Bulls Weekly Report

Coming off the first win of the season, the Chicago Bulls stroll into Charlotte to face the Hornets for the second time in three days. The last matchup ended in dramatic fashion as Zach LaVine scored 30 points for the fourth consecutive time this season. While the taste of winning may be sweet now, choppy waters lay ahead for this young squad.

Kris Dunn is expected to be out 4-6 weeks with an apparent MCL sprain in his left knee. As unfortunate as that may be, the Bulls will have quality play from a rotation of point guards including Ryan Arcidiacono, Tyler Ulis, Shaq Harrison, and Cameron Payne. Yes, Cameron Payne With a dominant display of shooting going 7-11 from deep, Payne made a statement to all of his critics that he is a professional for a reason. While torching Charlotte’s perimeter defense, the guard from Murray State also added five rebounds and four assists. Fred Hoiberg isn’t expecting Payne to be Steph Curry every game but consistency is required and Payne will bring that if he wants to remain the starter.

Bobby Portis is out of action for 4-6 weeks due to a sprained MCL as well. Averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds through the first 4 games of this season, Portis was due to have a break out season and unfortunately that is sidelined until the near future. Already down Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr playing with the normal rookie jitters, the Bulls are running quite thin in the front court. Almost replica scenarios of the starting point guard slot, a rotation of Carter Jr, Robin Lopez, Felicio, and Jabari Parker will have expanded roles at the power forward and center positions as the Bulls are down two power forwards. Currently, Hoiberg only has three players over the height of 6’8 to play in the front court.

Down three vital players to the Bulls’s success, the question of whether to tank has already been raised by many only four games into the season. Four games. While losing Lauri, Dunn and now Portis may seem like this season is over before it starts, I assure you it isn’t. The one thing Bulls fans lack is optimism. None of the players mentioned are coming off surgery or injuries that require an extensive amount of rehabilitation. Their adjustments back to live NBA action may take some time but I feel the need to remind people that the young core of LaVine-Dunn-Markkanen has yet to play a minute of basketball together this season. Yes, it might suck for the time being but no, the sky is not falling.

Chandler Hutchinson, the Bulls 22nd pick of 2018 NBA Draft had 8 points in 13 minutes against Charlotte on Wednesday. With his explosive play and athleticism on display, he showed Chicago that he deserves more playing time and he gets his wish as he starts at power forward tonight in Charlotte for the injured Bobby Portis. Hutchinson is a four year college player who averaged 20/7/4 while shooting 38% from deep his senior year. While he may be starting at power forward and only stands at 6’7, this season the league is gravitating away from the prototypical 6’9 to 6’10 power forward as the Boston Celtics start 6’8 at power forward. The Lakers even started 6’9 Kyle Kuzma starting at center. Position less basketball is here to stay

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Yes, The Bulls Still Suck

The first game of the ‘18 -‘19 NBA season is in the books for the Bulls as they drop the opener 127-108 to the Philadelphia 76ers. There will be losing and there will be a lot of it this year. With a team who possesses nine players under the age of 24, expect terrible shot selection and an overabundance of turnovers. Without Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn, the uphill climb to staying competitive with a dominant Sixers squad was a steep one. Here are some positives and negatives to take away from last night’s action

A Coming Out Season For Bobby Portis

Active early and often in the loss to the Sixers, Bobby Portis showed that he will be respected by his fellow peers. With a strong 20 points and 11 rebounds, the power forward from Arkansas relished the opportunity to defend Joel Embiid and oppose his will against the smaller forwards from Philly. He did exactly that by calling for the ball numerous times and being aggressive in the paint, especially when guarded by Amir Johnson. This was something that most would say was lacking from the previous season. Aggression is the least Portis’s worries. The footwork and back to the basket game displayed tonight not only shows vast improvement but established authority as well.

Zach LaVine

Playing in only 24 games while also being on a minute restriction, Zach LaVine averaged a modest 16 points and 4 rebounds in his first season as a Chicago Bull. Flashes of athleticism the NBA fell in line with in his T’Wolves days was on display and its carried into his second year. LaVine is fully healthy and ready to compete with the best the league has to offer. In the first game of the ‘18-‘19 campaign, LaVine took control of the offense almost instantaneously while playing a smooth 1-2 combo with Bobby Portis in the first half. Their chemistry will only develop further as the games start to roll on. LaVine’s 30 points on 11/19 shooting is a performance to build on.

Passing and Assisting

With Dunn out due to the birth of his first child, you’d think Zach LaVine would have taken the reins of the offense and distributed but that’s not what occurred Thursday night in Philadelphia. 30 points on 11/19 shooting is a good night for any player but only assisting on three plays won’t get the job done, especially when playing against one of the best passing teams in the NBA. Ryan Arcidiacono scored 8 points, gathered 8 assists as well as 4 rebounds. When your backup point guard has more assists than your big bucks starting 2 guard who has experience distributing while playing the 1 as well, there’s a problem.

Defense. Defense. Defense.

Defense was a second thought to the Bulls last night as they gave up 38 points in the first quarter and 65 overall in the first half. That just won’t cut it, especially when playing against the upper echelon of the NBA. At times on the floor it looked as if the Sixers were throwing up practice shots from deep. I see an issue with that as does coach Fred Hoiberg who was visibly irate with his team’s invisible lack of effort on defense. Forwards Dario Saric and Robert Covington are arguably the best shooters Philly has and they were a combined 6-17 on three point shots for the night which is terrible. Those guys felt comfortable jacking up that many shots because perimeter defense was non-existent. Zach LaVine is an electric player who can score 30 at will practically while also giving up 25. He was a revolving door on D and Ben Simmons ate him alive the entire game whether that be scoring or passing. The Bulls might as well have been practice squad players on defense because Philly looked like they were running a scrimmage halfway into the second quarter. The only player that played hard consistently was Bobby Portis. Guarding multiple big men and even stepping out on the perimeter which speaks to his development. Missing the floor general on defense in starting point guard Kris Dunn played a factor but this is the NBA. Not giving up easy fast break points was a key factor in the Bulls leaving Philadelphia with a win but that wasn’t the case. 20 points in transition for the Sixers is a guaranteed victory for that squad. With Ben Simmons leading the charge, he found his shooters and found them often on the break. Rookie Landry Shamet scored 12 points on 4/7 from deep and a benefactor of Simmons’s impeccable passing ability. From the top of the defense to the bottom, there’s a lot to be desired.

‘18 – ‘19 Chicago Bulls

Less than 24 hours away, the Chicago Bulls are set to take on Brett Brown’s 76ers in what is expected to be quite the season opener. Hoiberg and Co. are to be without sophomore sensation Lauri Markkanen for at least two months with a right elbow sprain, the team will have to weather the ship until he’s back and in NBA shape. The Finnish power forward averaged 15 points and nearly 8 rebounds while also becoming the youngest NBA player in history to make 100 three pointers.

Zach LaVine is set to take on a regular workload after only playing in twenty-four games in the past season. It’s worth noting that the 23 year-old shooting guard did average 16 points and 4 assists coming while only playing selectively coming off a major injury. The Bulls, fresh off a 27-55 season that birthed the 7th overall pick in Wendell Carter Jr, is scheduled to start at center and Bobby Portis penned at the power forward slot. Chicago native Jabari Parker, recently awarded a two-year/$40 million deal this past offseason,has suffered an underwhelming preseason to say the least. 41 combined points in 4 games for the 23 year old combo forward whilst rookie Wendell Carter Jr has dazzled coach Fred Hoiberg with his athleticism and versatility in the center spot. He also explains why he chose to stick with Portis, Dunn, Carter, LaVine and Holiday — not Parker — as his starting line up against Philadelphia: “In the preseason, I thought we played our best game against Indiana, or certainly our most complete game defensively, it was our best effort. We had three good defensive quarters against Denver. Now, going on the road against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference — very powerful team that’s got a couple players that are unlike any other in this league in their home opener — it’s going to be a great challenge for us, but just the way we went out early and competed (in the preseason games), I like the way it looked. We got Jabari going a little bit in that last game, running some different things with him as the facilitator, so I just like the look of it and that’s most likely how we’re going to start tomorrow.” When the losses start to pile up just as they do with any extremely young team, the head coach will be the first to blame. For the time being, the right decision was made in benching Parker. As for the rest of his roster, don’t expect to win anything anytime soon when nine of your players are 24 or younger.

Memento Mori

My parents were married for twenty years. I saw my father everyday yet he was still emotionally unavailable my entire life and still is. A present parent yet absent in the same sense. He treated his children like investments and growing up I never understood why he was a terrible father. The most important job in a black man’s life is to make sure his sons are ready for the world. He failed that task four times with all of his sons. We as black men must give our sons the blueprint of life. We’ve been the world’s scapegoat since the beginning of time. Without the blueprint, we enter life behind the curve from the jump. Look at the current generation of black men. We are the way we are for many reasons, mainly because we’re fatherless. We go our lives without ever knowing what a father’s love feels like. I can’t speak for all fatherless black men but my relationship with mine has affected my mental health my entire life. The first time I felt depressed was at 8 years old. I didn’t know what depression was at that time but I knew I was always sad and crying. Having a father who used whippings as a tool to exert his own frustrations and depression will do that to you. Having to wear long sleeve shirts and pants during the summer because of markings from extension cords and broom sticks was a regular thing. All of this is going on in my childhood and you’d think my mother would put and end to it yet she never did. She had her own reasons I suppose. It got to a point where I didn’t cry anymore. I felt as if I deserved the beat downs. Her ignoring of my father’s abusive behavior has also affected every relationship I’ve ever had. I’ve met true queens that were everything I could ever dream of and yet I was still conflicted within because of my childhood. The love I felt a mother should have in those situations is what I searched for in women I’ve dated. My immaturity in my relationships stemmed from this as well. I was looking for a mother’s nurturing nature, not a girlfriend. The day I realized that was the day I refused to continue such a dangerous and unhealthy pattern. I realized it was time to stop feeling sorry for myself and making unnecessary excuses. As unfortunate as my upbringing was, I couldn’t let it deter me from greatness. It’s simply a reminder of what was and never will be again. The day I have my own children with my future wife will be the day I pick up the torch my pops dropped years ago. I’m going to be the best father there ever was simply because I have the blueprint of what not to do.

I’m 21 years old and have no idea what I want to do with my life yet my path is clear as day. The feeling of having life somewhat figured out then not at all to any degree. How does that saying go? Man plans, God laughs. Exactly. I would say the age range from 18-22 is the stage where you feel as if you should be doing so much more in life when in all reality it’s just a phase. A time when we may be dismayed at the fact that our dreams aren’t coming true yet. We expect our goals to be accomplished at the snap of our fingers but forget the fact that there is a process. While there is a process to achieve our goals, that doesn’t mean we should be stressed and depressed on the way to said goals. The notion of grinding in our 20’s so we can relax in our 30’s is irrevocably false. Just think of the word grind. Does the definition sound pleasing at all? I’m not expecting my dreams to be handed to me but the notion that we have to slave and suffer an entire decade preparing for the rest of our lives is ludicrous. Get a job. Work that job for 40 years. Retire. Live off of your retirement money until you die. It’s been instilled in our brains from the time we could read that that this is the only way to be “successful”. I don’t think that’s being successful at all.

One of my best friend’s name is Tony and he just turned 74 the other day. My family used to tell me I have an old soul because of my music knowledge but it’s always been more than that. I love to learn and talking to my elders has always been more informative than all my years of schooling. Our time spent together is usually me sitting listening to stories of black superheroes like Malcolm X and Huey P Newton over a blunt. People that he’s actually had the privilege of marching and speaking with. Stories of black excellence, black owned businesses dominating neighborhoods on the South Side (Chicago), and how the government flooded the ghetto with crack. Reading these events in history is one thing but having someone that was on the front lines is a game changer. While hearing these stories makes me prideful of where I come from, I also feel remorse for what my community is experiencing currently. Black men were more than six times as likely as white men to be incarcerated in federal and state prisons, and local jails in 2010, according to a Pew Research Center analysis. This is an increase from 1960, when black men were five times as likely to be incarcerated than white people. When others say the current system in place is a disadvantage for POC, I disagree unequivocally. This system was tailor made for the destruction of the black community, orchestrated by elected officials in Congress and the Oval over decades. “Our criminal justice system is broken”. No, our criminal justice system isn’t broken. The glaring racial inequity is a result of how it was designed to work—a system with an undeniable connection to slavery that was outlawed a century and a half ago. Any sincere conversation about ending mass incarceration in the U.S. must include discussing racism in our prisons, our legislation, our courts, our police departments, our schools, our neighborhoods, and most importantly during election season.

shades of color.

    In a country where the judicial and legislative systems in place frequently fails us, minorities being the most overworked, underpaid, and misunderstood demographic in America is a problem overlooked for decades. A statement expressed too far often while still being treated as a doormat. We are told from birth that we have to be twice as good and twice as fast, and that’s just to be noticed in white America. It is an unfortunate conversation that our parents have with us as children that I find damaging yet  necessary as well. I find it counterproductive because we shouldn’t base our children’s success off of what others who aren’t in our situation do in the classroom, or down the line in the workplace. While this may be true, it’s one of the few ways to prepare us for the rough world that is outside the front door. A world that will look you in the face and tell you you aren’t good enough. A world where you’re just another face with a name attached. One day I expect to not have this talk with my future children. Hopefully we won’t have to beat this mantra into their heads like it was into ours. Often when I hear people discussing this, it’s always from someone who hasn’t lived a day in our shoes and can only imagine what it’s like through television or their friends.

 

I recall a moment where I was a freshman in high school and we were having a class discussion about the cause and effects of whoopings. I stated that I received them often as a child and how it affected me. My teacher proceeds to say, ¨ if you had a father in your life which young black men lack, maybe you wouldn’t have been a bad child.¨ I was shocked and proceeded to address her ignorance by informing her that my parents have been married for 16 years and demanded an apology. Needless to say, that teacher was suspended then fired. To expand on such a comment, young black men are classified as fatherless and leaderless from a young age. Not only is this careless, it’s terribly damaging and is a broad generalization that does not address all phases of the problem. In 2008 in a speech on Father’s Day, former President Barack Obama once said ¨Too many black fathers are missing from too many lives and too many homes. “They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. We know the statistics ; that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.” The first African American president, being cheered for chastising black fathers and black fatherhood while not having a father in his childhood himself. This wasn’t the first time he ridiculed black fathers and it certainly wasn’t his last. It was his go to conversation starter when addressing, guess who, other black people. The first black president blaming fathers for not being good parents while failing to address the obstacles that prevent fathers from being present in their child’s lives in the first place. We live in a society where men of color, predominately black men, are imprisoned because of heavily biased and racist drug laws, prosecutorial preservation of police officers who murdered unjustly, and where elected officials close enormous amounts of schools in minority-dominated neighborhoods in the name of ¨budget costs¨. I find it odd how there is never enough money for the education of our young people yet there’s always funds for the construction of new roads and establishments in downtown areas across the country. This isn’t the mindset of just a former president, this is the way of thinking in our news media, entertainment sector, and most importantly American citizens. It’s become too popular of a culture to for these categories of people to continually use the absent black father excuse in order to ignore the ills of America.

 

I have a younger sister named Kennedy. She’s extremely proud to be a young woman of color and isn’t afraid to inform you of such. One of her classmates asked her if she was really black because in his opinion, he thought she was white because of her light colored skin. She came home to me and asked me if she was black enough. Her question took me by surprise because I never dreamed of her asking me that. She wears her hair naturally curly a majority of the time or in braids. She informed me that she was being bullied because of the way she wears her hair. My first move to resolve the problem was addressed her teacher and principal and there hasn’t been a problem since. I have a friend who also is a woman of color who faces the same circumstances yet she’s an adult. Always told she looks white because of her complexion even though sheś not. She’s a courageous individual who stands her ground when accosted with such questions or statements. Men of color are the subjects of this treatment yet women of color are the predominant receivers. As strong as she and my sister are, they shouldn’t have to face such scrutiny. No woman of color should. Unfortunately, not all women who face this have solutions as simple as my sister did. Whether its their hair or skin color, society always finds always finds ways to trample women. One of the more overlooked tools of oppression towards women of color is the gender wage gap. Women are almost half of the workforce. They are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of American families with children. They receive more college and graduate degrees than men. Yet, on average, women continue to earn considerably less. While the gender wage gap between white women and white men is consistently the topic of conversation, the gender wage gap of women of color to white men is one I rarely if ever hear being discussed. According to the Economic Policy Institute, white non-Hispanic women are paid 81 cents on the dollar and Asian women are paid 88 cents on the dollar. As bad as that may be, the gap is even larger for black women, who are paid only 65 cents on the white male dollar. Women in the same jobs and at the same educational level as men still earn less money. ¨Go to school and get an education.¨ They’re told going to school will garner more money and as true as that is, the salaries women of color possess are still not as high as their white male counterparts. Its an injustice that we´ve become too comfortable with.

 

One day, the problems that plague men and women of color will be no more. The struggles we face cannot continue into the next generations. 

 

coverphoto-full

 

 9 to 5. 

Written at: 4:50 AM – 7/28

Tremors x SOHN

No Regrets x Pusha T

Recognize x PND ft Drake

Yea I Know x G-Herbo

Its Not Right But Its Okay – Whitney Houston

Cold Sweat x Tinashe


Growing up as a kid, I loved trucks. Its just something about them thats always had a place in my heart. Trucks were my favorite toy and it just so happened that my father was a truck driver. He drove for a pretty big food distributor called Kronos. If you like gyros, then you know what I’m speaking on. When I didn’t have school you could find me with him. Summer breaks, spring breaks, you name it. He had the same routes for years. That being, he knew the owners of restaurants really well which meant endless food. What kid is going to turn down free food?


Back when our parents were our age, careers weren’t exactly as common. They mostly had 9-5’s. Combine that with children at a young age and a wife, dreams and goals take a backseat while you’re stressing about work, family, money, etc. As much as I love my father, he fell victim to the rhythm. We’re supposed to be the new and improved the generation, the generation that shapes the world for centuries to come. We can’t do that if we limit ourselves to working for someone for the rest of our lives.


Get a job. Work that job for 40 years. Retire. Live off of your retirement money until you die. That’s the cycle that’s drilled into our heads from a young age. You’ve got dreams? You’ve got aspirations? Dreams and aspirations don’t pay the bills. Honestly, who wants to spend their precious time here on earth just paying bills? That’s what I’ve heard my entire life from my father. Not that I believe in you and your ability to succeed.  It sucked when I didn’t believe in myself but fast forward 5 years and I’m able to profit from what I love to do. I’m nowhere near where I want to be but to be able to see a shimmer of fruit for my labor means the world to me. It should mean the world to everyone who’s ever dreamed of their future. 


I say all of this because we’ve all been told at some point in our lives that we’re never going to be able to accomplish what we set out to do. To those who told you that, I hope one day they expand their horizons and see the bigger picture. Never give up on yourself or your vision. 

goals.dreams.future. 

Written at: 4:35 am Sunday morning because fuck sleep right?


Rock Steady x The Whispers

Inside World x Alex Burey

Breakin My Heart (PBE) x Mint Condition

Butterfly Effect x Travis Scott

Successful x Drake ft Lil Wayne & Trey Songz

The Percocet & Stripper Joint x Future


I want to be a boss. I want to be a writer, a sports broadcaster, and a photographer all in one. I want to be the black Ryan Seacrest but even better. I want all these things but at times I feel as if I’m falling behind even though I just turned 20. That’s normal right?

I was kind of down earlier so I texted one of my best friends who always knows what to say. He’s a great human being and he deserves nothing but the absolute best. Told him I felt like I was falling behind in life and this is what he told me: (I don’t know how the groupchat got named “Three Fat Sluts” but its true.)

 We all need friends like this. Friends that aren’t just there for the sunny 90 degree days. Friends that’ll go through a tornado for you.


I remember when I first started reading books that inspired me to start writing. My mom used to have this huge collection of books by Harlan Coben and James Patterson. I was about 10 and had no business reading those kind of books but I was reading at a college reading level already and none of the books in school challenged me mentally. Poets and authors like Patterson, Coben, and Král’ invoked curiosity within me. Something I’d never experienced before. Made me feel as if glass ceilings never existed. From that point on, I would always have books with me. I got referrals all throughout grade school for reading during classes which I always found to be supremely ass backwards, but hey, that’s the American education system in a nutshell. 


I’ve loved sports since I was a kid. As soon as I was able to carry a bat, I was swinging for the fences. Baseball has always been my first love but football  basketball are a close second. We moved around alot as a kid but my favorite house was about a block off Halstead in this town called Harvey about 10 minutes from Chicago. Anyone that’s remotely familiar with Chicago knows Halstead is a massive street. I was about 11 when I first realized how much power I had as a switch hitter. My younger brother would pitch to me and I swear the sound off a baseball launching off a composite bat is still the sweetest sound. We would watch balls fly into traffic and across the street. Summer days as a kid were spent playing hours of baseball with my boys in abandoned parking lots and if we were lucky, we’d play on Thornton’s field if it was unlocked. I still play baseball but when I realized my dreams of playing 1st base for the Cubs wasn’t going to happen, dominant figures like Stuart Scott, Keith OlbermannScott Van Pelt made me want to follow in their footsteps. Watching them on ESPN as a kid was one of my favorite pastimes. 


Photography has always been an interest of mine. All of the pictures I use for thumbnails when writing were taken by me. The world is full of beautiful creatures and fixtures, all waiting to be shown to others. When they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I’d like to think that applies to photography as well. Everyone has different tastes but at the end of the day its all about what you deem as beautiful. One day one of my pictures will be blown up and plastered across one of my favorite brick buildings downtown. Its a goal that I’m determined to accomplish. 


Like my friend said, greatness doesn’t come the first 20-30 years of your life. It comes later when you’re skilled enough in your craft to accomplish the things you dream about. Wise words from a wise man beyond his years. 


the power of music. 

Losin Control x Russ 

Amphetamine x Smino

No More Temporary x Juhovah

Break It Down x Logic ft Jhene Aiko 

I Want It All x Logic

Halfcrazy x Musiq Soulchild

The power of music continues to amaze me. Whether its one of my favorite artists or one I’ve just found, music just seems to find me. Last week I was reading a funny thread on Twitter and there was a tweet with a clip from Cowboy Bebop, one of my favorite anime movies. I clicked it and I realized it was a song from Soundcloud. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Its Creww x Yng Hstlr for those wondering. 

The way we relate to music emotionally is something I’ve always found intriguing. Whether its a song we haven’t heard in forever or a song we listen to everyday, we can remember every memory we’ve had to said song. For me, its Amphetamine x Smino and City of Stars x Logic. I’ve never heard of Smino until last month and I haven’t been able to stop listening to him. When I first heard Amphetamine, I was sitting in an empty parking lot at 3am talking about life with a friend and now whenever I hear that song, its all I ever think about. For that alone, I thank her. 

When I first heard City of Stars, it was probably the darkest time of my life. City of Stars gave me hope. It gave me the will to keep pushing. I was so hyped for the release of The Incredible True Story. It was the first album I’ve listened to front to back. Every song was amazingly crafted and mixed.  I’ve always been an OG Logic fan, back to his Young, Broke, & Infamous days. To this day, Break It Down ft Jhene Aiko is one of my favorite songs ever. I may not like his latest album as much as his older projects but he’s still amazing to me. 

The emotional connections we share with music is unique like no other. That’s what I love about it. No matter where you are in life, you’ll always remember when you heard that one song you love or how it changed you. 

leaderless. 

I took a hiatus from writing and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. With so much going on in the world, its important that we take a step back and reflect. Step back, reflect, and be grateful that so many obstacles and occurrences don’t affect you or people you love. Yet when one of these obstacles present itself, what response is the correct response? Do we rally? Do we hold protests? Tell me what we’re supposed to do to make a difference, or better yet, better the situation for that loved one. 
In times like these, we’re told to lean on our religious leaders, call our representatives, or my favorite, brainstorm with “activists”.  For one, how exactly are we supposed to do this when all our religious ever see is a dollar sign? Not all religious leaders are like this, but most of them are. The same goes for our gov’t representatives and activists. How are we supposed to trust and believe in individuals that profit off our heartache?
James T Meeks is a Baptist preacher on the South Side of my hometown, Chicago. He was an Illinois State Senator of the 15th district for a decade, ending his political career in 2013. Pastor Meeks currently preaches out of a megachurch with thousands of members. I’ll explain why this matters soon. When I was younger, his church was a small building in the neighborhood of Roseland. As Pastor Meeks’s church grew, so did his ego and influence over thousands of middle to lower class African-Americans. During big bucks Republican Bruce Rauner’s campaign for Governer of Illinois, Pastor Meeks invited Rauner to a Sunday worship service. For those who aren’t heavily religious, mixing religion with politics is frowned upon by many of all faiths. During said worship service, Meeks openly endorsed Rauner and pleaded with his congregation to vote for him. Cheers and clapping everywhere you look. I’m not proposing the idea that Meeks forced the hands of these people to vote for Rauner, but at the same time, he knew of his power within his congregation and exploited thousands of African Americans. The same African Americans Governor Bruce Rauner has continually punished with his noncomittal stance to the failing education system of Chicagoans, fighting crime, and creating jobs. As I said before, as Meeks’s church grew so did his power and ego. Not every preacher is James T Meeks, but he’s definitely not the only one of his kind. Is this the religious leader we’re supposed to trust and believe in? Preachers that sell their congregations out for a dollar or political favors?
We live in era where being an activist means putting the word “activist” in your Twitter bio and tweeting incessantly. I’m pretty sure I just described the DNA of Shaun King and Deray McKesson, the starlings of the Black Lives Matter movement. Two individuals who profit off of the killing of black people across the country. Whenever there’s a camera reporting on yet another senseless death of a black person,  I guarantee you’ll see McKesson thinking about how great his smile will look all across the internet. There’s tornado chasers, hurricane chasers, and rally chasers. That’s McKesson for you. When he heard of the death of Alton Sterling, he caught a flight to Louisiana and took the attention away from the death of an innocent man. He’ll tell you he’s doing it for his people yet he’s really just lining his wallet. 
The same goes for the likes of Shaun King. A man that makes his living by writing purposefully infuriating articles on the killing of black people. Many say that what he’s doing is courageous and “brave”. What I see is a man who uses the emotions of millions of black people in order to make a name for himself. I can’t count how many times I’ve read his work and thought how he does this with a straight face. The media does the same thing. Print media, news media, social media, etc. They play the deaths of black people everywhere on a loop. Do you know how demoralizing that is as a black man? To see your brothers and sisters killed everyday and big brother never letting you forget it? We know we’re targets. We know every day we walk out our front doors could be the last, simply because of the color of our skin. For someone with the power and reach to create actual change, Deray McKesson and Shaun King would rather benefit off the backs of their own. These two men do not speak for all black people and I would greatly appreciate if the American public would understand that. 
In a time where our leaders are cowards, its up to us make our voice heard.

Women’s Rights & Sexual Assault 

Since the beginning of time, man has considered himself superior to women. Thousands of years later, in 2016, this wildly false assumption is still widely believed. 
       

 Women continue to suffer because men think they’re better. Ohio just passed a bill that makes it illegal to have an abortion 6 weeks after conception. Most women don’t even know they’re pregnant 6 weeks into their pregnancy. Not only is this new law unconstitutional, it’s just another reminder of the oppression women face daily just because they’re female. I shouldn’t be surprised at this considering how a proven rapist in Brock Turner spent less than 4 months in jail for actually raping someone. I believe a woman has the right to choose what to do with her body and no one, not even the government, should poke its nose in. 

 1 out of every 5 women have been sexually assaulted and I don’t see anything being done about such a startling statistic. Instead of teaching young men to keep their hands to themselves, we tell women not to dress “provocatively” and to give out false numbers.  This is an actual practice. As drastic as it is, it saves women from being put in certain situations that are highly unfavorable. 

One reason the frequency of sexual assault on campuses continues to be high is that schools are in denial about the scope of the problem. In addition, universities have fragmented reporting channels, and women report assaults in various ways – they may call the police, tell a friend or faculty member, go to the hospital or seek counseling at a sexual assault center.

At the end of the day, women should have the right to make decisions about their bodies by themselves and live in peace without being a political talking point. Sexual assault is a real problem that isn’t being addressed as seriously as it should be by universities worldwide. It’s a shame.