I needed to share this with y'all.

This is a tweet thread by comic, Kenny DeForest @KennyDeForest

My coolest night of comedy was when Chappelle dropped by @ComedyAtTheKnit when @MrWillMiles @theeclarkjones & I were still hosting. We were in the back room & he was in town supporting Kevin Hart hosting SNL. I texted @joyellenicole like “any chance Dave wants to go up?”

We start the show thinking he MIGHT come. A couple comics in, he sneaks in like a boxer with his hood up. We’re in the green room smoking, drinking & joking. The dude is a machine. Every topic that came up, he had something profound for. We bring him up last, the crowd LOSES IT

He was asking the crowd for headlines to riff on. They toss one out, he riffs a joke. Every topic, he immediately had a perfect joke for. Now, this was days after the cop that choked Eric Garner to death in Staten Island (you know, murder) was not indicted by a grand jury.

Protests etc were all over the city. Tensions were high. About 15-20 min min to his set he asks for another topic & someone shouts “police brutality!” He pauses then says “you really wanna do this? Ok.” He chugs his Tecate and sets it down. Our crowd was always beautifully mixed.

The show was started by @hannibalburess, so it’s always had a black base, but it’s in Williamsburg so there were always hipsters of all persuasions and, amazingly, people from all over the world. We always had global tourists which I thought was incredible for a free bar show

So Chappelle starts talking about Eric Garner and watching him get murdered in cold blood on camera and how it makes him scared for his children. I remember he said “I thought body cams would help, but what good is video evidence if y’all don’t care?”

A clearly privileged white girl (she had a wide brimmed felt hat for chrissakes) shouts “Life’s hard, sorry ‘bout it!” and it takes the air completely out of the room. A collective gasp. Chappelle zeros in on her. “What did you say?” She repeats it. Chappelle starts going in.

He starts educating the crowd on the history of black people and the police. He talked about slave patrols and Rodney King and Watts and Emmett Till and Black Wall Street. He talked about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and he talked about John Crawford III

If you don’t remember John Crawford III, google it. It happened right around the time of some higher profile killings, but it’s as awful as anything you’ll see. He was on the phone in Walmart and picked up a BB gun (that was for sale in said Walmart) and was just looking at it

Some scared cracker-ass called the cops, and this officer comes in, doesn’t even bother saying “drop the weapon” or “hands up” and just guns him down. The security footage makes it plain as day. The footage will make you sick. Disgusting and outrageous in every conceivable way.

Chappelle then tells a story about getting pulled over in rural Ohio where he lives. This is before the Crawford shooting but after Ferguson so racial tension is bubbling. He said “I may be white on paper, but I’m still black. So I’m nervous”

He says “the cop approaches and he can tell I’m nervous. I have both my hands on the wheel and I say ‘officer my license and registration is in the glove box. I’m going to reach for them now. I’m promise not armed’ I could tell the officer was offended that I was nervous. He said

‘I know who you are Dave Chappelle’ & I said ‘so why do you need my license and registration?’” He gets off w/ a warning. The twist? The same cop would go on to murder John Crawford III. His take away: “I shouldn’t have to be Dave Chappelle to survive police encounters”

He goes on to explain that one of his best friends is South African. He said “I asked him what it was like in South Africa right before apartheid ended and he said it was chaos in the streets. There were riots & car bombs etc, but the amount of people caring hit critical mass...

...and there was nothing they could do to stop it. The people had momentum and apartheid ended. Critical mass. That’s what we have to hit. Once enough of you care, there will be nothing they can do to stop the change”
It was incredibly powerful. The crowd was somber and silent

After the show, we’re in the green room. @joyellenicole comes back and says “that dumbass white girl wanted to talk to you, but I told her you were busy” and he goes “no, bring her back” so Joyelle leaves and comes back with wide-brim hat girl and her friend.

Hat girl is humiliated and her friend even more so. Hat girl speaks first:
“I just wanted to say I’m sorry for what I said and thank you for educating me. I was ignorant before, but I want you to know I learned from you tonight and I won’t say things like that anymore”

Chappelle responds “you’re ok. That’s all we can ask. Know better, do better. I want to thank YOU for hearing me and listening. That’s your role. And now you know. Now you’re part of that critical mass we talked about and next time you hear a friend say some ignorant shit like... said, it’s your job to correct them and share with them what you learned tonight. THEN, you’re no longer part of the problem, you’re part of the solution.”
She starts crying and he pulls her in for hug “it’s ok. You’re part of the solution now. Do you want a picture?”

She says “really?” And he says “of course! Friend get over here for a picture” the friend approaches, they take photos, he hugs them both and reiterates that it’s ok and just to be part of the solution and sends them on their way. CLASS. I couldn’t believe what I witnessed

He changed everyone in that room that night. 200+ people became part of the solution if they weren’t already. Even a privileged girl in a privileged hat with a privileged mindset. Point is, it doesn’t matter what you thought before. You can always change

And you can always become a part of the critical mass trying to push this shit forward. All you have to do is care and allow that care to become education and action.

I’ve been sitting on this story since January 19, 2015. I wanted to respect his process and not burn any material for him. But, since he’s released HOURS of material since then I think it’s safe to say he won’t be using any of this bc he’s a genius who can just come up with more

Speaking of boosting black voices, follow @theeclarkjones @MrWillMiles @joyellenicole and if you somehow don’t follow @hannibalburess him too

Hey everyone

I'm just thinking about y'all.

I'm hoping you're all okay during the COVID-19 pandemic. I've been in daily indirect contact with about a half dozen of you on Twitter where I've been frequenting. It would be good to maybe have you check in as you read this, and let us know you're okay.

Renee and I are fine. She works from home, and while I'd probably like to just self-quarantine with her while we wait for the curve to flatten, I still must leave home to go to work each day. Thankfully, I'm only in contact with about 5 other people, but I have to be doubly sure I don't come in contact with someone who's knowingly been exposed for all of our sakes.

Luckily, everyone at the building where our team is located, are now telecommuting as ordered by their CEO. And the 5 of us are taking extreme precautions for each others' safety.

The only other individual is the fur I stay with 2 nights each week to save on mileage. He now telecommutes as well.

Anyway, I'm just wishing you all good health, and please be safe.

(no subject)

At about 7 this morning I was snuggling with a certain someone who I'll be marrying in a week, and the house phone rang.  We still have one of those, for some reason.

It went to the message, which tells people that if they know my cell phone number, they should use that.

Then my cell phone rang.  "Better get up," I said.

It was the woman who partners with me to go to jail, playing piano and running services for inmates there (one high security "tower", one low security "dorm") on Saturdays.  I could instantly tell she was going to say she was sick...she sounded awful.  "So I hope it's not troubling you to call and cancel just before going," she croaked.

It was a weird mix of emotions then.  I jumped right back into bed, which was nice.  But was I disappointed that we weren't going in for the services?

Yeah, maybe a little.  I like to stay consistent for them.

On the other hand, last week a woman in the services started pumping the pianist for information about me.  "What does he do?  How old is he?  Is he married?"  I found out this after she walked past me at the end of the service to go back to the dorm, and she said "I love you".

Giving her a chance to cool her jets might not be a bad thing.


I went to church last week mostly because I had to drop off things I had picked up as part of my ministry at the home of someone who lives right around the corner of the church, and it was a "Well, I already drove all this way" type of decision.

But I ended up not staying.  I was about half an hour early for the service, and I got some coffee and sat outside, purposefully not using my phone, or looking at much else besides people coming and going.  I had on a name tag that the church gives to new members.

People are good at looking but not making eye contact.  Scanning over the crowd as if they're looking for someone to talk to but they're really not, they don't really look to make eye-to-eye contact with anyone.  I notice this; I think about it with my furry character quite a bit!  Heh.

If something happened to me, would my name show up in their bulletins the next week on the list of people to pray for?  How, none of them would notice.  If something really bad happened to me, would they know to comfort my partner?  Definitely not, I'd be surprised if any of them would do anything even if there was some mechanism to know he existed, which there isn't.

I suppose that could be my fault for not being super out and vocal at the church isn't me.  "The gay lifestyle" to them is dressing up in high heels and wearing make-up, if you're a guy.  I'm blowing a chance to show them that's far from what my experience is.  I'm not sure they'd care.  Being honest, how much care and compassion do I summon up in myself for them?

If I wasn't still involved with their prison and jail ministry I think I would have stopped going a long time ago.
Jarrell by Kitler

Thanksgiving is little more than 2 weeks away

(Cross-posted from RainbowArk FA:

I wanted to take a few minutes and share something with you all. Some of you know the thing with my dad, but in the last few years while Mom was still alive and they were in their house, they didn't want members of the extended family and their partners and spouses in their house because of not accepting their orientation.

Well, now that Mom's gone, Dad has had some time to reflect, and he has pretty much on his own, realized he was wrong, humbly apologized to my mother and father in law, and now, he's been invited to Thanksgiving dinner with everyone together.

I can't tell you how much he's looking forward to it and visiting with everyone, and formally apologizing to everyone and for the years that were needlessly lost. For Renee and I it's been 7 or 8 years since they've attended -- for holidays we've had to visit first my parents then her parents, or vice versa, and give them all similar attention so that no one felt slighted. This year will be wonderful.

What are your plans this Thanksgiving and beyond?

Happy All Saints Day

Went to the county jail for the two inmate services I volunteer for, and found out that
1) There'd only be one service since one of the dorms is closed down for maintenance or repairs or something
2) No one on one visits could take place

That made it a short day.  And I only got to use my "Do you think you could find saints in jail?" question once.
baby raccoon

So yeah,

Partially just trying to stop our slide into nothingness (currently at 1874th) and partially seeing if there are any furs who still drop by now and then.

I had a short work week. I took off Monday due to the useless "Columbus" day, and am taking off tomorrow (Friday) because of a couple doctor's/dentist appointments for Renee and me. I only had one round trip to work and back, because I stayed two nights in a row on my fur friend's couch. I left home Tuesday morning and didn't see Renee again until a short time ago on this Thursday evening.

I see a few more of you on Twitter lately, and when I do, I follow back immediately. If I haven't seen you just nudge me and let me know you're there.

Hope you're doing okay. Any plans for Hallowe'en?