Michael Davis, From The Edge – The Middleman Revised

Bleeding-Cool-face-1Michael Davis is an artist, writer, mentor, and entertainment executive. He writes,

Damn, it's 1963 all over again in Missouri.

The police are using tear gas and billy clubs to control a group of peaceful protesters. All that's missing is German Shepherds and fire hoses, but hey, rubber bullets more than make up for that.

Someone once asked me to "please stay here," and I seriously wondered if I should take a gun and end me before the LAPD does.

The "here" she was referring to was Earth.

Bet that fucked you up.

A bit over a year ago, two drunk white people thought they could use me as a punching bag at a restaurant.

They attacked me.

They hit me.

They were two, I was one.

I defended myself, they punked out.

I was the one arrested.

There is videotape evidence of my innocence.

I took a plea deal on the criminal charge.

W H Y?

Why would The Master Of The Universe take a plea deal when he has the resources and media reach to clearly win this bullshit case in court? Because, as Master Of The Universe I'm invincible. As a Black man in Los Angeles, I'm a fucking nigger, a less-than-human target waiting to be shot down like a dog in the fucking street.

My case should have NEVER gotten ANYWHERE near a court. It should have been dismissed the moment the tape and the 20 or so eyewitness backed my story. It wasn't. So what's MOTU to do? Get the FUCK out, as quickly and quietly as possible, that's what.

White America, when a big-mouth, well-connected, uppity motherfucker who's CLEARLY IN THE RIGHT AND IT'S ALL ON TAPE, won't even chance a day in court because he thinks the system is racist, THE SYSTEM IS FUCKING RACIST!

Everyone has value.

Yeah right.

Nice sermon, bumper sticker, and uplifting message; just not for Black men. In the eyes of some law enforcement, my value is nothing. I can be taken out at any time in any place if I don't act right.

So to avoid living my life in fear, having to stay inside battling bouts of horrible insomnia debilitating migraines fueled by thoughts that she's not here (she's gone; hell, they're all gone), why not simply pull the trigger of the gun I've held to my head many times?

What happens if I simply cannot deal with my inner demons inside my home any more? I know full well if I go outside and don't "act right," there's a real chance I could be shot in the back.

So, why not cut out the middleman and shoot myself?

What happens when I don't take my meds and voicing my ire on Facebook is not enough? What happens when I've had enough of seeing UNARMED Black men choked because THEY WERE BLACK? What happens when I realize that I don't eat Skittles any more because it just reminds me of an unarmed BLACK CHILD KILLED BECAUSE HE WAS BLACK?

What happens when another unarmed Black man is shot down like a dog in the street in Los Angeles, and that event underscores the horrible place my life has become over the last twelve months?

What happens when she's not there to tell me to stay here?

I'll tell you what happens.

I leave my home in the upscale white neighborhood I live in. It's 3am in the morning and because I STILL cannot sleep, I drive to Ralph's supermarket to shop. I'm stopped by the police often, and this night I'll be stopped again.

But this time, I'm depressed.

This time, I'm not kissing the ass of the motherfucking racist cop who's stopped me before. This time I say the absolute wrong thing.

"I did nothing. I'm not showing you any ID. I'd like you to call your supervisor; when he arrives, I'll show him."

This will not stand. I know this. He repeats his command to show my license and I repeat what I said. He orders me to get out of the car. I make no move. My hands are on the steering wheel, and my interior lights are on. "I've done nothing."

He screams for me to exit the vehicle.

For, what I know is the last time, I say "no."

He grabs me through the windshield and I refuse to let go of the steering wheel. Instead, I close my eyes and say goodbye to all my friends.

Then, like every lazy comic book writer will someday write, my life flashes in front of my eyes.

And I wonder.

I wonder what Comicmix will write about me. I wonder if Bleeding Cool will do a tribute. I wonder if I'm big enough to have my obituary in the New York Times like Dwayne. I wonder if Denys will ever forgive me for the lie I told him when he asked if I was OK. I hope he's OK. If Denys couldn't save me, no one could. I wonder if James knows he's going to rule the comic world, or Danielle, the entertainment world, or Jasmine the music world. And Tatiana?

Tatiana the entire world.

I wonder if Stradford knows just how much his friendship means to me.

I wonder if the "Mikes" (Gold, Grell, Baron, and Raub) know the same. I wonder if Maggie will cry a lot, if Missy and Kai will also. I wonder if Steve and Josh will both wear a Yankee hat to an Orioles game in my honor.

Then I'm sorry.

I'm sorry I said hurtful things to Darlene.

I'm sorry I didn't try harder to reach Brett. Brett, once my son in every way but blood, who still wants nothing to do with me. I'm sorry I let Sheila's call go to voicemail right before I left my home and hope she will forgive me. I'm sorry I could not get my hands on those animals who hurt Paige.

I'm sorry couldn't find the words to say to my Kitty.

I'm aware of a loud "bang," then…

Then I'm happy.

I'm happy I saw my brother Lee again. I'm happy Lucy came back into my life; I think of her little girls and I'm even happier. I'm happy because my Amber will find a way to make me smile no matter where I am, alive or dead. I'm happy that with any luck I'll see my family again.

I'm lucky. God lets me in… just barely.

My mother, my sister, my grandmother and great grandmother wait for me. Some of my other family is there also. Joy joins my happiness as I see Kim Yale, Linda Gold, Carol Kalish, and the man I wished was my real father, Don Thompson.

My A&D brothers, Chris Cumberbatch and Freddy Jones, give me a smile.

I realize at the end, I don't hate my haters. They helped make me. At least that's what Dwayne McDuffie said when he, Robert Washington, Malcolm Jones III and I sit down to create a comic book…

So I ask again, here, today, during yet another bout with my depression, why not spare my friends the pain of a trial where the outcome will most likely be "not guilty" and put a bullet in my head?

My life is not my own. It belongs to any cop having a bad day. Any D.A. wanting to get an uppity nigger, regardless of proof. My life belongs to any white racist punk ass bitch drunk in a bar or any racist coward with a gun who hates hoodies.

Like I said, why not cut out the middleman out and kill myself?

Today it's because I promised my beloved Jean I wouldn't.

Tomorrow?

I don't know.

I'm just fucking glad I don't live in Missouri.

But I do live in L.A.

Michael Davis is an artist, writer, mentor, and entertainment executive. 

His positions as an entertainment executive include: President & CEO of Motown Animation & Filmworks, President of Animation at Magic Johnson Entertainment, President of Publishing at Blackboard Entertainment, and Vice President, Director Of Talent, and Co-founder of Milestone Media. He's created, written, illustrated, or produced original content for comics, television, radio, publishing, and reading programs as an independent producer. Alumni from his Bad Boy Studio mentor program are some of the most respected talents working in comics, television, and illustration today.

Current projects include graphic novels, The Underground from Dark Horse and Jackie Robinson Day 1, mainstream novels such as Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Black People But Were Afraid To Ask from Full Court Press, White Winter, Black Night Books 1-4 from Simon & Schuster.The Littlest Bitch from Sellers Publishing (with David Quinn) is in its third printing and currently in development for television.

Michael is also the creator and host of The Black Panel, a powerhouse forum that brings together some of the biggest names in the African American media space.

Among his honors and awards are Mentor Of The Year from Mentor Magazine 1995, The Michael Davis Auditorium named at The Gordon Parks Academy 1996, Renaissance Award from the Arizona Black Film Festival 2006, and The Inkpot Award at Comic Con International 2013.

He fully realizes his bio is now the longest and most corporate of the BC contributors, something his haters will no doubt consider just another way to talk about himself.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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