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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

Hillary Clinton: The Gaffes That Weren’t There—Her Basket Of Deplorables Remark Defined The Line Not Crossed It And Her Temporary Health Is None Of Our Business

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

People where so busy focusing on the purported ‘millions’ she called deplorable they forgot to check statistical math proving her 100% truthful; and, since when does being a public figure, running for office, even the highest office, mean candidates have to report to the world every time they get a cold, the flu or, gasp, pun intended, pneumonia?… Elaborating there is this basket of depolrables and to her point, Trump has lifted them up, given them a voice, placed them in the mainstream and made their views acceptable to the determent of America and the values it was founded on, values fought for through the generations. Also, coming on the heels of a bad week, including continued conversations about her e-mail and growing scrutiny around the Clinton Foundation, allegations of pay for play access; it’s seen as the last thing she needed. Her ultimately walking back the number quantifier, not its sentiment, saying she was grossly generalistic and that’s never a good thing, continuing; it was a mistake to put such a large number to it. Same could be said for her initial not feeling well at New York 9-11 memorial remembrance events and subsequent fainting spell, a horrible capstone to a bad week politically, not only that it served to confirm every right wing conspiracy theory about her failing health, age-ed condition making her unfit to hold our highest office as president. From Karl Rove’s brain damage speculation, rumors she suffers chronic diseases, MS to Parkinson’s, hither to unfounded by more than a persistent cough she attributed to seasonal allergies. A ‘doctor’ who believes she’s being systematically poisoned, doubtlessly by the Russians who share documented culpability in hacking networks such as the DNC database pointing to election interference, attempts to influence our outcomes. To clusters of YouTube videos saying at least one major network announced her death post collapse, calling her reappearance from her daughter’s apartment 90 minutes later after rehydrating and being seen by her doctor fake, along with appearances 1-2 days before. But setting off a torrent of questions about what little we actually know about our top candidates’ health, 2 of the oldest runners for president and what the American people should know, be allowed to know, expect to know before reporting to their voting booth in November…However, do we really need to know about running mate Tim Kane’s broken clavicle (collar bone), dislocated shoulder, removed wisdom teeth, plantar fasciitis (An inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes)? Do we really need arm chair medicine on top of arm chair psychology from entities like Dr. Drew blasting the kind of care she was getting because she was on Coumadin (blood thinner) after a blood clot not newer Xarelto, Eliquis, even though he has never examined or treated her, does not know her medical history in full? And, advertisements for the latter drugs themselves say in their own commercials there is no comparative data between patients on Coumadin and better outcomes if they switch to Xarelto, Eliquis. Do we really need to know more than we already do about her leg blood clot, her 2012 concussion, about her hypothyroidism, sinusitis? Yet she somehow committed an egregious political, public relations faux pa by being diagnosed on a Friday with a mild walking pneumonia, and didn’t immediately dial up news outlets; dido when she fainted, not collapsed, not was on death’s door, let’s cut the hyperbolic adjectives. Upon fainting, instead of seeing to Mrs. Clinton, aides were supposed to be contacting ABC, NBC CBS, MSNBC, HLN, CNN, Fox News, the Washington Post and New York Times, not a um, let me think, doctor; do readers, never mind perpetuators of this need to know everything, including every time public figure X goes to the bathroom, gets a hangnail, stubs their toe, understand how ridiculous that sounds?… Still Hillary Clinton has ratchetted up her untrustworthiness by incalculable exponents because she got pneumonia and didn’t rush to tell voters, the media, hold a national press conference… Question, who doesn’t think the things Secretary Clinton, candidate Clinton listed are deplorable; sexism, particularly considering concepts floated around like rape culture, high school and college campuses riddled with sexual assault, opposing republican politicians who don’t support equal pay for equal work, who however subliminally, want to punish women for having kids, taking time off to raise those children in critical years then complain when parents don’t take that time and the kid turns out a criminal, ordinary citizens who endorse both views, think women should just work harder, college kids should stop drinking and high school girls shouldn’t wear ‘booty shots’ if they don’t want to be called a slut and worse. But Hillary Clinton, by running for office, has lost her rights to free speech, to call those ideas, and them deplorable…Returning to violence, rhetoric consisting of if only they hadn’t been armed, had complied with officers, if only they weren’t rioting, looting and acting like animals held up beside a jail who put a mentally ill, developmentally delayed man in general population then shut his water off after he ‘tried to flood the cell,’ next giving him no drinking water for 6 days until he eventually died of thirst. Another man beaten savagely when he didn’t want to be put in the mental ward of a jail, fearing being viewed a monster, fracturing his face, breaking ribs, puncturing his lung, one officer taking his ripped out dreadlocks, wanting them as a trophy for his motor cycle, finally fabricating injuries to justify their beating…Homophobia, and let’s be clear the level of homophobia we’re talking about, reaching far past individuals who say homosexuality isn’t for me, people who find it unnatural and strange, people who want it kept away from them; still as long as you don’t try to foist your lifestyle on them, try to come on to them, they don’t care, pretty much subscribe to live and let live, they don’t really understand transgender, what it feels like to feel you were born in the wrong body, but to each his own. She was talking, at a LGBT gala mind you, about disingenuous authors of bathroom bills mandating transgender persons use the bathroom corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate, in response to select municipalities in North Carolina adding sexual orientation and gender identity to their discrimination statutes…Described down home American citizens who did things like what was done to Mathew Sheppard tied to a fence and beaten solely due to being gay; Bandon Teena born female, living as a male in a time when transgender wasn’t a word, surgery and mental health help lightyears from readily available, forget expensive, discovered by friends of friends, forced to strip down revealing his biological sex, forced into a car, taken to a remote area, repeatedly sexually assaulted and later murdered for filing a police report on his assailants. For people believing that was another time, we’ve expanded our tolerance since then, agreements to disagree, if the bathroom bill eruption didn’t convince you of the contrary, there are people like the Georgia man sentenced to 40 years in jail for pouring boiling water on his girlfriend’s gay son and his boyfriend merely sleeping in bed together while saying “get out of my house with that gay shit” (it wasn’t his house it was hers); afterwards telling authorities, “They were stuck together like two hot dogs … so I poured a little hot water on them and helped them out, they’ll be alright. It was just a little hot water, they’ll be alright,” oblivious to horrific injuries he inflicted. A man in Australia who replaced containers of personal lubricant with acid; thankfully they had been tampered with before so alarms had been place on containers so no one was injured… Islamophobia, again being clear regarding extent expressed by Clinton in her comments, understanding of people’s heightened fear of terrorism, ISIS, legitimately concerned about sleeper cell possibilities in their neighborhood due to seeing so many on the news, a little or a lot nervous getting on an airplane because you never know… New York City police searching for a man after he attempted to set a Muslim woman on fire only catching her sleeve she quickly put out because she was Muslim and wearing standard conservative dress; let’s stop and digest that latter story, that an American tried to set someone on fire for their religion while we call a nebulous them barbarians, heathens holding archaic beliefs we’re willing to fight wars over. Children can get dumped out of their baby strollers by whites upset they are in their country, because they are Muslims; people who would be apoplectic watching David Muir’s ABC special including children being taught the traditional Muslim/middle eastern greeting (their version of hello how are you) to welcome their 6 year old classmate Hala a Syrian refugee child, not terrorist who is here because her home, her country are little more than a rubble heap… No, Chris Mathews sorry, it isn’t disparaging millions of Americans, wrong for her to call deplorable, deplorable, to define what she means by that and stick to her guns; when moving from isolated incidents and speculative evidence to nearly 60 percent of Trump’s supporters who hold “unfavorable views” of Islam, and 76 percent support a ban on Muslims entering the United States. We know that some 40 percent of Trump’s supporters believe blacks are more violent, more criminal, lazier, and ruder than whites. Two-thirds of Trump’s supporters believe the first black president in this country’s history is not American. These claims are not ancillary to Donald Trump’s candidacy, they are a driving force behind it to quote Ta-Nehisi Coats…Trump renounced his bitherism claims years before he did, who called Black Lives Matter racist. Donald Trump, who literally something like the day before, stated he was troubled by the Tulsa shooting where video shows a man with his hands up still getting shot, not surviving, saying he didn’t know what the officer was thinking, didn’t know if she was choking (as in panicking) the man seemed to be doing what officers wanted him to, doing everything right; only to announce ‘solutions’ of more police, stop and frisk, later limited to extremely violent areas i.e. Chicago… While Hillary Clinton is talking about funds for implicit bias training, aimed at ridding police officers of their engrained subconscious prejudices so they don’t take it out on the public they are to serve, less people get shot, killed holding benign objects mistaken for a weapon; greater police accountability, so when instances like Tulsa happen officers responsible are charged, tried, convicted and put behind bars…Completely ignored, were the other half of identified Trump supporters highlighted by Mrs. Clinton, the people who feel let by their government, let down by their nation’s economy she tried to reach as more than a ploy to win votes, but to say I haven’t forgotten you, I understand why you might vote for Trump, want to vote for Trump, help me understand more…Once and for all Hillary Clinton got pneumonia, not the bubonic, pneumonic plague, TB, she was never diagnosed with a serious long term, ongoing medical condition, MS, Parkinson’s Lou Gehrig’s disease, even diabetes; she has not died, isn’t dead. Her contracting pneumonia not surprising considering background information many Clinton campaign staff had contracted severe colds, 2 of them, not Clinton, hospitalized with repertory infections. Yes she originally told press around her her noticeable cough was due to seasonal allergies; that wasn’t campaign spin to hide a larger, ongoing health problem, a chronic condition she didn’t want the public to know about. It was her doctor’s initial diagnosis when she came to her with fatigue, a low grade fever and cough, was given a short course of antibiotics, probably due to her history of chronic sinusitis (an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses) presumably told to come back if symptoms got worse, wanting to see her in X days, weeks for a standard checkup. Upon said checkup symptoms remained, doctor heard congestion, opted to do an advanced chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia, ended up ruling it in; diagnosing her with a mild walking pneumonia, called such in layman’s terms because individuals with it can usually carry on with their daily activities, may not even know they have it. Advised rest and modification of her rigorous campaign schedule; advice Clinton admits to ignoring until she couldn’t ignore it anymore feeling ill at the 9-11 memorial, trying to discreetly leave, as not to disrupt proceedings, and fainted getting into her car. Never taken to a hospital, rather her daughters nearby apartment because, recognizing what this was, there was no need to sit hours in an ER, disrupt operations at a local urgent care clinic when your name is Hillary Clinton and you’re that Hillary Clinton; her doctor willing to come to her. Evaluating her, finding her dehydrated and in need of rest, probably embarking on a lecture about self-care, listening to your physician; candidate emerging 90 minutes later appearing fine, cancelling a California trip for that Monday, returning to campaign activities that Thursday, short of the 5 days respite doctors recommended…. It should be reassuring we now have a recent health history on Secretary Clinton, many of her public knowledge heath issues explained..It should be reassuring candidate Clinton, possible future president of the United States, is being treated by a professional, someone who exudes professionalism, who can navigate the exposure, status, publicity of her patient; it should be reassuring secretary Clinton’s minor, age commiserate health issues are under control, scrutinized by the watchful eye of a doctor, versus who knows what Harald Bornstein could be missing with Donald Trump, what tests he’s not allowed to perform being awed or intimidated, manipulated by his patient…But Hillary Clinton has always been judged on a different playing field trapped in republican bizarre-o world where effect video editing, making her head bob around spastically imitating a bobble-head doll proves she’s prone to seizures; her fondness for muumuus is concealing medical devices not in evidence or on the market, i.e. Veterans for Trump’s deep brain stem battery pack that counters her tremors…Nor was there any cover up, attempt to mislead people about the state of her health in saying she was merely overheated as opposed to ‘coming clean,’ not waiting 7 hours to announce she had pneumonia; not to overwhelm the tiny brains of republican conspiracy theory spinners, the presumed tiny brains comprising America’s voting populous, it was both. At the 9-11 memorial she was dehydrated, overheated and thus fainted; said dehydration, overheating possibly due to underlying pneumonia, anti-biotics taken, but not necessarily or always…voters seeming to be on her side in developing pneumoniagate believing Hillary Clinton will be fine. Candidate Clinton’s forced sick days should have sparked a completely different conversation, set of conversations before she brought it back to the campaign trail—what millions of sick people, workers in the freelance economy, minimum wage job holders, to small business owners do in this country when they can’t take off from work to mind and care for their health, when they are already living paycheck to paycheck and they can’t afford to miss a paycheck or their rent won’t get paid, their lights won’t stay on, reality for multitudes of hard working Americans. When you, like she, can’t flake on a round table of foreign policy experts, a big product rollout, a months’ long prepared presentation, fundraising events if you want the financial capital to achieve your goals in getting to the Whitehouse to make a difference for average Americans, such as the one your mother was coming up for very little. Your boss doesn’t stop expecting you to make the company money because you’re sick; you can’t miss the region wide sales rep conference. What people do when they don’t have health insurance, when their employer isn’t large enough under Obamacare to be mandated to provide health coverage options, when you can’t afford to see a doctor; how minor infections and would-be simple outpatient, same day surgical procedures become costly ER visits, complicated surgeries, lengthy stays in the hospital, as whatever it is can no longer be ignored. Why people in stable jobs, budding careers or even long time workers at company X don’t take sick days in this country, even if they have them, let alone a vacation fearing for their job, being passed over for a promotion. Studies showing working overtime can kill you, shorten your lifespan, triples risk of major deadly diseases; heart disease, cancer, diabetes…many of those same health problems noted in the overtime story, especially again, for women. Salon author’s self-deprecating assessment he shoehorned Hillary’s pneumonia into a policy examination, policy article because he is an exclusive political writer aside, his question is valid and his answer just as important as her medical records, arguably more so, in terms of things that should be driving our election decisions this election cycle. What would the Trump health plan do to struggling Americans who have health coverage for the first time in their adult lives thanks to Obamacare, uphill battling millennials in the freelance economy who can look after their health while young potentially avoiding huge problems down the line, but that all goes away with his promised repeal of the Affordable Care Act, whose largest selling point is then insurance companies’ ability to sell insurance policies across state lines…. Uniquely ironic Donald Trump talking about transparency whether it be Clinton’s health or his taxes, the hiding behind an audit every expert says doesn’t prevent him from disclosing past, current tax information, then telling people what it doesn’t tell readers about a person’s finances, lastly settling on people just aren’t that interested in his tax returns. Secondary to why we need to see his tax returns, investigative journalists want to know and the public needs to know about any potential conflicts of interest, particularly with say Russia, documented business holdings in China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates weighed beside legal fact he is not required, should he win the presidency, to set up a blind trust…Coating on another layer of shady adding to stories on contractors and lower level workers not paid for building Trump buildings, numerous lawsuits being the final outcome, accusations he encouraged models to work in America illegally, to skirt immigration laws, questions about his own wife’s immigration to America, work status when she first came into this country…. When the barest minimum investigative journalism turned up tangible wrongdoing in which Trump donated to the attorney general campaign of one Pam Bondi in Florida fined by the IRS for his trouble, fine failing to address optics he did so to preempt her investigation of Trump university affiliates there. Trump who hasn’t put any of his personal money into his named charity since 2008, him using other people’s money to make donations, causing them to think it came from Trump. Using funds from his charity to buy a Tim Tebow helmet for himself, a 6 foot portrait of himself, using charity funds to pay off business debts, even to collect debts from others, how people basically got duped into ‘giving’ so much to his foundation; things so bad the New York attorney general is opening an investigation. This is on top of a mirroring investigation into exposed Trump University running a for-profit model using predatory sales tactics to get people to go into debt, give up savings to attend near meaningless classes, where he famously insulted the judge for ‘being of Mexican descent’ despite being born and raised in Indiana…Whereas Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort resigned when extensive ties to Russia were revealed and that’s not the one who just resigned for racist comments; his current campaign manager is a member of the alt. right, extreme right wing conservatives, white supremacies and was once accused of domestic violence…to quote one commenter on one of many articles about Clinton’s health, political optics and the absurdity this has all taken on, “Honestly, watching the response to this has shown me why she lies. There’s no longer reason to tell the truth.” More accurately reflecting expressed sentiment, we see now why she doesn’t disclose any more personal, health information than she absolutely has to; there is no reason to be that open, vulnerable, ‘transparent,’ ‘honest,’ ‘trustworthy.’ Because, people are going to make it up, draw their own conclusions, create their own reality no matter what you tell them or don’t. Read More

This Is The Future Of Our Elderly, Disabled And Hearing Impaired To Be Beat Up, Shot At And Killed By Police

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Public awareness of these frightening, horrific and uncalled for encounters with police by the differently abled, possible dementia cases, developmentally delayed and deaf persons really began on a national scale highlighting what happened to Marlene Pinnock, 51 at the time, allegedly stopped by California highway patrol for walking unsteadily and too close to busy freeway traffic; savage beating by patrol officer caught on passerby cellphone initiated when she purportedly would not comply with instruction to come with him, taken in for her own safety. Short while later released from mandatory psychiatric hospitalization, exhibiting no signs of cognitive impairment, dementia, mental instability, emotional distress, no evidence there had ever been such symptoms; making the officers claim seem bogusly made up, an excuse to beat her for non-compliance. Independent having broken no laws, not being found violating any city, county, municipality ordinances, sans having any outstanding warrants and no real danger to self or others, there was no legal obligation for that compliance. Next galvanized in an Indian grandfather visiting his son thrown to the ground and partially paralyzed owing to he fit descriptions reported to 9-1-1 of a suspicious person and didn’t speak English well…It both follows and is followed by cases like an older homeless man in Florida harassed and assaulted by law enforcement for simply trying to use bus terminal public toilets, including an open handed slap loudly heard on captured cellphone video and literally shoving him into brick pavement, officer getting more belligerent than his ‘loitering perp’ swearing when the latter asked not to be touched, then roughly hauling him away….Nothing seen as more despicable ordinarily than picking on the mentally ill, developmentally delayed; equally understood, challenges faced by officers dealing with mentally ill individuals in potentially dangerous situations. Yet that doesn’t explain how unarmed Ezell Ford, known throughout his neighborhood by everyone to be a bit slow, have mental health issues, ended up shot in the back, if he was such an overwhelming threat to police. Especially when they encountered Ford doing standard neighborhood patrol, deciding he was suspicious, for avoiding them and having his hands in his pockets, hiding behind cars present area wide when scrutinized; cops then chase and grab Ford, him grabbing back, wrestling match ensues, officer statements alleging Ford tried to pull one officer’s gun resulting in both officers firing their guns, one being a back-up weapon. Eye witnesses contradicting polices’ story saying he was shot while laying down, another claiming to have heard an officer shout “shoot him” before Ford was indeed shot 3 times; encompassing noted controversial single shot to his back, found to be at close range evidenced by its distinctive gun muzzle imprint on/in the wound….Unexpected dangers encountered being a cop certainly doesn’t nullify hearing about the unnecessarily lethal outcome of a man, suspected schizophrenic and bipolar, whose mother called police during pre-dawn hours of one morning because his behavior increasingly scared her; when they arrived he began wielding a broom, standard household variety, and confrontation ended with him shot dead. Surpassing what threat Lavall Hall represented waving around a described old red broom with straws against cops carrying guns and perhaps tasers, is police weren’t unfamiliar with Hall, the home or family address; why, Hall was documented mentally ill, had been out of a psychiatric facility barely a week. In fact they had been to her home and escorted him to that mental health facility the week before, him having been properly released from in-patient care which is how he came to be back in his mother’s home. Worse his mother calling them believing, not that her son would be shot, arrested, manhandled, merely taken back to the previous facility, perhaps kept longer this time… Family lawyer’s hope, to see changes regarding how the mentally ill are treated; equally hoping law enforcement there will adopt the FBI’s standard system approaches when confronting, handling emotionally disturbed, mentally ill individuals. Those high on drugs representing a persistent problem for law enforcement, carrying the same unpredictability, penchant for possible public and officer injury, such as the woman who frantically dialed 9-11 driving on a highway in her car because her son was hallucinating, violent, threatening to both self as well as others after taking synthetic marijuana. Strangely 1:48 seconds into physical efforts on the part of officers to control him, restrain him he says ok, I quit; as in I give up, still tased another 4 minutes…. Only after he stopped moving completely did they notice he wasn’t breathing; her son ending up dead at that very scene, simultaneously an officer heard on body cam footage saying dude, I’m fired man, at another point high fiving fellow officers once he’s loaded into an awaiting ambulance. Worrying about your job not the 30 something year old person, who was conscious and physically well when you arrived, if not coherent, who is now not breathing, soon to be pronounced dead; story breaking May 20, 2016. Officers facing no suspensions, hailed to have done the right thing since Chase Sherman, death ruled a homicide by virtue of the number of taser activations and crushing weight compressing his torso, remains an identified perpetrator, not the victim, police officials naming officers and his parents victims of him having taken illegal/unregulated drugs… Overshadowing core issue of drugs doesn’t unravel what police were thinking handling transpired events unfolding in final video here, also surfacing this year, showing Virginia man Linwood Lambert in route to a local hospital for evaluation after responding officers found him in a trashed hotel room hallucinating and acting paranoid… Things go wrong however at the hospital entrance area where he kicks out the police car’s window, begins running to escape police, making it to hospital doors, banging his shoulder into them before being tased repeatedly, falling to the ground, admitting to having done cocaine, asking why they were trying to kill him, complies with instructions to roll over, tells them as he moves he’s trying to roll over, remember he’s handcuffed. But instead of being escorted into the hospital for medical treatment, mental evaluation, given a room/bed in which to come down, sober up (medical version of the city/county drunk tank) they load him back into the car, tase him at least once more, upset he refuses to sit up, despite both hands and feet being bound, in route to the precinct; plan, book him for their car’s vandalism, Lambert having stopped breathing at some point during his ride. Prosecutor calling police actions incompetent and negligent still deciding against filing charges predominately because his cause of death is listed in autopsy documents as acute cocaine intoxication, not noted taser wounds implicating police conduct in his death. Nor did they show intent to commit felony level crimes, misconduct…Chronology of police inexplicable, jaw dropping behavior culminating in footage of a black man lying on pavement, on his back, hands exaggeratedly up in the air announcing he is a behavioral therapist for a group home and the autistic man he is attempting to help, bring back to his care facility is merely holding a toy truck, only to be shot anyway. Even more astounding is why, both why police were called to the scene and why an officer took a shot at the man trying to help his developmentally challenged charge, how doing so got him shot in the hip….Ultimately the officer firing his wounding shot doing so because he thought said autistic man represented a threat to the prostrated man on the ground… shot fired partially due to confusing, conflicting information regarding what was actually happening on the side of that road, in that parking lot; audio revealing one officer thought, the autistic male 23, was loading up his ‘weapon,’ scene chaos and consequences resulting in the scene commander’s expedient firing compounded by fabricating his police report… Mirrored in stories like our next one, police shoot deaf man who leads them on minutes’ long chase to his front door, then as he tries to use ASL (American Sign Language) to communicate is fired upon, killing him; that’s their story and they’re sticking to it in North Carolina where the young father’s family and community want answers. Daniel Harris’ alleged heinous crime, mandating he be shot dead in his own driveway feet from his home, failing to stop, be pulled over for a speeding ticket….Unknown is if officers tried to use a bull horn, turning their lights on and off to get his attention, as opposed to the familiar rotated flashing of those light-bars affixed to hoods on traditional police cars, important considering somewhat common knowledge flashing lights are adapted to phones, doorbells, smoke alarms to alert deaf persons to incoming calls, visitors, and fire providing another way to get his attention. Did the car that pulled over Daniel Harris have a routine bar of lights or was it newer configurations with flashing lights in a different place, similar to where they would be on police motor cycles, built into the headlights of an SUV type vehicle, making them less likely to be seen when you can’t hear. Did they pull up alongside his car, letting him see the lights, uniforms, motion for him to pull over, try to pass him, get in front of him, lights flashing, alerting him maybe cops need to talk to him, are trying to interact with him, before just following him?… By this time you were probably shouting orders for him to put his hands up, get down on the ground, answer your questions; did you not catch minor details e.g. he was dazed, confused, clearly not comprehending what you wanted from him, translating in your mind to he was either drunk or high, which would also explain the speeding. Indicating you should slow down, be patient, cautious yes, but defaulting to your gun, no? Did he at any time point to his ear trying to tell you he either couldn’t hear you, didn’t understand you, perhaps, though he appeared Caucasian, default assumption automatic US citizen, he doesn’t speak English? Educated guess no on every count because it never entered their mind the person driving could be deaf/hearing impaired, that hearing impaired people do drive…Beyond the pallor attached to ideas exposed in the previous paragraph, police now shoot drunk or high people, those they merely suspect of being drunk or high, as they did with Daniel Harris, because they don’t want to deal with them, they are at fault, guilty, underserving of being treated like a human being, let alone a citizen, due to being drunk/high, are worthless drains on society due to their intoxication/addition, forfeit their rights by abusing alcohol, being addicted to drugs. Understanding that’s not how policing should go, officers are not to be judge, jury and executioner, drugs aren’t new, difficulties in handling persons high on an ever changing array of substances isn’t new; what is new is police impatience, defaulting to their guns in handling people obviously impaired, the social narrative resurfacing past ‘the war on drugs’ making that impairment why misdemeanor criminal X is dead during routine interactions with police, graduating to upstanding members of our citizenry…. Nevertheless Chase Sherman and Linwood Lambert are dead because both had a bad drug trip in the presence of law enforcement, also not new occurrences for police to come across; one continued to move trying to escape pain and discomfort from a taser, being cramped in a back floorboard, at one point sobbing. And the other, already observed to be paranoid, got scared, broke a car window and tried to escape into the hospital he was being escorted to, taser deployment making him think you were trying to kill him and he still follows instructions, but gets tasered again because he won’t (can’t) sit up trussed up like Sunday chicken, mainly because you are annoyed, he represents an inconvenience, more paper work you have to file….Drug addicted, influenced and impaired people can be brought in alive, safely to either face trial for use, possession of illegal substances, criminal acts to support a habit, violence, vandalism, property damage committed in an altered state, or better still, receive help; we saw that when the DJ Avicii concert devolved into a bunch of molly hopped up kids too intoxicated to get into the venue who were then taken to Boston hospitals, none died unless it was from chosen drugs, despite one person it took 4 cops to subdue, as little as 2 years ago. Bath salts ‘excited delirium’ cases who were successfully apprehended alive and only suffering effect of the substances ingested do exist; as do K2 users rounded up by the cops, like the 30 odd zombie-like people wondering Brooklyn New York… Pepper spraying an 84 year old grandmother, we can all agree on how over the top that is can’t we; especially when she’s not even the target of police investigation, arrest, when officers kicked in her door, the door to her rightful residence. Try telling that to Oklahoma police, heightened absurdity looking for a man who ran a stop sign, then fled police running into her home. Even if they thought his running a stop sign meant he was a wanted criminal on a much greater crime as opposed to he just didn’t see it, being black knows the reputation of police nationally, locally and doesn’t want to die tonight, even if they though he ran into her home looking to barricade himself, take hostages, which sounds like something out of an action movie, not reality, saw it as a rescue mission for home owner X… Assuming police get it right in the first place which they always don’t; how many times have they gone to the wrong house for a drug raid, bounty hunters looking for a bail jumper accosted the Arizona police chief. In another case police got the wrong house answering a 9-1-1 call about a woman screaming; according to occupants police didn’t announce themselves, shone a light into the couples bedroom window, their dogs were ‘going crazy’, husband grabs gun, goes to open his garage to see what has his dogs upset, thinking potential intruder no doubt, is shot by cops. Or the man who calls 9-1-1 to report an attempted car-jacking, robbery against his wife, grabs his legal pistol to defend her, is shot by police mistaking him for the perp, despite giving a clear description…they didn’t (get it right) in Victoria Texas circa 2014 when an officer pulled over, then tased a 76 year old man for a non-existent expired sticker violation accusing citizen X of getting nasty with him even though citizen X was driving a dealer car exempt from current inspection sticker statutes, realities he tried to point out to the then 23 year old officer fired early 2015, planning appeal. Only to be hired approximately 2 months later by a different police department…Policing doesn’t have to be, shouldn’t be shoot first and ask questions later, nor does it have to be a constant nerve racking set of unknowns once you are on scene…Read More

“When I Grew Up, Those Things Weren’t Called Racist”: Clint Eastwood On Why He’s Voting For Donald Trump—A Critique

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Who could forget last election cycle Clint Eastwood’s, viewed strange, monologue recitation to a chair meant to represent president Obama? Where he, among general observations standing out, mumbled frequently and filled gaps repeating the word uh a lot; impersonated our sitting, then up for reelection (obviously), president interrupting him, telling candidate Romney, our intrepid speaker of the hour both to shut up at several points. Purported the suggestion Mr. Romney go f- himself; imaginings president Obama told Eastwood he too could go f- himself at another juncture, after saying something he wouldn’t like…People back then generating predictable mixed reactions, from viewers, analysts who thought it was republican swill to about time, a larger swath seeing the prolific actor, director, even composer as fragile, senile and out of his depth. Yet, considering Eastwood’s personal politics, shaking off reserved shadows once again sharing his views, it was little surprise he was back this year commenting on, even going so far as to assuage people’s curiosity telling readers he was voting for Donald Trump; however, it was his additional comments on society today that raised eyebrows. In an interview for Esquire he said of Trump and current culture in general, title lines spawning Salon’s piece and subsequently mine: “When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist.” Pontificating everyone was walking on eggshells and how Trump was onto something because people are secretly tried of political correctness, kissing up, calling such actions the kiss-ass generation, elaborating: “we’re really in a pussy generation.” Not included either by Eastwood himself, the Salon or Esquire authors so much as a singular example describing exactly what he alone has been called out for regarding racism, sexism, what he believes are over the top examples of political correctness calling something racist or sexist when it isn’t. We could be talking fan uproar swirling around black Hermione in stage adapted Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was actually more about author JK Rowling’s character/casting inconsistencies, constant contradicting trickle down information pieces, characters’ background tidbits that don’t match series norms never mind shattering fan generated images accompanying their beloved Potter-verse. Or we could be talking substantive elements, without more information we’ll never know…or doesn’t recognize it, partly due to his age, times he did grow up in, where American once was. Renowned actor breaking down his thoughts on Trump comments voiced disparaging the judge overseeing Trump University lawsuit proceedings, calling attacking said judge’s Mexican heritage and suggesting that renders him unfit to decide outcomes pertaining to his case from a fair, legal-based standpoint merely a stupid thing to say. Directly afterwards highlighting both sides say a lot of them (stupid things); stating everybody, press were making a big hoodoo out of it when they should just f-ing get over it…We can’t just f-ing get over it because, he isn’t you, he isn’t just an actor, a however good one with untold credits to their name and a stellar reputation. He is vying for the highest office in the land, completing job application materials toward hopefully becoming commander in chief demanding a higher standard of conduct, conversation; and he speaks this way about our melting pot country, on countless fundamental topics not simply immigration…. . Unfortunately, we can’t just f-ing get over it; we must repudiate it because, Trump has already gotten as far as he has encountering few stumbling blocks. Because it sounds too much like Phil Robertson, who closed 2013 comparing homosexuality and bestiality, as if they were one in the same, and said he never saw an unhappy black person picking cotton circa the Jim Crow south. His failure to recognize, in his decrying entitlement, welfare, purposefully creating a population of second class citizens, second class human beings with whites only eateries, public restrooms, drinking fountains, public bus seats, schools was, is and always will be wrong. Reiterating, Donald Trump’s comments, satisfying though they may be to his avid listeners, were and always will be wrong as well, regardless who endorses them, supports them, and by extension him, encourages others to do so…. Confronting Eastwood’s asserted assessments, dismal stated descriptions of current American culture, it’s not rampant political correctness gone awry, social sensitivity run amuck hamstringing people so completely they can’t tell the needed, uncomfortable truth to expect people running for public office, particularly our nation’s highest office, reaching bona fide nominee status, certified by voters, to have their facts straight… Nor is it political correctness on steroids, gone horribly wrong, kissing up, walking on eggshells to dare require of political leaders, known names, influential persons understanding their words have increased power, significant weight. To that end, they should be careful with them comprehending; quoting Hillary Clinton, words matter. Following up another Salon piece challenging Republican surrogate Anne Coulter needs a dictionary along with her nominee, exclaiming words mean things. Added to their list ‘sarcasm,’ ‘rape’ and ‘legitimate,’ focusing less on whether Trump confused sarcasm and hyperbole, ‘just kidding,’ ‘obviously I was joking’ and ‘I was being sarcastic’ can’t be excuses for ideas, suggestions he’s put forth publicly talking, however quasi seriously, to America’s citizenry or foreign governments, leaders alike… We are not living in a kiss ass, never mind pussy generation to be taking stock of our wars Afghanistan, Iraq, Libyan intervention and the cost beyond dollars. Thinking maybe we should do something different, maybe if we stopped bombing their country they would stop trying to kill us. Or, on the other hand, seeing on nightly national news evidence supporting chemical weapons attacks on Syrian civilians and we do nothing because it’s too expensive to get involved, we’re weary of the fight? Syrian kids creating their own no-fly zone burning tires while apologizing to environmentalist for global impact saying we abandoned them. Here at home taking stock of our political discourse, social conversation and the divisiveness, unrest it leads to, social injustice it allows to continue festering… Eastwood eerily close to mirroring Trump, synchronized on how they view government function, how to get maximum function out of it; evidenced listening to his monologue 4 years ago Salon link below illustrating quite nicely both are utterly clueless…. Except they correctly explicate what flies over the heads of both Eastwood and Trump, America’s government is not a corporation, a president is not CEO and he can’t wave a magic wand, bombastically declare from a speech podium, floors of congress what he wants done and expect worker bees to scatter in all directions hastily making it happen. That description belongs to a dictatorship al-a Vladimir Putin, Kim Jung Un, government controls in China; although, who exactly did talk about shutting down ‘that internet thing?…. Now this time around Trump his, CEO of a company ideas, is the candidate; Scott Baio and Antonio Sabàto Jr. speaking to their generations, Willie Robertson to his all supporting a guy who doesn’t know how the government works. And, Salon hitting another nail on the head, since people listen to actors, television personalities more than they listen to high school civics, social studies, history, government teachers, we’re poised to elect someone, by choice, who doesn’t know how the government works; scarier than Clint Eastwood’s hair, voice, strange monologue, political persuasions or the reasons for them…
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Anger At Jesse Williams’ BET Awards Speech And Outcry Over Political Comedy Betrays An Anxiety Around Discomfort— A Critique

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

To many he blew the doors off the house with said speech upon accepting a humanitarian award, applauded for taking the opportunity to make meaningful public commentary on something as impactful and profound as the devolving state of continued police brutality on minority communities, particularly the black community. Being a member of the black community, doing it as well as the Harvard graduation speech also going viral online earlier this summer, graduation speeches earning standing ovations, national recognition, and for good reason. This of course brought out the haters who thought he should be fired from his gig on Grey’s Anatomy for being anti-white, circulating a petition to that effect; basis of the petition seeming to be, had a white person said the same things about African Americans they would have been globally chastised and expediently Fed- Xed to the unemployment line, relegated to answering want ads, virtually black listed and rightly so. Especially considering the fickle nature of his profession and that one little wrong move can derail your career in Hollywood, being deemed difficult to work with or one big movie flop, one lack luster performance, suddenly no one wants you. In this case citing precedent on the Grey’s set, who could forget of course, Isiah Washington’s very public firing and removal of character Preston Burke after Washington made a homophobic slur to fellow cast member, at the time, TR Knight referring to his as faggot. Orientation of Shonda Rhimes, Grey’s Anatomy creator’s politics aside, never mind what Williams said about race and police while being ‘anti-white and anti-law enforcement’ was 99% true and needed to be said; what he said wasn’t a slur of any kind rather a frank, blistering assessment of the way things still are, an example of the work still needing to be done, how far we still have to go…Few however alighting on what the true firestorm should have been about: the redundant, unhelpful indictment of his own community taking on a new face; the hypocritical indictment of white people willing, trying to help after seeing with their own eyes videos describing, detailing what minorities have said for years, having had the scales taken form their eyes, so to speak, finally beginning to think what if that was me, my child, my sister, my brother, aunt, uncle, friend. And he repays them with that speech, after years of begging, pleading, imploring whites to find their conscience, see blacks, other ethnicities as human beings, as equals, not animals, chattel, see and acknowledge the injustices visited upon blacks by police, employers, those who should be their fellow citizens, they start to and he rewards their effort with that speech….How is it that someone did not stand up from the BET awards audience and tell him just as ‘eloquently’ where he could stick his thoughts on the ‘right’ way and the ‘wrong’ way to wear ‘black identity,’ the ‘right’ way and the ‘wrong’ way to represent ‘black’ identity,’ represent the African in African American, grabbing that award trophy away and breaking it over his obviously too thick, fame inflated head or at his feet, whichever is non-lethal while imparting the same powerful lesson. There isn’t just one way to encapsulate a culture, an ethnicity, a community, and if you have to start your commentary, your work telling whomever it is you’re endeavoring to help to look more like this, don’t do that and start doing this, you are precisely the wrong person to be receiving a humanitarian award, the wrong person to be speaking to, or on behalf of, ethnicity issues, regardless of your skin color, if your skin color matches those you’re trying to reach, make understood to the rest of the world… the problem with Jesse Williams’ speech isn’t that I have heard spoken word poetry done better, though I have; my skinny, white high school writing teacher read Sekou Sundiata’s Space to classes year after year with more great oratory befitting a single, underrepresented ethnicity, in literature or elsewhere, than any aspect of Mr. Williams’ delivery that night. Nor that there is a palpable anxiety around discomfort in our supposedly increasingly coddled culture of safe spaces; though I have no idea if that’s the core reason their named conservative targeted him or attacked comedy ‘because it was no longer fitting into the mold of almost totally white and acceptable excluding all previously fringe portions of society.’ And the reason I don’t care about either 2 items is because there is so much more to care about; the bright red bullseye problem with what Jesse Williams said in his BET acceptance speech is it’s the same old repackaging of black respectability politics that never really went away in the first place…. It smacks too much of Bill Cosby shouting down the kids who weren’t getting shot down for political reasons, but got shot for stealing pound cake when we knew it was about so much more than pound cake, Coca Cola; asking where parents crying at their child in an orange jumpsuit were at 2, 12 and 18, how they missed their child had a pistol, when he should have been asking why trained police felt it ok to shoot anyone in the back of the head for suspicion of petty crime. Knowing full well a staggering percentage encompassing those absentee, clueless parents were probably incarcerated on varying degrees of legitimate charges, virtually assassinated in the street not by thugs, bangers, gang members committing drivebys, rather by police before we knew names like Eric Garner—Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, the newest names added to the carnage since Jesse Williams decided to channel Cosby in front of a microphone trying to tell it like it is… Mr. Jell-O…Irony of a man telling kids to pull up their pants who couldn’t keep his zipped and needed to drug women to get them into bed despite his celebrity status, probably committed the far greater crime, than expecting things handed to you, sagging your pants or blaming ‘the system’ for your own failures—rape, fathering at least one child out of wedlock while bashing women for having 8 kids by 8 different fathers simultaneously amassing 20 mistresses, paying hush money to protect his stellar image was lost on all of no one… No, Jesse Williams shouldn’t be fired for his provocative poetry, neither should he be lauded for it, but like Bob Costas, Lawrence O’Donnell and Ed Shultz in late 2012 emphatically insisting if Jovan Belcher had not owned a gun, i.e. had guns not been so easy to get, he and Kasandra Perkins would still be alive, he deserves to be called out for getting it horribly wrong in crucial ways, for too quickly jumping on the bandwagon of respectability politics run by those who came before him to the same disastrous results, resorting to discussions on pound cake, sneakers, vernacular instead of the issue…Or in Williams’ case, why name brand clothes are bad for blacks and blacks alone: because slavery… How easily he dismisses for all the “Burying black people out of sight and out of mind, while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil—black gold. Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them.” Those who happily line up to be ‘stolen from’ ‘exploited,’ who don’t see it as exploitation and shouldn’t; to make money and do well showcasing your culture all of it, the good, the bad, the ugly, the raw, real places people come from, come up from and come out of informing people and creating a good life for you and yours, fluffing the economic 11th commandment: giving your children better than you had, the 11th commandment for the impoverished: get the heck out of the projects. The ‘white’ people who work at record labels, similar venues who aren’t racist or exploitive making the same money helping back people tell their stories through their music, their clothing, their business venture, and what pray tell is wrong with that again, other than you don’t like it… . It reminds me of a white college English professor I had who told the story of her little boy also ethnically completely white (no more than 8) who liked talking in black vernacular was very free in church, things she tried to discourage him out of lest he be called a racist, accused of the same, wrong, bad form, exploitive cultural appropriation; let’s make that sit down and for good measure shut up… Jesse Williams is the type of person, at least in his identity politics, who makes people feel they aren’t black enough, loyal to the cause enough if you don’t do certain things, arrange their life a certain way, accused of cozying up too closely to oppression otherwise…deemed uneducated fools in the streets who will never reach their full potential thanks to their habits. And if this is not Jesse Williams, if this was not his message, why did he give that speech and give it that way; if I’m reading this wrong and his not touting respectability politics with a side note or 2 on other issues, then why give that speech, why the lines about brands on our bodies, why the lines about gentrifying genius, extracting dollars like oil, black gold? If it meant something else, other than telling black people the evils of money, to focus on something else, never saying what, acting like we should all be in sack cloth and ashes until such a time as what, he never clarified either, then why did it hit my ears and so many others that way, why engage the argument that way at all, why not the line about Tamir Rice and stop, giving people more to think about on top of it?Read More

Dallas was Wrong But Completely Unsurprising

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Echoing, Baltimore, Ferguson what did you expect; 2 people gunned down savagely by police with badges and you didn’t think there would be a reaction, a response, predictably a violent one, retaliation aimed at officers? commiserating with citizens over their justifiable anger toward police after a grand jury declined to indict the lead officer responsible for the chokehold ultimately killing Eric Garner. Where we had video showing exactly what the officer did: initiating the pile up atop a man trying to walk away, saying please don’t touch me, asking over and over why police were bothering, harassing him, later smiling and waving to present cameras after seeing the man he arrested carted off in an ambulance unresponsive, exactly what Garner did: passively pulling away, growing agitation not violence, his labored statements repeating 11 times I can’t breathe while officers continued to kneel on him, hold him down, press his head and body into the sidewalk. And again no charges; replacing charges, the unmitigated gall of a police union representative trying to insult everyone’s intelligence by calling what one of their own had done a seatbelt maneuver. Going back a short ways again to Ferguson, when bumbling Mayberry-esque law enforcement top brass couldn’t even get their stories straight on why they stopped Michael Brown, was it jaywalking or was it he fit the description of robbery suspects potentially guilty of stealing $4.88 in mini cigars, let alone why a lone officer pelted him with bullets, the last literally blowing off his forehead. Didn’t stop them from releasing an inflammatory video of a person committing a strong armed robbery speculated to be Brown; then seeming genuinely confused regarding why they had people looting everything that wasn’t nailed down… The only reason Michael Slager was charged in the savage, man with a badge, induced death of Walter Scott was because civilian video shows him running away and Slager lying through his teeth about administering CPR, rifling his pockets instead; the only reason the other South Carolina officer, who shot a man in the hip, was removed from his department and charged is because his own dash cam shows the man non-violent, actually following officer instructions to show license and registration. Both arrests the products of public pressure, intense scrutiny and protest to hold police accountable than an inherent understanding what they did was wrong, should never have happened. Video not always working to bring justice, glaringly obvious in the death of Tamir Rice, independent of a patrol car rolling up on him and within quite literally 3 seconds they open fire, despite 12 year old Tamir being alone in that gazebo, only after video came out did they say they told him to put his hands up, drop his ‘gun’ from the car; one guesses because there was no audio and other people in the public park it gave the grand jury reasonable doubt, translation the redundant no indictment… Speeding us toward right now Baton Rouge Louisiana, Alton Sterling suddenly tackled to the ground by police, held down to the ground by 2 officers, one pointing a gun at his chest yelling, using expletives, threating him not to move until the other officer yells gun, 2 distinct pops and Alton Sterling is now expediently dying on the parking lot pavement…A single day later Philando Castile’s deadly traffic stop live streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend as it happened, as Castile groaned in pain and bled out right there while the officer continues to point his gun at her awaiting backup. Why, because the officer mistook Castile for a possible robbery suspect and panicked when he reached for his ID as instructed all while trying to tell the officer he was licensed to carry and had his legal firearm on his person, in his vehicle; Minnesota, like Ohio, home of Tamir Rice, being an open carry state presence of a gun shouldn’t have ended like that. A day after two more black men succumbed to the looming danger of jittery patrol personnel former Army reserve Micah Johnson takes up multiple sniper positions killing 5 police officers present in solidarity with protesters, wounding 7 other police members and 2 civilians in Dallas Texas…. Compartmentalizing for a moment getting serious about the ongoing wars we fight, waged for years, seeing no end in sight and the toll it takes on good people sent to fight them, scars left on them not erased by returning to their home geography, reentering civilian life, lasting effects we don’t have a process for mitigating, treating or have outlandish expectations as to how well it works….are police always so unprepared; by the time we had gotten to the Eric Garner grand jury decision paralleling the death of New York officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu police retaliation wasn’t new or unheard of in the wake of video gone viral putting on display police brutality, excessive force adding up to needless civilian death? At the same time the named officers were ambushed in their patrol car L.A. had already seen a cop shot at, Ferguson had already erupted once, would again when Darrin Wilson faced zero incitement and a Florida officer was killed under similar circumstance; far from random, New York and Missouri explained, L.A. a direct response to the released autopsy report of one Ezell Ford developmentally delayed, shot by police, medical examination finding one shot was to his back, at close range leaving powder burns in the wound and inciting the public, nation too focused on Michael Brown to string together the pieces… Further Dallas is a huge metropolitan metropolis housing exponential numbers of tall buildings and it took it happening before you look up and think someone might do this, aptly named skyscrapers make ideal, prefect sniper perches; compounding what can only be called police shortsighted stupidity at our reading juncture, you have Dallas police chief David Brown scrutinizing positions of his dead officers calling the landscape adjacent to the shoot out a fatal funnel meaning their sniper took more time analyzing the area than they did when it came to where they should place officers, precautions they should take in the event of a protest disturbance, actual riot or active shooter situation—huh?.. Why are police always so flummoxed when confronted with criminal work arounds to achieve their goals, not necessarily in the heat of the moment believing there was more than one shooter, but in the immediate post analysis, the mistaken idea no one would ever take up a sniper perch at a protest, there aren’t civilians who possess requisite training to pull off such a plan and the persons who hold aforementioned training are not unstable enough to do so, earnest in their assessment nothing like that would happen during a protest scenario? Every assumption utterly false considering the sheer amount of returning soldiers, and all their problems, coming home in the last decade…. And in light of extensively listed facts and practical realties regarding scenarios various police divisions, law enforcement specialties should be fully aware of, the best thing they could do to disarm, neutralize the threat this guy presented to cops, protesters and citizens below was to, for the first time ever in U.S. policing history, send in a robot armed with a bomb to blow him apart?… Reading up to our current paragraph illustrating it goes beyond black lives matter, really incomparable to all lives, blue lives matter because it isn’t just coming to the understanding black, minority lives are also human lives, not the animals they have long been portrayed as, the understanding black, minority lives are important, more so now with them continually under siege…about correctly identifying, to a reasonable standard, what is a threat and what’s not, what is a deadly threat and what is a more moderate type of threat; it is coming full circle reaching the realization when shown a picture of a black person, seeing a black person walking down the street they are not a thug, they are not a gangbanger, drug dealer, shifty criminal about to commit petty theft, simple assault, because they sag their pants, wear oversized clothes, have necklaces around their necks and name brand sneakers. They are not, if female, a prostitute working the corner based solely on her clothing and location, they did not steal it, i.e. the car they’re getting into, because they have nice things, they aren’t necessarily out of place in that neighborhood because it is upscale and they are black, they are just people going about their business like you do when off duty, during a traffic stop, legitimate questioning by police, even situations as deadly as Dallas, they are not an exaggerated, elevated threat because they are black… Alton Sterling wasn’t a thug, a gangbanger, drug dealer, a hood rat, a hardened, habitual criminal; he was just a guy trying to earn money the only way he could, money intended to support his children not buy drugs, get high, spent on booze. Philando Castile had no criminal record absent a sizable collection of traffic stops and citations, half of those 52 amassed in the maximum 16 years he possibly had a driving license dismissed once reaching court…Philando Castile wasn’t violent, a thug, a gangbanger, miscreant, had a job, as a school cafeteria supervisor where students described him as Mr. Rogers with dreads…Prevailing attitude remains, there’s no need to change police culture regardless of we have a man, a civilian putting out video on how to survive a traffic stop, not departments nationwide who have seen this, unfortunate in their eyes, type of shooting happening with alarming frequency….When Senator Tim Scott, singular black republican, must resort to testifying on the Senate floor about times he has been pulled over throughout his life focusing on the 7 times in one year because police did not believe him to be the elected official he was to get his fellow republicans to comprehend then contemplate the clamors for mandatory and immediate criminal justice reform, reigns put back on our policing…Then over the weekend following one thwarted attempt to kill Baton Rouge police a man succeeded in ambushing, killing 3 cops and wounding at least 3 others; president Obama making clear it can’t be open season on police, there is no justification for targeting police and justice on their behalf will be done. Quick rebuttal being why not Mr. president, it’s been open season on us for years going all the way back to Rodney King…
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