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No Mr. Rowe It Isn’t Just About Making Work Cool Again

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

It’s about making work functional for both employer and employee, not matter your field, your vocational talent, conventional or unconventional skill, skill set; it’s about us, society deciding what’s more important, our biased, antiquated views on work or a system where everyone who both can and desires to participates…Remembering this is the same Mike Rowe as mentioned in the Fox News piece of the show Dirty Jobs, Somebody’s Gotta Do It, better known these days for adhering to the Bill Maher, Dennis Miller school of thought mocking occupy Wall Street, spouting ‘we can’t all be the one drawing on the cave wall, ‘we need people who do something’ mocking liberal, entertainment, animation and standard art degrees. Mike Rowe who would probably wholeheartedly agree with the final judgement given to a cop suing a local Starbucks for the major burn on his leg costing him time off work, very literal and legitimate pain and suffering; without ever realizing both his purpose in suing wasn’t his too late comprehension coffee is hot, deficient intelligence robbing him of that conclusion earlier and that the whole situation could have been avoided if they switched from a 5 cents to make cup to a 10 cents to make cup, from a 2 cent lid to a 5 cent lid that, side effect fit properly, neither collapsed or boke, to quote Homer Simpson: DOH! Mike Rowe who has an odd bias toward blue collar work, a genuine desire for that kind of work he was steered away from in his youth. Yet an odd bias all the same coloring everything from his view, understanding of why students today shy away from it, to why their parents will do almost anything to steer them away from work they, themselves supported a family on. Sentiments blinding him to those up and coming persons who are proud to be a 3rd, 4th or 5th generation laborer in whatever industry, contributing factors vastly changing the landscape of employment, how manufacturing, pipe fitting, welding, engineering jobs are done, skills mandated to be successful in them. Mike Rowe who tried to explain Trump’s election by contrasting the white working class, rural voters to hedge fund managers making the papers, news for raking in millions while not completely buying his promise to bring back manufacturing jobs as he campaigned; saying to Fox News at the time looking back didn’t make sense to him, his philosophy was looking forward enter: comments on skilled trades and industries so desperate for workers trained individuals can write their own tickets. Mike Rowe who told students last year, in what was supposed to be a commencement speech, for a dubious university, not to follow their passion in seeking employment and that a degree didn’t mean ticket to your dream job instead admonishing students to follow, opportunity predictably in a skilled trade….. So in honor of 2017’s graduation season and the potential we could be wasting here is an in-depth look at Rowe’s concepts on American work, workers and how none of what he says truly works….Oh where to begin deconstructing his ignorance laden misconceptions, ones guesses it’s to say country wide STEM (science technology engineering and math) initiatives routinely overlapping traditional skilled trades aside no, we haven’t removed vocational training from high schools, wholly, completely or nationally; better classifying what schools have done, they have removed it in parts of the country where it is, by and large not used, major metropolitan economies much more dependent on other industries, hardly without individuals in all the trades Rowe mentioned and added ones to boot, just less so, based on need… Proof positive vo-tech is neither dead nor dying my high school alma mater in the Midwest hasn’t scrapped skilled trade prep in the least, the exact opposite, both expanding and adapting it to changing needs and times, creating more advanced block classes, direct lines to internships on school time if/once a student completes prep course X, reaches a certain level; H/VAC and construction equally popular with youth programs and vocational training seekers post college, engaging in retaining, jobs beyond minimum wage. I don’t fit well into my local economy because I’m neither good with these industrial trades or the helping/healthcare professions; leaving me virtually opportunity-less. Same regional area, take the McCaughey septuplets who reached a milestone times 7 graduating high school last graduation season, among them 2 hopeful computer science majors, 2 future teachers to be, one about to be military man, a music major, and 1 of the 2 staying home as opposed to utilizing the offered Hannibal Missouri scholarship studying what, construction; no coincidence either they are from Iowa. Even if Rowe were marginally right it wouldn’t impact where we are at present because, no matter how extensive high school courses, accompanying internships that rarely are long enough to encompass the full scope of jobs or satisfy employer experience requirements, students would still need continued instruction at a vo-tech school teaching advanced skills, certifying abilities, funneling graduates into the workforce; without it there would be left only another facet of employer complaining high school programs that aren’t good enough, expansive enough, teaching the right skills. Further rendering his assertions on high school instruction irrelevant, vo-tech has its place on the post-secondary circuit just like colleges, technical institutions provide classes, certifications and where appropriate ‘degrees’ in the very skilled trade aspects he’s talking about, a tech institution in nearly every state; many also present in local community colleges serving the same purpose singular possible exception, tiny rural areas or urban blight effected schools where there isn’t a shop teacher due to being unable to afford one, yet that has to do with the dollars and cents of simple math not Washington lobbying, the ‘national push to say this is the best path for the most people’ unto success and pulling back the curtain on 4 year college degrees. You also won’t see a trigonometry, advanced science teacher in aforementioned areas for the same lack of both funds and interest, local economies that just don’t support it. Other factors drastically effecting where students nationally, on the bigger macro-scale, get a job, what career they ultimately land in has nothing to do with positions parents, mentors, school officials, demonized by the coinsure of ‘dirty jobs’ repeatedly, guidance counselors think is ‘cool’ or the converse ‘uncool’ translating into totally unacceptable for my kid. Though, regular readers remember this one, multitudes believe parents who’ve ruined their joints by 55 after 30 years of jackhammering, ruined their knees via 30 years navigating an 18 wheeler, 30 years plumbing, crawling through sewer systems, multiple tight spaces for work, chasing various types of farm animals, 30 years on a bobcat giving them sciatica, injured on fishing, deep sea drilling oil rigs (think deep water horizon, oh) forcing them on disability long before the benchmarked 65 while the government keeps hiking up the retirement age incrementally pointing to longer lifespans and medical advancements evolving into a better quality of life they just don’t see, can be forgiven wanting better, different options for their kids, pushing their kids toward anything far from what they do daily, less grueling, catastrophic on the body… Similarly we don’t have crumbling infrastructure systems because there is a massive shortage of people to perform the work regardless what the numbers are telling us, Rowe’s theory kids of the past generation right up to the current one got psyched out said solid jobs due to ‘degree pushers’ calling college higher education and skilled trades, vo-tech, tech institutions alternative education developing a sigma personified in ‘if you couldn’t/can’t hack the other one; preposterous bullshit putting too much weight on what he believes guidance counselors are telling kids, precious little it might be added, and emphasis on parents’ wants kids are wired at that age to ignore anyway. We have a D+ graded infrastructure causing a domino effect of problems whether it’s tragic train derailments, subway/commuter train delays caused by crashes, mechanical failures and old underground structures directly because the federal government won’t release funds for upgrades and replacements, state and local governments don’t have it, won’t use if for that if they have monies to do the slightest incremental repairs, the true story behind our nation of potholes, rotting and collapsing bridges. Or their shady attempts to privatize aforementioned work to corporations/private contractors, think what Backwater did in Iraq when they were supposed to be rebuilding, getting rich while infrastructure doesn’t improve, improve enough to make a difference. Flint’s water crisis, subsequently found pockets indicating high lead levels in city tap/drinking water isn’t for want of pipe fitters, welders, pipe makers, machinists working together to make it happen, instead bluntly about a lack of political will to ensure the safety of our nations drinking water; Flint switched over to the dirtier water source sans chemical treatment neutralizing known lead in the water/pipes to save a few bucks. Older buildings, disproportionately public housing, subsidized section 8 housing are potentially lined with interior/exterior lead paint; one such complex in Mike Pence’s Indiana no less, built on the site of a lead industrial plant in years past sans adequate testing to ensure soil safety; because, we don’t have the political will of elected officials to remove all the lead from existing buildings, care enough about citizens, both current and future workers, to allot enough to public housing proper for adequate lead removal, vouchers for subsidized housing keeping up with rental costs so recipients don’t have to live in a dilapidated house, apartment, a dump that’s potentially toxic. Rather than the easily dismantled Rowe doctrine, diagnosis of what’s wrong with the American employment system current ‘job outlook deficiencies’ are indiscriminately tied to businesses, employers desperate for employees having, readers hearing this before too, done an abysmal job of saying to students these are jobs for which you can get paid money, earn a solid paycheck…
Where we’ve gone horribly wrong, beyond the extraordinarily specific job skill subsets within traditional general skilled trades/engineering, welding, pipe fitting, plumbing, bricklaying, machinists, industrial machine maintenance and repair, exc., workers holding those jobs past or present immediately highlighting don’t translate well into broader umbrella manufacturing or skilled trade jobs, often necessitating retraining when switching jobs, is where we’ve always gone wrong for the last 45 plus years. America’s projected 6 million jobs job gap encompassing every region has far less to do with skills and everything more to do with dissemination of information, hiring practices and bias against the very workers they need; starting with are the jobs listed even available or are they doing as some applicants have speculated listing jobs just to see what skills are out there… Shamefully New York has judges sitting on the bench, presiding over cases who don’t hold law degrees, mystifying is how that’s possible even adjusting perspective to understand small town court rooms, tiny townships; why it’s such a big deal (in light of popular shows like Suits, which at least housed a legal prodigy who could pass the bar sans a degree, expediently test out of courses to obtain his degree if he chose) isn’t limited to the staggering misconduct by judges egregious enough it would mean firing from any job let alone something as important as a judgeship, ultimately expelling them from the bench. It’s their totally lacking comprehension of basic legal principles, lack of jury boxes, an actual judges bench, ‘official proceedings’ held in office buildings, basement rooms, witnesses not sworn to hell the truth, no verbatim recording of testimony. “But serious things happen in these little rooms all over New York State. People have been sent to jail without a guilty plea or a trial, or tossed from their homes without a proper proceeding. In violation of the law, defendants have been refused lawyers, or sentenced to weeks in jail because they cannot pay a fine. Frightened women have been denied protection from abuse. The examination found overwhelming evidence that decade after decade and up to this day, people have often been denied fundamental legal rights. Defendants have been jailed illegally. Others have been subjected to racial and sexual bigotry so explicit it seems to come from some other place and time. People have been denied the right to a trial, an impartial judge and the presumption of innocence…” [Sic] And there are too many lawyers, though perhaps it does explain the bizarre rulings coming out of court rooms today, slaps on the wrist and diversionary programs for rapists, ignorant justifications offered for why what happened wasn’t rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual harassment….Endless résumé advice, a constant revolving door of do’s, don’t, cliché phrases to avoid; alternative providing examples of how you cut costs, improved sales figures exc., shutting out people in janitorial, reception work, anyone whose biggest selling point is they came to work consistently and constantly did their unglamorous job well. What they provided their employer, apart from a consistent worker, was a lack of hassle forced to hire someone else; as opposed to having a uniform résumé format at most varying by field of employment, a uniform transitional format for résumés of persons changing fields so applicants are not being docked points for meaningless aesthetics. Applicant seekers, businesses bemoaning sparse workforces, worker choice too enamored by outcomes produced from amateur psycho analysis of handwriting, what can be read into your walking gate, condition of your teeth, whether or not you wear glasses, wear a watch (it makes you seem punctual, organized caring of others time); swallowing valuable interview time, passing over potentially very talented, capable persons doling out ‘snowflake tests,’ the latest variation on asking silly questions what space alien/animal you are to determine personality, if you fit the work culture rather than investing in job scenario questions, paring answers to experience listed on their résumé, deciding who of those individuals had the best answers and hiring them. Flagrant abuse and misuse of Skype, Facetime, video chat services interviews as a window into an applicant’s home, routinely their bedroom, to make otherwise unattainable value judgments about crooked pictures, Victoria Secret posters, book titles on a bookshelf; just the latest in trends of finding increasingly petty reasons not to hire a worker. Taking a big gamble they even have access to fundamental hardware moving the interviewing technique outside tech, computer jobs; plunging neck in neck with using Equifax and Spokeo to ascertain credit scores, personal data employers shouldn’t have access to specifically age and relationship status, 2 things barred from job applications for a reason. Worse, Equifax lost a multi mullion dollar lawsuit for failure to correct serious errors on a woman’s credit report despite her repeated attempts and filling out reams of paperwork; an estimated 1-4 reports containing significant errors incorrect birth dates, social security numbers, and that was roughly 5 years ago. Where are you placing your want-ad, your job opening, older workers probably aren’t perusing the internet for employment, if they are they certainly aren’t using professional job boards, exclusive websites; skilled tradesmen not looking to uproot, relocate across the country, to a different city, town, state are most likely networking where they live, connecting with friends, family, work associates to land a gig, visiting the local employment agency. If you don’t then have a sign plumbers needed, ads in your city, town paper, postings at the employment agency, don’t use word of mouth, you’re missing out; i.e. in Larimer county Colorado….Next let’s stop beating around the bush about employers who have summarily done away with the internship, apprenticeship across all fields in the employment sector, even to a significant extent skilled trades; skilled trades producing students who will still need real working world experience and time to hone their skills to equal persons on the job 5, 15, 25 years. Hardly to be dismissed, employers unduly let off the hook, worth chastising them about also is their complete abdication of any job training at all, rudimentary basics they are many times legally mandated by law to give regardless experience level, past job experience they not only don’t, but blatantly refuse; their habit of hiring individuals off the street with no prior experience and no training fully expecting the employee learn by osmosis, observation, as a last resort ask similarly poorly trained co-workers how to do task X. Example, young man looking for a job, applies to an auto parts distributer is hired his responsibility, going around to local auto-parts stores ensuing they have the inventory they need; except he had no clue how to do that, differentiate parts, facts known to the employer upon hire, based on application materials, résumé finally fessing up to his boss how lost he was….Alluded to in the introduction was the interesting why everything had gone to a class, everything has gone to a class, certification, certificate or degree, less because the colligate money making machine and Washington lobby made it so and more due to employers expecting their applicants to come in with those skills, experience under their belt, believing it the responsibility of the higher educational institution excluding any corresponding internship cooperation to reach that goal; and, when that drastically turned out not to be the case, they couldn’t get all they wanted including the preverbal kitchen sink, then came the job listings demanding both degree and experience creating much of the catch 22 new grads find themselves in, but all we need to do is make work, as defined by Rowe, cool again…Paralleling the above asking when was the last time businesses wanting employees went into an educational institution and spoke, when was the last time companies like GE in Erie Pennsylvania took the highest aptitude workers/job applicants, (because the middle age worker has a point, you want the degrees but you have provided no means for experienced workers, been doing it for years, to get newer skills) and sent them to school, crafted programs only teaching the math and science, engineering skills for the job, the field not a 4 year degree, not a years long certification process? Contrast their mindset to the CEO paying for all his full time workers’ children to attend college irregardless where they choose to go to school, what the intend to major in because he knows what it’s like to watch a parent get by on minimum wage, knows what it’s like for higher education to be a dream and actively seeks to pay it forward. Contrast the G.E. standard approach to employers who have taken it upon themselves creating their own training programs, work in tandem with local community colleges, take the step to pay for a young workers’ college education that will advance them in the job they already had during high school, they are met with overwhelming success and experience, no shortage of workers, interested candidates, applicants; chief reasons Jamie Dimon’s aerospace high school and IBM’s fast track high school melding diplomas and associates degrees plus an internship at IBM remains so successful is directly owing to they are teaching up to the minute skills coupled with hands on internships. Conversely, universities, tech and trade schools can’t keep current if employers insist on keeping silent, being absent from the conversation, talks to aforementioned institutions, simultaneously complaining to any news outlet, labor study complier they can’t find workers; have eliminated and continue rebuffing the internship, apprenticeship, don’t know what to do with them when they have them, regularly giving them coffee fetching, filing busy work unrelated to the job, (to the point their next employer is saying I need to know if you got coffee or did actual work) shunting them away from true experience…. Adjacently America, society, teachers, guidance counselors, mentors, job coaches must strive to reorient existing, isolated up and coming workers expectations, employer expectations round 2; many of the people in ‘Trumpland’ rustbelt states, former, current manufacturing hubs housing those who excel at construction, bricklaying, drywall, plumbing, pipefitting, welding, machinist, mechanic exc., several kinds of factory work are quite frankly living in a 1980’s or earlier time warp. Why did the younger of 2 men featured in the Carrier update announcing jobs still going overseas, down to Mexico despite president Trump’s previous efforts think he would be able to retire at Carrier at his age of no more than 40; why does the 38 year old profiled in the obstacles to the American dream piece think at 38, taking a factory job just out of high school, he would retire in that field, be guaranteed a job all his working life? Mindsets dying latest, at the turn of the 21st century starting with the year 2000; trends any employment forecaster or person with eyes could conclude in the early, mid 90’s. 3rd case in point, you live in Williamson West Virginia and all you’ve wanted to be all your short life is a coal miner, yes there’s an argument for exposing people to job opportunities, young people to career fields especially in a place caught in an obvious time capsule, looking for all the world like the set of Steven Spielberg’s Goonies; immediate question jumping out is where are/were the city managers, city, state chambers of commerce bringing new business prospects in and why does it seem they’ve been asleep since the Carter administration, arguably when local establishments got a new coat of paint? Then again strapping 20-year-old, you own at TV don’t you, heard about Trump from TV didn’t you, don’t you ever see something on TV you’d like to be, aspire to besides coal miner, what’s holding you in Williamson, talked about elsewhere Erie, PA; why are you so insularly and like president Trump uncurious about your world, the rest of your country, what might be out there for you should you leave your dilapidated, one horse, run down home town? Why the clinging to a ‘home town’ that is literally dying, why does it escape the understanding of you and the newly minted college graduate in Erie that that dying is normal, the ebb and flow of time since the goal rush days, mining boom towns leaving the moment mineral access dried up, oil wells ran dry; your best course of action up against those odds take any, every opportunity to move, leave, go where things are that fit your credentials, what you want to do, talents you have. Continuing, for the former of the 2 young men, if you can sit through a class on underground drilling, you can sit through a class on installing solar panels to rooves, clean energy installations of any kind, an industry showing exponential growth, sit in a construction, welding, pipefitting, journeyman class. Ideal people to be inspired by fictional characters Augie March and Tom Joad read about in school, apparently not, ideal people to believe that is a path to a better life, larger achievement, greater stability apparently don’t, yet millennials are pegged as the go nowhere generation…On the flipside employers act put out they can’t find workers, claimed to have raised wages, offered amenities toward enticing workers to jobs, but never offered to cover even a fraction of relocation expenses for a single worker and their family content to wring their hands, whine to print publications, news outlets about ‘the skills gap;’ extraordinarily self-defeating when the problem in Larimer county Colorado (video 1 after paragraph 2) was they added almost twice as many jobs over 5 years than they did citizens, how does that even happen?… Combine that with entire growing segments of the population who are excluded from workforce participation through one hurdle or another; here’s a hint it’s not the typical republican, Robert A. Hall, Mike Rowe, Dennis Miller, Bill Maher, screaming, complaining and telling bad, supposed to be timely jokes, regaling us via relentless mantras depicting people too stupid or lazy to earn a paycheck. Top on the list women, we already know it isn’t safe, forget fulfilling to show up for work, whether you work somewhere like Fox News as a television anchor doing so much as your local news, in a place however reminiscent of Hollywood, that needs to retain its professionalism, sell jewelry at Kay, women sales staple Avon, try to sell your own created brand of product X, work in the tech industry unless you enjoy being inundated with work while on negotiated, unpaid maternity leave, relish being the odd duck in the office, only one of your gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation; here everyone thought it was because math was just too hard for their ‘fairer sex,’ programing/coding too complicated…. Proven you can’t be an athlete and a woman either, just ask the U.S. gymnasts systematically sexually abused as teenagers by the team doctor; don’t go into management women, don’t try to compete there guaranteed you won’t get it and be utterly demeaned in the meantime, passed over hardly knowing why. Jill Abramson was unceremoniously fired from her prominent newspaper job then replaced by a man known for punching holes in walls either because she couldn’t save an already sinking ship or for speaking out about the pay gap she discovered. When you can be fired in some states if you don’t wear makeup, deign to use birth control, veteran senator Elizabeth Warren is being told to sit down and senator Kamala Harris basically told to shut up; congress has new ‘dress codes’ for reporters standing outside the Whitehouse in dangerous heat told to don sleeves, too well do we remember the national outcry over former first lady Michelle Obama’s bare arms. Now imagine being a girl, woman holding an interest in the very do something, dirty jobs Mr. Rowe champions, does he honestly think that will go over well in the overwhelmingly male dominated fields he put on his show, housing the most vacant jobs, noting it took a viral twitter hashtag to break through stereotypes of who looks like an engineer, a line of pink building toys to let girls freely explore building things, chronicling news stories about air marshals gone wild resulting in the suicide of one lesbian marshal thanks in part to a perverted Jeopardy game played around the office demeaning women, minorities and the LGBT community, the sexual assault of another female marshal. Sexual misconduct, harassment, assault and full-blown rape in the military is as par for the course as boot camp; worse, women serving in military ranks who report sexual assault are pegged as having a personality disorder and told to get over it or discharged entirely, lock step in line with a society where Jennifer Lawrence’s self-deprecation regarding her pay inequality and lagging negotiation skills was readily accepted, women continually berated for lacking negotiation skills, so called refusal to negotiate. Compartmentalizing the undeniable questions about can a woman handle large hammers, industrial sized equipment, construction equipment, unscrew corroded pipes, handle large animals, manage duties on a fishing ships, comments on their lesser upper body strength, based on medical research or no, can they tolerate grueling hours, the sexist nature those comments are bound to take, fact employers, no matter how desperate, wouldn’t dream of hiring a woman to do these jobs. Who would tell their daughters to go into such a field understanding how easily they could be sexually harassed, assaulted on a construction jobsite, inside someone’s home as a plumber doubted for her abilities, the reverse of perception on male handymen, predators posing as utility company workers, using that job to assault people when; 2 New York City female bus drivers performing an unsung, do something job allege they were systematically sexually harassed at work to the point one contemplated suicide to end pressure of keeping quiet, who felt broken like never before post the experience of having her face licked trying to pick up her daily schedule…Similarly, persons overcoming disabilities, mental health challenges, developmental delay are a whole different section of slammed doors in their faces; because despite the Americans with disabilities act, businesses determined to help these individuals secure a job and a means to support themselves, at least in part, there aren’t nearly enough of them to accommodate need….Returning exclusively to the able bodied or mostly able bodied, further if you want to start, have a full discussion about both moving forward, defacto meaning embracing innovation as well as filling jobs that consistently go wanting for workers, there has to be a serious conversation surrounding restoring the dignity of work; not just how we talk about blue collar work and workers, not just convincing employers to fill said positions they must raise wages, moving it away from implied hazard pay for extremely strenuous work, being covered in various levels of filth for the should be middle class life they can’t achieve. Rowe is right it is completely up to us to define what a good job is, what productive, solid work looks like, fine; however, a good job should be one where employers are treated with decency beyond how their bosses and co-workers speak to them, tones on the jobsite…Why, not because of ever talked about American laziness, lacking stamina, perceived softness; but, knowledge people allowed to do physical labor safely, correctly can work longer, be on the same job along enough to pass on their expertise to younger workers, cost less to programs like Medicare, Medicaid, such people need less disability payouts, none at all. No young person 16 to 30 is going to entertain the idea of engaging in do something, manual labor work despite their inclinations, known skills with their hands until you do, not because they are allergic to work, fear getting their hands dirty, possess an aversion to sweat, but because they know the end result of decimated physical ability and live in an increasingly health conscious society. Instead of the most basic safeguards complying with laws we already have, workers are daily subjected to dangerous conditions, temperamental, poorly working machines, outdated, overly repaired rather than replaced tools or equipment partially explaining the man in the extended Erie, PA profile haughtily asking how much the jobs scooped up be immigrants pay, causing viewers to bristle until he mentioned unsafe working conditions and hazardous tools; Deepwater horizon oil rig explosions, mining operations leading to the death of workers, factory fires all things we know/knew about. Proving there is nothing perfect or reasonable about asking someone to do a job, in order to earn a living that will eventually leave them with a serious musculoskeletal deformity in their golden years no matter how good a shape they keep themselves in throughout their life, there is nothing to be celebrated, around a kitchen table or anywhere else, about promoting work, doing work that multiplies exponentially the chances of respiratory disease, cancer and other serious maladies, literally cripple young, youthful persons in a few short years because it satisfies anyone’s definition of what a good job, hard work, solid work looks like, what it is to be a man’s man or any of that other macho, rah, rah crap that went out with the 1950’s for good reason, and no, Tucker Carlson there is nothing dignified, that confers dignity about forever being sweaty, filthy, dirt covered, unable to get car grease, industrial lubricants or the remanence of manipulating plumbing all day, farm excrement, meat packing scraps out from under your nails, out of your work clothing, chancing experiencing heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia or frost bite, constant exposure to temperature extremes weakening the immune system and leading to colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, sick days, extra sick days taken, blindness or asthma just to go to work….As mentioned at the start of the paragraph embracing technology, as opposed to shunning college degrees, comprehending computer programing, coding, robotics, engineering and all its facets will solve problems of both now and in the future preserving the health of current and coming generations, believe it or not; calculating how many practical applications of science, engineering, technology and math bent towards solving an existing conundrum, bettering someone’s life with cheaper adaptive technology, prosthetic limbs or related materials began as high school, 4 year university class projects in STEM, advanced STEM subjects, science fair contest entries, robotics competitions. Whether you’re talking about the incubator designed specifically to aid low birthweight babies in developing counties miles from a hospital, the boy who invented a lighter more portable and effective sandbag, the older young man who created a better detector for pancreatic cancer, the disease taking famed lecturer Randy Pausch, the middle school class who used 3D printing to create a prosthetic limb for a farmer following in the footsteps of college students who did the same for people in war torn Africa; another created a custom wheelchair for a little girl who couldn’t easily fit into standard models, never mind her parents couldn’t afford it, weighted backpacks helping calm kids with autism. Too it’s acknowledging the primary reason we don’t already possess machines, innovations, apparatuses to help workers work safer, to make work less strenuous and grueling toward lessening joint degradation, eventual replacement, chronic pain is precisely due to there also always having been an immigrant, slave, negro, disadvantaged African American or desperately poor white person, prior convict, societies ‘undesirables’ willing to do such back breaking work, viewed lowly, humble work for meager money. However, just because we always previously could hire such workers and cheap too, doesn’t mean we should have in the past, should continue doing so now; said advancements positively putting less stress on human bodies not because we’re wusses, have gone soft, are ‘all obese and so out of shape we can’t work,’ and countering instead because repetitive stress injuries, tendonitis, arthritis and joint damage were always bad, costly and most importantly unnecessary in the modern era…Using either robots to fight fires or soundwaves to douse flames only makes sense considering both monetary and human cost should a firefighter be injured, burned unto death, inability to continue working as a fire fighter or working at all; mitigating, minimizing property damage, fire spread, possibility for greater loss of life if spread is an added happy side effect. Imagine for the remainder of coals usage as fuel using robots to enter mines, do work, collect natural materials saving future generations’ black lung; it can happen if we let it. Hopefully machines changing pipes in tight places, navigating dirt and debris in some of the places Rowe has routinely filmed himself removing the daily contortions required for the love of saving the human musculoskeletal structure of every U.S. inhabitant; migrating the machines globally for everyone’s benefit. Science, technology applied to everyday problems is what’s going to eliminate flushable wipes clogging of sewer pipes, the toilet paper clogging pipes in Mexico and more importantly eliminating the filth in the poor man’s job who’s raking that ewww away from a water filtration screen; either by creating a better degradable wipe, a natural non-toxic substance to be put in pipes removing clog build up and/or replacing the man with a robot absent a sense of smell….
Finally, people who have a passion for the work they do, do their best work period end of sentence; people who have a passion for their work 9 times out of 10 have an inherent talent for the largest part of their job description, making them better than the best educated, trained person you cultivate for years because they possess a natural instinct for what they are doing. Perhaps a more accurate, inspiring way to phrase, rephrase what Rowe was getting at is to replace the word passion with natural talent, aptitude, what you do best and how you can turn that into a job or career, avenue to make you money. Watch video on the high school who made the students it’s IT department; sure under Rowe’s doctrine he’d much rather our featured young man walk his original course going into diesel mechanics, because we desperately need those, but he found something that ignites his world, makes it worth living in and isn’t that the point too, where all the dirty job workers would like to get to? Nor is it that there aren’t people who want these so called and aptly named dirty jobs, forgetting momentarily all the pervious aspects discussed about job knowledge, post high school training while costing less than college is still unaffordable to persons possessing no way to pay for post-secondary schooling at all; people who desire vacant jobs driven by dollar signs, the last remaining employee market where they can drive their own destiny, may not have the mathematical skill, but more importantly the mechanical aptitude to quickly distinguish tools i.e. types of wrenches, screwdrivers or drills, may not be physically capable of doing the job owing less to obesity and poor physical shape instead manual dexterity, individuals who are clumsy, klutzy, don’t work well with their hands, excel and wood working or even understanding welding, small gas engines, have no facility with computer operation, never mind coding or programing, clearly their brains aren’t wired to excel in this area. Exactly who you don’t want working in a STEM or dirty job; if someone is more likely to show up at a Mike Rowe apparently coined phrase ‘shovel ready’ job promptly bonking themselves in the head with said shovel, stabbing their co-worker in the foot with it, they need to be somewhere else and that’s ok. We want them somewhere else, if we’re smart, we’ll help them find that somewhere else making room for people with the aptitude, inherent skill; the challenge is getting them out and the right people in.

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Pepsi Ad Controversy: It’s Black Hermione, CBS’ Pledge Of Allegiance Debate All Over Again Race And Issue Batting We Don’t Have Time For

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Proof you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t whether you try to stay above the fray as CBS did or try to make a statement, be culturally relevant, positively impactful even while selling soda, candy, entertainment, foods. And no, America doesn’t need a better, more attuned emotional quotient unless it involves not falling for these non-scandals, but certainly not in terms of avoiding the ‘Kendal Jenner’ ad as it has since been dubbed or immediately recognizing why it is offensive. Because just as fans, the internet’s debate of a black Hermione for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage production had nothing to do with race and everything to do with J.K. Rowling’s constant additions, revisions, inconsistencies and incongruent information sessions during, but especially post, series following in the unfortunate steps of George Lucas and Star Wars, leading to a situation making casting a black Hermione the way they did completely silly and untrue to the character. Dawning comprehension CBS’ rejection of a cute little girl reciting the pledge of allegiance had absolutely nothing to do with the unpatriotic, un-American sentiments of network bigwigs, an attempt to appease secular humanist liberals, social justice whine-o’s who want to annihilate America’s cultural history, generate a forced utopia as fake as reality television with twice the devastation, and was contrastingly centered around its ill-fit to sell real estate, varying kinds of insurance for those properties even to a local audience viewing an annual rodeo event. Because they knew where opinions would fall on both sides, the further likely spawned uproar regarding using patriotism to sell a product, any product versus say giving to charity; lively discussions talking about using a child in such a shameless way, not to mention the added, special permissions needed to use children in such commercials, particularly scrutinizing known exploitation revealed running wild in Hollywood on top of the droves of lost young stars, ruined young talent chewed up and spit out by too much pressure too soon. All detracting from the goal: to sell insurance, draw business to your firm, agency, group, bring in dollars for the TV network; CBS, reading the landscape tealeaves, shrewdly said no thank you. Returning us to the latest hot button, trending topic, social media explosion cranking out article after article, warranting a nightly news mention, Pepsi’s gamble arguably should have been worth it offering a totally different message that should have resonated rather than making people feel patronized, their struggle cheapened, angling a bid for unity, defacto providing recognition in a more vibrant, lasting form than endless protest footage on wall to wall cable news….
General consensus seems to be Pepsi should have just stayed out of it, found another way to sell their product without being utterly tone deaf to the mood of the country; belying to ridiculing the seriousness of resistance and what it means to the activists, people fighting for life, livelihood, the lives of their children, justice for unfathomable wrong those who’ve never experienced it simultaneously can never understand. Situations sufferers already feel the rest of America doesn’t see, white people pre-privileged out of the womb, handed opportunities as their defacto birthright wouldn’t know how to live, function or succeed without and why are you making it worse in the process of selling soda, something you have a thousand other ways to sell it might be added? Recurring theme here, aren’t we putting too much stock in a soda ad, what people could possibly get out of aforementioned soda ad, giving it their maximum attention and let’s face it who does that today with anything forget a commercial, not part of the super bowl set meant to grab and keep your rapt attention costing millions to make and the only consistent time throughout the year you can get a mass audience focused on the same thing at the same time. Commercials, shock and awe, drawing attention to something they, viewers, may not particularly like, won’t necessarily buy, may prefer Coke, Mountain Dew, Doctor Pepper or Root Beer over Pepsi, the unique beverage not the brand…. Further tackling the accusation Pepsi used other people’s pain to sell a product, a particularly crass product in the form of soda with no intrinsic value, hold it; you mean they did what advertisers every one have done for decades going back to the first newspapers, traveling salesmen peddling elixirs, tonics throughout the old west laced with every kind of drug and not fulfilling half their claims, shock everything seen in a commercial isn’t real? Perhaps people need a reality check on the fundamental nature of advertising then along with a twin dose of recognition Pepsi’s advertising tactic is no different than funds solicited for St. Jude or Shriners hospitals, the ASPCA, religious program documentation of abysmal conditions for faith X and needing viewers’ financial help to change it, pictures of the drought induced famine underway in Africa; equally the links to donation options posted on ABC’s website, the donations accumulated from something billed an informational newscast segment. Few see anything wrong with that excepting possibly televangelists bilking grandmas out of social security checks if that wasn’t a stereotypical slanted trope to begin with; quite the opposite argument, the segment was done in hopes it would both make people aware and elicit donations to help save lives. Unhindered and widely un-objected to products do the same too from hair removal wands to bathtub and sink scrubbers, specialty mops whose top selling point is either no need to visit a doctor, pay for expensive electrolysis treatments to remove unsightly hair or clean your home with ease sans bending to reach shower corners, be on your hands and knees to effectivity clean floors. What about specially tubs ideal for elderly persons permitting them to stay in their homes, life alert and adjacent systems of wearable devices connecting elderly disabled persons to emergency help; again granted mentioned causes, attempts to sell certain products are for their target audience’s good making it possible to stay at home safely, mitigating fall, bone breaking hazards for our growing elderly population, convenience cleaning items holding positive implications for older individuals, those with disabilities, painful injuries, but isn’t that always advertising’s angle, even soda can enhance your life with a better tasting drink? Additionally, despite the current political climate, data surrounding the election of president Trump, emboldened hate groups of all stripes, first and foremost white supremacy, spewing their views at every turn, feeling justified in saying what they’ve sadly been thinking for quite some time, directed hate toward African Americans, Muslims, LGBT persons; our activist climate, numerous protests are proof more people want diversity, inclusion than don’t… Too blaming Kendal Jenner, who it has to be pointed out between laborious character assassinations, independent who her family is, the sizeable wealth she stands to inherit at some juncture in her life, may have already inherited since 21 is the standard age for such inheritances to activate chooses to work anyway, unless working in some aspect is tied to receiving inheritance monies, continuing to receive said monies. Kendal Jenner, who regardless of unknown stipulations placed on her in reference to accessing family wealth seems to enjoy the work she does, has several modeling, business venture and writing gigs to her name, belying her fame and popularity comes exclusively from appearing on her family’s reality TV show. Jenner who technically, theoretically, if she ‘truly wanted to work’, be a ‘normal’ contributor to society could have become a doctor, lawyer, teacher, social worker; however, in the longstanding climate of who you know outpacing, outperforming what you know when it comes to career entrance and mobility, she arguably did the right thing parlaying her family knowledge of the business, not just name connections, into opportunities for herself. Nor is she unique in doing so the Olsen twins did the same thing both during and post their Full House years, Hillary Duff, Miley Cyrus, several former Disney stars including Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Selina Gomez branched out significantly from their beginnings; neither is she responsible for the current state, the longstanding state of the industry she elected to work in because it made the most sense, she appears to have a talent for, worthy to keep in mind she is new and just works there. To that end, she showed up to do a job, unknown is if she petitioned Pepsi for the gig, maybe her agent did; stars of her caliber, looking to gain jobs routinely have one, at which point he’s merely doing his job in securing his client meaningful paid work. And, everyone in acting, modeling, TV, show business, by the way, puts in their time, pays their dues doing small parts, underwear ads, TV commercials before hitting it big, moving on to better, greater projects. News at 11:00, bashing Kendal Jenner for being white, privileged and successful all at once is not only reverse racism personified, it will not change race dynamics in this country…. Never mind who exactly is paying that much attention to commercials, who would see it anyway calculating the number of households steadily cutting their cable cords, trading in expensive cable packages for a Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime subscription combo giving them better quality programing and a distinct lack of ads, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast creating similar effect, internet purposefully crafting ads based on user search histories virtually eliminating ads for things that don’t interest that specific person…. . When all else fails, you actually are dealing with old school audience members the invention of the mute button and the fact we all know watchers head for the refrigerator, the bathroom as commercials start takes huge chunks out of the body of persons you’re reaching; before going off shelves entirely VCR’s held an auto-fast-forward activated during commercials no one wanted to see, common knowledge people pause shows using their TiVo, TiVo usage reducing ads seen as well multiplying the fold reduction of people viewing the ad, translating into, again why are we talking about this period, still talking about it?…. Talk about a distraction, wasting ink, talking points, news segment space over Pepsi or Kendal Jenner in this instance is a trolls and the Trump agenda win; because while we were talking about Pepsi’s bad ad in the context of anything other than this is what gives so called social justice warriors a bad name, remarking it leaves them open to being called ‘snowflake,’ pansy ass real things were happening that effect broader swaths of the American people in much realer ways than perceptions from a soda commercial. Setting aside ongoing escalations with North Korea, how the French election impacts Europe, reshapes functional parts of the world, what Russia is doing today to manipulate us, someone else, undermine democracy globally there’s what’s happening here at home, local legislation going on behind the national scenes. Example, do you live in South Carolina, are you of child bearing age; then you might be interested in their latest push to outlaw abortion with hot off the presses incarnations of a personhood bill. For or against LGBT rights, issue neutral: North Carolina you voted out Pat McCrory over the bathroom bill backlash costing the state millions if not billions in revenue from lost advertising, canceled concerts, celebrity and other boycotts, business withdraw, not to mention the NCAA, NBA and every other national basketball organization fleeing the state, so shouldn’t you be more upset they are spending legislative energy trying to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage at least as far as North Carolina is concerned?… Everyone should be paying attention to the flurry of executive orders, regulation rollbacks issuing from the Whitehouse including ones allowing coal mines to dump their waste in rivers, slash safety regulations for workers not to mention potentially their overtime pay, a new religious liberty order greenlighting religious institutions’ foray and monetary donations into politics, possibly streamline with ease discriminating against both contraception and LGBT persons when it refers to religious landlords and employers…Zika funding may end by summer 2017 for want of funding for tracking effects, devastating birth defects i.e. microcephaly and the documented 58 cases, prevention; Zika on track to wreak more havoc as there is an outbreak in Texas ahead of traditional mosquito season even for such a warm area. Stoppage of Zika funding removes too mosquito control that could cut down on other health effects, viruses and sickness carried by the insects, end patient education about the virus, its transmission, potential devastation on pregnancy and the resulting infants. Major headlines are focused recently on healthcare, tax cuts as they should be; sadly meanwhile republicans are likewise very quietly doing all they can to erase precious few gained financial regulations enacted post the financial crisis—chipping away at Dodd/Frank , weakening the consumer protection bureau behind banking regulations, controlling credit card fees, revoking rule preventing commercial banks from risky speculative investments, shrinking the too big to fail test, elongating timeframes between tests to discern health of financial institutions posing a risk to the entire system, paving the way for increased debit/credit card fees. GOP tax proposals released to media beyond projected to explode the deficit, amounting to little more than massive tax cuts for the rich, consisted of one page double spaced bullet points in more fonts than most knew were available in standard word processing programs, extremely light on details pushed out just prior to Trump’s 100 day mark embodying a play on the saying Jesus is coming look busy; this time constituents are watching look busy…What offends me more than any celebrity, white celebrity doing just about anything, let alone seen in an ad for whatever product racist or no, is minorities paying greater premiums, greater amounts for car insurance for no conceivable reason other than they weren’t born white. Held up alongside people who don’t understand, nor want to understand, initiatives like affirmative action continuing to insist our race problems nationally are in the past, and anyone speaking out about race issues now, it’s all in our heads. Collective society concurrently doubling down on the portrait, narrative black people are Hulk Hogan sized monstrous thugs who need to stop going out committing felonies if they want to be seen otherwise while minorities in F towns like Ferguson Missouri are targeted for traffic stops, jay walking, breaking hardly known ordinances on old cars situated on your own property in order to fill city coffers. And poorer minorities or whites are victims of court systems only open 1 day per month, are miles away from where the ‘defendant’ lives; such persons forced to languish in jail, unable to contribute to their own defense because they can’t afford bail. Cops are caught on tape telling their subordinates to arrest more black people coupled with a jury who couldn’t convict cold blooded murderer, laughing former police officer Michael Slager for the life of them or 50 year old Walter Scott…Offending more still, police manage to avoid charges in the brutal slaying of Alton Sterling though they had him on his back and shot 2 bullets point blank into his chest while kneeling on him; gun he bought to protect himself from area muggings during the course of hocking CD’s out of his car trunk giving what little monetary support to his kids he could after amassing a ‘criminal record’ under previously described F-town conditions, found in his pocket. Officers plainly appearing to panic the moment they emptied his pockets discovering the gun, somehow forgetting as pinned down as he was he couldn’t have reached it anyway. The enraging case of 15 year old 9th grader, honor student Jordan Edwards gunned down by police leaving a party where police allegedly were called to a noise complaint; why, the car came towards the officer in an aggressive manner, claims proven false by body cam footage, as was apparently reports by responding officer(s) of shots fired. Escalating my offense level is, the proms that weren’t desegregated until double digit years of the 21st century because they were hitherto held in private venues, the Mississippi school courts ordered in 2016 to desegregate deemed acceptable until then due to railroad tracks dividing essentially 2 area middle and high schools, not race exclusively ending a legal fight began in the 1960’s. The Alabama school allowed by federal court ruling to return to what is basically segregation or the Florida principal of a largely black school who instructed staff to put all white students in the same class…What offends me more is our society wide failed understanding why personalities a-la Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos never should have been invited to speak on any college campus anywhere, anytime; yes, we know college campus violence, mass protest is rare, most college students are worried about being awake for their first class, passing professors’ pop quizzes, doing well on finals and that Berkley has always been a flashpoint through previous decades, times of national upheaval, unrest for protests. However, problems with the named persons, other headline making commencement addressees, event speakers is not owing to they are conservative and campuses are primarily liberal, not that the term ‘safe space’ has gone so far students think they have the right not to hear viewpoints, different, opposing from their own, coopting too many administrators and professors into believing the same, willing to desecrate free speech by not allowing them to speak in the process. Converse to all that millennial gen Z stemming drama, it’s said speakers behavior, prior, present statements disqualifying them the same way revelations about Bill O’Reilly, Rodger Ailes, Bill Cosby and Shawn Hannity mark them undesirable. The same way we wouldn’t invite a holocaust denier, 9/11, Sandy hook truther to spew their hate; it’s one thing to not impede freedom of speech, it’s another to hand hate, vitriol, inciting of violence and obnoxiousness a podium. The same way climate change deniers, all/most birth control is abortifacient champions would be unwelcome, because the things they are saying are factually inaccurate. Highly offending under listed criteria is why people are confused at uproar over Condoleezza Rice’s Rutgers commencement speech invite years before or Betsy DeVos’ days ago, blaming the students for protests, trying to ban speakers the antithesis of the event they are scheduled to speak during when that falls to, talk about tone deaf, administrators; administrators who should have been cognizant that Rice receiving an honorary doctorate in law hypocritically, not only could be viewed but was, inappropriate. Considering her prattling on beside her boss George W. Bush about WMD that very probably did not exist, her support of water boarding, themed attitude leading to incidents like Abu Ghraib; her actions, support of actions taken during aforementioned administration leading many far removed from social justice warrior college campus snowflakes to believe she should be tired for war crimes. Astute protesting students stating had she been invited to a panel on ethics during war, her administrations, presidential administrations in general’s response, declarations of war, modern warfare as seen in Iraq, Afghanistan Syria, Yemen exc., ethics in modern warfare vis-a-vis the preceding instances she would have been both welcomed and respectfully heard, even if profoundly disagreed with. DeVos on the other hand represents something distasteful to the institution of education itself, incompetence, a job achieved by deep pockets and cronyism while knowing nothing about it; evidenced by her confirmation hearing where she couldn’t answer the most basic questions regarding debates in approaches to education, achievement measuring, is totally clueless on the challenges facing public schools, has never attended one herself, allowed her children to attend a public school, even plagiarizing senate questionnaire answers, irony lost only on her. Provoking legitimate fears, understanding her religious background, she will privatize, monetize through tuition fees, charter schools now public K-12 Ed.; also unsettling her financial support for gay so called conversion therapy and the largely religious institutions who practice it, a practice one state has taken steps to outlaw on persons under 18 cataloging the devastating psychological effects. Sealing her dunce like fate in the minds of even high school flunkies, never mind college educated students set to graduate admonished at the ceremony where DeVos tried to speak, scenes from her confirmation hearing where, when asked about guns in schools and do guns have any place there, presumably in the hands of security guards, conceal and carry authorized teachers to prevent, mitigate loss of life if confronted with an active shooter situation she suggested guns were needed in Wapiti Wyoming to protect students from grizzly bears, footage readily available to mildly tech savvy persons on the internet. What offends me more is looking at the march for science, the climate march, going back to the women’s march beginning of the year comprehending we’ve needed a march on each one of those subjects plus many others besides in growing pockets of the nation for a solid decade or longer when Texas schoolboards decided to whitewash history books translating to the whole nation because the largest maker of textbooks manufacturing facilities are concentrated there, when one state tried to craft an AP history class solely out of the 10 commandments and Reagan speeches, scaling back biology, physiology at the high school level to accommodate abstinence only sex ed. And we’re just now getting national attention to what’s been happening when president Trump was elected? Read More

Why Black Hair Matters—Head Scarves, Turbans And Coverings Too

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Everyone remembers the adage don’t judge a book by its cover, larger meaning don’t judge people simply on how they look; we know it was an idealistic, unattainable dream but we were always supposed to try, that trying making us better people… And in the era of Donald Trump, where his election seems to signal to his voters, his supporters, those non-confrontational individuals just going along to get along permission to hate, disparage, harass or attack people, fellow citizens, fellow human beings they don’t like it surfaces all the more important we refresh our memories about that old adage and its intrinsic value in our lives… Happenings in America representing a confusing duality when we’ve had a black president and first lady, both exuding class, grace, fortitude and no shortage of exemplary parenting under the withering scrutiny of the public eye only for there to be constant references to their race, repeated comparisons to gorillas, apes, negative references to exotic native rainforest women in grass skirts, political operatives are in hot water for telling her to go live in Africa with said apes, someone holding a job as important as teacher’s aide has to be fired for calling our just departed the Whitehouse first lady a gorilla. When Sikhs were just granted the ability to wear turbans in the military and NYC police forces have implemented similar policies regarding head scarves and turbans for Sikh and Muslim officers. But still the select few in ever dwindling numbers cling to immigrants, people wearing different types of dress, legal U.S. citizens, born U.S. citizens whose heritage is from elsewhere across the globe being a bad, dangerous other to be avoided, demand total assimilation and unique cultural annulation because we can? In 2017 blacks still don’t get a chance because even fewer portions of the population can’t leave their 1750, 1850’s and 1950’s mentalities behind?… Routine readers of my work know my repeated articles on education in multiple facets, none more so than on the patently ridiculous bans, restrictions and codes surrounding otherwise benign, everyday activities, clothing, jewelry, footwear hardly anyone would say anything about except it’s in a school, worn by a student. Know my personal mantra schools should adopt immediately to the betterment of educational institutions everywhere; are they wearing clothes, then they can come to class. Logical distain for backwards priorities filtering out into small towns, tightknit communities nationwide who seek to ban flip flops on tourists to important monuments, not as a safety concern but a class issue; how dare you show up here wearing those, kind of thing. Outlaw see-through clothing worn over not see through clothing rendering indecent exposure null and void; outlaw the wearing thong underwear, underwear implying it won‘t be seen. Quite literally foaming at the mouth they might see the top band of said underwear when a woman bends over to get things off low shelves at the store wearing low rise jeans, a little hard not to buy when you need new outerwear and that’s what’s in the store available. Pajamas worn in public, many times indistinguishable from yoga pants, exercise, workout gear, jogger wear, no more and a host of other personal preferences slated for the chopping block wholesome America wide; seeming to be the hallmarks of wasting time, paper and legislation often earning us lower and lower rankings on freedom scales evaluating westernized, emerging westernized nations…. Policies overly, purposefully targeting multiple ethnicities dress, accessory, hair stylings versus standard Caucasian trends. Notable the headline making Kentucky school drawing unwanted attention to itself even misspelling one, known for decades, predominately African American style, calling it corn rolls instead of corn rows. Further barring ‘afros,’ poof-ed hair longer than 2 inches, two toned hair and on, and on, and on; adding to the national debate on natural hair public figures, celebrities embracing it, not hiding, changing it, to fit 50 plus years of previous cultural norms. Another Chicago parent was incensed by a letter sent home with their child asking them not to put so much oil in their female child’s hair alleging it stunk wanting to prevent teasing from other students; anyone who has dealt with African American hair knows it must be regularly moisturized, usually using oil because that heritage has no oil in their scalp as Caucasian and other peoples’ do, the longer it is the more treatment it requires, coconut oil, their preferred method having no discernable smell, forget an obnoxious one. Her daughter being the only black child in class, with a probable white teacher, raises secondary issues regarding display of complete and utter cultural ignorance; come to find out there was no bullying of the child, conversations with administrators revealed the teacher is known as a complainer, foreign themselves, from Russia, resulting in unspecified discipline for her, again not firing, not review of her fit, alignment with the values of the learning center. Similar to the African American high schooler abruptly facing expulsion over her natural hair when she reported bullying because of it; the school’s principal, as opposed to addressing the bullying going on told the student to change her, suddenly concluded against policy, hair….How about a 9 year old suddenly told by her soccer coach to remove her hair beads citing safety, previously playing for years, same beads no mentioned problem; several parent commenters and child sports league players agreeing on the potential hazard posed. More than total unawareness it takes an hour to put in and take out said beads and braids accompanying them eliminating perception she could take 5, remove them, then play, the arbitrary nature of said enforcement undercutting any argument presented on player wellbeing. Reasoning they could smack fellow players in the face, put out an eye, injure the player themselves doing a head strike on the ball, if hit with a fast moving ball beads are essentially trapped between persons head and the ball creating an abrasion, possibly embedding beads(s) into skin; except tell me, readers, not when the last time that happened was because you instituted a rule about no hair jewelry, adornments, earrings, in professional soccer apparently these rules are standard, but when was the first time this happened necessitating ‘the rule’? And of course because it’s designated a rule it must be followed without question, though both American Youth Soccer Organization and FIFA had nothing on their websites until this incident… Employment, fitness for a job should be based on credentials, experience, aptitude, positive attitude, interview performance, overall appearance in terms of appropriate attire for position sought, not stereotypes about ethnic hair, not nagging a tech jockey to remove his lip/nose, ear ring(s) and goth metal t-shirts, black Tripp NYC shorts/jeans, negative about his tattoos when he isn’t regularly interacting with the public, does solid work behind the scenes in an industry regularly welcoming of less mainstream individuals. Why millennials especially insist on being judged for their work product not wardrobe, because no one should be told the rolled down waistband of nurse, dental student scrub pants is scandalous, next to be told by their employer while wearing the standard uniform, available scrub outfits to please dress in more adult, professional attire, then after complying told the colors you chose are too bright, forced into blacks and greys for a dental hygienist, assistant job. Millennials notorious for abandoning traditional jobs; above tech jockey treated like crap for his lip/nose, ear ring(s) and Goth metal t-shirts, black Tripp NYC shorts/jeans, tattoos began his own business to rousing, self-supporting success. Clothing debates that always end with the students winning either when they transfer out of the school bringing the issue, them, their parent enacts clever revenge wearing the objectionable outfit out among the public to positive compliments, no comment, when national attention alerts people nationwide to what localities, school officials are doing with their tax dollars, public pushback forces schools to drop/change policies, procedures, topics they never should have brought up in the first place…. .’ Lastly here the seriously dangerous implementations, ramifications of listed ordinances, rules; take Ervin Leon Edwards’ story, police called to a gas station to break up suspected domestic dispute, when they arrived whatever fight was already over, but because Louisiana passed a baggy pants ordinance banning the style he was taken into custody, later died in jail post being beaten. Adjacently Kevin Moore out of upstate New York who was savagely beaten by prison guards due to telling them he didn’t want to be housed in the jails mental health ward fearing being seen as a monster; one corrections officer was stealing his ripped out dreads to decorate his motorcycle. Moore subsequently hospitalized 17 days suffering 5 fractured ribs, a punctured lung, numinous facial fractures, multiple contusions to various body parts; cost of the officer’s ‘trophy.’ Why black hair is important, why head scarves, turbans and coverings are making the news, because no one should be arrested over their style of pants, injured anywhere because their hairstyle is an easy target, certainly not die for them… Interestingly enough we say we want African Americans to be and do better than gangs, becoming street thugs, public housing dwellers, ‘breading’ welfare recipients who keep popping out children for increased public assistance benefits, but consistently refuse to believe it when they achieve, live up to our best, not worst expectations. Most recent examples, a black OBGYN resident, Tamika Cross, who says a flight attendant requesting help from any doctors onboard to aide an ailing passenger told her when she stood up offering to respond, “Oh no, sweetie, put [your] hand down. We are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel, we don’t have time to talk to you.”… Paralleling a black, again female, architect who had similar encounters at her bank double and triple checking her account information, grilling her about her work, googling her architecture firm to see if it was real, even calling her companies HR department to confirm her employment; ratcheting up the racial component is they first deposited her check, then after it cleared, they called her back in to answer questions, go through the verification process described. Funny, like rotten in the state of Denmark kind of funny we, society consistently say we want, particularly black people, to get off welfare, stop using food stamps, stop creating situations mandating the need for either, namely keep their legs closed, cease having children they can’t afford, prone to calling democrats the party of give me, give me, condoning irresponsible behavior only to discover the David Packman Moster.com job experiment story. Where an African American woman, Yolanda Spivey, had an uncomfortable hunch about why she wasn’t getting any job offers despite 10 years experience in insurance, applying for 300 open jobs, going back to college and finishing her degree causing her to compile results the alluded to during her employment site trial. For which she first changed her profile’s race to decline to identify (the sites only opt out option) nothing; next she created a mirror profile changing her name to the less distinctive Bianca White, changed her profile ethnicity to white, transferred the phone number to her cell versus home, input identical application materials as herself and offers poured in. Incongruent realities on social issues staring us in the face be it the skinny person versus the fat person and who offers help, the black person versus the white in a whole host of scenarios, male versus female, Mr. Packman’s co-host wondering what would happen if she changed her gender to male, if her job offers would multiply yet again; still we, society in general, continue mistaken beliefs blacks are fundamentally less qualified, wholly dependent on affirmative action to achieve and overly rewarded for markedly less success. Problem this isn’t new… . Many have daughters across America and what little girl, budding teen doesn’t love to dance; picture this, your child eats, sleeps breaths dance, she has 2 very competent dance instructors in the type of dance she loves and excels, who happen to be African American. Best place got her to learn more is out of town, out of state requiring a plane ride; well she’s kept up her grades, earned your trust, you feel confident they can take her to the dance tutorial no problem. World being what it is, you take the pains to draft a legal document stating unambiguously for the purpose of said trip they are her legal guardians; only to be stopped, adults handcuffed at the airport, because someone though it strange 2 black men were traveling with a teen white girl. Put aside alternative, same sex families where it might be 2 mommies or 2 daddies, adoptive families, people traveling with extended relatives, biracial families, relatives, even ignoring momentarily they had the legal document explaining what was going on, if the adults had been white and the teen black, Hispanic, middle eastern no one would have said anything, forget handcuffed them…. But we relentlessly blame black people when they can’t get jobs independent countless stories like those above, a lawsuit filed late 2016 alleging MVP, one of the largest job placement organizations nationwide, passed over black applicants in favor of Hispanics because most were undocumented, less likely to complain about working hours, wages or conditions. Agency countering they were just focused on meeting employer demands or anticipated demands; sadly there is too much truth to that statement. We double down scrutiny on black people’s lives, choices, accomplishments measured in money earned, street address, net worth, notable lack of it when attempting to get off welfare, better oneself, totally support oneself is treated the same way as a person getting out of jail/prison, on parole requiring a patient, forgiving, second chance minded employer; while we would applaud and offer a hand up to the white person in the form of an increased chance of getting a job. We talk an awful lot in this country about blacks and work, usually how hard we think they don’t work; not talked about is the harassment, fear, berating, assault they can face once getting a job, holding a job with any authority oversight. Case in point, woman hired to supervise hurricane Isaac rebuilding in Louisiana yelled at and threated by what appears to be a construction worker, perhaps a business owner, who when he saw she was filming the altercation on her phone became physically aggressive charging the petite, African American woman, spitting in her face….Why black hair is worth normalizing, head scarves, turbans, coverings should be treated as no big deal, because even in Donald Trump’s America where it is now run of the mill to repeatedly shout n*gger at black persons in broad daylight with no shame, people think their support for Trump means they can resort to racial slurs against blacks simultaneously complaining about their coffee taking too long during a rush, can claim white discrimination after losing it in a craft store while bystanders dared film the crazy. When popular millennial created, millennial used services like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb succumb to the same continuing cycles of harassing women and denying patronage to minorities, African Americans, attracted to our exotic beauty or lusting after captive audience young, supple students and all specific drivers can do is hope to get, actively try to get in their pants, into their bed. Contrary to popular belief every black person you meet, walking the streets is not a thug, a drug addict, a gangbanger, a welfare recipient, a hood rat, an irresponsible woman popping out kids for benefits, a baby daddy unwilling to support his offspring; every minority isn’t looking to take, be handed something rather than give back…. It seems all we’ve heard during the campaign, the election cycle, even after is about solid, good, American staple manufacturing jobs going to either Mexico or China; rarely noticed by flocks of Trump voters cheering on election night, clapping, crying inauguration day is the invaluable service both legal and illegal immigrants provide to America. They, decade after decade, do the jobs Americans, decade after decade, by the same token, are unwilling or unable to do; they pick the vegetables and fruits lining our supermarkets, gracing our dinner tables due to expertise, willingness to work for wages cash strapped farmers can afford to get their crops picked, packaged and sold as opposed to rotting on the vine. Harsh truths learned post 2008 and state by state immigration crackdowns; Trump proposed immigration management only going to intensify difficulties exponentially, already struggling famers losing crop they can’t sell due to spoilage, out of pocket costs to bus legal workers to fields too afraid to drive themselves, consequences seen in very recent years past. Worse these vegetable/fruit picking migrants are willing to come here, do backbreaking work, get paid a pittance and go home, singularly returning when the picking season is back on; they don’t want to live here, consume resources here, buy bare necessities while here. Regularly use milk, yogurt, cheese thank an immigrant for keeping Wisconsin and other dairy farms nationwide running; immigrants the only ones willing to muck stalls, put milking machines on cows, short and sweet be surrounded by cow dung all day…. But immigrants, legal, illegal who do stay, generate lives here remain responsible for billions of dollars flow through the U.S. economy, immigration policies not immigrants themselves costing Americans money; so called papers please immigration laws also serve to frighten legal workers from their jobs, purchase of goods, can cause a mass exodus seen in rulings like the Missouri Valley decision, parts of Arizona vacated leaving behind largely empty classrooms, abandoned apartment complexes, vacant jobs across all sectors of local economies. Consensus thinking good, more for us hardworking, small town whites, except that’s not how this works; school funding a prime instance of just the opposite, based on students in the classroom when immigration changes force mass move outs schools lose that funding. Suddenly vacant apartments, homes mean renters are equally suddenly out money, may file bankruptcy rendering those properties vacant, vulnerable to squatters and vandals, drug addicts driving down property values and inviting crime; bitter lesson of the great recession persons in Trump country never fully learned unwaveringly supportive of ridding America of its immigrant populations all, ignorant the inherent consequences. State policies barring illegal immigrants from getting a driving license not only prevents them from getting employed, putting back into local and national economies when they buy goods, services, rent apartments, their children attend school, it drives up the cost of car insurance almost $20, figure circa 2009 assuredly gone up in 8 years. Adjacently it drives away foreign investment spelling more jobs for individual states, pocket local communities; reason E- verify, the widely used system meant to determine if the persons applying for jobs are U.S. citizens, possess the proper work visas, permits, legal resident status, green cards naturalization papers. Problem, not only is E-verify every expensive driving down employment, it has curious results on the labor market specifically white working class persons concerned about immigrants snatching their jobs; “E-Verify lowers wages for unauthorized male Mexican immigrants, raises wages for US-born Hispanic men, increases the labor force participation rate of undocumented Mexican female immigrants, raises employment for Mexican-born naturalized citizens, and has essentially no effect on whites’ earnings.” Further research shows they, immigrant workers independent status, complement current employment environment, legal or illegal, not detract, negatively take from it. Forgotten or willfully ignored, dismissed by people wedded to their anti-immigrant narrative like a husband, wife or recurring bad habit, politicians rooted to their convictions and decidedly low on actual information about immigrants; beyond our history as a nation of immigrants famous immigrants that made incalculable contributions to America’s standing as a global leader over the past 2 centuries of its existence, not all immigrants are Mexican, Latino, Hispanic, Latin American, not all immigrants are illegal, not all immigrants are low skilled. Think the co-founder of google Sergey Brin, who is described as a soviet born American, Elon Musk business magnate, engineer, inventor is a South African Canadian America, WhatsApp creator Jan Koum is Ukrainian-American, John Catsimatidis is a Greek-American billionaire owner of the largest grocery chain in Manhattan. People who haven’t just successfully assimilated into our culture, gotten a job, paid their taxes, obeyed the law, been the stereotypical expectation of a ‘model immigrant’ but who have created countless thousands of jobs, made other businesses possible, more productive, profitable and functional…. . Why the sound of your name, notions it conjures in readers, employers/landlords heads should be outweighed by credentials, because no one should be obstructed from employment on their speculated origins, skin color; José in the opening shouldn’t have had to drop a letter to get the job, there was no indication he was an immigrant, illegal. Hispanic populations growing exponentially from legal immigrants having families, born U.S. citizens producing offspring; never mind if there wasn’t a white American to fill the job he applied for, José had to lose his heritage to participate in the American dream, sad reality of Trump’s emerging new America…. American fears for refugee welcoming cities fueled by fake Syrian passports used in terror plots across Europe engendering speculation the same could happen here indicates Europe has a problem not necessarily us. No one stopping to compare notes on vetting processes used there versus here; political skewing, conservative news to say nothing of president Trump’s hastily thrown together Muslim ban, promises to overhaul vetting procedures, ban indefinitely refugees from Syria like little Halla (videos 2&3) giving off the mistaken impression the vetting process for people from these countries, where terrorists might try to slip though is lax, haphazard, totally untrue. Fear, once described by a prominent Christian pastor as false evidence appearing real, ignoring many of the displaced are children, children who’ve already been injured in war, seen friends, relatives die, not old enough to pronounce the word terrorist never mind embody it. Refugees represented by Halla, her sister and this group of older boys and their parents more than the Bowling Green insurgents who slipped through, the nonexistent ‘Bowling Green massacre’ Kelllyanne Conway misspoke about; those persons stopped via sting operation and vetting process adjusted to prevent future entries like theirs. Refugees seeking residence, visas to enter, live in the United States are first screened by the U.N., surprisingly have identification documents for adults 97% of the time, next subjected to relentless, repetitive interviews, then checked against UN complied terror watch lists, nationally compiled watch lists, homeland security making final decisions at times pulling families off their plane; a vetting process that can last up to 2 years. Refuges once settled here who, if you examine closely the links below, didn’t, according to a Salon article, rape a 5 year old in Idaho, didn’t hold her at knifepoint, didn’t urinate on her, fathers of the mythical Syrian rapists didn’t congratulate them when learning of what they’d done. In fact this properly identified right wing urban legend is based on people who literally don’t exist because the few Syrians living in the area did not come here through president Obama’s demonized refugee program, and instead is on par with related right wing stories, causes: transgender bathroom bills, vulnerable little girls in public bathrooms, fitting rooms, recreation center locker rooms surrounded by men pretending to be women to hurt our kids, rape/harass actual women ring a bell?… ban implemented so poorly it held students back from continuing their educations, had one sports star tweeting to his son he couldn’t come home and why, held a mother, legal resident, green card holder at the airport post visiting her other teenage child in Egypt, a doctor holding a job here, working in an American hospital holding a license to practice some form of medicine also detained. Another family caught in Trump’s travel ban confusion Syrians holding green cards, valid visas waiting for 6 relatives to come who had been in the immigration process 13 years, 13 years; Christians Trump prioritizes over Muslims in instituting the ban also turned away. Yet out of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, refugees, people seeking life away from war-torn homelands marked by regime change, ousting of dictators, who have come to American searching for stability a measly 1% have been tied to commit terror acts on U.S. soil; rather innocents continue to be the victims of crime far more than perpetrators of it….Who remembers the Muslim woman a deranged man tried to set on fire, fortunately he only used a lighter, no accelerant and succeeded in damaging her clothing not her skin; sounds an awful lot like the Trump supporter kicking a traditionally dressed Muslim woman in JFK airport shouting “president Trump will get rid of all of you.” Immigrants, an Uber driver, targeted by individuals who they have no idea how long they’ve been here, could have been in the country years, subjected to a profanity laced tirade as he drove his ride service vehicle, just for being Arab. Another white woman knocking over a baby stroller, containing among them a 15 month old toddler, of Muslim women; shooting of the New York Imam in the same category. Never mind that Imam (Islamic religious leader akin to Christian pastors or priests) shot and killed in New York City is dead for no other reason than he was an Imam, was Muslim, practiced Islam. Though he was not a radical, that mosque visited by practicing Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the former producing 1 terrorist the latter none; never once people, countries largely associated with terror. Crime against select minorities that spills over from ‘Muslim terrorists’ to other immigrant nationalities, ethnicities, religions having settled here doing nothing but living peaceful lives, holding jobs, raising families; easy targets because of their distinctive headwear, out of place here, traditional clothing… Hatred, violence, harassment, sadly far from reaching some born and bred American persons too; like the lupus patient who wears a scarf to keep the sun from her head, sunlight damaging to lupus suffers, mistaken for Muslim finding her car broken into while on a nature hike complete with nasty not stating in part the following: “Hijab wearing bitch this is our nation now get the f— out.” The Somali-American elected official who ran for office, won her election only to be called ISIS by her cabbie returning from a trip to the Whitehouse where he also threated to rip off her head covering; both instances highlighting profound prevailing ignorance since the scarves in question look like what numerous African Americans wear in every corner of the country easy, simple hair management, likewise seen throughout Africa to keep hair clean, keep sweat out of eyes, off your face, even removed from your head to carry items, what an older white lady might wear on a cold day, wear to church, not strictly associated with Muslims. American born Muslim persons who’ve rightfully earned positions of authority, chosen to be police officers, to protect and serve, attempting to show the positive side of Islam, that Muslims can be and are good people, harassed by a man for their headscarf…. Contrast this to actions taken to include Muslims, Sikhs and others, each allowed to wear their respective head coverings on New York City’s police force, Sikhs in the U.S. military, military colleges considering the hijab in applicants who want to come to their institutions; when a mother was suddenly shown hate in her neighborhood for being ‘obviously Muslim’, despite residing in the city 17 years, her community responded with love, children in one area put up posters, signs welcoming refugees. People across the country and the world donated to a go fund me page dedicated to rebuilding a Texas mosque vandalized by arson, including a Midwestern couple on vacation who hand delivered their donation personally, local entities pulling together to restore what was lost. An American boy reaching out to a little Syrian boy capturing the world and president Obama’s attention when he pleaded with him to let the little boy come live with him. Count the thousands who showed up at every major airport in the country changing let them go, holding signs saying refugees are welcome here, sentiments expressed long before president Trump’s actions; months before the ban, shortly after Trump’s election a Texas man stood outside of a mosque holding a sign not in protest, not it hate, fear or bigotry but expressing solidarity, telling Muslims you belong. Shattering every stereotype he is an older white man, gray beard, requisite cowboy hat, bringing us finally to something else, the Christians Trump says he’s prioritizing, doing this for, the values he claims he’s upholding in addition to our safety; they tellingly don’t like it, find it goes against their faith, the love they are meant to show to their fellow man, their fellow citizen, more than one harkening back to history, the Nazis what happened to Jews in the 1930’s—hmm….

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The Problem With “Female Bodies and Alcohol”: Stop Framing Campus Sexual Assault As A Drinking Issue—Agree To Disagree A Critique

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

We will do anything but teach alcohol education, consent education, legal definitions of rape… Also addressing changing public attitudes on key social issues like criminal responsibility while under the influence of substances, ‘I was high’ uttered by defendants or victims in court meant to explain why the gas station clerk was heinously shot during the commission of a robbery you admit to participating in, doesn’t cut it anymore. ‘I was high’ is no longer an excuse to why you can’t account for your whereabouts on the night in question for a crime to which you have pled not guilty, no longer explains away the vicious beating of your girlfriend. Bad trips, laymen’s terms for bad illegal drug reactions, have ceased to be an acceptable reason eliciting leniency from judges, jurors for extreme vandalism or otherwise seen as random attacks of persons on the streets, stopped being a blanket understood concept of ‘how can you expect me to be responsible for what I did,’ years ago. ‘I was drunk,’ long abandoned as a believable defense when causing death or injury to people with your car, motorcycle or boat, any kind of motor vehicle. And following historical lines in the modern era is fast becoming less of an excuse why it is ok to be judgmentally impaired enough to think raping someone is ok, then actually doing it. But equally for victims, it is unacceptable they can’t remember significant events surrounding the incident due to, not the drugs in their system, not the thing someone slipped into their drink, rather their alcohol consumption, again not liquor they were plied with by a predator, even coerced into drinking via peer pressure, ever popular drinking games everywhere you turn in college, instead willing alcohol ingestion, type of liquor (usually hard liquor) they indulged in. Nor is it wrong, seeing what’s clearly going on, to put out pamphlets talking about alcohol, even one titled ‘Female Bodies and Alcohol’ bullet pointing facts that weighing less, having less muscle mass than men and a different hormonal makeup, more hormonal fluctuations than men you metabolize alcohol differently may, and probably will, feel it’s effects sooner and more acutely, therefore need to drink accordingly. Neither is it overly condescending to begin a guide “We like to think men and women are equal in all things, right,” because they’ve been brought up all their lives to believe this, which socially is true and a message very much needed; however, that doesn’t apply to science, physiology, the basis for their information. Men and women are not equal when their bodies process alcohol…Gaging then campus response, appropriateness of that response is to likewise remember, even post Todd ‘legitimate rape’ Akin, how many high profile sex assault allegations, on campus rapes have been proven false, utterly made up. Going all the way back to the Duke lacrosse case to present day stories like Jackie’s, subject of the since retracted Rolling Stone article…And when it comes to athletes, high school, college and beyond they are natural targets due to their social status, wealth; Duke’s accused played lacrosse, Brock Turner was what, a swimming star, Steubenville assailants later convicted played what, football, the Massachusetts case receiving similar sentencing and attention involved a high school basketball star mirroring Derrick Rose, following in the dubious footsteps of Kobe Bryant off the court and found not liable in is on sex scandal case plays what, basketball. Now this could just as much be about athletes who think, because they are brilliant with a ball, gifted in a sport they are god and have narrowed their perception to seeing women as objects, or it could be some women are looking to be with an athlete, mad about rejection, seeking money. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle differentiated on a case by case basis. Prime example, convoluted story of Brian Banks, charged, tired and convicted as a promising 16 year old up and coming football star, sounds an awful lot like Steubenville doesn’t it; eventually cleared after 10 years, 5 in prison, 5 on parole, contact with the Innocence Project and an accuser recant, finally getting his dream football chance. Welcome to what victims, authorities and the, trying to discern it all, public are up against…. There are a thousand and one things wrong with how universities in general, Stanford specifically, handle sexual assault, handle under age, binge drinking, any issues cropping up involving mass student safety, learning and enrichment; this guide wasn’t one of them. Discouraging fellow members of the swim team, counterpart members of the women’s swim team from writing their own victim impact statements to the judge describing their own strange, creepy, uncomfortable encounters with Brock Turner, possibly speaking to sexually predatory behavior, evidence society may need to watch him long after this incident, proof he perhaps belongs on the sex offender registry rockets to the top of the list… UVA’s ‘don’t go to frat parities’ mandate stands out as the most condescending and offensive to women. Or officials blaming the campus newspaper for their decreased reporting in sexual assaults post their publishing stories of an associate professor’s sexual harassment and assault of students; University of Kentucky staff at The Kernel (the publications name) put forth it’s the exact opposite, more people are coming to Kernel staff because they distrust the university, awareness and reassurance it’s not their fault, they can speak up and receive support, justice helps too… But backing up a step, where are the fundamentals of personal safety, party safety, bar safety, concert safety we’ve tried to drill into our citizenry, focused on this age group, people who regularly frequent above venues? Let’s too dismiss the notion general party, personal safety rules, regardless of the guide’s wording, what it covered, is sexist; watching your drink, monitoring it being poured, not leaving it alone, applies to anyone looking at the increasing numbers of homosexual, bisexual, transgender, non-traditional encounters, situations showing that as the increasing norm… . To that end what were you doing, in the case of Brock Turner’s victim, unconscious behind a dumpster; not because you had been hit over the head, physically assaulted, robbed, not because you had something dropped into your drink, suddenly had a medical episode, heart attack, seizure, asthma attack, succumbed to meningitis you thought was the flu, are homeless and want a place un-harassed by the mean public to sleep, but because you had had too much to drink, have/had no awareness of alcohol’s effect on your unique body?… Massachusetts high school basketball player convicted of raping 2 girls and receiving only probation depicted 2 girls having gone to a bedroom to lie down, reading in between the lines, to sleep it off, and being penetrated with his finger as they slept. He denied touching one girl at all, apologized to the other as well as telling the court when she didn’t protest, he thought it was ok; victim precipitating his light sentence via her impact statement saying he didn’t want to ruin his life, didn’t think jail time was necessary, hints the light sentence everyone is blaming everything from bad judges, to ‘rape culture’ to ‘white privilege’ for. Except, rewind what were you doing sleeping in some strange house, post a house party, crawling off to a room surrounded by people you barely know, don’t know at all, drunk people you barely know, don’t know at all, likely without telling a soul where you were going to sleep thinking you would be safe?…Bringing us to St. Paul’s prep school and Owen Labrie, less about alcohol and more about non-existent safety instincts…You met a boy you were chatting online with, who went to your school true, on the roof of your school; online to real life meet up’s 101 meet in a public place, then later go on a date alone once you are around person X, sense if he is a threat or not, if he is who he says he is unlike the BYU student who met with and was then raped by a guy who lied about everything—age, marital status. Agreeing with the Salon link below, it has to be about women trusting their gut, young women developing that gut, those sets of protective instincts… lone felony related to using a computer to lure a minor, divulging the path to his lighter sentence. Vanderbilt’s headline making rape case, unquestioning these young men were despicable, especially confronted by accusations an ex-boyfriend orchestrated the whole thing, the 2 photo takers didn’t step up and ask what are you doing, hey stop this, sentence more fitting for the last one to be convicted, seeing the singular reason we know about this is surveillance footage. Yet we come around again to the redundant question of what were you doing so drunk you passed out to the point they could carry you around, drag you back to his room and not once did you wake up; remembering there are accusations the former boyfriend orchestrated and manipulated things, part of that manipulation however wasn’t drugging her drink…. common denominator alcohol, way past too much of it combined beside terrible instincts; underscoring the crystal clear, none of these excuse rape, should never excuse rape, but going back to dissecting the base article, certainly explains why there is such a guide, why Stanford is trying to limit alcohol and focusing on alcohol at all. It bolsters it was written exactly as it should have been, sexist, condescending or not, judging by behavior exhibited here…. It’s blatantly obvious we will do anything but talk to our kids about culturally relevant developments regarding drinking, particularly binge drinking, dangers of alcohol poisoning, party culture, sex, consent, even what constitutes a healthy relationship then we want to come down with the fury of god’s own thunder on young people, young boys/men repeatedly for things they didn’t do or say proliferated by social media in addition to legal charges they face…. First seeing widespread evidence of just that when the Steubenville saga began; Michael Nodianos’ sickening ranting video about an incident he wasn’t part of was attributed to both him as well as Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, though they never said any such things. Likewise every mean tweet calling her a wh*re, death threats for daring to charge her attackers that came from others landed on their shoulders….amplified when Ma’lik Richmond got out and his lawyer said patently offensive things upon his release from juvenile detention talking about how hard things had been for him…Forgotten, that’s his lawyer and part of his lawyer’s job in a high profile case like his is to present his client in the best light while he Ma’lik Richmond kept his head down and his mouth closed, no hint of criminal activity ever again years later. Identically Bock Turner’s father makes a comment about his son’s sentence, sex offender status, lifetime ban from swimming exc. being a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action and all the sudden we see the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, exactly where he got his views on women and sex, but he’s held accountable for his father’s words, he doesn’t control, the judge’s sentence he didn’t have anything to do with other than writing a statement, something every defendant in his position has the opportunity to do; no he’s not. He is solely responsible for what he did and the impact it had on his victim, society, more than enough to contend with… Because it’s not as if we’ve ever misconstrued a situation, more information through greater investigation trumped admittedly preliminary speculations on crime X committed by teen Y featured on the nightly news; wait that’s every modern case for 2 plus decades if it involves the latest heinous, depraved thing done by children/teens, drunk/high college students… On the other side a court just found Rolling Stone liable for the defamation of UVA’s college dean in reference to their story later retracted story “A Rape on Campus” and what happened to Jackie…. We will do anything but teach whether that’s sex education that includes conversations about healthy relationships, consent, too many conservatives afraid what students will actually learn about their own bodies… In direct opposition to alcohol education and how what you drink, what type/kind of liquor you consume affects your impairment level, we would prefer to stick to don’t drink your underage, don’t drink and drive you’ll die, because it’s simpler for us, doesn’t cover nuance or conflicting messages; never thinking to teach responsible drinking in preparation for when they are legally able to drink. In light of legalization in an increasing number of states marijuana education a-la what Colorado is doing, broadening it to a comprehensive explanation of the differences between all illicit drugs, their addictiveness, their danger to your body, impact of prescription drug abuse, instead of treating all illicit drugs equally, as the same kind of off the charts horrible, when teens find out that’s not true discarding every other thing you said. Oh no, absolutely not, on the contrary one California mother and police officer didn’t want her state to legalize pot because it will be more prevalent and challenging for kids to say no, though the legal age for recreational use will be identical to alcohol 21, most states have decriminalized 1-2 joint amounts, “there will be more people driving DUI, losing their lives”… Stanford bans alcohol in X quantity for select younger students, no one ever putting together k-12 education stops at 18, college students will turn 21 before graduating, maybe we ought to educate them on the differences in types of alcohol, gender differences and alcohol. Floating so much as the idea people getting sick, falling down, slurring their words is not responsible drinking; responsible drinking… returning again to the base article critique the author talks angrily and incredulously about, “What is frustrating in these ongoing campaigns, however, is the tone is almost always focused on what women can do to not get raped instead of how men can conduct themselves to not rape people.” As if it’s the simplest thing in the world, as if no decent person should ever have to be told this and it’s a sad commentary on society we do, when it’s so much more nuanced than that; here being where feminists and women’s rights activists earn parts on their bad name… 99% of the time we aren’t dealing with future sexual predators, budding serial, habitual rapists as much as drastically uninformed, misinformed young people; even Brock Turner whose behavior points to that possibility, it’s hard to know if he would never have done those things with a father who said more than his measly sentence was a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action. Ma’lik Richmond told the ABC interviewer what he thought rape was, jumping out of an alley and attacking a girl, forcing yourself on her in that context, saying he didn’t do that, elaborating later he didn’t rape anyone, see a rape going on and if he had seen one he would have stopped it. David Becker the Massachusetts high school student found guilty of rape sincerely told the judge he thought his victim’s lack of protest meant it was ok; if we want men, young men specifically to stop raping people, not to be rapists we have to give them an accurate definition, picture of what that is in all it’s facets, something we have yet to do, never mind effectively… We don’t have a rape culture in America we have a consent ambiguous culture whereby rape remains a crime on the books that is dutifully enforced, cases prosecuted and rapists put in jail every day; our problem is narrow social definitions of rape that haven’t caught up to real life scenarios, federal definitions and recent court cases…We operate on the ignorance is no excuse understanding to ensure ‘I didn’t know that’ doesn’t become a legal defense for any number of obviously illegal actions, stealing, killing, physical assault, rape where the person is fighting you, screaming, no, begging you to stop. But is it time to reexamine that in the shadow of Zach Anderson, what really happened in Steubenville, details surrounding David Becker producing that impact statement and persecutors went ahead with the rape, not a lesser degree charge, anyway, when adults are as unaware as their teens and teaching them wrongly, when education systems don’t, won’t teach these issues from a legal perspective believing it’s a family thing, the province and purview of parents to teach these values according to their moral compass, religion?… Surely we can and should do better by both women and men.Read More