Category Archives: Opinion

Opinion: When Justice Takes A Holiday

 

Every American citizen believes, (or wants to believe), that when it is time for their day in court, they will receive fair and equitable treatment. After all, even Jeffery Dahmer received a fair trial. However, if you are a person of color, your hopes are dashed, because some within the system see it as an opportunity to take ‘ a day off’ from the rules of justice, even the laws.  You walk in hopeful … you walk out disappointed, and, in some cases, hurt.  It seems as if  people of color are not considered equal and entitled to equal protection under the law. That’s when one loses their center of gravity, because all you ever believed in turns out to be a fantasy. Even though the reality was not ever addressed to you, you still bought it, because no one ever told you that it was not intended for you.

This does not just happen in criminal court, but it happens in civil court as well. Every person in the room, comes equipped with their own personal biases and stereotypes. And, in most cases, (not all), that includes the opposing attorney and the judge. You can be right, but no one hears your words, no one reads what you have written. Your skin tone speaks for you, and you are immediately dismissed.

If you quote a statute, you are ignored, because, after all, you are not even supposed to be able to read. If you represent yourself on something as small as a landlord/tenant dispute, if the opposing party is represented by an attorney, then a possible friendship or ‘professional loyalty‘ comes into play, and your standing is immediately diminished.  Indeed, there are fair judges within a county, but they are few and far between. And, one does breathe a sigh of relief when one encounters that rare, fair and unbiased judge. And that old saying about the person who represents themselves has a fool for a client is one which may have been created to keep attorneys with their jobs.

Many may not remember the Eddie Murphy skit about how things are different between the majority and minorities. Sure it was over-the-top comedy, but in some ways, in the American judicial system, it seems to ring very true.

But you stand there anyway, presenting your case, hoping that your words are at least heard and understood. You don’t give up, you present your evidence, only to soon learn that ‘your’ evidence does not matter. You may as well have presented a ‘kite’, because essentially, at the end, you feel that what was figuratively said to you was to “go fly a kite” . Once away from the court, you can not help but feel violated, cheated and hurt.  It is as if someone picked you up and shook you like a rag doll.

But what can be done?  One thing that can be done is to vote. Read up on the reviews of a judge and vote judges with poor reviews out of that position.  So many people just vote ‘yes’ on all of the judges, and that is a mistake. Take the time to research. Your vote counts and it is important that you exercise your personal responsibility to be a well-informed voter.

On paper, the American justice system is the best in the world.  And every single American is entitled to access to the fair and unbiased system which is not only on paper, but in the hearts and minds of all Americans.  It is instilled in our minds practically as soon as we can read and understand. It’s literally a promise. So, it is we, the American people, who have to hold that system to its word.

It should be the goal of everyone in this country to make certain that justice never, ever takes a holiday. It is not just people of color who suffer as a result, it’s America.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/eddie-murphy-1984-snl-skit-white-privilege-article-1.2409222

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/07/20/why-the-u-s-court-system-is-criminally-unjust/?noredirect=on

https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/01/american-justice-system-broken/https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/01/american-justice-system-broken/

 

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Opinion: Khia Shamone – America’s Secret Guilty Pleasure

Now, for those who do not know, the phrase ‘guilty pleasure‘ is defined as: “something, such as a movie, television program, or piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.” And why, many people keep their guilty pleasures secret, but spend their money on them, as well as  their time listening or watching.

 

It’s amazing what one can find on Youtube! It is a great place to visit when you need take a break. Recently, upon looking for something that helps with laughter, I encountered a Youtube show called: “The Queen’s Court”. It was a hilarious hit show, but, the two parties in roles of ‘dishonorable judges’ had a Youtube break-up, which became contentious, with real-life court appearances required. However, the pair went their separate ways, leaving the show to become an iconic and instant classic. Initially, before the exhibition of bad blood between the pair, many were hoping that they would reunite, because the chemistry was magical, and together they were golden. But one can only compare the split  to a bitter divorce, which ended up in feuds between the fans, who took a side, just as friends, family and children would do during a real-life divorce. Youtube was abuzz with the feud. And that, was the end of that.

Now many might know Khia for her hit song: “My neck, My Back”, and there are those who may publicly look down their noses at her music, but privately enjoy her work. Hence the title “Secret Guilty Pleasure”. But, unbeknownst to many, she also worked with Janet Jackson and Miley Cyrus. Khia Shamone is a multi-talented singer, rapper,songwriter. She is consistently solicited to write songs for other artists. She is beloved by her fans for her ability to “keep it real”. Many, however, are unaware her comedic talents. If anyone knows the work of Don Rickles, which was laced with his comedic jibes and insults, then you are on your way to appreciating the comedic work of Khia, which the young people today call ‘roasts’ and ‘gags’. Khia is also known to her fans  ‘Queen’, ‘QueenKhia’ and ‘Thug Misses’.

On one particular episode of The  Queen’s Court show, there was one woman who continued to call into the show and ask Khia about something which Khia felt was not only inappropriate, but, was also a complete waste of her time due to the inaccuracies as presented by the caller. Khia, who also has the nickname of “Motormouf” (motormouth), lit into the caller, over-talked her and ultimately used the term “Next Caller“, (a term which was acknowledged via a shout-out from  Erykah Badu on the most recent BET awards show). The result of that call gave birth to the song written by Khia appropriately titled “Next Caller”, in which the conversation was described and reenacted  in the song. She tells the caller to “stop calling”.  (You can listen to the song on her Youtube channel and a link is provided below.) But if you are sensitive to off-color language, then your sensitivities will surely be put on alert. Or, like others, you will privately enjoy it ‘secretly’. Such is the case with much of her music, but she continues to have success, so she is indeed, a secret  guilty pleasure.

One would have to admit that, not since Blues singer Lucille Bogan’s “Shave me dry” in the 1930’s, has a woman had the courage to record songs such as these. But, like Khia, Ms. Bogan’s work sold millions, and she was very popular in her day.

Now only for purposes of just how real and honest she keeps it, Khia makes no attempt to hide her past. And, she admits to keeping a collage of her mug shots in a frame on her desk, to, (as she says), to remind her of the things that she does NOT want to do again. When someone tried to embarrass her regarding her past, that was how she set them straight during one of her ‘Queen’s Chambers’ posts.

Khia now performs exclusively in an Atlanta, Georgia night club called ‘The Ivory’ on Monday nights with fans traveling from all over the country, and others either call in or skype from all over the world. The name of the show is “Gag Order” and consists of her placing news of the day on her ‘docket’, discusses the ‘case’, then renders her “verdict” and a ‘sentence‘.  And it is fun, but also there is the ring of truth, and also hilarious. The show airs live on Youtube. And in between, due to the popular demand of her fans, she does a live “gag order” show from her home, which she has titled “Gag Order from the Queen’s Chambers”. (You can find links to her official  sites below.)

Khia does not bite her tongue, and often says what many are thinking, but do not have the courage to say.  Again, another reason why she is indeed America’s Secret Guilty Pleasure. Khia’s official Youtube pages are https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9bRKhLWRY05BVVdCTG3Yxg and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDKjER-pFiWMUSp78WCbI1g

 

 

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