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I’m really tired of people calling for “peace” in the midst of the uprising occurring in Anaheim. Peace, for them, is a return to “normalcy”. Well, normal isn’t really working out. “Peace” is an ineffective and arcane drug policy that disproportionately imprisons poor people of color and subjects the public to the murderous whims of both street gangs and police. “Peace” forsakes resistance, while leaving structural violence intact. Peace is killing us.
During the insurrection, there was a stand-off between police and citizens who wanted to get into a City Council meeting; people hit and kicked police cars as the cars passed by them in the street; trash cans and dumpsters were set on fire; finally, a Starbucks window was broken (a ritual at this point). People are outraged because a Starbucks window was broken during the uprising in Anaheim. Well, I will be sad for a broken Starbucks window after they speak-out against the racially-biased police misconduct happening in their own backyard.
When I last spoke about the riots in response to the Anaheim Police killing Manuel Diaz, I told you a love story. It was a beautiful scene of a community that was motivated by love for their families, friends and neighbors as they stood against police violence in their neighborhood. Children and parents were unified, taking the streets as if the shackles of police repression no longer bound them. This Anaheim neighborhood was living, if only for a moment, as if the police no longer had the right to kill and victimize them. It was a story about love’s boundless energy. That was then.
The following is a video of Manuel Diaz, 24, laying in a grassy lawn while dying from a police officer’s bullet to the head. His family and community looked on in agony; their pain is palpable.
Do we need to start a riot? Ordinarily we focus on the police after they kill someone, but I’m not going to do that. Fuck them. The central figures in this story are the friends, neighbors, and community members that came together and stood up against the latest act of murderous police aggression. This story is about community, specifically a neighborhood filled with people of color (Shout out to the Latino homies). They watched the police kill a man, a member of the community, and their anger swelled as he lay motionless in a grass-covered yard.
I like to stay “streets ahead” when it comes to music. Kwabena Adjepong (Kwabs), the son of Ghanian immigrants to the UK, is a multi-genre singer on the rise.
The young British singer gained some prominence in the UK after appearing in early 2011 on the BBC show, Goldie’s Band, where young musicians are mentored by industry experts, led by drum ‘n’ bass pioneer Goldie. – Soulforce
While on the show Goldie’s Band, Kwabs performed at Buckingham Palace in front of Prince Harry and others. The richness and passion of his voice captivated the entire audience as he belted out the first line, “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child”.
Kwabena has tremendous range and vocal control, but the “Motherless Child” song strikes me as raw and emotional. After reading his tumblr, I believe that those lyrics had personal relevance for him because according to a post he wrote, he seems to be a foster child.
Frank Ocean is a dynamic songwriter with a masterful command of imagery, metaphor, and emotion. Beginning his career ghostwriting for other artists, Ocean’s popularity exploded with the self-release of his album Nostalgia/Ultra in early 2011. Frank Ocean is the eldest member of the Odd Future collective, and has collaborated with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyonce and others. His newest album, Channel Orange, will be released July 17.
However, Frank Ocean’s celebrity has exploded in recent days with his recent announcement that his first love was a man. It should be noted that Frank Ocean acknowledged Lil B before making his announcement saying “BasedGod was right“. Thank You Based God (literally this time).
Frank Ocean is the most important artist of my lifetime.
In “Swim Good” he writes about suicide in an honest, yet subtle language that makes the subject eminently accessible.