Category Archives: Featured

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.

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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.

GAC Endorses Willie Preston for 31st District Representative

The phrase “out with the old, in with the new” is a saying that we all have heard before and it usually relates to New Years Eve resolutions, making progress and bettering ones life. Even though New Years has long past this analogy applies to the race for the 31st District Representative. The 31st District encompasses portions of Chicago’s Englewood, West Englewood neighborhoods, Oak Lawn, Chicago Ridge, Palos Hills, and other nearby communities.

I had a chance to catch up with Willie Preston, an organizer out of Englewood who has a passion for the people and is running against the incumbent. He’s very much in favor of a progressive income tax and understands the importance of having a STEM focused curriculum for our children. He’s just a regular family man that wants to see change in his community and has stepped up to the plate to do so.

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Candidate for 31st District State Rep Willie Preston and family (above)

QM: As 31st District State Representative what do you plan on doing differently in comparison to the incumbent?

WP: “Many things, my plan, unlike my opponent, I have a plan and it calls for bringing our back trade schools to Chicago. Everybody is not coming to college when I go down to Springfield I’m going to be down there fighting for vocational training inside our schools. We’re talking about plumbers, electricians, boiler makers, truck drivers. And this has to be done at the state legislature and that’s what we’re going down to Springfield to do. When my kids graduate high-school, south side of Chicago, I don’t want them lost or having to go to college and take out debt just to make a decent living. I want them to graduate with their diplomas in one hand and their union card in the other, if they decide their not going to college and that’s OK with us. My mother-in-law is a carpenter, she makes $100,000 annually, every year $100,000. She can raise a family, that’s head of household income, you can have you a home, a new car, your children can go to school, a good school that you can afford. You definitely won’t have to go to anybody’s aid office looking for food stamps. That’s the type of life changing politics that’s what this campaign is based on, we’re doing this to save people’s lives and change people’s lives. That’s one thing on the economic side, as far a property taxes go we plan on banning Mike Madigan and other law makers who practice property tax appeal law.”

QM: What is that exactly, property tax appeal law?

Preston: “So, when you get your property tax bill in the mail, lets say its $900. You think that’s too high for your little house so you go and say, “Hey, this is too high!” You need to hire an attorney because you don’t know the property tax law, property tax code, so you go and hire an attorney to get your property tax reduced. Mike Madigan, coincidentally, or not coincidentally who is one of the most powerful lawmakers in Illinois has the number one firm in Illinois. That’s not by coincidence so what we have is a situation that I have here is a situation where-“

QM: So you’re saying that he’s controlling what the law is-

Preston: “That’s right, he’s controlling it to make sure that he personally benefits and gets rich from it, and he does do it. Then what he does is re-funnel that money back into politics and make sure that he gets to come into the black community, Latino community and chooses who he wants to represent that community.

My campaign represents a stark contrast from that, he wont get to choose the leader over here anymore. We win this election we send a strong message that this community is an independent community and we’re going to choose our own leaders.

So right now we have two buildings that have been recently sold downtown. What we knew as the Sears Tower is now called the Willis Tower at 1 N. Clark, they got $50 million in property tax reduction. So the government doesn’t need $50 million laying around. We give somebody a reduction we increase some where else. So where’s the increase coming from? Its coming right here from my people, my people have a extra $200, $300, $500, $700 increase in their property tax, regular working class folk while rich folk downtown are getting under-assessed we’re getting ours over-assessed. There needs to be a property tax frieze or a serious reduction in property tax. And that’s what also is driving up the rent of people who are just getting started. 1500 dollars for a 1, 2 bedroom apartment? We’re gonna end that and how we’re going to stop it is by having people like me down there at Springfield that will say no, and fighting against that and winning.”

QM: In one interview you say, “Springfield politicians largely just go along to get along, and that’s what I’m seeing in my district right now and I want to work to change it.” What exactly do you see that needs to be changed that hasn’t in the past 30 years?

Preston: “Well a lot of things, but one thing I can site is this. We have somebody that’s been in office for nearly 50 years, Mike Madigan, he’s the Speaker of the House. Every last Democrat votes for him in the House, every last Democrat in Springfield votes for him to be Speaker of the House, “go along to get along”. That is so much centralization of power it’s unnatural, it’s un-American. We don’t have kingdoms, or supposedly we’re not supposed to be about that, this is supposed to be about democracy. And one thing I’m going to do is not vote for him as Speaker of the House that will be a stark difference. Throughout the years as Chicago and Illinois have gotten blacker and browner, the state funding to our education system has gotten lesser and lesser. We have more black politicians that most people inside this nation in terms of our state government, and they went along with that. That’s why today Illinois is last in state funding for public education. Last in America in the funding percentage allocated to public education. I got family in Mississippi, like most of us do down south, we used to laugh at them and call them country. But you know what, they’re ahead of us, they have a state government, a supposedly racist state government in Mississippi and they are racist. But they invest more in their education than we do. We’re going to end that, in Springfield that’s what Mike Madigan and other lawmakers who prioritize our state budget that went along with it. I was a victim of it, if you were a student of CPS you were a victim of it. Other people were surpassing us but we didn’t know it because we were children and they were getting invested in more than us. And so look around at 28, 29, 30, 33 years old they are executives, they’re in media, they’re in government. They’re in a host of things and enjoying the spoils of a global economy, we’re not because we were not trained, we were not invested in. Its nothing wrong with us, it was something wrong with those state  politicians who allowed it happen and I’m taking one of them out with the help of people from the movement.”

QM: So being more specific are you saying that in regards to CPS’ education or Illinois in its entirety?

Preston: “Illinois in general. CPS is obviously where the most black and brown children, more specifically black from a historical context. That is where the large share of black and brown children attend school in Illinois, which is CPS and we have been underfunded for decades, the last in America. We have to get billions more dollars in order to treat these kids fair so they can be ready for this global economy they’re going to inherit.”

QM: Whats your take on CPS as an entity and what do you plan on implementing to reverse the school-to-prison pipeline?

Preston: “Well one of the things that’s extremely important, something I’ve been working on prior to running for office, is focusing on de-centralizing power. What do I mean by that? Right now one person gets to appoint the entire school board, that’s the mayor of Chicago.  That is why we find corruption because its a billion dollar budget that these folks have with contracts galore. One person should not be appointing all these people, they have to be accountable to the people who vote for them as well as the taxpayers. The way that we do that is by making certain that we have an elected school board. We have to force these people to run in elections and I think if we do that it would have to happen again at the state level. At the state level if we run a bill and make sure that it happens now, an elected school board, we’re going to have elections. In fact many other school boards districts, except for CPS, does it so we’re going in that direction. By the way, my opponent, in the 90s voted to make this law by having the Mayor of Chicago appoint the entire school board.”

QM: Regarding education, what is going to be your main focus?

Preston: “Science. Technology. Engineering. And mathematics. We all know what the recipe for the future success is going to be, we all know. But it takes billions of dollars, school should look radically different from when I was in school. In fact schools should look radically different from when my grandmother was there, but they don’t. My grandmother went to Gillespie and if she walks into a school on the south side of Chicago it’ll look identical to when she was a child. And that is a serious problem. So we need billions more dollars-“

QM: That means the architecture is old, and perhaps unsafe-

Preston: “Yes, the architecture is old, the technology is old, we’re very clear on that. When we think about lead and all these other things we have to consider the lack of investment we’ve made into our capital funding inside of our buildings, including our schools. To your question with schools, we need billions more dollars to invest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Making certain that these are at the core of what our children are learning. So that when they’re eighteen they’re not wondering, “What am I going to do now?” No, they’re going to school to actually prepare them for a career inside the industries that are going to be dominating the economy over the next decades. So, how do we get there? We need a progressive income tax, which I support. We need to be able to fund our schools not based on the property tax, that is regressive, it never has worked and its failed folks in our generation. Lets say J. B. Pritzker is worth seven billion dollars lets say I’m worth seven thousand dollars. We’re paying the exact same income tax, that’s a problem. For me, this is not a new idea however we have Republican states surrounding us such as Wisconsin and Indiana who back this. As you make more and more in your income, you just pay a higher rate, its that simple. And if we do that, this progressive income tax, and scale up the tax revenue we’ll generate from this will be billions of dollars. Enough money to be able to pay for the schools that I just envisioned. Imagine when we walk in schools and they were technologically relevant. Imagine if we walked into a school and instead of a green chalkboard, that my mother and grandmother were writing on, there were interactive white boards. Where children can interact with professionals who have different occupations such as farming, folks inside business, etc. We need to make certain we’re giving our children the opportunity to thrive and be successful. This is what the progressive income tax will help us pay for. I’m calling all people from the movement to get involved right now because this is a serious campaign. This is the campaign for those of us that’s in the movement. This is the campaign that we should target, we should take out an old incumbent who’s been there for thirty three years unopposed and put in one of our own. Lets actually get some results for our people. We haven’t seen anything out of this government but just a handful of people we don’t know. We don’t know them because we’re too busy trying to survive but there are people who are receiving billions upon billions of state money. No one knows them or interacts with them or are benefiting from them. Its time for us to go in a different direction, we need a #NewBreedofLeadership that’s thinking totally different from that. One that understands government, appreciates its history and also has a vision for the future as to what things can be. Imagine what it would be like if we had 14% of the states procurement budget. And I say we meaning black firms, you’re talking billions and billions of dollars. Its not a hard lift either, 14% going to black firms in our community. The thing for me is that we’re going to go down to Springfield and fight for 14% procurement for black firms. That is a win for everybody, that’s a win for black business owners who will create jobs within the community. Especially the ones who have nothing to do who are standing on the corner and this will prevent them from either going to jail or winding up in a casket. We’re going to offer something different for this community, we’re going to offer something different for the south side of Chicago. I’m not interested in giving individuals with power more power, these same folks and old contracts that have been used again and again. We need to get new contracts for new entrepreneurs. If we lean in as much as we possibly can up until the 20th they won’t have a choice but to see some black power politics coming out of the south side. We’re going to make it happen.”

#StrengthInNumbers Podcast Episode 2 Meet: @DrePeriod.

On this weeks show I got a chance to catch up with Dre, Period. a North side MC who attends Chicago State University. We talked about his new EP dropping 1.27.18 entitled “That’s That. Peace.”, what influenced him to make it, how the #SaveCSU movement affected his music and how sex dolls may eventually take over the world.

Check it out below, please comment and share!!

“That’s That. Peace.”

Peace…

Wrongful Raids (Part 1)

Imagine that you’re at home with family on a Friday night. You go to the bathroom and all of the sudden your mother screaming from the front room. You hear loud crashes and she’s screaming out that “They’re comin in!” Who the “they” is could be anybody’s guess especially when you’re living over east where its most definitely hectic. This is exactly what Shanae Cross was thinking as she was attempting to snatch her mother in the bathroom to protect her from apparent yet unidentified danger. To her surprise it turns out its the good old Chicago PD, guns drawn, yelling out orders, coercing a young lady and her family to line up against a wall and they hadn’t even explained why they were there in the first place. Lets not mention the fact that during this her mother began to have “panic attack” or “seize”. According to Ms. Cross her mother was “shaking uncontrollably” and that this is the “first time” she’s seen her mother behave in that manner. The Tactical Unit of Division 10 also tried to arrest her little brother who’s only 17 until Shanae asserted herself and demanded to see the warrant.

It turns out that they were attempting to serve a no-knock warrant but got the wrong address, despite the fact that Shanae’s address number was completely visible. In the United States, a no-knock warrant is a warrant issued by a judge that allows law enforcement officers to enter a property without immediate prior notification of the residents, such as by knocking or ringing a doorbell. When the officers realized that they in fact did kick down the wrong door they said, “Well this happens sometimes….” and proceeded to exit the house without even offering an apology or explanation.

They found the right house down the street and immediately kicked it down, they were pretty adamant on getting that warrant served…

Shanae is heartbroken because she had a celebration planned for her grandmother who passed on the 22nd the previous year. There were plans with her family to have a memorial service in her honor but your plans will stop too when your door is kicked in at 12:45am.

I interviewed Shanae Saturday at 3:30pm and her door was still mangled, the police kicked it in on Friday at 12:45am. You do the math….

As I was starting my interview she heard a knock on the door, and it was none other than Fred Waller who’s the Chief of Patrol in Chicago. When Ms. Cross began to give her personal account of what had taken place it got to a point where he began interrupting her story saying, “He heard enough from Facebook” and “This only happens 10 times a year…..” This comes off as dismissive and insensitive but you be the judge.

Take a listen below:

#StrengthInNumbers Podcast Episode 1 Wrongful Raids (Part 1) w/ Shanae Cross

Part 2 will be dropping tomorrow, please keep Shanae in your prayers.

The HUD Hustle

Will you help us stop the hustle hurting the hood?

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HUD rental assistance and Section 8 pays on average:

  • $1,000.00-$1,500.00 a month, for a year. That is $12,000-$18,000 that HUD spends per voucher holder!
  • $12,000-$18,000 a year x 10 yrs equals $120,000-$180,000! This is what HUD spends per voucher for Renting.
  • $12,000-$18,000 x 20 years equals $240,000-$360,000 per voucher for Renting.
  • $12,000-$18,000 x 30 years equals $360,000-$540,000 per voucher for Renting.

We submitted a plan that would take a section 8 voucher holder, and put them in a low risk Homeownership Pilot Program, and have them OWNING in 10- 20 years, depending on the portion of rent they pay.

  • The house can be protected from foreclosure by putting it in a Community Land Trust.

  • The same thing can be applied to multi family HUD units, like the Parkways on Stony Island, and Parkways on King Drive, using a cooperative housing model.

  • Rehabilitation of vacant properties, and development of new ones on vacant lots that require Community Controlled Development, and hiring of those who have lacked labor force participation.

This Pilot Program would reduce blight and crime in our communities, turn renters into community caring homeowners, create small business opportunities, contracts, and jobs for the unemployed and unemployable youth.

sdg-2030-bannerWe have several times, presented this to multiple congressional members on both sides; republicans and democrats, and participated in discussions with HUD and FHFA.

Discussions included multiple private sector financial institutions, and addition, discussed efficient ways to create low credit score and low income loan products.

To make this happen ourselves, all we have to do is organize as a collective on effective policy and programs that serve a purpose for our people.

Will you Help us stop the Hustle that is hurting our Hoods?

(IF INTERESTED, send email to antieviction@gmail.com, or leave your info in the contact form below)

PayitFwd
BringBackOwnership
DisciplineYourDollar
PushOnThePolicy
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#chiantieviction
#chicagoantieviction 

http://www.chicagoantieviction.org

 

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Silvestri: The Sneaky Salmon

On May 10th 2016 I was asked if I would like to voice my concern about a resolution proposed by Commissioner Silvestri, the Commissioner of the 9th District of Cook County . The major theme of the proposal was to change the position of Cook County Circuit Clerk from elected, to appointed. This would mean that the people wouldn’t have a say so in who they feel is the best person for the job, and only the Board of Commissioners would decide.

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 The problem with this is that 17 people, who all have salaries over $100,000, couldn’t possibly represent the people in an effective manner with the Peoples’ interest in mind. This simple fact was all of the ammunition I needed to attack these fascists, though there was more evidence to bring to light. The hearing for Mrs. Dorothy Brown was on the 11th so I was hard pressed to find more information to back up what I would say the following day.

Keep in mind that this “resolution” was brought to the table shortly after Mrs. Brown asked for a raise; the last time her position got a raise was 16 years ago, and this after the Democratic Party, chaired by Preckwinkle, endorsed Michelle Harris.  How can you expect a person to do better than the previous year when expenses go up each year, and you won’t give them the resources they need to function effectively?

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When the resolution concerning Dorothy Brown came up, Silvestri saw all of those African faces in there, and decided to cut his losses. It was at least 30 Dorothy Brown supporters in there, and he definitely didn’t want us to turn up! Though this was just to shut us up collectively because they don’t want certain messages broadcast (the hearings are live), and they don’t want YOU to THINK for YOURSELF!!! Once they told us that we couldn’t speak, I left, but this is what I wrote:

Good morning,

My name is Quintin Martins representing B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S. Inc. and I’m here to voice my concern regarding Mr. Silvestri’s proposal. This proposal would change the Circuit Clerks position from elected to appointed which means that  we would have to rely on the 17 individuals on the board of commissioners to choose a clerk that’s in the interest of the people. That’s 17 votes out of the 1,171,349 votes for circuit clerk, which is not even half of a half of 1 percent. This, Mr. Silvestri, is an absolute spit in the face of democracy and the fact that this is even up for discussion is disgusting. Lets be clear about what this is really about, the powers that be became disappointed that Ms. Brown rightfully won her seat as Cook County Circuit Clerk. When she asked for a raise she was declined and is expected to perform better than she did the year before, even  though she has 9 times as many employees as her associates. Its obvious that their priority is to stifle Ms. Brown in any way, but shouldn’t their priority be to the people and not the pocket? Maybe if the democratic party was concerned with representing the people instead of splitting votes then maybe, just maybe she wouldn’t have won. I have my own proposal, let’s focus on an appointed position we would like to see on the ballot in the future and petition for that!

 

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