“Handmaids walk in two’s” review of Handmaid’s tale Season 4 episode 5 “Chicago”

So we open up this episode with June dreaming about the warm embrace of her husband, Luke. She wakes up to Janine having sex with Steven. In the last episode, Janine brought it upon herself to have sex with Steven in order to stay at this hideout.   June is starting to see how this resistance really works. June she thinks the resistance under Steven’s leadership is a weak one.  June wants to fight wants to kill these  Gilead’s soldiers but Steven is only thinking about survival. On a mission June finds out that they there’s another resistance militant group in Chicago, the NightHawks. June then makes the decision that she no longer wants to be a sitting duck. She wants to fight back. She tells Janine that they must leave tonight but Janine doesn’t want to go. Janine believes she can create a life in the ruins of Chicago, she’s thinking about becoming a mother again. June tries to make her realize that Steven only sees her as a play thing and that you can’t make a life here. However Janine isn’t letting up and June realizes that she must go alone.

Back in Boston, Commander Lawrence is trying to get his seat back at the Commander’s table. However, the other men don’t trust him too well with what happened with the children. He makes a proposal to bring in foreign aid to the soldiers in the resistance areas that includes Chicago.  In another clip, Aunt Lydia is in retirement or in Gilead-ian language “out of commission” she is still respected as an aunt but is no longer in charge of the Handmaids. She still wants to be useful for Gilead. In the evening, Aunt Lydia and Commander Lawrence both form an alliance. Actually, aunt Lydia tried to threaten him about how he worked with June. Yet they still used each other to get back the power they once had. They agree however Aunt Lydia still wants June to be brought back to Gilead in order for her to be punished. Lawerence gives her the okay. Now, Commander Lawrence has always been a confusing character but right now, we aren’t sure if he wants to gain the trust of his fellow commanders to overthrow Gilead or if he is just done with June and just wants his power back.  

 

Nick, while still claiming he loves June, still trying to find her to make sure she is safe. He gets a message from one of the Martha’s about June’s whereabouts. He tells Commander Lawrence about this. However Commander Lawrence is up to something. In the meeting room, all the commanders have decided to bomb the rebel occupied areas. Commander Lawerence, knowing that June is in Chicago, votes yes and this was actually a test for Nick, I believe. Nick is in charge of the Army and was forced to make the decision to bomb Chicago.

 

Back in Chicago, June is walking alone trying to find the Nighthawks when she hears someone behind her. Thinking she’s being tracked by guardians, she hides inside a car that has been flipped over. She peaks out and notices that it is a woman, it’s Janine. Janine had left the resistance hideout and told June, “handmaids always walk in twos”. This is symbolic of Janine’s Kindness and her loyalty. She looks up to June and will always have her back no matter what. Once they reach the NightHawks, hideout. She noticed that it’s deserted. They can tell the nighthawks left in a hurry. They look up at the sky and they see bombers. Janine and June run as fast they could they didn’t escape. In the rumble, June is woken up but Janine is nowhere to be found. She calls out Janine and hears a familiar voice, but it is not Janine, it’s Moira.

So. What will happen in the next episode? Will she escape to Canada and abandoned her mission to get Hannah? Will she testify against the waterfords? Will we ever know what happened to Janine? We just have to watch the next episode to find out.                                        

 

“What is Mayday?” Review of season 4 episode 4 of The Handmaids’ Tale (spoilers):

June trying to make Janine realize that their friends are dead

Season 4 episode 4, of The Handmaids tale entitled “milk” was pretty calm. Nothing too suspenseful, everything However we got to go into a character’s past which I was excited to know about. And Just like the week before, after the gym I Sofritas burrito bowl with chips from Chipotle. Came back home and made me a limoncello mojitio. Sat back and watched episode 4, “Milk”.

The reason why this episode is entitled milk is because it is about June and Janine traveling to Chicago after jumping a train car filled with milk. Most of the scenes that show Janine and June feature them in this freezing train car drenched in milk. So Janine and June pretty much go at each other in the milk car. Janine is furious at June for telling the Eyes the location of the Handmaids. June responds back to her saying that she should’ve left her in Boston. Both are sad over the fact they lost their friends. Then we cut to Rita’s Life in Canada.

Not much is known about Rita’s Life Pre-Gilead. We only know that she had a son who was a soldier that died but we don’t know which side he was fighting on. We now know that she had a sister and a nephew that still might be in Gilead since Moira Confirmed that there isn’t any record of them being in a refugee camp in Canada. Rita is one of those unassuming characters. Like Everyone in Gilead, we are not sure who to trust. Rita comes off as somewhat snarky in the first season, we are not sure if she is pro-Gilead or against it, but we do know she is just trying to survive. In the second season we learned that Rita, is willing to take risks as she helped bring baby Nicole-holly to Canada. Because of this, June knows she can trust Rita with the plan to take 86 children to Canada.

In this Episode, we see Rita making bread. What I noticed about this scene was the lighting. Typically, when they show scenes in Canada or the past, it’s not too dark, its brighter, it shows the sign of freedom and almost refreshing. However, in this scene in Canada it was almost reminiscent of Rita’s life in Gilead, dark with only natural lighting coming from the sunlight. I believe the directors did this to show that although Rita is free in Canada, Gilead is still apart of her. Moira also tells her that Serena wants to see her. She almost didn’t go to see Serena, but I believe Moira convinced her, by telling her she’ll get closure.

Rita in the kitchen in Canada. Making bread in dark lighting.

When visiting Serena, she actually doesn’t tell her off. She’s kind to her, still referring to her as “Ma’am” out of respect. Serena reveals to Rita that she is pregnant with a baby boy and unfortunately that boy belongs to Fred. Serena doesn’t want Fred to know that she is pregnant. One thing I noticed about this scene, was Serena referring to her as “my sweet Rita”, which I felt was condescending. She doesn’t apologize for her treatment towards Rita, almost as if she wants something out of Rita. Which if you watched episode 11 of season three of handmaids tale, Rita does mention that Serena-Joy always acts nice when she has something up her sleeve. Then near the end of the episode, we find out that Serena wants Rita to testify for her at trial. With class, Rita gets her revenge. She goes against Serena, and tells her husband, Fred, that Serena is pregnant by showing the picture of Serena’s Sonogram. Thus letting the audience know that she is not a friend to the Waterfords.

Then her part in the episode ends with her eating sushi and snapped peas that she probably bought from a restaurant near by. A luxury that Gilead doesn’t have. This meal pretty much symbolized what we take for granted. Because Rita had to cook all the time. There was no off day for her and in Gilead, you aren’t really given a choice of what you want to eat. So seeing her eat sushi, the writers are telling us that she is no longer a Martha and she doesn’t have to cook.

Noticed how the lighting is different here then in the firs scene with Rita in this episode. It’s brighter meaning although Gilead will always be with her she is now a free woman that doesn’t take orders.

I think we underestimated Janine, but we must understand that Janine is a victim of Trauma. Sometimes with Trauma, people can go back to a Child-like state. And that is pretty much what happened to Janine. She went through the trauma of loosing her son, the trauma of being gang-raped, the trauma of losing an eye, then being blamed for her sexual abuse. During the indoctrination of the handmaids we noticed that Janine tried to be tough but then was broken down by aunt Lydia. However, Janine was tired of people treating her like a little kid

Janine at Planned Parenthood before Gilead.

Although she is still a little kooky, you can see that Janine is getting back to who she was before Gilead. In this episode we were blessed with a small background to what Janine’s life was like pre-Gilead. She was a waitress at Denny’s living in a Attic apartment with her son Caleb. She was a single mother who found out she was pregnant with another child. She goes to a Clinic disguised as an abortion clinic but this is actually a center that discourages and shames women from having an abortion. This center wasn’t something that the writers thought up to show that Gilead was already in the making, these centers do exist in the United States and they are called pregnancy crisis centers. They are all over the United States and the main goal is to have woman carry their pregnancy to full term. In fact, in some states doctors are legally obligated to guilt a pregnant person into not getting an abortion.

Also in the last scene of Janine’s flashback I noticed that Janine was wearing a pair of black Nike Air Force one’s. Which, if you follow internet memes or street or sneakerhead culture, you’ll know when someone is wearing a pair of Black AF1’s, it means that the person wearing them is a tough person, a fighter. Which if you know how hard Janine had it before and during Gilead, you’ll know she’s been through it. Not sure if the show producers, writers or costume designer, knew what they were doing but I thought that those choice in shoes was interesting and I’m not even a sneakerhead.

June and Janine in Chicago.

We then follow June and Janine into the ruins of Chicago and meet the leader of the rebel Resistance, a man who goes by Steve. Steve is shocked at the state of the country. He says he can’t fathom that the United States has sex slaves. June then corrects him, saying that it isn’t the United States anymore, it’s Gilead. They learn about the dire state the rebels are in. Although they are winning, resources are scarce. In fact, Steve tells them that they haven’t had anything coming to them in weeks.

Steve, then ask for “payment”, meaning that he wants some sexual favor from either June or Janine. June sacrifices herself to repay Steve. Nothing comes of it, Steve reassures June that she doesn’t have to go through it if she doesn’t want to and tells her to go. This doesn’t mean that Steve is a hero and he’s far from a feminist, he’s just in denial of the current state of the country. Before leaving June ask, “this isn’t Mayday is it?”, and Steve responds with something different than “no”. In response to June’s question he asked “what is Mayday?” This tells us that, even though Gilead is within the United States, they still don’t know what’s going on. Although June and Janine found refuge in a group of resistance fighters, Mayday is something that is in Gilead and they are truly there alone.

June has come far in the series, in the first episode her goal was to follow orders and stay alive. She didn’t know if she could trust Emily just yet because you don’t know who is for or against Gilead, however when she learns of the resistance she wants in. In season 2, her goal was to get out of Gilead with her new born baby but at the end, she gives the baby to Emily and stays to find Hannah so they can both get out of Gilead. In the last episode of season 3, she accomplishes her plan to bring the stolen children of handmaids to Canada. After this, we notice that June is trying not to get caught. However, she is still trying fight against Gilead. She doesn’t really have a plan anymore. Janine, who was hard on her in the beginning of the episode, realizes in the end that June is trying. Even though June pretty much volunteered  to be a leader, it was something she was thrown into. June is only in this fight for Hannah, like a mothers’ love she’ll sacrifice herself in order for Hannah to get out of Gilead.

Right now we can only wait to see what happens in the next episode.

I watched the first three episodes of season four of the handmaids tale and …woah. (A little spoiler)

I have been a fan of the handmaids tale for a little over ten years. I actually watched the 1990’s movie first before I read the book in high school, not as assigned reading but as free time. Due to the pandemic, a lot of shows had to put off filming and this included the handmaids tale. But to make up for lost times, The show-runners decided to upload not one, not two, but THREE episodes on the hulu streaming platform. So after I got back from the gym, I made myself a shrimp po’boy with sweet potato  fries and some white wine and sat back to watch the most gut-wrenching show on hulu.

McKenna Grace as Mrs. Keyes:

(Photo credits: Hulu)

So I wanna start off by saying that McKenna Grace, who plays Mrs. Keyes is going places. She made her mark as a serious actress playing Mrs. Keyes.  When I heard she was going to play a wife in this season of The Handmaids Tale, I was a little shocked and a little worried.  I had a icky feeling about having a child actress play a wife. Reason being is that, Mckeena Grace is only 14 years old, meaning that they actually had a child actress play a child bride. Typically on television shows and movies, they often have actors and actresses in their 20s and early 30’s play teenagers on television. On season two of the Handmaids Tale, they had Sydney Sweeney play a 15-year-old econowife to Nick.  Sweeney at the time, was 21 years old. Casting McKenna Grace to play a teen wife, brings realism to the show since child brides do exist in real life.

She hates Gilead and wants to prove to June that she is up for a battle. At first, Mrs. Keyes comes across as hard, although she gave June and the other Handmaids sanctuary, she still reminds June that she is still in charge. She is determined to prove to June that she might be young but she had a lot to handle and is determine to take down Gilead. It’s so weird to see June get disrespected by a 14-year-old but in Gilead We learn that she lives a sad, lonely, miserable life and like most women in Gilead, she is a victim of sexual abuse. Although she is a wife, she didn’t want to be one. She didn’t want to marry a man who could be her grandfather. This child is being robbed of her formative years due to a system that treats woman and girls as property of men. June sees Hannah’s future in Mrs. Keyes and wants to make sure Hannah doesn’t become victim to this life. And as rebellious, as smart, and as determine as she is, Mrs. Keyes is still a child who is scared and isolated yet still needs the guidance of a mother figure that looks for in June. We don’t see Mrs. Keyes after episode 2 because according to nick, she was returned home safely.

Nick betrayal:

If episode 3 of the handmaids tale hasn’t told you about Nick’s true intentions, then you really haven’t been watching. Since season one, I never trusted Nick. A lot of fans fail to realize that Nick also contributed to the making of Gilead. In season 3, it was revealed that he was on the frontlines in the crusades that turned the United States into the totalitarian dystopian society that is Gilead. His alliance is more for Gilead than June and episode 3 proves where his alliance is at. Do I think he loves June? Yes. Do I think he’ll risk his life for June? No. As the season goes on, I believe he’ll become more power-hungry and his love for status and power in Gilead will overcome his love for June and his daughter Nicole.

June being a leader?

The republic of Gilead changes people, and it did change June. Now, if you remember June from the book, she was pretty much happy with her life before Gilead. She had a career working as a book editor, she had a loving husband and a daughter, Hannah. Actually, the book mentions her mother being more of hardcore feminist while June just took feminism for granted. In the last episode of season 3, June realizes in order for change to happen you can’t rely on others and sometimes you must sacrifice yourself for the betterment of others. At the end of episode 3 in season 4, we learn that with change comes sacrifices. We know that June is responsible for many deaths in the handmaids tale, she does feel guilty. She does feel guilty that she ratted out her friends’ location and she does feel guilty that Alma and Brianna have died. However, when it comes to a revolution, people will die for the greater good of others.

After watching all three episodes, I can’t tell you where this season will go. I know June will make it to Canada and testify at the Waterford’s trial. However, I’m still holding on to hope that Hanna makes it out and is safe and sound with Luke and Moira. I hope Janine makes it out and get a glass eye. Although the trailers shown that the Waterford’s might go free, I really hope they don’t. And since today is Wednesday another episode of handmaids tale is on hulu right now, and I can’t wait to see what happens to June.

The Hard Truths about Healing.

            In the past I’ve been hurt, bullied, violated. For this decade we are living in I’m trying to reflect and I’m trying to heal from my traumas to move forward in my life. Throughout this journey of healing I had learn a few things that might help others who are going through the same situation as me. Here are the the five hard truths that I learn about healing:

Healing takes time:

Healing is something that takes time. When I was younger, I always thought all my problems would be like problem in a TV show; solved with in a 30-minute time frame. However, Life doesn’t work that way. Healing takes years and learning how to cope with the pain takes time.

Healing does not come with an apology:

I have been violated in the past. I have been cyber-bullied. I have had things said about me that wasn’t true and has never been apart of my character. For the longest time, I’ve been going back fourth on how these people had done me so wrong and how they easily got a way with it while I’m still struggling to cope. Maybe I should’ve confronted them, tell them what they did and how it had impacted my life. Maybe they were going to see the pain and apologized for what they did. Truth is, people in general never apologize for the wrongs they did to other people. People typically find reasons as to why we mistreat others. Some may even lie just to justify the mistreatment toward other people. As time goes on, don’t look for an apology you may never get one.

Don’t look for divine revenge:

One mistake we make in our journey is that we think divine revenge or justice will happen  to those who mistreated us, abused us, or violated us. When I found out that one of my abusers works a CIO job that pays him 50k annually. I was hurt it had been 7 years since I had last seen him and thought he his life was going to go down hill. When I found out that another one of my abusers had started their own family, I was still hurt. Hurt that maybe if I had spoken up sooner maybe their lives wouldn’t be so sweet now. Hurt that I was still suffering while they could lead normal and successful lives. Now Karma is real, what goes around does come right back around. However, healing goes without some divine intervention of revenge. However, this does not mean you can’t take revenge. My revenge was getting my bachelors because it showed, whatever they tried to do, did not work. You have to take power into your own hands at times.

Seeing those those that did you wrong lead terrible lives won’t make you feel better:

I’m doing better than the girl that bullied me when I was younger. I’m a college graduate, I travelled outside the country.  I’m finally checking off things on my bucket list. The girl who bullied me is a single mother with a bum for a baby-daddy she lives off government assistance and still lives with her father in section 8 housing. The boy who also bullied me, was a star student. An athlete, and a honor student, in the top 15% of his graduating class. He even got a state scholarship to attend college for free. I never knew that karma was real until checking up on him. Today he’s 31 and working as a waiter in a restaurant. You’d think he’d go farther given his stats but didn’t. Especially since he had more opportunity than me. Although writing this part made me feel a little better, overall I still don’t feel any different. I have to learn how to move on in life. Or else you’ll always be stuck and never go far in life.

You can never return to who you were:

One thing that people often don’t realize about healing is that you can never be yourself again. You do not have time machine to fix what has already been done. You can’t go back before the rape. You can’t go back before the bullying. You can’t go back before the abuse. You can still be you, but you must understand, you’re different now. You can still laugh and make good memories and maybe trust again but it will never be the same. You have to learn how to live in the present, you have to let go of the person you were before the trauma. Because that will always be apart of you. You just have to learn how to live with it. Soon, you’ll be able to conquer it.

Side note: don’t drink away the pain, don’t snort away the pain, don’t smoke away the pain. All of this is only creating more problems while not facing the problem head on. Learn to deal with the pain. Speak with others on the pain. That pain a trauma will always be apart of you but if you let it negatively effect you it will always consume. 

Once you learn these hard truths, you will prosper. You’ll laugh,  you’ll smile, you’ll go on adventures. You can never go back to who you were before the trauma, however you can heal and become a stronger person.  

Why Ma’Khia Bryant’s death wasn’t justified.

As the world cheered at the guilty verdict of disgraced cop Derek Chauvin, another black life was lost to a police shooting. Ma’Khia Bryant was a 16 year old girl living in Columbus, Ohio. She was an honor student, Her mother described her as a loving caring girl. She made hair tutorials on TikTok, she was just like any other teenager. However, according to internet sources, Bryant was living in a foster home and was a target of bullying by her foster sisters. On a Tuesday afternoon,  Ma’khia was about to be jumped by these girls. Someone called the police. To defend herself in this fight, Ma’Khia grabbed a weapon, a knife. When the cops came on the scene, they saw Ma’Khia about to stab one of the girls who jumped her. The cop shot Ma’Khia four times in the back, Bryant died at the scene.

Now, not much is known about what led to this tragic situation. However, reading a few opinions on twitter and facebook, many people are were saying that the cop’s response was justified. Which is reasonable, she was about to stab someone. However, the officer should’ve deescalated the situation, not use deadly force within the first 15 seconds of being there. One reason why the cop was wrong is because Ma’khia wasn’t attacking him. She didn’t lunge at him with a knife, her back was turned towards him. He could’ve used a taser in this situation to subdue her but didn’t. Instead, he reached for a gun and shot a 16 year old child. He could’ve taken her out of the situation and have Bryant taken to a clinic that provides mental health and counseling. Instead, we have another black mother preparing her child for a funeral, another black mother who woke up this morning knowing that she won’t experience her daughter going to prom, going to college, or get married.

Now, before you say, “but…she had a knife and was going to kill that girl!”, there have been many cases that cops were dealing with a violent person using weapons and the cops arrested them. One example of this is the case of Eliza Wasani who, back in 2017, Stabbed an uber driver to death within minutes of driving with him. She was found hiding behind a nearby building holding a  machete and a butcher knife. Cops had to tase her down and took her into to custody. She is currently serving a 27-year sentence. So why is the Ma’khia’s Case justified, especially since her back was turned and wasn’t attacking the cop?

Eliza Wasani

Lastly, I am not saying that Bryant did was good. Her response to bullying was violent and we could’ve ended another life, it  would’ve sent her to prison.  I am saying the cop had no right to use deadly force. Ma’khia’s death could’ve been prevented if the police just gave the same response they gave Wasani.

How White Male Mediocrity and Tall Tales got Madison Cawthorn Elected into congress

Congressman Madison Cawthorn

In January, I was watching the impeachment trial of Donald Trump after the insurrection of the capital when a certain congressman caught my eye. His name is Madison Cawthorn, he is a congressman from North Carolina and at the age of 25, he is the youngest member of congress since Jed Johnson jr. Even Donald Trump said he was the future of the Republican Party. This fascinated me. My first thought was, “what did he do to get into the House of Representatives at such a young age?” Was he a legacy like Ron Paul or Matt Gaetz or any Kennedy? Did he go to Harvard at the age of 15? Is he a decorated veteran of the U.S. army? Surely this young, vigorous man had some outstanding quality that made people vote for him to be at the capital. So, I did what any researcher would do and looked him up on google. This extensive search led me to his Wikipedia bio and what I found out about him is less than stellar, something that would make you wonder what was his promise to the voters that voted him in?

            Madison was a high school football star who worked at chick-fil-a. In 2014, during spring break he and his friends got into a car accident that left him partially paralyzed from the waist down. He claims that this accident had a negative impact on his life. Claiming that he was left for dead by his friend in a fiery blaze. That it messed up his chances of being admitted to the naval academy. While attending Patrick Henry College and majoring in political science, He claimed that the brain injury from the accident caused him to drop out of college after pulling straight D’s in his first semester.

Which doesn’t even make a lick of sense? You don’t need to major in political science to be a politician. Many of our political leaders didn’t major in that. However, the fact that he flunked out of a major involving politics while running for political office is pretty telling, right? That’s like someone practicing law without a license because they already received low marks on the BAR and refused to take it again.

Not only did he flunked out of college, he did not go to learn. At the Patrick Henry college, where he attended in 2016, Cawthorn found himself being the leader of a well-known club in the school called “the douche club”. More than 20 people said that Cawthorn was known for his inappropriate sexual behavior towards women. The earliest allegation goes back to 2014, before Cawthorn even attended the school. A woman claimed that he pressure her to sit on his lap and made her kiss him when she was 17 and he was 19. After this accusation, three more women came forward speaking on his predatory behavior at Patrick Henry College. Cawthorn would take them on these rides called “fun rides” and would make advances towards them. One of his former male acquaintances, said that he bragged about pulling a women into his lap and assaulting her. Two RA’s from the college, put out fliers warning students about Cawthorn and not to ride in his car. Obviously, he has denied most of these claims.

            He worked as a staffer in former Congressman Mark Meadows office in 2015-2016, where he claimed to be a full-employee but only worked part-time. He is a business owner of SPQR holding LLC, a real estate investment firm that he launched in 2019, that had no income and he was the only employee. So, how did a subpar small-town high school football player with no college degree or military certification was able to get elected into congress? Through lies and pity.

            He ran on a campaign of lies and pity. In a 2020 campaign ad he claimed that his dreams of joining the naval academy and his less than stellar performance at Patrick Henry College were derailed by this accident. He was known locally as the teenage boy who survived this horrible car accident. However most of the claims he made in the ad where exaggerated.

Madison Cawthorn Claims he was left for dead by his best friend in a fiery blaze. He also claimed that he was announced dead on the scene of the accident. So which one is it? Was he left for dead? Or was he mistakenly announced dead on the scene? Truth is, his former friend, his parents, and medical records dismissed these claims. Bradley Ledford, former friend of Madison Cawthorn, stated that he (Ledford) pulled him out of the wreck while Cawthorn proven to be incapacitated that night.

He claimed that the accident ruin his plans of joining the Navy. He claimed that he was accepted into Harvard and Princeton but turned down their offers of admission but that was a lie, he never even applied. However, Cawthorn admitted he was rejected by the naval academy before the accident. He claimed that he was looking into wheelchair racing and was looking to competing in the paralympics but he wasn’t performing on a competition level. Also he blames the brain injury he has as the cause of him flunking out but not the fact that he was trying to chase some tail and publicly outed as a campus creep. It’s also weird how a man who thinks his brain injury made him “less intelligent” thinks he’s the perfect candidate for congress.

            Now, I know we should all be looking at this Madison Cawthorn’s journey from car wreckage to the House of Representatives as inspiring but it’s not. He’s nothing to aspire to. This man, other than working in Congressman Meadows’s office part-time (which I don’t even know how he was able to pull that off), was not qualified to hold office. He lied his way into Public Office. And the funny thing is, He was able to win over 2 candidates. A qualified military vet, morris davis, claiming he wasn’t patriotic enough and ran a smear campaign against Lynda Bennett saying that she was a “never trumper”. While Madison Cawthorn painted himself as this bright, young, example of the all-American boy and a war hero even though he never served this country. Voters in North Carolina voted in someone whose only qualification is what? Chick-fil-a and high school football?!

Madison Cawthorn is an example of how white male mediocrity is often rewarded and how the rest of us must work double or even triple to get a quarter of what he was given. White women and people of color often have to prove ourselves exceptional just to get to where Cawthorn is and still aren’t respected or held in high regard. People consider AOC “under-qualified” because she was a bartender but fail to realize she graduated from Boston University with a degree in economics and with honors. But Madison Cawthorn with his reputation as a campus creep was tooottally qualified to run for office. Am I saying that we should only pick politicians who at least have bachelors degrees? No. Am I saying that all white men are mediocre? No. I am just pointing out the double standard. Madison Cawthorn became the youngest elected congressman since Jed Johnson Jr through being mediocre. And if this is the future of the Republican Party then the party is truly a joke.

Edit: I also added that Cawthorn’s parents even said he lied about the accident

Source: thenation.com ,Mic.com, citizen-times.com

Black people shouldn’t be exceptional to prove our humanity.

Minnesota is in the news again. This time, for the police killing of another Black man just ten miles from where George Floyd lost his life last year. Of course, just like George Floyd, this victim has already having is character destroyed by the conservative trolls on social media. While it is true that Daunte Wright did have a warrant out for his arrest, it wasn’t as dangerous as people make it seem. In 2019, the then Daunte Wright was arrested for possession of marijuana, he plead guilty. He was ordered to pay a fine of $75 plus $81 in fees. He was put on a payment plan but during the pandemic, he had defaulted in payments and it had went to collections. Because of this, they opened a warrant for his arrest. A warrant for his arrest in a city that decriminalized marijuana. A warrant for his over a single joint, in a country which more than 60% support legalizing marijuana.

However, this isn’t the first time they tried to ruin a black person’s character to justify killing them. They did it to George Floyd by painting him as a drug-addict who robbed a pregnant woman, which had been proven false. They did it to Ahmuad Arbery trying to make him look like a criminal for bringing a gun to an after school event years before his death. They did it to, Breonna Taylor simply because her ex boyfriend was a drug-dealer which social media had claimed she was involved in drug-dealing, which as proven false by her ex-boyfriend. They did it at the trial of George Zimmerman painting his victim, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, as a violent marijuana-smoking teenager, when neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman shot him on his way home from the convenience store.

Most of these accusations do not even support the reason for the use of deadly force. These cops and vigilantes lives weren’t in danger. Breonna Taylor was sleeping, Ahmuad Arbery was running, George Floyd was already on the ground with handcuffs behind his back. Why must we, as black people, must be cookie-cutter to be worthy of humanity? How come if we, or a family member does one thing wrong, we are deemed as violent and our deaths “well deserved”? When white men commit atrocities, we still try to make them seem innocent. When Brock Turner went to trial for the rape at a frat party, the media painted him as an innocent upper middle-class school boy with a bright future. They said that Atlanta spa mass shooter, Robert Aaron Long, was “just having a bad day”. They painted Ethan Couch as a victim of his own privilege because he couldn’t he couldn’t understand how his underage drinking and drunk driving killed four people and gave one of his friends permanent brain damage.

When white men commits a crime against humanity, we humanize him. We talk about the sports team he was on, his activities involving church, or how he wanted to go into the army. When we speak on the murder of a black person, we often justify their death with their past. We bring up anything that they did in their lifetime that was bad. Even if it was something as small as smoking marijuana, we use that against them to make it seem that they were a burden to this world. They brought up Trayvon’s use of marijuana but didn’t bring up his hopes of becoming a aviator. They’ll bring up how Breonna Taylor may have been involved in dealing drugs but won’t talk about how she was an award-winning EMT. They’ll speak on Oscar Grant’s stint in jail, the fact that he was a high school dropout but not how he was a loving father who was trying to change his life around. This is all just to rob us of our humanity.

Thing is, Daunte Wright wasn’t the first black person to lose his life to police brutality and he most definitely isn’t going to be the last. However, We must hold these vigilantes and police officers accountable instead of trying to blame the victim for their death.

The Reckoning of 2000’s Media:

Janet jackson at the 2003 superbowl with Justin Timberlake.

I am a 90’s baby that grew up in the early 2000’s. Back when I was a kid, I didn’t know how much media had an effect on me. I can say I was heavily influenced by the misogyny and double-standards of the 2000s.  I was taught that Paris Hilton was a ditsy blonde slut for having been 19 having sex on camera with a 33 year old musician and having that sex tape go viral. I was taught that the teen girls on Maury were crazy and slutty for having sex with grown men. I was taught that Britney Spears was just being wild and reckless. I was taught that the harsh treatment of  Janet Jackson was exposed nipple at the 2003 Super Bowl was justified. That it was okay for her career to be ruined by it. I was taught that those teenaged girls that R-Kelly preyed upon knew what they were doing. Even at 15, I was taught girls Like Amanda Todd “deserved to kill herself” because she showed her breasts on camera. I was taught that I shouldn’t have any sympathy for these women and girls. 

However, I wasn’t taught the double standards of it. We never asked why Maury wasn’t exposing the pedophiles that were having sex with these little girls. Also, How come there was never any segments on wild teen boys? I can recall a few episodes but most of the time the focus was on teen girls. How come we let R-Kelly go free and still held him in high regard years after that sex tape with a 14-year-old girl went in the mainstream? How come we never took into account Britney Spears’s mental State? How come we often joked about rape and took sexual harassment as a regular thing that doesn’t need attention? Why did we Chastise famous women like Whitney Houston and  Courtney Love for their drug addictions but thought men like thought men like  Russell Brand and Robert Downey Jr. needed sympathy?

Almost 20 years too late Justin Timberlake finally addressed and admitted fault to Janet Jackson and Britney Spears in light of the 2021 Documentary, “Framing Britney Spears”, which described in great detail how much of a misogynistic jerk Justin Timberlake was to pop star and how he contributed to her mental breakdown. He also was spared criticism for being the one that exposed Janet Jackson’s boob while Jackson’s Career was scarred from that incident. He has also done other things that should’ve got him cancelled a long time ago. 

With all the talk over social media about early 2000’s and it’s treatment toward famous women, I can finally say that the 2000’s have reached it’s day of reckoning. Now, we can’t go back to the past and change what had happened. We can’t change the attitudes we felt during that moment in time. However, we must realize that there will be more leaked sex tapes, there will be more exposed nude photos, there will be more men trying to defame or shame women we see in the limelight. Our response is that we should start holding more men accountable for their treatment toward women. We should start canceling and exposing the men and women who put out nudes and sex videos without the person’s consent. To the women who think “that can never be me”,  you should show more solidarity to the women being humiliated online because if it can happen to her, it can happen to you too. 

Why skinny-shaming isn’t the same as fat-shaming.

I was once a fat girl. I first came to realize this when I was just kid. I was 10 years old, it was Friday and we had pizza. The school had done a physical a week prior and had wrote to my mother that I was obese. According to them I was 134 lbs when I should’ve been around 90-110lbs at the time. Instead of my mother allowing me to go outside to play and tried changing my diet, she scolded me. She blamed me for my weight and was ashamed that I was fat. She did all this while I was eating pizza. My mother after having 3 kids never thought of a healthy lifestyle for her family. That’s when my struggle with my weight began. 

In high school, I was around 140-150lbs. However, I wasn’t eating lunch at school. In college, I discovered I was 5’0 and 154lbs. In 2018 I went on a fitness and health journey and lost 32 lbs. Besides my new found confidence, I was treated better when I was in public. People who knew me when I was fat, commented on my weight loss saying I looked better. Because of the treatment I was getting I for one, can tell you that skinny-shaming is not nearly the same as fat-shaming. 

Now there was two times in my life where I lost weight. One was on my health journey back in 2018.  The other was in 2015, when I had just transferred to Virginia State University. I was literally on a diet of coffee and cigarettes everyday and very rarely was I eating food. I didn’t feel it but I had lost weight due to stress, anxiety, and depression. I had developed an eating disorder. When I came back home, my family and friends although few were concerned for my health, a lot more people asked me “what my secret was” to my weight loss.  I do take into account how people knew how much I wanted to lose weight.  Point is, no one told me that I was unhealthy when I was skinny. 

The point that I am trying to convey is that being fat-shamed is not just how people find you unattractive because you’re fat. When we think of fat we don’t think of healthy. Trust me, if you’re fat you’re not healthy. When we think of fat we think lazy, lower-class, unattractive, unhygienic, dumb etc. Fat people, for the longest time, were the butt of jokes. Fat men were looked at as stupid and neglectful while fat women were seen as desperate and unworthy of love. 

Even in real life, a fat person faces more discrimination based on their appearance than someone of an average or healthy weight. Fat people have more likely to be discriminate against and have harder time finding work and earn less.  They are taken less seriously and treated harsher in hospitals when seeking treatment. This is especially true amongst women. I knew someone in high school, who couldn’t get a job at Abercrombie because they overheard the manager say that they weren’t gonna hire someone as big as her.

            Unless the person is as skinny as Youtuber, Eugenia Cooney, no one really comments on a skinny person’s lifestyle because they just assume they are more active and living healthily. A skinny person can eat unhealthy processed  foods such as pizza or Chinese take out, a skinny person can do drugs like cocaine and no one would assume that they’re unhealthy. Yet a fat person can just exist and people believe they aren’t doing nothing to better themselves. 

            We shouldn’t bully others simply because of their appearance. However, Fat people go through more likely to be discriminated against than thinner people.  To act like skinny-shaming is on the same level as  fat-shaming is ignoring this problem. Yes, we are all judged by our appearances but most go beyond the point of just name calling and belittlement. 

All dogs go to heaven: Why DMX’s death should highlight why we must stop glorifying child abuse.

I wasn’t gonna right this post until next week. Originally, I saw a video on Tik-Tok. Where a black man gloried being hit with by a belt when he was a kid. He called it discipline. Many other folks agreed. Because apparently since you didn’t end up in prison and a the psych ward everything is good and those whippings set you straight, right? I immediately thought of DMX and how his abusive childhood was one of the reasons he got addicted to drugs. In the song, “Slippin’”, DMX, speaks on his turbulent childhood. How his mother and her boyfriends would physically abuse him. How he started doing drugs in his early teens and found comfort in the stray dogs on the streets just to escape the abuse happening at home. This addiction that he was fighting ultimately lead to his death yesterday Friday, April 9th, 2021 at the age of 50.

There are many studies done by experienced child psychologists on. The topic of child abuse. These studies have shown that there is no connection between spankings and improved behavior. It doesn’t show children the severity in their actions but it does show them how to hide from their parents. It also shows kids that they should solve their problems with aggression or fight-or-flight response. Abuse gives children low-self esteem, thinking that they are the problem. 1/3 of addicts had experienced child abuse.

I know people dealing with or had dealt with drug-addiction that stemmed from childhood abuse. My uncle Cedric, became addicted to crack-cocaine when he came to the United States in the 1980’s, however his road to addiction started way before he came to America. My grandmother was known to be abusive to her children. She was a strict Pentecostal who use to wake up her children by whipping them on Sundays.

Even when I was a child and faced corporal punishment, it didn’t make me a good student in school. I was facing truancy problems, My grades never improved. I never even liked math or doing homework because my mother was frustrated over the fact that I was not understanding my assignments. Even some of the kids that I knew who are for corporal punishment because they went through it didn’t even turn out that great. Some, during their teens and early 20’s, who got in trouble with the law a lot. Many were of whom were the most disrespectful to the teachers.

It pains me as a young millennial, to see other millennials being pro-spanking children. We are supposed to do better than the previous generation. Yet here we are setting up the same system of punishment that didn’t do any of us good. Also, if you come across this article ask yourself, “how did spanking help me?”

And while asking this question, answer these as well:

  1. Did I go to my parents in looking for advice or didn’t talk to them because of fear that i may get hit?
  2. Do I flinch anytime someone raises their voice at me?
  3. Are you able to empathize or are emotionally inept?
  4. Are you a people pleaser?
  5. How many times have your parents preached against underaged drinking no marijuana but you participated in that?

Think about these questions before you speak on how “positive” corporal punishment is. We need to break this cycle of abuse!!