Lamar Odom, A Million Men Marching, and the Truth About Black Lives Mattering

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As many of you know, the Million Man March recently celebrated its 20th year anniversary, renamed “Justice or Else.” The celebration was actually…another march. In Washington. A revival, if you will. Although no official number has been released, speculation has it that thousands of Black men, women, and children (and others) attended the event. However, the march — which was more of a culminated celebration of black love and a cry for unity than just a march — received virtually zero attention from the media.

Seriously, none of the major news outlets carried any information pertaining to #JusticeOrElse. Now, I understand that in this post-racial American apocalypse, Black lives don’t really matter, but give me a break. Not one iota of coverage? Not even BET (who eagerly aired the BET Hip Hop awards)? Or MTV? What about VH1? These three stations have virtually redefined their legacy and successes on the blood, sweat, and tears of African American entertainment and they couldn’t even give 30 measly minutes of airtime to Justice or Else? Hell, let’s throw ESPN in the mix as well, just to spice things up a bit. These outlets generate millions of dollars, probably monthly, due to African America. Be it sports or music, if you turn on one of these four channels at any given time of day I guarantee you that a Black face will appear on your screen in less than 37 seconds of the button press. And I vigorously invite someone to prove me wrong on that.

For the most part, the only way information about the Million Man March/#JusticeOrElse even reached the masses that were unable to attend was through social media. Facebook and Twitter were flooded with images of the Million Man March anniversary gathering. It looked awesome.

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Meanwhile, while brothers and sisters were trying to work it out, ex-NBA all-star Lamar Odom was having his own celebration at a Las Vegas brothel. Following a reported drug and alcohol binge that last for 3-4 days, he was found face down in the room he rented, unconscious and unresponsive. He was taken to a hospital in a coma, and he is still in said condition right now.

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According to reports, his organs are failing, he’s had several strokes, and doctors can’t even get a true measurement of the extent of damage because of the existing damage they have to first sort through. It’s also important to point out that many — if not most — reports are unconfirmed, merely professional speculation.

This media frenzy reminds me of the Bobbi Kristina situation. So much ado about things we don’t know. For example, Lamar could already be dead, and TMZ wouldn’t want you to know because it could affect their ratings. Plus, spinning propaganda about dead Black men isn’t as profitable as dragging a barely breathing one through the mud. I see you, Harvey Levin.

Notice how much press Lamar Odom’s tragic story is getting. They have NEVER talked about him this much. Not even when he won his second championship with the Lakers. Now turn that coin over. The media mainstays that have been pumping you full of depressing L.O. updates are the same ones that had nothing to say about the march. Coincidence? Hell no…

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The older I get, the more cynical I become. I’ve honed that cynicism into a sledgehammer of optimistic pessimism, and I can no longer look at the world like I did when I didn’t know any better. The media (which is all controlled by 6 entities), seems to only report on the crime, the sickness, and the degradation of African American people, with no hesitation and no fucks given. Let us even attempt to publicly pull together for the collective betterment of the tribe and we become invisible. Why? Because a protest can easily be manipulated and reported on by the media as a riot. But a peaceful, educational, uplifting lovefest is clearly a little harder to color gray. It’s obviously easier to just ignore those things.

In the same vein, it shouldn’t take a celebrity’s slo-mo demise to highlight America’s unyielding obsession with substance abuse. Facebook was and has been flooded with Odomites sending prayers, well wishes, and cursing the demons that helped him get to this spot. Those same well-wishers probably have numerous relatives on Facebook with similar hardships that don’t receive half of the sympathy that their family members are expressing for a stranger. We worship idols and sob uncontrollably when they reveal the cracks and chinks in their armor, yet turn blind eyes to our own with the same problems. That, to me, is crazy.

So, as the world waits with baited breath on the next piece of Lamar Odom news, nothing much else has changed. Get well soon, L.O. God bless us all.

Words by Tony Grands

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TGDC News: 9th Grade Texas History Book Shows Whitewashing of American Slave Trade

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I can’t vouch for the validity of the image posted below, but my research leads me to believe this is an actual clip from a 9th grade history book that originated out of a place called Pearland, TX, not too far from Houston.

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The caption reads:

The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 100s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.

While this is almost no different than the traditional bending-of-the-truth that occurs throughout one’s primary educational career in America, clearly the underlying tone of slavery has been perforated and reconfigured to serve a purpose outside of education. It’s also important to remember this is just a blurb.

But let’s be clear; American slavery, and all its components, was the most evil, vile, heinous act of deliberate human trafficking to ever occur. People, like you and me, were taken from their homes and forced into inhumane existences in the name of corporate profit and personal greed. Millions lost their lives during the process of an entire race being physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually displaced. The implied context of the term “worker” is false, because workers get paid, not beaten, mutilated, raped, and killed. Admittedly, this singular photo isn’t much to go on, but you can only imagine the gravity of the affixed information.

According to this narrative, I expect the story in the textbook jumps from African Americans deciding to try life outside of their jobs on the plantation to Barack Obama’s inauguration speech.

–Tony Grands

TGDC News: Fetty Wap’s Hairdresser Is The Real MVP of the Day

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Words by Cordrick Ramey

Earlier today (9/26), Fetty Wap was in a car accident in Paterson, New Jersey, when his motorcycle collided with another vehicle.

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My first thoughts were, “Damn, new album dropping and he might be out of here the same week?” He was found unconscious at the scene but luckily regained consciousness once he reached the hospital. He also suffered injuries to his leg. So kudos for that.

Now I will never be the one to wish death or clown on an unforeseen, misfortunate situation, but let me ask you a question…

How many fights, beat-downs, and jumpings have you seen on where hair weaves, tracks, and out-of-control hair extensions are left in the aftermath of an ass-whooping? The answer is a LOT.

(Wait. We all know that Fetty has admitted to rocking fake dreads, right?)

However, today with Willie Maxwell colliding head on with another vehicle, not a lock was lost. Shout out that dude stylist or dresser or whatever they call people who install artificial, auxiliary hair on mens’ heads. Job well done. He or she is the real MVP.

These are sevetal pictures from the scene of the accident courtesy of hiphopsince1987.com.

These are sevetal pictures from the scene of the accident courtesy of hiphopsince1987.com.

All jokes aside, the hottest dude of the moment could have lost his life today, and it’s good to hear that he survived with nothing more than a leg brace and a busted bike. Nonetheless, dudes wearing hair extensions is another topic altogether. So I will leave you with a video and another question…

Is Fetty Wap the first rapper to have hair extensions or the first to admit it? Check the video below, courtesy of DJ Akademics.

Peace.

Words by Cordrick Ramey
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Will Meek Mill’s Terrible Taste in Shirts Affect His Comeback?

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Who amongst us remembers that fateful day when Meek Mill, in the midst of experiencing the most success of his career, decided that publicly challenging Drake was a good idea? Oh, everone? Good.

Since then, as a byproduct of his rap beef-inspired flailing, Meek has been dissed by other rappers for biting, called out guys that had nothing to do with the beef — like Future and AR-Ab — subsequently filling his dance card, been himself accused of having a ghostwriter, and seems to continually slide backwards into the increasingly counterproductive role as Mr. Nicki Minaj, the pop star’s living accessory.

A similar thing happened to Nick Cannon for a while.

But hold the pity party. This is Meek Mill we’re talking about. A man in his position, with nothing to lose and everything to gain, should be making as much noise as Maybach Music Group will allow. I’ve said before that Meek should have totally dismissed Drake’s razor-sharp onslaught by now, pretended the whole conflict never happened, and continued making the music that he normally would have. That’s what finally earned him the recognition he rightfully deserved. And that’s the only way people will forget about the multi-media lynching that occured, which oddly put Meek in a similar position as his boss was in following his dust-up with 50 Cent some years ago. All that’s left now is for him to come back from the proverbial dead, like Rick Ross and Jesus did.

I know how the rap game works, as most of you do. We’re all aware that it’s just a matter of Fetty Wap-enveloped time before Meek jumps off the front porch and is back to yelling in our faces as usual. Because he’s the human vuvuzela.

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But this wouldn’t be a real Hip Hop site if we didn’t kick him while he was still down. So before Meek makes his triumphant Rocky Balboa-like return to the glory he momentarily had to abandon, let’s have a look at his horrible taste in shirts.

It may be time to invest in a stylist before traversing the comeback trail, Milly.


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(Photo by Prince Williams/FilmMagic)

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–Tony Grands