Kirshnik Khari Ball.jpg

Kirshnik Khari Ball

Running off at the Android...

***Takeoff, one third of the celebrated Atlanta based rap group "Migos," was tragically murdered earlier this week during a dice game played in Houston, Texas.

Born Kirshnik Khari Ball, Takeoff was 28-years-old…may he rest in eternal peace!

When I awoke and read of his passing the other morning, I was ensconced in my room staring at the TV with the same feelings of despair that I had as a 24-year-old law student back in '96 when I heard that Tupac Shakur had succumbed to gunshot wounds in Las Vegas; those same feelings hit me six months later when Tupac's former friend (turned rival) Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace was shot to death in Los Angeles. 

Biggie (Morehouse shirt) and Tupac hanging out during better times…

Now, by the time Tupac and Biggie were killed in 1996-97, death from gun violence was no stranger to me; my Morehouse classmate Mark Stewart was cut down early during our sophomore year, followed by my childhood best friend Christopher Henry, an honors student at Florida A&M University, dying from a gunshot wound to the head the very next year back in Tallahassee.

In fact, my closest Black male friends, born between 1971-75, have buried at least one friend or relative due to gun violence. My closest non-Black friends simply have not experienced the pain of bearing the pall of a dear friend whose body was riddled with bullets. But my crew has, and while we rarely speak of it, our long gone friends will remain a part of our psyches until our own dying days. 

And now, the younger generation is experiencing the same sense of loss that we did in our relative youth; I chatted with my own teenage daughter the morning of Takeoff's death because she likes the Migos and, as an avid news reader like her father, had already heard the news before it was time for me to take her to school. So I consoled her the best I could, knowing that 30 years later, I still mourn not only the losses of Tupac and Biggie, but those of my real life friends who left Earth all too soon—over some petty beef, drug deal gone bad, or some other bullshit reason 😢.

Lest we forget…

***Having tried a number of murder and attempted murder cases in the past, what the rap artists and movie directors don't tell the public is that the overwhelming majority of young men (and increasingly women) who are charged with murder cry real tears when they are facing the death penalty or life without parole. And I mean boo hoo, snot bubbles, inconsolable weeping and wailing when they realize that they will never walk as a free person among civilized people again.

Such only makes the tragedy of murders like Takeoff's even worse because not only does his family, friends, and fans have to mourn his loss, but if a triggerman is ultimately convicted, and that’s a big if seeing that there were over 40 bystanders who know good and damn well who pulled the trigger—but are not cooperating with the police—the shooter's family and friends will be inconsolable as well.  

***While the 2022 mid-term elections are almost over, I was not surprised to learn that spending in federal races has topped $7.5 billion dollars, eclipsing the previous high of $7.1 billion dollars in 2020, according to the Federal Election Commission.

I am willing to bet that a good chunk of those billions was spent on those annoying mailers that have filled our mailboxes over the past six weeks. One of my good friends, Carla Thompson, posted a hilarious shot that chronicled her frustration with mailers on Facebook earlier this week 😆:

I don't know about y'all, but I don't even read those mailers and can't help but think that they are a monumental waste of money! Still, Tuesday can't get here fast enough so that our mailboxes can see less traffic—and our cell phones will be free from robocalls and text messages from candidates!

***I remain flabbergasted that my Morehouse Brother, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), is in a statistical dead heat with his Republican rival, Herschel Walker,  according to the latest Marist College poll.

As I have chronicled many times in this blog, Walker has to be the most blissfully ignorant wanna-be politician alive, and the very fact that Republicans are using this village idiot, one who lies incessantly and has beaten women unmercifully—when not paying for their abortions—is disturbing. But such are the times, when ignorance not even masquerading as erudition trumps sound judgment about who our elected leaders should be across America. 

My prayers are with Bro. Warnock in the final days of his campaign. 

***Speaking of ignorance masquerading as erudition, look no further than Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), another village idiot who made fun of 82-year-old Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for being beaten savagely during a recent home invasion robbery.

Greene said, "had Pelosi been a gun owner he wouldn't have been beaten." Well, as a gun owner who has been training with weapons since I was in elementary school, trust when I tell you that shooting at inanimate targets at the range is one thing, but shooting at a moving human being is something else, according to my initial trainer, the late Charles Hobbs Sr., a man who had 365 days of experience with just that in South Vietnam circa 1968-69.  

But again, MTG's fans will laugh, claim that she is "tough," and continue to support the latest hypocritical Republican who claims to be "tough on crime"—that is until the criminal is their supporter (or the victim is their ideological opponent). 

***Around this time last year, the Ol' Hobbstradamus told you all that Roe vs. Wade would be overturned by the end of the 2021-22 term—and I was right. Well, hear me now when I tell you that affirmative action will be eliminated by the end of the 2022-23 term—guaranteed. 

Honestly, one need not be clairvoyant to recognize that the U.S. Supreme Court, one with a 6-3 conservative majority, is doing what conservatives have been clamoring to do for over forty years, which is to roll back many of the protections that Blacks, women, and other demographic minorities had received via legislation during the late 1960's and early 1970's. But as the saying goes, “to the victors go the spoils,” and when Donald Trump faced Hillary Clinton in 2016, I and a whole lot of other legal scholars, pundits, and practitioners told y'all that the next president would select at least three Supreme Court justices—and turn the tide of the American judiciary for at least a generation. Welp, sure enough, that's what happened and, sure enough, abortion rights, civil rights, women's rights, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, criminal defendant rights, and affirmative action all will soon look like America circa 1953—during the height of Jim Crow—than America circa 2013, during the beginning of the first Black POTUS, Barack Obama’s, second term.

The only way to push back against these judicial changes is to tilt the legislative and executive branches on the state and federal levels heavily towards moderate and progressive Democrats who can draft laws and executive orders to push back against the conservative courts.

Stay tuned…

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By Chuck Hobbs  ·  Hundreds of paid subscribers

"Real Politics in Real Time"

Chuck Hobbs is a freelance journalist who won the 2010 Florida Bar Media Award and has been twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.

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