what if the worlds/were a series of steps/what if the steps/joined back at the margin

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“The Wire” Was Ahead of It’s Time (Part 1)

Note: I am not finished with the entirety of The Wire. Currently I am on season four, episode seven. Why do I love television so much? Because it’s story telling with words and images that is the same every time, there is no variation, there is no retelling, it is the one time presented, and you can analyze it over and over again. It’s not like oral stories passed on, the story itself remains the same but the significance changes over time. It is filmed in one era but can be viewed in another, making the experience different. The technological and anthropological significance of television is one that is truly intellectually underrated.

The Wire might be one of the most bad-ass, gritty, and provocative television series off all time that was not only revolutionary for it’s time, but the social concepts explored in The Wire continue to be possibly more relevant today than at the time of it’s broadcast during 2002 to 2008. The early millennial had not socially approached it’s next revolutionary epoch in America, the likes of which we are seeing in the next wave of liberation movements (gay rights, the fight for racial equality, a focused discussion on what modern feminism is), most likely because Bush was in office and everyone was really patriotic because of the post 9/11 environment and focused on several international wars we had going on. From a national perspective with white Americans in charge, there wasn’t a lot of time to talk about race. So unfortunately for The Wire, while it was critically acclaimed and an arguable work of television perfection, was praised and watched, but the saturated racial environment explored by The Wire wasn’t raw like it is now.

Flash forward, and under our first black President, a barrage of social changes are accomplished. Gay marriage is legal in 36 states, marijuana is fully recreational under one state and medicinally available in 23 states in some form, and there is a frank national conversation about how rape victims are treated in this country from a non-male solipsistic perspective. Granted, this did not all occur at once under President Obama (gay marriage and medicinal marijuana were “a thing” before his administration though clearly the ability of both those movements to gain momentum forward increased dramatically under Obama), but the more liberalized political and cultural environment and clearly brought changes.

However, as a nation, we are seeing a discussion on race relations that still has the ugly unsettled undercurrents and full swirl tsunamis of white supremacy and hatred against non-whites that pervades in the hearts of some in this country. With all footsteps forward come backlashes, and as everyone knows the scope and breadth of hatred is long-winded. Ferguson was a national tragedy, disaster, and embarrassment to justice. It also caused Chris Rock to make one of the funniest jokes I have ever heard concerning how social relations now function in the new cyber world, “I found a new app to tell which one of your friends is a racist. It’s called Facebook”, referring to the number of pro-Wilson sentiments that many white Americans were exposing, some in the process exposing the ugliness and irrationality of their racist thoughts. Indeed, I defriended at least two people as a result of their hateful racism displayed on my Facebook feed.

Back to The Wire, the first season is pure gold. I am a cinema and television junkie, and The Wire proved so masterful in it’s story telling, character building, and plot development, that the next seasons unfortunately haven’t captured the same gold shine, though they do gleam as works of the most advanced and rich television series to date. However, the rest of the seasons are not without merit. The first season is a work of drugs, sex, money, power, politics, and what lays beyond the veil of civilized and polite company. The rest of the seasons tell the tale of how it gets to be that way, and unfortunately some of the sexiness wears off. Season Four is spent examining the broken lives of Baltimore’s children, hardly a “sexy” topic and nor should it be, but one of incredible seriousness that shows the generational impact of times that came before a person was born.

John Rawls is considered a father of “liberal contractionalism”, or the philosophical concept that all human beings have an inherent obligation to one another by virtue of being human. On your first day in Philosophy 101 class in college, you are taught Rawl’s “Veil of Ignorance”, a mind exercise that asks the person to erase any and all concepts of identity. Pretend that there is no civilization, you have no identity, and you don’t know the significance of any identity characteristics behind “the veil”. Now, while you’re behind this veil, you create what you want society to look like.

Is it based on your identity characteristics, and which ones, and why, and for what reason, and how?

Most likely you would say something along the lines of an equal society, because human beings are by virtue, of merit in and of themselves.

What this equal society looks like, is up to your imagination. But remember, when the veil is lifted and you are in a wheelchair, without physical beauty, of the ethnic group out of favor, and of a limited economic status, do you want to be considered of less value than a physically beautiful able bodied person who is part of the majority ethnic group with a lot of disposable income? Remember now, you didn’t know your identity and what it meant under the veil. You were just asked what equal treatment of human beings looks like.

After The Wire runs us into the underworld, introduces us to where political contributions come from in inner city urban areas, what people do when they are put in potentially deadly environments, and a healthy swig of cop culture, it brings us to what happens to the children when they grow up in this environment. And this is what America was not ready for ten years ago, an examination of what police violence, racial tension, economic degradation, illegal drug markets and poor understanding and treatment of people living with addiction can psychologically wreck on children.

Ol Dirty Bastard of the Wu Tang Clan, one of the greatest hip-hop groups to help tell the struggle of the African-American identity and experience in inner city America, once said “Wu Tang is for the Children!”. Most people rarely understood the extreme wisdom of this rambling man, and what he meant was, us, the Wu Tang, we tell the truth. The truth, what you let children know and how you let them know it, is how they know the world. Wu Tang wasn’t about lying to the children, it was about enlightening them to the harsh reality with their story-telling.

In Part II, I hope to offer an analysis of why America needs to rewatch The Wire in order to pull away our veil of ignorance. 

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Is the United States Drug Policy High on Cocaine?

TV Junkie (2006) is one of the most disturbing documentaries I have ever seen in my entire life. As I have watched A Film Unfinished which features among other otherworldly documentations of human suffering, starved dead bodies being thrown into a pit, so when TV Junkie left me clutching my throat and gasping, I was surprised to saw the least. The cliche “watching a train wreck” was completely applicable. But the back story of why this documentary is more significant than Rick is what is so tragically and ironically incredible.

According to Rick, he interviewed George HW Bush about the dangers of crack cocaine and drug addiction while high on crack cocaine. This means that the white people who were importing the raw cocaine that was then distributed throughout the country, the white people who held corporate jobs and got off on being “adrenaline junkies” while outsourcing the real dangerous illegal black-market narcotics jobs to African-American inner city men (Rick attests several times to going to “the hood” to buy crack cocaine) were creating propaganda about the evils of cocaine while both personally benefiting and destroying themselves. George HW Bush is an evil man. He is a man who saw a way to manipulate a black market for his political benefit at the calculated expense of untold millions of lives and then denied justice, liberty, and freedom, and safety to humanity. Rick is not an evil man, he is human, fell victim to becoming a monstrous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde where the overwhelming chemical dependency of cocaine distorted his character and integrity. While interviewing the very man who controlled The United States of America, who secretly was importing cocaine, this man interviewing him, who was secretly using crack cocaine, were creating a distorted reality that has had unending consequences for billions of people. The hypocrisy of Rick’s actions is ironic, disgusting, and all too human when a person has a drug addiction. The interview makes us watch these two be Master and puppet, president and press, importer and user, truth and escape.

Some people can use drugs such as cocaine in a recreational manner. Some cannot. Rick drank and used cocaine, which caused volatility in his personal life. He hit his wife in front of his child and scarred his pre-verbal baby so that at his first birthday party he cried when everyone yelled “yay” because he had seen his parents fight and yell right before his father was taken away by police for domestically abusing his mother. But Rick engaged in a cycle of hypocrisy, dominating others at the expense of both them and yourself, like using crack cocaine while interviewing the president about the evils of this drug. I cannot help but see his identity as a straight white man being the pinnacle of why this disaster was allowed to go on for so long. He was portrayed in his media career as an “adrenaline junkie” and that made him a fun, edgy guy! This was also during the ’80s and ’90s, when it seemed like white male news anchors were somehow viewed as somewhat infallible people. But there was such darkness, and because of his position of power people were willing to overlook his abuse of crack cocaine because he was so talented within his industry. For the black kids in the New York City projects who he bought the crack from, no one ever argued for their futures because of any talent they may have had. No one in the media gave merit any alternative narrative George HW Bush and American politicians of both parties were asserting that prohibiting narcotic substances and causing them to become black market products is a better policy than regulation, and certainly not good ol’ Rick. Why would he rock the boat?

“its almost euphoric, hard to speak because of the rush type high. it becomes a very sexual in a way, not in a good way in any means, very raw, very animalistic, very lustful, a very primeval sort of way. at least in my experience with this rotten drug how can something so euphoric and good be so terrible?” Rick is not a sympathetic character. And his insistence of documenting his ever spiraling out of control reality, including abusing his wife and smoking crack cocaine a whole bunch of times, his complete divorce from reality is even more exacerbated than the average crack head. He is completely obsessed with documenting his life. And with all these documents of reality, he cannot see that the source of his addiction lies somewhere in his constant desire for adrenaline. He cannot sit with his sons in day to day life, he gets clearly depressed while sitting around in what looks like suburban bliss. He takes his anger and frustration out on his family in extremely scary ways. Apparently, he has press credentials for the Dallas police despite the police being regularly summoned to his dwelling for domestic disputes. The Dallas police most likely knew of his drug abuse, yet he continued to have press credentials.

The documentary is bizarre to say the least. Between his obsession with crack cocaine, complete inability to cope with real life, obsession with documenting his every waking moment, the moments of dark honesty of what drug abuse does to a family, and how privilege works in a way that does no benefit to those who hold the privilege and those who suffer as the result of not having the privilege (in this case, I believe Rick’s privilege as an educated talented charismatic white male helped in the cause of his ultimate downfall because so many people were willing to overlook his horrific behavior due to the standard of how white men are treated in this society) the film is a mindfuck.

People with serious addiction issues such as Rick’s must be dealt with in a medically appropriate manner where both physical and mental health are rebuilt. Rick constantly talks about the shame of drug use. The abuse against his family is horrifying and unfortunately, completely normal for them. Rick is able to get around law enforcement consequences because of his status within the community. Treatment for drug abuse is piss poor in America. Crack cocaine has been described to me as a “full body orgasm” which explains why people who do it sit for hours constantly smoking. Watching Rick struggle with this addiction is as brutal a reality as a documentary can portray accurately.

This documentary would later be used as a “Don’t Do Drugs, Kids” message. The documentary ends extremely awkwardly, with Rick speaking to a group of random graduating high school seniors that he used to do drugs but he doesn’t now and isn’t that great don’t do it kids look at my children here they are. His two sons, around ages 9 and 13 it looks, awkwardly come out on to the stage, let their father embrace them, and then run back off stage. Tammy, Rick’s wife, is also present. It is as painful and bizarre as the rest of the documentary.I felt like they missed an opportunity here. Just like everything else in his life, Rick uncritically excepts the status quo narrative that has been presented to him, and misses his opportunity to create any positive change and effect.

Tammy eventually divorced Rick, and with the use of Google I haven’t been able to figure out what Rick is up to if anything at all. There is an incredible number of documentaries about drugs, because fascination with altering states of consciousness is a normal part of being human. Unfortunately, this is recognized now globally in a very limited way. As a direct result of the United Nation and United States of America, narcotic substances are a billion dollar underground economy, the likes of which are never taxed, the reality of which never goes away, and the destruction of lives like Rick and his family and all the dealer’s who dealt to Rick is monumental.

The argument that global prohibition of narcotic substances is a working policy is a destructive delusion. TV Junkie shows this completely accidentally, in one stroke of the irony that sometimes the universe swirls upon the unsuspecting people of the world.

I wonder what happened to Rick’s little boys, one of whom screams “why did you hit my momma?!” during one of Rick’s tirades. But most people know what happens to young black boys who end up in the narcotics trade: dead, jail, or reformed, and people in power are more inclined to engineer the first two instead of the third.

Cocaine makes you feel euphoric, aggressive, egomanical, and a little delusional. A lot of cocaine makes you all those things and the worse version of yourself you’ve ever known. I think the United States’ global policy on narcotics is clearly high on blow.

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Who Is These Niggas, I Don’t Know Them.

The title of this blog post may offend some, but indeed it is not a quote from me. Chief Keef’s song, “I Don’t Know Dem” which contains the lyrics “Who’s these niggas, I don’t know them?/Who’s these niggas, I don’t know them/This nigga looking at me like he want some”. I have used narrative discretion to not use the euphemism “n-word” but instead spell the full word out to keep the integrity of Chief Keef’s work intact.

Given the dramatic attention given to the number of African-American men who are being murdered by the police force, the representation of state monopolized violence, this song is particularly important to in a proper analysis of race relations in America. Chief Keef as an artist may have some pieces that are superficial, but many of his songs contain social commentary that is interwoven with themes of violence, sex, and drugs which appear superficial, but indeed are highly significant of the disadvantaged position many African-Americans endure daily.

The lyrics

This nigga looking at me like he want some
Pistol to his face if he owe some
My niggas they keep them tools make ’em blow some
OTF they ride for Sosa

mean, in accordance to help from Rap Genius, that if there is a rival around who wants to fuck with Mr. Kief, his niggas are gonna back him up and murder the rival with their “tech shit like lawn mowers”, Chief Keef’s reference to the ridiculously large assault rifles young Chicago gangsters are carrying around these days.

The song is a precise example of Chief Keef’s apocalyptic audio style, which signals the dominance of Chief Keef as a gangster within a dangerous area and the eerie presence of the specific type of horror one feels when living in a constantly dangerous area. “I Don’t Know Dem” contains direct, first hand information about the inter-workings of the underground African-American narcotic community that operates on a paradox of trust of “my niggas” and an inherent distrust of “niggas” one does not know. Within the narcotic dealing lifestyle, there are some African-Americans who refer to white people and other people of color as “niggas” to indicate that they are a part of the gangster, narcotic lifestyle. I have personally heard more than one person referred to as a “white nigga” and those persons were indeed, white and a narcotics dealers.

There were 38 homicides in Chicago in November of 2014, sixteen of which were on the street, and so far into the ten days of December there have been eight. The year of 2014 was a horrifying year for Chicago, seeing 393 homicides, the peak of which was in September with forty-four murders. The majority of victims are male, and many are teenagers.  In contrast, New York City, which has 8 million people to Chicago’s 2.7 million people has had 290 murders in 2014.

There is a monopoly of state violence perpetrated and represented by the police force of this country which has an absolutely undeniable record of killing African-Americans while sparing the lives of white people. American police officers kill a black man every twenty-eight hours. This is an alarming and unique statistic.

While this happens, there is a deliberate state-sanctioned effort to outsource the illegal, black-market narcotic industry to African-Americans. This is not a conspiracy theory, it is a real part of American history, with the story of Freeway Ricky Ross being verified by the American government itself. If you are not familiar with this story, please Google “Freeway Ricky Ross CIA” and read about how our government engineered the spread of cocaine into the United States of America in exchange for a political alliance in El Salavador. It is one of the most heinous acts of killing two birds with one stone in United States history. The modern drug war acts in alliance with white supremacy to ensure the destruction of the African-American community and other peoples of color while maintaining the white monopoly on wealth and power.

Chief Keef’s song exists in a racial reality where black men have unequal access to the same educational opportunities as whites that allow them to hold comfortable corporate jobs, and instead have to choose dangerous street narcotic jobs. Chief Keef is not a stupid man. He survived the heroin trade as a teenager, a feat few people would be able to successfully live through as experienced adults. Furthermore, most people in the illegal drug industry are not unintelligent, in fact, many have a unique type of intelligence that many in mainstreamed society are unable to access.  He dedicates the song to “my niggas, O block” a reference to the fellow comrades in arms he soldiers on with. These are the only people he can trust, and as anyone who has watched a gangster movie knows, that trust doesn’t always come through long term. The war is real, it has been engineered by his government, and his opponents are both the white establishment that bound him with unequal opportunity, increased violence and humiliation, and the same black men who face the exact same problem he has. He has himself, his gun, and his niggas. It is a necessary decision to murder or be murdered.

The systematic act of the United States of America has caused a racial climate that is clearly attempting to commit genocide against black men both by their own hand and by the long arm of the law.

Many privileged white people act enraged by Chief Keef’s fast and irresponsible lifestyle. He has posted photos of himself receiving oral sex on Instagram, gotten pulled over for speeding 110 mph, and been placed under house arrest numerous times. My question to these privileged white people is: if you knew that you might die at any moment, how would you be living day to day?

Who are these people supposed to trust, when they absolutely cannot trust the police force of their country?

When white people deny this, we are murdering our fellow Americans.

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The Sight Is Dismal

I’m a white lady who historically has been passionate about coming to a non-white solipsist movement toward giving racial identity the respectful integrity it deserves. People are diverse, and diversity is part of what makes the Earth beautiful. Whiteness dominance degrades the diversity of humanity.

For some white people, it is difficult to understand why I would be willing to give up privileges of whiteness, an objective I honestly do not always know how to preform.

But the sight is dismal. The systematic use of murder against black people in this country is well documented. For example the government of the United States of America murdered Fred Hampton in his bed. Eric Garner was murdered by the New York Police Department, forty odd years later. These people both, in varying capacities, asserted that they had civil rights and the right to not be harassed by the police force. They were both murdered in cold blood

I don’t know what to do about the blood in the street.

I can breathe, unlike Eric Garner. I can confront white men about their racism without fear of getting violently assaulted, although that is always a possibility of male rage when living female. I know that there are other people who want to end this, who are also white, but I do not know what massive action we can take. I feel so helpless, sitting at my computer typing this feels silly, because it feels so small and unimportant. But I can’t shut up, because I get to breathe, and all these people who have darker skin than I do can’t breath because there is something seriously sick with the authority in this country.

What I do know is this: silence on this issue is violence against every black person in this country who has died at the hands of psychopathic white genocidal violence. Silence is violence when there is blood in the street. 

What do we do with this information?

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Murder is An American Value

If a person is declared murdered by a medical examiner, then they have been murdered.

Eric Garner was declared murdered by a New York medical examiner.

The people who are videotaped murdering Eric Garner, a video that is accessible on the internet, have not been indicted by a Staten Island grand jury. These people happen to be police officers.

If a person is declared murdered in the state of New York and that person is black,and that murderer is a white police officer, then there is a likely chance that the murderers will not be indicted.

This is what this decision means. We are not in Mississippi in the 1800s where black men’s mutilated bodies sway from trees, and for all intents and purposes, those murders were legal. The United States of America has a long standing history of instituting legal murder against black men and women through the use of people granted the manifestation of it’s monopoly on state power.

This is the definition of genocide.

Genocide against black people in Mississippi was a domestic terrorist experience for black men, women, children, and families. Genocide against black people in New York now is the same domestic terrorist experience, with absolute submission required in order to walk away with one’s life. And as Eric Garner shows, who was not in any way shape or form acting threatening to officers, even being completely non-violent can still result in your murder.

Murderers are walking free, with liberty, able to pursuit their happiness, in New York City. In New York, my home state, we wonder how one of the most policed states in America (stop and frisk, NYPD being a standing army, the absolute submission we give to police, the total and complete disregard of black men and women as human beings with civil rights) has actually let several people walk free after they murdered, on camera, a human being.

This is not my country. This is not my country. If this is what it is like to live in America I will do everything I can to make sure your horrific version of reality fails.

Bernadine Dohrn, the mother of the Weathermen Underground, once stated, “We live in the most violent society history has ever created. I am not committed to non-violence in any way.”

I cannot, in good standing as a person of morals and ethics, call for the people of the United States to not resist in every way we can possibly to this genocide being perpetrated against our fellow citizens. We do not have to act violently, but we cannot continue to allow the genocide of people of color by the police force to continue. I cannot state any endorsement of violence on this public forum because it could be used against me in theory, because I have also lost my right to freedom of speech within the cyber sphere due to militant surveillance by the American spy apparatus.

Perhaps no one will ever read this. Perhaps no will will ever care about my words or ideas, or my absolute fear that we are about to tear our society apart and participate in our own destruction because we are too afraid to let love and tolerance prevail.

But what I know, is murder is an American value, and I will not be a part of it.