Politics

The Silent Majority STANDS with Trump

Let's try to look past the obvious racial undertones of this campaign slogan. However, there's a little bit of truth in it.  Not that the racial majority stands with trump, but that his target demographic is taking this literally. They're silent because they are dying at an alarming rate. Reviewing these facts and statistics are not to celebrate or revel in anyone's plight but to provide context and understanding of the political climate in this 2016 election cycle. There hasn't been this much white angst and outrage since the OJ trial. Gone are the days where the hard working white man with a high school education can flourish. Just as much as the job market is evolving from an industrial and manufacturing market to a service based, technology driven market. The walls of white privilege are crumbling. Now the biggest issue that's hard to understand is the bait and switch within this demographic. To use race, religion and other "values voting" principles to have people vote against their own best interest. We're going to get in to that more later.

Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century 

Anne Case1 and Angus Deaton1

Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Department of Economics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 Contributed by Angus Deaton, September 17, 2015 (sent for review August 22, 2015; reviewed by David Cutler, Jon Skinner, and David Weir) 

This is the study that has received so much attention recently. So much so that it was referenced in the democratic debate in Milwaukee. This study was conducted by the Department of Economics at Princeton University. This study documents a marked increase in the all-cause mortality of middle-aged white non-Hispanic men and women in the United States between 1999 and 2013. This increase can largely be attributed to increasing death rates from drug and alcohol poisoning, suicide, chronic liver disease, and cirrhosis. The change in all-cause mortality for white non-Hispanics 45–54 is largely accounted for by an increasing death rate from external causes, mostly increases in drug and alcohol poisonings and chronic liver disease. In contrast to earlier years, drug overdoses were not concentrated among minorities. In 1999, poisoning mortality for ages 45–54 was 10.2 per 100,000 higher for black non-Hispanics than white non-Hispanics; by 2013, poisoning mortality was 8.4 per 100,000 higher for whites. Death from cirrhosis and chronic liver diseases fell for blacks and rose for whites. After 2006, death rates from alcohol- and drug-induced causes for white non-Hispanics exceeded those for black non-Hispanics; in 2013, rates for whites those for blacks by 19 per 100,000.  This is the best summation of the studies findings, there were many parts of the study equally interesting when comparing the stats across racial and education levels. (Please see link below for the entire study) One particular finding that stands out the most were that these numbers were higher in people in with less education. 

This is a scientific study reporting just facts and data used to identify trends and causes. The interpretation of this data goes a lil deeper. Something that a scientific study is not going to provide. It's important to use this data in its proper context in relation to the sentiments of the country, and how it's shaping our current political climate. Why does this matter? What is the data telling us? To tell this story we must go back to 2008 during the economic crisis. Where we witnessed the largest shift in economic power in our country's history. People lost everything, homes, jobs, insurance Etc. Pensions were destroyed, 401k's and retirement plans were ransacked.  All while banks and the insurance companies, received a tax payer funded bail out. Businesses shut down, mass lay offs, lines of credit frozen. Banks received a bailout with American taxpayer money, added it to their coffers and held it. No lending, no jobs, no growth.  People with degrees and impressive resumes couldn't find a job. This affected us all. But why is white America so adversely affected? They weren't victims of predatory lending and systemic racism, preventing job opportunities. They were living in the last days, and the rise of Barack Obama marked the coming of the apocalypse. To most white Americans this was the end of the world as they knew it. What they called "doomsday," blacks called it Tuesday. Nothing changed. It was always difficult to find a job, and easy to find yourself in the magical place of being over qualified and underpaid. No real assets to speak of, with most people's wealth tied up in their homes. So that's gone, your jobs gone. What are you going to do? 

Now this is the difference in mentality of those on the outside of the American dream and those who feel it's a natural birth rite. Blacks and other minorities have built support systems and networks to deal with this. Consolidation and retreat within the community to shield against the stress of economic hard times. Family, culture, faith, community. All things that help you cope and deal with stress. These systems exist within the country as a whole to withstand the onslaught from the outside world. Now for white Americans this community is "America" itself. America is supposed to be for you, a safe place where your rights and freedoms will always be protected. As long as you fulfill your end of the bargain and go to work. The person stands alone as an individual within the collective. This is western culture and thinking. There's a reason why that immigrant family has 4 generations living in the same house. Not because they have to, but it's the best play for all. Shared expenses, child care, etc. And it shields the collective if one person so happens to find themselves unemployed and unable to contribute. This sense of community seemed to have worked in the minority community's favor. Not only has the rate of death decreased we continue to lower that number every year as white America slips further into depression and abuse of drugs and alcohol. To white America things have not been improving despite unemployment numbers at record lows. We see so much anger as a whole within this demographic in this state of "conscious ineffectiveness." The problems are deflected outward and the sentiment of "take our country back," grows. Certain groups are demonized that appear to threaten the social hierarchy and their rightful place in the food chain. Especially groups that are growing in influence such as Mexican-Americans (undocumented and legal), African Americans, and Muslims. Historically in America, race has always been used by the powerful elite to influence the poor. To provide a sense of inclusion in the American Dream despite being poor, exploited, and marginalized just like ethnic minorities. This is done out of fear of the bottom 99 percent in this country finding common ground and working together against their collective oppressors. They're the "new niggas," let them tell it, and they don't like that at all. There's plenty of seats left on the struggle bus White America. They're so concerned with still sitting on the front of that bus instead of blowing that bitch up! So they'll continue to align with bigotry and hatred, justified by good ole fashioned misdirected Christianity and the spirit of "American Exceptionalism." 

 

Full Article Below:

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/49/15078.full.pdf

Straight Outta Cliches

Last weekend the biopic of Compton's own N.W.A was released "Straight Outta Compton." The musical biopic was the 6th No.1 opening for Universal this year and the best R-rated August opening EVER! The seemingly controversial movie took in 60.2 million at the U.S. box office, shattering the movies estimated 29 million dollar projections. Of course being deemed a "black movie" the expectations of paying movie goers interested in Hip-Hop was underestimated. Of course the national stereotyping is another issue I'll get into later. I would like to start off by giving praise where it's most certainly due. The movie was great. Impeccable writing and stellar performances delivered by young actors. Most notably the son of original N.W.A member and Hip-Hop icon Ice Cube. The story was obviously told from the perspectives of its two most heavily contributing members of the music and lyrics, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. The film did a fantastic job remaining broad and focusing on the group as a whole, highlighting the cultural significance and impact they had on all of America. But there are many underlying issues addressed and ignored in this portrayal that I would like to highlight and have a deeper conversation about. Some of those issues remain at the forefront of the national conversation being had today. Also issues that Black America refuses to acknowledge.

The first scene of the movie we are introduced to Eric Wright Jr. AKA Eazy-E. Founding member of N.W.A and CEO of Ruthless Records. He was in his local trap house in Compton California participating in a transaction that was rudely interrupted by an armored tank with a battering ram that famously ruled the streets of Compton during the (still ongoing) war on lower income minority communities better known as "the war on drugs." We saw a heavily militarized civil force, paid for by tax dollars of U.S. citizens. Similar to what we see every week on the news in response to protestors in the cities of Ferguson and Baltimore. Insert Cliché here > The more things change, the more they remain the same. In 1988 on the debut album of N.W.A there was an iconic song that resonated with so many in the black community and terrified main stream America. "Fu** tha Police" was every disgruntled youth's battle cry in response to police brutality and immunity that was given to the perpetrators of violence towards people of color in America. "Straight Outta Compton" was pretty much the soundtrack to the infamous L.A. riots of 1992 that took place after the acquittal of the police officers that brutally beat motorist Rodney King during a traffic stop. Sound familiar right. How many unarmed black men have died this year during routine traffic stops? That’s another post all together. N.W.A was bold and unapologetic in their sentiments. As the movie depicted this did not come without a cost. Media scrutiny, FBI investigations, arrests, censorship, etc. They held up a mirror to America and forced the country to see the harsh realities that people were living all over the country with abuse from police officers. So in conclusion to the topic of police brutality in America, there is no conclusion. N.W.A is more than a rap group from the 80's, N.W.A is now a mantra. We're all Ni***s With Attitudes in response to our continual unfair treatment in the criminal justice system. The issue affects us all whether your in chucks and a khaki suit, hitting the switches in your 6-four or a distinguished professional in an E-class Benz.

WE ARE NOT ALL GANG BANGERS! This goes for both sides of the issue. In the movie Eazy-E and Dr. Dre expressed misgivings about how their brand of "reality rap" was going to be received. N.W.A was first... pioneers in what media and pop culture would call "gangster rap." As the music and culture spread perception of all young black people would change as well. Internally and externally. It was now cool. Kids in the suburbs from middle class families were now visually indulging in a culture that wasn't necessarily their own. This music was reality rap, a reality that these individuals were accustomed. A complex environment not uncommon to many inner cities across the country. Places where gang violence was the everyday normal. A world built of systemic disenfranchisement and unemployment. Turf wars fueled by the narcotics trade due to the policies of the government in the 80's, instituted by the beloved republican demigod Ronald Reagan. The music that was bread out of this environment would grow to permeate popular culture. Only to exacerbate the fears of white America toward young people of color. The music changed the course of Hip-Hop, popularizing the misogynist gangster and his dealings. It lives today in what we call trap music. It changed us as well. Being a child of the 80's I grew up with this as popular music. One cant help but to identify with it. It's a stigma that we must all deal with. Around the country movie theaters beefed up security with off duty police officers in preparation for violence. Anywhere young blacks congregate is cause for concern.

Insert cliché here ------> "Birds of a feather flock together or where there’s smoke there’s fire."

WHEN WAS THE LAST MOB MOVIE THAT HAD BEEFED UP SECURITY?

On a positive note there was an unappreciated silver lining. An uncanny foresight and sense of self-worth. The movie showed a teenage Ice Cube who turned down a 75,000 dollar check from the groups unscrupulous manager Jerry Heller. He wrote the majority of the album, had a platinum selling album, and sold out shows across the country. He knew he was worth more than a mediocre check and a long term binding contract that would cripple him. He walked away. Achieved success on his own as a recording artist and now a shining star as an actor, writer, and director. Or Dr. Dre who walked away from thugged out Death Row Records and took his destiny in to his own hands to build his brand on his own. After his most recent deal through Beats by Dre and Apple, is now hip-hop's first billionaire. They took a broken system and used it to their advantage. With nothing more than a belief in themselves and their talent. How do you feel about it? This is my take on the film. In the words of Eazy-E "Don't quote me boy cuz I ain't said sh**."