Felt like the best place to start this week would be here. I have a haymaker on the way, and the initial edit started out with it, but I wanted to ease you all into all of the foolishness I've read this past week.

Here, we have yet another case of a cop caught planting evidence because they didn't know that their cameras weren't actually turned off. I've included an excerpt from the article below:

In video from another angle, LAPD Officer Gaxiola picks up Shields’ wallet from the street and shows it to Lee, who points to the suspect as if to say it’s his.

He then puts it back down, steps to the street, bends over and picks up a small bag with white powder. It eventually tested positive for drugs.

Gaxiola goes back onto the sidewalk, picks up the wallet, motions to Lee and appears to put the bag into the wallet.

Now, you're probably wondering why any sane--albeit--terrible cop would do such a thing with the camera rolling. Well, that's simply because he may not have known is that the previous 30 seconds are automatically saved without audio.

First of all, can we talk about how great of a feature that is? It's great because it's so easy to get wrong even if you know it's there. You can botch that even if you're trying to undermine the truth of a minority's account. Which brings me to a second point:

We've got sexual assault allegations flying left and right. In a conversation with a few of my friends, we've talked about assumed guilt and innocence. How do we navigate trust and authority? What makes an account authoritative? You'll find that in the basic dualities of society, guilt and blame are placed in very specific directions. In an ironic and disgusting twist of fate, you'll usually find the victim even further victimized and disgraced, by having their account undermined or flat out disbelieved simply because of the source.

Forty women can come forward against one man and folks will still ask to hear both sides. But even in the most recent accounts, you let one man speak out and things (albeit slowly) move further in the right direction. I've had so many thoughts on what's been going on the last few weeks with these allegations that its been a struggle to keep it all organized. I've had my conversations almost exclusively with other women to be sure my perspective is where it should be. 

I wonder, when the infamous question rears it's head, where does your bias expose itself? "Why should a victim always be trusted?" You ask, is that an acceptable bias? Can there be objective reasoning that begins with the victim's account being regarded as truth first? How can we take into account society and the role it plays into our perceived notion 'normalcy'?

I'm linking the two together--sexual assault allegations and claims of police brutality--because I believe they help us take a look at bias and perception. You have two victims, two claims, two powerful representations of society that should be regarded as respectful, white men and/or the police, but you have many different reasons as to what is believed and why.

I'd like to point out a few things: One, there's a reason why a crooked policeman acts in the first place; they know that no one really believes or cares about Black people. It sounds kind of crazy, because in an idealist world, many would assert that "anyone" would call out wrongdoing. But the truth is that "anyone" will call out wrongdoing if and only if they believe wrongdoing actually occurred. This is where the bias rears it's ugly head and this is also where the crooked policeman places all his bets. He hinges his actions on the assurance that he can hide behind the badge of justice and upstanding morality. He knows that assumed morality is just as good as actually morality so long as the image is maintained.

The same goes for the sexual predator. He banks on the fact that no one listens to women. Please consider, that if society truly believed in things would look markedly different. Black people have been saying for centuries most white men in power tend to abuse it and they have maintained that society cares about them less. Women have been preaching for quite some time now that their accounts go on deaf ears, as evidenced by the fact that even when the courage is mustered to give an account, the automatic assumption of dishonesty (coupled with humiliation) is applied blankly and broadly.

So stories like this are always ripe for sharing. It's a reminder. It helps us understand that not only do these injustices occur and occur more often that we think, but that society morphs and adjusts according to who you are. (I'm writing a short story about this too haha.)

Ok now, on to the second ridiculous thing I came across this week:

Humans are reportedly being sold as slaves for $400 each on the front line of the migrant crisis.

I know that you read this and were as incredulous as I was. Yes, it's exactly what you read. Modern-day slave auctions in Libya. The investigation included video evidence, of which depicted men, the majority of which from Niger, being auctioned off by local slavers.

Yeah I know, your blood is starting to boil like mine did. I'll stop at the point where the article explained how the men were referred to as "merchandise". 

It's 2017.

I post these stories especially because this is the exact thing people will tell you never happens. You don't want to believe it. It's evil and its despicable. And it happens every day.


Ok, let's switch gears:


What I watched:

First thing I ran into this week was Chad Ochocinco on a skate boardt. It is as good as you need it to be:


It absolutely ruins be because it is as bad as I expected it to be. When I tell you I laughed until my tears felling my gaping mouth.

Man, let' watch that one more time.


Ok second, just in time for the holiday, I ran into a soothing video of some fancy napkin folding. You're welcome.


The tree, am I right? That's the showstopper right there. Elite.

Ok now on to the music:

What I heard:

I work at a place where we have a rolling playlist that plays all kinds of music. For WEEKS there was a certain song that played that seemed like it was barely 3 minutes long. It started out very soothing so by the time I even realized it was playing it usually meant I had maybe 45 seconds to Shazam it. I tried to Shazam this song for actual days. Literal days. No luck. BUT, thanks to my friend Alex, I was able to bring this wonder to you: Never Seen You Get So Low by Aquilo


A good weekend song if I do say so myself. I've found that I really love a solid steady beat. The voice compliments very well and honestly I'm just so glad I finally found this song.

Ok next is a song from an album that I have had on r e p e a t. And not just this song, but basically the entire album.


This song work for me mainly because it's perfect pace for my tempo runs. Second, there's just something about Ty's hood fab rasp that just works for me. He sings like I sing in my head. 

PLEASE also check out Don't Judge Me. Don't even look at who is featured on, it just works better when you're surprised.


Man, put The Weeknd on that and it's a wrap. 


To complete this week, I leave you a quote that I want you to copy and paste into google:

"There can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they're going to be diverse too because they're going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation."

Comment when you find out who said that.

Justin SmithComment