“Minority Communities & Our Relationship With The Law” – Musings From The Media Sweetheart

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Minority Communities and our Relationship with the Law

 

In the wake of the tragic death of Kimani Gray and the federal court hearing of New York City’s ‘Stop and Frisk’ policy there has been an uproaring amongst Black and Latino city residents that call foul against New York City’s finest. Racial tensions as well as profilings have always laid the groundwork for the tumultuous relationship between police forces of this nation and the minority communities they’re sworn to protect and serve.

 

Being a Brooklyn resident, the Kimani Gray story is all I hear about while watching local news. For those of you who don’t know, Gray was a 16-year old boy shot and killed by NYPD in E. Flatbush, supposedly for drawing a loaded weapon and aiming it at officers. (Link to the full story posted below.) To make the matter even more prominent, the class action lawsuit of Floyd v. City of New York, the case in which several individuals who were illegally stopped under Stop and Frisk challenge the constitutionality of the policy and fight for changes that would make it less prejudice and discriminatory, is headlining local news as well. These coupled with the hot topic of gun violence and reform have all created an atmosphere that is heavy with the feeling that if something is not done to rectify the situation soon, there will be major unrest.

 

Now, what brought me to write today is the fact that racial profiling and discrimination have been about since our ancestors first stepped foot on this continent. This is something that is, for whatever reason, extremely difficult for us as a nation to snap out of. Seeing that this is the case, how do we change the powers that be and keep our families and loved ones safe and avoid ourselves from becoming victims of prejudice and profiling?

 

Many will jump to say that there needs to be justice and reform throughout the police force and although this is true, I was taught a long time ago that one can only be held responsible for one’s own actions. Opposed to rushing to point the finger, major introspection must first be done to see what we can do to alleviate the pressure of these circumstances. Although, as mentioned earlier, the discrimination minorities face dates back generations, there is also a lot that we have done, as a people to perpetuate these stereotypes and prove their statistics true. Gang violence, drugs, and social influences (which I’ll get into in depth at a later date) have bred mindsets and behaviors in the Black and Hispanic communities that have allowed us to be targeted as criminal nuisances; nuisances that need to be dealt with in order to provide overall safety for the city that these officers are paid and sworn to protect.

 

Now, I’m not saying that this makes prejudice or discrimination excusable but what I am saying is that when senseless violence and loss of life occur at the hand of the police, when we march to protest their actions, we should be marching just as hard to protest the actions of the incendiaries within our own communities that have made us all look bad. Stereotypes don’t simply manifest themselves. They come from observation of actual events and past experiences.

 

It is our job to shatter these stereotypes and change the face of these negative statistics. If you think about it, ‘Stop and Frisk’ is effective because when they stop “the right” individuals they find what it is they’re looking for, therefore validating and strengthening the case that the policy is good policing and is getting dangerous individuals off the street. Those amongst our people who are actually out and committing the crimes ‘Stop and Frisk’ are claiming to prevent are simply fueling and giving life to a policy that is menacing our people and causing further racial divisions and tumultuous relationships between us and the police. The police force has the argument that the majority of the people who commit certain crimes are Black and Latino and therefore have a solid case upholding their actions. We need to make it so when one of our people are racially profiled, when they go to court the police force cannot say “well, according to the statistics…” and therefore not have a leg to stand on, leading to justice for someone who was wrongfully targeted.

 

Politicians who march and protest and music artists who proudly proclaim “f*ck the police” need to show the same fervor towards our own people, menacing our cities, that we do towards the police force who, at the end of the day, are simply doing a job despite whatever their racial views are. It is time that we finally start to do better. We are only as strong as our weakest link and we need do what is necessary to strengthen those of us who are unintentionally destroying us. We must make it so they have no reason, whatsoever, to single us out. We must no longer be the statistic.

As always, we’d love to hear all of your thoughts! Feel free to comment and share!

 

Take care,

Media Sweetheart

 

http://www.thenation.com/article/173454/kimani-gray-guilty-until-proven-innocent#

 

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/24/1196149/-Stop-and-frisk-on-trial

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“The Deficit” – Musings From The Media Sweetheart

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The Deficit:

What is it about feelings, love, emotions, and all other forms of “gushy stuff” that people find so terrifying? Why is it that people are more likely to have a guard up rather than an insuppressible excitement to dive into the unknown and present themselves as vulnerable to a new person as well as new experiences that they would bring about? I’m not so much interested in the reason because I know very well why this is. What I’m more concerned with is why people do the hurtful things to one another that create this dysfunctional network of broken and distrusting individuals that only lend this toxicity into every subsequent interaction with the opposite sex.

 

I find it rather perplexing and difficult to fully comprehend why people hurt the ones they claim to love and care for. When you awaken a love in someone you are now charged with a responsibility of making sure that you take care of that heart. Unfortunately, nowadays, people don’t take this responsibility seriously. Many don’t even realize how heavy it really is. Either way, I’ve always tried to live by the golden rule of treating others the way I want to be treated and I think many should return to this way of thinking. If you wouldn’t want your significant other to do some messed up ish to you, you shouldn’t do it to them.

 

I definitely feel like a lot of this chaos and confusion can be attributed to deficit. Not of the economical sense that our nation is facing but deficit on a more personal level. Men with a deficit, or lack, of self control and/or confidence who gauge their manhood and self worth by the amount of women they’re able to juggle. They need to feel this attention in order to feel good about themselves. To feel like men. This, coupled with insecure and incomplete women willing to buss it wide open for any old ‘rando’ who spits up some lame pick up line because Daddy wasn’t there and they long for the affection of a man makes for a dangerous recipe. Even when they have a great girl by their side they feel the need to take to the streets and behave like a dirty dog seeking fulfillment they don’t even realize they’re after. The same holds true for women. They’ll gladly profess their love for their ‘bae’ on Facebook all day long but they’re still DM’ing some random guy on InstaDM who just ‘liked’ every picture she’s ever put up. Unfortunately for everyone involved they don’t realize that these antics aren’t going to bring them any closer to the contentment they’re so fervently after. The only way to attain that is through major introspection and realizing that “pussy, money, and weed” and this new notion of “making it” aren’t the things that make you successful in this life and subsequently, happy.

 

When I’m out and about I see a lot of people who are trying so hard to fit in, so hard to fit the bill of what is being portrayed to us by the media. I see girls with weaves down to the backs of their kneecaps, talon-like manicures, all dressed in the same outfit from Forever 21. I see ‘men’ with their ‘Trues’ sagging to their ankles, a two-hundred dollar pair of sneakers that they already had when they were eleven, and a grip of pointless tattoos. All I see when I look at these people are “individuals” who have not the slightest clue of who they are or what their purpose is in this life therefore they allow modern media to dictate to them what they should look like, who they should be attracted to, and how they should behave. Because all the rappers are talking about how many ‘bad bitches’ they’ve smashed, the man with no sort of self-concept rationalizes that he now has to go out and try and smash a gang of bad bitches. You see where I’m going with this?

 

People who are truly as different as 2 Chainz claims to be realize that these antics aren’t of any value and therefore aren’t worth the time and energy required to execute them. These people are too involved with attaining REAL success to even be bothered with trying to juggle more than one partner as well as maintaining the lies to cover their behinds. If you’re focused on trying to sleep with a bunch of video vixen wannabes that focus isn’t geared toward your success, therefore all its doing is inhibiting you from progressing. Y’all need to leave that mindset back in high school where it belongs.

 

I know that there are plenty of other reasons why people cheat or betray the trust of their significant others but when I break it down, all the aforementioned seem to be at the core of why many relationships go up in flames and therefore leave the survivors with some serious mental and emotional scars.

 

Let’s all do each other a favor. Take out one day to reflect on ourselves and realize what it is we’re meant to be doing, Let’s all focus on what’s really important and letting go of destructive behaviors and ways of thinking. I’m sure if we did we’d notice a measurable difference in our generation and fewer emotionally scorned men and women and a lot more success and contentment.

 

As always, I wanna hear what you guys think so feel free to comment and share!

 

Toodles,

M.S.

“A Social Observation” – Musings From The Media Sweetheart

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A social observation:

What is it about receiving a notification alerting you to the fact that one of your ‘friends’ or followers liked that pointless yet aesthetically pleasing image of you with a full face of make-up on claiming to have just woken up? The widespread use of social networking such as our resident time-waster, Facebook has bred a new kind of interaction with each other and even more astoundingly, a new set of behavioral patterns.

Now, I just used a bunch of words to basically say that the objects posted to our favorite social networking sites have begun to mold and shape our generation’s behavior and interactions and  ultimately produced an influx of posers and overall annoying persona. When I log onto my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account I see several things; each is equally annoying.

The first are the “hustlers.” They’re the ones that sit on Facebook all day long telling us all how much money they’re making and how many haters they’ve acquired as a result of their wealth. Um, okay? I guess they really expect all of us to believe that that diamond encrusted chain down to their naval has any quality gemstones present or that that insane stack of money that they’re ‘weighing up’ was printed by the US Department of Treasury and not their homeboy from around the way.  Dude, seriously? We all know that you still live with your parents in your childhood home and that you catch the bus to your part-time job at the mall. You may now have a seat. After all, how much money could you possibly be making when the first thing I see in my newsfeed is you talking about “wake and bake” or posting constantly throughout the day? Perhaps you’ve figured out the secret to success! Then again, highly unlikely.

Next are the musicians or the creative types. Now I know that I have an insane amount of talented friends that are sincerely doing their thing in their respective fields. This section does not apply to any of you however, I can’t be responsible if the shoe fits! Now, where was I? Oh that’s right, the musicians that flood my newsfeed, timeline, and inbox with the promise of new music and a constant show of how much they’re ‘grinding’ in the studio. Newsflash! None of us care! Wanna know why? Because what you’re posting on social networking sites is the extent of your musical career. “Artists” such as yourself come a dime a dozen, constantly shouting about how this year is gonna be your year and a bunch of other cliché hoopla that I haven’t got the time to list in detail. You all are the boys who cried wolf! Even if I like and support your music, the fact that all you do is post statuses about how great you are and how the industry isn’t ready for you merely disengages my interest and causes my mind to subconsciously skip over any post that has your name above it. Sorry ::Kanye Shrug::. Now this doesn’t solely apply to musicians. The same can hold true for the photographers, directors, actors, and models. Don’t even get me started on all the internet ‘models.’ An Instagram filter or a free afternoon with a friend who has an SLR camera doesn’t make you any more of a model than me standing in a garage makes me a Cadillac.

Speaking of the internet ‘models,’ the following breed of annoying social network dwellers are the attention-hungry females. Now we all know the attention-hungry females. The ones who get dressed in their very best, cake on their foundation, paint their lips an unflattering shade of pink, and stencil their eyebrows in seven inches thick. They’ve all got the same weave installed down to their ass, an iPhone, and time to waste. That normally translates into a feed full of the same girls’ fish faces accompanied by hashtags that have nothing to do with nothing. Now, every once in a while, when I’m feeling pretty, I like to show my face on Instagram so I get it. But there’s a certain type of girl that thrives, nay, LIVES for this attention and some are willing to do anything to get it.

The counterpart as well as bread and butter to the attention-hungry female is the even thirstier dude. Thirsty dudes are the ones that lurk on social networking sites awaiting the opportune moment when one of the attention-hungry females posts something that they can pounce on!  Here’s an example:

Attention-Hungry Female: Damn, it’s so cold out. I wish I had someone to cuddle with!

Thirsty Male #1: I gotchu, shorty

Thirsty Male #2: You too fine to be over there by yourself freezin’

Thirsty Male #3: Something else to gas her head, I’ve stopped reading at this point so I couldn’t tell you what the rest of the thirsty dudes have to say.

Now, as strange as it may seem, everything that the attention-hungry female does is FOR the thirsty dudes, yet they despise them! A normal sight on a social network is the aforementioned ‘ladies’ (using the term VERY loosely) posting an image of themselves then, not long after, posting a status about how thirsty guys are, or even better, they speak of their woes of why they’re still single. Hmm, I wonder what the correlation is?

The last online offender that I’m going to mention is the Facebook Philosophers. These are the people that post mile-long statuses that no one has the time or attention span to read. These are the folks that feel that they have acquired SO much wisdom that it is their civic duty to impart that wisdom upon us. Now some of what they have to say may speak to some people and inspire others however, I find it rather difficult to embrace life lessons taught by someone who works a deli counter and has yet to realize their own potential and purpose in this life. Now, I’m not saying that someone who works a mediocre part-time job couldn’t have life experiences and lessons to pass on to the rest of us but what I am saying is that they probably shouldn’t be pretending to be the second coming of Socrates. After all, it was Socrates himself who famously stated that “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Take a page from the book of a real philosopher, humble yourself, and have a seat.

It amazes me to see that the majority of what is posted on these social networking sites is to impress people we don’t know or more famously, people who we “don’t care about what they think” of us. It’s a façade that each of us creates to portray ourselves as what we want people to see us as rather than who we actually are. We’re all guilty of it to some extent  and its rather fascinating. I mean, imagine Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter without all of these characters. We’d get sick of all the genuinely cool people and hilarious memes and no one wants that!

I know that I missed a few of our favorite Social Networking characters, feel free to share who or what annoys or even inspires you!

See you folks soon,

The Media Sweetheart <3″