Get Real: Mandatory Sacrifices of a Revolutionary

This feels awkwardly refreshing, as I haven’t written an article or blog in over a year; the truth is that I experienced burn-out from being a part of something that took more from me than it deposited, and from being associated with some major distractions. As I sit and reflect on the time that I vested into this situation, I was able to identify a very valuable lesson learned from the experience, and I’d like to share it with you all, in hopes that someone else can grab a nugget or two from it. There is an old saying, that hopefully my brain isn’t making up, but it goes “Nothing great is obtained without great sacrifice”; this is the truth, except in the case of the lottery of course! This brings me to the case of the greatest social role known to man-kind, the revolutionary, as the sacrifices required of a revolutionary are comparable to none. What exactly is a revolutionary, and what are a few of the mandatory sacrifices that are required of these under-appreciated heroes, and why are these sacrifices so vital to the success of the revolution?

 

A revolutionary, according to Webster’s definition, is an individual that causes complete or dramatic social change. That’s not my definition though; I like to keep it real and politically incorrect! In the words of the greatest Geno you all have ever met, a revolutionary is an individual, who is forced by the ills of society, to rebel against power structures to institute social change. It is the charge of a revolutionary to view the world and society objectively, envision freedom and life without boundaries, and sacrifice leisure and personal desires to advance humanity through education, direct action, and advocacy. Before we delve into the meat and bones, here is a list of the seven different sacrifices that I was able to identify that a revolutionary must make to be successful in their mission of achieving social impact:

 

  1. Slave Mentality
  2. Greed
  3. Excuses
  4. Lies
  5. Pass-Time/Entertainment
  6. Failure (Lack of Proper Preparation)
  7. Depression and Guilt

 

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Slave Mentality

Slave mentality, as defined by the popular consensus and loud mouth individuals around the country, is the mentality of an oppressed individual, that cannot achieve freedom because the individual isn’t aware of the fact that they are indeed a slave, or they have been placed in a position of false privilege by their oppressor, and have indeed fallen in love with their state of captivity; so much so that they will assist their oppressor in their quest to enslave other persons that look the same as themselves. There are many pseudonyms for this character in history; one such nickname being coon. This individual’s role in society is to serve as the basis, on which the oppressor, can make claim that their reign of oppression and terror are false and non-existent. It is vital to the success of the revolution, that this weak state of cognition be eradicated from oppressed people, because it is this strategy of “divide and conquer” that keeps the group of African descendants throughout the world from being organized enough to overthrow and overcome their oppression. This blog can’t cover this topic enough, so we will agree to revisit the subject soon and proceed to the next great sacrifice of a revolutionary; greed!

Greed

Greed is the uncontrolled obsession with consuming any desire. Of course, that was a freestyled definition; Webster describes greed as the intense and selfish desire of something. In my pursuit of root cause analysis, I have come to understand that, at the heart of greed, lies fear of loss or void; an underlying anxiety caused by the uncertainty someone feels when they realize that they are unprepared to seize opportunity. In that fear of not knowing how their needs or desires will be fulfilled, greedy individuals begin a mad dash to obtain whatever they can before their inevitable peril. What is it that makes people greedy, because it is a fact that all people feel anxiety from the uncertainty of the future. What makes an individual choose greed over faith (faith being the belief in things not scene)? The answer to that question is nature vs. nurture; the balance of how a person was raised, weighed against their experiences. There is no magic formula to predict whether an individual will succumb to greed, or remain rooted in their faith, and persevere through the adversities of life. Why is it imperative that an individual overcome greed, for them to be utilized by the revolution? Simply put, the revolution is a movement of universal energy, that requires not a face, but utensils that are willing and able to be used to feed the purpose of the revolution. A person cannot be so trodden by experience, that they adopt a mentality of bitterness and selfishness. How do we cure the greed that hides within us? We accept ownership of our actions and desires, and that brings us to our next mandatory sacrifice of a revolutionary; excuses!

Excuses

Let’s start this section off with my personal definition of an excuses; an excuse is a bullshit explanation for why one fails to accomplish a goal or task. In short, it’s a statement that one could really keep to themselves, because it doesn’t change the fact that the objective was not accomplished. In my opinion, excuses are for weak minded and spirited individuals; people, who instead of taking ownership of their shortcomings, would opt for frantically scrambling to identify a person or object to transfer blame to. Shame on excuses, and those who find this state of fuckboy-or-girlness, their comfort zone; I spit on excuses! Why are excuses a mandatory sacrifice of a revolutionary? Excuses are a defense mechanism for weakness; in this revolution, weakness must be identified and cast out. If the root of a problem can thwart discovery, through the presentation of excuses, that root issue will fail to receive the remedy needed to shore up that weakness in the movement’s integrity. As a leader in the movement, a revolutionary must be able to take ownership for mistakes, and be able to improve upon the overall operation of the revolution through the elimination of vulnerabilities. How does one rid themselves of the weakness that causes excuse-making? We must acknowledge, and fall in love with truth, which brings us to our next mandatory sacrifice of a revolutionary, lies!

Lies

I’m not going to bother explaining to you what a lie is; if that must be explained, you shouldn’t be reading this blog. This section is but an extension of the slave mentality, greed, and excuses sections. Why do individuals choose to tell lies, as opposed to telling the truth? I believe it is because the truth requires strength. The funny thing is that, for an individual to become strong, they must first discover that all the listed characteristics reside within them, then set out to eradicate their existence, and all traces that they were once there. Yes, you heard me right; we all possess these characteristics innately as humans. The difference between a person that remains immature, and one who overcomes weakness, is nurturing, reflection, and practice. While we are on the topic of practice, lets move forward to our next major sacrifice; pass-time and entertainment.

20180308_133954.jpgPass-Time/Entertainment

I once read a book, and the author referred to this new generation as the tickle-me generation. In his opinion, this generation’s priority had shifted to heavily focus on entertainment. I don’t remember the name of the book, or the author, but that ideal has stuck with me over the years. I very rarely agree wholeheartedly with anyone, as I attempt to always remain objective, but this was extremely profound. The truth is that I don’t know, or care to dissect the reasoning behind this new epidemic of thoughtlessness, but it most certainly is fact. Matter of fact, its what makes me so unique; my psychosis is totally opposite, as I feel like entertainment is the worst form of wasted time. In my mind, I am always weighing opportunity costs; what else could I be doing with the time I take to engage in any given task? In short, for the time I waste learning nothing in front of a television, I could be learning to code, which could translate into paid work; the opportunity costs for watching television is then, not learning to do something that could make me money! What I don’t do, is judge people because they choose to watch television; I am one of the few humans that minds their own business. Even with me not judging though, pass-time must be sacrificed by revolutionaries, as this social role requires that a human be able to maximize productivity. Revolutionaries understand the plight of their people, and understand that to overcome that oppression, unorthodox methods of social resistance are required. How does one go about eradicating pass-time from their lives? It’s quite simple my friend; read a book, or do something that helps you properly prepare for the revolutionary battle. This brings us to our next sacrifice of a revolutionary; failure and lack of preparation.

Failure (Lack of Proper Preparation)

Failure occurs when opportunity is presented to an individual who has failed to prepare. This characteristic is a mandatory sacrifice for revolutionaries. There is a popular saying, that is also a cool acronym, and it reads, “proper preparation prevents poor performance (5-P’s)”. I find it cool, simple, and ingenious. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible for an individual to take all necessary procedures to prepare to succeed, and still fail, but the chances of failure are 100% for an individual who has failed to prepare. In short, you plan to fail, if you fail to plan. I know it sounds cool, but you guys should really meditate on that point, as it should stand as a summation of all the sections that precede it. Why is failure, and lack of preparation, a mandatory sacrifice for revolutionaries? Simply put, because our oppression was masterfully crafted and instituted throughout history. It is silly to believe that anything other than a masterfully crafted plan, will be able to help oppressed people achieve their freedom, and ant the universal realization of their human rights. Even though a revolutionary may try and fail many times, a revolutionary must continue to be prepared to succeed in each battle, and must be able to quickly recover from the disheartening emotions created by small failures. Simply put, a revolutionary must be able to try, fail, and try again; this brings us to our final mandatory sacrifice, which is depression and guilt.

Depression and Guilt

This is the final, and greatest sacrifice of them all, because a prerequisite is having successfully rid yourself of all the previous flaws. What is depression? I had a conversation with a chaplain at the Jesse Brown VA hospital in Chicago a few weeks ago, and I had a Watson moment while speaking with him. I can’t quite remember what we were speaking about, but I remember explaining to him what depression was to me. I looked him in the eye, and without blinking, uttered “reflection without action equals depression”.  Immediately after I had said this, we both paused with puzzling looks on our faces; I could tell he was digesting the complexity of the statement, and I know that he could realize that I was shocked that something like that could come out of my mouth. I mean, I’m not dumb at all, but that statement was one of wisdom. It’s funny how all the answers to life’s questions are housed within us! That’s neither here, nor there, but dissect that saying; the regret caused when we reflect on our mistakes, if not mitigated by corrective action, can lead to incredible guilt and depression. Why is depression and guilt a mandatory sacrifice for revolutionaries? Well, lets see; maybe because the state of depression and guilt is an incomplete one. Life is designed in a way that requires us to accomplish goals through accomplishing small objectives that collectively lead to success. That means, if our goal is to obtain 10 items, we must 1st start by gaining one, then we repeat that process of gaining one nine more times. What does this have to do with depression and guilt being a mandatory sacrifice? Simply put, a revolutionary must be a positive light for the people to admire and aspire after. This individual must have mastered the doubt, and regret caused by past failures and experiences. Our revolutionary must know how to wake up everyday ready to rise victorious over a new battle; even if the battle the day before ended in defeat. The revolution doesn’t need an individual who is still harboring the pain of yesterday’s defeat; harboring feelings of defeat lead to greed and jealousy, and that is a no-go for the revolution.

As I embark upon this journey, I feel compelled to offer up this contemplation for those who walk a similar path. I used to be extremely anti-social, but as I grow into the man that God created me to be, I realize that life is about sharing; building a foundation upon which others can add finishes to. What a blessing it will be to see the next generation build upon the radical ideas of this time we currently reside in. I felt it was important to write this because I needed to expose myself to a truth that I could only experience through questioning myself; I was the only person with the answers to the questions that I had. With that, it’s my time to shine; stand in the way and I will incinerate you. All praises to our creator. We need a new breed of leadership; signing off, but never offline.

Safeguard: Are We Safe from Corporate Trespass and Burglary?

PETITION: SAFEGUARD PROPERTIES – Mortgage Field Services

SIGN!!! —> https://www.change.org/p/antieviction-gmail-com-stop-safeguard-properties-from-burglarizing-violating-homeowners-who-are-in-foreclosure?recruiter=78920878&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_term=des-lg-no_src-no_msg

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  • Lawsuit

 

On June 2013, the Attorney General’s Office made public information regarding a pending lawsuit it has against the government contracted property management company, Safeguard Properties. In a period following our nation’s largest housing crisis, which was brought about by deceptive lending practices by US banks, the housing sector delivers another blow to the livelihood and dignity of American taxpayers, through the county’s largest mortgage field servicer.

While carrying out evictions for the multiple mortgage servicers, Safeguard and its contractors violated and horrified already victimized homeowners, by trespassing and blocking humans from their homes, changing the locks on the properties, sometimes shutting off utilities midway through the foreclosure processes and burglarizing the residents, and traumatizing victims while, at times, illegally evicting families during the dangerously cold winter months. In several instances, Safeguard’s employees laid in wait, while unsuspecting victims went about the daily routines, and as they unknowingly left their homes vulnerable, the criminals would break into these homes illegally, and in some cases remove all of the victim’s belongings from the residence. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office found Safeguard Properties to have operated in violation of the Consumer Fraud Act, 815 ILCS 505/2, as well as the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, 12 U.S.C. 5220.

It has been noted in the lawsuit, that Safeguard engaged in deceptive and fraudulent business practices, by knowingly and with ill-intent, providing consumers with false information pertaining to their rights, as tenants and homeowners, to remain in their properties until the foreclosure process was complete, and sometime until the end of their bona fide lease. All court proceedings were conducted in the Cook County Circuit Court, and in June of 2016, Safeguard settled the lawsuit for $1,000,000 to be awarded to victims within Illinois who filed a complaint with the state or Safeguard itself. “We the People” encourage all victims of Safeguards fraudulent and criminal practices to either encourage their state’s attorney general to bring a class-action lawsuit, and for each victim to bring criminal charges against this fraudulent company as well. We are setting up this petition to encourage all reputable banks and government entities to seize contracting out work to this criminal organization, and to thereby divert those contracts to local businesses within the communities that are being serviced. Please sign our petition to support our efforts to prevent fraudulent and criminal behavior by companies such as Safeguard Properties.  

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  • Services & Labor

 

Services:

Safeguard enters into contract with mortgage lenders, and servicers to provide Property Preservation Services, such as:

  1. Boarding up doorways- $100
  2. Changing locks- $60
  3. Padlocking the entrance- $40
  4. Shutting off utilities- $75
  5. Winterizing the Home- $185
  6. Removing debris from unoccupied property- $35 per cubic feet
  7. Removing a car- $120
  8. Occupancy status determination – $12

***Presenting cash-for-keys or deed in lieu of foreclosure offers***

Labor:

  • Safeguards becomes responsible for property preservations services when a homeowner becomes delinquent or defaults on his/her mortgage.
  • Instructs Illinois subcontractor to inspect property in order to determine occupancy status.
  • Once Safeguard deems a property to be vacant, it instructs the subcontractor to secure the property by boarding up doorways, winterizing the property, changing locks and placing padlocks on the door, and shutting off utilities.
  • Inspect and preserve home throughout and after foreclosure process

 

Labor Complaints: https://www.complaintboard.com/safeguard-properties-l4970.html

http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/safeguard-properties/brooklyn-heights-ohio-44131/safeguard-properties-lies-to-its-workers-its-contractors-are-not-getting-paid-what-they-e-404228

SIGN!!! —> https://www.change.org/p/antieviction-gmail-com-stop-safeguard-properties-from-burglarizing-violating-homeowners-who-are-in-foreclosure?recruiter=78920878&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_term=des-lg-no_src-no_msg

#14 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Safeguard Properties Internet Fraud

AUTHOR: Micontractor – (U.S.A.)

SUBMITTED: Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It appears that what Safeguard Properties is doing by not paying its contractors is Internet Fraud. All of the communications regarding pricing, invoicing, adjustments, work orders, ect. are done either through Safeguard Properties vendor web site or through e-mail. If you are a contractor who has been scammed by Safeguard Properties this apparently constitutes internet fraud by the FBI definition. I would encourage any contractors who have been shorted payments for services provided to Safeguard Properties to file a complaint on the FBI website under “Internet Fraud”, the link is:

 

http://www.fbi.gov/majcases/fraud/internetschemes.htm

 

Good luck, we all deserve our hard earned money.

 

Mommabear1202 Send email

Dec 27, 2016

Lost home in fire

My home was destroyed in fire i

and we had some belongings outside some of which were from home. A couple weeks went buy my boyfriend had went by the house to see if the garage was ok an what was left of the property there was a man there with a trailor and had loaded everything up outside (picnic table, grill, chairs photo albums, stroller and can’t forget to mention my flower pots that had plants in them but dumped all my flowers out, there was along t of other things as well as burnt things) also he was getting ready to change the locks on garage. He told him my our home was being forclosed an he had an order to come there an secure it. He had me come up there and don’t tiron he didn’t hear a mouth full. This guy working for safeguard was getting ready to take all my belongings to the dump. I made him take what things were still good off that @#$% trailor my home was not getting forclosed i mean we just lost everything an he was there taking the rest. The bastard still got away with my antique vases, propane tank to grill, & cast iron skillets . I’m so disgusted i conet even think straight. No one has evet appologized for any of it either.

 

czultowski Send email

Jul 13, 2016

non payment, consistant charge backs

I cannot believe we have lasted 17 grueling and arduous years with this company. They have literally sucked our entire savings dry with their consistent charge backs and non payment of invoices.
They send you to a property, APPROVE your bids, PAY you and then CHARGE YOU BACK! Just yesterday we got a charge back for $1099.99! That job is months old. They don’t care. We have got charge back that are 5 years old! What is wrong with these people?
They will have you drive 75+ miles one way to submit a bid at your cost.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, these people are crooks. They have no compassion for the loyalty of their contractors, and seniority certainly does not mean anything. 17 years!!! We started with them when we had to mail them photos, before digital even existed.
Why am i paying $421/month for a $1,000,000 E & O Insurance Policy with York-Jersey Underwriters? We do not make enough money to even cover it anymore!
There is so much more, they stick it to you every single chance they get. They are making a fortune!! If they take $1000 from each contractor per month, and they have A LOT of contractors, well, do the math. it is sickening.
Something needs to be done. We need a class action law suit!!

 

Firefighter Send email

Mar 26, 2016

Being told we have to fake photos

I worked for a large preservation company. A few of them actually. This is a very corupt industry. These companies are making millions of dollars ripping off banks and real estate companies. I have emails and live recordings of these poeple telling us to fake photos of work that is not needed to be done . I’m not sure what my next move should be and could use some advice. I do not even make enough to my bills or care for my kids, but yet they have us falsifying photos so they can collect tons of money while we struggle to get buy. Any advice on what I should do or who I should call. That do not deserve the contract or to be making tons of money by making there employees lie.

 

 

  • Legal

 

Safeguards headquarters is located at 7887 Safeguard Circle, Valley View, Ohio, but the company is incorporated in the State of Delaware.

In its contracts with its clients, Safeguard assumes responsibility for all work performed by employees, subcontractors, and any agents of the company.

  • Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law 735 ILCS 5/15-1504.5, 1508.5, and 1701
  • Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, 735 ILCS 5/9-101 and 102
  • Consumer Fraud Act, 815 ILCS 505/2
  • Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, 12 U.S.C. 5220

 

  • Proposal of Repercussion

jr-bank-3

 

Enact any and all consequences that can be imposed on a business that engages in unethical business practices in the state of Illinois:

  1. Injunction, revocation, forfeiture or suspension of any licenses, charter, franchise, certificate or other evidence of authority of any person to do business in this state
  2. $50,000 fine imposed by court for each individual, during each instance, where a Safeguard employee violated the rights granted to consumers under the Consumer Fraud Act without the intent to defraud; if the courts should find that Safeguard and/or its employees committed these acts with the intent to defraud, We the People pray the court to impose a civil penalty of an additional $50,000 per violation, and an extra $10,000 per violation if the crime was committed against a person 65 years of age or older.  
  3. Bar Safeguard from receiving any government contracts within the State of Illinois.  

Author: Eugene “Geno” Stanley

SIGN!!! —> https://www.change.org/p/antieviction-gmail-com-stop-safeguard-properties-from-burglarizing-violating-homeowners-who-are-in-foreclosure?recruiter=78920878&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_term=des-lg-no_src-no_msg

Water is Water; Is it Not?

I tasted water from a well i once visited and fell deeply in love with it. The water was clear, it tasted very good, and it was just the right temperature. One day that well ran dry, and i was forced to wonder the desert in search of water. I finally stumbled upon a well. It was full of water, but the water didn’t seem as clear, it didn’t have the same taste as the last well, and it was a bit warm, but it did the job.water-1

One day, during my travels, I passed by the location of the first well I had camped at, and behold, the rains had helped refill the well, and a taste ensured that the water was the same. But there was something different this time; I couldn’t draw water as I initially had. Now, this well had a dispenser that would only allow for so much water to come out. I wound up staying at that well, hoping the water would flow as it once did, because I could see the clear crisp water as I gazed down into the well.

Do you believe me to be foolish for abandoning a full well with no regulation, for a well that was full, but would only allow me to access just enough water to stop me from dying of heat stroke? i-heart-waterHave a great day, and don’t forget today’s question to ponder; before you leave your well for one that appears to be better, ask yourself, “Am I leaving ample for only a sample?” Signing off, but never offline! ~ Geno Stanley

A Letter to Trump: Divestment vs. Investment

kids3

Dear Mr. Trump,

Chicago is a global city, and if anyone knows that, it would most certainly be you; a man who owns prime real estate in one of the world’s most appealing locations for tourists, and business professionals. There is an elephant in the room though; there has been a stark contrast in the divestment versus investment when assessing the micro economies that clearly exist within this city. That could very well be a bit of the brush that was ignited when your campaign was disrupted in this very city. No apologies are in line for the actions of my brothers and sisters of this struggle that you can never understand; you can only learn to empathize with the plight of African descendants within this country. Though I don’t hold all the same values, and thought processes of my fellow activists, I do stand in solidarity with their dedication to fight injustice with proportionate force. With that said, I do believe in your claim to have an agenda to bring America into its full potential of being the greatest nation, not only on the planet, but the greatest nation that we can become. Enough small talk, as I’m sure you have a lot of work to do; Chicago’s Public School system is a bridge built on sand, and that sand is Rahm Emmanuel, City Counsel, Barbara Byrd-Bennet, our long-standing clergymen with political affiliation, and the perspective of the American people that this problem is isolated, or unable to be corrected.

In 2013, my elected officials closed a record breaking 48 schools at one time; the largest scale school closing ever in U.S. history. The decision to devastate 12,000 elementary school students was blamed on a $1 Billion deficit brought on by decades of misappropriated funds, and a scandal that placed an interesting criminal light on our prior mayor. We understand how a deficit could call for the need to bring expenses lower than income, but what we don’t comprehend is why every social and economic experiment in this country has to be conducted at the expense of the quality of life of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens; minorities specifically, and moderate-low to very-low income families. If you’re inquiring as to why I’m crying over spilled milk; well, because that now spoiled milk is being force fed to us as yogurt, and it smells bad.kids1

In May of this year, the city began a quest to acquire an old post office location, and they proposed plans to transform that location into a new middle school. The project in total will cost $55 Million, and $11 Million in Tax Increment Funding (TIF) has been allocated to this project, that will benefit families within close proximity to the southern outskirts of the downtown area; an area comprised of mostly middle income families, and high income families that were able to survive the gentrification efforts pushed following the demolition of Chicago’s public housing project buildings (i.e. Cabrini Green Housing Projects). This is a concern of the African American community, because we have continually been forced to watch the spoils of us being robbed, being redistributed to those who didn’t need the resources in the first place.kids4

Contrary to popular belief, the African American community has no desire to continue to exist as a welfare community; one dependent upon foreign businesses and investors. We have no desire to dwell on where blame for our economic enslavement should be placed; we are clear on how we got to this position, but more importantly aware and ready to take the steps to bring us out of our social and economic incarceration. We understand that you have no authority to intervene in locally approved plans for development, but we do have a request.

Please redirect 30% of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and ecenomic development dollars to grassroots organizations and small businesses within their respective communities, the very organizations and businesses that create the micro-economic changes that “We the People” desire to see.

We would like to see a national effort to redirect CRA and economic development monies into a community controlled mechanism. Our community is in dire need of small business investment plan that acknowledges the disparities in capital, credit, and collateral that has been created by a long-existing system of oppression (relative barriers of entry into business). What we are really requesting is a small business startup and stimulus package that will help create healthy and self-sustainable communities; a major and bold push towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

 

 

Works Cited

City of Chicago: Tax Increment Financing . (2016, September 14). Retrieved December 23, 2016, from City of Chicago: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dcd/provdrs/tif/news/2016/july/tif-proposed-for-new-south-loop-elementary-school.html

Jr., J. P. (2015, January 22). Study looks at aftermath of Chicago school closings in 2013. Chicago Tribune.

Marisa de la Torre, M. F. (2015). Schools Closings in Chicago: Understanding Familie’s Choices and Constraints for New School Enrollment . Chicago: University of Chicago.

Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, J. C. (2013, May 23). CPS approves largest school closure in Chicago’s history. Chicago Tribune.

 

 

The American 1%: Social Class Divide on Crack

Who Rules the United States?

The United States of America is supposed to be, by design, a representative democracy, but who really runs the United States? Two perspectives that hypothesize on who runs the United States is the functionalist and conflict perspectives.

 

140125121707-obama-sotu-2013-story-top
WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 12: U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), delivers his State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol February 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. Facing a divided Congress, Obama focused his speech on new initiatives designed to stimulate the U.S. economy. (Photo by Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images)

Crucial to this question, is a sound understanding of the fundamental reasoning that make up both perspectives; the demand and supply of authority. Also key, is an understanding of citizenship, democracy, and capitalism. Lastly, it is imperative to have a strong grasp on the U.S. Political Infrastructure, and how all these factors are waged into the arguments of the functionalist and conflict perspectives. The first step in this inquisition is to come to an agreed definition of authority, which is the common goal of any government; the monopoly over power and the use of violence.

 

Authority and You!

Authority, is the extension of power by one group, or government, over the larger population of people within a defined territory. Functionalists view states, or governments, as having arisen from the necessity of social groups, to protect the masses of people from anarchy, which is unrestrained disorder and crime. Conflict theorists would agree that an unrestrained government is detrimental, but they differ in that they believe the current government to be functioning in a way that doesn’t contribute to the welfare and longevity of its citizens. There are three types of authority that societies recognize: traditional authority, rational-legal authority, and charismatic authority. Traditional authority is the type of authority that is extended over a social group by way of culture and customs. Rational-legal authority is a type of authority that is recognized by the people as legitimate due to its establishment in the laws of the land. Charismatic authority is the type of power offered to individuals based on their outstanding traits, which prompt others to follow them. This brings us to the question of the natural forces that bring people within a defined territory together; citizenship.

Citizenship: Consented Violence

Citizenship is the concept that birth (residence or naturalization), is the basis upon which individuals are afforded basic rights. This is one of the great benefits of this country; this is the idolized land of opportunity. The place where anyone can become Steve Jobs. The part of the story they leave out is that during that struggle for opportunity, you will face unfathomable obstacles, and if you are a woman or a person of color, you will encounter far more pressing odds on your pursuit to the American dream. Poverty and social class divisions do exist in this country, which brings us to the concept of universal citizenship, which addresses discrimination with its emphasis on everyone having the same basic rights. Now, let’s focus in on the guiding principles of this country. Before we dive more into the country’s political infrastructure, let’s get an understanding of capitalism, and how it plays a role in our country’s social makeup.

corporate

Capitalism: The American Nightmare

Capitalism, is the concept around which the private ownership of the means of production, and the desire and pursuit of profit controls the supply and demand of economic markets. There are two types of capitalism that currently exist in societies: lassiez-faire capitalism, and welfare capitalism. Laissez-faire capitalism is unrestrained by government, and is commonly called hands-off capitalism. Welfare capitalism is a form of capitalism where government encourages the private ownership of land, but regulates capitalism to ensure the welfare of the masses of the nation’s population. Conflict theorists coined the name power elite, to refer to the 1% of Americans, made up of the super-rich, heads of military, top legislators, but most importantly, the heads of this country’s top corporations. They say that it is this small group of individuals who make the decisions that control the major functioning of the United States of America. This brings us to how both the functionalists and conflict perspectives view capitalism, as it relates to the U.S. political infrastructure.

The U.S. Political Infrastructure

The infrastructure of the United States political system is bipartisan, with several smaller roadways that we will collectively refer to as third parties. Minus the presence of these almost non-existent third parties, the U.S. political system is dominated by democrats and republicans. Democrats are associated publicly with advocating for the welfare of the masses of the population. Republicans are associated publicly with advocating for the interest of the wealthy. The supposed common denominator is that both parties adopt the philosophy of free education, a strong military, and the freedom of religion, speech, and assembly of the American people. Functionalists view this system of representative democracy, fused with the safe guard of this system’s checks and balances system, as sufficient and effective, as it grew directly from the need of the people to have a government. They also see capitalism as necessary, as both parties of this country’s bipartisan arrangement view capitalism as essential to the welfare of our economy. Conflict theorist, on the reverse, sees the influence of capitalism on policy, as an illegitimate form of control (coercion) of the people by corporations; the power elite, or ruling class. This power elite is comprised of the super-rich 1% of Americans, who head the country’s top corporations, are top ranking military officials, and are our country’s most influential elected officials. The conflict perspective also provides an analysis on the hierarchy of the power elite group. The three groups are not equal in power, but because all three segments of the group view capitalism as crucial to American economy, corporations wield more power in this group makeup.

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In Context: Functionalist and Conflict Perspectives

There are two perspectives on who rules the United States of America; the functionalist and conflict perspectives. Authority is the extension of power over the people, fused with the exclusive monopoly on the use of violence. Key to answering this question, is the gaining of understanding around both the functionalist and conflict theories. Also important, is the understanding of authority, capitalism, and democracy. Lastly, you must have a sound understanding of capitalism, and how it is perceived to fit into the scheme of the United Stets political infrastructure. No one perspective covers each point that I believe is important and accurate, and no one party can represent all the ideals of every constituent, but understanding who makes the decisions in this country is key to understanding how to change the decisions that are being made to cause latent dysfunctions in our economy. Signing off, but never offline!

Written by: Eugene Stanley

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The Rise of an Empire: Cinco De Money 2

When we speak of legends, from the Hip Hop perspective, we must all agree that each city has its own acclaimed Hall of Fame. Well, because I’m from Chicago, allow me to expose you to one phenomenal emcee from our global city here in the Midwest region of the United States. This is going to be a bit unorthodox for you traditional suckas, but we’re going to give a big up to one of our own while he can still smell the flowers. I’m sure, after seeing the manifestation of his supporters, that he understands the love that the city has for him, but I believe it’s time to knock down the barriers on communication. Ty Money actually gave the recipe in one of the songs I’m about to review when he said, “we’ve been sleeping for 400 years straight; think it’s time to wake please…” So with that said, lets show Ty Money what we are going to take from his highly anticipated and demanded mixtape, Cinco De Money 2.

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Before we dive right into this piece, it’s important to understand the history behind this amazing artist. Ty Money actually represents Harvey World, but I personally don’t agree with the geographical divides that came into place because of the hyper-gentrification of Chicago’s public housing communities. Harvey, Illinois is a part of Chicago, and we definitely are going to finesse those boundaries to be able to claim this amazing brother as our own. This artist has most certainly earned his keep, and has labored to gain his position as one of the city’s most prospective and creatively explosive artists, period. Money and his brother I.D. joined together in 2005 to form the power rap group, Firesquad. Fast forward to Summer of 2015 when he dropped Cinco De Money vol. 1, where he brands his unique and particular sound that launches him into the platform of next guy up for the entire Midwest region. After spending time with Yassin Bey (Formerly known as Mos Def), and dropping the extremely conscious track United Center afterward, I was very curious to know whether Ty Money would spill some of the heightened black awareness into his music, and I must say that I am not dissatisfied; this album was monumental, and I believe it contains a healthy balance of the positive and negatives that come with being from the hood. Being a revolutionary writer, and an activist, I have a very low filter for fuck music, and I have a strong dislike for the content that makes up the Chicago Drill scene. I was happy to hear story lines, artistry, mixtures in creative content; all of the differences that made albums of the 90’s so classic.

            I decided to review 3 songs from his project, and instead of just adding fancy words to describe what I want you to believe the song is about, I’m going to break down exactly what he is saying, then put it into perspective so it can be used to understand the choices that are children are poised with on a daily basis. The first song, and be advised that this order bears not merit to my ordering on the quality of each song, is God got Us, which was produced by Y. F. Beatz. The second song that I’m going to review is What They Taught Me, which was produced by RioMac. Lastly, I’ll provide a review of How, which was also produced by RioMac.

In God Got Us, which features a deep hypnotic bass line, with a simple chord, and the artist compliments with calmly energetic rhyme scheme that befits what the intro to a mixtape is supposed to sound like. The lesson to be learned from this song is that we all need to do some individual prioritizing; in all this work towards perfection, we must never forget to keep faith, and also acknowledge God for bringing us through all of the trials and tribulations that we have encountered. Ty Money starts the song off by dropping the greatest jewel so far this year by saying, “Get some money, f*** the hype n****. Walk by faith, not by sight n****. Flexing around the wolves, that’s not right n****…” This brings us to the place where we begin to ask about the moral fabric of these deviant citizens, who live by street laws, as opposed to state mandated laws. The question being whether religion has a sufficient effect on curbing violence and plight in minority communities here in the United States, or whether a more effective institution of socialization is needed.

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Institutions of Socialization

Whether or not churches have the ability to curb violence in the community, it is apparent that these urban deviants do still hold sound beliefs in God, but reject the authority or persuasion of the church. Not to stray too far from the subject, but that is a reality in these communities that have been affected by violence, that is manifest derivative of economic and social disparity that is prevalent in minority communities. This brings us to the question of how we develop and diffuse the sets of morals that will bring about the behaviors that we hope to see in the future leaders of our people. With all of the violence that is associated with our youth, Money validates this generational attraction to mischief, and how experience and maturity help to curve these behaviors when he spits, “I den been to jail, came home, got shot, caught a cause, so now I do a lot of cooling…” The question that I propose after here this testimony is how do we encourage young minority men to see the benefits of developing habits that help to decrease the probability of them ending up in troublesome situations and dangerous environments.

Further expounding on the some of the moral sets that are popular in the urban music community here in Chicago, Ty Money captivates us with his single worthy track, What They Taught Me, which is spread evenly over a mellow and smoke ready melody. The key lesson behind this track is honor, and in the song, Ty exposes several of the key guidelines and laws that are stressed to young minority men in urban communities here in the U.S. In the hook he raps, “Get money, fuck b*****s, tote itchy, pour liquor, little n**** don’t back from no n****. That’s just what they taught me…” In this segment of the track, we can identify urban hustle in his reference to getting money, which establishes urban hustling as an important trait in minority communities.

Black Men Fighting For Honor

He also references the trait of honor, by proclaiming that he wouldn’t back down from anyone, regardless of who they were. This isn’t an isolated characteristic, and might provide a glimpse into misconceptions with our youth around the definition of honor; a misconception that may contribute to situations that account for a portion of our city’s high crime rate. And like many Hip Hop songs in circulation, there are references to sex and alcohol, tools that urban deviants use to numb the stress caused by social factors associated with poverty stricken communities. This is a testament to the desensitization of sex by promiscuous sexual saturation on mainstream media outlets, especially including the music and film industries. Unlike critics of the promiscuous nature of the music industry, I do not place sole blame for this desensitization of sex on these male entertainers, but I blame institutions of socialization, and also the women who, without their participation, could make the fad of casual sex disappear.

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Money also takes this song into a deeper community analysis when he expounds his verse on the perspectives of simple-minded individuals made smoking, eating and having sex a priority. He also expounds on his skepticism and distrust, that was taught to him by his mother (nurture-socialization), that serves as a defense mechanism or mechanism of survival for these underserved minority citizens. Things me to an experience of my own, where I went to Seattle, and experienced culture shock. It wasn’t a situation where I was thrown into a pack of wolves and torn apart. On the contrary, I was brought from a place where distrust kept you alive, to a place where every said hi and openly solicited their friendship. This was a great observation presented by Ty, but even more impressive was his take on the advice given by leaders and elders from his community. In this story, he tells of the advice by elders to not live life so fast and loud, and that by staying discrete about his ventures, he would set himself for more long-term successes. In this line, he also exposes a latent benefit to living a more discrete lifestyle; making himself less of a target for predators in the community. According to Money, they also instilled in him the requirement to assess the productivity of individuals that he places in his network, because inefficient relationships become more of a liability then a benefit. Ok, we have established the depth of his perspectives on priorities and moral sets, but how critical is Ty on his own culture, from the perspective of objective introspection?

Well Accomplished  

Well, from my opinion, Ty Money did not just do this, but he did it in the boldest and most eloquent manner, by posing critical thought provoking questions for consumers to ponder on. The thesis for this song, as I perceive it is actually a statement prompting peers in his culture to objectively assess themselves. In this proposition, he exposes his perception that young minorities have become complacent, and have failed to set goals in the culture that promote long term success for the culture, as well as the entire race of people of African descent here in the United States. Money begins his proposal by asking, “How you at the mall, pocket full of swipes: baby out of wipes? Card cracker turned rapper; caught a fraud case, now you wanna write.” Can you see the profoundness of this questioning? Money has set the bar for critical thinking, and the application of logical thought when assessing one’s self in the pursuit of personal progress. He also questions the increasingly dominant trend of individuals seeking to capitalize in the music industry off of the credit of having criminal backgrounds and involvement.

PTSD

I personally see this trend as being a product of post traumatic slavery disorder, paired with the continuous neglect by African Americans to unify beyond imposed class divides, to address the effects caused by the instability of African American households; a direct derivative of the institutional plights that have been inflicted upon our race by white america. Most important to this subject, is the evident internalization of norms by African Americans; norms that were created by racist and imperialist white america. The fact that I have been able to dive so in depth into the content within this song, and I haven’t gone pass the first 4 bars in the song, is the reason why you must download this mixtape in the link provided below, and give this project (especially this song) a try! This song is really the manifestation of what I wanted to see from Ty Money after his time building with Yassin Bey; a song dedicated to the advance of the critical thought of young minorities in america. Go download that project now dammit. Geno signing off, but never offline; enjoy!

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Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/tiwan.dirtybirds?fref=ts

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Ty-Money-172494749451707/?fref=ts

Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/TyMoneySBMG

Instagram Profile: https://www.instagram.com/tymoneysbmg/

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/tiwan-tymoney-sbmg-dirtybirds

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ty-money/id303280162

Google Play:
They Aint Doin Shyt (Remix) ft. Mac Mili – https://play.google.com/music/preview/Agnyqoxxotwtpormt63ourabvmi?u=0#

Reader Article: http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/ty-money-tiwan-raybon-cinco-mixtape-rap-hip-hop-harvey/Content?oid=21007766

Live Mixtapes:
Cinco De Money vol. 1: http://indy.livemixtapes.com/mixtapes/34051/ty-money-cinco-de-money.html
Cinco De Money vol. 2: http://indy.livemixtapes.com/mixtapes/39565/ty-money-cinco-de-money-2.html

Ty Money – Billboard.com – United Center: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/6777151/ty-money-laquan-mcdonald-murder-united-center-video

RioMac Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RioMacHSP?ref=br_rs

Y.F. Beats SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/yfbeats-1

 

 

Adobe Creative Cloud: Software-As-A-Service

pizza logo 1I created this sample piece while watching a tutorial in Adobe’s online learning environment. There were a few things that I did not do exactly as they showed, because I feel compelled to maintain my individual expression as an artist, but I am very proud of the work I have done.
While this is but a simple piece of art, and I was coached through creating it, I gave this project my 100% effort. Adobe’s products, fused with their online learning center, has captivated my interest so much so that I went out and purchased a stylus pad and pen to be able to create on a more professional and creative level.
All I can say is that you all have developed an amazing marketing strategy for a fairly new product (Software as a Service) in the market. Because you all have presented a product, and supplied training (cutting back on administrative cost associated with training or hiring qualified candidates), I am able to economically enter your purchase funnel, and still capitalize off the skills acquired.
GREAT JOB ADOBE! www.adobe.com/creativecloud.html
adobe logo
Eugene Stanley
Director of Communications
Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign
info@globalafricachicago.org