Judas may have been the perfect role for this actor.
CNN reports that James Beeks, who portrayed the most famous traitor in world history in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, landed in court on Monday, accused of being one of the traitors who ran up in the U.S. Capital on Jan. 6. If you’re wondering why we’re here at this point, yes, Beeks is Black. His defense in the case against him sounds mighty Hotepian.
James Beeks, who played Judas in the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” before his arrest last week for his alleged participation in the January 6 riot, prompted the judge to consider sending him to jail after telling the court he had “divine” authority and arguing the government had no jurisdiction over him.
“That’s all gobbledygook,” Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court said. “Mr. Beeks, you should be quiet unless spoken to.”
Beeks’ outbursts parroted the Sovereign Citizen movement — a belief that government institutions are fraudulent and thus followers do not have to abide by them — though Beeks told Howell the term ‘Sovereign Citizen’ was an “insult” and an “oxymoron.”
Maybe, but the word oxymoron might better describe a Black man who allegedly joined up with a crowd of white supremacist Trump supporters who tried to violently stop the transfer of power to a president that the majority of Black voters preferred. Just a thought.
Beeks, according to CNN’s report, is an “Oath Keeper”, a group made up of mostly former military or law enforcement officers that the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “one of the largest far-right antigovernment groups in the U.S. today.”
When Beeks wasn’t trying to overthrow democracy, he was honing his craft on stage. Under the pseudonym James Justis, he had roles in Broadway productions of Kinky Boots, Aida, Ragtime, and Smokey Joe’s Cafe before landing Judas, according to Deadline.
Apparently, he was putting his all into the character before the law caught up with him on Nov. 23, in Milwaukee and he lost the gig. Too bad, he was getting rave reviews.