You’ll Know It When You See It

By
Lakesha Mathis

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City Walk. 2016. Lakesha Mathis.

I pulled into a parking lot to see a young man frantically rummaging through his vehicle. Wildly searching! Throwing things everywhere all the while yelling at someone on the telephone.

As I got closer I noticed he had a green rubber band tied around his upper forearm. At first I paid it no attention until I realized exactly what was going on.

The young man had obviously lost something. Suddenly it became clear that he’d lost his best frienemy, his passion stealer, his life drain; he’d lost the one thing that was taking everything from him; he’d lost his fix. His drug.

The Dream.JPG
the Dream. 2016. Lakesha Mathis

In that moment I saw the America that promised him safe passage slip out of his grasp. This young man, America’s future was chasing with great ferocious hunger his own death.

Drug abuse doesn’t have a face nor race. This witness only scratches the surface of a much larger issue. What is happening to America’s youth over and over again? Drug addiction didn’t begin its attack with Generation-X. It seems that something in life leaves us vulnerable to the sexy illusion drugs over and again. The reasons are numerous and varied. But without a doubt it’s present.

Scene of the Crime 04072016.jpg
Scene of the Crime Hometown USA. 2016. Lakesha Mathis

Somehow, this young man I witnessed in a has come to terms with his worthlessness. Which is false. He is worthwhile. We all are. We are all here to meet our purpose. A purpose that is tied to every other purpose.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports through the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009 (NIDA, 2016).

According to the NIDA iIllicit drug use in the United States is continuing to increase.In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older reporting using illegal drug in the past month. The good news is, there is help. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please contact a service provider on the list below.

 

Help For Drug & Alcohol Abuse

 

Data Sources

National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-statistics. Last Accessed 4/7/2016.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends. Last Accessed 4/7/2016.

For complete findings, visit:www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/Web/NSDUHresults2013.htm#3.1.2

For more information about drug use among adolescents, visit:www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/high-school-youth-trends

 

 

Apr.Iss.2

A Look At The Socialist Party

By
K.G. Bethlehem 

Socialist Party USA - en.wikipedia.org
Socialist Party USA. en.wikipedia.org

The race for the presidency is now in the season of Spring. One could say “new life” is being renewed in the bid to be the President of the United States of America. This article will focus on the Socialist Party of the United States of America. First, lets look at the basic definition of socialism.

  • Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production, as well as the political ideologies, theories, and movements that aim at their establishment.

The term has been thrown around a lot for the past few years and with the resurgence of socialist candidates like Bernie Saunders, it has been getting more attention. Mostly in a negative light, since most connect socialism and communism. Both have similarities and some circles would conclude that communism is socialism going 100mph, but there are stark differences. Most notably, while communism is a political system, socialism is primarily an economic system that can exist in various forms under a wide range of political systems. Communism can not exist among other political systems; not at all. For instance; In communism all people are the same and therefore classes are illogical. The government should own all means of production and land as well as everything else. People should work for the government and the collective output should be redistributed equally. With socialism, all individuals should have access to basic articles of consumption and public goods to allow for self-actualization and further progressive movement in society to enhance the whole in the long run. Major industries are collective efforts and the returns from these industries must benefit society as a whole.

African People's Socialist Party-USA - History. Chairman Omali with Huey Newton at the
African People’s Socialist Party-USA – History. Chairman Omali with Huey Newton at the

With that out of the way, lets look into the Socialist Party of the United States of America. Their current platform is:

  • The Socialist Party stands for the abolition of every form of domination and exploitation, whether based on social class, gender, race/ethnicity, age, education, sexual orientation, or other characteristics.
  • We are committed to the transformation of capitalism through the creation of a democratic socialist society based on compassion, empathy, and respect as well as the development of new social structures. Socialism will establish a new social and economic order in which workers and community members will take responsibility for and control of their interpersonal relationships, their neighborhoods, their local government, and the production and distribution of all goods and services.
  • For these reasons we call for social ownership and democratic control of productive resources, for a guarantee to all of the right to participate in societal production, and to a fair share of society’s product, in accordance with individual needs.
  • As we pursue a socialist transformation of society, we join with others in making radical demands on the existing system: demands that challenge the basic assumptions of a capitalist market economy while pointing the way to a new society. Although reforms will not in themselves bring about socialism, the fight for them will advance the cause by demonstrating the inherent limitations and injustice of the capitalist system. As we build the socialist movement, we organize around a platform committed to our common and interdependent struggles and aspirations.

Revolution NOW

An example is their economic plan:

  • The Socialist Party stands for a fundamental transformation of the economy, focusing on production for need not profit. So-called fair trade is meaningless as long as the world economy is dominated by a few massive corporations. Only a global transformation from capitalism to democratic socialism will provide the conditions for international peace, justice, and economic cooperation based on the large-scale transfer of resources and technology from the developed to the developing countries.
  • The are in total agreement with federal minimum wage being raise to $15 per hour along with the cancellation of 3rd World countries debts.

Here is an example of their ideas on education:

  • The Socialist Party recognizes the right of students of all ages to a free, quality education in a safe and supportive environment, and of all school employees to good wages, benefits, and working conditions • We call for full and equal funding of public education; for the restoration of a comprehensive K-12 curriculum, including art, music, world languages, and physical education; for an end to all public funding of private schools; and for free tuition and full-time teachers with full benefits (not “adjuncts”) at the post-secondary level. This also includes equal access to higher education for all people and support publicly funded higher education.

Emidio Mimi Soltysik and Angela Nicole Walker

The Socialist Party of USA current President and Vice President candidates are Emidio “Mimi” Soltysik (P) and Angela Nicole Walker (VP). Here is an excerpt from their open letter expressing their commitment in being their party’s candidate for the presidency of 2016:

“The campaign’s focus throughout the upcoming year will not be on the candidates. The campaign’s focus will be on you. You are the mother, the father, the student, the worker. You are the community — the community that fights for the breath of dignity as the boot of oppression digs its heel into your throat – and you are the sacred, essential ingredient necessary for liberation. Capitalism and its defenders tremble when contemplating your power. That fear makes us smile, as we are seeing the dawn of a new era of equality, peace, and justice peeking over the horizon. Its light heals our collective wounds. It is the light of socialism.”

Emidio Mimi Soltysik (P) and Angela Nicole Walker (VP)

For more information please visit their website at: http://socialistparty-usa.net/index.html

Slavery Without The Whip

By
Shonda Pulliam

 

In light of the recent Ben Carson statement about Blacks being Immigrants; perhaps it’ll be best used to teach our children about our history prior to slavery.  Additionally, they could be taught how that same ignorance has transformed from the whip to our conversations, mindsets, and refusal to change the cognitive pattern of learning that we have inherited.

Artist/Photographer Unk. Title Unk. http://www.forumkredytowe.info. Mar. 27th, 2017

The first example of this would be marriage. The view about the union of marriage is very much still hidden in today’s society. Were jumping brooms all over again.  Our black men are being taken from us by the prison systems and the streets at rapid pace.  Single, Black mothers are left to defend and provide for themselves; just the way slavery wanted.  Blacks have not let go of that mentality, and it shows up in how some  speak about each other, “Men ain’t shit” or “Women are bitches”  We, as Blacks, need to change this if we are to escape the new-age form of slavery. We need to build true families again; the man/husband as the head, the woman/wife as the helper and nurturer, and the offspring/children, as the love the two created.

Secondly, we need to gather our children and teach them their culture prior to slavery. Teach them that fathers do belong in their homes, and mothers are not meant to raise children alone.  Without the head (father) you get “independent” girls who may not learn the value of provision and protection. Our sons get a triple whammy because they don’t learn how to protect, provide, or have discipline; all the things that come from the man… remember; like-father-like-son! So we raise the next generation of potential fathers and mothers; to never learn the value of giving those things to a family and the community around them.  When you can’t work together to raise a family then, you won’t work together to participate in your neighborhood, grow your community, or effectively change in the world.

Artist/Photographer Unk. Title Unk. http://www.justpo.st. Mar. 27th, 2017

Finally, the system is not our enemy. We have bought into the system and can’t buy our way out.  Oh wait, yes we can… we just won’t support each other.  We have the ability to grow our own foods, make our own goods and services, build our own communities and live in harmony.  What happened to the corner store?  The neighbor who would watch out for all the neighborhood kids or eating dinner as a family?  In other words, can we work together to create that perfect circle between family, neighborhood, community, and beyond?  Can we change the slave mentality and learn how to just be us? Be free?  Be new? Become more than what our ancestors were whipped and broken to being.

We have to change our mindsets which will in turn change our conversations. Passing down self-worth, possessing the ability to think beyond your current situations, and knowing your ability to create can be just as important as table manners, politeness, and morals. Coming together as a collective community can ensure that we do both.