Many thanks to Professor Nadler and the Ryerson students for hosting me today to discuss transmedia and my graphic novel action comedy “Tainted Love”.

Many thanks to Professor Nadler and the Ryerson students for hosting me today to discuss transmedia and my graphic novel action comedy “Tainted Love”.

This is a very serious disease* so I gladly accept the “bucket challenge”

*My heart goes out to all those who struggle with ALS but I am, of course, talking about the disease of apathy.  If (and hopefully when) Michael Brown’s killer is brought to justice and convicted of 1st degree murder, it still won’t prevent this from happening again. We cannot accept this as the status quo. We MUST continue the fight at the ballot box, in the media and by working to create systemic change. I’m not naive to the dirty politics (redistricting, voter ID requirements, etc) that will try to prevent us from our goal. But I refuse to give up hope. My “bullet bucket challenge” is not about pointing fingers and it’s not about being angry. Every shell casing in that bucket represents the life of someone who fought and died in the goal for civil rights and human dignity. As a member of law enforcement (yes I really am a reserve sheriff) I will not stand idly by while others violate civil and human rights under the cover of authority and I will insist that other good cops rise to the same standard as well. As a black man I will demand more from myself and my community. I will not allow outsiders to co-opt our struggle in order to commit violence in our name. I’m channeling my outrage into action so I no longer feel powerless. It’s not about black or white. It’s not about rich or poor. It’s about us vs. them. There are more of us — from all races, genders and identities — then there will ever be of them. And we will be victorious.

"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality"

Join me.

As we wrap up this terrible week and weekend some final thoughts before I get my black ass back to work tomorrow to fight fictional demons instead of feeling powerless against the real ones —
Although he wasn’t by any means a close personal friend, the death of Robin Williams affected by greatly. Working with him and David Duchovny on the film House of D was a privilege and seeing how he treated everyone he encountered regardless of race, class, gender or orientation remains a hopeful reminder that genuine kindness and empathy does exist in the world. Whatever the ultimate reasons for his decision to take his own life I pray for him, his family and all who suffer from the unrelenting grasp of depression and substance abuse. By shining his light on us all for the period of time he did, I am 100% certain that Robin left this world a better place than he entered it with a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.
That said, if we spent even a fraction of the time given to the tributes about Robin and the late Lauren Bacall also remembering the lives of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford or Dante Parker (the 5 unarmed black men killed by police just in the past month) or honestly looked at the data about how often police shoot unarmed black men and women in this country we would all hang our collective heads in shame.
In the midst of thousands upon thousands of peaceful protesters who came out demanding answers and marching for justice with the powerful and heartbreaking refrain Hands Up. Don’t Shoot. the actions of a small few in Ferguson (many of whom were anarchists that intentionally came into the city to stir up trouble and perhaps a few others from the community who had simply reached their breaking point in the face of racial, economic and social injustice) gave the white power structure the cover to quickly change the narrative to one about the violence in the city (in reality almost entirely perpetrated by the militarized police rather than the demonstrators) instead of the murder of an unarmed teenager by a cop who “never meant for this to happen" (and don’t even get me started on that fuckery which should instead read "a cop who never meant to be held accountable").
In this way, a PROTEST became a RIOT. Images of demonstrators THROWING BACK tear gas canisters launched at them became stories of rioters throwing molotov cocktails AT THE POLICE (and yes I am aware of media reports showing that molotov cocktails were in fact used by protesters in some instances but not in the way that it was ultimately spun). And the police released incendiary and ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT information about Michael Brown that the media lapped up because it reinforced the all too familiar trope that “the violent black dude was a thug who got what he deserved”.
Black victims are regularly eyed with suspicion and contempt (and ultimately deemed responsible for what happened to them) while the media too often generates headlines that exhibit an air of disbelief at an alleged white killer’s supposed actions.
Even in our outrage at what happened this past week and the necessity for our voices to be heard so this story is not swept under the rug, we all know something like this will happen again. And again. And again.
Until each of us (black, white, brown, etc) demands accountability from our elected officials we will get the country we deserve. Tweeting is not enough. Feeling bad is not enough. Implying that we’re overreacting and it can’t really be that bad (but the president is black tho) makes you an accessory after the fact (not to mention an asshole). 
Which is why, as the GIF above shows, I’m giving America a down vote.
So how can we stop feeling powerless? What can we actually do?
Honestly, there are people much smarter than me who can do a better job of answering that question.
But trying to answer that question for myself is a large part of why I do what I do for a living. Because representation matters. Because being in control of our own stories empowers us to show a wide range of depictions of blackness and “otherness” (shockingly, not only do we not all LOOK ALIKE but we also don’t all THINK ALIKE) that are far more interesting than what we’ve been spoon fed in the past. I’m the first to admit that we’ve still got A LONG WAY TO GO and that’s where you all come in.
Although my engagement in fandom is embraced by some and side-eyed by others, these spaces of interaction may in fact play one of the most significant roles in the future of media and representation as we know it. At the very least it will create a future generation of professional storytellers (and social justice advocates) who were raised in the trenches of Live Journal, Tumblr, ao3 and other platforms currently in use or yet to be created.
I know this is your turf and even though there are times some of you wish I’d go away I genuinely appreciate the opportunity to interact with you here.
Together, we can make a difference.
Trollando out.

As we wrap up this terrible week and weekend some final thoughts before I get my black ass back to work tomorrow to fight fictional demons instead of feeling powerless against the real ones —

Although he wasn’t by any means a close personal friend, the death of Robin Williams affected by greatly. Working with him and David Duchovny on the film House of D was a privilege and seeing how he treated everyone he encountered regardless of race, class, gender or orientation remains a hopeful reminder that genuine kindness and empathy does exist in the world. Whatever the ultimate reasons for his decision to take his own life I pray for him, his family and all who suffer from the unrelenting grasp of depression and substance abuse. By shining his light on us all for the period of time he did, I am 100% certain that Robin left this world a better place than he entered it with a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.

That said, if we spent even a fraction of the time given to the tributes about Robin and the late Lauren Bacall also remembering the lives of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Ezell Ford or Dante Parker (the 5 unarmed black men killed by police just in the past month) or honestly looked at the data about how often police shoot unarmed black men and women in this country we would all hang our collective heads in shame.

In the midst of thousands upon thousands of peaceful protesters who came out demanding answers and marching for justice with the powerful and heartbreaking refrain Hands Up. Don’t Shoot. the actions of a small few in Ferguson (many of whom were anarchists that intentionally came into the city to stir up trouble and perhaps a few others from the community who had simply reached their breaking point in the face of racial, economic and social injustice) gave the white power structure the cover to quickly change the narrative to one about the violence in the city (in reality almost entirely perpetrated by the militarized police rather than the demonstrators) instead of the murder of an unarmed teenager by a cop who “never meant for this to happen" (and don’t even get me started on that fuckery which should instead read "a cop who never meant to be held accountable").

In this way, a PROTEST became a RIOT. Images of demonstrators THROWING BACK tear gas canisters launched at them became stories of rioters throwing molotov cocktails AT THE POLICE (and yes I am aware of media reports showing that molotov cocktails were in fact used by protesters in some instances but not in the way that it was ultimately spun). And the police released incendiary and ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT information about Michael Brown that the media lapped up because it reinforced the all too familiar trope that “the violent black dude was a thug who got what he deserved”.

Black victims are regularly eyed with suspicion and contempt (and ultimately deemed responsible for what happened to them) while the media too often generates headlines that exhibit an air of disbelief at an alleged white killer’s supposed actions.

Even in our outrage at what happened this past week and the necessity for our voices to be heard so this story is not swept under the rug, we all know something like this will happen again. And again. And again.

Until each of us (black, white, brown, etc) demands accountability from our elected officials we will get the country we deserve. Tweeting is not enough. Feeling bad is not enough. Implying that we’re overreacting and it can’t really be that bad (but the president is black tho) makes you an accessory after the fact (not to mention an asshole). 

Which is why, as the GIF above shows, I’m giving America a down vote.

So how can we stop feeling powerless? What can we actually do?

Honestly, there are people much smarter than me who can do a better job of answering that question.

But trying to answer that question for myself is a large part of why I do what I do for a living. Because representation matters. Because being in control of our own stories empowers us to show a wide range of depictions of blackness and “otherness” (shockingly, not only do we not all LOOK ALIKE but we also don’t all THINK ALIKE) that are far more interesting than what we’ve been spoon fed in the past. I’m the first to admit that we’ve still got A LONG WAY TO GO and that’s where you all come in.

Although my engagement in fandom is embraced by some and side-eyed by others, these spaces of interaction may in fact play one of the most significant roles in the future of media and representation as we know it. At the very least it will create a future generation of professional storytellers (and social justice advocates) who were raised in the trenches of Live Journal, Tumblr, ao3 and other platforms currently in use or yet to be created.

I know this is your turf and even though there are times some of you wish I’d go away I genuinely appreciate the opportunity to interact with you here.

Together, we can make a difference.

Trollando out.

theorlandojones:

I’m hoping Professor Marc Lamont Hill (on the far left) is about to say:
Are we seriously having this fucking conversation right now while Ferguson is basically under martial law?

EDIT: Thanks to the folks who informed me that the above image is from the Trayvon Martin verdict. Given CNN’s shitty reporting throughout the Ferguson situation my comment in the tags still stands.

theorlandojones:

I’m hoping Professor Marc Lamont Hill (on the far left) is about to say:

Are we seriously having this fucking conversation right now while Ferguson is basically under martial law?

EDIT: Thanks to the folks who informed me that the above image is from the Trayvon Martin verdict. Given CNN’s shitty reporting throughout the Ferguson situation my comment in the tags still stands.

I’m hoping Professor Marc Lamont Hill (on the far left) is about to say:
Are we seriously having this fucking conversation right now while Ferguson is basically under martial law?
EDIT: Thanks to the folks who informed me that the above image is from the Trayvon Martin verdict. Given CNN’s shitty reporting throughout the Ferguson situation my comment in the tags still stands.

I’m hoping Professor Marc Lamont Hill (on the far left) is about to say:

Are we seriously having this fucking conversation right now while Ferguson is basically under martial law?

EDIT: Thanks to the folks who informed me that the above image is from the Trayvon Martin verdict. Given CNN’s shitty reporting throughout the Ferguson situation my comment in the tags still stands.

(via upworthy)

In black communities, “to protect and serve” often feels more like “to threaten and subdue.” Law enforcement in the U.S. should be just that — enforcement. What happened to Mike Brown went way beyond that, and it was not an isolated incident.

Policing needs to be less about militarization and more about community relations. And the racial discrimination that creates situations like the one in Ferguson has to stop.

Dangerous as it may be, we’re going to have to keep fighting for it, because the only other choice is to reject what we all know to be right.

OK, time for some momentary Trollando foolishness in the midst of my/our outrage at the events of this past week.
For those who participated in GISHWHES (or know what it is) I present QuiltLando Jones inspired by 
ITEM 23: Facts: (1) Orlando Jones’s father played for the Philadelphia Phillies, (2) Orlando’s first acting experiences involved playing a werewolf in a haunted house, and (3) Orlando is currently starring in “Sleepy Hollow”. Let’s see you, dressed as a werewolf baseball player, riding a horse while holding a sign that reads, “We are all Orlando!”

OK, time for some momentary Trollando foolishness in the midst of my/our outrage at the events of this past week.

For those who participated in GISHWHES (or know what it is) I present QuiltLando Jones inspired by 

ITEM 23: Facts: (1) Orlando Jones’s father played for the Philadelphia Phillies, (2) Orlando’s first acting experiences involved playing a werewolf in a haunted house, and (3) Orlando is currently starring in “Sleepy Hollow”. Let’s see you, dressed as a werewolf baseball player, riding a horse while holding a sign that reads, “We are all Orlando!”

Doesn’t matter WHO you are. Doesn’t matter WHAT you’ve accomplished (or are yet to accomplish). Doesn’t matter HOW the events actually unfolded. Doesn’t matter WHERE you were headed. Doesn’t matter WHEN (or if) you “surrender”. Doesn’t matter WHY they shot you.
If your skin is dark YOU ARE A THUG, you were up to no good and you got what you deserved.

Doesn’t matter WHO you are. Doesn’t matter WHAT you’ve accomplished (or are yet to accomplish). Doesn’t matter HOW the events actually unfolded. Doesn’t matter WHERE you were headed. Doesn’t matter WHEN (or if) you “surrender”. Doesn’t matter WHY they shot you.

If your skin is dark YOU ARE A THUG, you were up to no good and you got what you deserved.

And now it’s time for America’s favorite new game show —
Ferguson… or Sleepy Hollow?

And now it’s time for America’s favorite new game show —

Ferguson… or Sleepy Hollow?

Thank you very much to the OP who created this portrait of me. It’s sorta like a cool mix of cubism, abstract expressionism and maybe a bit of surrealism thrown in for good measure (I think…but I’m sure I’ll get schooled by any art history majors in the notes)
Makes me smile after a shitty week.
I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend with friends, family and loved ones reflecting on the fuckery in this country, what we can all due individually to improve it and how we DEMAND accountability from those in positions of authority.
I keep hoping for a brighter day.

Thank you very much to the OP who created this portrait of me. It’s sorta like a cool mix of cubism, abstract expressionism and maybe a bit of surrealism thrown in for good measure (I think…but I’m sure I’ll get schooled by any art history majors in the notes)

Makes me smile after a shitty week.

I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend with friends, family and loved ones reflecting on the fuckery in this country, what we can all due individually to improve it and how we DEMAND accountability from those in positions of authority.

I keep hoping for a brighter day.