A few days ago, President Donald Trump convened a panel of America’s top black shuckers and jivers for a breakfast to celebrate Black History Month. Besides the revelation that the ghost of Frederick Douglass has a publicity team to boost his post-mortem public profile, the meeting was mostly about Trump’s feud with CNN and his nonexistent support in the African-American community.
Toward the end of the roundtable, the official Trump administration’s token black supporter and permanent background prop—Cleveland pastor Darrell Scott—announced that he had good news from Chicago’s troubled black community:
I was contacted by some of the top gang thugs in Chicago for a sit-down. They reached out to me because they associated me with you. They respect you. They believe in what you’re doing, and they want to have a sit-down about lowering that body count.
While I will not question Scott’s veracity (although he has since retracted almost every bit of what he said, attributing his lies to a lack of sleep), like Scott, I, too, was contacted by one of Chicago’s “top gang thugs,” who wanted to issue the following statement in response to Pastor Scott’s declaration.
I bring you greetings from Chicago’s thug community, especially from our executive board of directors, sometimes referred to as our “top gang thugs.” Because the rankings fluctuate so often, depending on the strength of our criminal schedules, our body-count totals and overall troublemaking statistics, I cannot present myself as Chicago’s top thug. I will assure you, however, that I am consistently ranked in the top five of the Associated Press’ thug rankings and am qualified to speak on behalf of the consortium of thugs in the Greater Chicago area.
First, I want to clear up the misconception that we are a black organization. I know that America has transformed the word “thug” into a dog whistle that conjures up images of saggy-pants-wearing, hoodied black boys holding guns sideways and standing on street corners, but if you look up the definition of “thug,” you will see that it has no racial connotation. In fact, the thugs who have historically run Chicago are the slick-suited Italian mafioso and the red-headed Irish criminals. They haven’t gone anywhere, but we understand— America needs a fall guy, and black men have always served as the bogey-monster for America’s fears.
I came to discuss this so-called offer to reduce Chicago’s body count. We received word of Darrell Scott’s announcement during the “new business” portion of our last meeting. I know that white America thinks there is some unified periodic, gangsta get-together that plans street violence, calls truces and plots out beef, but there isn’t.
It’s actually a conference call.
Anyway, after we queried our members, we came to the conclusion that no one had contacted Scott and he was lying.
Notice that I have yet to refer to him as “Dr. Darrell Scott,” because he is as much a doctor as I am an astronaut. I went to NASA’s space camp when I was 12, and they gave me a certificate that called me an astronaut-in-training. While my credentials might seem questionable, you should know that Scott received an honorary doctorate from an unlicensed, unaccredited “college” in Florida. If he is a doctor, then I am only a few imaginary credit hours away from flying the next mission to Mars. But with Donald Trump’s history of bunk colleges, Scott might be uniquely qualified to work with the president.
Furthermore, the black members of the thug collective admit that the number of shootings in our city is too high. We know that crime rates in Chicago are on par with those of most major cities in America—until you factor in gun violence. When they try to figure out why cities like Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York don’t have as many gun deaths as Chicago, they point the finger at gangs and “thugs” and ignore the elephant in the room: the state of Illinois’ lax gun laws. Unlike the National Rifle Association, the top gang thugs in Chicago don’t have a multibillion-dollar lobbying wing that bought and paid for the Republican Party.
Not to mention that Chicago’s gangs are arming themselves with money earned from the heroin trade—a problem fueled by the middle-class opiate epidemic. The city ranks No. 1 for emergency room visits related to heroin use, causing bloody battles for lucrative turf throughout the city.
I wonder if the fictional thugs Scott spoke to during his fictional powwow were piloting any of the boats, airplanes or barges that smuggle drugs into the country. I’d like to know if he spoke to any of the top goons in the pharmaceutical industry who shoot down any regulation of addictive prescription substances. Did he talk to the gangstas in the gun-manufacturing industry? Could someone ask him if he reached out to the criminals to find out why 179 of Illinois 232 “failing” schools are in Chicago? I thought Republicans believed that education is the key.
An executive order from the orange-utan we call “president” could easily fix any of these problems. But it is easier to point fingers at the sordid stereotype of black men than to actually solve the equation. Especially with their level of education.
Or maybe Trump and Scott don’t want solutions. Maybe the Stepin Fetchit gene that poisons the brain of a black “man of God” who is eager to point the finger at, and step on the necks of, men who look like him also makes him so desperate for attention, power or validation that he’d rather perpetuate the racist prevailing notion. He’d rather feed black people to the beast from his seat at the power breakfast.
Darrell Scott knows what Donald Trump wants. He knows what Americans want. They want to send in “the feds.” They want to institute “law and order.” Their cure for what ails Chicago is their cure for what ails all the unruly black people across America who don’t have access to privilege, education and equality. This is their country, and they want to clean it up with walls, executive order Muslim-eject buttons, bullets and head busting.
If you think I’m speculating, you should know that I am keenly aware of the mentality of people who want to take their turf back through any means necessary—including violence. In our secret meetings, we even created a name for the decision-makers who are willing to create a scary, evil enemy to justify their power-hungry agenda to “Make America great again” even if it takes brute force. You might refer to them as “the Trump administration” ...
... but we call them “America’s top gang thugs.”
Hey, Darrell, call me.