Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"Activism Has No Age Limit" #HandsUpWalkOut

As a young activist I met in Ferguson said, (paraphrase) "The schools should be closed and the kids should be out in the streets protesting. They aren't learning anything in school anyway and the real education is out here with us."

That seems to be an unintended consequence of state terror: people become politicized.  People all over the world are being moved to action because they see Ferguson where they live and they have reacted to the spark ignited in a small St. Louis suburb.  #FightBack #Solidarity

Report from and This Is The Movement newsletter:
"Activism Has No Age Limit On Tuesday morning, hundreds of students participated in an organized protest by walking out of their classes. The teens met and rallied in the school common area before walking out of the buildings and marching in protest." 


ST. LOUIS COUNTY - Students at all three high schools in the Ferguson-Florissant School District walked out of class Tuesday morning to protest the decision by the grand jury to not indict former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown.
Jana Short, a spokesperson for district, says at 8:15 a.m. approximately 300 to 400 students from McCluer and 150 to 200 students from McCluer North held peaceful demonstrations.

From @LSUReveilleNow
Short says students from McCluer North gathered on the high school's track and walked to the James J. Eagan Center across the street. She says police blocked traffic to make sure students crossed the road safely. A short time later they walked back to the school and most went back to class.
Approximately 200 McCluer students walked to McCluer North and gathered on the parking lot to continue demonstrating.  Short says the school district sent buses to McCluer North to bring McCluer students back to class. She says some students didn't want to get on the buses, so they walked back with teachers.

Around 10:45 a.m. approximately 150 to 200 students from McCluer South-Berkeley High School started demonstrating and walked out of the school at 11:15 a.m. Short says they walked north along South Florissant Road. They were picked up by school buses at the Walgreens and returned to school.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Macklemore's Apology to Kendrick Lamar Includes a Twinge of White Guilt

After winning the Best New Artist and Best Rap Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards, Macklemore felt that Kendrick Lamar was more deserving of the honor(s).  A feeling he took to social media to express:
This win came on the heels of a little controversy surrounding Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and their inclusion in the rap category.  The official rap committee of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences moved to have the duo excluded from the category citing their closer ties to pop rather than rap music.  The attempt was overruled by a general Grammy committee by an overwhelming majority vote.
I think it was big of  Macklemore to express what he feels to be the truth regarding who he felt deserved the industry accolades.  
However, I would say Macklemore's seeming guilt over personally having robbed Kendrick of the honor(s) is misplaced.  He, nor Kendrick, had a choice in the matter, and more importantly had no power to decide the outcome.  An individual artist isn't at fault; it's the structure of mainstream award bodies who recognize the more consumer-friendly persona (as defined by them) than shining the spotlight on the best talent in the selection period.
Siding with one artist or the other creates a false sense of blame as opposed to fans recognizing that the most impactful artist may never be the pop/ular choice (not a typo).
In the end, neither Kendrick Lamar nor Macklemore need the validation of a group whose interest seems not to be highlighting all artists and their unique contributions, regardless of their record deal status or social acceptability. Music fans make known the artists they feel and these true fans won't have their choices decided by prime-time glam expositions.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the world..."While The World Watched Grammys; US Bombs Somalia"