Tyler, the Creator encourages his younger fans to vote

Grammy-award winning rapper/singer Tyler, the Creator uploaded an unexpected video on IGTV Monday afternoon urging his younger fans to vote in this year’s election.

“Please, please, if you are young, and your f******g back don’t hurt, go to them polls and cast a f*****g vote,” said Tyler.

Tyler, The Creator who’s real name is Tyler Okonma, has been known in the past for his immature and exaggerated character. While the rapper has voiced his political and social opinions before, never before has he directly asked his fans to do something of this nature. “I know I’m the last person y’all should ever take advice from,” Tyler admits, “but I’m reiterating what everyone else is saying.”

Okonma continues his message while addressing the current social climate: “Y’all was posting black squares and protesting from y’all phone, and rights this, and canceling everybody, n***a pull up. Y’all want a new DA? Pull up.”

According to the Washington Post, in 2016, roughly 43% of registered voters did not fill out a ballot. A year later, Pew Trusts released a study that revealed 62% of unregistered voters weren’t asked to register at all.

Even Okonma himself confesses 2020 will be his first year voting since he became eligible in 2009.

Okonma not voting in the 2016 election came as a shock to some fans who noted that his brand, Golf Wang, released a shirt the same year that featured a superimposed a Hitler-style mustache over President Donald Trump’s lip with the text “We f****d up” printed at the bottom.

However, in the video Okonma doesn’t mention either presidential candidate. Instead, he gives affirms his opinion on educational reforms and the school system. “The s**t that I actually give a f**k about is more art in schools and more music classes in schools and them changing the curriculum,” says Okonma.

Okonma follows a long line of other celebrities and influencers encouraging their fans to vote in this year’s upcoming election. Many of them sharing resources for how to get their fans registered.

What effects this will have on the 2020 election are currently unknown but will likely manifest within the coming months.

Trump Administration gives Microsoft 45 days to acquire TikTok

The Rush for TikTok Followers: Will You Be Among the Platform's ...The Trump Administration has given Microsoft 45 days to acquire the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok despite Trump’s recent plans to ban the app, according to a recent blog post made by Microsoft.

It’s only been a few days since Trump recently said that he was planning on banning the App in the United States. While aboard the Air Force One he said, “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States.” According to President Trump, the ban could have occurred as soon as Saturday.

Late last year, US Lawmakers voiced concerns over TikTok possibly posing a threat to national security due to the data it handles and tensions between the administration and China have only heightened over time.

Due to these developments, many believed the deal between Microsoft and TikTok was dismissed.

However, in a recent blog post, Microsoft confirmed they were “prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States” due to a recent conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump had in private.

According to the post, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) will handle all subsequent negotiations made by Microsoft and the TikTok parent company, ByteDance. Microsoft vowed to “move quickly” and close the deal by Sept. 15.

In their closing statement, they wrote: “Microsoft appreciates the U.S. Government’s and President Trump’s personal involvement as it continues to develop strong security protections for the country. These discussions are preliminary and there can be no assurance that a transaction which involves Microsoft will proceed. We do not intend to provide further updates until there is a definitive outcome to our discussions.”

This isn’t the first time the CFIUS has ordered a company to divest. Earlier this year, Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd sold, Grindr, a gay dating app, for $620 million to San Vicente Acquisition LLC as per the request of the CFIUS.

Whether this deal between the tech giant Microsoft and ByteDance will go the same way, however, is still unknown.

Recent developments in the UC college system look promising for minorities

New lawsuit suggests U of California has been considering race in ...The UC announced last week they hit a record-breaking number of Latino admissions to its nine undergraduate campuses for the upcoming school year.

At 36 percent, this is the highest it has ever been, topping last year by two percent. Now, according to UC, Chicanx/Latinx students now comprise the largest ethnic group of admitted freshmen.

“UC continues to see increased admissions of underrepresented students… The incoming class will be one of our most talented and diverse yet, and UC is proud to invite them to join us,” UC President Janet Napolitano said.

Last week, the Trump administration also decided to roll back their original plan to send foreign students back to their home countries if schools go online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan was met with criticism from universities like Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which both argued that the policy was created unlawfully.

If this plan was successful, however, it would have affected over 1 million international students currently enrolled in U.S. colleges. These international students who make up a decent portion of the student body were also responsible for contributing $45 billion to the US economy in 2018.

In a similar vein to their previous achievements, the University of California also elected its first black president since the institution’s inception in 1868.

Michael V. Drake, 68, is a distinguished member in the UC community who previously served as chancellor of UC Irvine for nine years, and as the systemwide vice president for health affairs for five.

On the topic of his election, Drake said, “Much has changed in the 15 years since I was given the privilege of becoming chancellor at UC Irvine, but not my absolute belief in this great University and its time-honored mission.”

It would seem Drake’s appointment has come at a very crucial time in the Unites States increasingly tense social climate. What these recent developments represent is a growing trend among many other institutions attempting to narrow the gap between less fortunate students and their privileged counterparts.

Doja Cat tested positive for COVID-19 after initially downplaying it

Doja Cat Tests Positive for COVID-19American singer and rapper Doja Cat revealed this week that she has tested positive for COVID-19 despite previous comments mocking the severity of the virus.

The news came out in an exclusive interview she conducted with Capital XTRA, during the interview she said, “I got COVID. Honestly, I don’t know how this happens…. and I don’t know how I got it but I got it.”

In the interview, she also revealed that has since recovered and no longer exemplifies any symptoms. “I’m OK now. It was a four-day symptom freak out but I’m fine now,” said Doja Cat.

The news was quite a shock to many, due to the fact that since the start of the pandemic the singer had previously downplayed the virus and ridiculed those who expressed concerns.

While on an Instagram Live Doja Cat said, “I’m gonna get corona and then I’m gonna get a Corona, cuz I don’t give a f**k about corona, b***h. It’s a flu!”

She later added, “”I’m not scared. Y’all are p*ssy, period. You just take some Mucinex and drink water and tea and sleep — that’s all you gotta do. Y’all are so scared of some damn corona.”

Today, the CDC reports that there have been over 4 million cases and more than 146 thousand deaths in the U.S. alone.

Doja Cat has been in the limelight a lot recently due to a previous controversy she had back in May. When an unreleased song she made that prominently featured the racial slur “dindu” surfaced on the internet.

The song stirred a lot of debate in her fan base as many saw the abundant use of the slur as offensive. She later apologized for the song calling it “an attempt to flip its meaning” but acknowledged it “was a bad decision to use the term” in her music.

Doja Cat has not made any public statements regarding her previous comments about COVID-19.

Remembering and Understanding John Lewis

john lewisJohn Lewis is considered one of the “Big Six” leaders of the Civil Rights movement that swept America during the 1960s. His passing was confirmed by Nancy Pelosi late on Friday night. This was following a seven-month-long battle he had with stage four pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

Born on February 21, 1940, into a family of sharecroppers, John Robert Lewis was the third child of ten living in rural Alabama.  He attended segregated schools as a boy and was often told by his parents not to challenge the inequities of the Jim Crow laws which had been set in place during that era. However, as he grew older so did his distaste for the unfairness racial segregation.

Lewis first heard Martin Luther King, Jr. on the radio in 1955 and closely followed Montgomery Bus Boycott that King began later that year. Lewis was deeply inspired by King’s actions and from then on vowed to act upon the change which he wanted to see.

In 1957, Lewis traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to attend American Baptist Theological Seminary. It was here where he learned about nonviolent protest and how to organize protests. He became involved in sit-ins at segregated lunch counters and was arrested during these demonstrations. Despite this Lewis stuck to his philosophy of nonviolence and became a strict adherent which he kept to for the rest of his life.

After doing civil work in Nashville and meeting with both Dr. King and Rosa Parks, Lewis became one of the original 13 Freedom Riders. Freedom Riders were a group of six whites and seven blacks, who in an effort to get southern states to enforce the laws that prohibited segregated public transportation, all rode buses from Washington, D.C., to New Orleans in an integrated fashion. In doing this Lewis and his fellow freedom riders were brutally beaten and arrested many times yet still consistently made it to freedom rides.

In 1963, after Charles McDew stepped down as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis was elected to take his place and as such helped plan one of the most important marches in American history: the March on Washington.

The March on Washington took place on Wednesday, August 28, 1963, and was meant to advocate for the civil and economic rights of African Americans. During this March is also where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. Alongside King was Lewis, who at only 23, was the youngest speaker at the event. In a powerful declaration, Lewis announced, “We all recognize the fact that if any radical social, political and economic changes are to take place in our society, the people, the masses, must bring them about.” The March on Washington is credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which among other things, outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

20 years later in 1986, Lewis was elected to the House of Representatives, representing Georgia’s 5th District. Lewis was reelected 16 times only dropping below 70 percent of the vote once. Being one of the most respected in congress, Lewis advocated for health reform and education improvements. He also oversaw multiple renewals of the Voting Rights Act.

John Lewis is not dead, spokesperson says | 11alive.comIn the recent past, John Lewis was hailed by Pelosi as “a titan of the civil rights movement” by Pelosi, and out of respect, President Donald Trump ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff. A number of other people also voiced their grief in response to the passing of Lewis including  Former President Barack Obama, who just ten years prior awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

On all fronts, Lewis is what every activist looking to make a change should aspire to be. Unwavering, unflinching and most important of all peaceful.

Kanye West files Statement of Organization despite talks of dropping out of the presidential race.

Kanye West announces he's running for president - ABC NewsDespite recent statements made about Kanye West dropping out of the presidential ballot, a filing in the Federal Election Commission was made Wednesday on behalf of the Atlanta-born rapper.

Monday a report by New York Magazine’s The Intelligencer revealed that Kanye West was going to drop out of the presidential ballot. Steve Kramer, a get-out-the-vote specialist, who was hired by West to help get on the ballot in two states simply told The Intelligencer, “he’s out.”

Nevertheless, today just hours after the world got word of him dropping out, a Wyoming based committee filed the first form required by the FEC. The form declares the organization of a campaign committee. However, the more important form, the Statement of Candidacy, is what legitimizes West as an actual candidate and must also be submitted.

With that being said, a form can be filed by practically anyone, and details about Andre Bodiford, the man who signed the Statement of Organization, are scarce at best. The number listed has not returned any calls.

The rapper-turned pseudo politician first announced his presidential bid on July 4.

The tweet instantly grew widespread attention and gained support from notable figures like Elon Musk who replied to Kanye West saying “You have my full support!”

In an interview with Forbes, West revealed he was going to run under an independent party he had dubbed the “birthday party” because when he won it would be “everybody’s birthday.” He also divulged in the same interview his conservative take on things like abortion and planned parenthood. Saying that the ladder had been placed in cities by “white supremacists to do the Devil’s work.”

His proposed model for an administration under his executive control was also heavily inspired by the fictional city of Wakanda from the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther.

West himself has not yet commented on him ending his bid nor the form that was submitted.

Why Jeffery Epstein will always be a conspiracy theory.

Image result for jeffrey epsteinJeffery Epstein was an American financier with ties to President Donald Trump and former president Bill Clinton as well as a plethora of other powerful individuals. He is also a known and convicted sex offender. On Aug. 10th Epstein, while awaiting his trial for sex trafficking charges in a Manhattan jail, was found dead.

This was not his first brush with crime however, back in 2007 Epstein was indicted and later convicted of sexual assault of a minor as well as solicitation of a prostitute. However, unlike most other sex offenders in the state of Florida, where he lived at the time, Epstein was given special privileges. Instead of prison, Epstein was admitted to a private wing of the Palm Beach County stockade. If that didn’t make matters worse he rarely ever spent time in a cell and was actually allowed to work at his West Palm Beach office twelve hours a day.

By the end of it, Epstein only had to serve 13 months of an 18-month sentence before being let go on house arrest, thanks to a plea deal set by our ex-secretary of labor Alexander Acosta. Acosta claimed he had no clue of the liberal treatment Epstein was provided but records show that all federal prosecutes that were under his authority were very aware of the circumstances and demands.

What followed immediately after were a large slough of sexual assault charges levied at Epstein from his alleged previous victims. Eventually, he was arrested once again on sex trafficking charges and promptly held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. While under investigation a considerable amount of damaging evidence of sex trafficking. He was charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex. He was also denied bail by US District Judge Richard M. Berman who posited that Epstein posed a serious danger to new victims due to his “uncontrollable” sexual fixation on young girls. He also feared  Epstein was a serious flight risk and might use it to flee prosecution.

Of course, Epstein never actually had the chance to be prosecuted, because he died in his cell at the New York Metropolitan Correctional Center. It was alleged he had killed himself using nothing but a jail bedsheet. He was supposed to be checked up on regularly due to a previous attempt he made on his own life, however, the guards who were in charge had fallen asleep while making their rounds.

Jeffery Epstein will never face the trial.

This is a summary of what is currently accepted as the true story of what happened to Epstein. However, the details are shaky at best and come from a smorgasbord of sources all of which with varying levels of reputability. Of course, with there being conflicting accounts and misinformation rampant, the case of Epstein is a very difficult one. Among its many instances of foul play its given ways to one of the 2019’s hottest conspiracies. The question of whether Epstein did or did not kill himself is a point of contention for many. It’s implications even more so.

So let’s talk about conspiracy theories. Head on over to Merriam Webster and they will tell you a conspiracy theory is “a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators.” This is the official definition we will be running with for the duration of this article.

The possibility of foul play or a “secret plot” surrounding the events of Epstein’s death arose not long after he was pronounced dead. The Post unveiled a story on Aug. 11 focusing on a former NYC jail inmate. In said story, the inmate said there was “no way” Epstein was able to kill himself while incarcerated. At the same time, another article this time on CNN reported that Epstein’s death would be looked into, as per the request of Attorney General William Barr.

This is essentially what lit the fuse on the whole debacle. Afterward, several new discoveries were made that all had to do with Epstein’s supposed suicide.  Medical examiners found evidence that many believed to be more consistent with strangulation rather than hanging. Regardless, medical examiners in New York City officially ruled his death as a suicide on Aug. 16. However, this answer is not sufficient for many and a private investigation is still ongoing.

So whats this investigation trying to prove? We are aware that they believe Epstein didn’t kill himself but what does that really mean? It would seem everyone has their own take on the matter. What makes this case so compelling is the number of connections Epstein made during his trudge through life. What business does a convicted sex trafficker have with President Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew?

The short answer is, we will never know, but many have used this information to support their own unfounded conclusions. Some think he was killed to be silenced, others think he was forced to kill himself and so on and so forth. The running theory or joke, depending on who you are, is that Epstein didn’t kill himself.

So let’s analyze a few pieces of “damning” evidence people have used to “prove” Epstein didn’t kill himself.

For one, the official autopsy of Epstein reported a break in the hyoid bone. A U shaped bone positioned between the skull and postcranial skeleton. Some have used this to say that there is evidence of strangulation. However, CNN makes it clear that the bone can be broken in either case, whether it’s homicidal strangulation or suicide. The fact that it is more often broken in a homicide is neither here nor there, it’s a small detail irrelevant to the manner of death.

Many often cite the lack of camera footage as proof for there being foul play regarding the death of Epstein. Reuters actually reported two cameras positioned outside Epstiens cell mysteriously malfunctioned. However, tampering is actually a common occurrence in prisons and jails among inmates aside from this one instance. Videosurveillance.com makes this very clear: “There exists a risk that inmates will attempt to tamper with a facility’s security equipment. While many prisons use tamper-resistant cameras to cope with this problem, there’s always a possibility that a camera will be damaged and lose its signal.”

Again there are pages of possible malfunctions and issues revolving around tampering listed in official documents about security cameras released by correctional facilities. Obviously, it’s a big enough issue in prisons and not uncommon for a camera to malfunction randomly due to tampering or some other form of manipulation whether Epstein was there or not.

Finally, let’s go over the most interesting piece of evidence: the security guards. Two security guards were meant to check up one Epstein every thirty minutes due to previous behaviors. However, both accidentally fell asleep while doing their rounds. During this time is when Epstein killed himself.

To debunk this allow me to take you back to seventh-grade science class. The scientific method is an empirical method of study meant to test a hypothesis. A hypothesis is based on observable phenomena and can be proven or disproven using rigorous testing. On the flip side, we have conspiracy theories that begin with a conclusion and scramble for any information to prove their idea, substantial or not. This is also a demonstration of a common cognitive bias found in people.

The confirmation bias states that people tend to listen more often to information that confirms the beliefs they already have. Through this bias, people tend to favor information that confirms their previously held beliefs. If you keep telling yourself Epstein didn’t kill himself, of course, you’re going to find information that “proves” he didn’t. This manner of thinking throws the scientific method completely out the window. Beginning with your conclusion may net you lots of evidence but you have no idea how to differentiate between that and conjecture.

I didn’t have to explain why those pieces of evidence were wrong because the whole thing was wrong from the beginning. To agree with this conspiracy, you would also have to agree with a plethora of other instances inconsistent with reality. I could have released this article back when this topic was still relevant because I purposely wanted to wait for the trend to die down. Now that it’s no longer funny to say “Epstein didn’t kill himself” I think we can all focus on the raw facts here.

So there you have it. While Epstein may be dead, the case has not been allowed to rest. With several of his alleged victims filing lawsuits toward his estate, it would seem old habits die hard.

Duncan Hunter responds to my scathing letter.

Image result for duncan hunterThis article is going to a tad personal so please bear with me.

When I was in Highschool taking my useless AP Government class one of our projects required getting involved in politics itself. Our class had a lot of leeway on what we could do and one of the more easy options was emailing a letter to your congressman.

I live in California and our U.S. Representative for the 50th congressional district is none other than Duncan Hunter. I probably don’t have to do much to explain why that name should send a cold chill down your spine but in case, here’s a little refresher.

Last year Duncan Hunter and his wife were indicted on twelve criminal charges including wire fraud and campaign finance crimes. The prosecutors allege that they used over 250,000 dollars to fund their family activities like personal trips to Italy, buying school lunches and, my personal favorite, fly a relative’s pet rabbit to Washington.

So I sent an email to Duncan Hunter and absolutely tore him to pieces. I don’t have the original letter anymore and neglected to make a copy, so sadly I can’t show you everything I said. However, I vividly remember the main idea of it. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the letter.

  1. I listed every crime he committed and then blatantly called him a criminal
  2. I said, “I worry for our great state.”
  3. I said I had no faith in him as a representative
  4. I asked what he planned to do as our representative.
  5. I commented on how it was possible he’d be sent to prison while in office.

I sent the letter back in December 2018 and just last week I finally got my response from good old Duncan Hunter. I was surprised, to say the least.

Dear Fabian:

Thanks for contacting me regarding your views. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

Like many in California’s 50th District, I believe it is crucial to maintain a strong military, rebuild America’s manufacturing base and create economic opportunity for all Americans.  It is important to remember the original intent of our founders to build a nation of liberty, common defense, and domestic tranquility.  In order to maintain that vision, we need to adhere to principles that do not trample on the rights of states and, most importantly, the rights of individuals.

Please be assured that I will continue to fight for these principles with your specific thoughts firmly in mind.  In the meantime, if I can be of any future assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Part of me wished for a more unprofessional response from Hunter but I was well aware that it was unlikely. To be honest, I didn’t even expect a response at all. I’m just glad he had to sift through my inflammatory message. If there’s anything I can take away from this, I’m glad no matter how small my voice is, I can still be heard.

Guess I can scratch this one off the bucket list.

 

Donald Trump vows to free A$AP Rocky

Image result for donald trump and asap rockyIn an unorthodox turn of events, President Donald Trump recently announced on social media his plans to help exonerate rapper A$AP Rocky from Swedish authorities. It all started earlier this month on July 3rd when he was arrested on suspicion of assault. He has been held in Swedish prison for over two weeks and now prosecutors have until the 25th to decide whether they want to charge him or not. If things go array the New York rapper could be looking at a long sentence.

This news shook the internet and caused forces from all over the country banded together to vindicate Rocky. One notable celebrity Kim Kardashian used her white house connections and on July 18th tweeted “Thank you @realDonaldTrump, @SecPompeo, Jared Kushner & everyone involved with the efforts to Free ASAP Rocky & his two friends. Your commitment to justice reform is so appreciated.”

The story continued to spiral and just today President Trump from his official twitter said, “Just spoke to @KanyeWest about his friend A$AP Rocky’s incarceration. I will be calling the very talented Prime Minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky. So many people would like to see this quickly resolved!”

So it would seem this event will be coming to a close soon. With so many powerful forces at play its only natural, this dispute will be solved momentarily. Just hope that guys headphones were worth it.

UPDATE: JULY 25th

The deadline for the prosecutors has been reached and A$AP Rocky has been charged with assault and could be facing up to two years in Swedish prison. The trial date has not been set but is likely going to be happening very soon.

Donald Trump returned to Twitter to lash out at Swedish authorities. In a short series of tweets, Trump wrote, “Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly! #FreeRocky.” The tread continues, “Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM. We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem! #FreeRocky.”

Following this thread, some people have started to put A$AP in their twitter handles in support of A$AP Rocky. This is truly an unfortunate turn of events.

UPDATE: AUGUST 2nd

As of today, A$AP Rocky has been released from Swedish prison.