Land of the Free?

My Aunt Loretta posted on her Facebook Robert Reich’s “15 Warning Signs of Impending Tyranny.”  Here they are:

As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically:

1. Exaggerate their mandate to govern – claiming, for example, that they won an election by a landslide even after losing the popular vote.

2. Repeatedly claim massive voter fraud in the absence of any evidence, in order to restrict voting in subsequent elections.

3. Call anyone who opposes them “enemies.”

4. Turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum.”

5. Hold few if any press conferences, preferring to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements.

6. Tell the public big lies, causing them to doubt the truth and to believe fictions that support the tyrants’ goals.

7. Blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias and even violence against them.

8. Attribute acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and use such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties.

9. Threaten mass deportations, registries of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees.

10. Seek to eliminate or reduce the influence of competing centers of power, such as labor unions and opposition parties.

11. Appoint family members to high positions of authority

12. Surround themselves with their own personal security force rather than a security detail accountable to the public.

13. Put generals into top civilian posts

14. Make personal alliances with foreign dictators.

15. Draw no distinction between personal property and public property, profiteering from their public office.

Consider yourself warned.

 

President Trump is sticking to the tyrant’s script.  I like freedom and democracy.  We need to get this guy out of office before we become the UST– United States of Trump.

No Justice, No Peace

I’m sickened, saddened and angered by the jury returning a not guilty verdict for officer Jeronimo Yanez in the MURDER of Philando Castile in Minnesota.

The system of racism in the USA that began when Africans were shackled as slaves across the Atlantic and were counted as 3/5 of a person in the Constitution devalues African Americans. I believe there is no greater sin than denying someone’s humanity and the actions and words that result from that denial. We’ve seen its consequences.

Look at the history of this country. There’s been so much pain and suffering, especially for minorities in this country. The madness must stop. It’s time for America to live up to its credo: “All men are created equal.”

God said “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” This case and COUNTLESS others prove we have fallen far short of that mark. I don’t care what your race is. Imagine if Philando Castile was your brother, son, boyfriend or husband. Better yet, imagine if he was YOU. The sad fact is it could have been me as a young Black male, especially because HE DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG.

Once again, we African Americans are left feeling the pain and deep sorrow of injustice. I pray that anyone who approves of cops killing unarmed Black men gets the karma they deserve.

The Black community is beyond sick and tired of being treated like our lives do not matter.  From Rodney King to Amadou Diallo to Oscar Grant to Mike Brown to now Philando Castile and, tragically, far too many more, we Blacks are forced to come to grips with the fact that we are considered inferior by the very government which claims to rule the land of equality.

But, this country is not equal.  These cases prove that.  If those men killed were White, those juries would have came back with different verdicts.  Truthfully, if those men were White, they probably wouldn’t have even been shot.  In many cases it was the juries which let those cops off, which shows racism is still very strong within the American public, not just the legal system.  Racism in America is strong enough that it doesn’t even value the most precious thing in the world, a human life, just because it belongs to a Black man.

DAMN. GOOD.

My first contribution to the blogosphere is about one of the most highly reviewed hip-hop albums in 2017 thus far, Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.”

The best thing about the album is that it sounds better played in reverse order than forward.  The first time I played it in reverse it was like unlocking the door into a whole new world or like going through the wardrobe into Narnia.  It gave DAMN. a whole new feeling, as prescribed.

I’m not a fan of the title of the album or its artwork, which I believe are not befetting the LP’s supreme level of content.

My favorite track off of the album is “ELEMENT.”  On that record, the build up to when the beat drops, as Kendrick proclaims he “does it for Compton,” is roller coaster worthy.  And when he talks about making slapping a pussy ass nigga “look sexy” in the hook, I could visualize users Snapchatting away with that chorus in the background.

On a more serious note, on “XXX.”, Kendrick maximized his feature of U2, who’s hook was brief but enchanting.  “LOVE.” and “LOYALTY.” speak beautifully of the artist’s desire for the truth.  And on “DNA.” and “DAMN.” Kendrick unleashes his aggressive side that he attributes to his DNA and Compton.

Kendrick truly is a hip-hop beast and this album definitely lives up to its top billing.  As a DJ, I also appreciated Kid Capri’s contribution to the album, as he is widely considered one of the greatest hip-hop DJ’s of all time.

All in all, my Boss Review of the album is a 9 out of 10.  Well done Kendrick.  We are hungry for more.  And, right now, hip-hop needs your voice, which is full of content that hip-hop is sorely lacking.