“He strikes again”

After threats to the Muslim community, on July 26, 2017 Donald Trump barred all Transgender people from serving in the military. Reversing the policy Obama put in place when he was in office allowing Transgender people to serve. Since Wednesday there has been protest from coast to coast in the nation. It is no surprise that in response to this uproar Trump goes to twitter. “……Victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical cost and disruption that Transgender in the military would entail. Thank you,” said Trump. The fact that Trump identifies Transgender people as a burden is down right disrespectful because they are willing to serve the country. I completely disagree with Trump banning all Transgender people to serve in the military. Now that we have that out the way lets look at the numbers. In 2016, out of the U.S. population 2,266,883 people served in the military out of that about 1,000 to 6,000 of those people identify as Transgender. With that being said I do not understand why it was so important for him to ban Transgender people if they do not even make up half of the military. Also as far as protesting goes there is probably more people protesting than it is serving in the military. To all Transgender people do not sacrifice your body for a country that is not willing to so much as let you live openly. America is not the land of the free so the sooner you realize that it is only about the dollar signs you will begin to view things differently. So continue to live your life for you and not this country.

You matter to me…

Mizani

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#BlackLivesMatter ?

Hey Chatters,

I know its been a while since we’ve chatted, I have had a lot going on but I am back! So you can guess what today’s topic is after reading the title. If not today I want to talk about the Black Lives Matter Movement and why is has been so significant recently.

For a few weeks now there has been a trending picture on Instagram with a graduation robe laid over an empty seat in honor of a student that was killed. Bowie State University honored the loss of Richard Collins III, a 23-year-old student that was recognized as a U.S. Army lieutenant. Somewhat ironic because he was killed in the country he was sworn to protect by a civilian he would have died to protect. Collins was stabbed to death by Sean Christopher Urbanski, while waiting for his Uber to arrive on May 20th, three days before his graduation.

Before Collins it was 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, who was shot and killed by police officer Roy Oliver in Balch Springs, Texas. On April 29, Edwards a freshman in high school was coming home from a party when Oliver shot through the passenger window.

The list goes on and on, sadly. These two unjust killings are one in the same, both boys were said to have good character, good students in school, and were not portrayed as “thugs.” Like we’ve seen in the past, some will justify the killing of  innocent black males because of they were labeled as “thugs”. If you feel that justifying these recent killings is the right thing to do then you are part of the problem.

These recent killings of African Americans, as some of you may know has created an uproar not only among African Americans but also people apart of other ethnic and racial groups. In the midst of this uproar a movement was created the Black Lives Matter Movement. The movement was labeled as controversial because of its name. Many argued that BLM excluded other minorities that deal with the same issues. However the many people behind this argument did not identify with any minority group at all, in fact they are part of the majority. After the killing of Collins and Edwards I took a step back to evaluate BLM and its significance. This movement’s purpose was not to make people angry and exclude people it was a call for help.

The BLM Movement was a response from African Americans, telling the nation to look we matter. Although slavery has been over, for years blacks have been considered as being second class and having to work twice as hard to only get half as much. BLM in its prime made the Nation stop and take a second look at things. Some may say BLM has developed a protest culture in the United States but is that a problem? A place where individuals are inclined to freedom of speech, yet when exercising this right they are accused of always playing the victim.

I make these statements because I am tired.

Tired of seeing the same things on the News.

Tired of the apologies.

Tired of the fake remarks.

Tired of people not caring.

Tired of  it all.

I am simply TIRED.

Sincerely,

Mizani Ball

‘Damn.’ Kendrick

How’s it going Chatter?

In today’s blog I would like to discuss my opinion of Kendrick Lamar’s most recent album . Since his first debut in 2011 on the interlude ‘Buried Alive’ on Drake’s Take Care album, Lamar got the attention of everyone. On April 14, 2017, Lamar dropped his fourth album ‘DAMN.’ claiming his spot in the rap game.

I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine about  Lamar and the quality of his music. In the midst of this conversation we examined the Compton rappers ability to fit into popular culture. The time Lamar used to construct his album many people did not consider him as a top tier rapper. Although his lyrical quickness was the same if not better than the best in the game.

On this particular album ‘DAMN.’ Lamar decided to incorporate his feeling for the media, other rappers all the while embracing his hometown. After receiving negative attention from the media about a line in his song ‘Alright,’ Lamar  place a sound bite of news reporters discussing this line. This response to the media made it clear that the opinion of these people are irrelevant to him. Other than his message to the media Lamar also indirectly addressed the issued he has with other rappers. Many people speculate that the song ‘HUMBLE’ is a direct response to East Coast rapper Big Sean. These two rappers are said to have beef with each other after Lamar’s verse in ‘Control’ that shook the nation. To say the least Kendrick Lamar has claimed the throne by calling out everyone that ever questioned his skill.

Although Lamar has stood on the stage of the Grammy’s and worked with big name artist like Beyoncé, Drake, and Jay-Z, some would still look at him as a mainstream artist. Similar to Common, J. Cole and Chance the Rapper, Kendrick has been able to have a rhythmic pattern with his lyric, while incorporating a conscious message. One can infer that this style of rap is not favored by the main stream audience.But why is conscious rap not considered main stream? Some say because it does not sale, others may say its just not entertaining. Now I do not have the answer to this question but I would like to leave you with a question.

Links:

Five Takeaways from “Damn.”

NPR: Basking In Sin

Does music shape the world around us, or does the world around us shape our music?

Artificial intelligence?

Good Evening Chatters,

 

I hope you all are having a great week so far. It’s almost over! Now you are probably wondering why the title of today’s blog is ‘Artificial Intelligence,’ well it is named that because of a book called ‘The Filter Bubble.’ Recently, I have been reading this book and I am finishing it up. Since I have been reading this book my perspective on the world we live in has been altered. ‘The Filter Bubble’ is written by Eli Pariser, chief executive of Upworthy news website. The book goes in-depth about how filter bubble effect the world around us. Filter bubbles have become more present since the advancement of technology. For the people that are unsure what a filter bubble is  it is when a website’s algorithm selectively guesses what information the user wants to see based on the information about the user. Seems harmless right? Wrong!

Considering that the acceptance of technology has not always been pleasant. In fact many people reject new technology and preferred the old way of doing things. But the way the filter bubble has maneuvered its way into the everyday lives of people as been nothing less than clever. The way the filter bubble works is when you visit a site, for example Facebook before creating an account they ask you all these different questions to find out information about you. From there it saves all of this information and creates content based off of this information. Thus, changing what we read and take in and developing how we think.

Now the author of this book, felt a need to write this book to inform people about the way these algorithms operate. I’m not gonna spill the tea on the book too much, but I do suggest everyone to read this book. If you are interested in purchasing this book below is the link where I purchased mine. Also below there will be a link to a TED Talk featuring Eli Pariser discussing ‘The Filter Bubble.’

LINKS:

The Filter Bubble

TED Talk ft. Eli Pariser

Shaun King speaks at Xavier University

      In honor of Black History Month, American writer and Civil Rights activist Shaun King speaks to the students and local residents on Xavier University of Louisiana campus. King’s body of work has gained him national attention in mainstream publication. To highlight the evolution of King, my classmate and I created a video detailing the significance and importance of his work. Click here to see the video.

To find out more information on Shaun King check out these links below:

Black History Month Turnout

The evolution of Shaun King

Xula Mass Comm

Is black history every month?

Black History Month at Xavier University

         The month of February for me has always consisted of a presentation or report of a popular Civil Rights leaders such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X. The perception of my culture was misconstrued because I did not fully understand the significance of the month of February. Now that I am going to a Historically Black University, the process of me only going through the motions of my history and culture of as an African American is no more. Being a student at Xavier has not only educated me on the history of my ancestors, but also taught me how to embrace my Blackness.

       Black History Month this year at Xavier welcomed three influential Civil Rights activists: Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Shaun King and Stevona Elm Rogers. All of these speakers have been activists for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement. Hill was the first speaker to visit  the university on Thursday, Feb. 2, with his charismatic and humorous personality. Shaun King is the next speaker in line to visit Xavier. King is well known for his ability to use social media as a platform to promote religious issues, charities and BLM Movement. In addition, King is the senior justice writer for the New York Daily and a political commentator for The Young Turks, a news and commentary YouTube channel.King will be speaking to students tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the University Center. Last but not least will be Rogers, who will arrive Wednesday Feb. 22. She is a author, activist and educator.

       As a student activist, people like Hill, King and Rogers inspire me to make an investment in my community. But more importantly to stand up for what is right while inspiring others to do the same.

“We live in a world where black humanity is a relatively new idea.” –Marc Lamont Hill