Senator Kamala Harris & Cardi B Using Their Voices for Social Justice Like Two Sides of Dr King’s Dream

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Social Impact

It’s an important day in the life of America when people reflect on the social impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s national holiday sheds light on the words and wisdom from his work. For many there’re moments that stand out among a catalog of quotes, like the timeless four words of “I Have a Dream.”

This year the holiday is also when Senator Kamala Harris decided to make an announcement using four words when she tweeted “I’m Running for President!” During her appearance on ABCs Good Morning America, Harris added a personal view in saying she’s doing it for the people because “I love my country.”

Those words might easily connect with folks who think about the love King had for the people. That’s also where Cardi B comes in with her take on what’s happening with the Government shutdown. Cardi’s colorful view which went viral might also be summarized in four words; “this mess is whack.”

Harris and Cardi B are using their voices for social justice like two sides of Dr. King’s dream. Harris brings her immigrant heritage from India and Jamaica, while Cardi B’s hometown heritage is from the Bronx. Harris went from Attorney to Prosecutor to Senator while Cardi B went from the streets to major beats.

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There’re things from King that might inform Cardi B (and us) on how we take social action. There’re things from King that can inform Harris on her political aspirations. King knew our walk might take different paths but our work should help with economic, social and neighborhood-rising issues in these ways:

  1. Scholar
  2. Activist
  3. Griot
  4. Empowerer (or Empower-her)

Before Dr. King became a national-figure he spent time becoming a trained scholar. Not everybody will choose the path of getting a degree in philosophy but most of us can study a subject enough to get a Ph.D. in lifer-education. This way we’re not becoming ‘dumb and dumber’ but instead mover and shaker.

As King traveled the country he saw more examples of what kept America stuck in the racism quicksand. This led him to becoming more of an activist. An activist is to social change as a catalyst is to a chemical reaction. Sometimes sparks fly, but after a while, things change from the current state to a new normal.

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These days we’re reminded not to mess with ‘girls from the Bronx.’ That’s how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it after a political commentator choose to come-at Cardi B. Cortez took us back to earlier pop culture griots named the Sugar Hill Gang, as musicians, poets and storytellers who maintain an oral tradition.

There’s a feeling in social and political circles that a new kind of candidate needs to arise for the 2020 Presidential elections. We can’t continue on the current path where the leader acts like an emperor. We need to look to those who’ll be more of an empowerer of the community or an empower-her of the nation.

All it takes is four words to get our social-justice juices flowing. Harris made her presidential bid with the words “I love my country.” Cardi B shared her concerns with “this mess is whack.” Four words describing Dr. King as scholar, activist, griot and empowerer might help us to keep runnin’. Just think about the ‘what ifs’ and where we’d be without his ‘love for the people.’

Tracks: India Arie – What If  – https://youtu.be/Ae-i31wWxEo

Naughty Boy ft Beyoncé, Arrow Benjamin – Runnin’ – https://youtu.be/eJSik6ejkr0

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How Roger Goodell and Channing Dungey Remind us that The Culture War Impacts American History and Dramatizes the American Story

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Social Commentary – Common Reasoning

In the span of a week we’ve seen hot-button social issues jump-off like popcorn. The responses took center stage in this modern age of social media. With the new NFL ‘kneeling policy’ and ABC canceling of Roseanne we see how the culture war impacts American History and dramatizes the American story.

First, NFL commissioner Goodell announced a new policy that would penalize players who didn’t stand during the national anthem. The Player’s union wasn’t happy to learn about it the same time the rest of us did. Now players will have to protest by remaining in the locker room or suffer the consequences of a fine.

Then there’s ABC’s response to Roseanne Barr’s tweet of a racist remark about Valerie Jarrett who was an official with the Obama administration. The show’s cancellation has caused Barr to suffer the consequences of ‘what was she thinking!’ ABC is saying it’s more than just about branding TV shows.

These days we find there’s a battle for ratings that might get tied-in to the cultural wars of our time. So how did we get here? Some think it’s an aspect of the social backlash coming from some ‘identity’ groups that have been feeling left-out or unheard. But that’s how others have told their story before.

When you flash back over the last 100-year history, you find certain events that might explain the ‘what when and how’ in modern life. Going as far back as pre World Wars there was the period governed by isolationist views of ‘not our problem’. This eventually led to some global clashes we read about in history.

Then there was a period governed by segregationist views of ‘separate and unequal’ in American life. This led to the period of civil rights clashes culminating in the 50s and 60s. More recently it seems nativist views have taken root in a weird sense of patriotist, anti-elitism or even anti-intellectualism.

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The recent decisions by the NFL and ABC Entertainment helped remind us that we’re having ongoing culture wars. In a sense there’s the idea that the First Amendment is in flux. But a more important aspect in the culture wars is seeing how it impacts American history and dramatizes the American story.

Imagine how the protest of NFL players has been turned into a culture war around the anthem or the flag. The real story behind the protest is about civic injustice. Think about how the cancellation of Roseanne might get turned into a culture war of ‘what-about-ism.’ In other words ‘what about this guy or that time.’

It’s like dating over a period of weeks and months. You get to learn bits and pieces of a person’s history. Some of this includes where they were born or where they went to school. You’ll find out more about whether they have siblings. After a while you get to know the essence of a person based on their story.

We appreciate American history by seeing through the plot of the American story. This can help us move past the culture wars. People use patriotism to reflect a sense for the ‘what when how’ in American history. But being in touch with the ‘why’ gives meaning and essence to the American story.

Tracks: Rudimental – Toast to Our Differences – https://youtu.be/o_zg-JLjs5I

Kelly Clarkson – Meaning of Life – https://youtu.be/BspHjvU11y4