Should You Spend Your Money On Ice Mountain Bottled Water?

By: Jeremiah Moore–Contributor, The Drive Student Blog

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Photo Credit: Google Images

“One perspective held by various NGOs—which I would call extreme—is that water should be declared a human right… The other view is that water is a grocery product. And just as every other product, it should have a market value.”
– Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Nestlé’s Former Chief Executive Officer

For those who may not know, Nestlé’s bottled water is sold in every state in America. Although that fact is magnificent, the purpose of my post is not to congratulate this billion dollar corporation. Instead, I want to inform our readers about the tragic mischief behind the world’s largest bottled water company. For the sake of time – and typing – I am going to only delve into the Ice Mountain Bottled Water brand.

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Photo Credit: Google Images

Simply put, Nestlé sucks its bottling locations dry, which includes Michigan. Yes, the same state where there is a water crisis in Flint, Michigan. However, Nestlé has publicly stated that it “has nothing to do” with the crisis. To help fight the problem, Nestlé, the billion dollar company, has partnered with three (3) other companies (Walmart, Pepsi, and Coca-Cola) to donate a whopping 35,000 bottles of water a month to the families affected by the water crisis.

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Photo Credit: Google Images

So let’s do some math real quick (don’t pull out a calculator, I swear I got you on the adding, subtracting, and any carrying of a 1). Ice Mountain Bottled Water will give 35,000 bottles a month, which is 420,000 bottles of water a year. If we use the retail price tag of $0.89 that I just saw on Target’s website, the total cost  is approximately $374,000 for the year. Now if Nestlé only has one billion dollars in the bank (it has a lot more), then it will have about $999,626,000 to re-invest! That amount of money insults my intelligence because the company owns many of the major brands that we consume, such as, Boost, Butterfinger, Coffee Mate, Cat Chow, DiGiorno, Dog Chow, Gerber, Häagen-Dazs, Jack’s Pizza, Kit-Kat, Lean Cuisine, Nesquick, Nescafé, Poland Spring, Purina, Smarties, Stouffer’s, Toll House, Tombstone, and Wonka Taffy to name a few. Nestlé has many other income streams from products that I did not list because I never personally use them. I am no Picasso, but you should see the picture I am trying to paint. The people over at Nestlé are more than wealthy – they are filthy rich and they are killing the less fortunate!

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Photo Credit: Google Images

“Nestlé’s policies are an attack on the citizens of this country who can’t afford to fight for themselves against the inhumanities of greedy corporations.”

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved the permit that allows Ice Mountain Bottling Water to increase from pumping 200 gallons of water per minute to 400 gallons per minute out of the natural wells in Michigan. The organization is quoted saying that “we can’t make our decisions based on popular opinion. We make our decision based on what the statute says we have to look at,” which means that although the amount of  pumping is outrageous, it is not against the law. This excessive pumping is deemed to be acceptable because allegedly the amount of water taken from the wells/springs will not harm the environment due to the ability of the Great Lakes to naturally replenish. I don’t buy it!

This issue is not a black, white, purple, or blue person thing. It is a less fortunate person thing. I am sure that a number of people in Michigan have $800 to buy land there, which is the same price Nestlé paid for it. What the average Joe doesn’t have is the ability to debate and slither around laws, so they come up short in this area. Nestlé’s policies are an attack on the citizens of this country who can’t afford to fight for themselves against the inhumanities of greedy corporations. Today, Nestlé is going to be the poster child for all of those corporations. The injustice of cashing in on our natural resources is being mopped up due to the amount of money and power that  this company has and the political sponsorship it can secure.

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Photo Credit: Google Images

Although Nestlé is not breaking the law, I consider their actions inhumane. Many people in Michigan are going through a water crisis, but instead of allowing access to the source of natural water, Nestlé bottles it up and sells it to them. The investment of $2.37 the billion dollar company gives to the City of Evart, Michigan, per 1,000 gallons of water they pump, is a disgrace – but not against the law.

Also, Nestlé claims that its water is sourced and distributed for the Midwest by the Midwest from three (3) major water plants in Michigan: White Pine Springs, Evart Springs, and Sanctuary Springs. This claim is a lie (well just fine print), but you can find the full list on Ice Mountain’s website. The company also gets its water from Pennsylvania, Maine, Colorado, and Tennessee. I have no degree in mapology or geography, but Tennessee is a Southern state, Pennsylvania and Maine are Eastern states, and Colorado is a Western state – not Midwestern. So, not only are the individuals at Ice Mountain promoting false information, but they are getting away with – and getting paid for – turning the world into the Sahara Desert!

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Photo Credit: Google Images

Further, the water is not even 100% pure! The U.S. Food & Drug Administration‘s new adjustments have changed the filtration laws a little. That is for another story though, but if you want to read more on this issue – feel free to click any of the links below. If you want to correct me on anything or have any concerns, leave a comment below or hit me up on social media.

For more information on Ice Mountain, Nestlé, and/or the water crisis in our world, check out:

Fox2Detroit

ABC12

Nestle USA

Bloomberg.com

Detroit Free Press

The Nature of Cities: Water

Follow Me: @chiboyjimmy on Twitter, @_chiboy_ on Instagram.

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

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New Hipster Hangout in West Town Serves up Tacos and Pop-Rocks Churros

By: Micaela Shambee–Editor, The Drive

The Gringo-Back Patio Area
60-seat back patio area at The Gringo. Photo Credit: Micaela Shambee, IG: @mickeystyled

–Attention college kids! The Gringo will be your new hangout spot in-between classes, finals, and exams. Run, don’t walk to The Gringo, the new taqueria and beer garden serving up margaritas, tacos, and fun childhood snack-themed churros (remember Pop Rocks and Oops! All Berries anyone?). Taking over the Grandview Tavern space at 1202 W. Grand Avenue, The Gringo boasts a 60-seat private back patio space complete with its own back bar.

The Gringo Patio Bar
The Gringo Patio Bar. Photo Credit: Micaela Shambee, IG: @mickeystyled

Opened last Thursday, June 7th, customers will find a menu with 10 tacos (plus vegetarian options), 3 signature cocktails including a tasty-tangy “Prickly Passion Margarita” and fun dessert options that you may or may not have room to stomach after enjoying scrumptious tacos and boozy Froze.

The Gringo Desserts: Oops! All Berries and Pop Rocks Churros
The Gringo Desserts: Oops! All Berries and Pop Rocks Churros.Photo Credit: Micaela Shambee, IG: @mickeystyled

As the name suggests, The Gringo is putting a spin on the traditional. From the funky decor (A painting of the “Girl With the Pearl Earring” rests on the walls near exposed piping), and Wood benches with a hint of North Side Ivy, The Gringo has “hangout spot” written all over. Take a look at some of the menu options below:

The Gringo, is located at 1202 W. Grand Avenue, open from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to midnight on Wednesday and Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Racial Tension

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

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Photo Credit: CourtTheatre.org

–Romanticism, Realism, and Modernism converge in Marti Lyon’s 2018 production of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which chronicles an interracial couple’s request for approval to marry from their parents. Despite the weight of this request, the play’s premise rushes the parents and the audience through each scene to a final climactic decision, which must come before the couple departs to New York together. Driven by both a metaphorical and literal timer (10 days to fall in love and 24 hours to make a decision), the racial tension in the play rises to a boiling point at Dr. Prentice’s (Michael Aaron Pogue) dialogue with his visibly angry, work-ridden Black father (Dexter Zollicoffer), then slows to a heart-stopping beep, only after Matt Drayton’s (Tim Hopper) monologue, where he finally bestows his blessing upon the mixed-race couple. Though the play is very similar to its predecessor, the 1967 film by Stanley Kramer is different in its approach to setting, plot (scenes) and character.

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Photo Credit: IMBD.com

Surprisingly, the 1967 film, which Todd Kreidler’s 2012 play was adapted from, does not have the same sense of urgency. The film has moments where the characters can at least enjoy quiet introspection, usually coupled on the terrace with colorful bushes in the background or in Mr. Drayton’s cozy study. Lyons’ adaptation, however, is marked with the added tension of a stark-white setting, a quickly defunct art deal, and Mr. Drayton’s secret vice, his smoking habit, picked up by Dr. Prentice to calm his nerves after his explosive argument with his father. The smoking adds another layer of tension to the already tense atmosphere, which is a noticeable deviation from the original screenplay.

“Lyons makes up for these deviations by essentially adding tension between cigarette puffs, the actor’s speedy delivery of lines, and demanding more of supporting characters to bring outside tension in.”

 

In fact, the play tends to deviate from the film in a multitude of ways. Most notable is the obvious deletion of any scenes outside of the Drayton’s home. Considering the constraints of theater, director Marti Lyons’ choice to exclude scenes from the original screenplay, such as the mixed-couple’s lengthy walk and cab ride from the airport to the Drayton’s home, and Mr. and Mrs. Drayton’s (played by Spencer Tracey and Katherine Hepburn) trip to the Ice Cream Parlor, where Mr. Drayton is forced to confront racism through the choice of a bunch of ice cream flavors (that leads to an accident with another African American man), are understandable, given the lack of the play’s physical mobility. However, the deletion of these scenes makes the play lose the influence of outside forces upon the couple and their parents’ decision (which the movie relies on), ultimately losing the slow build of rising racial tension that makes the 1967 film feel authentic. Lyons makes up for these deviations by essentially adding tension between cigarette puffs, the actor’s speedy delivery of lines, and demanding more of supporting characters to bring outside tension in, such as Mrs. Drayton’s outspoken assistant Hilary St. George (Rachel Sledd), and Irish, liberal-religious Monsignor Ryan (Dan Waller). By focusing all the tension between three spaces of the Drayton’s home, the setting feels claustrophobic, which actually parallels the racial tension of the plot quite well.

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Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune

However, in certain moments the plot moves along as if it were the movie, especially in characterization. The actors’ quick comical banter reveals irony and paradoxes in the play in a palatable manner, just as Sydney Poitier’s debonair suaveness soothes racial tension at every turn in the 1967 film. Katherine Hepburn (Mrs. Drayton) and her niece, Katherine Houghton’s (Joanne) emotive eyes reveal as much about hope, liberalism, and romanticism as Mary Beth Fisher (Mrs. Drayton) and Bryce Gangel’s (Joanne) performances render. The elegance of the Drayton’s home and decor, the characters’ stylish costumes, and wit all resemble that of the 1967 film.

Despite the nostalgia, the play is effective in its approximation of the screenplay, successfully capturing the sympathetic tone the film made about interracial marriage in 1967. The play comically manifests liberal hypocrisy in Mr. Drayton, somehow finds a way to bring Mr. Drayton and Mr. Prentice Sr. together, despite their obvious difference in attitude towards race, and gives the women of the play (apart from “Tillie”) a chance to explore hopeless romanticism, despite the peril of the couple existing as an interracial couple, which was a bit more sensational in 1967. Doctor Prentice and Tillie seem to be the only two that are able to look at the problem of race in the marriage with a balanced, realistic viewpoint. The characters are thus separated into three groups: those that believe the marriage is doomed, those that believe the marriage will be a success (because real love exists within), and those who are on the fence, unable to look away from the real pros and cons of the situation. However, special scrutiny is needed for Matilda “Tillie” Binks, the Drayton’s maid.

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Photo Credit: New City Stage

Tillie (Syndey Charles) is a special character in the play. Syndey Charles’ take on Tillie seems to slightly rewrite the 1967 loving, realistic, but stereotypical “Mammie” character Beah Richards made famous. Charles’ Tilly dishes out tough love, and fierce skepticism about Dr. Prentice that nearly makes one believe that the doctor is a trickster (and that Tillie may harbor internalized racism). Charles’ performance thus allows Tillie to move within the Drayton’s family drama as a person both hyper-aware of her race and also as a race-invisible family member. (Whereas Beah Richards’ Tillie wears her race on her sleeve at all times).

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Photo Credit: Sidney Poitier and Katharine Houghton in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Photo: Columbia Pictures. NYMAG.com

Despite the obvious deviations from the original film, the play does not seem to improve the original story, but rather reinforce the same message. What Lyons allowed Sydney Charles to do with Tillie, should have been done with each of the characters as the others are quite similar to the original characters in the film. Sydney Charles’ Tillie, being one of the more modernistic characters in the play, departs from the stereotypical character just as a Modernist would break from sudden tradition, and that is where the play truly shines. A more modern approach to the other characters would have been appreciated, considering the six year difference of the film’s screenplay. However, the play and the film’s setting, characterization and plot create enough tension to offer a tantalizing race issue, enough to nearly wage a gender driven war.

∗∗∗∗ 4 out of 5 stars∗∗∗∗

Did you see the play? Do you remember the movie? What did you think? Sound off in the comments below!

 

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

Chicago State University Honors Gwendolyn Brooks with 1st ever Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Festival

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

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— On Friday, April 13th 2018, at Chicago State University, the first Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Festival took place in honor of the late Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000). Held on the fourth floor of the recently renamed Gwendolyn Brooks Library, the day long event treated attendees to inspiring speeches and performances by young poets from High schools and Grammar schools across Chicago.

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The honorees, Nora Blakely (Gwendolyn Brooks’ daughter), Haki Madhubuti (Third World Press), and Emily Lansana (University of Chicago) gave rousing speeches, and shared stories of their experiences with Gwendolyn Brooks. In addition, attendees were treated to amazing performances by Chicago State University MFA students Reshay Ingram, and Jerimah Moore, spoken word community group Rebirth/Reborn and student poets from Wendell Philips Academy.

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Honoree-Haki Madhubuti (Third World Press)
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Honoree-Emily Lansana (University of Chicago)
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Honoree–Nora Blakely (Brooks Permissions)

Click here to see MFA Students Reading from our Facebook live: facebook.com/thedrivestudentblog

 

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The festival left attendees with a full understanding of the impact that Gwendolyn Brooks has had on Chicago State University, poetry, and children. Gwendolyn Brooks was known as the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize for her 1949 book Annie Allen. (Also paving the way for new Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar).

According to PoetryFoundation.org,

“Gwendolyn Brooks is one of the most highly regarded, highly influential, and widely read poets of 20th-century American poetry. She was a much-honored poet, even in her lifetime, with the distinction of being the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois. Many of Brooks’s works display a political consciousness, especially those from the 1960s and later, with several of her poems reflecting the civil rights activism of that period. Her body of work gave her, according to critic George E. Kent, ‘a unique position in American letters. Not only has she combined a strong commitment to racial identity and equality with a mastery of poetic techniques, but she has also managed to bridge the gap between the academic poets of her generation in the 1940s and the young black militant writers of the 1960s.’

Learn more about Gwendolyn Brooks at the PoetryFoundation.org

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Photo Credit: PoetryFoundation.org Gwendolyn Brooks at her typewriter. Courtesy of Getty Images.

The Gwendolyn Brooks Center

Also, check out the Gwendolyn Brooks Center to learn more about Brooks’ impact on Chicago State University in the Gwendolyn Brooks Library.

From the Library’s Website:

“Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing (GBC) was founded in 1990 on the historic campus of Chicago State University (CSU). It is named after Ms. Brooks, the former Poet Laureate of the State of Illinois and Distinguished Professor of English at Chicago State University. This Gwendolyn Brooks Conference for Black Literature and Creative Writing is sponsored by [sic] The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago State University College of Arts & Sciences.”

The Gwendolyn Brooks Creativity Festival Flyer Master Final Updated for Email
Design by Micaela Shambee for the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Festival

Did you attend the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Festival? What was your favorite moment? Who was your favorite speaker? Sound off in the comments below!

–And remember,

 

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

Event Photos courtesy of The Drive Student Blog and Dr. Kelly Norman Ellis (Chicago State University)

 

Food Desert Chicago: 65th & Woodlawn and Kumunda Gardens Closing without Warning

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

Photo Credit: Change.org

–It is no secret that South-siders constantly face the reality of food droughts everyday.  Every corner has the same setup: fast food restaurants on every other block, liquor stores on every other corner, Arab owned “Mom and Pop” grocery stores on every street. Black people who occupy South side neighborhoods constantly face the choice between 3 for $1 bags of chips and $3 salad kits to purchase for themselves and their families.

Which would you choose on a limited budget?

Photo Credit: Thillest.com
Photo Credit: NPR.com

With cuts to food stamps and increased taxes such as the infamous “Sugar Tax” and “Bag tax,” South-siders are on the brink of stretching their budgets to the max.

So why would First Presbyterian Church close the 65th & Woodlawn and Kumunda Gardens without warning?

 

Neighborhoods like Auburn-Gresham, who rely heavily on food pantries and community gardens to supplement their grocery budgets, are being hit on both ends with community gardens facing the ax.

According to the Change.org petition to save these Gardens,

“For over a decade, the 65th & Woodlawn and Kumunda Gardens have been a major source of food and a treasured island of shared green space for residents on Chicago’s South Side.

We are stunned to learn that the landowner, First Presbyterian Church, plans to close both gardens immediately. No reason has been given.

The gardens’ closure would be a blow to Southside families, our health, and budgets, and to the hundreds of food pantry clients who depend on the fresh produce we provide weekly. We will have to turn away the teen job skills and food justice programs we host each summer. Non-gardening neighbors will be impacted when these cultivated spaces revert to trash-strewn vacant lots. This would be a heartbreaking waste.”

Photo Credit: Change.org

The expansion of stores like Whole Foods and Marino’s opening their doors in the Englewood and Hyde Park areas have been a spark of hope in the food drought currently plaguing south side neighborhoods. Though the arrival of these stores are a sign that the best is yet to come to the south side, it is devastating to learn that community gardens are not valued enough to keep open and available to these already food scarce neighborhoods.

Want to do something about this? Start by signing this change.org petition: Stand for Food Justice. Save Woodlawn’s Gardens!

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

 

A Woman was Stabbed on the CTA Bus: A Word of Caution to Students

 

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

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Photo Credit: ABC 7 News

As a college student riding the CTA everyday to get to classes, hearing about a stabbing attack is extremely unsettling.

“The woman was sitting on the bus when another woman sitting behind her stabbed her in the back of the head, police said.”

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Photo Credit: Google Photos

ABC 7 News reported April 1st,

A 30-year-old woman was stabbed while riding a CTA bus on the Magnificent Mile Sunday night, Chicago police said.

The stabbing occurred on the 147 CTA bus at about 10:15 p.m. along Michigan Avenue near Ontario Street, police said.

The woman was sitting on the bus when another woman sitting behind her stabbed her in the back of the head, police said. It’s not clear what she was stabbed with, but police said whatever it was, was inside a glove.

The victim had a minor cut to the back of the head. She was looked at by paramedics at the scene and was not transported to a hospital.”

Everyday while riding the CTA, I see people wearing headphones listening to music, or peering down into their smart phones, either not paying attention to their surroundings or unable to hear anything, as their ears are obstructed by alarmingly loud music.

“It is your duty to make sure that you are safe and alert when riding public transportation. .”

Photo Credit: Chicago Sun Times

This type of attack can happen to anyone, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings.  It is your duty to make sure that you are safe and alert when riding public transportation.  Unlike CTA trains, there are no security guards with dogs checking the bus at every stop, so it is essential that you wait to play your music, and put away your cellphone until you arrive at your destination.

Though the victim was not reported to have been obstructed by any devices, let this attack be a heed of caution: stay aware of your surroundings when traveling on public transportation.

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

 

 

No Nonsense March for Our Lives Protest Highlights Black Children’s Struggle with Gun Violence

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

Students and young people gather for the "March for Our Lives" rally demanding gun control in Washington
11-year-old student Naomi Wadler of Alexandria, Virginia, speaks as students and gun control advocates hold the “March for Our Lives” event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

–Three hours is all it took for the Parkland Students to get a powerful message across to the world: When it comes to gun violence, Black Lives Matter!

Black students were not used as tokens, or props on stage for their white counterparts to refer to as an aside. Black students voices were up-front and center.

Only recently have Black issues with gun violence been in the media, used as a counter-attack by NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch. But the impressive #MarchForOurLives protest brought an incredibly insightful 11-year-old Black girl to the forefront.

Take a look:

“She stood as a representative of all Black children and spoke, without interruption, of the violence that plagues black girls.”

 

Naomi Wadler, an 11-year-old Black girl from Alexandria, Virginia, stunned the audience when she spoke of “the African-American girls who don’t make the front page of every national newspaper.” She stood as a representative of all Black children and spoke without interruption of the violence that plagues black girls.

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11-year-old student Naomi Wadler of Alexandria, Virginia, speaks as students and gun control advocates hold the “March for Our Lives” event demanding gun control after recent school shootings at a rally in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Wadler goes on to say, “I am here today to represent Courtlin Arrington,” Wadler said, “I am here today to represent Hadiya Pendleton. I am here today to represent Taiyania Thompson, who at just 16 was shot dead in her home here in Washington, DC. I am here today to acknowledge the African-American girls who don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead on the evening news. I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant beautiful girls full of potential.”

Though many people expected Black’s issues with gun violence to be ignored, as it has been recently by media and politicians, the #MarchForOurLives protest opted to confront the issues head on.

Know someone Black affected by gun violence? Sound off in the comments and let us know!

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

 

Wakanda: Country of Magical Negros

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

Note: There are minor spoilers in this review, but considering the movie reached over 1 billion across the globe, I’m sure you won’t mind. 

Photo Credit: Marvel.com

Imagine a country run by cutting-edge technology. Home to strong, precious metals that you cannot find anywhere. A place where Blacks are celebrated, seen, and are rulers, not ruled.  A beautiful, egalitarian society, where women proudly wear their natural hair, are tech geniuses, and warriors. A negro Utopia.

Black people (around the world) have never seen Black Culture portrayed and celebrated like this.

Photo Credit: Marvel.com

Being an African American women myself, watching the film was like being transported to the country of my ancestral dreams. It was stated in the film, “Wakanda has Vibranium, one of the strongest metals in the world,” and I was filled with pride and wonder. It was as if I was discovering the motherland and its riches for the first time. I thought to myself, Black people (around the world) have never seen Black Culture portrayed and celebrated like this.

However, after further introspection, an interesting realization emerged about the relationship between Africans and African Americans.

It is no secret that Africans and African Americans have a complicated relationship here in the U.S. Immediately upon hearing that Vibranium existed in Wakanda, most African Americans I spoke with about the movie immediately questioned why “Wakandians” would hoard and hide something that could help not only the entire continent of Africa, but could help liberate African Americans across the Atlantic Pond Ocean?

We could not even fathom a “Wakanda.” However, it is important to note that Africans maybe cannot fathom a “Wakanda” either. 

Photo Credit: Marvel.com

One could not help but identify with Killmonger, the US military trained cousin of Black panther, who assails to the throne to avenge his father’s death.  Killmonger’s story is all African Americans story: our ancestors were the slaves brought to America in bondage.  We can not even fathom a “Wakanda.”

However, it is important to note that Africans maybe cannot fathom a “Wakanda” either.

African countries have been war torn, ravished, and characterized by their former colonizers’ tyranny, just as African Americans were stripped of that same culture and identity.  It makes no sense  to compare and contrast our struggles as they are inherently tied to one another.

Photo Credit: Marvel.com

Hopefully, this film will be used as a tool for unity among Black and Brown peoples.  The image of Wakanda should be an inspiration for the future country of magical Negros of our own making.

Did Black Panther live up to its hype? Did you feel the deep divide between Africans and African Americans in the film?  Sound off in the comments below and let us know!

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

 

America Ad Nausea

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

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Photo Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (9072556c)United States President Donald J. Trump answers questions from the press after stepping off of Marine One on the South LawnDonald Trump returns to the White House, Washington DC, USA – 24 Sep 2017 LAS VEGAS, NV – JANUARY 18: Adult film actress/director Stormy Daniels appears at the Wicked Pictures booth at the 2017 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 18, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) REX/Shutterstock; Ethan Miller/Getty

Why are we tolerating this, our American sickness?

A President and a Porn-Star are not condemned by the Evangelical Movement.  Our religious leaders, the self-proclaimed Right, these guardians of unborn life, seem un-enflamed, un-enraged… unashamed.

Ashamed of who “they” put into the Land’s highest office– Evangelicals supported Trump by a wide margin and still do a scandal riddled year later (by about 80%.)  Ashamed that their candidate and now “our” President, the supposed paradigm of American virtue, the “Make- America-White-Great-Again” president, is caught paying hush money to his “honey-dip,” a four time Adult Video News (AVN) award winner.  A Hall of Famer even!

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Photo Credit: Google Images

Jimmy Swagger. Jim Bakker.  Gary Heart.  Names you do not recognize?  If not, it is because they all fell from Evangelical grace for– in sequential order:  a prostitute, an extra-marital affair with embezzlement to hush-up, and a mistress.  Two tele-evangelists (the Jim-Jimmy’s) and a Presidential Candidate (Mr. Heart.)

“I do not care who my politicians diddle. I only care if they can represent me and mine, all of us diverse Americans.”

Maybe in this era a mega-churches, the Evangelicals have learned forgiveness.  Money, lots and lots of it, from sinners seeking Joel Osteen divine abundance sermons will do that.  Why did Rev. Osteen not open his 16,285 seat capacity Lakewood Church during the Texas Hurricane Harvey?

Maybe as a Liberal I’m being hypocritical.  Because I do not care who my politicians diddle.  I only care if they can represent me and mine, all of us diverse Americans.

 

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Photo Credit: Google Images

America, what has happened?  It’s as if a Kremlin gremlin has climbed into the machine of our psyche.  Or it’s just a mirror reflecting back true morals.  A fun mirror.  As mirrors do, they reflect back ourselves as opposite.  Liberals act as #metoo prudes; Conservatives act as the hear no evil, see no evil, do no evil monkeys… as libertines.

What is happening?

–Remember,

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Will Republican Senator Marco Rubio’s Real Agenda Please Stand Up?

By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive

Senator Marko Rubio CNN Town Hall
Photo Credit: CNN.com

If you watched the Town Hall meeting with students that survived the Florida School mass shooting last week, you were probably left wondering (like me): why do Americans still care more about their guns then their own children?

Last week I explored this dilemma in “America Does Not Care About its Kids,” but the answer to this question took to the stage after NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, gave her scripted answers about the banning of AR-15’s: Republican Senator Marko Rubio.  In response to a question posed by a survivor to Senator Rubio about rejecting NRA funding, the Senator answered, not by saying yes, but by attempting to place blame on the constituents that support gun laws and the rights to conceal.

“They fear alienating their primary voters and the National Rifle Association.”

Watch below:

If you look at the statistics, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is a top donor for the Senator Rubio’s Campaign. In 2017 Senator Rubio received over 3 million in funding from the NRA alone.

Marco Rubio NRA Contributions
Contributions from the NRA to Senator Marco Rubio in 2017. Source: New York Times Article, “Thoughts Prayers and NRA Funding”

What is most alarming about the Senator’s response, is that it appears that money is the root cause for ignoring our need for stricter gun laws in America.  According to New York Times Article, “Thoughts Prayers and NRA Funding” :

“Most Americans support stronger gun laws — laws that would reduce deaths. But Republicans in Congress stand in the way. They fear alienating their primary voters and the National Rifle Association.”

This leads one to ask: Will Marco Rubio’s Real Agenda Please Stand Up?

Did you watch the Town Hall Meeting? What did you think of Senator Rubio’s response? Sound off in the comments below!

–And remember,

Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.

 

 

Informed, Open-minded, Driven

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