Are Police Abusing Their Power?

policia           Are the one’s here to protect and serve us abusing their power and authority?

I have stayed mum about the current events that are happening in Ferguson ,MI. I wanted to stay quiet, read articles from different points of view, and analyze the events for myself before jumping to conclusions or discussing it; mainly because this sparks heated arguments regarding racism and police brutality. After reading a few more articles this morning, I have decided to tackle half of the debate regarding this incident and other incidents in as  tactful but brutally honest  a way as possible. Now these are my views based on these incidents, personal experience and the experiences of those that I have been or continue to have contact with.

Staten Island, NY – July 17, 2014- The Death of Eric Garner

On July 17, 2014, husband and father Eric Garner was killed by police officers when they attempted to apprehend him in front of a local beauty supply store in Staten Island, NY. What was the arrest for? The illegal sale of untaxed cigarettes. According to Garner and witnesses, Garner was not making illegal sales at the time when cops came to question and arrest him for an alleged sale that occurred around that time. Do I feel that he was unfairly targeted by police officers? No. I do not feel that he was unfairly targeted because he has been apprehended and charged for this offense on multiple occasions. So do I believe that he was racially profiled like so many people say he was? No. This particular case is not an instance where I can say that this is racial profiling because he has been caught selling loosies in that location before.

What do I not agree with as far as police conduct?

A chokehold is illegal. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. If you have seen the video, Garner had tried to move away but he did not physically attempt to fight police. Officer Pantaleo then proceeded to put Eric Garner in an ILLEGAL chokehold that resulted in his death. As a police officer, you receive training on how to properly arrest an individual. As a part of the law in New York (I’m not sure about in other areas), you are NOT allowed to use this type of force when trying to apprehend someone. Choking him might not have caused this man’s death had the chokehold had he not had other medical conditions. Garner was a sufferer of severe asthma and sleep apnea. The failure of paramedics to administer CPR within the proper time constraints also contributed.

Ferguson, MI – Death of Michael Brown

This case I’m really not sure how to speak on it. I can say one thing though and be quite honest about it: this teenage boy was definitely no saint. The facts that we have is that he did rob a store hours before he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson and that at the time he was stopped by the officer the officer was unaware that Brown was involved in the robbery. Officer Wilson was actually stopping the teen and a friend because he was obstructing traffic at the time.

Now originally, when I began writing this article yesterday I was set to defend Brown on the point that there was no reason to shoot Brown at the time of the stop because the officer was unaware of the robbery. However, due to some recent developments (see FoxNews.com article “Missouri cop was badly beaten before shooting Michael Brown, says source”), I will wait to put in my defense on behalf of Brown. According to this article, Wilson and Brown had an altercation before the shooting in which the officer was assaulted by Brown.  In light of emerging details, I will wait to 140813_POL_FergusonCops2.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlargespeak on both the Wilson and Brown and make until later to determine who I side with.

However, what I do wish to speak on is how the police are handling the protests in Ferguson. Now, most accounts of the events would have viewers believing that African Americans are out robbing, rioting, and destroying the streets of Ferguson. While that is true for some of the people that are protesting there, there are also peaceful protestors that are being mishandled by the police. I read an article yesterday via the Huffington Post where a cop threatened a peaceful protestor and told him that he would kill him.

This video absolutely disgusts me. While I understand that many of these officers are under a lot stress from all angles, from the people on the streets to their bosses, there is no need to threaten violence on a protestor who is not participating in the rioting that is going on in Ferguson. Some other peaceful protestors have been injured by officers as well. So this brings me to one question that I will answer in some other post: do nonviolent and violent protests yield different outcomes when it comes to fighting against injustice?

So which question would I like to ask now? Are people angry at police without reason? The answer is no.

The truth is that many of them -and I say many to not categorize all officers that uphold the law as this type of officer- are gung ho. Instead of using their power to protect and serve the citizens, they use it to feel a sense of power and dominance over the people. They become bullies instead of protectors. Some officers use their power to hurt, maim, and even kill some people. Abuse of authority is what a lot of these cops are doing.  This makes many people distrustful of officers, especially in economically impoverished minority neighborhoods. Many of them lie and cover up dirty deeds and their superiors and departments help them with this. Before sharing an article about an officers feelings about his authority and what he feels citizens should or shouldn’t do, I will discuss my own run in with a gung-ho police officer on a power.

In May of this year, a friend and I were headed back home after a long day at college. She lives in Brooklyn and I live in Queens. We had just left the shuttle bus that drives the students from the college to the train and we were headed downstairs into the train station. Now, it’s common knowledge to all of those who frequent that area that there is a police station underground at the 145th street station in Harlem.

When I get to the turnstile, I realize that my card was out of fares. No problem. I went to the MetroCard machine and put my last $2.50 onto the card and proceeded to swipe my card at the turnstile. What ended up happening is that the machine takes my fare after having to swipe the card multiple times because of a card reading error. If you are a New York City commuter, you know that is common occurrence with those machines. Once again, no biggie.

I went to the booth and explained my situation to the MTA worker who was attending the booth. He checked my card and verified that my fare had be stolen by the machine. He told me to go by the service entry gate where he proceeded to buzz me in. I walk in through the gate- legally- and here goes the gung-ho cop looking like Chief Wiggum from the Simpsons. He proceeds to question me about whether or not I paid my fare. I calmly explain to Chief Wiggum the situation and then tell him that if he would like to confirm my story with the man in the token booth a few feet away from us, that I will gladly accompany him.

Instead of choosing to verify the story, he continues to harass a five month pregnant woman about a fare that was already paid. So then I asked him the question: “why are you harassing me, officer? If you want to verify my story the booth is right there.” This infuriates Wiggum and he tells me that since I want to tell him he is harassing me, he’s going to show me what harassment really is.

Finally, he asks me to accompany him to the booth where he asks the attendant to verify my story, which he does, but the cop doesn’t stop there. Instead of accepting that he was wrong and apologizing to me for the inconvenience, he says to me “I’m going to show you what harassment is. Since you do not have respect for authority, you will not allowed entry unless you pay another fare?” Excuse me. I thought that it was only your job to enforce payment of a fare that wasn’t paid or make an arrest for jumping the turnstile. I did not know that it was in your authority sir to force someone to pay extra.

I told him I would have no problem doing so but I just put my last bit of money on the card and that I have no other way to get home. He tells me that is not his problem and continues to block the gate even though the MTA attendant is still trying to buzz me in. Fortunately, other riders saw that he was harassing me and paid for me to get on so that I would not have to be bothered with him. The harassment still didn’t end there, he still wanted to stop me and continue asking me asinine question and scold me for not respecting authority; even though I did not swear or yell at him. Nor did I make a threatening gesture at him. No disrespect what so ever. Clear abuse of power and authority over citizens.

Next example

This was posted by Huffington Post in the Politics section yesterday:

In a column published Tuesday in The Washington Post titled, “I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me,” Dutta responds to mounting criticism of the policing tactics on display in Ferguson, Missouri, amid the hyper-militarization of law enforcement and accusations that officers have violated the First Amendment rights of both demonstrators and journalists covering the events. In a particularly telling passage, Dutta argues that citizens could deter police brutality if they were simply more cooperative, even when they’re unjustly targeted.

“Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you,” he writes. “Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t evenheres-a-breakdown-of-the-military-style-gear-used-on-the-streets-of-ferguson-missouri think of aggressively walking towards me. Most field stops are complete in minutes. How difficult is it to cooperate for that long?”

It’s worth noting that arguing with a cop and even verbally abusing one, as well as asking for a badge number, are not illegal actions, though they have been known to lead to punishment or arrest. Dutta goes on to admit that police officers aren’t perfect and some have been known to be corrupt bullies, but he says your best bet is to swallow your pride, stay quiet and submit to any unlawful actions by police.

“But if you believe (or know) that the cop stopping you is violating your rights or is acting like a bully, I guarantee that the situation will not become easier if you show your anger and resentment,” he writes. Dutta goes on to encourage people to seek legal recourse after the fact, rather than protest at the time of the encounter. Of course, an April 2014 poll found that half of Americans don’t believe cops are held accountable for misconduct, so that likely won’t be much solace to most people. (Veteran Cop: ‘If You Don’t Want To Get Shot,’ Shut Up — Even If We’re Violating Your Rights)

This is a big problem. Just because someone seems upset at something because they feel violated does not give you the right to beat them, pepper spray them, or shoot them. As long as the citizen is not threatening the officer with harm or being violent toward the officer,  the officer is not within his right to handle the citizens in that way. This clearly is a temper issue with the officer. I have a rightwiggum to ask you a question about why I am being stopped or detained. Citizens have legal rights. An officers anger issue is not the law. That is a conscious decision the officer is making to abuse his power and authority. That is not okay. Cops like that do not belong working for local police departments and their departments should not repeatedly cover for them when they break the rules.

The Irate Blogger

Confronting a Demon

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How I Confronted A Demon and I’m Winning

This blog post is very important to me and I decided to post it for other women [and the men too] who struggle with quitting cigarettes. I started more with the women because I had the task of quitting cigarettes while pregnant. A dream I had about an hour ago inspired me to write about this.

I began smoking cigarettes at seventeen years old because many people I knew or hung out with smoked cigarettes. However, when I began I bought only one pack off of someone and I didn’t really like it. I smoked about five to six cigarettes and gave the rest of them away to someone who smoked more often. Flash forward to the year 2012. After the loss of a pregnancy, I spiraled into a depression. The loss of that child was the final event in a sequence of events that would trigger smoking. Smoking became my outlet for anger, depression, stress, anxiety, and whole host of other emotions that I couldn’t deal with at the time. After all, I have had worse coping strategies for negative emotions but that is for another post.

It bedownload (1)gan with loose cigarettes. I live in the New York City area and there are plenty of corner stores which provide you with ”loosies” for between fifty and seventy-five cents. It started with maybe a couple a day and then I graduated to a half a pack of cigarettes a day. They made me feel relaxed and calm. The anxiety wasn’t so high. I could function. The only time that I was anxious again was when I could not smoke. 

There would be days I would become really stressed and agitated without my precious cigarettes. I would collect change and use my last dollars on cigarettes instead of food, just to get through my day at school (I am currently a college student). Then I met someone who smoked too. They smoked black and mild cigars. They were a lot cheaper than cigarettes. Anyone who smokes cigarettes and lives in New York knows that price of a pack of cigarettes can be anywhere between $10.50 and $13.50. My brand of choice was Newport and I was always smoking hundreds. 

I tried the Black and Milds and at first they tasted absolutely disgusting to me but then I adjusted. They became my new vice when I could not afford a pack of cigarettes or I could not find a store where I could rack up on loose ones. The cigars were only about $1.50, so they were easier to rack up on because I could find them anywhere for the same price, without having to scout out a store that sells loose cigarettes.

Then January of 2014 came. I found out that I was pregnant again. I was five weeks pregnant. However, I had one major conflict on my hands: I was a smoker. Now, for most of my undergraduate years, I was a biology student, studying to become a physician. On one hand, I knew the dangers of smoking, even for myself. I also knew that smoking was extremely harmful for a growing fetus. On the other hand, smoking had became part of my life. 

At first, I was I just going to quit smoking cold turkey. I knew that it worked for some people. However, I knew that it would not work for me. I had tried cold turkey before. I had even tried quitting with that disgusting gum that they tell you to chew until the taste leaves the gum. Neither option worked. Both methods, I relapsed and smoked even more cigarettes than I did before trying to quit. At this point, I knew that weaning myself off of them would probably be the best method.

How did I begin this process? I refused to buy packs and cigars. I would only smoke cigarettes when I was at school. The last semester, I was only in school three days a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. My college was in an area that sold loose cigarettes, so I made a pact with myself that I would only smoke one after each class and only on those days. It was hard but I made it though that phase. Then eventually, I cut my cigarettes down from long to short. Now at the time, I was still getting lectures from my former colleagues in the biology department about my habits and how unsafe it was for my baby but I had it in my head that I would quit.

Six weeks later and eleven weeks pregnant, guess what? I was still smoking. I had cut down but I could Risks_form_smoking-smoking_can_damage_every_part_of_the_bodynot cut down further than the three cigarettes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I started to feel defeated. I didn’t want to smoke anymore period. But then the shame came in. How could I continue to ingest these harmful chemicals into my body and harm my child? What would people think of me seeing me further along in my pregnancy, still smoking cigarettes and harming my unborn child? So I began to substitute those cigarette cravings for a piece of fruit, candy, gum, or a bottle of water. It was hard at first but eventually it worked. I have been smoke free for 24 weeks and 5 days.

This process is still a struggle. Although I quit, I still struggle with cravings and wanting to smoke. In fact, the reason I began writing this is because I had another dream in which I was smoking cigarettes again. In each of these dreams, I am always pregnant and feeling some sort of shame in doing so. I did research and realize that these dreams are part of the healing process. These dreams are indicators that although the conscious mind has submerged these desires, I am still battlindownloadg this demon in my subconscious. And it’s hard. I know it is. I still have desires to smoke when I am around other people who smoke cigarettes. However, my strength is in knowing that I sacrificed smoking for something greater than myself and I take it one day at a time. To all of my cigarette smokers who want to quit, there is hope. I know that I have not been smoking as long as some other people but it was still really bad. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you can quit! Find your motivation, develop your plan, and stick to it!

-The Irate Blogger   An interactive guide to destroying your body with cigarettes - pregnancy

Are Entertainers Also Role Models? Is It Their Responsibility?

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Rapper A$AP Rocky and pop singer Rihanna. Both advocates for drug use. Rihanna loves showing off her pot stash and ASAP Rocky brags about using much harsher drugs.

This a debate that I have had with people over the last several years: are entertainers also role models and is it their responsibility to act as such? In my opinion, yes it is and here is my logical and non-emotional reasoning behind it.

A$AP Rocky has left his obsession with lean, to try out other experimental drugs.

During his interview with i-D Vice, the rapper says that he’s over lean, and has indulged in psychedelics like LSD.

“My inspiration now is from psychedelics and sacidhit. LSD, I love it. It almost makes you feel like you’re the best creator next to God.” he said.

The rapper is also aware of his diverse fanbase. Rocky says he wants everyone to enjoy the moment during his high energy tours.

“I look forward to a stadium full of people high off of energy, whatever their preference of drug is, and my music,” he said. “A stadium full of people just losing themselves to the moment. When I get that, that’s when I’ll be satisfied.”

Other rappers have endorsed the drug and similar hallucinogens like Chance The Rapper, Kid Cudi and Eminem.

Do you think his new hobby will have an effect on his future tracks? – Vlad TV (A$AP Rocky Ditches Lean for Experimental Drugs)

This is was published by Vlad TV today. This rapper, who is not unlike some of his other peers with the same issues, is bragging about taking acid. Why is he bragging about taking hard drugs? Because he says that they feed his creativity . What is the problem with this? You do not need drugs to be creative. For some people, they feel as if they help but these hard drugs destroy your brain chemistry at the same time you feel that they are helping you. They interfere with the transmission of neurotransmitters in the brain and could  destroy neurons, causing dependency and a whole host of other issues within the brain and throughout the body. The uninformed may follow in his footsteps not fully understanding what this can do to them.

Why did I feel the need to write about this?

psychology
Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory (Psychology)

I was reading some of the comments and people were saying that celebrities are not role models. That kids do not look up to these  people. That they themselves are not influenced by these people and that it is the parents’ responsibility. The whole nine yards. I want people to answer this simple question for me: how are parents supposed to serve as the only role models when a lot of the parents are influenced by the same celebrity culture that their children are? How are parents solely responsible for what their children listen to or view on television on the internet, when after a certain age children are allowed to have some degree of independence? You can try to instill the best values in your children (that is if you have them yourself), however, once they experience their first taste of independence at school, they meet other children who have different tastes and are exposed to different things.  The home is just a microcosm; a unit that is part of a bigger system. Once you venture out of this small part of the universe this is how these entertainers come into play:

beonce-02-300

Beyoncé takes the prime spot as the cover girl on Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. And she’s far from the only entertainer on the list.

Also making the cut were actors Amy Adams, Benedict Cumberbatch, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Redford, Kerry Washington and Robin Wright, along with musicians Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams andCarrie Underwood.

But it’s Beyoncé who gets top billing, having proven she can do it all – juggling motherhood with activism while, oh yes, reinventing how music is made, sold and performed. – People.com

This article is about the Top 100 Influential People listed by Time Magazine. What is so interesting about this you may ask? 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE! Let’s define the term influential:

in·flu·en·tial: inflo͞oˈenCHəl: adjective having great influence on someone or something.
Let’s break this down further. What is influence?
in·flu·ence
ˈinflo͝oəns: noun: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
 
That’s ironic to me. Beyonce was named as the most influential person. A person who has the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself. So TIME magazine is blatantly telling you that these people have an effect on society.
 
What is a role model? A role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.The term “role model” is credited to sociologist Robert K. Merton, who coined the phrase during his career. Merton hypothesized that individuals compare themselves with reference groups of people who occupy the social role to which the individual aspires.
Based on the definition, being a role model is not a job. It is just something that exists based on influence. It could be a parent, a teacher, a cerole-model-cropped0310131205lebrity, or anyone of the persons choice. So regardless of whether you elect to be or not,  people may look at you in that way. So people can stop saying that it’s not a person’s job because it doesn’t work that way. The role model position is a leadership role chosen for you.  Influence affects this above all. The only choice you have in the matter is deciding whether you want your position to be negative or positive.
This very same influence is the root of consumer psychology.  Tiger Woods, Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Rihanna, Madonna, Britney Spears have all used consumer psychology to make profits off the same people that they say they are not responsible  to be role models for. They use that same influence against you for profit when you buy shoes, handbags, perfumes and colognes, cell phones, you name it. So even though they feed you that crock of bull that it isn’t their responsibility to be a role model, they use that same status to make money off of youchildren. VitaCoco and other companies also understand this when they pay them to market to you. It’s all a game with you being a monkey in the middle.  These industries all know what they are doing on a psychological level; it’s just the consumer who is oblivious. So if an adult falls prey to this type of psychological manipulation, how do you think this same adult can teach a child different? On some levels you have adults that have this weakened mentality. How can you expect a child not be influenced by celebrities?  We are all victims of this to a degree. So do I believe  that they should promote more positive images to children and adults? Yes. Because whether or not we want to come to terms with it, they already know the power they have over the average person.  Kids need better role models to become successful adults. Promoting oversexuality, violence, stupidity, and drugs is not the way.

Joan Rivers: An Angry and Intolerant Woman

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Joan Rivers is in hot water once again.

The “Fashion Police” host issued a clarification Thursday after TMZ posted videoof her saying that Palestinian civilians “deserve to be dead.”

Rivers was spotted at Los Angeles International Airport after she had disembarked from a flight and was asked by a TMZ reporter about the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

“Good,” Rivers said when questioned on how she felt about the thousands of civilian Palestinians who have died during recent fighting in the warzone.

The 81-year-old comedienne added, “Ask Colin Powell. When you declare war, you declare war. They started it. We don’t count who’s dead. You’re dead. You deserve to be dead. You started it. You started it. Don’t you dare make me feel sad about that. You can’t get rid of Hamas, you have to say you do not recognize them, they are terrorists…They were re-elected by a lot of very stupid people who don’t even own a pencil.”

“This is the most numbers percentage-wise of civilian deaths,” the reporter told Rivers.

“Who cares?” she responded, later adding, “At least the ones who were killed were the ones with very low IQs.” – CBSNEWS.com (Joan Rivers Backpedals Over Controversial Remarks on Palestinian Deaths)

 

Most of time, I do not even acknowledge Joan Rivers. During the course of my day, this woman is probably in the deep, dark, recesses of my mind hidden from plain view like the children from The People Under the Stairs. I think that Joan Rivers, however, has an issue with the fact that most individuals on a daily basis do not care to mention her, much less think about her. I wholeheartedly believe that this is why individuals like her and the Donald have to somehow, someway rear their ugly heads from underneath children’s beds and say the most ignorant, cruel, hateful things every once in a while. Extreme narcissism at its best. The children that have to scream to the world “I’m still here! Look at me!”

When I heard her comments, I thought to myself, were most people not raised on the old adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all?” I have been quiet about the situation in Palestine due to the fact that many of my Facebook friends are either Muslim, Jewish, or they are of Arab descent and I am careful about offending them. I noticed that after the Trayvon Martin trial last year, many people on my list defriended each other due to differing opinions  on the same subject matter. I also refuse to speak on it because depending on who you talk to you get a one sided perspective of the events going on in Palestine. With that said, I think that Joanie should follow suit.

It is absolutely disgusting that this vile creature of a woman would say that people deserve to die or that the innocent civilians who are a casualties of this war,  many of whom are children, are dying because they have low IQs. I don’t know if the woman was joking or not but I don’t find deaths of innocent people funny. If people were to joke about the Holocaust and the genocide of millions of Jews that wouldn’t be funny. If some country declared war on the US and dropped an atomic bomb or nuclear weapon on our country, that wouldn’t be funny, would it? I think that she should show some sensitivity to the Palestinians, seeing as people on this side of the world really are not in tuned to what is going on over there. We cannot accurately determine what the cause of the fighting is, we just have reasoning from both sides but no clear picture. And America, whose government is king of the propaganda, should know better than to pick sides. All I know is that I feel for the great numbers of innocent civilians that were casualties. I feel for the families.

Joan Rivers should direct all her anger to the plastic surgeon who caused her great bodily harm when he created that tragedy of a face than turning her anger to innocent men, women, and children who are losing their lives. Not all of the Palestinians are terrorists; just like not all of the Israelis are innocent. Stop picking sides when you don’t really know what’s going on.

 

Deciphering What is Real in Reality Television?

lhhnyMany
of us are guilty of watching at le
ast one of these shows. There’s plenty of them out there. Survivor, the Love and Hip Hop franchise, Mob Wives, Housewives of [Insert State, County, City here], Bad Girls Club,  etc. My  reality show guilty pleasure is Love and Hip Hop New York and Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. These two shows probably depict all the stereotypes of the Afamina-fight-lhhny-4-3rican American community that I absolutely hate. What are those stereotypes? The depiction that Blacks are ghetto, loud, ignorant, they want to fight all the time,  most of the time the women are unwed with children, and all the men aspire to rappers with many women.  Although, I pretty much despise the show on one level for just being another show that shows Americans being stupid or misbehaving, I cannot help but tune in every Monday night or tape it on my DVR.

I guess mainly because some part of me does enjoy watching these people act childishly. It’s great entertainment. It brings me a lot of laughs and it helps bring some sort of excitement to a boring day. I guess that can be seen as a positive of reality television. Enjoyment. However, there is something more sinister about reality television and here’s what that is: That some people actually believe everything that happens on these shows. That some people identify with the baffoonery. That some people actually look up to these people.

I have had the joy of perusing through the internet and have came across posts on VH1 and other sites, in which they discuss the happenings on these shows and I always notice that there are a lot of people who actually look up to these people. They spend hours of their day arguing and defending these people. They spend time bullying each other and dragging each other through the mud about people that they don’t even know. I wonder if they even know that half the happenings on reality are staged. Sure some of it is actually true but there is no way to actually decipher what is staged and what isn’t.

lhhatlThe most disturbing part is that people claim that these people are inspirations to them and that they would like to be like them. They look at these people as role models. That is the sinister part of reality television. People think that these are people to follow and they see them as being in a leadership position. These people are not people that women should aspire to be like. These are people who are exploited for money for entertainment purposes.

I was reading an article about Karlie Redd, who is a cast member of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. She is an aspiring actress and she was complaining about how she cannot find roles in movies. Director Tyler Perry rejected her for a film role because he did not wanerica-mena-reckless-love-hip-hop-new-york-recap_0t to be linked to Love and Hip Hop.  At the end of the day, many of these people are paid a little bit of money to embarrass themselves. That is nothing to aspire to. Very few of them maintain long term success outside of the show.

I think that to some degree, reality television is there to dumb down the public. There are some people who spend all their time watching senseless television but they can’t hold a conversation about much else.

– The Irate Blogger

Obama Authorizes Limited Air Strike to Protect 40,000 Iraqis

obamaObama Takes Action Against Terrorist Group Isis

Obama announced during a press conference that he is taking some action against terrorist group Isis in Iraq. Isis has been terrorizing Iraqi civilians and has forced 40,000 people into the mountains. The Yazidi people have been in the mountains without out food or water. In order to show support for these people and to avoid what the POTUS called genocide, 5300 gallons of fresh water and 8000 meals were delivered via aircraft.

The president decided to intervene when he was asked to by the Iraqi government to help. He insists that these Iraqis were allies to the American government and that our government would be turning our backs on a group of people who helped out the US in the past. Although the president is offering help, he tried to reassure the American people that he does not intend to fight another war in Iraq.

I aisis-baghdadim all for helping the innocent Iraqi civilians who need protection from Isis. However, I do hope that our intervention in Iraq doesn’t lead to another war in the same country that our President has pulled our country out of. We have lost a lot of our own soldiers in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan Hopefully, we  can provide assistance and save the lives of many people in need. I am against radical groups who commit senseless murders and crimes. What do you think? Do you think that this will drag us into another war?

-The Irate Blogger

 

Oppression of Women: From the Perspective of an American Woman


imageedit_12_9596917599Over the years, I have heard many perspectives of what beauty looks like. I have also heard different perspectives on what it means to be a liberated woman and what it means to be an oppressed woman in today’s world.  Well, here’s how I grew up:

During most of my childhood, I grew up in a home in which religion played a big part ; not so much from my parents but from my grandparents. My grandparents were both ordained ministers and we attended their church every Sunday until they relocated to the south. I was always taught by my grandmother that there was a certain way that ladies who wanted to be treated as ladies dressed. However, I didn’t always understand it. I thought that somehow maybe I was too fat or I was unattractive and maybe that was why my grandmother did not want me to dress a certain type of way.  Then puberty hit and I began to fill out and I became curvier. As I continued to grow into a woman physiologically, I had gained the attention of men. It was the attention I didn’t want. It was the gawking, the stares, the hounding for numbers, etc. It was at that point that I grew to understand. I began to understand when men would notice me from behind and try to approach me that I understood.

It was afterward that I began a more covered and conservative style of dress. I began to show less skin to the world. What were the added benefits of this?

  • Less gawking
  • Less stops on the street
  • Less disrespect when being addressed by men or others
  • No rude stares from men or other women about how I was dressed

Now many of my female counterparts would probably say that I shouldn’t have changed my style of dress because I gave into street harassment and rape culture. I have let men oppress me. I don’t believe that at all. I believe that I have took my power back. I don’t experience the gawking or the street harassment. At most, I may get the you’re beautiful or the you’re very pretty compliments but all the other things went away.

What sparked the change? I carried myself in a way which stated that I wished to be respected when approached.  The reality is that human beings are sexual beings. Men are not the only ones guilty of gawking. I have heard women make inappropriate sexual comments about men with bare chests and muscle tanks. I have also seen bold women give men the same treatment. Recently, Tim McGraw was in the news for slapping a fan after he was touched inappropriately by a female fan. Therefore, I would have to say that men and women are both  guilty of objectifying and dehumanizing each other to a degree.

So why the woman in the hijab? Well I am person who is tolerant of everyone no matter what culture, race, sexual preference, or religion they are. What I do not understand about others, I ask questions about instead of making assumptions based on my own biases. So what have I learned from my Muslim friends? That the idea that Westerners have that all Islamic women are oppressed by their men is absolutely ridiculous. I learned that certain women are oppressed because of the ideals and standards of the particular man and their values do not reflect the values of the religion or culture as a whole.

A lot of the women I know went from not wearing hijab to wearing their hijabs and they absolutely wouldn’t trade it for the world. What is that many of them say they have gained in their modest style of dress? Respect. They have said that they do not receive the unwanted sexual attention from males.  Many of them feel liberated in the sense that they are  not sexual objects for men on the street and that they can be looked at and admired for other non-sexual qualities such as personality and intellect.

Covered or uncovered? Modesty or scantily clad? At the end of the day, it is a woman’s choice but have realistic expectations about the reactions that you are going to get.  The truth is that in life first impressions are everything.  When you go in for a job interview you are expected  to carry yourself in a certain way as a form of self-impression management. You know on some level that image and first impression is everything. So if you know your boss or hiring manager would form an opinion about who you are based on how you are dressed, why would think that would be any different on the street? Remove your emotions and think about things logically for a moment.

-The Irate Blogger

Final thought: I chose the above images because they are both extreme representations of how women should dress and they represent opposing views on what it means to be a liberated woman in different societies.