Defend Against Hate: Escape Against A Bigot’s Grasp

Many people who are dreading having Trump in office aren’t really concerned with the man himself. And although his cabinet is looking more like the Legion Of Doom, the immediate threat isn’t them either.

The direct danger is rooted in his most ardent supporters, who seem to think they have a free pass now on being disgusting human beings to minorities in the U.S.

The F.B.I. recently reported 5,818 reported hate crimes in 2015, which is a six percent increase from the previous year.

While the finding includes minorities, women, and gays, it was Muslim Americans that seemed to experience some of the worst.

As the New York Times reported:

Attacks against Muslim Americans saw the biggest surge. There were 257 reports of assaults, attacks on mosques and other hate crimes against Muslims last year, a jump of about 67 percent over 2014. It was the highest total since 2001, when more than 480 attacks occurred in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Unfortunately one of the most frequent stories I’ve heard of are Women who wear Hijabs being attacked by people who would dare to snatch off their veil.

Fortunately, there are ways to defend against any idiot trying to snatch off someone’s Hijab, as  Zee Abdulla of Deaf Planet Soul shows in her video.

Take a look, and study her moves. And if you happen to be in the Chicago Area, might I also suggest signing up for  Deaf Planet Soul’s Self Defense Class or Hate Crime Survival Seminar. And if you’re not in the Chicago Area, you can at least help them out by making a donation.

American Idiot 2: Electric Boogaloo

 

I can’t help but think that somewhere, there’s a band coming up with the most politically charged album of this generation.

The band members will consist of minorities, both racial and religious, as well as wear one of the letters from LGBT like an honorable badge bestowed from God, as they should.

They will not look anything like Green Day, Anti-Flag, or even those bands’ current children.

Their legit fear of a society run by a Trump Administration and the Alt-Right, and normalized into the current evolution of neo-nazism will drive them to plot, perform, and produce an album that sounds as if its the most important action they’ll ever take because for them it is.

Passion will drip from every chord; each lyric won’t be lines for a poem but of a personal new bible.

Each live concert will come off less as a means for a good time, and more of a sermon for the personal survival of the true disenfranchised.

Their work will move a few critics to tears.

And it’ll only sell a few thousands because three “attractive” punk white dudes will come along, dumb down their sound, lazily adopt their ideals, and have a distribution deal that places them on iTunes, Walmart and radio stations.

This doppelgangers will become mainstream stars, whose aggressive Rage Against Da Man take will feel ironic once its blasted in the realms of Red State Monster Truck Rallies, Amateur MMA Bouts and wherever else Breaking Benjamin is sold.

Someone will do what Yeezus did to Death Grips.

And the band that made a passionate soundtrack to oppression from fascism and racism will never have to worry about selling out thanks to the thieves who studied their album like cliff notes for a dense book report, and made it more record company friendly.

Part of me will grimace in my car–with the stereos playing their faux pro-revolution soundtrack–while cop number 13 million pulls me over again for looking suspicious while driving.

But hey, at least THAT still beats alternative’s current 4.5 inch hard-on for folk Americana and lazy house music.

Pokemon GO To Work

I sometimes wonder about the people who were not Macarena enthusiasts when the dance craze first premiered.

Historical accounts—by which I mean VH1 Remember Specials—often depict the Macarena as this unstoppable and unavoidable phenom that had everybody doing the simple arm motions, safe hip-shaking and vocal conclusions of “Heeyyyy Macarena, Alright!”

But this isn’t the whole picture.

Not everyone was joining in the trend. We never really hear much about opposing or indifferent souls because the ones who recorded this slice of pop culture history were the ones who performed the dance in the high school gyms, churches, and wedding receptions across America.

Who cares if Janet was a wallflower during this moment in her Prom? What perspective could she really offer? She might have watched others, but did she really live it?

Last Thursday at work, I cared about Janet because I realized I was becoming her. As everyone of my coworkers rushed into my workspace, excitedly clamoring at the thought of a Pikachu in their midst, I looked at my busted Windows Phone with such disgusted disdain. People of different ages, race, gender, religions, and political followings were yelling and hollering in chaotic unison like a bunch of third graders entering the playground for recess. Folks who had probably said no more than five words to each other in the years they’d work together were comparing their levels and battles in novel detail. Here was pop culture history being written right in front of my eyes, and I couldn’t become a co-author because of my decision to buy the cheapest phone on my plan years ago. History is for those that can afford it.

If I were able to contribute a piece on this, I’d say that work has taught me more about Pokemon GO’s mainstream cultural invasion than the host of news stories, Twitter Posts, and Hillary Clinton. I’ve learned essentially, that Pokemon GO is like carrots. It can be good for you in numerous ways, but too much of it can turn your skin orange.

On the positive side, I can’t deny its place as a type of person unifier. My manager was joking and laughing with one of my colleagues over their collection and treks to catalog these virtual pocket monsters.

But not even two days before that, my colleague was venting to the rest of the team over my manager, and calling him things like “Whiny punk ass jerk,” “Baby-Carrot Penis” and other lovely insulting combos probably not fit to type.

Who knows if this employment peace treaty will last more than a week? Still, it was nice to see them get along for a spell.

On the other side of the coin, Pokemon GO can be way too distracting, especially for a place of work. I mean while I was trying to focus and get my job done, dozens of people were crowding around, neglecting their own duties just for a chance at capturing a Pidgey. Look, I’m all for having fun, but when Payroll is stopped to catch Pokemon instead of fix my paycheck, I got concerned. I can’t pay off my crushing debt on them leveling up.

Still, maybe I’d be more relaxed about all this if I had an android instead of a Windows phone.