Beyoncé & Chrissy Teigen Do Other Things Behind the Scenes To Impact Social Culture – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Oprah Winfrey, TV Personality & Media Mogul

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Sergio Garcia – Pro Golfer

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

It’s safe to say that two things driving pop culture are music and fashion. Take a look through any popular magazine and there’s so much to see in style pictures. You’ll find it at Awards Shows too starting with the Red Carpet. But Beyoncé & Chrissy Teigen do other things behind the scenes to impact social culture.

Beyoncé has grown in mainstream relevance since her time in Destiny’s Child. These days as mother and wife she’s preparing for her new twin arrivals. Beyond what she does in studio and on stage, she’s also inspiring a growing list of colleges offering courses with content in the area of ‘Bey Brandalicious.’

Teigen who made a name for herself on the fashion runway is also playing that nurturing family role. Her dude John Legend keeps turning out music that puts him in the Billboard Awards arena. It’s also their acts of civic consciousness that seem to drive topics of conversation in the classroom and on social media.

Lessons from their celebrity-life chapters & verses remind us of how the value of pop culture is more than just hooks and looks. It’s why these college classes might show that when pop culture is at its best, celebrities and other personalities make a difference in ways that are not just trendy but also timeless by:

  1. Sharing information that widens the scope of general understanding.
  2. Spotlighting showbiz moments that bring thrills to everyday enjoyment.
  3. Celebrating stories that give sense to today’s new realities.
  4. Spreading views that provide clarity to free-speech in public spaces.

Remember those times of what’s hot and what’s not? Well it’s been said that you live life forward, but understand it backward. This is true for those who’ve grown-up before our eyes. The things we see from watching them go through growth and change might have true meaning to our personal experiences.

There’s a special feeling in thinking back to the before-and-after times in general understanding. That’s one reason why fans can become die-hard supporters of their fav artists. What they provide as an experience in fun and dance is just a part of why they’re admired and cause others to be so inspired.

Sometimes it’s being able to say ‘I was there when.’ Whether it’s going to a concert or performing in the mirror, there’re moments in pop culture we savor because of a certain thrill it brings to everyday enjoyment. Beyoncé has a way of pulling this off in her appearances, even if it’s just in a snap or gram.

Furthermore, in each decade from the past we find those moments that stick in our cultural memories. Some can point back to the hippies of the 60s, the discos of the 70s, maybe the styles of the 80s and so on. Along with these flashbacks are certain signature events in the life and times of those decades.

These days many look to social media to get the skinny on what’s happening culturally. Teigen who reigns supreme with her posts recently did something for someone whose goal was to finish beauty school. So Teigen paid off the balance of what was needed in tuition to complete the program.

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Celebrating stories like these can help us respond to today’s challenging realities. It’s one way of providing hope when others feel like life’s saying nope. The person receiving this random act of kindness from Teigen might view this gesture as an example of what pop culture has done for her lately.

The U.S. Constitution affords us as citizens the benefit of free speech. This means that people are able to have and hold opinions without fear of reprisal. Now, not everything someone says or believes is necessarily all there is to know on a subject. We have the option to hear and study these ideas further.

Beyoncé and Teigen aren’t the traditional social experts. But they seem to have a way of cutting through the noise and bringing clarity to free-speech in public spaces which can be easier said than done. They know sometimes it’s better to get a point across through art or poetry than through theory or prose.

The cultural dilemma nowadays is balancing the voice of the people and the views of the pundits. It’s getting past the bad news and connecting with the good news. It’s stepping-up our game in order to do the things that bring change, gain a measure of choice and give us the courage to face those challenges.

How pop culture moves us is similar to how the weather shifts. Sometimes the temperature at the start of the day doesn’t change much throughout the day. Other times there can be a huge swing in temperature from daybreak to nightfall. Sometimes we have small shifts and other times huge swings in social culture.

The real story in what we express and enjoy about pop culture is in how love looks good or music makes us go or how we grow and have fun. The benefit from savoring this depends on if we take an approach that’s forward-looking or backward-looking. In the end, these times have helped many reach their best.

Block Talkback: When it comes to taxes, if the storyline of ‘Everyday America vs Enterprise America’ never goes away, how should folks bridge the gap and feel like there’s enough breaks to go around?

Groove-tracks: Janet Jackson – What Have You Done for Me Lately – https://youtu.be/r9uizdKZAGE

Usher – Love Looks Good –  https://youtu.be/AC2t6cjss1E

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Alec Baldwin & Alex Rodriguez on What’s Good for the Game & Worth Its Weight in Gold – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Alec Baldwin, Actor & Comedian

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Drake, Rapper & Entrepreneur

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

The baseball season opened this week to wide stares and lawn chairs. Fans are ready to see strikes and homers at bat. For many it’s considered America’s past-time as an evening sit-down at the ball park. These days Alec Baldwin & Alex Rodriguez know what’s good for the game and worth its weight in gold.

Baldwin has been seeing a great surge in popularity with his SNL role playing the ‘Trump’ card. His new movie is off to a great box office start. It wasn’t always this way as he explains in his book. Nevertheless, he’s ready for whatever doors open for him as he puts his passion to work on stage and screen.

Rodriguez has been out and about with his new eye-candy. Now that he and Jennifer Lopez have made it official that they’re dating, it might explain why he’s ready to slide home. Baldwin and Rodriguez now know well that while passion is good for making hits, compassion is the quality that makes for nicer fits.

They’ve bounced back from public blow-ups/blowouts that cost them dearly. Now they’re able to bring a special touch to their respective life’s work as many public figures do to enhance their fame. A-Rod & Alec know if we could bottle that quality and apply it to Community 3.0 it would be seen in those having:

  1. A hustle for business that’s more than just assets and profits.
  2. An economy for sharing that’s more than just nickels and dimes.
  3. A system for excellence that’s more than just bells and whistle.
  4. A heart for people that’s more than just a smile and nod.

Every business enterprise has its unique kind of hustle. It’s kinda like the thing we do to bring passion’s edge to the ledge. It might be seen as the grit people bring to a venture or the mojo they bring to an adventure. When hustle shows up in the game it doesn’t have to be limited to assets and profits.

That’s because while hustle and passion are good for the money that gets doled-out, hustle and compassion are good for the soul of an enterprise that’s rolled-out. That’s likely the difference between Rodriguez of old who made mad money as a pro and the Rodriguez of today working with young players.

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Recent public policy proposals have raised concern for the kind of economy we’ll have as a nation. The budget cuts presented seem to leave some worrying about those who might get left out in the cold. Many appreciate the sharing economy as being able to manage/market what they own as new income streams.

We see this with ride sharing and home leasing. But an economy that’s more than just nickels and dimes is one where it’s not about how much folks make but how much they care. While passion tells something about who we think we are as an enterprise, compassion says more about who we really are as a people.

Back in the day when farms were the job havens we’d find people doing back-breaking work to make a living. Some used it as a way to make hay while the sun shined. Others used it as a way to keep people below the poverty line. Then there was a system shift bringing more industrial engineering to the forefront.

It was a case of making efficiency improvements to raise the grade of production. This opened the door to new opportunities for excellence in business. It also made possible more bells and whistles to have and own. A system of excellence for industry and community meets needs and produces seeds of greatness.

One of the most universal forms of social communication is to wink at someone. When a guy winks at a girl it might mean ‘I’m checking you out.’ Even beyond a wink, a smile and nod might show a desire for personal connection. Experts remind us that more communication can happen non-verbally than verbally.

With business and policy initiatives, ‘talking the talk’ is a verbal thing, ‘walking the walk’ is a non-verbal thing. Whether as coach, CEO or community leader, having a heart for people is more than just a smile and nod. It’s in how passion puts us in the race and compassion puts others’ situations in a special place.

In baseball, the ‘squeeze play’ can be one of the most exciting. It’s where the batter tries to get the runner on third-base home. The batter usually bunts the ball expecting to get thrown out at first-base. Meanwhile the runner on third-base is expected to make it home safely. It’s a tricky play that can have mixed results.

As in sports, if the ‘squeeze play’ is used wrongly in business or public service it’ll have negative results. Instead of a community or nation feeling like home, it instead feels like a strange place. That strange place can have facts turned into fake, living turned into lording and pop culture turned into ‘poop culture.’

Passion in its various forms can find itself in careers, in the club, on the block and the field of dreams. It might show up in how we work on self or in how we work on what sells. Passion knows it’s hard to beat a person who doesn’t give-up on self. But compassion knows not to beat-up on a person to gain for self.

Baldwin & A-Rod have seen bad days at home, work and play. They turned the corner in ways that make friends, fans and family proud. They know that a difference between who we say we are and who we are as a Community 3.0 nation is in knowing what’s good for the game and what’s worth its weight in gold.

Block Talkback: Why are ACA Exchanges good for Congress but not for the American People? Is this a case of ingenuity versus inferiority? Ideology versus illusion?

Groove-tracks: John Legend – Who Do We Think We Are – https://youtu.be/YuS0Eg-I2VA

Gallant – Weight in Gold – https://youtu.be/qh7BCluk3wc

Chance the Rapper & Michael Bennett Give Lessons on Being ‘Purposed by’ in Hometown America – #HomtownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
Ms. Cathy Hughes, Broadcast Media Pioneer

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
Cam Newton, NFL Pro Bowl Quarterback

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

March Madness in college basketball is set to jump off. It’s where teams are turned into game-time brackets. Some fans have hype and props for their favorite player. Then there’s much props for Chance the Rapper and NFL’s Michael Bennett for giving lessons on being ‘purposed by’ in hometown America.

Chance made news for donating one million dollars to the Chicago Public Schools. He even came up with his selection list of 10 schools that will receive $10,000 each. This decision helped inspire Bennett to layout some dollars for scholars as well. Bennett even supported recent Women’s Day events.

It seems there’s a new class of activist athletes & artists not afraid to speak their minds or put money where their heart is. They understand the importance as public figures of being able to deliver showbiz fun and reflection, on and off the big stage. They spread shine beyond what they do in primetime.

They’re using social appeal to influence the steps hometowns might take to up-shot their game. There were many others from the old days or those from today’s phase who’re serious about seeing a new round of social change whether in urban areas or the heartland. The key is recognizing that when:

  1. Freedoms feel limited, being woke should be unlimited.
  2. Resource are put in freeze-mode, vision should be put in airplane-mode.
  3. Opportunity gets taken for a ride, imagination should breakout a new stride.
  4. Progress wants to take a backseat, projects should take a front seat.

Some wonder whether with new efforts to undo and undermine certain social gains if there’s a new villain in town. Typically in movies the villain is the character whose motives seem to have bad intentions. It’s as if the role the villain plays brings a feeling like there’s someone or something out there to get you.

As Chance and Bennett know there’s a difference between PR – purposeful reality and VR – villain reality. One operates from some core ideals the other usually operates strangely. One is where government or the system wants to serve you. The other is where it feels like they’re trying to swerve you.

Even when freedoms seem like they’re becoming more limited being woke should become more unlimited. This might make sense when flying high in the sky. During pre-flight preps the flight attendant reminds passengers to switch device mode. So calls and data services of email, etc will be unavailable.

That doesn’t mean the smart phone becomes useless. There’re other functions that can be performed or apps used that don’t depend on data service. So for communities that might feel the pinch and pressure of VR with resources put in freeze-mode, it’s a smart time to put vision in airplane mode for a better PR.

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The example by Chance and Bennett is so important. They’ve challenged their peers to offer proceeds, resources or other incentives for spurring next-level communities. It’s kinda like giving folks a shot at being down with OPP – opportunity, purpose and having a plan. That’s core for being in Community 3.0.

There’ve been times in our history, when opportunity got taken for a ride but imagination did breakout a new stride. Sometimes that stride was with new inventions becoming so commonplace we take them for granted now. Other times that new stride was in neighborhoods and meeting places of social justice.

There was a time when agricultural farms were the thing that moved the economy and community. Then we saw a shift to industry with the rise of machines and a focus on efficiency. The tech push came next where information value is premium. Now things have been moving towards ‘work & woke education.’

What’s the difference between today’s social issues and past social effects? What can we learn from those old-school game changers and apply with today’s modern day social up-lifters? It’s what you find when folks read the shifting social tides, in going from ordinary citizens to extraordinary community.

When progress wants to take a backseat or move in reverse, it’s the right projects that take a front-seat for moving things forward. It’s in everyday folks choosing to step out on faith and attract the right people, resources & strategies towards a breakthrough. Community 3.0 can be that right project at the right time.

Each time Chance releases a new album it’s seen as ‘produced by.’ There could well be a few collaborations with other artists. Community 3.0 efforts represent the type of projects that might be seen as ‘purposed by.’ This means doing things fresh and releasing new ‘social tracks’ in a U + Me kind of way.

Chance & Bennett help us see what happens as folks break out a new stride. This means streets of hope rise like high tide. Plus those ready to spread some shine will lead within a more purposeful reality. Together they’ll spark a different kind of ‘march madness’ for a different kind of social steppers groove.

Groove-tracks: John Legend – Shine – https://youtu.be/hzQHnRPY3Zc

R. Kelly – Step in the Name of Love – https://youtu.be/nj71KbE6ekg

Bernice King & Elizabeth Warren on How We Persisted Then and Can Do it Again – #HometownChat

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

“Sistas how ya feel? Brothers you alright?” These words from a popular song are good for lyrics and civics for what can be achieved in the next phase of social engagement. It’s a lead-in to the kind of intro that Bernice King or Senator Elizabeth Warren might use on how we persisted then and can do it again.

King and Warren recently began setting our sights and setting the stage for new rounds in dignity, excellence and justice. They know two key things for going where we’ve not been before. It takes a destination and a map. Without a map we’re just winging it. Without a destination we’re just blowing it.

It’s a message Dr. King and President John F Kennedy wanted us to know in the short letter dug-up in ‘lost & found’ and recently posted on social media for the world to see. In a speech King gave in 1967 to Philadelphia students he asked them to consider having a blueprint that would be useful for being fruitful.

A blueprint is just as important for Community 3.0. Think about what a microwave has done for meal preparation. It’s improved how we thaw, heat and serve food. So King and Kennedy might #LetThePeopleKnow Community 3.0 has a blueprint to thaw tensions, heat dreams and serve smarts in:

  1. What we do to encourage ourselves during those vexing times.
  2. How we empower blocks & beats in the community.
  3. When we explain the in-and-outs of politics of the day.
  4. Ways we entertain people’s fun-side for more good times.

Since a recent online post, Bernice has been giving reminders for handling those vexing times. Just imagine the things she saw growing up as a child in the King household. With all that was happening around them and even happened to them they kept their eyes on the prize and hands on the wheel.

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The steps taken then might apply today. They focused on fighting the good fight, representing the race (plus shaking-up the place) by keeping the faith. That’s the formula used to overcome throughout our history. It’s how slavery chains got lifted, Jim Crow clouds cleared & homegrown conspiracies shutdown.

One of the ways a community might do this is in how we empower blocks and beats using a blueprint. Among the highest rated episodes from Oprah’s daytime show was when she gave away a car to each member of the audience. It was up there with the most talked about and uplifting pop culture moments.

The buzz was ‘you get a car, you get a car, er’body gets a car!’ That might work just as well in Community 3.0 if instead of a car it’s letting blocks get a ‘P.E.N. & C.L.U.E. Blueprint’ as People Engage Notes in a Community Letter Uplifting Everyone. It’s like a social postcard and stamp for getting from here to there.

This way for block after block it’s more like ’you get CLUE, you get a CLUE, er’body gets a CLUE!’ It would help do what Dr. King told us in his speeches, moving towards achieving more hometown respect and personal satisfaction. It might also be a CLUE in explaining the ins-and-out of politics of the day.

At times it’s hard to know if we’re being ‘played’ by some in government. We get ‘talked to’ but not ‘talked with.’ It’s not even clear when we’re ‘talked with’ if we’re actually being ‘talked over.’ The political machine seems more focused on voters who’re core nationalists, unsure working class and pure party loyalists.

Where some fall short Community 3.0 stands tall. As in the past it’s how community players and recording artists become a voice track of our days and groove track of our lives. We can let things become ‘played’ like a broken record or press the social impact ‘microwave buttons’ of change, progress and greatness.

This might also mean new ways to entertain people’s fun-side for more good times. How we entertain today in Community 3.0 was seen with recent Grammy performances. So as Mission Ready Blocks (MRBs) we gotta let purpose move hearts. With Mission Rockin’ Beats we gotta let the groove move feet.

That’s what happened back in the day when we tuned-in to watch Soul Train hosted by Don Cornelius. It was a time to rest, reflect and rejuvenate with some R&B. The dance moves were kinda like a bonus feature. Cornelius would end each broadcast saying ‘until next time, wishing you love, peace and soul.’

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We learn from and are inspired by our cultural icons of old and those we now hold. Warren as a champion for consumer protections walks in the shoes of John F Kennedy. While Bernice walks in the shoes of Martin Luther King Jr. as a champion for her mother’s voice, father’s vision and parent’s legacy.

In Martin & Coretta we have closing thoughts on giving the people what they want and serving them what they need. She once said “Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved you must become its soul.” He said “If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl but by all means keep moving.”

Groove-tracks: Soul II Soul – Keep on Movin’ – https://youtu.be/1iQl46-zIcM

John Legend – Get Lifted – https://youtu.be/MSpPpLDYZeQ

Kerry Washington & Jane Fonda Want Us to Wake Up and Push for What Matters Now – #HometownChat

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

Women across the country came out in droves to make their voices heard. The rallies planned in many cities turned out larger crowds than expected. Even in the coldest parts of the world men and women joined together. So Kerry Washington & Jane Fonda want us to wake up and push for what matters now.

Some are questioning whether it should have been called a women’s march. Others consider whether the Presidential campaign, transition and inauguration speech were factors. In some ways the rally events were an outpouring of emotions on the Obama years, people’s tears, the country’s fears and racial layers.

We saw many poster signs at the rallies. One with a Martin Luther King quote said “We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.” On social media was a church sign with words from Dr. King saying “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

As the first week of the incoming administration unfolds, a new level of social activism seems to be in the making. It didn’t help that over the weekend the press secretary flat-out made stuff up in what he told the public. So it’s possible that the use of ‘alternative facts’ will grow if we fail to #LetThePeopleKnow about:

  1. The great suppression in our politics.
  2. The great confession in our culture.
  3. The great expression in our community.
  4. The great connection in our country.

In his final White House press conference, President Obama gave a list of issues he’ll be monitoring as a citizen in the days ahead. High on the list was voter suppression. He said we’re the only major democratic nation in the world that makes it harder for citizens to vote. It’s a case of suppression over progression.

This was actively done in voter ID laws, reduced polling locations, restricting voter information and raising social discontent. It’s among the WMDs – ‘Weapons of Mass Dah’ causing alarm for those who choose citizenship over political gamesmanship. Now it’s in ‘Birtherism 2’ with questions about ‘illegal’ voting.

Haven’t we seen this before, the efforts in suppression and ‘alternative facts?’ Think of it as more direct accounts of hogwash (Dah!) for telling lies and spreading delusion. Plus, the great confession in our culture has roots in the Constitution from a ‘vanilla view’ of America with Blacks seen as three-fifths value.

These ‘alternative facts’ from early days and recent times are similar to versions of delusion seen today. Some hold extreme views in their minds which say white is always right and black must step back or be out of sight. So it’s a good thing when the Courts strike down Voter ID laws from state to state.

Remember when the campaign team said that Michelle Obama’s speech was not plagiarized at the GOP convention? The person trying to do the convincing then is the same person who’s the press secretary now. After the dust settled they made a surprise confession that the speech was lifted from Obama’s text.

In the movie Hidden Figures, the role played by Taraji P. Henson taught us about moving from what is to what should be. She kept pressing until she joined a meeting of the minds with NASA engineers and decision makers plotting the next space trip. Her math skills genius was the great expression in the room.

This kind of unsung talent can be duplicated in community. After the founding of the nation we saw Community 1.0. After the Civil War & Civil Rights eras we saw Community 2.0. These shifts took us from what is, to the next level. Now we’re poised to see Community 3.0. We’ll make the shift by learning from technology which went from ‘flip to smart’ phones, from a manual operating system to Windows PC.

In community is the call for a ‘system reboot’ that moves us to set our sights, stretch our skills, strut our stuff and save our streets. It would also be a kind of ‘social moonshot’ for the fulfillment of many more ‘I Have a Dream’ promises. This would be a giant leap for smart community, special service & civic dreams.

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At the women’s marches people showed up not based on net worth but on forging a greater connection of networks. It was all peaceful even though we heard some ‘choice words’ by a few as hearts were opened. But there were also thought-provoking ideas shared, reminding us that as a country thinks, so it is.

Meantime, there’re cabinet posts under review to serve our nation. What we don’t want is a political moon landing that’s like stepping into dirt on ‘Trump Island.’ It would be better to see a giant leap of faith across reasonably-minded individuals who know America as the land of the free and home of the melting pot.

So while elected officials try to do ‘repeal & replace’ we should challenge their intentions of reversing the gains and returning the pains. We should also be doing our own ‘rewind & retrace’ so we understand where all this is coming from. This way we’re not going from love and happiness to wonder and sadness.

Groove-tracks: John Legend, Common, Melanie Fiona & The Roots  – Wake Up Everybody – https://youtu.be/iJgxJ6JrPkc

John Legend – Surefire – https://youtu.be/Hih2iyO-LH4

The Colin Kaepernick Effect: How ‘Made in America’ is More Than Just a Designer Label or Stamp of Approval #HometownChat

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A simple way to describe my immigrant journey is “Born in Jamaica, Made in America.” This means at various times in the year you’ll find jerk chicken or fried turkey on my dinner table. I just haven’t been able to do the ‘afro thing.’ But I’ve come to learn how ‘Made in America’ is more than just a designer label.

As the NFL season got going many wondered out loud on social media about the Colin Kaepernick effect. His taking a stand might not be seen as a halo but it certainly isn’t hell either. Somewhere in between is a lesson for how ‘social labels’ prevent us from seeing through the fog of a culture clash to live higher.

There’s a certain sense of pride that comes with designer clothing labels. They can provide some with the feeling that they’ve got socio-economic status. But these labels might also be used in another way that could appear self-righteous or condescending. Maybe that’s some of what’s going on here because:

  1. History shows we sometimes see things through a prism of prejudice.
  2. Oftentimes a select few people get to experience things in a lane of privilege.
  3. We are distracted (fooled even) by believing things through a parade of ‘false promises.’

These days we have the Internet at our finger tips. Who knows, maybe human progress is taking us down a path where we’re becoming technological adept but socially inept. This could be part of Kaepernick’s message. But it’s also the scope of efforts to get prejudicial flaws out of the criminal justice system.

Interview with sister of Terence Crutcher

Prejudice seems to raise its ugly head in ways that affect the legal protection of African-Americans under the law. How else can we explain the unwarranted death of Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma. Think about how the social theory of ‘Broken Windows’ or Rockefeller drug laws unduly harmed urban communities?

These measures created a strain/stain for some but political/professional gain for others. Wearing the label ‘Made in America’ shouldn’t just be about padding our pocketbooks. It should open our eyes to these inequities, injustices and inconsistencies. This way we’re not looking down on others with prejudice.

If flawed laws are a leading force for fixing social ills, then that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Below the surface are other stories made possible out of privilege. Just think about Ryan Lochte being on Dancing with the Stars or Brock Turner who served little time for rape. This wouldn’t be possible for just anyone.

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Social privilege could be a factor in what Kaepernick is trying to express. He’s lived in a bi-racial environment which allows him to connect with the privileged side of America. But he’s also seeing how others get left behind in the political games that stiff & stifle the less-privileged treated as second-class.

This may be why there’s a bubbling frustration across the country for how some past and present election campaigns make a joke of the process. So there’s a growing tide of ‘We the People’ turning into modern-day populism. But things seem to have gotten out of hand where it feels like Politics Gone Wild.

It’s like the beekeeper in charge of running a bee yard. Then an outsider comes in and stirs up the bee hive. Now the bees are distracted from working towards shared purpose. Instead they’re driven by shared chaos. That’s some of what has happened where citizens are being stirred-up by the buzz of chaos.

Have things become more of a race for ratings and a parade of false promises? That’s a self-starter question that will be on many minds between now and November. In between the halo and hell of this presidential campaign season is figuring-out whether what’s good for ratings is good for America’s reality.

Marvin Gaye once asked “What’s Going On?” Well, Kaepernick might not have everybody’s stamp of approval, but he could help spread shared purpose. Dr. King gave us shared purpose with the words ‘I Have a Dream.’ JFK did it with the goal of a moon landing. We can propel shared purpose by how we handle social issues, system flaws and pursue truth promises.

Groove-tracks: The Black Eyed Peas – Where’s the Love? –  https://youtu.be/YsRMoWYGLNA


John Legend ft The Roots & Melanie Fiona
– Wake Up Everybody – https://youtu.be/iJgxJ6JrPkc

Beyonce’s Performance Ruffled Feathers: Social Influences or Solidarity References? – #HometownChat

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Trivia: Which prospective Olympic athlete has publicly voiced concern about the Zika virus? (Answer below)

The Superbowl halftime show is being cheered and jeered. Those on one side say the game lived-up to expectations. On another side are those who think Beyoncé rocked the house. But there’s a disgruntled group whose feathers were ruffled. So was it due to the social influences or solidarity references?

Social media has been abuzz with a ‘Beyoncé Boycott’ debate since her performance. It’s taken on a life of its own as a national story. Meanwhile the Broncos parade and Von Miller’s MVP honor celebrate hometown glory. The broader message of the event might be getting lost in the boycott argument.

Take for example Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. One audience might receive it as a call to urban change. This would be supported by efforts in economic evangelism, social activism and choosing hope over skepticism. Others might receive it as a call to national unity beyond the systemic implications.

So it depends on which ears people are listening with. These days it seems there’re those who listen primarily with their left ear and others with their right. This contrast might make sense when using our hands to express ourselves. Some of us wave or write left-handed primarily and others right-handed.

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But in today’s national discourse it’s almost as if we need to learn how to connect and communicate in Americanese. This way we’re not hung-up on small stuff and thus miss the larger point. That might help to explain the backlash that Beyoncé is getting after her ‘formation’ performance during the show.

It’s interesting that she choose the weekend of the big game to release the song. Football is definitely a game of offensive and defensive formations. The Beyoncé backlash might show how a message can get skewered with ‘isms and skisms’ based on how people understand only their own American experience.

Yes, King’s speech and life’s work would have us focus our energies on urban empowerment. The ills of the nation shouldn’t only affect certain blocks. But he might also be pointing us towards a sense of shared humanity through service opportunities, social priorities and projecting hope over personal insecurities.

If the 21st century is going to take us to the next level of becoming a more perfect union then ‘The Block’ in hometowns left and right might be a good place to start. We’ve got to listen past the beat for the truth and look for the silver lining in order to keep building synergy across the United Streets of America (USA).

Answer: Hope Solo, U.S. Women’s Soccer Goal Keeper

 

Groove-tracks: John Legend – “Humanity” – https://youtu.be/tf2t2zCM4eo

 

Rachel Platten  – “Stand by You” –  https://youtu.be/bwB9EMpW8eY