Archive for the ‘Louis Farrakhan’ Category

Pretty Girls Like Trap Music – PopMatters

2 Chainzs latest is a victory lap 20 years in the making

Few rappers in the last decade have seized control of their narrative more impressively than 2 Chainz. From Ludacris protg and potential one-hit wonder as part of Playaz Circle, back when his moniker alone (Tity Boi) would have stopped him from getting mainstream radio play to a gem-dropping trap auteur with the capability of putting together a start-to-finish terrific album, Tauheed Epps tale of perseverance and gumption sets an example for any young artist looking to avoid being pigeonholed.

Early in his career, 2 Chainz seemed like a quintessential feature artist capable of packing terrific punch lines into somebody elses song but incapable of stretching his skills to shoulder the weight of an entire track (let alone a full-length project). The tide began to turn with his sophomore album B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, in which he embraced the inherent absurdity of the rapper lifestyle, but his true ascent came thanks to the trio of projects he put out in 2016: two thrilling mixtapes (Daniel Son; Necklace Don and Hibachi For Lunch) and his collaborative album ColleGrove with Lil Wayne.

His fourth studio album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, isnt just a testament to endurance, its one of the years best rap albums and a blueprint for graceful aging in an industry that prizes youthful excitement and innovation. Epps turns 40 this fall, and given his late rise would have more of an excuse to trend-hop than his more entrenched peers. However, he succeeds brilliantly like fellow greybeard Pusha T, who is 40 himself. Both artists are incredibly savvy and have stayed trend-adjacent while allowing their musical personas to age with dignity like the antihero in your favorite prestige TV show.

On Pretty Girls, 2 Chainz works with some of the most popular architects of modern Southern rap (Mike Will Made it, FKi, Cubeatz), as well as veterans like Mike Dean and Honorable C.N.O.T.E. to craft murky, menacing instrumentals which Epps manages to walk atop without getting his crocodile slides dirty. Hes so in command on a track like Trap Check that when the beat switches to T.I.s classic ASAP its easy to be so transfixed by the vocals that it doesnt even register initially.

While many rappers display their luxury habits on record, 2 Chainzs frequent references his love for hibachi and the Rolls-Royce Wraith are more endearing than grating, in part because Epps has found ways to talk about them that are consistently novel and exciting. A song like Rolls Royce Bitch, one of Pretty Girls highlights, works languid psychedelic guitar and punchy live bass that are way more Tame Impala than Trap-a-Velli Tre. He uses that unconventional sonic landscape for both motivational aphorisms (Believe in yourself, health is wealth) and exceptional quotables (100 acres on my property, man I might hit a deer boy). Compare that to a track like similarly themed (and titled )Rolls Royce Weather Everyday off ColleGrove and it is evident that weve never seen 2 Chainz more confident and comfortable than he is right now.

But while the album has its share of strong hits and potential singles, including the surprisingly haunting Good Drank and the late-night scheming anthem 4 AM, Pretty Girls also features some of the most pointed autobiographical bars of 2 Chainzs career.

The album closer Burglar Bars opens with Louis Farrakhan attesting to the rappers regal demeanor before 2 Chainz emerges and offers some of the albums strongest bars. Never fabricated about my fabric, the scale, thats my apparatus / I give a fuck about the sorriest rappers / This actually happened, path in the back pathogenic / Moved that blow out like we were Afrocentric, he snarls atop a Mike Dean and M16 beat that is equal parts victory lap and the perfect canvas for reflection on the rappers circuitous path to superstardom.

On Sleep When U Die, Epps makes the claim that hard work beats talent, which may well be true, but its an ironic bit of self-effacement on a record that often plays like a motivational speech compilation. 2 Chainz would never have reached this level without his constant output of albums, mixtapes, and guest verses, but the truth is he has improved tremendously as a writer and vocalist.

His talent has undeniably caught up to his hard work, and all we can hope now is that the latter doesnt suffer because of the former.

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Grant Rindner studied journalism at Northwestern University and contributes to sites including The Line of Best Fit and The 405. He was once forcibly removed from a Grouplove concert.

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Pretty Girls Like Trap Music – PopMatters

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June 28, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

The rise of inflexible progressivism – Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As a young man coming from a left-wing pedigree, I embraced a liberal agenda which included most notably, a belief in Israel as a bastion of socialism and democracy. In the 1950s, a good progressive was a good Zionist. Oh, how the world has changed. Now a progressive has moved 180 degrees to an anti-Zionist position. As one wag put it, the left is now the congenial home of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Linda Sarsour, the leader of the Womans March in Washington and a commencement speaker at the City University of New York, clearly embodies the new spirit on the left. She has praised Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, once anathema to liberals. She has honored Embrased Rasmesh Odeh, a terrorist murderer. She has spoken in favor of Shariah finance. One of the supporters of Ms. Sarsour said, Nothing is creepier than Zionism.

What is truly remarkable, and to some degree ideologically shattering, is that The New York Times wrote a fawning profile about this woman who challenges all liberal principles. She had the audacity to say that the vagina of Ayaan Hirsi Ali should be taken away, the same Ayaan who has worked so hard to promote womens rights throughout the Muslim world. Yet the Anti-Defamation League defends Ms. Sarsour. Why do liberals not recognize that the Muslim countries do not give women and people in the LGBT community the same civil rights that Israel does?

For the left, Zionism has promoted Islamophobia a false critique from the standpoint of Islamists. As a consequence, anti-Semitism is rendered a virtue, as a way to discourage negative sentiment about Islam. Yet even when the evidence of anti-Semitism is incontrovertible, the left contends anti-Semitism is a figment of a hysterical, oversensitive imagination. For the most part, Jews are being systematically written out of the progressive agenda, even though they were responsible for that agenda in the first place. But why quibble?

This new age, already upon us, has sheltered many Jews from the harsh reality of contemporary progressivism. Jews still gravitate to a Democratic Party led by two men (Tom Perez and Keith Ellison) avowedly anti-Zionist. In casual conversation, Jews will say Democrats represent grass-roots movements and people. However, it is important to note the party of the hard left is the government party relying on rules and mandates imposed by Washington D.C. bureaucrats. It no longer represents the blue-collar worker who built the party during the New Deal.

At the Chicago Dyke March held recently, Jewish pride flags were banned because Jews made people feel unsafe and, after all, the march was pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist. The irony is that the Dyke March preaches inclusion and is billed as anti-racist, anti-violent, volunteer-led grass-roots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual and transgender resilience. Yes, the march includes every permutation of homosexuality, but it does not include Jews, presumably these are the people found to be offensive.

In January 2016, a Shabbat service and reception for Jewish participants at a gay conference in Chicago was disrupted by hundreds of protesters who chanted, Hey hey, ho ho, pinkwashing has got to go. Pinkwashing is a term to describe efforts by Israel to cover up its treatment of Palestinians by touting its strong record on gay rights. What the incident shows is that even on gay rights Israel will not be given the benefit of the doubt because anti-Zionism trumps homosexual acceptance.

That progressives would find common quarter with Islamists is the shocking part of this ideological evolution. Obviously, secularism has played a role for many Jews. But the Anti-Defamation Leagues support for the Council on American Islamic Relations is nothing short of jarring, despite the extent of Jewish secularization.

To have been a progressive and to see how the word and movement have gone through the caldron of ideological change demonstrates the influence of Orwellian logic. Orthodoxy is liberalism, dogma is openness; Shariah is expansive. Who would have thought that the modern Jew would imbibe this logic? But as Norman Podhoretz noted in his splendid book, Why Are Jews Liberals? Jews are liberal because liberalism is the new religion of Jews.

Herbert London is president of the London Center for Policy Research.

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The rise of inflexible progressivism – Washington Times

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June 27, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

How anti-vaxxers teamed with the Nation of Islam to warn of vaccination ‘holocaust’ against black kids – Raw Story

Anti-vaccination activists have found a new ally in their quest to end mandatory vaccinations for children: The Nation of Islam.

Jezebels Anna Merlan reports that the Nation of Islam has been working closely with anti-vaccination activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to push the view that vaccinations will cripple a generation of black children by afflicting them with autism.

Merlan writes that Kennedy, who has in the past claimed that vaccinations will lead to a holocaust of young children, began a push with the Nation of Islam in 2015 to encourage black families to consider not vaccinating their children, based on a debunked claim that a mercury-based preservative in vaccines causes autism.

Merlan goes on to document how the Nation of Islam is a natural ally in the anti-vaxx movement, as it has long pushed conspiracy theories that attack the scientific and medical establishments. Among other things, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan claimed just four years ago that he believed children in Zimbabwe were being intentionally poisoned by vaccinations being sent over from the United States and Europe. Additionally, the Nations official newspaper has in the past published articles linking vaccinations to autism.

Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammad tellsJezebel that it didnt take much for Kennedy to convince him of the dangers of vaccines and he likens the push to vaccinate children to the horrificTuskegee experimentthat intentionally withheld treatment for black men infected with syphilis.

We decided to get involved with warning and educating our community, Muhammad explained. This has flown over the black communitys head.

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How anti-vaxxers teamed with the Nation of Islam to warn of vaccination ‘holocaust’ against black kids – Raw Story

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June 27, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

Megyn Kelly Vivisects Bloated Conspiracy Hog Alex Jones – RollingStone.com

Last year around election time, I sent a clip of Infowars lunatic Alex Jones to a friend. It was one of the ultimate Jones set pieces: his classic “gay bomb” rant, where the balloon-faced TV host turns baboon-ass red working himself up into a rage about Pentagon-designed hormonal weaponry that supposedly can “turn the frickin’ frogs gay!”

“What do you think tap water is?” he croaks, in the broadcast. “It’s a gay bomb, baby!”

My friend wrote back. “Who the hell is that?” he said.

Why, I responded, that’s Alex Jones, one of the most influential people in the United States.

My friend didn’t believe it. “Come on, this is a gag or something,” he said. His actual quote was that the Jones show was like a Nazi version of Tommy Boy, which to him was too funny of an idea to have been generated unironically.

This isn’t an uncommon reaction. Most sane people can’t process Jones. Nor can they deal with the fact that he drew 83 million page views during election month last November, or that Infowars had 5.3 million unique visitors in May of last year.

Jones also has one very specific audience member: Donald Trump. The New York Times reported in February that Jones “is apparently taking on a new role as occasional information source and validator for the president.”

Jones, who once insisted the Sandy Hook massacre was a “fake,” has the kind of mind with which Trump connects. On November 14th, his Infowars site re-reported a claim that “three million votes in the U.S. presidential election were cast by illegal immigrants.” Two weeks later, Trump clearly parroted the report, saying he won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

That influence is why it was so beneficial to see NBC’s Megyn Kelly tear Jones to pieces on this past weekend’s Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly.

There was a controversy about the show. Some of the parents of Sandy Hook victims were understandably upset that Jones was being given airtime on “legitimate” TV, and protested the interview.

But other groups objected to the report on the more general and disturbingly prevalent view that covering a noxious figure somehow equates to empowering that person. Incredibly, even other media organizations contributed to this chorus, with Huffington Post going so far as to denounce Kelly for giving Jones a “platform.”

This new media version of the campus “no-platforming” movement believes that news organizations automatically help insidious figures by allowing them to speak extemporaneously, or even to be seen onscreen. In fact, groups like Media Matters went so far as to say that the best part about Kelly’s report was that it showed Jones as little as possible:

“The segment benefited from devoting very little time to Kelly’s interview with Jones, minimizing his opportunity to appeal to her audience. Instead, through strong voiceover, clips from Jones’ program featuring the host spouting conspiracies, and interviews with a conservative commentator who opposes Jones’ influence and the father of a child who died at Sandy Hook, Kelly explained how Jones operates, the harassment his targets experience, and his close ties to President Donald Trump.”

This is a crazy conception of how media is supposed to work. Judging a report by how tightly it keeps control over whatever you think the desired message is supposed to be is pretty much the opposite of what we’re taught to do as journalists. We’re describers, not politicians, and the best way to convey the essence of Jones is to let him betray it himself.

Trying to “minimize his opportunity to appeal” to audiences also totally misunderstands how people consume media. If you bend over backwards to keep an interview subject from talking, and stack the deck in your report with negative takes and loads of derisive voice-over, what viewers will perceive 100 percent of the time is that you’re afraid of your subject.

Kelly graphically demonstrated the benefits of not running from your interview subject. She challenged Jones over and over about Sandy Hook statements like, “The whole thing is a giant hoax.”

Jones offered a stream of nonsensical answers to these queries, to which Kelly asked brutal and correct follow-ups, like: What happened to the children, if they weren’t killed?

To which Jones squirmed and fidgeted and said ridiculous things like, “Listeners and other people are covering this, I didn’t create that story.”

After four or five exchanges of this sort, Jones in an offhand way suggested that maybe he was just playing “devil’s advocate” when he said what he said.

Kelly pounced. “Was that devil’s advocate?” She reread his direct quotes, repeating, “The whole thing is a giant hoax. The whole thing was fake.”

Jones paused for about five seconds before he answered. You could tell he was trying to a) remember what he’d said then, and b) think of what exactly he could get away with saying now. He was cornered.

“Yes,” he finally answered, and quickly rifled through the drawers of his mind to shake loose something like a plausible explanation for that “yes”:

“Because I remember, even that day, to go back from memory, then saying, ‘But then, some of it looks like it’s real…”

Jones couldn’t defend his work in a legitimate setting. He wasn’t able to argue, as he once did in a child custody hearing, that he is just a “performance artist.” Forced to come up with a non-ridiculous explanation for his rants, he was completely exposed.

It’s ironic, given that she worked for so long at Fox, but Kelly’s report on Jones pulled the lid back on the easiest and most profitable con in our business: winding up angry middle-aged white guys. Jones is just the latest model in a long line of bloviating conservative media hucksters whose job it is to stoke middle-class paranoia for fun and profit.

The original offerings in this product line, like Bob Grant and Barry Farber, were too polished, over-subtle and often too-transparently schticky. Many were former actors, scholars or comedians who took up being shouty drive-time douchebags only as lucrative late-career options.

Until the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated in 1987, remember, anchors and disc jockeys couldn’t get hired by just by being vituperative finger-wagging blowhards. A lot of those people had gotten on the air because they had good voices, or the gift of gab, or senses of humor.

Rush Limbaugh, who was a little-known Pittsburgh top-40 DJ working under the name “Jeff Christie,” was an early example. (Listen to Rush/Jeff slickly intro-ing Stevie Wonder’s classic “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” on this clip, for a laugh.)

The problem is that whatever sliver of talent or humor or erudition gets these characters on the air in the first place ultimately betrays them in the hate-vendor game.

If there’s no real monster underneath, and you’re instead just a financially desperate comedian or actor spinning up audiences with wild tales about scissors-bearing feminists or hordes of diseased Mexicans Headed This Way, sooner or later, listeners who want the real thing will be able to tell.

Take Glenn Beck. He made an all-out assault on the angry-dude market by selling breathlessly baroque conspiracy theories miles beyond what the likes of Bill O’Reilly would ever have the brains to invent.

But Beck just wasn’t quite mean enough underneath. His insult-and-rage game was weak. Listen to him scream, “Get off my phone you little pinhead!” in this clip.

That’s 100 percent a put-on riff by a professional radio guy who’s been in the business since he was 15 (I can almost hear him saying, “Hey, did you like my hangup in hour 3 today?”), not a genuine rage addict. Beck was far more likely to fall to pieces and start crying on the air than blow his dome and start punching walls.

Not Alex Jones. He is the inevitable end to these decades of mis-evolution, the Nexus 6 of tantruming conservative spleen merchants.

Unlike Rush, who clearly wanted to be a comedian Limbaugh’s riffs on Louis Farrakhan-style numerology were wannabe Poconos material all the way Jones has no sense of humor, as in literally none. Sean Hannity is funnier than Jones, which is really saying something.

Jones is not an aspiring linguist like Farber, or an ex-lefty intellectual like Mike Savage, or an actor like Fred Thompson, or a wannabe rock star like Mike Huckabee.

Jones is just angry. There’s nothing else to his act. There’s no riffing, no jokes, no cleverness: just pure, uncut middle-aged bile for his 78 percent male audience, to whom Jones hilariously hawks masculine supplements.

He’s an epic dingbat, but one of tremendous power and influence. People need to understand how acts like his work and why. No effort to consign him to the margins is going to be successful, because he’s already burst way beyond those parameters.

I understand the Sandy Hook parents wanting him off the air. But media figures should know that the fastest way to heighten the influence of people like Jones is to boycott them from “polite” company. In exactly the same way even the dullest book becomes a smash hit once it’s censored, we make inadequate losers like this look like giants by pretending they don’t exist.

Props to Kelly for showing that challenging jackasses works. And God help us if the press ever stops believing that.

Infowars host Alex Jones claims he recorded pre-interview chat with Megyn Kelly to protect himself from misrepresentation.

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June 22, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

Distinguishing between allies and adversaries – New Jersey Jewish News

by Martin J. Raffel Special to NJJN

June 21, 2017

Since the Jewish community in the United States represents less than 2 percent of the total population, it is imperative that we seek out partners in the wider society if we are to advance our public policy objectives. But not all public affairs activists and groups share our communitys fundamental values, among them support for Israel and respect for the dignity of all people.

How do we determine which ones are acceptable partners? What should our response be to a partner who makes common cause with those we deem as beyond the pale? And should we refuse to participate in a coalition that includes one or more unacceptable partners? Answers to these questions often are difficult to formulate, and, at times, they reflect sharp differences of opinion.

This topic came to mind because of some recent developments:

The controversy surrounding Linda Sarsour the Palestinian-American activist from New York who was one of the leaders of last Januarys Womens March in Washington, DC, and commencement speaker at CUNY.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which for years has been a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS)-supporting nemesis on college campuses, has increased its involvement in general community affairs.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) joined with a broad coalition of organizations in a letter calling on mayors to repudiate anti-Sharia marches led by ACT for America, described in the letter as Americas largest anti-Muslim hate group. Subsequently, ADLs national director, Jonathan Greenblatt, said he was deeply upset and troubled when he discovered that JVP and other groups deemed hostile to Israel had also signed on. He said ADL would exercise greater caution before adding its name in the future to a statement with multiple signatories.

And on a trip earlier this month to a southern Jewish community, I heard concerns expressed about a prominent pro-Israel, local evangelical church working with Operation Save America (OSA) on a national program. In a March 2011 memo, the ADL accused the OSA of being an organization with a three-pronged mission to demonize abortion, homosexuality, and Islam.

Before Jewish communal leaders take any action, our first step must be to determine who is an acceptable partner. With respect to JVP, the Jewish establishments response, across the board, is negative. JVP robustly supports the BDS movement and refrains from endorsing Israels legitimacy, placing JVP beyond the pale. However, Marty Levine, a J Street volunteer leader from Maplewood, said his organization takes a somewhat more nuanced view with respect to JVP. Of course, there are sharp differences J Street is for two states and against BDS but its always better to talk than not to talk, Levine said. J Street often finds itself on the stage with people whose views we do not share.

Linda Sarsour, who helped raise $160,000 to restore a vandalized St. Louis Jewish cemetery, poses a more complex challenge. Anything but a Zionist, and at minimum, a passive supporter of the BDS movement, Sarsour is generally considered an antagonist by many of the establishment Jewish groups. But there are exceptions. Nancy Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, worked closely with Sarsour in the lead-up to Januarys Womens March. NCJW signed on as a co-sponsor only after we were given assurances by Linda that the march would not be a platform for BDS and/or Israel bashing of any kind. And, that promise was kept, she told me.

Although there remains a division with Sarsour on the BDS issue, Kaufman asserted that, just as we work with other coalition partners with whom we have strong disagreements, we will work with Linda Sarsour and the Muslim community she represents on areas of common concern, including Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, immigration policy, and civic engagement.

I think Kaufman has identified an important difference. JVPs prime focus is to support the BDS movement and Israels delegitimization, while most of Sarsours efforts relate to domestic matters that also are of concern to the mainstream Jewish community. Thus, to view JVP and Sarsour as equally objectionable seems unfair and unwise.

Lets shift focus to the extreme right side of the political spectrum. The ADL specializes in monitoring and assessing groups on both the political left and right. This is one of its organizational strengths. Therefore, if ADL regards the OSA and Act for America as extremist, anti-Muslim hate groups, it is a judgment worthy of respect.

So, what should the response be to the evangelical church that is working closely with the OSA? This issue reminded me of the dilemma the Jewish community faced in the 1990s when outspoken, anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan was increasingly accepted by mainstream and important African-American groups like the NAACP and Congressional Black Caucus. The ADL prepared a backgrounder for its governing body laying out two choices: 1) a hard-line approach, namely, that it cannot be business as usual with anyone who legitimizes Farrakhan, or 2) a pragmatic approach, which is that after expressing concerns about Farrakhans bigotry, ADL must continue to work with responsible African-American groups on issues of shared interest. The pragmatic approach, which enabled ADL to maintain its relationships with mainstream African-American leadership, won the day.

I discussed the evangelical church-OSA problem with one of my seasoned Jewish community relations colleagues, who wished to be quoted without attribution because he is actively engaged in interfaith relations. While not excusing OSA, he observed, our community has some double standards at play here. Operation Rescue [earlier version of OSA] worked hand-in-glove with the Catholic Church. I dont remember any Jewish groups saying they wouldnt work with the Catholics on immigration or poverty because Operation Rescue was meeting in their function rooms.

Not participating in a broad, civil society coalition for a good cause just because we may object to the views of some of its members, in my opinion, makes very little sense. When I was at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), our agency not only fully participated, but played a leadership role in the Save Darfur Coalition, comprised of dozens of organizations that were seeking to bring an end to the first genocide of the 21st century. There were a small number of coalition members that our Jewish establishment found objectionable, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations. But the thought of not joining or leaving the coalition never entered our minds. We would not allow them to dictate where, how, and when the JCPA would get involved on issues of concern to the Jewish community.

Ken Jacobson, ADLs deputy national director, takes a cautious approach to coalition building. We decide whether to participate based on two factors: how broad the coalition is the broader it is, the more likely wed consider signing on, and how central the issue is to ADL concerns on something like hate crimes, where ADL is the leader, we are less likely to exclude ourselves if a troubling group is included, Jacobson said. We decide on a case-by-case basis within these parameters.

Hillels role on campus is particularly challenging. On the one hand, it is understandable per Hillels guidelines that hosting or cosponsoring events with a group like JVP would violate a core value: support for Israel. On the other hand, Hillel also is committed to promoting an environment in which students feel comfortable expressing non-establishment perspectives and raising provocative questions. Theres no simple solution to that contradiction.

Last word: I understand this desire to draw boundaries, to identify those with whom we can comfortably work in the public affairs arena, and those we cannot. Yet, I regret that so much time and energy are consumed in this pursuit; the result is less attention devoted to the public affairs priorities themselves.

Martin J. Raffel of Long Branch is former senior vice president at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.

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June 21, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

How Photographers Capture the Emotion of a Protest – TIME

Tiananmen Square. Beijing, 1989.Stuart FranklinMagnum Photo

Tiananmen Square. Beijing, 1989. Stuart FranklinMagnum Photo

The impact of a protest isnt always easily quantifiable. Though some uprisings have resulted in immediate and tangible change, some start slow-burning fires that spread gradually through popular consciousness. Others fail to make any substantial dent on the status quo. But there’s no doubt that the freedom to express one’s beliefs in a peaceful manner, without fear, is a necessary part of democracy.

Photographys role in this democratic exercise has changed over the years, particularly as technology has developed and mutated, and a new Magnum Photo exhibition makes that clear by looking back at the scale and impact of protest photography from the 1930s up until the present day.

The show part of the agency’s Magnum at 70 program will feature photographs taken by its members, many of which have taken on a totemic value in popular culture. Pictures such as Marc Riboud’s Vietnam War protestor from 1967 will sit alongside contemporary offerings such as Larry Towells Standing Rock series from 2017.

For Magnum photographer Eli Reed, who photographed the Million Man March in 1995, taking to the streets is not just a demonstration its an engagement with what it means to be a human being, to speak out and say something.”

Organized by activist Louis Farrakhan, the Million Man March drew on a well of community-based black activism and was the first of its scale on the issue of black rights that America had seen. One picture from that day shows the swarming crowds on the Mall from the perspective of three men, who sit large in the frame, looking out on the momentous scene. You know, you can do things that are subtle and say something without a lot of jumping up and down. And that was one of those kind of pictures, says Reed. It’s a quiet picture, but it says a lot about that day and the extent of different men from different places coming together to say something.

The aim of protest photography is, in most cases, to tell the story of outrage or injustice through the emotion of the participants, Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin tells TIME. Franklin emphasizes the importance of standing and marching with demonstrators, rather than being a sideline observer. The photographer has to sympathize with the protesters in some way, he argues, in order to “convey to the wider public the message of the protest.

But sometimes stepping away from the crowd and the chaos offers an unexpected perspective. Protests in Kyrgyzstan in March of 2005 saw thousands take to the streets against the country’s parliamentary elections. Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak was one of the few journalists there and recalls that the momentum and scale of the event was unexpected. Within an hour and a half maybe, a bunch of people stormed the actual Presidential Palace, the president was out, and it was over. Literally it was done in two hours. And there was no resistance,” says Dworzak.

Though he photographed the dramatic scenes of revolution, the picture that holds most resonance for him was one taken the following day. The photograph shows the smashed window of a beauty parlor in Bishkek; the bullet holes are juxtaposed with a poster underneath that shows pouting red lips. I like the second degree a little bit, says Dworzak. I had the straight-news pictures of people jumping up and down on the ousted president’s chair. I’d covered the real event properly and classically. But in a way that gave me the right to play around and do something else.

While protest photography provides an historical record, it can also be used contemporaneously to sway public and sometimes governmental opinion. As Franklin, who shot the memorable Tank Man picture in Tiananmen Square, puts it, Sometimes change doesnt occur immediately or directly but I am in absolutely no doubt that photography has in the past and will in the future serve to initiate change.

Stuart Franklin , Eli Reed and Thomas Dworzak are all members of Magnum Photos agency.

Magnum’s Protest! exhibition will be held at Milk Gallery in New York from June 21 – July 15.

Alexandra Genova is a writer and contributor for TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram .

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June 16, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

Cultural imperialism and cosmetic surgery – St. Louis American

This article is personal for me. I received a call from my daughter informing me that my 27-year-old niece died in the Dominican Republic having surgery to change her physical appearance.

She lost her life trying to achieve the appearance of a smaller woman in what is now known and marketed as the Brazilian Butt. Unfortunately, she agreed to have three surgeries, including breast implants and a nice little thing they call a tummy-tuck (liposuction).

Many people get these procedures done because of low self-esteem and poor body-image? However, for black and brown people there is a driving factor that I call cultural imperialism, where a foreign culture imposes its standards on another people and culture.

A new report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reveals that Americans spent $16 billion more than ever before on cosmetic plastic surgery and minimally invasive procedures in 2016.

The truth is some of it, like the liposuction, can be achieved with more disciplined dietary habits and exercise.

Many of our young men and women want a quick fix by going under the scalpel (knife) to surgically alter features inherited from their parents. They gamble with their life.

Much of this is rooted in the lack of self-knowledge, self-love and accepting how God has made and validated them.

The late Barry White sang it in the Billy Joel song Just the Way You Are, where he sang, Dont go changing, trying to please me Dont go trying some new fashion I love you just the way you are. The lyrics appropriately fit what is going on now.

People from all walks of life suffer with this problem. Celebrities like professional Baseball player Sammy Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, was not happy with his dark skin complexion and medically lightened his skin tone.

Its a search for validation in a world that has redefined, corrupted and then marketed standards of beauty and cultural expression. But physical alteration in hope for love, acceptance and validation is shallow and temporary.

Skin-whitening products are widely sold in Africa and the Caribbean. A recent Washington Times reported statistics from the World Health Organization that roughly 75 percent of Nigerian women, 27 percent of Senegalese women and 33 percent of South African women regularly use skin-lightening products. The article said over half of all cosmetic products sold in India are skin-lightening products. This is what I call cultural Imperialism.

I say to young women and some men, dont gamble with your life thinking that the change will make you more than what you are.

Some will reject what I am writing. My niece was a beautiful young lady with a 9-year-old son. If my writing on this will save one life, then it is worth it.

I was asked to speak at her funeral service and, Allah (God) willing, I will read this article and hope it will discourage another young lady from going abroad to change her appearance thinking it will make life better.

It is better that you love yourself and live to love and raise your children in self-love, and not try remaking your body to attract a man or a woman or love outside of you.

Akbar Muhammad, the international representative of Minister Louis Farrakhan, may be reached at aakbar314@yahoo.com.

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Cultural imperialism and cosmetic surgery – St. Louis American

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Mobile museum of black history returns to Beaver Falls – Timesonline.com

Some lessons — because of scope and magnitude — are worth repeating.

Thats one reason TRAILS Ministries brings Black History 101 Mobile Museum back to Beaver Falls for an encore June 23 and 24 at its Hope Center at 918 Seventh Ave.

The traveling exhibit of black memorabilia visited the city last July and left quite an impression, said Karen Florence, TRAILS executive director, who wants to sustain the impact.

Were attempting to try to have something thats important continue versus just Oh, it was here and wont ever come back again.

The mobile classroom founded by Khalid el-Hakim of Detroit is a powerful learning laboratory of more than 7,000 artifacts — slave shackles, lynching photos and Ku Klux Klan hoods; Jim Crow-era items; Motown, Michael Jackson and hip-hop memorabilia; and African-American culture.

El-Hakim, a teacher, started collecting while a student at Ferris State University and was inspired to create the mobile museum after attending 1995s Million Man March in Washington, D.C., where Louis Farrakhan urged those attending to make a difference in their communities.

Of course, its impossible to take everything hes amassed on the road, but El-Hakim showcases at least 10 tables of about 150 thematic items.

I know that he has collected new artifacts throughout this year, said Kolbe Cole, TRAILS community youth coordinator. I dont know if theyll be coming with him, so Im excited to see.

Most frequently, the exhibit appears at festivals, high schools, universities and colleges across the country. The Beaver Falls stop will be the 44th this year.

Florence and Cole are excited to again share the experience with city youth attending TRAILS Hayes Summer Camp, a seven-week enrichment experience focusing on social and communication skills, self-actualization and pride in self and community.

Last year, 163 campers visited the mobile museum.

I feel like were all creatures of habit, Cole said, and so naturally history will repeat itself if you dont study it and remember it. I think thats important for this next generation. To come is to know what happened, is to understand the importance and significance of their history, their past, who they are, how theyve become who they are so it wont repeat itself — will continue to move forward.

Both women were pleased that a diverse group visited last year — all ages, genders and cultures.

It wasnt just attended by black people, Florence said.

Since her college days, she has been interested in black history; she, too, collects memorabilia. El-Hakims display, she said, helped her get in touch with my own identity as a black person.

She was most moved by slavery artifacts.

Slavery always touches me because I feel its the one thing I can talk to young people about. Its (slavery) still going on in a different way, she said, pointing to mass incarceration in our prison system, for example. Different plantation, so to speak.

The past has ramifications, she said.

How many years later were still having to look at what we need to do to go forward. Im not blaming anybody. I need to be able to do that (move forward) myself.

Youth need to understand the past, but not get stuck in it, she said.

You can either use your past as a hammock or you can use it as a springboard. I want to be one that uses that (springboard). What can I do to be better, she said.

To be sure, many of the images in the exhibit depict an ugly and deplorable time in American history; images that evoke raw emotion and visceral reaction.

A lot of the kids were shocked, Cole said. They didnt know what to think. They didnt know. They didnt understand.

For example, she mentioned racist post cards from the 1800s and early 1900s that demeaned and stereotyped African-Americans.

The alligator display really touched the little ones, she said. They were impacted by that.

Cole referred to post cards from the bayou depicting slave babies as alligator bait.

Indeed, slavery and racial injustice elicit anger, but Cole said anger to me is a crutch. I feel like its a hindrance.

The exhibit — and two lectures that are part of the experience — open conversation, she said, allowing there to be a deeper understanding — one that will bring healing power to what theyre thinking, to how theyre feeling, meaning to how theyre feeling.

No one can deny the truth, she said.

It is history. This is what happened. Its not a fairy tale. It affects us whether we had an aunt who went through it or a cousin who went through it or whether we dont know anyone who went through it, its still affecting us to this day. Its still relevant and we need to know where this relevance is coming from, we need to know where this hurt is coming from, where this pain is coming from, where this mentality is coming from.

In truth, there is strength, Florence said.

But its time to move it from what youve done to me to what Im doing to myself.

Through pain, one develops character, she said.

Our ancestors went through a lot. I feel like it ought to give me a purpose to want do better, not to do bad, she said.

Florence said shed love to see crowds both days at the traveling exhibit.

I would just love it to touch, to impact, to inspire, Cole said. My goal is to reach. Just to reach.

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Mobile museum of black history returns to Beaver Falls – Timesonline.com

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Pfleger thanks Yo-Yo Ma for peace concert – The Chicago Cusader

By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader

Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday thanked Yo-Yo Ma, the world-renowned cellist who sponsored a peace concert at Saint Sabina, raising a reported $70,000 for the churchs anti-violence and Strong Futures employment programs for at-risk youth.

Yo-Yo Ma, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Walt Whitmans Soul Children of Chicago performed to a standing-room-only crowd. The childrens choir received a standing ovation when they sang South African songs while performing the traditional African dance all in the name of peace.

However, the city of Chicago was far from being peaceful for there were more than 35 shootings and 8 fatalities all across the city. Yo-Yo Ma said music sends a special message in a very calming way.

At Saint Sabina, that message resonated well, but outside its doors gun violence continued to snatch the lives of youth like the two teens shot at the 31st Street beach.

More than 1500 people packed Saint Sabina, 1210 W. 78th Place, including Cardinal Blase Cupich and Minister Louis Farrakhan, to hear the legendary Yo-Yo Ma who wanted to host a concert in the name of peace.

But Yo-Yo Ma also wanted to bring diversity to Saint Sabina a church Pfleger said was slated for closure when he took over 36-years ago.

Most whites had fled the church and the Auburn Gresham community and today Pfleger said it is the largest Black Catholic church in the nation, but he marveled at the diverse audience that came to the concertpeople from every race, religion and creed he said from 156 different zip codes. The concert, Pfleger said, didnt come downtown but rather on the South Side of Chicago.

Pfleger said Yo-Yo Ma had visited the church a while back and was impressed with the youth programs. Pfleger said of the 50 troubled youth he chose to mentormany labeled throw-a-ways, 28 have full-time jobs and 26 in part-time jobs. Pfleger said this is what can be done when we love and respect our youth.

How many in this church know of someone they know were killed in this city? he asked. Pfleger talked about the gun violence including the death of his son, Jarvis Franklin who was killed in a gang crossfire on May 30, 1998. The shooter has never been caught.

Pfleger talked about the many funerals of children like that of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee, who was assassinated that were held at Saint Sabina. We will not forget our children when they are slain on the streets of Chicago, he said receiving a standing ovation.

Father Pfleger ended the more than hour long concert by giving Yo-Yo Ma a gift of a violin carved in wood and a peace carving to wear much like what he wears each Sunday. In turn, Yo-Yo Ma presented Pfleger with a sculpture of a praise dancer. Both were made by Chicago artist Debra Hand. The peace gift was made by Jerzy Kenar.

His voicing cracking, Father Pfleger said, Our children deserve to live. Father Pfleger invited everyone to join him 6 p.m., Friday, June 16, 2017, at the church for the end-of-the-year peace march held outside of Saint Sabina.

Looking to Advertise? Contact the Crusader for more information.

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Pfleger thanks Yo-Yo Ma for peace concert – The Chicago Cusader

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Pretty Girls Like Trap Music – PopMatters

2 Chainzs latest is a victory lap 20 years in the making Few rappers in the last decade have seized control of their narrative more impressively than 2 Chainz. From Ludacris protg and potential one-hit wonder as part of Playaz Circle, back when his moniker alone (Tity Boi) would have stopped him from getting mainstream radio play to a gem-dropping trap auteur with the capability of putting together a start-to-finish terrific album, Tauheed Epps tale of perseverance and gumption sets an example for any young artist looking to avoid being pigeonholed. Early in his career, 2 Chainz seemed like a quintessential feature artist capable of packing terrific punch lines into somebody elses song but incapable of stretching his skills to shoulder the weight of an entire track (let alone a full-length project). The tide began to turn with his sophomore album B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time, in which he embraced the inherent absurdity of the rapper lifestyle, but his true ascent came thanks to the trio of projects he put out in 2016: two thrilling mixtapes (Daniel Son; Necklace Don and Hibachi For Lunch) and his collaborative album ColleGrove with Lil Wayne. His fourth studio album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, isnt just a testament to endurance, its one of the years best rap albums and a blueprint for graceful aging in an industry that prizes youthful excitement and innovation. Epps turns 40 this fall, and given his late rise would have more of an excuse to trend-hop than his more entrenched peers. However, he succeeds brilliantly like fellow greybeard Pusha T, who is 40 himself. Both artists are incredibly savvy and have stayed trend-adjacent while allowing their musical personas to age with dignity like the antihero in your favorite prestige TV show. On Pretty Girls, 2 Chainz works with some of the most popular architects of modern Southern rap (Mike Will Made it, FKi, Cubeatz), as well as veterans like Mike Dean and Honorable C.N.O.T.E. to craft murky, menacing instrumentals which Epps manages to walk atop without getting his crocodile slides dirty. Hes so in command on a track like Trap Check that when the beat switches to T.I.s classic ASAP its easy to be so transfixed by the vocals that it doesnt even register initially. While many rappers display their luxury habits on record, 2 Chainzs frequent references his love for hibachi and the Rolls-Royce Wraith are more endearing than grating, in part because Epps has found ways to talk about them that are consistently novel and exciting. A song like Rolls Royce Bitch, one of Pretty Girls highlights, works languid psychedelic guitar and punchy live bass that are way more Tame Impala than Trap-a-Velli Tre. He uses that unconventional sonic landscape for both motivational aphorisms (Believe in yourself, health is wealth) and exceptional quotables (100 acres on my property, man I might hit a deer boy). Compare that to a track like similarly themed (and titled )Rolls Royce Weather Everyday off ColleGrove and it is evident that weve never seen 2 Chainz more confident and comfortable than he is right now. But while the album has its share of strong hits and potential singles, including the surprisingly haunting Good Drank and the late-night scheming anthem 4 AM, Pretty Girls also features some of the most pointed autobiographical bars of 2 Chainzs career. The album closer Burglar Bars opens with Louis Farrakhan attesting to the rappers regal demeanor before 2 Chainz emerges and offers some of the albums strongest bars. Never fabricated about my fabric, the scale, thats my apparatus / I give a fuck about the sorriest rappers / This actually happened, path in the back pathogenic / Moved that blow out like we were Afrocentric, he snarls atop a Mike Dean and M16 beat that is equal parts victory lap and the perfect canvas for reflection on the rappers circuitous path to superstardom. On Sleep When U Die, Epps makes the claim that hard work beats talent, which may well be true, but its an ironic bit of self-effacement on a record that often plays like a motivational speech compilation. 2 Chainz would never have reached this level without his constant output of albums, mixtapes, and guest verses, but the truth is he has improved tremendously as a writer and vocalist. His talent has undeniably caught up to his hard work, and all we can hope now is that the latter doesnt suffer because of the former. Rating: Grant Rindner studied journalism at Northwestern University and contributes to sites including The Line of Best Fit and The 405. He was once forcibly removed from a Grouplove concert.

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June 28, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

The rise of inflexible progressivism – Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION: As a young man coming from a left-wing pedigree, I embraced a liberal agenda which included most notably, a belief in Israel as a bastion of socialism and democracy. In the 1950s, a good progressive was a good Zionist. Oh, how the world has changed. Now a progressive has moved 180 degrees to an anti-Zionist position. As one wag put it, the left is now the congenial home of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Linda Sarsour, the leader of the Womans March in Washington and a commencement speaker at the City University of New York, clearly embodies the new spirit on the left. She has praised Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, once anathema to liberals. She has honored Embrased Rasmesh Odeh, a terrorist murderer. She has spoken in favor of Shariah finance. One of the supporters of Ms. Sarsour said, Nothing is creepier than Zionism. What is truly remarkable, and to some degree ideologically shattering, is that The New York Times wrote a fawning profile about this woman who challenges all liberal principles. She had the audacity to say that the vagina of Ayaan Hirsi Ali should be taken away, the same Ayaan who has worked so hard to promote womens rights throughout the Muslim world. Yet the Anti-Defamation League defends Ms. Sarsour. Why do liberals not recognize that the Muslim countries do not give women and people in the LGBT community the same civil rights that Israel does? For the left, Zionism has promoted Islamophobia a false critique from the standpoint of Islamists. As a consequence, anti-Semitism is rendered a virtue, as a way to discourage negative sentiment about Islam. Yet even when the evidence of anti-Semitism is incontrovertible, the left contends anti-Semitism is a figment of a hysterical, oversensitive imagination. For the most part, Jews are being systematically written out of the progressive agenda, even though they were responsible for that agenda in the first place. But why quibble? This new age, already upon us, has sheltered many Jews from the harsh reality of contemporary progressivism. Jews still gravitate to a Democratic Party led by two men (Tom Perez and Keith Ellison) avowedly anti-Zionist. In casual conversation, Jews will say Democrats represent grass-roots movements and people. However, it is important to note the party of the hard left is the government party relying on rules and mandates imposed by Washington D.C. bureaucrats. It no longer represents the blue-collar worker who built the party during the New Deal. At the Chicago Dyke March held recently, Jewish pride flags were banned because Jews made people feel unsafe and, after all, the march was pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist. The irony is that the Dyke March preaches inclusion and is billed as anti-racist, anti-violent, volunteer-led grass-roots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual and transgender resilience. Yes, the march includes every permutation of homosexuality, but it does not include Jews, presumably these are the people found to be offensive. In January 2016, a Shabbat service and reception for Jewish participants at a gay conference in Chicago was disrupted by hundreds of protesters who chanted, Hey hey, ho ho, pinkwashing has got to go. Pinkwashing is a term to describe efforts by Israel to cover up its treatment of Palestinians by touting its strong record on gay rights. What the incident shows is that even on gay rights Israel will not be given the benefit of the doubt because anti-Zionism trumps homosexual acceptance. That progressives would find common quarter with Islamists is the shocking part of this ideological evolution. Obviously, secularism has played a role for many Jews. But the Anti-Defamation Leagues support for the Council on American Islamic Relations is nothing short of jarring, despite the extent of Jewish secularization. To have been a progressive and to see how the word and movement have gone through the caldron of ideological change demonstrates the influence of Orwellian logic. Orthodoxy is liberalism, dogma is openness; Shariah is expansive. Who would have thought that the modern Jew would imbibe this logic? But as Norman Podhoretz noted in his splendid book, Why Are Jews Liberals? Jews are liberal because liberalism is the new religion of Jews. Herbert London is president of the London Center for Policy Research.

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How anti-vaxxers teamed with the Nation of Islam to warn of vaccination ‘holocaust’ against black kids – Raw Story

Anti-vaccination activists have found a new ally in their quest to end mandatory vaccinations for children: The Nation of Islam. Jezebels Anna Merlan reports that the Nation of Islam has been working closely with anti-vaccination activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to push the view that vaccinations will cripple a generation of black children by afflicting them with autism. Merlan writes that Kennedy, who has in the past claimed that vaccinations will lead to a holocaust of young children, began a push with the Nation of Islam in 2015 to encourage black families to consider not vaccinating their children, based on a debunked claim that a mercury-based preservative in vaccines causes autism. Merlan goes on to document how the Nation of Islam is a natural ally in the anti-vaxx movement, as it has long pushed conspiracy theories that attack the scientific and medical establishments. Among other things, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan claimed just four years ago that he believed children in Zimbabwe were being intentionally poisoned by vaccinations being sent over from the United States and Europe. Additionally, the Nations official newspaper has in the past published articles linking vaccinations to autism. Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammad tellsJezebel that it didnt take much for Kennedy to convince him of the dangers of vaccines and he likens the push to vaccinate children to the horrificTuskegee experimentthat intentionally withheld treatment for black men infected with syphilis. We decided to get involved with warning and educating our community, Muhammad explained. This has flown over the black communitys head. Read the whole report at this link.

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June 27, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

Megyn Kelly Vivisects Bloated Conspiracy Hog Alex Jones – RollingStone.com

Last year around election time, I sent a clip of Infowars lunatic Alex Jones to a friend. It was one of the ultimate Jones set pieces: his classic “gay bomb” rant, where the balloon-faced TV host turns baboon-ass red working himself up into a rage about Pentagon-designed hormonal weaponry that supposedly can “turn the frickin’ frogs gay!” “What do you think tap water is?” he croaks, in the broadcast. “It’s a gay bomb, baby!” My friend wrote back. “Who the hell is that?” he said. Why, I responded, that’s Alex Jones, one of the most influential people in the United States. My friend didn’t believe it. “Come on, this is a gag or something,” he said. His actual quote was that the Jones show was like a Nazi version of Tommy Boy, which to him was too funny of an idea to have been generated unironically. This isn’t an uncommon reaction. Most sane people can’t process Jones. Nor can they deal with the fact that he drew 83 million page views during election month last November, or that Infowars had 5.3 million unique visitors in May of last year. Jones also has one very specific audience member: Donald Trump. The New York Times reported in February that Jones “is apparently taking on a new role as occasional information source and validator for the president.” Jones, who once insisted the Sandy Hook massacre was a “fake,” has the kind of mind with which Trump connects. On November 14th, his Infowars site re-reported a claim that “three million votes in the U.S. presidential election were cast by illegal immigrants.” Two weeks later, Trump clearly parroted the report, saying he won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” That influence is why it was so beneficial to see NBC’s Megyn Kelly tear Jones to pieces on this past weekend’s Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly. There was a controversy about the show. Some of the parents of Sandy Hook victims were understandably upset that Jones was being given airtime on “legitimate” TV, and protested the interview. But other groups objected to the report on the more general and disturbingly prevalent view that covering a noxious figure somehow equates to empowering that person. Incredibly, even other media organizations contributed to this chorus, with Huffington Post going so far as to denounce Kelly for giving Jones a “platform.” This new media version of the campus “no-platforming” movement believes that news organizations automatically help insidious figures by allowing them to speak extemporaneously, or even to be seen onscreen. In fact, groups like Media Matters went so far as to say that the best part about Kelly’s report was that it showed Jones as little as possible: “The segment benefited from devoting very little time to Kelly’s interview with Jones, minimizing his opportunity to appeal to her audience. Instead, through strong voiceover, clips from Jones’ program featuring the host spouting conspiracies, and interviews with a conservative commentator who opposes Jones’ influence and the father of a child who died at Sandy Hook, Kelly explained how Jones operates, the harassment his targets experience, and his close ties to President Donald Trump.” This is a crazy conception of how media is supposed to work. Judging a report by how tightly it keeps control over whatever you think the desired message is supposed to be is pretty much the opposite of what we’re taught to do as journalists. We’re describers, not politicians, and the best way to convey the essence of Jones is to let him betray it himself. Trying to “minimize his opportunity to appeal” to audiences also totally misunderstands how people consume media. If you bend over backwards to keep an interview subject from talking, and stack the deck in your report with negative takes and loads of derisive voice-over, what viewers will perceive 100 percent of the time is that you’re afraid of your subject. Kelly graphically demonstrated the benefits of not running from your interview subject. She challenged Jones over and over about Sandy Hook statements like, “The whole thing is a giant hoax.” Jones offered a stream of nonsensical answers to these queries, to which Kelly asked brutal and correct follow-ups, like: What happened to the children, if they weren’t killed? To which Jones squirmed and fidgeted and said ridiculous things like, “Listeners and other people are covering this, I didn’t create that story.” After four or five exchanges of this sort, Jones in an offhand way suggested that maybe he was just playing “devil’s advocate” when he said what he said. Kelly pounced. “Was that devil’s advocate?” She reread his direct quotes, repeating, “The whole thing is a giant hoax. The whole thing was fake.” Jones paused for about five seconds before he answered. You could tell he was trying to a) remember what he’d said then, and b) think of what exactly he could get away with saying now. He was cornered. “Yes,” he finally answered, and quickly rifled through the drawers of his mind to shake loose something like a plausible explanation for that “yes”: “Because I remember, even that day, to go back from memory, then saying, ‘But then, some of it looks like it’s real…” Jones couldn’t defend his work in a legitimate setting. He wasn’t able to argue, as he once did in a child custody hearing, that he is just a “performance artist.” Forced to come up with a non-ridiculous explanation for his rants, he was completely exposed. It’s ironic, given that she worked for so long at Fox, but Kelly’s report on Jones pulled the lid back on the easiest and most profitable con in our business: winding up angry middle-aged white guys. Jones is just the latest model in a long line of bloviating conservative media hucksters whose job it is to stoke middle-class paranoia for fun and profit. The original offerings in this product line, like Bob Grant and Barry Farber, were too polished, over-subtle and often too-transparently schticky. Many were former actors, scholars or comedians who took up being shouty drive-time douchebags only as lucrative late-career options. Until the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated in 1987, remember, anchors and disc jockeys couldn’t get hired by just by being vituperative finger-wagging blowhards. A lot of those people had gotten on the air because they had good voices, or the gift of gab, or senses of humor. Rush Limbaugh, who was a little-known Pittsburgh top-40 DJ working under the name “Jeff Christie,” was an early example. (Listen to Rush/Jeff slickly intro-ing Stevie Wonder’s classic “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” on this clip, for a laugh.) The problem is that whatever sliver of talent or humor or erudition gets these characters on the air in the first place ultimately betrays them in the hate-vendor game. If there’s no real monster underneath, and you’re instead just a financially desperate comedian or actor spinning up audiences with wild tales about scissors-bearing feminists or hordes of diseased Mexicans Headed This Way, sooner or later, listeners who want the real thing will be able to tell. Take Glenn Beck. He made an all-out assault on the angry-dude market by selling breathlessly baroque conspiracy theories miles beyond what the likes of Bill O’Reilly would ever have the brains to invent. But Beck just wasn’t quite mean enough underneath. His insult-and-rage game was weak. Listen to him scream, “Get off my phone you little pinhead!” in this clip. That’s 100 percent a put-on riff by a professional radio guy who’s been in the business since he was 15 (I can almost hear him saying, “Hey, did you like my hangup in hour 3 today?”), not a genuine rage addict. Beck was far more likely to fall to pieces and start crying on the air than blow his dome and start punching walls. Not Alex Jones. He is the inevitable end to these decades of mis-evolution, the Nexus 6 of tantruming conservative spleen merchants. Unlike Rush, who clearly wanted to be a comedian Limbaugh’s riffs on Louis Farrakhan-style numerology were wannabe Poconos material all the way Jones has no sense of humor, as in literally none. Sean Hannity is funnier than Jones, which is really saying something. Jones is not an aspiring linguist like Farber, or an ex-lefty intellectual like Mike Savage, or an actor like Fred Thompson, or a wannabe rock star like Mike Huckabee. Jones is just angry. There’s nothing else to his act. There’s no riffing, no jokes, no cleverness: just pure, uncut middle-aged bile for his 78 percent male audience, to whom Jones hilariously hawks masculine supplements. He’s an epic dingbat, but one of tremendous power and influence. People need to understand how acts like his work and why. No effort to consign him to the margins is going to be successful, because he’s already burst way beyond those parameters. I understand the Sandy Hook parents wanting him off the air. But media figures should know that the fastest way to heighten the influence of people like Jones is to boycott them from “polite” company. In exactly the same way even the dullest book becomes a smash hit once it’s censored, we make inadequate losers like this look like giants by pretending they don’t exist. Props to Kelly for showing that challenging jackasses works. And God help us if the press ever stops believing that. Infowars host Alex Jones claims he recorded pre-interview chat with Megyn Kelly to protect himself from misrepresentation. Sign up for our newsletter to receive breaking news directly in your inbox.

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June 22, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

Distinguishing between allies and adversaries – New Jersey Jewish News

by Martin J. Raffel Special to NJJN June 21, 2017 Since the Jewish community in the United States represents less than 2 percent of the total population, it is imperative that we seek out partners in the wider society if we are to advance our public policy objectives. But not all public affairs activists and groups share our communitys fundamental values, among them support for Israel and respect for the dignity of all people. How do we determine which ones are acceptable partners? What should our response be to a partner who makes common cause with those we deem as beyond the pale? And should we refuse to participate in a coalition that includes one or more unacceptable partners? Answers to these questions often are difficult to formulate, and, at times, they reflect sharp differences of opinion. This topic came to mind because of some recent developments: The controversy surrounding Linda Sarsour the Palestinian-American activist from New York who was one of the leaders of last Januarys Womens March in Washington, DC, and commencement speaker at CUNY. Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which for years has been a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS)-supporting nemesis on college campuses, has increased its involvement in general community affairs. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) joined with a broad coalition of organizations in a letter calling on mayors to repudiate anti-Sharia marches led by ACT for America, described in the letter as Americas largest anti-Muslim hate group. Subsequently, ADLs national director, Jonathan Greenblatt, said he was deeply upset and troubled when he discovered that JVP and other groups deemed hostile to Israel had also signed on. He said ADL would exercise greater caution before adding its name in the future to a statement with multiple signatories. And on a trip earlier this month to a southern Jewish community, I heard concerns expressed about a prominent pro-Israel, local evangelical church working with Operation Save America (OSA) on a national program. In a March 2011 memo, the ADL accused the OSA of being an organization with a three-pronged mission to demonize abortion, homosexuality, and Islam. Before Jewish communal leaders take any action, our first step must be to determine who is an acceptable partner. With respect to JVP, the Jewish establishments response, across the board, is negative. JVP robustly supports the BDS movement and refrains from endorsing Israels legitimacy, placing JVP beyond the pale. However, Marty Levine, a J Street volunteer leader from Maplewood, said his organization takes a somewhat more nuanced view with respect to JVP. Of course, there are sharp differences J Street is for two states and against BDS but its always better to talk than not to talk, Levine said. J Street often finds itself on the stage with people whose views we do not share. Linda Sarsour, who helped raise $160,000 to restore a vandalized St. Louis Jewish cemetery, poses a more complex challenge. Anything but a Zionist, and at minimum, a passive supporter of the BDS movement, Sarsour is generally considered an antagonist by many of the establishment Jewish groups. But there are exceptions. Nancy Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, worked closely with Sarsour in the lead-up to Januarys Womens March. NCJW signed on as a co-sponsor only after we were given assurances by Linda that the march would not be a platform for BDS and/or Israel bashing of any kind. And, that promise was kept, she told me. Although there remains a division with Sarsour on the BDS issue, Kaufman asserted that, just as we work with other coalition partners with whom we have strong disagreements, we will work with Linda Sarsour and the Muslim community she represents on areas of common concern, including Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, immigration policy, and civic engagement. I think Kaufman has identified an important difference. JVPs prime focus is to support the BDS movement and Israels delegitimization, while most of Sarsours efforts relate to domestic matters that also are of concern to the mainstream Jewish community. Thus, to view JVP and Sarsour as equally objectionable seems unfair and unwise. Lets shift focus to the extreme right side of the political spectrum. The ADL specializes in monitoring and assessing groups on both the political left and right. This is one of its organizational strengths. Therefore, if ADL regards the OSA and Act for America as extremist, anti-Muslim hate groups, it is a judgment worthy of respect. So, what should the response be to the evangelical church that is working closely with the OSA? This issue reminded me of the dilemma the Jewish community faced in the 1990s when outspoken, anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan was increasingly accepted by mainstream and important African-American groups like the NAACP and Congressional Black Caucus. The ADL prepared a backgrounder for its governing body laying out two choices: 1) a hard-line approach, namely, that it cannot be business as usual with anyone who legitimizes Farrakhan, or 2) a pragmatic approach, which is that after expressing concerns about Farrakhans bigotry, ADL must continue to work with responsible African-American groups on issues of shared interest. The pragmatic approach, which enabled ADL to maintain its relationships with mainstream African-American leadership, won the day. I discussed the evangelical church-OSA problem with one of my seasoned Jewish community relations colleagues, who wished to be quoted without attribution because he is actively engaged in interfaith relations. While not excusing OSA, he observed, our community has some double standards at play here. Operation Rescue [earlier version of OSA] worked hand-in-glove with the Catholic Church. I dont remember any Jewish groups saying they wouldnt work with the Catholics on immigration or poverty because Operation Rescue was meeting in their function rooms. Not participating in a broad, civil society coalition for a good cause just because we may object to the views of some of its members, in my opinion, makes very little sense. When I was at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), our agency not only fully participated, but played a leadership role in the Save Darfur Coalition, comprised of dozens of organizations that were seeking to bring an end to the first genocide of the 21st century. There were a small number of coalition members that our Jewish establishment found objectionable, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations. But the thought of not joining or leaving the coalition never entered our minds. We would not allow them to dictate where, how, and when the JCPA would get involved on issues of concern to the Jewish community. Ken Jacobson, ADLs deputy national director, takes a cautious approach to coalition building. We decide whether to participate based on two factors: how broad the coalition is the broader it is, the more likely wed consider signing on, and how central the issue is to ADL concerns on something like hate crimes, where ADL is the leader, we are less likely to exclude ourselves if a troubling group is included, Jacobson said. We decide on a case-by-case basis within these parameters. Hillels role on campus is particularly challenging. On the one hand, it is understandable per Hillels guidelines that hosting or cosponsoring events with a group like JVP would violate a core value: support for Israel. On the other hand, Hillel also is committed to promoting an environment in which students feel comfortable expressing non-establishment perspectives and raising provocative questions. Theres no simple solution to that contradiction. Last word: I understand this desire to draw boundaries, to identify those with whom we can comfortably work in the public affairs arena, and those we cannot. Yet, I regret that so much time and energy are consumed in this pursuit; the result is less attention devoted to the public affairs priorities themselves. Martin J. Raffel of Long Branch is former senior vice president at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Back to top Back to top

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June 21, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

How Photographers Capture the Emotion of a Protest – TIME

Tiananmen Square. Beijing, 1989.Stuart FranklinMagnum Photo Tiananmen Square. Beijing, 1989. Stuart FranklinMagnum Photo The impact of a protest isnt always easily quantifiable. Though some uprisings have resulted in immediate and tangible change, some start slow-burning fires that spread gradually through popular consciousness. Others fail to make any substantial dent on the status quo. But there’s no doubt that the freedom to express one’s beliefs in a peaceful manner, without fear, is a necessary part of democracy. Photographys role in this democratic exercise has changed over the years, particularly as technology has developed and mutated, and a new Magnum Photo exhibition makes that clear by looking back at the scale and impact of protest photography from the 1930s up until the present day. The show part of the agency’s Magnum at 70 program will feature photographs taken by its members, many of which have taken on a totemic value in popular culture. Pictures such as Marc Riboud’s Vietnam War protestor from 1967 will sit alongside contemporary offerings such as Larry Towells Standing Rock series from 2017. For Magnum photographer Eli Reed, who photographed the Million Man March in 1995, taking to the streets is not just a demonstration its an engagement with what it means to be a human being, to speak out and say something.” Organized by activist Louis Farrakhan, the Million Man March drew on a well of community-based black activism and was the first of its scale on the issue of black rights that America had seen. One picture from that day shows the swarming crowds on the Mall from the perspective of three men, who sit large in the frame, looking out on the momentous scene. You know, you can do things that are subtle and say something without a lot of jumping up and down. And that was one of those kind of pictures, says Reed. It’s a quiet picture, but it says a lot about that day and the extent of different men from different places coming together to say something. The aim of protest photography is, in most cases, to tell the story of outrage or injustice through the emotion of the participants, Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin tells TIME. Franklin emphasizes the importance of standing and marching with demonstrators, rather than being a sideline observer. The photographer has to sympathize with the protesters in some way, he argues, in order to “convey to the wider public the message of the protest. But sometimes stepping away from the crowd and the chaos offers an unexpected perspective. Protests in Kyrgyzstan in March of 2005 saw thousands take to the streets against the country’s parliamentary elections. Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak was one of the few journalists there and recalls that the momentum and scale of the event was unexpected. Within an hour and a half maybe, a bunch of people stormed the actual Presidential Palace, the president was out, and it was over. Literally it was done in two hours. And there was no resistance,” says Dworzak. Though he photographed the dramatic scenes of revolution, the picture that holds most resonance for him was one taken the following day. The photograph shows the smashed window of a beauty parlor in Bishkek; the bullet holes are juxtaposed with a poster underneath that shows pouting red lips. I like the second degree a little bit, says Dworzak. I had the straight-news pictures of people jumping up and down on the ousted president’s chair. I’d covered the real event properly and classically. But in a way that gave me the right to play around and do something else. While protest photography provides an historical record, it can also be used contemporaneously to sway public and sometimes governmental opinion. As Franklin, who shot the memorable Tank Man picture in Tiananmen Square, puts it, Sometimes change doesnt occur immediately or directly but I am in absolutely no doubt that photography has in the past and will in the future serve to initiate change. Stuart Franklin , Eli Reed and Thomas Dworzak are all members of Magnum Photos agency. Magnum’s Protest! exhibition will be held at Milk Gallery in New York from June 21 – July 15. Alexandra Genova is a writer and contributor for TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram .

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June 16, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

Cultural imperialism and cosmetic surgery – St. Louis American

This article is personal for me. I received a call from my daughter informing me that my 27-year-old niece died in the Dominican Republic having surgery to change her physical appearance. She lost her life trying to achieve the appearance of a smaller woman in what is now known and marketed as the Brazilian Butt. Unfortunately, she agreed to have three surgeries, including breast implants and a nice little thing they call a tummy-tuck (liposuction). Many people get these procedures done because of low self-esteem and poor body-image? However, for black and brown people there is a driving factor that I call cultural imperialism, where a foreign culture imposes its standards on another people and culture. A new report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reveals that Americans spent $16 billion more than ever before on cosmetic plastic surgery and minimally invasive procedures in 2016. The truth is some of it, like the liposuction, can be achieved with more disciplined dietary habits and exercise. Many of our young men and women want a quick fix by going under the scalpel (knife) to surgically alter features inherited from their parents. They gamble with their life. Much of this is rooted in the lack of self-knowledge, self-love and accepting how God has made and validated them. The late Barry White sang it in the Billy Joel song Just the Way You Are, where he sang, Dont go changing, trying to please me Dont go trying some new fashion I love you just the way you are. The lyrics appropriately fit what is going on now. People from all walks of life suffer with this problem. Celebrities like professional Baseball player Sammy Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, was not happy with his dark skin complexion and medically lightened his skin tone. Its a search for validation in a world that has redefined, corrupted and then marketed standards of beauty and cultural expression. But physical alteration in hope for love, acceptance and validation is shallow and temporary. Skin-whitening products are widely sold in Africa and the Caribbean. A recent Washington Times reported statistics from the World Health Organization that roughly 75 percent of Nigerian women, 27 percent of Senegalese women and 33 percent of South African women regularly use skin-lightening products. The article said over half of all cosmetic products sold in India are skin-lightening products. This is what I call cultural Imperialism. I say to young women and some men, dont gamble with your life thinking that the change will make you more than what you are. Some will reject what I am writing. My niece was a beautiful young lady with a 9-year-old son. If my writing on this will save one life, then it is worth it. I was asked to speak at her funeral service and, Allah (God) willing, I will read this article and hope it will discourage another young lady from going abroad to change her appearance thinking it will make life better. It is better that you love yourself and live to love and raise your children in self-love, and not try remaking your body to attract a man or a woman or love outside of you. Akbar Muhammad, the international representative of Minister Louis Farrakhan, may be reached at aakbar314@yahoo.com.

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June 16, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

Mobile museum of black history returns to Beaver Falls – Timesonline.com

Some lessons — because of scope and magnitude — are worth repeating. Thats one reason TRAILS Ministries brings Black History 101 Mobile Museum back to Beaver Falls for an encore June 23 and 24 at its Hope Center at 918 Seventh Ave. The traveling exhibit of black memorabilia visited the city last July and left quite an impression, said Karen Florence, TRAILS executive director, who wants to sustain the impact. Were attempting to try to have something thats important continue versus just Oh, it was here and wont ever come back again. The mobile classroom founded by Khalid el-Hakim of Detroit is a powerful learning laboratory of more than 7,000 artifacts — slave shackles, lynching photos and Ku Klux Klan hoods; Jim Crow-era items; Motown, Michael Jackson and hip-hop memorabilia; and African-American culture. El-Hakim, a teacher, started collecting while a student at Ferris State University and was inspired to create the mobile museum after attending 1995s Million Man March in Washington, D.C., where Louis Farrakhan urged those attending to make a difference in their communities. Of course, its impossible to take everything hes amassed on the road, but El-Hakim showcases at least 10 tables of about 150 thematic items. I know that he has collected new artifacts throughout this year, said Kolbe Cole, TRAILS community youth coordinator. I dont know if theyll be coming with him, so Im excited to see. Most frequently, the exhibit appears at festivals, high schools, universities and colleges across the country. The Beaver Falls stop will be the 44th this year. Florence and Cole are excited to again share the experience with city youth attending TRAILS Hayes Summer Camp, a seven-week enrichment experience focusing on social and communication skills, self-actualization and pride in self and community. Last year, 163 campers visited the mobile museum. I feel like were all creatures of habit, Cole said, and so naturally history will repeat itself if you dont study it and remember it. I think thats important for this next generation. To come is to know what happened, is to understand the importance and significance of their history, their past, who they are, how theyve become who they are so it wont repeat itself — will continue to move forward. Both women were pleased that a diverse group visited last year — all ages, genders and cultures. It wasnt just attended by black people, Florence said. Since her college days, she has been interested in black history; she, too, collects memorabilia. El-Hakims display, she said, helped her get in touch with my own identity as a black person. She was most moved by slavery artifacts. Slavery always touches me because I feel its the one thing I can talk to young people about. Its (slavery) still going on in a different way, she said, pointing to mass incarceration in our prison system, for example. Different plantation, so to speak. The past has ramifications, she said. How many years later were still having to look at what we need to do to go forward. Im not blaming anybody. I need to be able to do that (move forward) myself. Youth need to understand the past, but not get stuck in it, she said. You can either use your past as a hammock or you can use it as a springboard. I want to be one that uses that (springboard). What can I do to be better, she said. To be sure, many of the images in the exhibit depict an ugly and deplorable time in American history; images that evoke raw emotion and visceral reaction. A lot of the kids were shocked, Cole said. They didnt know what to think. They didnt know. They didnt understand. For example, she mentioned racist post cards from the 1800s and early 1900s that demeaned and stereotyped African-Americans. The alligator display really touched the little ones, she said. They were impacted by that. Cole referred to post cards from the bayou depicting slave babies as alligator bait. Indeed, slavery and racial injustice elicit anger, but Cole said anger to me is a crutch. I feel like its a hindrance. The exhibit — and two lectures that are part of the experience — open conversation, she said, allowing there to be a deeper understanding — one that will bring healing power to what theyre thinking, to how theyre feeling, meaning to how theyre feeling. No one can deny the truth, she said. It is history. This is what happened. Its not a fairy tale. It affects us whether we had an aunt who went through it or a cousin who went through it or whether we dont know anyone who went through it, its still affecting us to this day. Its still relevant and we need to know where this relevance is coming from, we need to know where this hurt is coming from, where this pain is coming from, where this mentality is coming from. In truth, there is strength, Florence said. But its time to move it from what youve done to me to what Im doing to myself. Through pain, one develops character, she said. Our ancestors went through a lot. I feel like it ought to give me a purpose to want do better, not to do bad, she said. Florence said shed love to see crowds both days at the traveling exhibit. I would just love it to touch, to impact, to inspire, Cole said. My goal is to reach. Just to reach.

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June 16, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed

Pfleger thanks Yo-Yo Ma for peace concert – The Chicago Cusader

By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday thanked Yo-Yo Ma, the world-renowned cellist who sponsored a peace concert at Saint Sabina, raising a reported $70,000 for the churchs anti-violence and Strong Futures employment programs for at-risk youth. Yo-Yo Ma, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Walt Whitmans Soul Children of Chicago performed to a standing-room-only crowd. The childrens choir received a standing ovation when they sang South African songs while performing the traditional African dance all in the name of peace. However, the city of Chicago was far from being peaceful for there were more than 35 shootings and 8 fatalities all across the city. Yo-Yo Ma said music sends a special message in a very calming way. At Saint Sabina, that message resonated well, but outside its doors gun violence continued to snatch the lives of youth like the two teens shot at the 31st Street beach. More than 1500 people packed Saint Sabina, 1210 W. 78th Place, including Cardinal Blase Cupich and Minister Louis Farrakhan, to hear the legendary Yo-Yo Ma who wanted to host a concert in the name of peace. But Yo-Yo Ma also wanted to bring diversity to Saint Sabina a church Pfleger said was slated for closure when he took over 36-years ago. Most whites had fled the church and the Auburn Gresham community and today Pfleger said it is the largest Black Catholic church in the nation, but he marveled at the diverse audience that came to the concertpeople from every race, religion and creed he said from 156 different zip codes. The concert, Pfleger said, didnt come downtown but rather on the South Side of Chicago. Pfleger said Yo-Yo Ma had visited the church a while back and was impressed with the youth programs. Pfleger said of the 50 troubled youth he chose to mentormany labeled throw-a-ways, 28 have full-time jobs and 26 in part-time jobs. Pfleger said this is what can be done when we love and respect our youth. How many in this church know of someone they know were killed in this city? he asked. Pfleger talked about the gun violence including the death of his son, Jarvis Franklin who was killed in a gang crossfire on May 30, 1998. The shooter has never been caught. Pfleger talked about the many funerals of children like that of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee, who was assassinated that were held at Saint Sabina. We will not forget our children when they are slain on the streets of Chicago, he said receiving a standing ovation. Father Pfleger ended the more than hour long concert by giving Yo-Yo Ma a gift of a violin carved in wood and a peace carving to wear much like what he wears each Sunday. In turn, Yo-Yo Ma presented Pfleger with a sculpture of a praise dancer. Both were made by Chicago artist Debra Hand. The peace gift was made by Jerzy Kenar. His voicing cracking, Father Pfleger said, Our children deserve to live. Father Pfleger invited everyone to join him 6 p.m., Friday, June 16, 2017, at the church for the end-of-the-year peace march held outside of Saint Sabina. Looking to Advertise? Contact the Crusader for more information.

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June 16, 2017   Posted in: Louis Farrakhan  Comments Closed


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