FKA Twigs Responds To Twitter Intolerance
After rumors started spreading about FKA Twigs and Robert Pattinson’s alleged relationship, the internet exploded with the usual racism that one could expect from the world wide web. I’m more surprised that she was surprised than by the racist bullshit. I have been exclusively involved in interracial relationships since I was old enough to understand that girl cooties were everything I wanted in life.
In every single relationship I have ever had, my significant other and I have faced some sort of racism. Be it the old black man yellin’ “Race Trader” at my girlfriends, or the hillbilly white trash people staring at us at Starbucks. I have seen and heard pretty much everything anyone could possibly say/do to try and offend. Maybe I am so desensitized to it now that it stopped bothering me, but one thing is for sure: it never surprises me anymore.

I used to get pissed off and try to fight all the dudes who would come at my sideways with that racist bullshit, but what do I get out of them getting me worked up? The last memorable encounter I had was on a train coming home from a day out with my wife. We were cuddled up on the seat enjoying our ride when two young Black Israelites started explaining to us that she was my slave.

Racism is wrong no matter who is spewing it. The black women who are mad at black men for dating white women, the black men doing the opposite, the racist white parents who try to ban their children from dating outside their race, its all wrong.


It makes me sad that people just don’t understand that love is love. You can’t pick who you are attracted too. You can’t pick who you fall in love with. I’m sorry that FKA Twigs and Rob Pattinson got their first taste of Swirl Society hatred, but hopefully it will strengthen their relationship.

FKA Twigs Responds To Twitter Intolerance

After rumors started spreading about FKA Twigs and Robert Pattinson’s alleged relationship, the internet exploded with the usual racism that one could expect from the world wide web. I’m more surprised that she was surprised than by the racist bullshit. I have been exclusively involved in interracial relationships since I was old enough to understand that girl cooties were everything I wanted in life.

In every single relationship I have ever had, my significant other and I have faced some sort of racism. Be it the old black man yellin’ “Race Trader” at my girlfriends, or the hillbilly white trash people staring at us at Starbucks. I have seen and heard pretty much everything anyone could possibly say/do to try and offend. Maybe I am so desensitized to it now that it stopped bothering me, but one thing is for sure: it never surprises me anymore.

I used to get pissed off and try to fight all the dudes who would come at my sideways with that racist bullshit, but what do I get out of them getting me worked up? The last memorable encounter I had was on a train coming home from a day out with my wife. We were cuddled up on the seat enjoying our ride when two young Black Israelites started explaining to us that she was my slave.

Racism is wrong no matter who is spewing it. The black women who are mad at black men for dating white women, the black men doing the opposite, the racist white parents who try to ban their children from dating outside their race, its all wrong.

It makes me sad that people just don’t understand that love is love. You can’t pick who you are attracted too. You can’t pick who you fall in love with. I’m sorry that FKA Twigs and Rob Pattinson got their first taste of Swirl Society hatred, but hopefully it will strengthen their relationship.

Watch: “TAGGED” Poet Mr. Jeff Dess Wonders if He Could be the Next Hashtag

Social media can be a gift and a curse. On one hand it’s been used as a tool to help spread the word on a number of injustices, but on the flip side a lot of victims have been reduced to nothing more than trendy hashtags. Poet, writer, and professor Jeffrey Dessources aka. Mr. Jeff Dess goes into this in a spoken word piece titled “TAGGED” for Urban Cusp.  Peep how he ties in the media’s obsession with making victims like Michael Brown out to be “thugs” and the role stereotypes play in attempts to justify police brutality.

Some lyrics below:

At any given moment my name could be a hashtag

A social place holder love remembrance

At any given moment my neighborhood could be a hashtag

Hashtag Jamaica Queens …

If they gunned me down please remind the world of all my missteps

Hashtag

If they gunned me down please remind the world

of my use a foul language

Let them know I listened to trap music and gangsta rap

Let them know I illegally downloaded movies

And don’t forget that I stole basketball cards from the corner store in the ninth grade

And once wore white tees two sizes too big (via Urban Cusp)

We caught up with rapper A$AP Ant & rapper/model Chynna Rogers at What Scene?’s Foxtail Fest in Philly.

Check it out!!

Watch: We Snuck Into NYFW

New York Fashion Week was full of crazy encounters and fab style. On a whim, we shot up to the city without a nan ticket or press pass on deck, but enough determination to get in where we fit in and have fun in the process. In between catching a taste of New York night life, spotting the illest street wear looks and even being stopped for a few photos by ESSENCE,and Getty Images (apparently our hair and outfits were kind of that poppin’ by NYFW standards) – we managed to sneak into one of the shows. We had a few epic fails in the process, but after getting shut down for Calvin Klein and Betsey Johnson we finally got in to the Art Institute showcase, which featured the school’s emerging designers from across the country. It took a little finesse to convince the press staff that our names should’ve been on the list (You don’t know OOGEEWOOGEE? Duh!) but we got up in there.

We Gave Out Condoms In Nicaragua
This past month I had the honor of visiting the small village of Las Salinas, Nicaragua. I volunteered through the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children and was able to experience many new and challenging situations. During my time there I got to take vitals at the local health post, teach children about lice, perform lice checks, and help a local nurse do ultrasounds on pregnant patients. Condoms are a rarity there so I was sure to bring hundreds of OOGEEWOOGEE condoms to supply the village with. Nobody has a body to die for, and safe sex is beyond important.

This trip was eye opening and taught me a lot about how I take things for granted at home. I am really lucky to be able to live the life that I have and I am forever grateful for all of the opportunities that have been afforded to me. I cannot wait to return to Nicaragua and I am planning on taking my husband next time so that we can enjoy the trip together.
http://www.fimrc.org
Zoom Info
We Gave Out Condoms In Nicaragua
This past month I had the honor of visiting the small village of Las Salinas, Nicaragua. I volunteered through the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children and was able to experience many new and challenging situations. During my time there I got to take vitals at the local health post, teach children about lice, perform lice checks, and help a local nurse do ultrasounds on pregnant patients. Condoms are a rarity there so I was sure to bring hundreds of OOGEEWOOGEE condoms to supply the village with. Nobody has a body to die for, and safe sex is beyond important.

This trip was eye opening and taught me a lot about how I take things for granted at home. I am really lucky to be able to live the life that I have and I am forever grateful for all of the opportunities that have been afforded to me. I cannot wait to return to Nicaragua and I am planning on taking my husband next time so that we can enjoy the trip together.
http://www.fimrc.org
Zoom Info
We Gave Out Condoms In Nicaragua
This past month I had the honor of visiting the small village of Las Salinas, Nicaragua. I volunteered through the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children and was able to experience many new and challenging situations. During my time there I got to take vitals at the local health post, teach children about lice, perform lice checks, and help a local nurse do ultrasounds on pregnant patients. Condoms are a rarity there so I was sure to bring hundreds of OOGEEWOOGEE condoms to supply the village with. Nobody has a body to die for, and safe sex is beyond important.

This trip was eye opening and taught me a lot about how I take things for granted at home. I am really lucky to be able to live the life that I have and I am forever grateful for all of the opportunities that have been afforded to me. I cannot wait to return to Nicaragua and I am planning on taking my husband next time so that we can enjoy the trip together.
http://www.fimrc.org
Zoom Info
We Gave Out Condoms In Nicaragua
This past month I had the honor of visiting the small village of Las Salinas, Nicaragua. I volunteered through the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children and was able to experience many new and challenging situations. During my time there I got to take vitals at the local health post, teach children about lice, perform lice checks, and help a local nurse do ultrasounds on pregnant patients. Condoms are a rarity there so I was sure to bring hundreds of OOGEEWOOGEE condoms to supply the village with. Nobody has a body to die for, and safe sex is beyond important.

This trip was eye opening and taught me a lot about how I take things for granted at home. I am really lucky to be able to live the life that I have and I am forever grateful for all of the opportunities that have been afforded to me. I cannot wait to return to Nicaragua and I am planning on taking my husband next time so that we can enjoy the trip together.
http://www.fimrc.org
Zoom Info
We Gave Out Condoms In Nicaragua
This past month I had the honor of visiting the small village of Las Salinas, Nicaragua. I volunteered through the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children and was able to experience many new and challenging situations. During my time there I got to take vitals at the local health post, teach children about lice, perform lice checks, and help a local nurse do ultrasounds on pregnant patients. Condoms are a rarity there so I was sure to bring hundreds of OOGEEWOOGEE condoms to supply the village with. Nobody has a body to die for, and safe sex is beyond important.

This trip was eye opening and taught me a lot about how I take things for granted at home. I am really lucky to be able to live the life that I have and I am forever grateful for all of the opportunities that have been afforded to me. I cannot wait to return to Nicaragua and I am planning on taking my husband next time so that we can enjoy the trip together.
http://www.fimrc.org
Zoom Info
We Gave Out Condoms In Nicaragua
This past month I had the honor of visiting the small village of Las Salinas, Nicaragua. I volunteered through the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children and was able to experience many new and challenging situations. During my time there I got to take vitals at the local health post, teach children about lice, perform lice checks, and help a local nurse do ultrasounds on pregnant patients. Condoms are a rarity there so I was sure to bring hundreds of OOGEEWOOGEE condoms to supply the village with. Nobody has a body to die for, and safe sex is beyond important.

This trip was eye opening and taught me a lot about how I take things for granted at home. I am really lucky to be able to live the life that I have and I am forever grateful for all of the opportunities that have been afforded to me. I cannot wait to return to Nicaragua and I am planning on taking my husband next time so that we can enjoy the trip together.
http://www.fimrc.org
Zoom Info

We Gave Out Condoms In Nicaragua

This past month I had the honor of visiting the small village of Las Salinas, Nicaragua. I volunteered through the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children and was able to experience many new and challenging situations. During my time there I got to take vitals at the local health post, teach children about lice, perform lice checks, and help a local nurse do ultrasounds on pregnant patients. Condoms are a rarity there so I was sure to bring hundreds of OOGEEWOOGEE condoms to supply the village with. Nobody has a body to die for, and safe sex is beyond important.

This trip was eye opening and taught me a lot about how I take things for granted at home. I am really lucky to be able to live the life that I have and I am forever grateful for all of the opportunities that have been afforded to me. I cannot wait to return to Nicaragua and I am planning on taking my husband next time so that we can enjoy the trip together.

http://www.fimrc.org

What Do You See When You Look At Me?

Featuring Benjamin CØhen

What do you see when you look at me? Too often people let personal appearance dictate their perception of their fellow human beings. Why are tattoos, skin color, religion, clothes or hair styles reasons to judge people before you ever even hear a word spoken from their mouths? We are sick of the discrimination. Our skin may be colored with ink, but we love the same as you. Maybe we don’t share a common style, but we share the earth’s air to breathe. Don’t judge me by my appearance, judge me by my actions.

By Steve Sxaks

Mariam al-Mansouri, Hero Or Traitor Of Islam?
“I ask God that you suffer exactly the pain that you caused to everyone whom you killed, sooner than later” – These are the words that stuck with Mariam al-Mansouri after she became the face of the United Arab Emirates war with ISIS, and the first female UAE F-16 fighter pilot.

Her mere existence has sparked controversy because she is the first female fighter pilot from the United Arab Emirates. The job is typically considered a male-only position in the majority of the Arab world. Another reason she is controversial amongst her people is because she is willfully killing “righteous” Muslims. Ibrahim Abu Marasa, a Palestinian activist, had some “choice words” for the Arab Nations.  “The people of Arab nations whose armies work to help America and kill Muslims, don’t they feel ashamed of themselves? Don’t they feel like mice? Mice, with their little hideouts and penchant for stealing crumbs and cheese, are seen here as lacking dignity, courage, and self-reliance.”

Mariam is a very important and threatening figure to radicals/extremists. She is breaking down stereotypical Arab barriers (alongside Egyptian activist Aliaa Magda Elmahdy).  On one hand she is depicted as a traitor to Arabs struggling to overthrow evil dictators. On the other, she’s an archetype of Arab society advancing into the future, in contrast to the backward-looking caliphate declared by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
By
Steve Sxaks

Mariam al-Mansouri, Hero Or Traitor Of Islam?

“I ask God that you suffer exactly the pain that you caused to everyone whom you killed, sooner than later” – These are the words that stuck with Mariam al-Mansouri after she became the face of the United Arab Emirates war with ISIS, and the first female UAE F-16 fighter pilot.

Her mere existence has sparked controversy because she is the first female fighter pilot from the United Arab Emirates. The job is typically considered a male-only position in the majority of the Arab world. Another reason she is controversial amongst her people is because she is willfully killing “righteous” Muslims. Ibrahim Abu Marasa, a Palestinian activist, had some “choice words” for the Arab Nations.  “The people of Arab nations whose armies work to help America and kill Muslims, don’t they feel ashamed of themselves? Don’t they feel like mice? Mice, with their little hideouts and penchant for stealing crumbs and cheese, are seen here as lacking dignity, courage, and self-reliance.”

Mariam is a very important and threatening figure to radicals/extremists. She is breaking down stereotypical Arab barriers (alongside Egyptian activist Aliaa Magda Elmahdy).  On one hand she is depicted as a traitor to Arabs struggling to overthrow evil dictators. On the other, she’s an archetype of Arab society advancing into the future, in contrast to the backward-looking caliphate declared by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

By

Steve Sxaks

Hol’ Up PBS – America is Not ‘After Ferguson’
Over the weekend I took the rare opportunity to do some channel surfing, and came across PBS’s “America After Ferguson” community town hall meeting.  The special was hosted by journalist Gwen Ifill and took place at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. The focus was supposedly to explore what kind of America the incidents in Ferguson revealed, as well as the relationship between communities of color and law enforcement. Nice and fluffy stuff basically.
Out of curiousity I tuned in, even though my first thought was: How in the world are we discussing how to move forward from Ferguson when protests are still going on and Darren Wilson hasn’t even gone to trial?” As I watched, my side-eye only got stronger.

First off, Gwen Ifill moved through the topics as if she was totally detached from the reality of racism and unaffected by Michael Brown’s shooting. I get it – she’s has to be objective as a journalist – but it was just too robotic and bland for such a hot topic. Even in her write-up after the special, she kept things super PC as if she was far removed from everything being discussed. At one point during the show, Phillip Agnuew (the young man behind Dream Defenders) was raising great points on systems that uphold racism within society, and Gwen awkwardly shifted gears to Ross Kaminsky of The American Spectator – a self-described “middle class white guy” – who totally sidestepped the point and turned the conversation to the white man’s burden of reverse racism. I just couldn’t.

After yawning through a random one-on-one chat with Michele Norris discussing her cutesy Race Card Project, where people are challenged to put their thoughts on race into a 6-word statement (“I’m afraid of young black men.”) – I got annoyed yet again. Gwen took closing remarks and then ended the night out with a jab at St. Louis artist Teff Po. She got her stiff-neck, Wayne Brady chuckle on while joking that Teff Po was the “pessimistic” person in the room simply because he stated how most young black men feel: you can’t trust cops or politicians.  It totally downplayed what was at the heart of his frustration, and reduced him to just another angry black dude. The only person who acknowledged his comments without being dismissive was Senator Claire McCaskill, who touched on the importance of voting as way to change the system.

Once I cringed through Gwen Ifill’s fail at being light-hearted, I was done. I didn’t expect much from a PBS special from the jump and my low expectations were met. It only showed that this post racial bullshit identity crisis the media keeps pushing is only making it harder to have meaningful dialogue. If that’s the angle you’re starting on, the conversation is never going to go anywhere.

It’s cool to showcase opposing perspectives but we first have to be real with the fact that we’re nowhere near after any of this. America is barely removed from slavery, let alone systematic racism and racial tensions. Michael Brown’s shooting and Ferguson protests just made this all the more obvious.

Even with all the promotional hype, the approach to this town hall was way too blah and out-of-touch to be productive. So much was glossed over simply to make everybody walk away feeling good, and that’s that ish I don’t like. Racism and social inequality are topics that are bound to make people uncomfortable. We can’t shy away from that, so until we get real America will never be “after Ferguson”.
By
Shahida Muhammand

Hol’ Up PBS – America is Not ‘After Ferguson’

Over the weekend I took the rare opportunity to do some channel surfing, and came across PBS’s “America After Ferguson” community town hall meeting.  The special was hosted by journalist Gwen Ifill and took place at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. The focus was supposedly to explore what kind of America the incidents in Ferguson revealed, as well as the relationship between communities of color and law enforcement. Nice and fluffy stuff basically.

Out of curiousity I tuned in, even though my first thought was: How in the world are we discussing how to move forward from Ferguson when protests are still going on and Darren Wilson hasn’t even gone to trial?” As I watched, my side-eye only got stronger.

First off, Gwen Ifill moved through the topics as if she was totally detached from the reality of racism and unaffected by Michael Brown’s shooting. I get it – she’s has to be objective as a journalist – but it was just too robotic and bland for such a hot topic. Even in her write-up after the special, she kept things super PC as if she was far removed from everything being discussed. At one point during the show, Phillip Agnuew (the young man behind Dream Defenders) was raising great points on systems that uphold racism within society, and Gwen awkwardly shifted gears to Ross Kaminsky of The American Spectator – a self-described “middle class white guy” – who totally sidestepped the point and turned the conversation to the white man’s burden of reverse racism. I just couldn’t.

After yawning through a random one-on-one chat with Michele Norris discussing her cutesy Race Card Project, where people are challenged to put their thoughts on race into a 6-word statement (“I’m afraid of young black men.”) – I got annoyed yet again. Gwen took closing remarks and then ended the night out with a jab at St. Louis artist Teff Po. She got her stiff-neck, Wayne Brady chuckle on while joking that Teff Po was the “pessimistic” person in the room simply because he stated how most young black men feel: you can’t trust cops or politicians.  It totally downplayed what was at the heart of his frustration, and reduced him to just another angry black dude. The only person who acknowledged his comments without being dismissive was Senator Claire McCaskill, who touched on the importance of voting as way to change the system.

Once I cringed through Gwen Ifill’s fail at being light-hearted, I was done. I didn’t expect much from a PBS special from the jump and my low expectations were met. It only showed that this post racial bullshit identity crisis the media keeps pushing is only making it harder to have meaningful dialogue. If that’s the angle you’re starting on, the conversation is never going to go anywhere.

It’s cool to showcase opposing perspectives but we first have to be real with the fact that we’re nowhere near after any of this. America is barely removed from slavery, let alone systematic racism and racial tensions. Michael Brown’s shooting and Ferguson protests just made this all the more obvious.

Even with all the promotional hype, the approach to this town hall was way too blah and out-of-touch to be productive. So much was glossed over simply to make everybody walk away feeling good, and that’s that ish I don’t like. Racism and social inequality are topics that are bound to make people uncomfortable. We can’t shy away from that, so until we get real America will never be “after Ferguson”.

By

Shahida Muhammand