Juice Wrld’s Death Showcases The Ongoing Battle Between Drugs and Rap Culture

Juice Wrld’s Death Showcases The Ongoing Battle Between Drugs and Rap Culture

Popular rapper and singer Juice Wrld was pronounced dead Sunday night after suffering a seizure in Chicago’s Midway airport after getting off his flight coming in from California earlier that day.

The rapper, whose real name is Jarad Anthony Higgins, was transported to a hospital soon after by Chicago Fire, where he was administered an anti-overdose medication, presumably for the several unknown pills he was said to have taken before exiting the plane.

A federal agent administered the opioid antidote Narcan to Higgins after he had seized, after which he woke up briefly and was then transferred to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois. He was later pronounced dead at 3:15 a.m.

While the toxicology report from his autopsy to give the exact cause of death is still being determined, Higgins was treated with opioid combatants following his seizure.

Juice Wrld’s death has reopened the scars that were formed following the passing of rappers like Mac Miller and Lil Peep due to drug overdoses.

This tragedy brings to light the harsh reality of young artists falling victim to the culture of drugs and violence that can come with fame in the rap community.

In an article discussing the new deadly trend surrounding the youngest generation of rap music and their relationship with the drug culture surrounding the genre, author Craig Jenkins says:

“If rap’s your business, then rappers are your responsibility. They’re not just quick investments, good to tap when their names are hot but not so much when they start spiraling out.”

US Politicians Are Not Happy With US Companies For Letting China Intimidate Them

US Politicians Are Not Happy With US Companies For Letting China Intimidate Them

Vice President Mike Pence accused the NBA of being a company controlled by China after allowing the country to censor members of the organization, especially Daryl Morey after his tweet supporting the Hong Kong Protestors.

Pence addressed the issue in a speech on Thursday, saying the NBA was “acting like a wholly owned subsidiary” of China’s ruling.

Pence then goes on to blast Nike for going out of their way to stay in China’s good graces and then goes on to say:

“Nike promotes itself as a so called ‘social-justice champion,’ but when it comes to Hong Kong, it prefers checking its social conscience at the door.”

This seems to be the last straw in a series of China using their economic power to intimidate US businesses into complying with their policies and standing by while injustice happens.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the unnerving trend, giving his opinion on how the NBA handled the response from China over Morey’s tweet, saying:

“From a foreign policy perspective, we think it’s completely inappropriate for China to attack U.S. businesses whose employees or customers exercise their fundamental freedoms here in the United States.”

Pompeo makes a great point that U.S businesses should not have to apologize for exercising their rights given to them in this country!

It’s unreasonable for businesses to allow a country to determine what is acceptable just for the sake of getting their business.

During the NBA China dispute, China removed Houston Rocket merchandise from several stores across the country, and some online athletic shoe stores removed anything with the NBA logo in general.

The following map shows the points of stores that had NBA and Houston Rocket merchandise removed from shelves, as well as where the actual protests are taking place.

LeBron Gets Slammed After His Disapproval of Morey’s Pro-HK Protest Tweet

LeBron Gets Slammed After His Disapproval of Morey’s Pro-HK Protest Tweet

Over the past week, I have posted developments and updates of the feud between the NBA and China after Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey sent out a tweet in support of the Hong Kong Protests.

I’ll skip the recap of everything since that was my post yesterday, but a new update is the comments made by NBA All-Star LeBron James on the subject, since the Lakers were playing two exhibition games in China when the controversy first started.

He goes on to say:

“We all do have freedom of speech, but at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others and you’re only thinking about yourself,”.

So, what James is saying here is that Morey was being selfish in supporting the protestors in Hong Kong who are fighting for their basic human rights.. makes sense.

LeBron then continued to comment on twitter, offering more opinions on the situation.

People are furious that James is selling out Morey for using his freedom of speech to support a communist country who are actively committing crimes against humanity.

Barstool Sports CEO Dave Portnoy, who was not a James fan to begin with, took these comments and tweets and created a post calling out LeBron for picking and choosing when free speech was acceptable to him.

The post also brings up a point of showing how NBA player Enes Kanter had stood up against human rights infringements of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, facing several threats, even forcing him to not leave the country.

LeBron was not always so quiet in regards to politics, however. Disagreeing twitter users are more than happy to point out the hypocrisy of LeBron’s statement, making sure to showcase how adamant he was about endorsing Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump for president in the 2016 election.

It is disappointing to say the least when, after seeing so many companies bow down to China and bar our own rights to free speech, we have to see our celebrities and role models do the same thing over a paycheck.

The NBA v China, How We Got Here

The NBA v China, How We Got Here

In my post from last week, I focused on the NBA and China feud, which was just in its early stages, over a tweet sent out by the Rockets GM in regards to the protests in Hong Kong.

What was thought to be just a simple misunderstanding turned out to be a multi-million, potentially billion, dollar partnership down the drain.

After Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted the graphic supporting the protestors, he deleted it, and China was not happy. Two days later, the Chinese Basketball Association said that they would cease all cooperation with the team.

After cutting ties with the Rockets, China proceeded to remove their products from stores, and, after not being happy with the NBA’s original response, starting removing NBA products as well.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silva then tried to step in and released a statement trying to make amends, but failed again, because he ended up upsetting American’s by trying to apologize for Morey’s freedom of speech, especially over the human rights issue that inspired the tweet.

More recently, things have gotten worse for the NBA. This deal is showing just how important China is to the NBA’s economy, because of the lengths they are going to appease them.

A man and his wife went to the Philadelphia 76ers game (IN Philadelphia), bringing with them two signs supporting the HK protests, and had them confiscated by security. When they yelled “Free Hong Kong” during the game, they were removed from the game.

Over the past week, this feud has grown into something that is shedding light on just how much control China has over the cooperations in the United States.

In my posts during the next two days, I plan on going into more detail on the other companies being called out for “bowing down” to China and their market.

I also plan on following up on this post with the latest news involving the NBA and China, including the statements made by NBA All-Star LeBron James and the backlash that followed.

D.C Renames Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day Amid Holiday’s Controversy

D.C Renames Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day Amid Holiday’s Controversy

Yesterday was Columbus Day, one of only ten federal holidays recognized nationwide by the US Government, meant to honor Christopher Columbus, who was said to have “discovered America”.

Since 2015, District of Columbia Council members have been working to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, and have finally succeeded.

D.C is not the only state to do this, however, since 12 other states have cities and towns that want to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day.

Indigenous Peoples Day is meant to honor native cultures and basically call out Columbus’ arrival for the genocide and mistreatment of indigenous people in America that took place.

“Celebrating Columbus Day continues a dangerous narrative that erases Native American voices and minimizes the federal government’s attempt at genocide and forced assimilation,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus.

“For many indigenous people, the celebration of Columbus Day is a state-sponsored celebration of the history of violence and acts of brutality inflicted upon their communities,” said Congresswoman Norma Torres. 

Statues of Columbus were vandalized in several states due to the controversy. One statue in San Francisco was sprayed with red paint, as well as a message in graffiti at the bottom.

What do you think, should Columbus Day be stripped from its title of a federal holiday, or should people be able to choose whether they want to call it Indigenous People’s Day.

Fort Worth PD Is Being Called Out and Investigated After Fatal Home Shooting

Fort Worth PD Is Being Called Out and Investigated After Fatal Home Shooting

Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed in her own home by a police officer Saturday night after neighbors called asking for her house to be checked on around 2:30 am.

The officers that responded were searching the perimeter of the woman’s home when they saw a person standing inside near a window and one of them opened fire, killing her.

Heavily edited body camera footage from the police department showed the officer yelling for whoever was in the room to put their hands up within seconds of approaching the window without identifying himself as police.

Fort Worth policed released a statement following the shooting:

Jefferson was the seventh civilian shot by Fort Worth police officers in the city since June, six of the victims were killed.

Hundreds of people stood outside of the scene of the shooting Sunday night for a vigil in honor of Jefferson, as well as to protest the Fort Worth Police Department.

“I’m asking you all to commit to staying in this fight until Fort Worth changes,” family attorney Lee Merritt said. “But it takes more than a speech or a march, or a week, or a month, or a year. We have to change the system internally.”

Deborah Peoples, the Tarrant County Democratic Party chairwoman, said the people of Fort Worth suffer from PTSD, stemming from both the police shootings in their city, as well as incidents like the murder of Botham Jean.

“When officers come into our communities, they come in combat mode,” Peoples says in the video. “We don’t have a chance.”

The mayor of Fort Worth says the city will be hiring an outside agency to investigate the department.

NBA Faces Domestic and Foreign Backlash After Rocket’s GM Tweets About HK Protests

NBA Faces Domestic and Foreign Backlash After Rocket’s GM Tweets About HK Protests

Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey has unknowingly ignited a fire with China that even the NBA can’t seem to put out regarding a public stance on the Hong Kong Protests.

Tents from the Hong Kong Protest.

In a tweet posted on October 4th, Morey shared an image with the slogan: “Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.” The post defending the protestors was deleted almost immediately.

The NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass said that although they regret the offense that might have been taken by those in China, the league supports individuals “sharing their views on matters important to them”.

Both the NBA and Rockets ownership distanced themselves from Morey in attempt to appease Chinese businesses and fans, without realizing American’s are angered over them not supporting free speech.

The Chinese Basketball Association said on Sunday, only two days after the original tweet, that it would suspend all cooperation with the team.

Several stores were told to remove NBA products in general, due to Chinese outrage at the statement from Commissioner Adam Silver defending free speech.

Houston Rockets sneakers and other gear were then pulled from several Nike stores in large Chinese cities, with managers saying they received a memo from managers ordering for the items to be removed.

Store managers were not allowed to see the memo.

The play-off contention team’s gear was also not available online, and NO sneakers with the NBA logo available on websites or apps.

“As long as the bosses of Nike and Adidas don’t come out and say something stupid and get banned by China’s central government, I think sneaker resales in China will remain pretty profitable,” said Zhu Junwen, a reseller in Guangzhou.

Americans are not happy with companies laying down to China over the threat of having merchandise pulled instead of standing up for human rights.

Should China be able to ban company products, costing the Rockets millions, in order to censor them from allowing their employees to talk about their beliefs?

What is stopping them from doing this to other companies, or even countries?

As the story has spread, so has the news of potential Chinese censorship, and American politicians have stepped up to voice their opinions

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a lifelong Houston Rockets fan, was not happy with the response the NBA had to China, responding to their statement on Morey in a tweet on October 6th.

Two presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Julián Castro also had comments regarding the situation.

Silver tried to diffuse the situation again, expressing that although the US and China have been bonded by basketball:

“It is inevitable that people around the world — including from America and China — will have different viewpoints over different issues. It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences,” Silver’s latest statement continued.

A popular basketball court in Haikou City, China

Although basketball is an important part of modern Chinese culture, should we silently watch as countries use intimidation and business to censor companies from making a stand for their beliefs?

Cardi B’s Paris Fashion Week Outfit Showcases France’s Niqab Double Standard

Cardi B’s Paris Fashion Week Outfit Showcases France’s Niqab Double Standard

Famous rapper Cardi B took to the streets during Paris Fashion Week to showcase her Richard Quinn-designed look, which ended up stirring debate across the interweb.

The outfit had Cardi covered head to toe in different pieces, including a headscarf and face mask in the same fabric.

While the look was admired by some, others called out the controversy revolving around France’s niqab ban, which bars full-face veils from being worn in public areas by Muslim women for safety precautions.

The law says that women in France can be fined 150 euros ($172) for wearing the niqab under a law that came into effect in 2011 prohibiting the wearing of headgear covering the face

This decision stirred outrage, and the United Nations Human Rights Committee said:

“The French law disproportionately harmed the petitioners’ right to manifest their religious beliefs… [and] rather than protecting fully veiled women, could have the opposite effect of confining them to their homes, impeding their access to public services and marginalizing them.”

Cardi’s outfit showcased the double standard in France, which did not go unnoticed by internet users once the look went viral.

This graph shows the Google Trend searches for Cardi B (blue), Controversy (red) and Paris Fashion Week (yellow) in the past week.

From this trend search, you can see that on the date of September 29, searches for Cardi B were at their peak of the last week. This was the same date that she had posted the video on her social media pages of her controversial Paris Fashion Week outfit.

Searches for Paris Fashion Week were low, but a few days after the original post, when people started taking notice online, the search for controversies increased. These two events may not be directly related, but there is a decent chance, since Cardi was still being searched.

Even other celebrities noticed the hypocrisy, and weighed in on it via twiter.

Cardi is not the first celebrity to be called out for having a culturally insensitive outfit, though, even if her intentions were pure.

Rhianna, who was co-chair of the 2018 Met Gala, wore a diamond ensemble topped with a Pope-like hat. Some did not like the theme in general, and were only further bothered by the attempt to wear a staple of the religion.  

Offended twitter users took to the internet to voice their disapproval after seeing the outfit on the red carpet.

Should celebrity stylists and designers take religious factors and politics into consideration when planning outfits for their clients? Are celebrities above the cultural appropriation standards set for regular people?

Sexual Assault Charges Against Brown Open Doors To Possible NFL Neglect

Sexual Assault Charges Against Brown Open Doors To Possible NFL Neglect

Antonio Brown was released from the New England Patriots after being on the team for just 11 days amid sexual assault allegations being brought against against him by Britney Taylor this past week.

The civil lawsuit is the latest in a series of dramatic events taking place in all-pro receiver’s life this summer after fighting with the GM of the Raiders before his release this September.

Following Taylor’s accusation, another woman, who was hired by Brown to do a few paintings for his home, supposedly talked to Sports Illustrated about Brown’s sexual misconduct with her.

To make matters worse, this past Wednesday, the woman told SI that the number Brown had given her in 2017 created a group message chain, which included her as well as Brown’s lawyer Darren Heitner, that had pictures of her children being sent in it, as well as a request to “look up her background info,”.

Screenshots of the text chain created by Brown.

This is not the first incident Brown has had with the women in his life, however. While living near Pittsburgh during his Steelers career, the police were dispatched to Brown’s home three times I the last four years for domestic disturbance calls. Those associated with Brown accused him of thinking he was “untouchable”.

This brings up the question of whether or not the NFL cared about any of these circumstances and behavioral issues Brown had, or if they were just letting him by until an accusation like this eventually surfaced.

The NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) has moved to file a grievance against the Patriots on Brown’s behalf after not being paid upon his release from the team.

The NFLPA has been known to side for players, as unions often do, in these situations, but have done so in unethical ways.

When Ezekiel Elliot was accused of attacking his then-girlfriend in her car in 2017, the NFLPA attempted to discredit the victim, Tiffany Thompson. The NFLPA allegedly leaked text messages to Yahoo Sports from Thompson to a friend discussing possibly blackmailing Elliot using sex tapes.

While this had nothing to do with the case of domestic violence at hand, the NFLPA tried to question the victim’s motives, which the NFL did not think was appropriate given the severity of the charges. They then released this statement:

Since this statement was made in 2017, the fact remains that the NFL likes to pick and choose when to implement its Personal Conduct Policy.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal says that the NFL needs to take domestic violence and sexual assault charges more seriously.

In association with a letter Blumenthal wrote addressed to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, he says “No matter how good the Personal Conduct Policy may be, it is dead letter if it’s unenforced,”.

The NFL is also being called out on not having the same standards of morals for their coaching staff. A USA TODAY investigation showed that several coaches have had backgrounds involving domestic disputes and accusations against them, with no repercussions or media attention to be seen on the subject prior.

So could this case against Brown could either be a chance for the NFL to get it right in regards to how cases should be handled? Or will it be yet another example of a long series of cases mishandled and muddled by the NFL logo.

Calling Out the College Admission Scandal

Calling Out the College Admission Scandal

Felicity Huffman has been sentenced to 14 days in prison after making her first court appearance on April 3rd in regards to her bribing a prestigious university to admit her daughter.

Besides Huffman, 14 of the 35 parents charged pled guilty, while the other 19, including actress Lori Laughlin, are fighting the charges.

This brings the question of their sentencing if found guilty. Defense attorney Daniel Medwed thinks that Huffman’s sentence could help us determine the severity of the other sentences. Huffman was given 250 hours community service and a $30,000 fine in addition to the two weeks of jail time she must serve starting in late October.

Huffman was among 50 others charged with scheming to secure spots at big-name colleges for their children. Also charged due to their involvement with bribes were several coaches for university athletic teams.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling called this case the “largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice,”.

The scary part about this case, is how easy it was for ringleader William “Rick” Singer, founder of a for-profit “college preparation business”, to orchestrate the process for getting undeserving children admission to these universities.

Singer would advise the parents to claim their child had a learning disability in order to get them special perks while taking standardized testing, like extra time, and the ability to take the test in a room with only a proctor.

One parent charged, boutique marketing owner Jane Buckingham, paid $50,000 to have someone from Mr. Singer’s company take her son’s ACT exam, even providing a hand-writing sample so that they could complete the essay portion.

This scandal is nothing new, though, since colleges have been known to be corrupt in the sense of accepting “donations” that result in the admission of students.

Operation Varsity Blues” is just the broadcasted account of crimes that have been happening for years under our noses. Colleges have been immorally accepting applicants for years with loopholes and preferences like applying as a “legacy”.

In his article about the rigged process of college applications, author Richard Reeves comments, “A Princeton study found that being a legacy applicant had the same effect as adding 160 SAT points – on the old scale up to 1600 – to a student’s application,”.

Reeve’s also goes on to cite an earlier article further showcasing the rigged education system. He discusses the 2017 Washington Post article that reported on the special treatment given to “VIP applicants” via an annual “watch list”. Applicants whose parents were big donors would have notes on their files reading “$500k. Must be on WL,”.

What do you think, should celebrities be called out on bribing their children’s way into prestigious schools if thats the only way the education system works? Or is it the responsibility of the universities to control their greed and admit students ethically.