SaM Blog Update (June 30, 2017)

blog update, June, July, 2017

In the middle of doing research for today’s Famous Sayings post, I think I need to take some time to give my readers another blog update.

This month was a little slow in regards to actually making posts, but I tend to do better when I have an actual schedule. I’m in the process of moving, but I know I will be able to make some posts at least for the first week of July. I will make a working schedule anyway so I can challenge myself and see what I can do.

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A Look at U.S. Crime Rates and More

U.S. crime rates, arrests, FBI statistics, school-to-prison-pipeline, poverty, race, narratives, Write Anything Wednesday

Last week, I talked about my thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement. A week before that, I talked about the 1994 crime bill, an op-ed from 2016, and a briefly addressed why I hated the types of comments the subject matter addressed. In particular, I wanted to take the opportunity to broadly address those comments because they are usually written by people who want to highlight who black people are overrepresented in terms of U.S. crime rates.

It is well known that black Americans are arrested more for various crimes despite only accounting for a little over 13% of overall U.S. population (according to the 2010 census). For example, blacks were arrested more for murder and so-called black-on-black crime occurs at a higher relative percentage than white-on-white crime in years where these statistics were tracked. However, this data is also skewed by people who want to support a specific narrative. At the same time, other statistics are largely ignored.

To fully have this discussion, we need to not only look at federal statistics, but look at the following:

  • Incarceration and conviction rates.
  • The School-to-Prison Pipeline (including uneven punishments and convictions for minority youths).
  • The effects of poverty on U.S. crime rates, and;
  • As a bonus, “Officer-involved” shootings.

This should give us more of a complete picture of what is going on and give no one an excuse to avoid an open and honest debate. However, more needs to be said about institutional problems in the American justice system.

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These Might Be My Top 2 Issues, Plus Videos I Want to Share

These-Might-Be-My-Top-2-Issues-Plus-Videos-I-Want-to-Share

I’m currently doing research for future topics, but I want to make this post tonight about two things close to my heart. Sometime last year, I shared 10 issues I consider the most important, but my personal top 2 issues may be voting rights and net neutrality. As such, I want to share some really important videos I have viewed this month.

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Famous Sayings: #67 — ‘Hell Hath No Fury…’

June 23, 2017

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

hell hath no fury, like a woman scorned, William Congreve, The Mourning Bride. famous sayings

I think I might have heard this while watching an episode of The Wonder Years. It turns out I did, but I needed to do a search to jog my memory.

During season 2 of the show, Kevin Arnold (played by Fred Savage) broke up with a girl named Becky Slater. Shortly afterward, he started going out with his first love, Winner Cooper (played by Danica McKellar).

Well, it turns out Kevin had talked about his friends (including Winnie) while he was trying to impress Becky. So since Becky was now hurting, she was likely to try to hurt Kevin like he hurt her. At one point, I believe I saw the camera pan to the girl’s eyes, and that’s when the narrator (older Kevin, voiced by Daniel Stern), ultimately uttered the line, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

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What I Think About the Black Lives Matter Movement

Black Lives Matter, Jesse Williams, race relations
In 2016, actor Jesse Williams gave an impassioned speech about race relations. He specifically praised the Black Lives Matter movement.

I agree with the message Black Lives Matter espouses, but I’m not in agreement with the overall movement.

This was the position I took for the most part, although this movement was started nearly 4 years ago. I rarely looked into news items involving BLM. So, I couldn’t really know how I felt until I did some much-needed research.

How do I feel about the Black Lives Matter Movement now? It was not an easy question to answer, but I have always taken exception to criticism of its overriding message and the overall movement.

For example:

On April 9, 2016, I came across an article by Marjorie Romeyn-Sanabria. The article was entitled, “Why Bill Clinton Is Right About Black Lives Matter.” I didn’t really care for the article, but some of the comments it garnered were even worse.

Originally, I had planned on pulling a few passages from the article and discussing them. But instead, I made a list to give myself time to gather my thoughts on the issue. Unfortunately, I never made the time to start writing about my thoughts until now. But I did go back and examine the one-year-old article, here.

One reason I wanted to make this post (and series of posts, starting with a review of the 1994 crime bill) was because of articles like the one from Romeyn-Sanabria. I feel that the content and the comments left under the article were dripping with ignorance and obfuscation.

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I Want to Commemorate Juneteenth

Emancipation Day celebration - 1900-06-19

It’s June 19 where I am, so I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about the holiday known as Juneteenth in the United States.

Unfortunately, Juneteenth is rarely discussed overall, although it is a paid holiday in Texas and it is celebrated in 45 states.

In all honesty, I never knew about this holiday until I read about it in a newspaper after I had graduated high school. In history books, the Emancipation Proclamation was cited as marking the end of slavery. Nary was there a mention of Juneteenth.

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How Many Mass Shootings Have There Been So Far in 2017?

mass shootings, Steve Scalise, gun control, violence, Alexandria VA, congressional baseball game
A day after at least two mass shootings occurred (including one in Alexandria, VA), House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi talked about unity. [Image take via a screenshot.]
Following the news coming out of Alexandria, VA, much has been discussed. For one thing, many people have discussed gun control. Many more have discussed the politics of the situation. But few people are discussing the number of mass shootings in the United States.

First of all, I wish a speedy recovery for everyone who was injured in Alexandria. While these are trying times, this is a reminder of how destructive violence can be. I can only imagine how scared the people on that baseball field were, especially since their colleagues and a some police officers were hit. And there were children in the vicinity.

Now, while I have been reading up on the recent shooting in Virginia, I would like to talk about the larger issue of mass shootings — before getting to the politics and policy discussion.

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Famous Sayings: #66 — ‘Like Father, Like Son’

June 16, 2017

He has taken to baseball, as his father did. Like father, like son.

like father like son, like mother like daughter, Father's Day, Famous Sayings

In order to commemorate Father’s Day, which is this Sunday, I decided to look at this quote. It’s also a two-for-one, since the sister quote “like mother, like daughter” has its own origin.

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Let’s Look Back at the 1994 Crime Bill

1994 crime bill, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, April 2016, Philadelphia, Black Lives Matter, Write Anything Wednesday, prison population

In the early half of 2016, the subject of the 1994 crime bill dogged Hillary Clinton’s campaign — until it was eclipse by other matters. The attention was however placed on Clinton as her husband, Bill, signed it into law and Hillary gave her unyielding support to it at the time.

In a 1996 speech, Mrs. Clinton hit upon a couple of buzzwords in defense of the 1994 law; those were eventually used against her. In particular, Hillary Clinton was called out for her mention of the term “super predators” (in black neighborhoods).

Activists, especially those apart of or in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, thus called former Secretary Clinton’s civil rights credentials into question.

Eventually, Bill Clinton was confronted for his role as president, since he signed the 1994 crime bill into law. In defending his wife, Clinton made some incendiary comments.

What do I think of it or Clinton’s speech? I can’t exactly tell you without establishing some context. For starters, I need to look at the law itself, why it was passed, and its effects on black Americans and the overall prison population.

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News Roundup (Week of June 4-10, 2017)

news roundup, June, 2017, globe, space, vector

Hello, readers! For today, I wanted to at least share some international stories for this News Roundup. I might include more stories this week, but I can at least share these five.

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