Category Archives: Controversial Topics

The Hidden Science Behind Starbucks

Starbucks is under a lot of fire today after a video that surfaced on social media this past Thursday, gained nationwide attention with over 3 million views. The video taken at a Starbucks in Philadelphia Pennsylvania shows police handcuffing two African American real estate brokers and escorting them out of the Starbucks. The video shows a white male as well as a few voices that can be heard in the back ground telling the police officers “They didn’t do anything.” It was later reported that the police were called because these 2 African American men sat inside the Starbucks waiting on a friend to show up for a meeting without ordering anything. The friend eventually showed up to the Starbucks as the two black males were being escorted out in handcuffs and being sent down to a county jail. Immediate outrage on social media prompted Starbucks to issue a statement online, writing a public apology to the two individuals as well as customers who were angered by this racial incident. Starbucks stated, “We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday.”

Early Saturday afternoon, the Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross addressed the racial incident on Facebook live. Commissioner Ross stated the 2 black men were “trespassing”, due to them being non-paying customers who wanted to use the restroom. When the Starbucks employees asked the two gentlemen to leave, they refused to comply with the requests which resulted in the police to be called. Commissioner Ross further states “The officers did absolutely nothing wrong.” Immediately following Commissioner Ross’s statements, social media responded to Ross’s claims to be absolutely absurd and incorrect. Shortly afterwards, a hash tag #BoycottStarbucks became a trending topic on Twitter Saturday afternoon. This is nothing less than a classic case of typical racial discriminatory and racial misconduct on behalf of a white owned establishment and the Philadelphia Police department.

In the wake of this incident, I want to take the time to address black America and all melanated people across the world. Many of us have tend to have this false notion that racism is a thing of the past and as long as we carry ourselves in a decent manner, we will have nothing to worry about. Many of us believe that fancy college degrees, having a professional career, and living in the suburbs will eliminate the threats of racism. This idea is easily debunked because the two men arrested in that Starbucks in Philadelphia were real estate brokers which most people would agree, is a rewarding professional career. We as a people, collectively, suffer from a case of extreme escapism and we place a high value on materials that gives us a psychological escape from reality. We don’t want to believe that racism still exists and Jim Crow still very much alive. When dealing with reality, one thing we must come to an understanding of is that we live under a global system of white supremacy. White Supremacy dominates all 9 areas of activity including Economics, Education, sex, labor, law, war, politics, religion, and entertainment. When it comes to all of the industries and the total wealth in the United States of America, African Americans own less than ½ of 1% of the total wealth therefore having no economic base whatsoever. When you belong to a group of people who have no economic base and no continuous flow of income within your community, you will always be susceptible to disrespect from other racial groups as well as being subjected to termination. This is why African Americans are the main targets for police brutality and institutional racism. This is why African Americans continue to deal with racial discrimination today just as much as we faced racial discrimination during the Jim Crow Era. Thanks to camera phones, the world gets to see the deleted scenes from the horror movie known as the Jim Crow Era.  Just 60 years ago, blacks were not allowed to sit in the same restaurants as whites. 60 years later, we are not allowed to sit in coffee shops without the police being called on us. Now I want you to ask yourself, did we really have any racial progress in America? Having an historical consciousness is simply not enough, we must build physiological and sociological awareness in order to combat systematic racism. It is well documented throughout historical records that Africans invented and created the foundation of almost all of the most profitable product the world consumes on a daily basis. This product includes coffee. If you actually pay attention to the Starbucks logo, you will see that the Starbucks logo in fact traces back to Africa.

Most people are not aware that the mermaid logo is indeed an African goddess named Yemaya also known throughout West Africa and the Caribbean as Yemoja. Yermoja is an Orisha goddess of the traditional Yoruba religion that came from enslaved Africans in the land of what is present day Nigeria. When the slaves were kidnapped and transported to the western world, Yermaya was said to be the one who protected the slaves on their journey and kept them safe. Yermaya is a very giving and nurturing goddess who rarely gets upset but when she does become enraged, she unleashes a massive hurricane. She is said to be the mother of the fishes in the sea which is why she is shown to the world as a two-tailed mermaid. It is no secret that many of the European owned franchises including Starbucks stole their ideas from African based spiritual systems and created the concept of their organizations as well as profited off the backs of Africans for centuries. Here you have an African goddess printed on the logo of a major franchise that outright discriminates and disrespects the very people it took their ideas from yet no consequences are bestowed upon them as result of that. This is where I want to gather all of the melanated people across the world and get each other on one code so we can establish a solution.

Starbucks should never benefit from the black dollar ever again. I want every black male and black female to see what we did as a people for the Black Panther film. I want every black male and female to see what we did as a people to the city of Montgomery during the Montgomery bus boycott. I want every black male and female to see what we did as a people to build Hollywood and the music industry. I want every black male and female to see what we did as a people to build black wall street. We are the people who hold the power to make and break businesses and industries. Segregation did not come to an end because the power structure finally realized that separating blacks from whites was wrong. Segregation came to an end because it became apparent just how essential the black dollar is to the economy. Without black consumers, the economy would be in shambles and the power structure will have no longer have a choice but to respect our demands. The most effective way to bring a person to their knees is to attack what they value the most and in this case, the American social order worships the almighty dollar. When you interfere with an individual or establishment’s ability to generate income, you immediately hold their undivided attention for as long as you wish. In order to get respect, we must demand our respect. From this moment forward, I advise all melanated people to get on code and never spend one cent in a Starbucks again. Please do not accept a simple apology from an establishment that wouldn’t even think to give you one otherwise hadn’t this story never reached a wide audience. Let us start demanding our respect and set an example of what happens when we are discriminated against.  The time is now to stand together and demand our voices be heard.

Photo Credits:

usatoday.com

OJ Simpson: Not Guilty

More than two decades ago, the entire country stopped what they were doing and glued their eyes onto their television screen anxiously waiting to hear the verdict of the murder case that is known today as the trial of the century. As the earth-shattering verdict of not guilty rang through the ears of millions across the world, we saw a racial division and tension that could not be ignored.  Although the former NFL star has been cleared of all charges, the murder case of the People vs OJ Simpson continues to intrigue people all across the globe. Following the years after the bone chilling verdict, we have seen many documentaries being released detailing the case. We have also seen a Netflix special titled “The People vs OJ Simpson” starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and more recently, a lost “hypothetical” confession from OJ Simpson that was filmed 12 years ago which aired on Fox this past Sunday. This has yet again stirred up one of the most controversial debates of the century, is OJ Simpson in fact guilty of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman? Given the logistics of this case in regard to the evidence, the blood, the openly racist degenerate cop Mark Furman, the witness testimonies, and the background of the victims Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, one cannot simply believe OJ Simpson committed the crime of murder. In this blog, I will break down key points and facts from the case that was proven by the defense team led by the brilliant lawyer Jonnie Cochran. I will give you my insight on all aspects of this case and indeed prove to you why OJ Simpson is in fact innocent of the crime of murder.

The Hidden Background Of Nicole Simpson And Ron Goldman

The United States judicial system and mainstream media have always been unapologetic and never been ambivalent when it comes detailing the negative aspects of innocent African American lives taken by police officers. Victims such as Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Eric Gardner, Mike Brown and Sandra Bland have all been portrayed in the media as thugs, criminals, or a menace to society. Whenever a black life is taken by a white hand, the media wastes no time dipping into the background of the victim and discovering any small piece of dirt in order to defecate on the name of an innocent black life that was taken. This is done purposely to filibuster and attempt to place the victim on trial and ignore the real criminal.   Therefore, I will take the liberty in carrying on that same energy and dipping into the angel and soccer mom fairytale backgrounds of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. As detailed in Faye Resnick’s book “Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted”

Nicole Brown Simpson was far from an angel and the soccer mom that the mainstream media portrays her to be. Nicole Simpson was a known drug addict and carried on sexual affairs with men such as Marcus Allen who was friends with her ex-husband OJ Simpson. Faye Resnick was a good friend of Nicole and she detailed how her and Nicole would often hang out in Brentwood with known criminals engaging in sexual behaviors, drinking all night and snorting cocaine. Faye Resnick went on to explain how her and Nicole engaged in lesbian sex and Nicole would say that OJ Simpson molded her sexually and she can only be satisfied by Marcus Allen and OJ. Nicole began dealing with OJ Simpson while he was still married to his first wife Marguerite.

Nicole took on the role of a mistress before OJ left his first wife to marry Nicole. Ronald Goldman was a 25-year-old waiter working at Mezzaluna restaurant where he met Nicole Simpson. Ron was in shape and was a martial arts fighter which are some of the few qualities that attracted Nicole to him and he would often take Nicole out to dance halls with him. The pair grew close to the point Nicole and Ronald would often hang out at the Mezzaluna restaurant for more obvious reasons that the media failed to show. What most people don’t know is that the Mezzaluna restaurant was a known mafia hangout and an establishment where the mobsters would sell drugs at. A few of Nicole and Ronald Goldman’s friends were killed before and after their murders had took place. Michael Nigg was a 26-year-old waiter at the Mezzaluna restaurant and worked with Ron Goldman. He was involved in drug trafficking and was a small-time drug dealer leading up to his demise. On September 8, 1995 Michael Nigg was shot in the head while sitting in a car with a woman after being approached by two men who demanded that he hand over cash. Another friend of Nicole and Ron Goldman was a man named Brett Cantor who was also killed just a year before Nicole and Ron. Cantor was also friends with Faye Resnick and was a co-owner of the Hollywood night club/bar called The Dragon Fly. Nicole Simpson, Ron and Faye Resnick frequently visited this club. Eleven months before Ron and Nicole were murdered, someone broke into Brett’s home, and killed him in the same fashion in which Ronald Goldman and Nicole were killed. Given all of these murders of people who were friends of Nicole and Ron, is it far-fetched to say that the same killers linked to these murders are also responsible for murdering Ron and Nicole Simpson? Perhaps Ron and Nicole’s drug affiliated past had caught up with them? It was also documented that Ron Goldman was going through some financial troubles during the time of his murder. Could it be that Ron was involved in the same drug activities as his Mezzaluna coworkers?

Motive

Another important piece of information to note is the motive behind why OJ Simpson would kill Nicole in the first place. It is often said that OJ Simpson was a jealous and enraged ex who just couldn’t stand the fact that he could not be with Nicole anymore. He grew resentment and bitterness from seeing Nicole moving on and decided a year later after their divorce to go over to Nicole’s home at 9pm at night and murder his ex-wife before getting on his flight to Chicago. This theory for motive to commit murder is easily debunked for the simple fact that OJ Simpson wasn’t the one who wanted Nicole back. Nicole was indeed the one who desperately wanted OJ back. In fact, Nicole Simpson decided to write the love of her life OJ Simpson a thoughtful letter expressing her desire to work things out. If Nicole was seeking to work her marriage out with OJ then what reason would there be for OJ to kill her? Another piece of important information to note are the phone records that show Nicole exchanging phone calls with her mother on the night she was murdered. The prosecution refused to release these phone records and OJ’s defense team failed to obtain them. If Nicole Simpson was talking on the phone at 11pm then that would prove without a shadow of a doubt that OJ Simpson did not commit those murders. Those phone records would show Nicole being alive at the same time OJ Simpson was already in a limousine on his way to Los Angeles international airport.

Mark Furman

The LAPD is famous and historically well known for being the most corrupt and  racist police force in the United States. In 2006, the FBI released a memo detailing that white supremacy groups have infiltrated law enforcement but the FBI was a little late on the tea as the cat has already been out of the bag since the 1940s. The chief of police at the time of the OJ Simpson case was a man named Daryl Gates who was no different from Mark Furman. Daryl Gates never denounced racism and he help start what later became known as SWAT.

He took on the same ideologies as the previous chief of police for the LAPD William Parker. The LAPD was terrorizing, mistreating, tampering with evidence and falsely accusing African Americans of many crimes for decades.  Mark Furman was the typical renegade police officer on the LAPD police force. He openly admitted his strong hatred for African Americans and being a white supremacy extremist. Mark Furman dedicated his life to mistreating and oppressing black people and even went as far as to discuss his racist views with Laura Hart McKinny. She recorded Mark Furman detailing how he falsifies police reports, how much he despises interracial relationships, how he would often plant evidence on black men, and his constant use of the N word (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6pymcUV8v4). She later took the stand and testified on how Mark Furman used the N word 42 times. The “OJ is guilty” community always try their best to avoid the Mark Furman topic and try to dismiss his role in this case due to these hardcore facts. Another woman named Kathleen Bell met Mark Furman at a marine recruiting station in 1985 and she explained how Mark Furman would described his hatred for African Americans. Mark Furman also had previous dealings with OJ Simpson and has been to his home on a domestic call in 1985. So now we know that the lead detective on the OJ Simpson case is a man who openly admits his hatred for interracial relationships, plants false evidence, and already had a hatred for OJ Simpson yet it is still crazy to assume the evidence at the scene was not tampered with?

Blood Samples

At the scene of the crime, a bloody sock was found behind the gate at Nicole Simpson’s home. The sock was said to have OJ’s blood all over it and his blood was also found on the gate of the house. They also said that OJ’s glove was soaked in blood and blood samples were taken from both Nicole and OJ Simpson after the murders. It was later discovered that OJ Simpson’s blood samples were missing from the lab and a chemical called EDTA was found sprinkled in OJ Simpson’s blood samples. EDTA is a chemical that is used for DNA extraction. It is an anticoagulant used to prevent clot formation. The prosecution was never able to explain why the EDTA chemical was found at the scene of the crime. The police initially said they overlooked the blood that was smeared on the gate and collected it several weeks later after the murders of Nicole and Ron Goldman. The defense argued that the police planted the evidence after the fact and the blood on the sock. There was also a cut on OJ Simpson’s finger and it was said that scratch came from Nicole Simpson. If there was a cut on OJ Simpson’s hand then that would mean there was a cut on the glove. It was shown later on that the same glove that did not fit OJ’s hands also did not have any cuts in it.

The Hypothetical Confession

The bottom line to this case is that OJ Simpson was found not guilty in a court of law. The prosecution failed to prove their case and just like all other cases, we should respect the law and get over it. We as a people are led to believe that OJ Simpson went to Nicole Simpson’s house, he was wearing a sweatsuit and a cap, stabbed Nicole to death, stabbed Ron Goldman who is a black belt and just so happen to beat Nicole’s House unexpectedly, got rid of the murder weapon, got rid of his clothes, managed to not get a bruise or a scratch on his body and still made it on time to catch his flight to Chicago. OJ Simpson must have been a superhero who possesses some undiscovered powers that no other human being has. These murders were professionally done and we all know that OJ Simpson has never been the sharpest knife in the drawer to pull off a murder to this magnitude. The whole purpose of the OJ Simpson case continuing to be brought up is because it generates a lot of money. Shortly after OJ Simpson’s acquittal, he was immediately a target in a civil case and the purpose was to erase any financial assets OJ Simpson had. They wanted to make sure that OJ Simpson had no major streams of revenue coming in and that is what led to the book deal. OJ Simpson was approached by a publisher to write a book titled “If I did it” where it was not a confession but a hypothetical on how he would commit the murders. Also, a part of that deal was to film a hypothetical confession on tape which was to be released 12 years later. OJ decided to do the book deal because he had no other ways to make money and his back was against the wall. There is a new generation of people who are not aware of the facts behind this case and the release of footage from 12 years ago is an attempt to keep the “OJ is guilty” money machine alive.

Photo Credit:

www.bustle.com

Big Baller Brand: Junior Basketball Association

A few hours ago, several sports media outlets reported the news of LaVar Ball’s desire to start a Junior Basketball Association, where High School Graduates who are looking to forgo attending college will have the option to begin a professional career here in the United States, receiving a monthly salary of $3,000 a month (or $10,000 if considered the league’s best). Per sources, Ball seeks to fund this league entirely through his Big Baller Brand. The players will in turn exclusively wear Big Baller Brand apparel and sneakers on the court.

From LaVar’s perspective, this idea is pure genius, if all goes as planned. This appears to be the only way to get somebody without the last name Ball to wear any of their BBB merchandise. Not to mention, if ten teams are formed out of a pool of eighty players (like he is seeking to do), this will generate a fair amount of revenue from game attendance, sponsorships, etc. This will give LaVar the platform to run what is likely to become a multimillion business, if all goes as planned.

On the flip side, any parent who allows their child to enroll in this league is short sighted to say the least. While I understand that the thought of your son earning a $3,000 monthly income at age 18 may be very appealing to many, this will only generate an annual income of $36,000, assuming this league lasts for twelve months a year. $36,0000, depending on your location, is not very much money. It is barely enough for survival after taxes are deducted. Secondly, many seem to overlook the fact that a professional basketball career only lasts a small fraction of one’s life. The average NBA career lasts less than 5 years (assuming these players even make it this far). Once the said career is over, what else follows? This is where a college degree is beneficial. While college athletes do not get paid during their tenure at their respective institutions, they at least obtain a free education in exchange. This, in my opinion, is a fair tradeoff. It at least provides these young men with the tools to survive in the real world after a basketball career.

Lastly, and arguably most importantly, LaVar Ball’s development methods have not exactly panned out to be effective. While his son Lonzo was able to climb up the NBA draft ranks and get selected second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2017 NBA Draft, Lonzo’s game hasn’t exactly translated to the NBA level quite like one would expect. While I understand that he is still young and finding his niche in the league, his failure to emerge as a star early in his career provides further evidence that LaVar may not be as much of a developmental wiz as he may think he is. As a parent, I would be much more inclined to have my son receive guidance from the trusted coaching at a Duke University or a University of Kentucky as opposed to what will seemingly be an experimental run with this proposed Junior league.

In sum, while I believe that this would be a smart business move on the part of LaVar Ball and the Big Baller Brand, I do not believe that enlisting with his Junior League is a good idea for developing athletes. Going to a top-notch Division one school is likely to put them in a better position to succeed as a professional basketball player. Furthermore, a college education is likely to put these young men in position to succeed after a professional basketball career. Remember, life goes on after basketball. For the foregoing reasons, the proposed Junior Basketball Association is a good idea for its creators, but a bad idea for the prospective members.

Photo Credit:

https://solecollector.com

Nevada Senate Bill No. 538 – Internet Data Collection Bill

On June 12, 2017, Nevada’s Governor, Brian Sandoval, signed Senate Bill Number 538 into a law requiring internet website providers to disclose the type of information it obtains from internet users in the state of Nevada.  The bill, sponsored by Senate Majority leader Aaron Ford and Assembly speaker Jason Frierson, received overwhelming support from the Nevada Senate.  It requires any company or person who owns or operates an Internet website or online service for commercial purposes that collects information about Nevada residents and maintains minimum contacts with Nevada to make available a notice explicitly listing the personal information that the said operator is to collect from its clients.  In addition, the operator must allow the consumer to review and request changes to this information.  Failure to adhere to this regulation will first lead to a 30-day period to remedy a failure, or face a civil penalty imposed by the state attorney general.

In essence, this bill provides privacy protection to Nevada residents in lieu of the Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband privacy rules which have been repealed by newly elected President Trump.   The FCC privacy rules, which were set to take effect later this year, were designed to ban Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from collecting, storing, sharing and selling private information obtained from customers without their consent.  These set of rules would have required ISPs to obtain consumer permission before selling information such as web browsing history, location details, and app usage history to third parties for advertising purposes.  The repeal deprives consumers of this type of federal protection, leaving it up to the states to perhaps take steps in furtherance of privacy protection.

Nevada is one of several states to undertake such a measure to protect the interests of its residents.  Illinois is another state that has taken steps to protect the privacy interests of its people. For example, Illinois is working to implement the Right to Know Act in its state.  This law would require the operator of commercial websites or online services to make available certain personal information that has been disclosed to a third party, and to provide a way for customers to inquire further about said information, whether via email, or telephone.

While I do not believe that it is illegal for entities who own or operate an Internet website or online service for commercial purposes to obtain personal information from its users, I do think that they should have an affirmative duty to disclose to their clients the information being obtained, how it is being obtained, and how it is being used.  The onus shouldn’t be on the user to have to opt out of these arrangements after being essentially bound to a unilateral agreement by default.   After all, it is the commercial website service that gets to benefit financially from this endeavor.  Thus, the burden of seeking consent should be placed on them.

As a consumer, it isn’t unusual to expect that the information I provide to another party will be used solely for the intended purpose, unless otherwise stated.  Put differently, if I were to tell a secret to another party, it is implied that the secret would stay between the recipient of this sacred information and I, unless I were to agree for this message to be passed on to others.  Likewise, I believe it is reasonable to expect that the same principle would apply here in this context.

Opposition might argue that the majority of internet users will not willingly agree to have their information used for advertising if they in fact knew how their information was being used.  Others might also argue that the use of this information is for the benefit of the users themselves, as it will provide convenient shopping amongst other benefits.  To the proponents of the first oppositional point, I think this may present a challenge for perhaps new innovative ways of marketing, without necessarily infringing upon privacy rights.  To the proponents of the latter, if this disclosure would in fact educate users of the benefits of such information gathering, there ought to be overwhelming support, hence no foreseeable problems.

Further, I am not saying that entities who own or operate an Internet website or online service for commercial purposes shouldn’t be allowed to sell this information to third party clients.  Instead, I am simply asking that they seek the consent of the individuals who are essentially having their privacy rights infringed upon.   Since the users do not get monetary compensation, the least they can be provided is the ability/opportunity to give informed consent.  This would require simple disclosure, and the opportunity to grant or decline consent.  Since the Federal Government is taking a step back in providing this protection to citizens, more states should follow in the footsteps of Illinois and Nevada, and protect the privacy of residents.

In sum, I am in favor of Senate Bill Number 538 being passed as a law, as I believe it is a step in the right direction towards protecting the privacy of consumers online.  Entities who own or operate an Internet website or online service for commercial purposes should have the affirmative duty of disclosing to its users the type of information being obtained, how it is being obtained, and what it is being used for.  This will enable users to make an informed decision as to whether or not to provide this information and/or continue to use the service(s) being provided.  More states should follow suit.

Photo Credit:

https://themerkle.com/nevada-legislators-want-to-improve-online-privacy-protection/ 

Social Media Posts: Intersection of Privacy Rights and Free Speech

While many countries allow their citizens the freedom of expression through the press and other forms of communication, there is sometimes the need to limit this freedom, when it interferes with the reasonable expectation of privacy that others also have.  That was seemingly the case in Canada this past week. In the week of June 12, Canadian police arrested a Jeffrey Williamson, a man alleged to be the administrator of a “CanadaCreep” Twitter account.  This account is known to post photographs and videos of women, placing an emphasis on their “private parts” i.e. breasts, buttocks and groins.  While this account is known to have a variety of such footage, the charges were limited to only three videos which contained “upskirt” content of women in public places.  These videos were the only ones that were found to be a violation of the Canadian voyeurism laws on its face.  The other content of this page and others, while arguably a violation of one’s privacy, are seemingly permissible, despite the apparent invasion of a reasonably expectation of privacy.  With that, the lawmakers are faced with the difficult task of refining the criminal code to limit the freedom of expression afforded to citizens, in order to protect the privacy of all citizens. Of course, the question of where to draw the line is one that is very difficult to answer.

Canadian Law:

Canada, much like the United States has it set of rights and freedoms that govern the country.  The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms of Part I of the Constitution Act of 1982 outlines these said rights and freedoms provided to its citizens.  In the second “amendment” of this rule of law, labeled fundamental freedoms, the following is outlined:

  1. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

(d) freedom of association.

The freedom of opinion and expression is for the most part unlimited, unless it is clear violation of an existing criminal code.  For example, the three “upskirt” videos that Jeffrey Williamson was arrested for are seemingly a violation of R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46, s. 162, otherwise known as the criminal code on Voyeurism.  Under this code:

(1) Every one commits an offence who, surreptitiously, observes — including by mechanical or electronic means — or makes a visual recording of a person who is in circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy, if

(a) the person is in a place in which a person can reasonably be expected to be nude, to expose his or her genital organs or anal region or her breasts, or to be engaged in explicit sexual activity;

(b) the person is nude, is exposing his or her genital organs or anal region or her breasts, or is engaged in explicit sexual activity, and the observation or recording is done for the purpose of observing or recording a person in such a state or engaged in such an activity; or

(c) the observation or recording is done for a sexual purpose.

As evidenced by the code, the scope of prosecutable crimes is fairly limited to instances where nudity, or an expectation of the ability to be nude exists.  This essentially allows “perverts” to get away with other invasive acts which do not violate this code on its face.

What Can Be Done?

As it stands, the code on Voyeurism enables culprits to invade a reasonable level of privacy that many Canadian citizens may have.  While R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46, s. 162 1 (c) leaves room for argument by criminalizing such content obtained “for a sexual purpose,” this said purpose is fairly hard to prove.  As with most crimes, intent is hard to prove.  In this particular case, many could argue that these said pictures and/or videos are simply slice-of-life footage as part of “street photography.”  With that being said, it will be extremely difficult for Canadians to rely on subsection 1 (c) of the Voyeurism code to provide the privacy protection needed.

Peter Jacobsen, a media lawyer and member of the board of directors of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, has called for an amendment of the criminal code to encompass protection of the victims affected by the acts of individuals like Jeffrey Williamson which go unpunished.  While Jacobsen is the equivalent of what we would consider a Free Speech advocate here in the United States, even he is in favor of amending the Criminal Code in a way that outlaws “creep” photography.

While legal theorists like Jacobsen believe that amending the current Criminal Code is easier in theory than in practice, they are exploring ways to perhaps revise the language of R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46, s. 162.  The revision is in the works, but I believe that a tweak to subsection 1 (c), or perhaps an addition of a subsection 1 (d) could be the solution.   Ultimately, the legislature should find a way to incorporate a provision that covers pictures and/videos that are objectifying by a reasonable standard.   For example, I believe subsection 1 (c) should be revised to read as follows:

(c) the observation or recording is done for a sexual purpose, or is objectifying in nature, by a  reasonable standard. 

This will ultimately open the door for the judicial system to assess such instances on a case by case basis, while maintaining somewhat of a reasonable standard.

Conclusion

In sum, governing bodies have the tough task of empowering citizens by allowing the freedom of expression while at the same time protecting certain liberties such as privacy.  In order to keep a balance and protect the innocent victims such as those preyed upon by the “CanadaCreep” and others of the like, the criminal code, i.e. R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46, s. 162 must be amended to adequately protect the subject class from such intrusive acts.

Photo Credit:

http://debatepost.com/2017/06/18/canada-creep-facing-child-porn-charges/ 

The Worst Ignorance to Have

We all have a fundamental aspect of our humanity that we ignore, I will call the ignorance of peace the prideful inertia of humankind. We all have a compass inside of us that tells us right from wrong. It is truly amazing how this vision of what is “good behavior” and what is “bad behavior” manifests– ever since we have been children. Children have the strongest connection to this feeling. We are taught to disown this fundamental force that drives us towards our own morality in order to focus on ethics that promote power, such as money.

The very society that humans are born into trains them to possess this prideful inertia. You are influenced to believe at a young age that without possessing this inertia, you will be stagnant to accomplish influence in the world. We all possess a prideful vitality of humankind, but it is located in a uniquely balanced mind that is aware of the inherent ignorance that lay unquestioned in the world. Throughout education, we are edged to trust what others believe is right from wrong. We learn rules that we should follow to be “good” students, children, friends, citizens. I cannot speak for you, but I do not know where these rules came from. These rules are ridden with dogma due to evolution.

I have thought about what the first power struggle in humanity has looked like. Every scenario I can think of to provoke any power struggle is rooted in prideful inertia. It is extremely easy coming to power through simply engaging in ignorance. It rids the driver,
 per se, of their emotions and inherent responsibility to humankind. In return for this exchange, there is a clear route to power over the other. In securing power over another, you gain power. However, we are taught to ignore this robbery. We never question: At what cost does our power come? There are feelings that govern how you act, feelings that have created this current position and situation in which you live. What you see in front of you is a manifestation of what other people felt was the right thing to do. Even in prideful inertia, people still do what they feel is “right”. However, what is “right” simply is to act with faith in humanity and in the universe. Punishment is a personal experience, when we force others into punishment we are never guaranteed that they have suffered. We cannot spend time making sure others feel pain, when we, ourselves, have so much pain to absolve.

This is a heavy burden we carry that we may not have even realized we carry. We carry a burden that history has let rogue and presently it sits on our shoulders. A system of structural concern, a government whose purpose is to govern and control the extent to which others express a prideful ignorance… or are they trying to control a prideful vitality now? The line has blurred between which one is “right”, and it has led to political confusion! I will tell you right now, prideful vitality with the whole human race in mind is ideal! It is practical that each person can individually become mindful of the ignorance and the complications prideful inertia ensues. We are used to complications being what is instead of what we are making. If we turn around and view the state of the country and of the world, it can be explicitly seen that those engaged in acts of war and other pseudo autonomous behavior are dedicating their lives to ignore this very simple, fundamental human characteristic in order to combat others whom have. It is simple to want to make life flourish; not for one, but for all.

Photo Credit:

https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net

Synopsis: Modern Day Police “Brutality”

This past Tuesday, an older white colleague of mine walked into my office and asked for my thoughts on the incidents that took place last week.  For the first time, I was forced to opine on the matter, and really put my thoughts together.  Before I go any further, I wanted to first clarify that at this juncture, no one really knows of the totality of circumstances in both the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shootings, or the Dallas Police incident.  For that reason, my opinion is strictly based on the information that has been disclosed to the media. Based on the information revealed, it does not appear that deadly force was warranted in either the Alton Sterling incident, or the Philando Castile shooting.  Secondly, I want to acknowledge that being a law enforcement officer is an extremely difficult job to hold, and that I truly respect and appreciate all those who choose these career paths. With that being said, however, I can’t say that I am one bit surprised, but rather rudely awoken, by the events that took place last week.

It is not proven that either of these police stops were racially motivated, although it appears that race played at least somewhat of a role in each incident. Based on the premise that it played somewhat of a role, the following account applies.  As a young black man, I am well aware of the fact that racism and racial stereotyping against my kind is still an issue in this country. While I like to think that we have made a lot of progress in that regard, there is still a lot of work to be done. It is no secret that blacks are considered by many to be more of a threat to society, than our white counterparts.  It is also no secret that higher ratios of blacks are more likely to be involved in a life of crime.  Nevertheless, the stereotypes that some close-minded people have of blacks are simply inaccurate.  I am a living example of this fact.

As a 24 year old black male in this country, I like to think that I have done a pretty good job of defying the odds against black men.  I graduated college with a 3.7 cumulative GPA, work a full time job as a settlement agent, and go to law school at night, on a merit based scholarship.  On paper, it is fair to say that I am doing very well for myself; but on the surface, one could never guess.  When I am not dressed up in a suit for work, I like  to wear skinny jeans, foamposites, low brim hats and earrings. I listen to loud “trap music” with my windows down, drink Henny on the rocks when I go out, and watch funny vines of black comedy. Based on my appearance outside of the professional setting and my conduct in my personal life, no one would be able to foresee my academic and/or professional accomplishments.

Now, I am not here to write a mini-bio on myself; instead I am trying to make a point.  The point I am trying to make is that it is completely unfair for us to essentially have a target on our back, simply for looking the way we do. As cliche as it sounds, you can’t judge a book by its cover; and as a black man, it hurts to know that these are still the circumstances that many of us have to live under.  While Northern Virginia is a very diverse area to live, and consequently safe for people of our kind, many in other parts of the country aren’t as “privileged” to live under such conditions. The fact that the freedom to live freely as a black man is essentially a “privilege” is baffling. This country has come way too far to have this issue remain prevalent.

As a reaction, many get mad.  They may protest, they may fight back, they may be even shoot back. To me, that is not the solution.  In my opinion, the best way to put an end to this view of blacks, is by being the change we want to see.  First, we have to put ourselves in position to impact public policy.  This starts by doing the little things such as voting.  By voting, I’m not referring to the presidential elections per se (although that too will help); instead, I am referring to the local elections.  Partake in elections that directly impact your community.  After all, these people that you elect will ultimately play a role in how your community is shaped, more so than a president will.  In addition to voting, we must also aspire to be in position of power.  Go to school, get an education, become someone influential, that way you too can have a say in how things are run. Who knows? You could even be put in position of large scale authority.

Secondly, we have to better ourselves. Yes, I believe that some of us black people contribute to the stereotypes out there. A lot of officers look for probable cause for traffic stops, because they hope the stop will lead to more discoveries.  Many times, this is in fact the case.  We have to put an end to that. We have to conduct ourselves in a better manner, stay away from a life of crime, get respectable jobs, and stop looking for the easy way out. We have to prove the doubters wrong. Interact with people who aren’t of the same upbringing as you, show them that you aren’t half as bad as they may assume.

Lastly, we have to refrain from retaliation.  By retaliating, we aren’t helping ourselves, as we are only conducting ourselves in the manner in which some close minded individuals expect us to.  Two wrongs don’t make a right, and taking our anger out on those who, as a whole, believe it or not, work tirelessly to protect us all, is not the answer. Not all cops are out to get us, and we shouldn’t conduct ourselves as such. This diminishes the desire for these officers to better serve our community, and quite frankly increases the paranoia that they may already have, making them more susceptible to react to our actions, violently. Not all law enforcement officers are close minded, and to do anything that jeopardizes their safety is a big slap in the face.

In sum, while we do not know of all the circumstances that went into the two police shooting incidents that took place last week, it appears that race may have played a role in both.  If that is the case, this should come of as no surprise to anyone; instead it should motivate the blacks in this country to take steps towards being the change that we want to see in society. That is the only way we can turn things around. All things being considered, we cannot let the darkness of the most recent events overcast the overall good work that law enforcement officers do for the nation as a whole. As I previously mentioned, not all cops are crooked.  Likewise, not all whites are close minded; in fact, many aren’t. We must not lose sight of these facts.  Much like we would like to be judged based on our character, and not the stereotypes formed by the close minded, we too must be open minded and not assume that all whites are out to get us. We’ve got to better ourselves, to eliminate these stereotypes.

Photo Credits:

madamenoire.com 

New Music: …Nightslikethis

IMG_1589

For the past few months I’ve been thinking about ways to market this. In our capitalistic society it’s a harsh reality that art has a price tag and that price tag is a reflection how society views an artist and his work.

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Is the artwork genuine? Is it good? Does it have message … and if so what is it ? Can I share this experience? Can I only enjoy it alone? Who else will like it?

Music is no different.

It’s an ironic twist that a platform for expression can be so genuine and pure, yet, have to be packaged and sold to the public using half-truths and in-genuine methods.

At the end of the day though, I’m not here to argue the drawbacks of making music in the system we are in … It’s simply an obstacle an artist has to overcome at a certain point.

For the past few months I’ve been thinking about ways to market this … When it came down to it though, I couldn’t think of a single idea that didn’t seem exploitative, over-the-top, or impractical.

Then I wrote this.

For whatever reason this just felt right. This is exactly how I feel.

… Nightslikethis is about the bullsh*t you have to go through to get to where you want to be. It’s about people who don’t appreciate what you actually do for them. It’s about dealing with depression and anger in ways I hope you never have to. It’s about me and you, my market. My people.

The real, down to earth, cool ass individuals that we are – who never felt the need to be extra.

I sit here and think about the people who lie for exploitative gains and I know I could never be that. Maybe it’s an inherent setback, maybe I just don’t want to do it. Either way, I know what belief I can die for happily.

Like a young Al Pacino said, “I never f*cked anyone over in my life that didn’t have it coming to them.”

They’ll never fake this this mentality. They might fake being honest but they’ll never fake being real.

-remRemyMartin.

Tracklist:

01. Ex-Machina (Heartless II)

02. Honestly

03. Selfish

04. JB Interlude

05. …Nightslikethis

06. Goodnite

07. Shots

08. Emotional

09. Never Real….

 

The Life of Pablo

 

Album Artwork

Saint Valentine’s Day. An annual Christian holiday (although is it really a holiday?) celebrated on February 14. Its origin is subject to many interpretations, but one of the widely told legends revolves around Saint Valentinus of Ancient Rome. As the story goes, Valentinus was captured and imprisoned for practicing the Christian faith and overseeing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. Remaining true to his moral compass, Valentinus healed the ailing daughter of his jailer, Asterius. Prior to his eventual execution, he penned a letter to the woman and signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.

Today, Kanye West returns from his hiatus to deliver his own valentine in the form of Pablo: The Life of Pablo. The EXTEMELY, long-awaited continuation of his 2013 release was originally slated to drop this past Thursday, but later delayed in true Kanye West fashion. “BLAME CHANCE” he exclaimed from his twitter account. Yeezy himself intended to make a classic down to the very last minute. Those who vehemently dismiss the Chicago native’s previous project will find gratitude in the Ye’s return to his lyrical roots.

TLOP is arguably one of Ye’s best works production-wise. The album, which I liken to sonic gold, is reminiscent of the College Dropout and Late Registration mixed masterfully with the futuristic sounds of YEEZUS. If anything this album is a reminder to everyone that ye may have fell off, but he most certainly did not lose his perfectionist touch. The album features guest appearances from Kelly Price, Kirk Franklin, Chance the Rapper, Kid Cudi, Future and many more. May I also add that these features are all in the first two tracks? Yeah. Let that sink in.

So, who exactly is Pablo? In my honest opinion, I thought he was referencing notorious, Columbian drug lord, Pablo Escobar. My reason for this being Pablo was so untouchable at one point in time and was the inspiration for the “Scarface” motion picture who many characterize as a “God” himself. Obviously I was wrong though as Kanye himself referenced in a 2015 Oxford University lecture, “My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater”. Whether you’ve rocked with his music since “Through the Wire” or still hold a bitter taste in your mouth when he grabbed the microphone out of Taylor Swift’s hand, we have to give Kanye credit for the dedication and precision he delivers in his music.

Pablo opens with a sermon on “Ultralight Beam” asking God to deliver the world love, peace and serenity. You don’t have to be religious in order to be moved by the performances by The-Dream and Kelly Price (Her voice makes you want to get down on your knees and repent for the sins you’ve committed. Seriously, Miss Price, your voice is heaven.) As if the track couldn’t get any better, Chance The Rapper conveys his sixteen bars while referencing one of Ye’s famous lines: “I made Jesus Walks, im never going to hell” with “I made Sunday Candy, “I’m never going to hell. I met Kanye West, I’m never going to fail.” There is no deny the influence the God of rap has supplied to the game and this gospel-esque track is seemingly appropriate for an introduction.

It’s not long before Yeezy snaps especially on “Feedback”. “Ayy, y’all heard about the good news? Y’all sleeping on me, huh? Had a good snooze?” Mr. West has awakened. He says, “If Hov J then every Jordan need a Rodman”. It’s unfair to compare the careers of Jay Z and Kanye, but it happens anyway. Jordan and Rodman played together for three seasons and won a total of three rings together. While J’s résumé rivals that of Jordan’s, Ye’s flamboyant and bizzare style must not be overlooked as one of the all-time greats.

One of the more important songs on the album is none other than a song named after the man himself, “I Love Kanye”. Kanye flexes his weight on music, fashion and pop culture on freestyle. “See I invented Kanye, it wasn’t any kanye’s and now I look around and there’s so many Kanye’s.” Artists such as Drake, Childish Gambino, Lupe Fiasco, Kid Cudi, Chance the Rapper and others to name a few, would not have been able to successfully break out, if not for 808’s and Heartbreak. Ye’s presence is felt in numerous forms and its time we recognize it.

It would be disrespectful to proclaim the return of the old Kanye as I am in no position to judge another man’s art or any art in that matter. But what I can say is that he returns to the elements, which skyrocketed his career to begin with. The Life of Pablo may not be the greatest album ever, but it certainly is the album of the year thus far and must be considered as one of Kanye’s best.

Photo Credits:

musicfeeds.com.au

Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice

Abortion is a controversial topic of the highest order, when it comes to moral implications of policy setting.  Child birth is a subject that is dear to all of our hearts because we are all a direct result thereof.  The topic of abortion is one that is particularly conflicting to my personal views as a Christian man, who also believes in the right to freedom.  Abortion is terrible in so many ways.  One, I believe that it is murder, as it constitutes the killing of an entity, that would have otherwise developed into a human.  Two, I believe that it is an easy escape for many who refrain from taking the necessary steps in contraception  to prevent a situation which they are not ready for (I say many and not all, because there are some few situations where women are raped…which we will touch on later).  Lastly, and arguably most importantly, abortion prevents what could have been a beautiful creation from taking place.  Had our parents chosen to abort us, none of us would be here today; and look how wonderful we turned out?

On the other hand, to proceed with an abortion is a choice that one should have.  First, it is, I believe, a freedom; and so an infringement thereof could be considered a deprivation of a right.  Secondly, abortion can be considered a method of alleviation of a “burden” for the mother.  Now, this is not to say that a child is a burden; rather, the circumstance that may arise from being placed in such a predicament may be viewed as such. An abortion can help one cope with such an unplanned scenario.  Lastly, an abortion is sometimes a necessity.  This isn’t in reference to health situations, where an abortion is sometimes necessary in order to save a mother’s life; this is rather in reference to situations where a pregnancy is the result of a rape, and consequently the mother would like to get rid of any remembrances of the occurrence.  In such situations, an abortion can be deemed necessary.

Given the two contrasts, it is easy to understand (at least from an objective perspective) why one could be for or against abortion.  Personally, I am conflicted because from a moral standpoint, I should be pro-life; however, from a libertarian standpoint I should be pro-choice.  This leads to my compromising view on the subject.  I believe that the right to an abortion should be given to women; however, I believe that women, despite the option, should always choose to keep the life.  Life is too precious to give up.  There are many women who attempt wholeheartedly to reproduce to no avail.  If given the opportunity, I believe that all women should chose to keep the baby.  It may not be convenient, but there are always ways to accommodate. If that means working twice as hard as you do to sustain two lives as opposed to one, or altering your life goals to accommodate for the extra life, I think it is worth it in the long run.  Again, keep in mind that none of us would be here today if our parents had chosen to abort us.  Lastly, if all fails, you always have the option of giving the child up for adoption.  If you aren’t in the position to care for an offspring, there are many people out there who would be more than happy to alleviate you of this “burden.”

In sum, both pro-life and pro-choice activists have very convincing arguments to make a case for their respective positions.  It isn’t hard for an objective person to see why one may feel one way or the other.  With that being said however, the best compromise is to give the freedom to an abortion, in hopes that those with that freedom will elect to forgo of that liberty.  If abortion is abolished, that closes the door for those who feel strongly against keeping an unwanted baby, whereas allowing that freedom still provides the hope that even those libertarians could chose not to go that route.  That, to me, is the most rational and impartial path to take.

Photo Credit:

blogs.baruch.cuny.edu