Diffusing The Zoom Bomb

Joseph Dole and Raul Dorado are incarcerated leaders at Stateville Correctional Center. Yesterday, I was invited to a Zoom Media Press Conference where The Uptown People’s Law Center was scheduled to discuss a class action lawsuit they filed hoping to get the attention of Governor Pritzker.

Full Disclosure: I don’t believe in lawsuits. 

I think judges are too caught-up in procedure and have forgotten the meaning of the word justice. I don’t believe in lawyers. I think they’re hooked on a toxic cocktail of self-importance and legal fees. Having said that, I attended the meeting on behalf of Parole Illinois, to listen.

This is a hugely underrated commodity in the world right now, listening.

I got to the Zoom Meeting early, which is my favorite trick. When you arrive early, you get to see how everyone else hits the room. They’re all wearing their tells. Better than a card trick, it’s a window into the soul of the moment. 

I had enough time to get up and pour myself a cup of hot coffee when I began hearing murmurs, the murmurs turned into moans, the moans turned into moans and groans. When I got back to my tiny Zoom Media Box, I was bombarded with scribbles and bibbles of scribbles and tiny peckers and medium peckers and giant peckers of all shapes and sizes and colors with staggering variety along the spectrum of circumcision.

Along the side of the screen were baby men in baby men masks using voice distortion boxes so they could shout my name while flinging with impunity the language of Racist Insanity.

They were trying to scare me.

It worked. 

But then it stopped working. 

I put down my hot coffee. Took a cold chug of the hatred being shot like a firehose of humiliation down my throat. I did the only thing I know how to do when I’m being attacked…


And smile for the camera. 

Say white nationalist cheese! 

Cuz that’s all they are: Zoom Bombers, MAGA TROLLS, toilet paper hoarders, 2nd amendment fetishists, Trump Voters, they’re scared children, children with grey pubes.

So when they lose it, when they aim an avalanche of vitriol in your direction, let it wash over you like split pea puke on a baby bib. Don’t run. Don’t exit the meeting. Don’t hit mute. Stick around to hear them out because you know what it does? It confuses them.

Listening. Is. A. Hugely. Underrated. Commodity.

I grabbed my iPhone to document the moment. What could be more 2020?

Then I reached out to The Uptown People’s Law Center. The phone was answered by Melissa Pena, a paralegal who was working remotely. I told her what was going on, so she could pass along the news to those who might be rattled. I didn’t want them telegraphing weakness.

I’m pleased to report Melissa Pena handled it like a pro!

The People’s Uptown Law Center canceled the public meeting, issuing a secured link and then getting right back to the issue at hand: pointing our full attention at the men and women with underlying health issues currently in prison.

In prison, there’s no such thing as Social Distancing.

Full Disclosure on the Back End: In a moment of weakness, I told The Zoom Bomber his porn was “weird.”

But then I decided to switch the humiliation hose to off.

“If this is what you’re into, if this is what turns you on, it’s perfectly beautiful,” I said. “Go find a safe corner in your little, little world to enjoy it. Then when you’re done, towel yourself off. Rejoin the rest of us in the great, big world trying to get great, big things done on behalf of people who need us to rally in this moment of global pandemic. By the way, I need to tell you that I’m sorry for putting down your turn-on. That wasn’t nice.”

At this moment, we’re all crying out for relief…pass the KY.