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We Are All “Superpredators” Now

Good morning all. I had some more thoughts to add from yesterday’s Bill Clinton blow up. It appears that even our “friends” are allowed to criminalize and dehumanize Black Americans as long as they can justify it. Activists shouldn’t run away from the fact that mass incarceration compels one to defend those who have been unjustly criminalized.

As the shockwaves continue, I find my outlook confirmed. I caught some flack for saying in public spaces that I wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton even if she was the nominee. It would mean making peace with a center-right/neo-liberal outlook.  In all likelihood this incident won’t make die-hard Clinton supporters change their minds. But, for principled progressives, it points to a political dilemma.

These primaries are showing a struggle within the Democratic Party. Either millions of Democratic voters are stuck with a status quo, middle of the road politics, or it will be forced to move left and re-embrace tenets of compassionate Liberalism, social democracy, and Keynesian economics. If not, it’s a question as to whether who is really welcome or wanted in the party.

What a week.

Bill Clinton’s Tirade Against Black Lives Matter

This has not been a good week for Hillary Clinton. After another loss to Bernie Sanders in Wisconsin, now we have a rally with former President Bill Clinton totally losing it. The footage is in circulation across the net, and Bill is ranting in defense of the 1994 crime bill. He basically defends Hillary’s use of the loaded term “superpredators.” He goes so far as to say that BLM folks are defending thugs and murderers.

At a time where people are questioning the whole system of mass incarceration and the legislation that established it, how can we be “confident” that the Clinton campaign is going to facilitate any reforms when one is doubling down on heavy handed, harmful policies of the past?

The Clinton’s have done a lot of damage to the Black community,  here and abroad *cough* Haiti *cough* but Bill wants to play up Africa. Okay.

This primary is indeed getting ugly.  That’s politics. People are saying that it’s “gone nuclear” but this was bound to happen eventually. This will all make for a very spirited debate next Thursday in New York.

Author Profile: Andrea C. Imafidon

Andrea C. Imafidon, author

Andrea C. Imafidon, author

The life of an entrepreneur can be a challenge. Balancing a business with your passion requires much of an individual. For perspective on this, we reached out to author and blogger Andrea C. Imafidon. Andrea gives us insight as an entrepreneur, blogger, and speaker. She will be a speaker at BloggerWeek 2016 later this summer. Andrea is also the creator of Brown Girl From Boston.

 

Polite On Society: What motivated you to write your book?

Andrea Imafidon: I was motivated to write “Turning Your Passion Into A Paycheck” because I have learned how to turn my passions into a paycheck. I was motivated to write my book because I always had side hustles to compliment my main hustle and wanted to share my knowledge of the power of side hustles and supplementing your income.

I understand the power of having multiple streams of income coming into my household and wanted to help others especially African-Americans to turn their skills, talents, and passions into a paycheck instead of throwing money down the drain and living paycheck to paycheck. This book was also inspired by a previous tele-class that I taught on turning your dream into a profit, in which I was teaching people how to create various source of income through something that they truly encourage doing each and everyday. You can turn anything into a profit these days.

POS: In embracing your passion, do you feel there is a danger at times that the process of turning it into a profit will drain your enthusiasm? 

AI: I have so many passions in which I protect all of them. Some passions that I have are just passionate hobbies and wouldn’t want to profit from them because I just enjoy them such as listening to Hip Hop. I love Hip Hop but I can’t see myself being a Hip Hop journalist because I would have to listen to all kind of wack Hip Hop and would automatically have my enthusiasm drained trying to comprehend what the heck these new ages “Hip Hop artists” are trying to convey to the listeners. I know my lane and I stay in it.

As far as my other passions, such as blogging, speaking,  helping people to map out their business ideas, or problem-solving, I love doing those things and have no problem profiting from them. When I blog, speak, or problem-solve personal and professional issues for people, I profit from my passions in a holistic way. I am part of the healing process, the transformation process, and the breakthroughs that bring me so much enthusiasm. My inner wealth, enthusiasm, and knowing what lane to stay in to create and profit from my passion, protects me from burnout. My business is my livelihood and I stick to blogging/writing, coaching/consultant, and speaking to profit from. I have tried to profit from all my passions at one point because I was desperate and needed money. I was in way over my head and I have failed because I realize that I cannot do any and every business idea that comes in and out my mind. I have to pick and choose wisely and stay in my knowledge lane.

POS: How important is it nowadays to have multiple streams of income? 

AI:

It is essential to have multiple streams of income. No one should depend on one source of income because anything can compromise your main hustle such as illness, termination, starting a family, economy, gentrification, systemic racism, workplace racism and the list goes on and on. Having multiple streams of income give you power, it gives you a voice, provide freedom and independence. We need multiple streams of income to build strong economies, create jobs for our community, and rebuild and restructure communities and neighborhoods that are disenfranchised and being taking over by gentrification.

We live in an expensive and materialistic society in which the cost of living is high while your paycheck is barely allowing you and your survive to live a quality of life. You have debt such as student loans, credit cards, and personal debt that is holding people hostage to working multiple low wage jobs, limited of time to enjoy life, and you are basically paying bills and waiting to die. I have decided a long time ago that me and my family were not about that life. I remember walking off my “lucrative and good” job because I couldn’t take the workplace discrimination from my supervisor. My husband and I had enough saved to make it for six months and on top of his salary. I had to tap into my side hustle of resume writing, partaking in paid focus groups, and other odd gigs to survive while figuring out our next move.

There are so many talented and skillful people who are not getting paid what they are worth on their jobs while being mistreated on their jobs. I truly believe that we all have the skills to pay the bills and live a prosperous and abundant life. We have to tap into our skills, strengths, and passions and profit from them. You are planning to fail once you start depending on that one paycheck. We have to move beyond fear and start creating multiple streams to create generational wealth for our children, their children, and their children’s children. You cannot create wealth depending on a paycheck and you cannot create wealth working for someone who wealth is set for 400 years.

1 Year Anniversary of “Everything To Learn, Nothing to Teach!”

Everything to Learn, Nothing To Teach

Everything to Learn, Nothing To Teach

Hey there, again. I know I just dropped a post like 2 minutes ago, but I have something else to say. Today marks the one year anniversary of my second book, “Everything To Learn, Nothing to Teach” It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year already. Dang. So for this occasion, I wanted to drop a little podcast about it. Peace, and thanks.

-Marc

National Black Writer’s Conference 2016

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13th National Black Writer’s Conference 2016 Program Booklet

 

Good evening folks! I’d like to take a little time to tell you about my experience this weekend at the 13th bi-annual National Black Writer’s Conference at Medgar Evers College this past weekend. Edwidge Danticat and Michael Eric Dyson were among this year’s honorees.  As readers of this blog know, I have attended in the past, but this year was my first time going as a book vendor. Because of this slight difference, my experience was decidedly more interactive.

I was there all day Saturday, promoting both of my books. It was a great experience. Throughout the course of the day, I spoke with attendees, students, staff, and other vendors. While I was not able to sit in on any of the panel discussions, by no means was I starved for conversation. Impromptu conversations about such matters as charter schools, and issues around higher education sprung up. People apparently are paying attention, since a conversation also ensued about the term “superpredator,” even though I did not raise it. Twitter screenames provoke stuff. Ha.

Marc set up shop.

Marc set up shop.

Speaking of provoke, what I noticed is how many people just liked the title of the second book, and thought it was really witty. I talk about a number of things in it, so I felt it was the best way to sum it up. I am relieved that there are some folks that get what I am doing with it. Given how strongly I feel about, well a number of issues, I have become good at making my point without unnecessarily agitating or offending those who I was in conversation with. (If anyone feels otherwise, I am sure they will let me know on Twitter, lol) But for real, it was all love though.

 

Author Angela Williamson sells her books at NBWC 2016

Author Angela Williamson book table at NBWC 2016

In addition to myself, a group of writers and poets were there promoting. Authors like James C. Ellerbe, Angela Williamson, M.W. Bennett, and K.G. Taylor were there. Atim Annette Oton, who organized the vendors was also present.

 

 

Author M.W. Bennett's book table

Author M.W. Bennett’s book table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jewelry and other creations by Atim Annette Oton

Jewelry and other creations by Atim Annette Oton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

K.G. Taylor quote

K.G. Taylor quote

 

 

These are a few of the images from Saturday. I can say more, but you get the idea. I want to say thank you to everyone who came by the table and supported my work. The next time you can catch me, is at the Bronx Book Fair in May. Peace!

-Marc

 

 

 

 

 

Diddy’s Charter School Hustle

DiddyThe media is predictably singing the praises of rap mogul Diddy for opening a charter school in Harlem. Now, before I get into this post, many of you will wonder why I am talking about this, despite this looking like a bit of good news for a change. The answer is that the area of education reform is a mess, and causes confusion on so many sides. Its hard for some people to see things for what they are, and the hidden forces behind education reform a.k.a school privatization have been pretty good at masking much of their aims under the guise of “it’s about the children.” Except, that it’s really not. The hedge fund managers who are supporting these moves on public education are not doing so for altruistic reasons.

I support public schools. Point Blank. The encroachment of charter schools is really about busting teachers unions, and profiteer off by siphoning off needed resources from public schools. Why would I root for Diddy’s school when this is really what it comes down to? For him, as well as many others, “It’s All About The Benjamins.”

Also, his partner in shakedown Steve Perry has been described as a known union buster who has described teacher’s unions as roaches. That’s endearing. In an overcrowded “market” for charter schools, no one ever asks why many of them are opened up in mostly Black and Brown neighborhoods.

Harlem needs another charter school about as much as it needs another liquor store. Ironically, Diddy profits from the latter, and will eventually do so for the former.  It’s done under the guise of getting rid of “bad teachers” but working conditions are worse.

Nevermind the that charter schools overdo it with disciplinary actions and suspensions that only hurt the children. I have spoken personally to parents that have pulled their child out of charter schools because of issues like this.

But, don’t let any of this deter you from rooting for Diddy assisting in the private takeover of public education. It’s just about not “hating on a brotha” and ducking the long term effects of what this neo-liberal school reform policy entails. No one ever stops to think what will happen the day that hedge fund managers no longer see schools as a profitable market. Go ahead and cheer though.

Cheryl Wills Discusses Genealogy and Black History at Harlem Liberation School

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Poster of "Die Free" -Cheryl Wills book on grandfather

Good evening, my readers. On this last Monday in March, I attended an event sponsored by the Harlem Liberation School. For those who may not have heard of them, the Harlem Liberation School is a group that has been hosting a number of events at Raw Space. It is coordinated by Agyei Tyehimba.  Tonight, they hosted NY1 anchor Cheryl Wills to speak on empowering Black women.

Wills is the author of two books: Die Free- A Heroic Family Tale and The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills. “Die Free” is about her grandfather who fought in the Civil War. The second book is a children’s book that addresses the same subject matter, but for the youth in a different fashion.  In the presentation, Wills referred to the documents she found while researching her family history. Her desire to know the meaning of last name is part of the motivation. Cheryl discussed the importance of knowing who you are to move more effectively through all of your endeavors.

An accomplished journalist, Cheryl has also done much to reach the youth of NYC. In hearing her discuss presentations about her book to children in different schools across New York City, it’s apparent that to Cheryl it’s about teaching the next generation. Our history has to be made real, and like Cheryl said in her talk, it is not a mere footnote. It’s not about the typical approach to history where we encourage children to memorize names, facts and dates, but looking at how learning about your family’s past can bolster your self definition. Which will in turn, result in some cases a change in how you carry yourself. Especially in an environment where the hostility is very much there. There is some value in that approach.

Connecting the past to the present, Cheryl noted that we were called names then and are still being called names now. “Do you believe the names that they are calling you?” , posed rhetorically to a crowded room. On a windy Monday evening in Harlem, Cheryl Wills came out to teach and inspire us to delve into genealogy to unearth our greatness.

Mainstream Media Downplays Sanders Victories with Erasure Narrative

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The statements that started it all..

Once again, social media was forced to pushback against a mainstream media narrative. Instead of dealing with the news of Bernie Sanders victories this weekend in an honest fashion, the media chose to downplay the Hawaii and Alaska wins with the notion that he won there because there were mostly white voters in the state.

This dishonest proclamation would result in the hashtag #BernieMadeMeWhite, created by Twitter users chin checking the notion that the vast majority of Sanders supporters are white people. It was hilarious. 

But in all seriousness, erasure is a really dangerous thing. It’s good to see progressives of color make quick work of such limiting notions. As if people of color can’t be people of color and care about income inequality, and education at the same time. Bravo, once again,  Twitter.

Bernie Sanders Wins Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii

The weekend primaries have gone well for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. He won all three contests Saturday: the states of Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. With fairly large margins of victory as well. After picking up Utah and Idaho last week, that makes it appear as though it’s not quite over for his campaign.  We will see what this means as the April primaries approach.

The Wisdom of Phife Dawg

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Phife Dawg of Tribe Called Quest

Good evening folks.  As you no doubt know by now, Phife Dawg of the legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest passed away. He was 45. We have seen more than a few tributes, and folks have been sharing many songs and moments they capture for them.

This is going to be an “old head” type of post, not a “trying to explain” Tribe to those who don’t know of them. Hearing the news, when I woke up this morning was hard. ATCQ had the run of the 1990’s, with a sound that was laid back. Whether it was “Award Tour” or “Electric Relaxation” Tribe got radio play and acclaim without trying to prove they were “hard”. They were just honest.

Phife Dawg had some quotables in so many songs, y’all. Lines like he “likes em Brown, Yellow, Puerto Rican and Haitian” repped the appreciation of diverse women before Wu-Tang’s “Ice Cream”. Word. Also, on the song “Oh My God” Phife rapped about his crush on Dawn Robinson. That’s so honest, because so many guys felt the same way. If you say you didn’t, stop lying.

So many gems, as some of us said back in the day.

On recognition: “I never let a statue tell me how nice I am” A lesson we could all use today in light of the “diversity” issues in Hollywood.

On defining who is that dude: “Bo don’t know jack, cause Bo can’t rap” Those were some harsh bars. Ha. That line probably made athletes like Shaq and Deion Sanders try their hand at hip hop.

Whether it was checking wack emcees or cleverly playing on the brand name “Seamen’s furniture” Phife had some funny, and relatable lines. I could keep going, but you get the point. You can’t even really discuss hip hop in the 90’s if you don’t know Tribe joints. Over the course of five albums, ATCQ established themselves in a rap game and prospered as an alternative to so called “gangsta rap” Back in 96 (20 years ago, dang!)when “Beats, Rhymes and Life” came out, the die hard fans liked it, but it wasn’t like the first three. Thinking of all that music, it just makes me miss that era of rap. A lot of us had no idea how good we had it musically. It’s crazy that Phife who was part of such a legendary group is gone now. He contributed a lot to the culture. May he rest in peace.

Too Little, Too Late on Trump Denunciations

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Good evening folks. Now that Donald Trump is officially a thing in American politics, the mainstream media wants to pretend it didn’t have a hand in his success. With 24 hour coverage,  a ratings hungry media fed upon the controversial billionaire with free air time. Coverage that candidates like Bernie Sanders and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein would never get.

Meet the Press announced that they would no longer allow Trump to phone in to be heard on the show. Okay. That might have helped… 3 months ago.

Now that the damage is done, and the beast has grown,  some wish to put it back in the cage. But it’s too late.

Also today, Elizabeth Warren came out swinging at Trump, calling him a loser. Of course, this statement has gone viral, and is lauded all over the net. I have a divergent thought about this that I am going to express here. While it’s cool that Warren denounced Trump, I can’t help but remember how relatively silent she was during the Massachusetts primary. A public endorsement could have helped Bernie Sanders, with the results being so close. I’m just saying. I can’t be the only one thinking this.

Besides us hearing Republican bellyaching about President Obama going to Cuba, these two occurrences made me think of what’s wrong with our discussions. But, this will all continue, because whether we like it or not in electoral politics, there is such a thing as too little, too late.

Oh well. Until next post! Peace.

Highlights from Bringing Conscious Back Set @The Shrine

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Artwork by Nicholle LaVann, March 2016

Good morning all. After a daunting week offline, I had the opportunity to be part of the Bringing Conscious Back set at The Shrine last night. Among the featured artists were Reign Taylor and Shonia Torres. Here are a few pictures from yesterday.

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Reign on the drums

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Reign's CD on sale

Of course, accompanying the performances, were merchandise.

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Books by Marc Polite on sale

This was the beginning of my Spring tour. The effort that in collaboration with many other artists and writers have been building behind the scenes.

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Marc with his latest book "Everything to Learn, Nothing to Teach"

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African Dance performance


If you want to see a short video of the performance, visit my Instagram page.

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Shonia Torres dance performance

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The next, and last BCB show for a good long while will be on Friday, June 3rd.