BAD THINGS MAKE MONEY TOO: HOW AMERICA’S DARK SIDE CONTRIBUTE TO THE ECONOMY

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“When bad is good.”


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The United States tagline is the land of the free and the home of the brave. We push this tagline, but what happens when the other side of America pops its ugly head up. Or better yet, what happens when an ugliness in America is actually of profit to the economy. And what do I mean by profit to the system. I’m talking the prison system and the criminal underworld. Just as the negatives that come with the crime there are the positives as well.

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The narcotics business has been a longstanding issue in the United States going back to the 1970’s. But as with the carnage it brings, there is the monetary gain that a city takes in from the business. The first aspect is the money being spent in an environment by criminals. When the city of Miami was going through its problems back in the 1980’s, the money being generated was staggering. Billions of dollars were made through the narcotics business.

But you also have the funding from the government to battle the drug problem. So, now you have police officers, prosecutors, and judges who are needed for cases. Which an insurmountable amount of jobs. You even have the money taken from drug bust used to upgrade police equipment. Even the drugs are stored and used to lower others for potential drug deals.

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People who are engaging in gun running or using guns stolen are the reason for two things. The intervention of the ATF, as well as citizens part taking in gun ownership is now a reason to invest in the firearms market. Especially with the rising fear of terrorism, the gun sales also increase.

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A major aspect of profiting off of the crime would be the prison systems. This country is going to make money off of you one way or another. And if you are going to be a stand-up citizen then there is a orison for you to go and live. And you’re not going to be just sitting around reading magazines and watching television. You’re going to be working the jobs that have left he job market and made its way to America’s penitentiaries. And the next you talk to a telemarketer, don’t be shocked if they are actually a corrections inmate.

Prison has become this assembly line of people coming in and going out. Cost the country money to try cases, so now it becomes a cookie cutter get them and get them out. Give this guy 10 years, this guy 3 years, this guy 6 months, and this guy 50 years. We have our chart with time associated with crimes, put the time to the charge and see you later.


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HER WORD IS WORD: THE SLIPPERY SLOPE OF RAPE IN OUR SOCIETY

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“No joking matter.”


Recently in the news, there was an incident on the reality television show Bachelor in Paradise. Two co-stars in the show Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson were hanging out together. Their casual hangout with drinks took a turn and eventually they were both in a hot tub together engaging in a lewd sex act. Camera crews were in sight of the whole entire ordeal. When the story was made public, the television show was yanked from the air. Why was the show yanked from television? Because in an unexpected twist, Olympios stated she was too inebriated to have consented to any sex act. Even though she said she wasn’t raped, she just was too drunk to consent to any sex acts. This left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths.

Everyday women throughout this country are raped and so many of the stories fall on deaf ears. So when Corinne eluded to being sexual assaulted, even with video footage, it made a lot of people angry. Though she kept saying it wasn’t rape, the way she said what happened was still sensitive. When you say I don’t remember consenting, you’re still in a way saying something was done to you without your consent. So saying rape or not, it opens the door to more investigation. And the television show was cancelled, understandably so. Because why would a multinational conglomerate like NBC want allegations of sexual misconduct on one of its television shows.

But let’s say for just one moment that there were no television cameras around. And she found out there was something sexual that took place. Would she still come out and say that nothing happened? That is what has people so outraged. DeMario would be in a lot more trouble had there not have been cameras present. Because now the ball is in her court regarding what happens next. And on top of it all, her parents and her boyfriend found out. So instead of her coming correct, it could be something much more that didn’t have to be. So what about men who don’t have cameras present? Or better yet, what about women who are actually being assaulted who never get the appropriate attention they need.

And that is why rape allegations, even slightly eluding to rape should be handled in a delicate manner. Because the fact that someone feels like not facing the reality that they screwed-up, they can now use rape as a get out of jail free card. It could have changed a young man’s life forever. There are men sitting in prisons across the country who have been exonerated for charges of rape. Men who spent greater portions of their lives behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit. Another slippery slope is if a woman thinks rape, that’s enough to charge a man with a crime. Meaning, she could have said I was too scared and thought it, but didn’t say anything. That is a strange position because he now says I thought it was consensual.

In the end, sexual assault is a very serious allegation. It’s not something that should be taken lightly, not even eluded to in conversation unless it’s true. And what’s tough is that even if it comes out that the guy is innocent, no one speaks on it. It’s kind of expected to just go away. As for the guy, he is stuck with this stigma for life.


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1619: HOW FAR HAVE WE COME AS AFRICAN AMERICANS

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“What happens when identity has to be recreated?”


Two years from now will be the year 2019, which will mark the 400 year period since the first Africans were brought to America. So much between then and now has happened, and the question now remains. How far have Black people come in America and how far do we still need to go? Let’s take a look in the past for just a moment. Imagine, each person, coming from their respective tribes, with their respective cultures. Being dragged to a new land, not knowing what was in store once you got there. Trying to understand why looking out into the sea you can’t find the river banks from which you came to return back home. And now you’re in this new place for life, with people you don’t know.

Fast forward to today, where we have been for almost 400 years. But, we have really only had rights since about the early 1970’s. That means African Americans have been experiencing freedom for roughly 45 – 50 years. You america, architecture, famousmight say, how so? Well, freedom allows you to vote, which we couldn’t do until coming into the 1970’s from the 1960’s. Freedom says you can go to any school you want to attend. But in the 1970’s and even as early as the 1980’s institutions were resistant in letting Blacks attend. Freedom grants you housing wherever you want to live, which is even more recent than the right to vote. Freedom grants the privilege to marry who you want without question. Laws on books forbid interracial marriage in various states in this country. The only progressive environment that has moved with more pace has been sports and the United States Armed Forces.

But what still needs to happen. Because we have poor education in inner city communities. There is a disproportionate number of violent crimes and a breakdown of the family. What’s interesting is that this is more of a recent phenomenon. If you look into the past, two parent households were the norm in the Black community. Black people had close nit communities, crime was nearly nonexistent, and overall morale was in tack. So what does that mean, we have to back track and lose our rights again to have control over our communities. Is there some sort of trade off, “You go back to segregation and then life will change.” Or is it more simple than that?

For example, I look at Chicago, a city that is plagued with crime, and also my father’s place of birth. And he has stated that it is a mixture of heavy Whtie and Black Police Car on Roadgang recruitment and lack of establishment by the law because of politicians not doing their jobs. It has been a rogue city for quite some time and with more and more schools closing, yet children are not being placed in other districts, problems are going to really climb. Which brings me to my next question. If schools are closing and countless kids are left in these inner city areas without a school home, should we start to home school as a community? Should Black people disregard the public school system in cities like Chicago? I mean, they’re shutting them down anyways, why not.

And that is the lead in to my next question, What is in the future? America is changing more and more everyday, and if we are not prepared issues will worsen. And not really on just a racial side, but economic. In today’s society, there is still not adequate access in poor areas to a lot of opportunities. Or is it? Black people are one of the largest demographics of smart phone users. That is a tool for learning all on it’s own. Which brings me to the next phase, putting yourself in the know. Those who are willing to put themselves in the know can and will elevate no matter what their economic circumstance or ethnic background. Having that mobile device means you do now have access to a lot of opportunities.

You may say how so? Well, this is not your mother and father or grandparents generation. Google search engine and YouTube has allowed access to what was once the unknown the know. For example, I Black Samsung Tablet on Google Pagelearned to write screenplays, my books, setup my website, and build social media all through tutorials on YouTube and searching through Google. So if we are big smart phone users, then we have the access in hand. All it takes is the attempt to sit and learn. Open yourself up to the opportunities that lie ahead. So, in the end, we have to do something. Life is getting harder by the day; and not just for us, everyone. Adjusting to the major technological shifts that will happen is a must in succeeding in life. If you are not bent on learning and broadening your base, then that America dream you want will no be anywhere within your sights.


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848: NARCOTICS CHARGES AND MISUNDERSTOOD LAWS THAT AFFECT A COMMUNITY

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“Ever been in too deep?”


848 is the charge that is reserved for mainly drug traffickers who move high quantities of narcotics. It is known as the the kingpin charge. In my lifetime, there have been a few kingpins that have graced this earth. But when I think of a kingpin, I think of Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder, Joaquin Guzman (El Chapo), and Griselda Blanco. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized that Americans have been hit with 848. And when you look at what they were engaged in, you could consider these people kingpins. Nicky Barnes, Frank Lucas, Ricky Ross, Big Meech, and Rayful Edmond. My question is, do some of the men who are hit with these charges know what they’re involved in?

Growing up in the inner city, there were guys in my community that were charged with various drug offenses. To me they were just basic drug dealers, but you hear about guys receiving kingpin charges and you pause. These guys are kingpins, really? But in the court system, the level of drugs that they were selling made them kingpins. But, there is only one problem, a lot of the names I stated early were much older men. But what about guys who were getting charged in cities across the United States at young ages. And when I say young, I mean 15, 16, 17, and 18 years old.

You think to yourself, what 15 – 18 year old really know about the drug laws. You had guys selling drugs that didn’t even know there was authority outside their neighborhood. So to assume they were these guys putting together this massive criminal enterprise is far fetched. Don’t get me wrong, they knew it was wrong. But for boys this young, they were doing what was the cash cow in the neighborhood. So if they knew what they were truly involved in, would they have still joined? We will never know because so many of them have lost time selling drugs.

Now as for me, how come I never got involved in my neighborhood debauchery? It was because I knew the full extent to which I could get into trouble or killed. How did I know, I was taught in my household. So why weren’t these guys taught in their households. Or maybe they were taught what could happen. Maybe they knew and just didn’t care. I will say, the older guys knew what could happen. Unlike the older guys, younger guys had no clue what they were doing. Nonetheless, the criminal justice could care less if they knew or not. They were carried off to jail.

In the end, being seen as a kingpin or running a continuous criminal enterprise is an 848. So by law, it is not hard to be labeled as a kingpin. But as for the young guys who get involved they are in the dark as to what they are doing. But in today’s society, can they truly say they don’t know. There is enough information out here that was not available in the past. But as long as poverty is what’s driving the market, we won’t see any stoppage of drug sells anytime soon.

GENERATION FRUSTRATION: WHY WE AS A YOUNG BLACK DEMOGRAPHIC CARRY SUCH ANGER

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“Where does it all come from?”


Ever see the crime rate in the inner cities throughout the country? You ever wonder where so much of this rage comes from? The frustrations comes from a multitude of issues in the community. It’s not just one thing to observe when trying to figure out why this exist. From the gun violence in the community to the rioting when the police shoot an innocent Black male. This rage comes from internal struggle as well as external struggles. But it’s not indicative of who we are as a people. The black community didn’t have these high crime rates during the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or even the 60’s. And this was a time period when we barely had rights in America. Well, what happened?

I’ll say the first issue that came about was actually a positive as well. That double edge sword was the Civil Rights Bills passed in the 1960’s. After this time period Black people had this sense of accomplishment. We felt like the work had been complete. Yet, during the Civil Rights Movement, we had our own communities. Black people had our own businesses, schools, hospitals, and social programs. That Black owned mind-frame shifted after the movement. We thought to ourselves, “Why all the Black stuff, we are free now.” Then, communities dried up as Black people left our urban environments to take solace in upper middle or upper class predominantly White neighborhoods. So money left the community, while at the same time spending was poured outward. Whereas in the past money was circulated through the community.

What happened next, coming into the 1970’s as money left, narcotics took hold. The combination of Heroine met Cocaine, led to high crime rates and bombed out buildings. Fatherless homes left Black women dependent on welfare. Which leads into my next reason for the rage. The lack of a co-parenting  situation that made the women both mother and father. Initially Black men were gone from the house for a few hours. Why, well the family needed money from the welfare system. Then hours to days, days to weeks, and then weeks to months. In no time fathers were gone, beginning to get hooked on drugs and alcohol, while women were the new leaders of the community. Now we have this pride in the woman doing it all, when in reality it takes more than just Black women to keep young Black men out of trouble.

Men and women have different skills, thought processes, and emotions. So it’s no wonder why Black women have had such a tough time raising children alone; especially connecting young Black males. So, with no help and forced to work long hours to provide for the family, more than ever the term latch key kid came into play. With her at work and no father around, young Black males turned to gangs as a means of creating bonds with each other they weren’t receiving at home. Gangs started battling for turf over other gangs which were predominantly Black, leading to an even higher crime rate than before. This time was known as the Crack Cocaine years of the 1980’s and 90’s. Which leads to the rage as well of a generation.

Drug trafficking was an issue coming from the 1960’s throughout the 70’s, but nothing was like Crack. Crack took communities deviations down to nothing. KKK were far removed from our communities, while we took over where they left off. Black women who could have been beauty pageant contestants were taken down by Crack. Hair matted on their heads, eyes blood shot red, skull caps & ripped t-shirts, bodily scares from syringe use and scratching, and diseases stemming from drug use. Women who could have been doctors, lawyers, engineers, educators, were taken down by drugs. Black males were dying and getting hit with conspiracy charges and sent to prison for decades, as well as life sentences.

Then the 1990’s came and went, leading into the 2000’s. After a few decades of mayhem, we felt through this past 90’s into the 2000’s this sense of accomplishment as well. But entertainment became bigger influences than ever. Hip Hop hit in the 90’s and early 2000’s, making these men bigger influences than the Civil Rights leaders of the past. And here is another aspect of the rage from young Black males and females. Our entertainment was now raising us, and we would base more and more off of tangibles then intangibles. Boys were more encouraged to be players and pimps than boyfriends and husbands. And Black women were prompted to chase after ballers over day-to-day working men. So now, pickings are slim because expectations became so unrealistic.

So the relationship between Black men and women was even more fragmented. Then in 2008, the United States elected its first Black president Barack H. Obama. Black people flocked to Washington D.C. from all across the country for his inauguration. That sense of accomplishment reemerged and for the past eight years, we felt success. He, a Noble Peace Prize winner, and his wife Michelle Obama was inspirational as well through her public persona. After they left the White House, people geared themselves for Hilary Clinton, the first woman. But the nation elected Donald J. Trump in the year 2016. A man who pulled no punches on how he spoke. Unapologetic and aggression was enough to make him president. And that feeling of hurt emerged from the Black community. Hate crimes rose and everything felt bleak.

And in the end, that’s the feeling of rage from the Black youth of today. We have constantly been told things are different, but don’t feel different. My millennial generation and generation Y were raised into a community of crime and poverty. We feel lied to and with a feeling of limited opportunities, the rage rises. But there is a flip side to the rage. Trump has also had an inverse effect in other ways. Consciousness among young twenty somethings have risen as well. We may be headed toward another Black Renaissance like that of 1930’s Harlem. So with all the anger and frustration, we need more and more consciousness, especially in this troubling time.

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT: BLACK PEOPLE AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE POLICE

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“Why we fight.”

The Black community and the law enforcement have been at odds for decades in this country. But, unless you live among the problems, it’s quite hard to fully understand where it comes from. It’s easy to point out through the history with slavery and Jim Crow. But this goes far beyond those points in time in history. Are there any other issues that lead to this tumultuous relationship? I can name a few reasons as to why the police and the Black community have a history of bad blood. And not for reasons that we tend to talk about in the news.

One of the reasons has to do with the ethnic makeup of the police. Black and White people in America have had this history of mistrust in this country. That history goes back a few centuries that has gotten better, yet still exist. So now you look at the police and it is not a reflection of the community in which they’re serving. And to add to it, you have this Black community, and an all White police department. So old wounds are opened, even if the police are good cops. But why do the police themselves have issues with serving in these communities. It has to do with the police officers not living in the environment.

A lot of these cops who are White not only don’t live in the community, but they didn’t grow up here. For most of them, these are typically young White men, who grow up in neighborhoods totally different than the ones they’ll be policing. Not just the ethnic, but the cultural landscape is typically different than where they grew up as well. From the style of dress to the vernacular of the people who live in the area. And on top of it all, the attire has typically been criminalized. So guys are coming in with already their own mindset of the people that live there. But, there is another reason as to the issues between the police and the Black community.

Another issue is the fact that people within these communities never admit it, but tend to take issue with White authority. You may ask, what does that mean? Well, perception tends to cause a lot of problems. Because a police officer may state to someone in the community to do as you’re told. But how it’s interpreted, is seen as racially condescending. Is it that, most likely not, but that comment goes from zero to sixty fast. Because the officer sees it as not following authority, but the individual sees it as subversive racism. When these are the thoughts going through someone’s mind, it’s a wonder more incidents don’t take place.

In the end, there can’t be a society where the law enforcement and the community it protects is at odds. The police are not just community protectors, but are also first line of defense in case of a terrorist attack. So there has to be some form of coming together so that people and the police are not at odds.

LOST GENERATION (QUOTE)

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“Where would we be if red and blue flags represented community organizations.” “The Bloods and Crips would probably be on par with the our top Black national action organizations.” “You’re talking one of the youngest and one of the most powerful organizations globally.” “An organization that could spur out doctors, lawyers, engineers, educators, politicians, that would lead our people in a positive direction.” “But when a generation feel they have nothing to lose and nothing to gain, what are you left with, mayhem.” “And how do you stop individuals who think they are at war when there is really no war to be fought, I wish I knew.”

-Faheem Jackson