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Op Ed

The Trump Doctrine (or Storms Will Come, This We Know For Sure)

mrmarlonrice@gmail.com'

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So, here we are, eleven days after the inauguration of Donald Trump into the office of President of the United States. It was all good just two weeks ago. Just like that, Obamacare is being ripped apart, the pipeline is back under construction, and Melania is back at Trump Towers in NYC, never to set foot into the Nation’s Capital again. Every senior administrator at the State Department resigned. And the wall, the biggest most expensive and unnecessary project in the history of America, was signed and sealed. Trump says Mexico is paying for it. The Mexican president created the hashtag #fuckingwall. He ain’t paying for shit. El Chapo says walls don’t stop tunnels. The idiot Press Secretary Sean Spicer says Trump may add a 20% tax on Mexican imports to pay for the wall, so you’ll be paying $9.50 for an avocado. A ban on Muslims created chaos in airports across America. Eleven days in and it’s already a mess. Damn, it was all good just two weeks ago.

While we watch the resumption of the arms race, the possibility of the National Guard conducting marshal law on the streets of South Side Chicago, and the Vice President taking part in a Pro-Life rally against abortion, you might be thinking to yourself WTF? FML! SMMFH!!

Right off the bat we’re seeing signs of the Trump doctrine; Isolationism, state influence on personal liberties, alternative facts, and an egregious desire to be the strongest, even if that power-trip unnerves the entire paradigm. He’s pushing to have us pay for a wall we don’t need, all the while ignoring the very basic need for clean water that Flint has been dealing with for years now. Yes, years. There are countries that have 200 mph super-trains and all kinds of neat technological creations that aide in the human experience; while this guy spends every moment he gets in front of a camera to complain because the media says hardly anyone came to his inauguration. It’s becoming clear, even to those that voted for him, that the only place this man is going to lead us is right off of the cliff. We should yell Geronimo when we finally take that leap. They always yell Geronimo on the cartoons, and this shit is definitely cartoonish.

But just as we begin to catch the previews of our ultimate demise, here comes BET with the 3-part New Edition movie. Every black woman between the ages of 35-50 stopped everything they were doing this week to watch the story of the most acclaimed kids group since The Jackson 5. The music, the era, the story, it all evokes memories of the past, when we were children and life was about having crushes, eating Chick-O-Sticks and playing outside until your mother screamed from the window for you to come upstairs. Our age of innocence, when Reganomics was destroying the middle class, crack was destroying the Black family and the pyrotechnics in the Pepsi commercial was destroying Michael Jackson’s Jheri curl. Adults tend to romanticize their childhood. We loved the beans and franks and the mayonnaise sandwiches, without considering the economic struggles involved when that is all a mother can afford to feed to her children. Those were the good ole days, right?

BET capitalized on the sweet nostalgia of our youth and easily recorded the best viewership its had in years. I swear I haven’t watched BET since Tigger hosted Rap City. Neither have you, I’m sure. Knowing that they had more eyes on them this week than they’ve had since GhostFace Killah told Tigger to wipe that smile off his face, BET decided to use the ample commercial space between 4 minute sections of movie to introduce viewers to their new lineup of shows. Let’s see, you have the show about the HBCU where chicks are getting assaulted and hospitalized, the white guy is still the Quarterback and hi-jinks ensues amidst a bad and bougee parade. Then there is the show where the Black woman cop decides to become a vigilante with laid edges, having shootouts in the street and then going home to make love to Method Man. Then there was some series called Media, which I still have no idea what that’s about, but I do know that it stars a bunch of cool Black folk. I watched those commercials over and over again throughout the three-night movie series thinking that if I was 15 years old I’d probably really like these new shows.

Sadly though, I’m no longer in that age of innocence where distractions and nonsense are masked as fun and entertaining. With all due respect, I don’t have the time or the desire to watch Black Entertainment Television at a time when the President is a man who seems to think that Black and entertainment are synonymous, judging by the Black men he chose to meet with in the days leading up to him taking that oath.

It’s becoming clear, even to those that voted for him, that the only place this man is going to lead us is right off of the cliff.

The ubiquitous Johnny Gill once said that storms may come. He followed that with the assertion that we know this, for sure. Well, the storm has arrived, and we are soon to drown in an administration that is sure to set black rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and human rights way back to a time when the only rights existed for the expressed consent of the White man. What we need from our Black television executives are leads and clues on how to stay dry, how to weather the storm, not more salacious programming to distract us from the fact that we are drowning. Shit ain’t sweet, pardon my French. The New Edition movie was fun to watch, but Black Entertainment Television will never truly service Black folk by trying to be White Entertainment Television. The moment they put out Black Information Television, I’m all in. Black Holistic Television, Black Spiritual Television, Black Revolutionary Television, Black Scientific Television. Holla at me when any of those networks drop. And, if you use any of my titles for your new network I’m coming for my money like Diddy visiting Steve Stoute’s office.

P.S. The absolutely worse place for a panhandler to setup is at the door to a bank’s ATM location. The ATM is spitting $10’s and $20’s out and you’re asking for change? C’mon people, I need you to think smarter. You want to get to that bag? Ride the R train from Bay Ridge 95th Street all the way to Forest Hills 71st Ave, going car to car for 8 hours a day. You’ll probably gross more than 40% of the people going to and from work. Now you’re not a pan handler, you’re an entrepreneur. Get to it now, though, before Trump makes panhandling a felonious hate crime, punishable by 15 years in prison.

Op Ed

WILL THE NEXT BE THE LAST?

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Mass shootings in America was the first line I began to write on Sunday November 18th. Before I was able to complete additional research on the subject, Monday November 19th arrived and two more mass shootings occurred. That time a hospital in Chicago and the streets of downtown Denver got their turns in the game of American roulette.

Thoughts and prayers aren’t saving lives

Now on Monday August 5th 2019, we’re in the midst of recovering from three more mass shootings in the span of one week. One in Gilroy, CA that is suspected to be racially motivated. Another in Dayton, Ohio whose motives are still under investigation, and lastly in El Paso, Texas which was definitively motivated by white supremacist views. In total, over 30 innocent people were killed in these terrorist attacks on American soil by young White male American citizens within a matter of days.

Like it or not, we’re all playing this deadly game of chance whenever we decide to go shopping, catch a movie, show up for work, attend a concert, worship at church… I think you get the point. The bottom line is the leaders of this country have made it abundantly clear that they aren’t willing or capable of protecting us. The public safety of all of our citizens is not the primary concern of too many of our public officials. Their priority is re-election and the spoils (money) attached to it.

Thoughts and prayers aren’t saving lives. The time has come to expand our thought process to increase our odds of survival. Below are two possible solutions that we can enact to force changes expeditiously.

  1. Boycotts of areas of mass gatherings could significantly effect the economy which in turn would motivate the Government to act.
  2. Minorities under attack need to significantly increase their own arsenals which would motivate the Government to act.

Either of the two aforementioned solutions tend to be more alarming than the reality of white supremacist terrorism and the possibility of an economic downturn. The sooner we collectively stop waiting for change and force it through bold action, the more innocent lives will be saved.

Mypens Real is immersed in the digital world with the keen eye of sifting through the fat and pulling out the meat. Always keeping tabs on the latest pros & cons technology has to offer. Whether it's sports, politics or pure stupidity...he'll find what's what.

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Op Ed

Why You’re Racist and Don’t Even Know It

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All of the people reading this currently were at some point, mindless, dribbling idiots who didn’t know their asses from their elbows. Some of you may disagree. Now if I said everyone reading this was at some point, a baby, no one would argue that point (except for those who believe their children were self-sufficient Einsteins right out of the womb). Behold! The power of labels! It’s easy to accept or disavow labels simply because of the generally perceived connotations they evoke, especially when that perception is negative. But if you study the parameters that define those labels and compare them to your own behaviors, can you rationally dispute that you are what they said you were? With that said and before you continue to espouse that you are all rainbow hugging flower children who loves everyone equally, have you ever truly defined what being racist is before you professed you weren’t?

rac·ism
[ˈrāˌsizəm]

NOUN

  1. prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

Based on the contextual definition of racism, I don’t even understand why there’s a contextual definition of racism. The definition may as well just say “Human” because quite frankly, I haven’t met one person who hasn’t discriminated or been prejudiced based on race. Just look at your spouse, friends, living environments, etc.. We have all knowingly (sadly) and unknowingly (best case scenario), made these types of decisions. Now does making decisions based on race make you a bad person? YES!!! It absolutely does!! And the only way you can be a good person is if you first accept that you are racist, then remain aware of that so it doesn’t affect your future decision making. Once you acknowledge that you have a preference, it becomes easier to entertain the ideal of equality and not succumb to personal preference.

Some people would agree that racism has benefited far too few in America and disenfranchised far too many. I am one of those people. The oddity of that is some unknowingly suggest racism as a solution to… racism. Can you truly level the playing field without being temporarily racist however? Can you justly deny anyone opportunities in 2019 to atone for denying a different race of people opportunities 200 years ago? As an example (and I’m sure an unpopular one), is it really fair to deny any Caucasian any opportunity in the name of correction when A) that specific Caucasian did not cause the issue and B) What the hell does “equal” mean in the first place? Physics clearly state that 2 objects can’t occupy the same space at the same time. So if there is only space for one thing at one TIME (extreme emphasis on TIME), can the concept of equality even exists if we have to remove one for the other to catch up? If you practice deliberate discrimination in the name of aggregate equality, contextually speaking, how are you not a racist?

We were all raised by someone with less refined social ideas of and experiences with other races. This means our baselines for interactions with other races were predefined by those who were also unknowingly racist. It’s OK. It’s not your fault or theirs. You didn’t choose the world you were born into and neither did they. You do have a say in the world you leave behind however. If you don’t acknowledge that you do have a say, you probably won’t say anything and leave the next generation to repeating the same hate speech.

We can never get to a point of resolution if we haven’t accepted and can’t publicly admit that we are ALL susceptible to stereotypes and prejudiced.  Seeing as how no one except for the KKK is admittedly racist, yet racism is still prevalent, I don’t believe anyone should be excluding their personal behaviors and choices from racial evaluation.

Sidebar; For those who say African Americans can’t be racist because we are the marginalized population, even the contextual definition states “typically” but not solely. So sorry to burst your reverse racist bubbles but although you may not be as savage, you may be just as prejudiced as those who weren’t marginalized. Sidebar Complete.

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Op Ed

Why Do You Hate All the Black Men?

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When I was in 5th grade at PS 398 in Brooklyn, NY, I had a teacher whom I have no love lost for; Mrs. Thompson. From what I can remember, she was a bit of an old, out of touch, ornery woman, built like an old school nun and seemed to have a special distaste for the boys in the classroom. Now I could be wrong because after all, we are talking about the critical thinking mind of a 10 year old who made these complex character assessments probably after profound discussions like “would King Kong beat Godzilla in a fair fight?” Be that as it may, I had gotten so upset at her constant acrimony towards us that one day after class, I snuck back into the classroom and wrote on the chalkboard in 260 pt font “WHY DO YOU FAVOR THE GIRLS?

Needless to say, the entire class saw my social graffiti the next morning and Mrs. Thompson was none too pleased. I somehow didn’t get in trouble but she knew it was me (I’m left handed and I write like a distressed deer that stumbled into a lion’s sweet sixteen party.) Penmanship aside, it seems the time has come again for me to ask the modern day version of Mrs. Thompson (The internets) … “Why Do You Hate All the Black Men?

I’m really not a fan of the current “The black woman is the least protected” movement. Of all the Af-Am women and men that I know personally, I can’t think of one man who wouldn’t or hasn’t come to a woman’s aid when necessary and I can’t think of one woman (again, that I know personally) who doesn’t have a man of Af-Am descent in their life who would come to their aid at a moment’s notice. Now I am not oblivious to the fact that there are many men, many many many many men, who have put women in harm’s way or have been the one’s who women have needed protection from. The truth is the truth and in order for your truth to be respected, acknowledged and equally believed, you must also be open to the truths of others. So I want make it 100% clear that ladies, I HEAR AND BELIEVE YOU. My
contention has never been if not feeling protected in your communities is a reality but rather, that BLACK MEN are some how less adept than any other race of men.

I do not ever discount how black women feel. What I take contention with is that the issue of feeling unprotected is somehow an issue specific to Af-Am women. When we make it race specific, we paint a public picture of yet another perceived deficiency in the black community when women on a whole, regardless of race and region are not protected. I’m sure Asian and Middle Eastern women would feel they are the least protected. My argument (sad as it is) is simply “If he ain’t shit, it’s probably not because he’s black.”

I KNOW the black man is the least protected and most exploited historically and because of that trend, statements like these tend to roll off everyone’s tongue with ease. Sexism and stereotypes are the root cause of a majority of these issues between the sexes but because that is too daunting to tackle, we cherry pick what is closest to us and place blame.

We all need to be taught and no one comes with preset instructions. I absolutely believe that there are men who know how to protect a woman (physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.) and men who need to be taught. Call me crazy but I assume there aren’t a bunch of White, Indian, Spanish, Middle Eastern and Asian men with capes on, ready to swoop in at a moments notice and save their respective cultural counterparts and ethnic empresses. I also venture to guess, like “black on black“ crime, the ratios and sentiments are most likely comparable across all races.

Whomever you are, please, if you can stop making certain things a black issue when it may just be a common issue and the person who you hold responsible happens to be of Af-Am descent, it would be appreciated.

When Brooklyn Has Fallen and you have that one guy who will leave his job and run across town on foot to protect you, whether he’s a friend, family or otherwise, he’s not gonna appreciate when you publicly decree you have no one to protect you.

Sidebar: I remember being 13 years old and not knowing what to do when some dude had cursed my mom out. I remember my dad getting in my a$$ for that when he found out. I remember being an adult and someone tried to raise their voice at my mom while I was in the vicinity at an airport. I remember the police having to escort me away because I was about to hop over the counter at Alaskan Airlines and drag this clown up and down the airport. Lesson learned. Sidebar Complete!

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.

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