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?