Politics

How Public Enemy Changed the Way I See the World

It may seem like hyperbole to say that a music act can alter one’s worldview in a significant way, but anyone who knows me knows that music is an incredibly important, often powerful part of my life – and “powerful” is as apt a term as any for what Public Enemy has to offer. After all, Public Enemy changed the way I see the world. For those only passingly familiar with them, Public Enemy is a now legendary hip hop group best known for songs like Fight the Power, Bring the Noise, and 911 Is a Joke. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, making them a crossover powerhouse who may not have burned up the charts – they’ve…
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The Myth of the Assimilating Immigrant, Speaking English, and Eroding Americana

Discussions about immigration are funny. They tend to focus on the same small handful of heartfelt pleas; arguments about losing our culture, griping that immigrants don’t learn the language (“the language” being English), and the idea that immigrants of the past used to come here and work hard to assimilate themselves into American culture. As we’re about to discover, that last part is largely a myth. First, a word on the language. The United States has no official language. Never has. As immigration has increased from non-European countries, there have also been increasing calls for a national language, thus far to no avail. Some individual states do, 32 of them in all, but not the United States itself. Our documents are written in English, and…
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BREAKING: exclusive transcript of Donald Trump’s meeting with President Obama!

As everyone knows, President-elect Donald Trump met with President Obama today to discuss the transition and get that complicated ball rolling. The meeting happened behind closed doors, but thanks to some inside connections with a few journalist friends inside the Beltway, I was able to procure a transcript. Enjoy: OBAMA: Mr. President-elect, welcome to the White House. I’m glad you could join us today and hope we can make this transition of power be as smooth as possible. TRUMP: It’s good to be here. So good. Good like you wouldn’t believe. I just know that I am going to be sick of how good it is, that’s how good it’s going to be. OBAMA: The transition can be difficult. There is a lot of work…
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Donald Trump, aka the easy way to lose respect for people you like

There is no sense in trying to be diplomatic about this: If you still support Donald Trump for president in August of 2016, I have zero respect for your thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. I might like you. I may enjoy being around you. I may even consider you an important part of my life. But failing the Trump Test ensures that I have absolutely zero respect for your views, your (apparantly nonexistent) critical thinking skills, and pretty much anything you have to say about anything more important than your favorite fast food French fries. Yes, I realize that by opening this way anyone who supports or who is thinking about supporting Donald Trump will not only be insulted and offended, and that I may lose the goodwill…
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“Why don’t Muslims protest against ISIS?” and other idiotic questions

It’s exceedingly rare that I stray into politics here, or on any public forum, for that matter — you know what they say about sleeping with dogs — but a few comments I’ve seen online the last few days have caused my knee to jerk. Need to get this out of my system. In the wake of the horrific attack in Orlando, Florida, the conversation looks much the same as it does every time there is a mass shooting. The same debate about guns. The same debate about rights. The same endless talking in circles. The same reductive, mindless repetition of the same thoughtless, meme-driven arguments by people on all sides. It’s incredibly tiresome, especially when the ground is stained with the blood of innocent…
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