Send In The Clowns, by Michael Davis
Last week I was in New York for just 24 hours. I flew in to do my Black Panel at the New York Comic Con and meet with Mike Gold about another project I’m doing for ComicMix. The week before I was suffering from a series of migraine headaches and got on the plane with the full knowledge that I could have a relapse. THEN Jet Blue lost the only bag I checked. That bag happened to be what I needed for a meeting with Mike and another meeting I was having. So with all that in mind I was not expecting the best of times. In fact I was thinking the trip was a mistake.
So I was not in the greatest of moods when I got to the con. THEN I had an impromptu
meeting with Mike Richardson, which turned into great news! THEN I meet with Mike Gold and that meeting was great even without the stuff I wanted him to see that was in the bag that Jet Blue lost. THEN I talked to Dwayne McDuffie and got some more good news from him about a project we are planning! THEN, the Black Panel was great fun. THEN I had dinner with ComicMix’s Media Goddess Martha Thomas and she introduced me to TWO great writers that I hope to work with in the future.
THEN, I was sharing some more good news with my best friend Denys Cowan. As head of BET Animation, a division of Black Entertainment Television (BET), he announced production on The Black Panther animated series, which is really cool.
So, I was feeling pretty darn good when I flew back to L.A.
THEN I met this guy…
Back in L.A a few days later I was leaving Target with a 20-pound bag of dog food when I heard a voice behind me. “Hey are you Michael Davis?” I never ever answer that question. Who knows if this is some crazed killer whose sister I used to date? Who knows if the person asking hates my ComicMix column and me because of it?
Who knows if this is an irate comic book fan that thinks I’m an asshole…bingo!
I turned around and there were four guys looking at me. I looked at the guy who asked the question and I knew I’ve seen him somewhere before and I had. “I was at the Black Panel in New York.” He said with the classic angry black guy look. And so he was. I remembered him staring at me with the same angry black guy look from the second row of the conference room at the Javits center. As funny as I was at the Black Panel (and I was funny) this guy just stared at me. I was really not in the mood for what I knew was coming.
“You a clown. You and your boy Denys Cowan are just ignorant n*****r clowns.” As he said this I swear I was thinking, “Well at least he did not call me an asshole.”
“You’re just a asshole.”
I could see my car just twenty feet away, all I had to do was keep walking. “Why do you act so damn ignorant and act a fool when you get around people?” I heard that while I was walking towards my car praying that I would retain some of the good sensation I was feeling before this guy darkened my path. I told myself to just keep walking. “We should kick your ignorant ass.”
I know, I know I should have kept walking. I should have just ignored this guy and his cronies but I stopped.
“Why would you do that?" I asked feeling really stupid because I was carrying a giant bag of Alpo while trying to look tough. Note to dog lovers, yeah, I feed my dogs Alpo or whatever else is on sale. No, I don’t feed my dog’s gourmet dog food. Why? When they start paying rent or learn to say, “Please give us gourmet dog food,” Then they will get gourmet dog food.
“Why would you do that?” I asked. “Because I can’t stand trifling ignorant n*****s like you.” He said as he and his crew enjoyed a laugh. “Your boy Cowan is going to f*** up a great black character created by a great black man because B.E.T is just f**ked up.”
I said, “The Black Panther was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, two white guys.” “A lot you know. The Black Panther was created by Reggie Hudlin.” He retorted with obvious glee in schooling me.
“You mean the same Reggie Hudlin that runs B.E.T that is producing the Black Panther that you will hate because you hate all things B.E.T.? No, he writes the book but he did not create the character.” I said.
They just looked at me.
He said as I decided to just walk away secure in the knowledge that he and his stupid friends were just punked out. THEN he and his friends got in my face and he said “Punk-ass ignorant Negro.”
I dropped the bag and mentioned politely that I was a member of the National Rifle Association (which I am) and I was prepared to show him my membership. They talked a moment among themselves then decided that further confrontation would result in an needless trip to the emergency room or a meeting with Jesus.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I don’t get it.
This guy hates my guts and thinks I’m ignorant because he does not like the way I represent…me.
That boggles my mind. Why is he even thinking about me anyway? As I said his behavior and the mob mentality of his crew cracks me up. To that point, what is with the hatred of B.E.T. by some black people?
Look, my boys run B.E.T. and I have gone on record saying that there are some elements of the network I just don’t like, but to damn an entire network because you don’t like some-no-even if you don’t like mostof it is just crazy. I hate most of what is on MTV, I have said that a million times, but they have this show called Real Life, which is just fantastic. I watch that show and simply don’t watch any others on MTV.
I fully understand that there are some black people who just hate on B.E.T because of the negative images they see there. I get that, I really do. But to hate the largest employer of black people in the entertainment business because of some booty shaking houchie momma’s and gold teeth rappers (which you don’t have to watch) is like rioting and burning down your block. That makes no sense to me. I don’t see white people picketing the networks that show the Jerry Springer show.
It’s amazing that these critics always ignore B.E.T.’s Jazz channel, or Gospel channel or the many, MANYother positive images that far out number the bitches and ho’s you see on the network. And YES, I am fully aware of the images of the black community that project us as thugs and such that have been shown on the network. And YES I hate it also, but rather than bitch about the negative I applaud the positive.
Here’s what I know for sure, B.E.T is the only place on television where I can always see people that look like me, the good the bad and the ugly. The rest of television (TV1 excluded) you can still count the people of color (not just black people) on the air with one hand most times. Case in point, Jet magazine was first published in November of 1951. One of the staples of the magazine was on the last page you could find a list of black people on TV. In the year 2008 they still do that.
They STILL do that.
There are so few black people represented on TV that almost SIXTY years later you can still find them onone page in Jet.
I have a simple suggestion to all those people who hate B.E.T.
Or pony up a billion dollars and start your own network.
What’s even more perplexing to me about my Target confrontation is this; why are these guys who are obvious comic book fans so down on the Black Panther series before they see it?
To the guys who wanted to beat my ass I say this, I may be a clown, I may be a trifling n****r and I know sometimes I’m an asshole but I also know it’s pretty damn stupid to state an abhorrence (look it up) of something before you see it. That is the textbook definition of ignorant.
Who’s the clown now, Bozo?
Michael Davis may be a lot of things, even an asshole from time to time (he’s a Hollywood deal-maker), but he is NOT, and never has been in the 20-plus years ComicMix’s E-I-C has known him, a “punk-ass ignorant Negro.” And I’m über-pissed that some clown who watched me work with Michael for almost two hours a week ago today thinks so. I note he lacked the courage to voice his opinions at the panel. So who’s the punk-ass? This is the type of jerk who disses Louis Armstrong.