraid: Pssst, Don’t Be Stupid Either!”

I’m done; holla back!

Read my blog anytime by clicking the linkhttp://thesphinxofcharlotte.comFind a new post each Wednesday.

To subscribeclick on Follow in the bottom right hand corner of my Home Page at; enter your e-mail address in the designated space, and click on “Sign me up.” Subsequent editions of “Break It Down” will be mailed to your in-box.

Consult the links below for more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post: