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Op Ed

I’m Better Than You Because The SHSAT Said So

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For the past week, Mayor Bill DeBlasio of New York City has proposed a gradual phase out of standardized testing for all specialized high schools. Reason being, the lack of minority students, specifically Af-Am and Latino students, who make up 70 percent of NYC public school student body but only have an 8% demographic representation in these schools. Within that time, many alumni have chimed in either in favor of or opposed to that suggested legislation. Regardless of stance, what I was most taken aback by was the level of hubris from all sides.

It’s been eye opening watching alumni from my alma mater (Brooklyn Tech) engage in these discussions. It’s akin to watching feudal lords debate the fate of commoners and peasants; “They should find their own way like we did.” “We have a responsibility to help those that come after us.” “Asians are predisposed to educational success because of their culture.” “If Asians were culturally predisposed, they would’ve always been the majority.” Mind you, these folk making all these assessments often have no direct connection to the demographic they champion or denigrate and regardless of stance, the level of arrogance (from all sides) left me a bit unnerved.

I’ve embraced that “elite” badge that comes with being labeled intelligent ever since it was bestowed upon me. After several decades of framing my intelligent, myopic lenses however, I may have lost sight of what it actually means.

Intelligent (Adjective)
Having or showing intelligence, especially of a high level; able to vary its state in response to varying situations, varying requirements, and past experience.

I won’t re-litigate any of the predominant arguments because they really don’t matter. What I will focus on is how we actually engage. For all the ingenious ideas and suggestions given, they were all provided from a 10,000 foot view looking down on those we are allegedly trying to help. Some alumni only seem to be able to dedicate hours of service to their school when it comes to drafting articulate responses in chat groups. When it comes to lifting the same Twitter fingers for some good old fashioned, grass roots participation however, “Tech Stark, Warden of the North and defender of all things Intellect”, will be back after these messages.

The sad truth is the main concern seems not for the middle school students nor the quality of education they currently receive. If we cared about the K-8 Pipeline, we would probably already be engaged in changing it or realize just how daunting a task change is. And if you believed the SHSAT should be changed or done away with, you probably would’ve been engaged in that struggle also. What seems more likely is that the outrage comes from our brand identity being threatened and the social vapor trail that come with that.

Although I shared those halls with thousands of students from varying backgrounds, it seems we all somehow missed each other. Brooklyn Tech championed academia but you were pretty much on your own when it came to social competence and quite frankly, some of us fell short. After witnessing scores of us try and outwit each other in rebuttal rather than help the community that shaped us, I’m left wondering what the benefit of all this “smartness” is if the application does not extend beyond debate and personal interests?

Sidebar: The most important aspect of the SHSAT is showing up. Prepared or not, it doesn’t matter if you are not in attendance. We should probably apply participation to other aspects of our educational interests as well. Sam Adewumi is one such alumni engaged and getting results. Kudos to all those that are hands on and engaged in the ongoing educational struggles in all communities. It is appreciated.

 

 

Crazed Afrykan is a writer / hip hop producer (Nas / Damien Marely) and aficionado of hip hop culture. For over 30 years, he has gained personal introspective into the motivations, rhymes and reasons for one of the most revered genres in modern music. He is also a smug, smart ass with a perplexing penchant for alliterations. You’ve been warned.

Op Ed

And Knowing is Half the Battle…

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I’ve seen Terminator references used to argue against Artificial Intelligence, foreign movie clips used to “prove” the pandemic was a well executed plan and baseless clips from folk with large media followings telling me all about vaccines and how I should interact with science.

My concrete and definitive conclusion is that the person least likely to make a mistake is the person with the most training / experience, not the person with the most social media followers / apprehension.

We put too much faith in what lies behind a screen instead of those who actually engage in the practice. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with paring common sense and common science.

I get it though. I like to take part in conversations too but if you aren’t willing to do any work further than clicking a share button simply because you just want to engage, you were genuinely more effective sitting on the sidelines.

I trust NASA more than I trust Rocket Racoon. I trust Tesla more than I trust Cyberdyne and I trust DOCTORS more than I trust my friends, celebrities and any other schmuck burger with a social media platform propagating nonsense.

SIDEBAR I don’t know if y’all heard of this thing called The Internet but its amazing! People mostly keep their booby pictures on it but it also has something called GOOGLE that you can use research stuff. Some of y’all should check it out. SIDEBAR COMPLETE.

Alfred Obiesie is a writer with over 12 years of online content contribution (Onetrackmine.com, Cartermag.com, Essence.com) and author (You Made It a Hot Line; The most influential lines in hip hop.) The book chronicles hip hop lines from the genre’s most notable artists spanning almost 40 years. It is illustrated by Grammy award winning Illustrator Shah Wonders and has garnered praise from multiple media outlets (Sirius XM, Vibe, Brooklyn Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, etc...)

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Op Ed

Robbing Hoods and Stopping Games

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Ten bullet points for your reading pleasure:
  1. Every single time the stock market crashed, it was done by the “professionals.”
  2. If a group of folk can get together in a chat room and legally take BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM YOU IN YOUR OWN PROFESSION…IN DAYS, you may wanna reevaluate how professional you are.
  3. Retail investors had nothing to do with the Great Depression, Black Friday, Black Monday, the internet bubble or the housing bubble. That was Institutional.
  4. I’ve never seen so much call for regulation in the stock market from those who typically make the most money in my life. I believe the correct financial term is #BigMad
  5. They aren’t upset retail investors are making money. They are upset retail investors are making the market place volatile, making it harder for THEM to make money long term.
  6. Why was there not this level of concern when retail investors were losing their pensions and IRAs at all other instances?
  7. Why are hedge funds even allowed to use people’s pensions to short sell?!
  8. If you are using your rent or mortgage to invest in the stock market, you have bigger issues. #gambleholic
  9. Retail investors have never had a platform nor the income to throw markets off. They still don’t.
  10. No one has a problem with the rules until it works against their own interests.

Bonus: When you gamble, you could either win or lose. Investors don’t need to be CPAs to understand that concept.

Sidebar; Pay more attention to your money management!! Sidebar complete.

Happy Friday!!

Alfred Obiesie is a writer with over 12 years of online content contribution (Onetrackmine.com, Cartermag.com, Essence.com) and author (You Made It a Hot Line; The most influential lines in hip hop.) The book chronicles hip hop lines from the genre’s most notable artists spanning almost 40 years. It is illustrated by Grammy award winning Illustrator Shah Wonders and has garnered praise from multiple media outlets (Sirius XM, Vibe, Brooklyn Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, etc...)

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Op Ed

A Riot of Entitlement

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1. If a foreign government had pulled off what occurred on Capitol Hill last week, that nation would currently be a rubble laden parking lot, bombed into the stone-age.

2. If BLM had pulled off what occurred last week, we would currently be having conversations like “Y’all remember freedom?” and “You ONLY got shot 6 times?!! Sheeeeit. Everybody else got at least 9… yeah we all in the studio recording now…”

3. Why is the foreign policy response more stringent than domestic policy when the threat is much worse due to proximity?

4. Why is the current law enforcement response akin to aiding and abetting simply because the assailants resemble, and in some cases are “law” enforcement? Do bullets not kill when your cousin is the shooter?

5. True privilege is complaining about your rights taken away right AFTER and BECAUSE you used those rights to violate others. Rights were granted by LAW and as such, can be rescinded… by LAW! Why does this even have to be explained?

Sidebar: For future reference, this is how you properly storm the Capitol! With Beyonce and legal votes!! Ahhhh 2012. The good old days! Make Inaugurations Great Again (MIGA Please!!) Sidebar Complete.

Alfred Obiesie is a writer with over 12 years of online content contribution (Onetrackmine.com, Cartermag.com, Essence.com) and author (You Made It a Hot Line; The most influential lines in hip hop.) The book chronicles hip hop lines from the genre’s most notable artists spanning almost 40 years. It is illustrated by Grammy award winning Illustrator Shah Wonders and has garnered praise from multiple media outlets (Sirius XM, Vibe, Brooklyn Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, etc...)

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