Saturday, August 12, 2017

How To Invent Mini Sex Offenders

   Technology is moving at such a fast rate that state and federal laws are often years behind addressing some of the new problems that come up based upon new technological advances. One such problem are laws surrounding sex offender status, sext messaging and child pornography.

   According to statistics gathered by Impact Justice a national innovation and research center, in 75% of the states, there are laws that still exist that “require children as young as 8 years old to be placed on sex offender registries, often for life, when adjudicated of what the courts deem sexual crimes.” This pre-adolescent to sex registry pipeline began in the mid 90’s, corresponding to budding growth and development of the World Wide Wide, smart phone technology, text messaging and social media. Keep in mind that many of these children are not registrants because of a sexual crime they actually committed, many of them are registered sex offenders based upon doing something as silly as pulling student’s pants down at school, public urination, sending a nude photo or sext messaging someone who happened to be underage. Even more problematic is the fact that many of these children are disproportionately people of color from impoverished urban environments without the finances to fight legal cases like this.

   Consider the case of Bobby Garza who was registered as a sex offender when he was 11 years old for indecent exposure to a child. His crime? He and his brother were urinating outside, a girl saw them and reported that they exposed themselves to her. Bobby was placed in foster care and escaped until he was placed in a youth detention facility for the next 6 years. Upon his release when he was 17 he had to register as a sex offender until he was 27 years old. Feeling that this was unfair he refused to register and was sentenced to prison for 5 years. Another example is Cormega Copening who was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor and making child porn in 2014 for sharing nude photos with his girlfriend Brianna Benson when they were both 16 years old. They were arrested in 2015. A standout quarterback for his high school football team, Copening was benched by his team pending further investigation missing a critical time of his athletic career, facing nationwide public humiliation and the frightening possibility of becoming a registered sex offender. While awaiting trial, Copening was put on probation for a year when five felony charges of making and possessing child pornography were reduced to two misdemeanors in a plea bargain. It wasn’t until he competed his probation did County District Court Judge dismiss the two remaining charges, yet the damage was already done. According to North Carolina law, Copening and Benson were considered adults and children at the same time; when people 16 and older commit crimes they are prosecuted as adults, but if they are under age 18, and crime victims, they are considered minors. When Benson made and possessed nude photos of herself, North Carolina law treated her as if she were an adult pornographer who was victimizing her minor self. Thus charging her with two counts of felony sexual exploitation of a minor. Copening faced 4 charges for making and possessing nude photos of himself and 1 charge for possessing a nude photo that Benson sent to him. It’s outdated laws such as this in many states, which consider a teen both a victim and perpetrator, that are one of problematic reasons we see miscarriages of justice like this. These are just two cases involving young people of color who have found themselves punished for unreasonably defined so-called crimes. Another issue is the fact that while the identity of juveniles involved in a crime are kept private, a juvenile convicted as a sex offender is publicly registered.

   One of the other growing concerns are recent cases involving hundreds of students posting and sharing nude photos in Facebook groups, on other social media networks such as Twitter and Snapchat and on the file sharing site Dropbox. One such case is a child porn scandal involving an unnamed 17 year old student at Davidson Senior High School in Davidson, Michigan. Police learned that this student gathered over 100 nude photos of students posted to Snapchat, saved them to Dropbox and shared them around the school. Pending a full investigation, this student could be charged as an adult and according the Michigan law, nude photos of a person under the age of 18 is considered child sexual abusive material. The Prosecutor in this case can not only charge this student with the dissemination of child pornography but any student that posted these images to Snapchat in the first place. This is not even considering those youth who do not attend Davidson High School they may have downloaded those images from Dropbox and disseminated them.

   From the above examples I am sure you can see the magnitude of this issue surrounding sex offender registry status, sext messaging and child pornography and how there is usually no legal precedence of how cases like this should be handled. Historically speaking, as with most legal precedence's in this country, people of color from impoverished urban environments without the finances to fight these legal cases become the face of these often unfair judgments. Every quarter of the year technology advances to create and update tools we use that many state and federal laws are far behind. Advocacy groups such as Impact Justice and the Center on Youth Registration Reform are leading the charge to not only end youth sex offender registration but educate the public about its link to suicide, juvenile delinquency, homelessness, mental health issues, alcoholism and drug abuse. I encourage you to talk to the youth and look into workshops and information about internet and social media safety. Check out Impact Justice and the Center on Youth Registration Reform online to find our more about the legal cases and statistics involving youth sex registry. If we’re not on top of this and playing an active role to insure that we inform and protect our children, this system of creating mini sex offenders could be the next preschool to prison pipeline.


Saturday, July 01, 2017

The Anusha Anti-Aging, Hair Growth and Extreme Skincare Serums

In the Spring I had the pleasure of conducting a two-part interview with Scientist/Inventor Terry Lee Hamilton on Atlantis Build Talk Radio. In Part 1 of these interviews we discussed his journey as a Scientist, his inventions and different sciences of life such as the Fibonacci Sequence, Extraterrestrial Life, Physics, Einstein and etc. A self-taught Scientist/Inventor from Western New York, Hamilton designed the antennae and coupler interface system for Stico Industries that resolved Homeland Security's communications issues on 9/11 and was used during Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy and other disasters in the U.S. While employed at a company named Nanodynamics he was also responsible for helping improve the process to sustain  the power and voltage output of the fuel cell. In Part 2 of these interviews Hamilton discusses various serums he created from a molecular level for removing wrinkles, reversing the aging process, hair growth, balding, skin rashes, herpes 1 and 2, shingles and other ailments. We also discuss how these serums work with our cells in relationship to the immune system, alkaline vs acidic body environments, Herbalism and other insightful topics. You can listen to both of these interviews here:

   Following these interviews and in partnership with Hamilton, we developed a line of three primary serums called Anusha that are now exclusively available through my company Quanaah Herbal Accents. The serums come in three versions of various sizes [2 oz to 8 oz] of the Extreme Skincare Serum, Anti-Aging Skincare Serum and Hair Growth Serum. While all of these specialized formulas focus on different areas of the body, all of them penetrate all three layers of the skin and consist of Antioxidants, Anti-Inflammation ingredients, Hydrators and Enzymes that are non-GMO, non-artificial and nut, shellfish and gluten free. Some of the other specs of the Anusha Serums are as follows:

  • The serum molecules are smaller than lotions and creams. This allows the serum to easily penetrate all three layers of the skin.
  • Lotions and creams are ineffective in penetrating the three layers of the skin because their molecules are larger than the serums.
  • The serums are high concentrated formulas so only a small amount needs to applied to affected areas of the skin, hair and scalp.
  • No or mild inflammatory, irritation or immunogenic responses were reported from the serums clinical trials and clients.
  • The serums are not animal tested, non-GMO and don't consist of any artificial ingredients or allergens such as nuts, shellfish or gluten. 

   If you're interested in purchasing the Anusha Serums you can do so at our website here: Anusha Serums. To read more technical information about the Anusha Serums you can go here: Anusha Serum Technical Information. 

   If you are interested in purchasing the Extreme Skincare SerumAnti-Aging Skincare Serum and Hair Growth Serum, please email Quanaah Herbal Accents at: for further information.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

The 46th Annual Show and Prove

Photo Credit: FadPhotography [Instagram]

   Every second weekend in June we [the Five Percent Nation] hold our Annual Science and Educational Show and Prove at the Harriet Tubman School in Harlem, NY [Public School 154]. June 11th, 2017 marked our 46th Annual Event. The first Show and Prove took place on June 13th, 1971 at Harlem Prep following a December 4th, 1970 dance that was organized six months earlier in Queens, NY [AKA: The Oasis in the Desert]. I mention this dance because it was the first collective gathering of Five Percenters since the assassination of The Father [Allah] one year earlier on June 13th, 1969 and the spark to ignite the Science and Educational Show and Prove. This annual youth-centric event was established to celebrate The Father's legacy through showcasing the contributions and accomplishments of our family members who are building upon this legacy. Founded by several young Five Percenters such as Allah B, Prince Allah, God Supreme, Dumar, Gykee, Takesha, LuAsia and others, the Show and Prove highlighted a youth science and educational fair and has expanded over the years to include a marketplace, food vendors, speeches, performances, and a Meet & Greet/Cook Out the day before. The largest single gathering of Five Percenters each year, the first Show and Prove on June 13th, 1971 was said to have over 2,000 people, most of them youth, in attendance. The first Show and Prove I attended was 20 years ago in 1997. Since that time some things have changed and some things have remained the same. Some for the better, and some for the worst.

   Because I usually travel to the Show and Prove the night before I'm often the first person to arrive at the Allah School In Mecca in the morning. When an Elder God arrived to open up the school he recognized me immediately and informed me that I could sit behind the desk and answer any incoming phone calls. "I know you're more than qualified to sit there" he said, as he walked through the rest of the school to check it out. As others began to arrive I was given a tour of our current storefront renovations by Cee Aaquil Allah who is managing the project and also serves on the Show and Prove Organizing Committee as the event's lead organizer. From what I've seen thus far these modern updates are going to be an excellent addition to support our school and the surrounding community. Next I had an opportunity to build with the God Unique who coordinates the computer lab. He has a background in computer science and shared with me a program he built that instructs its user in our cultural curriculum using integrated audio, images and eventually video. For example, a child can click on our 1st degree in the Student Enrollment "Who is the Original Man?" and a pre-recorded voice will then recite the question and answer of that lesson. That pre-recorded audio file could be that child's voice or another Five Percenter's voice -such as an elder Unique had the opportunity to record who is no longer with us. I was honored to archive my voice reciting the 5th degree in the 1-14's; the lesson where I got my righteous name 'Saladin' from. I spoke extensively with the God on its current and potential applications in relationship to my work in early childhood development and pre-teen/teen programming and look forward to using it as a resource at my Atlantis School For Gifted Youngsters. After building with a few brothers/sisters who began to arrive I walked around the corner to the Harriet Tubman School to meet back up with Cee Aaquil and other volunteers to help prepare for the Show and Prove.

Photo Credit: FadPhotography [Instagram]

   When I became more publicly active as a Five Percenter I began to travel to the Show and Prove each year to volunteer. This experience has given me a unique perspective of what we can do to enhance the event. At the top of that list is VOLUNTEERS! We need more people who are willing and able to do more to add-on. A call is put out every year from the Show and Prove Organizing Committee for VOLUNTEERS and not enough people have been adding on. Willfully more people will be available to assist next year and in the future!

   Although many people come for the celebrity performances, our marketplace has become one of the focal points of the Show and Prove and a potential garden bed for our Nation's economic development. Because I'm an author, people always ask me if I brought any books to sell and encourage me to bring them next year if I didn't. Although I appreciate that support, I inform them that I just came to help out. I've just always seen the Show and Prove in its traditional sense; a youth-centered science and educational fair, not a personal money making opportunity. Now don't get me wrong, the inclusion of a marketplace is an excellent "addition" to our event yet it should not be the primary reason some of us come there. Some people use the motto, "we need to support each other" as their reasoning for selling or buying something during this event. I can understand that because as I mentioned, this is the largest single gathering of the Five Percent each year. I also understand that this opportunity to truly "support each other" requires more than a "I sell something and you buy it" business model. 7-Eleven and Walmart also sells us something and we buy it, so how are we any different? We need to ask ourselves: How do any of these financial transactions mutually empower both parties? As entrepreneurs we must consistently ask ourselves: What are we doing to show people that we're not just digging in their pockets like 7-Eleven and Walmart? Is our business consistently known for doing giveaways for our products/services? Are we known for donating money and/or our sweat equity to support programs, projects and initiatives? Are we actually employing people making a livable wage? 

   In my article Cultural Capital in a Post Obama America I explained our economy based upon Cultural Capital: "a network of relationships and resources rooted in shared customs, principles and values that mark a people's way of life. It's defined by reciprocity, trust and the cooperation of group members who systematically share and maintain the same resources and cultural interests. Thus this system of shared resources and cultural interests existed before money and is ultimately rooted in our relationships." What this economy looks like in a Jewish Community is a Jewish man being given store credit by the Jewish store owner and being told to pay for the groceries when he gets paid since he didn't have enough money right now. What this looks like in an Chinese Community is a Chinese woman receiving interest-free loans from three neighbors to help start her business instead of going to a bank. What this looks like in an Italian Community is Italian business owners consistently purchasing sports team uniforms, donating back to school supplies and giving away scholarships to youth. In all of these examples it's not about the money, it's about how people treat one another. Some may argue that they don't have enough to even do this or they're just a small business. Keep in mind that some of the examples of cooperative economics and collective work and responsibility I shared above were done during the Great Depression and other times in America when people had a fraction of what many of us have today. While many Five Percenters who operate a business are fair and understand that the highest value lies in our relationships, I've heard horror stories of some of us taking pre-order money for products/services and then giving people the runaround or a nasty attitude because they inquired why their order still hadn't arrived in over a month. To add insult to injury, these customers were not even offered anything for the poor service and inconvenience. This is completely unacceptable and this westernized mentality of capitalizing off of people, especially our people, must stop if we're ever going to build an economy that supports national consciousness, community control and peace. 

Photo Credit: FadPhotography [Instagram]

   Something I've also noticed at the Show and Prove is the growing number of street vendors setting up outside of the Harriet Tubman School to sell their products/services instead of vending inside of the event
. If we want to vend outside of the Show and Prove event then I think it's appropriate to contact a member of our Show and Prove Organizing Committee to inquire about a street vendor fee; a donation that will help support the services at the Allah School In Mecca. Whether vending inside or outside, to support true economic development we need to change a hand to mouth trajectory of trying to get individually paid. Again, some of us think that we have so little that we really can't give like that. Keep in mind that when we each give a little, we will all have a lot. This sense of collectivism, self sacrifice and protecting ones cultural interests has allowed other people to survive and thrive under similar circumstances. Next year I would love to see more youth vendors and a commitment from inside and outside adult vendors to have a youth vending with them. I'd also love to see more youth oriented products/services for sale at our marketplace. Lastly, I would like to see adults committing to a donation that goes towards an Annual Show and Prove Youth Scholarship and a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place cash prize for youth participating in the science and educational fair. I think that it's a fair investment in our future generations.

Out of all of the years I've attended the Show and Prove, this is the first year I felt an overwhelming sense of genuine support and acknowledgement for what I've been doing to publicly represent our culture. I've felt it in the past yet this year was different. It made me feel very proud that old and young alike look upon the work I do as some evidence of what we are. All of the support I received let me know that I'm appreciated and it encouraged me to do even more to make sure that our national activity, narrative and image remains right and exact. So I want to say THANK YOU to each and every one of you whom I had an opportunity to meet and reconnect with. 


Monday, June 05, 2017

13 Ways To Survive Living In Chicago

   In my STYA After School Program recently some of my students were putting me on to some of their favorite Rappers, most who came from Chicago. I began to recognize a pattern beyond the Drill style rap music and gritty lyrics; many of these young rappers were no longer here. Song after song my students would share with me the gruesome tale behind these young men getting murdered. Since 2014 there's been dozens of young Chicago rappers, many of them teenagers, whose blood was spilled in the streets. 

   In 2016 there were 762 murders in the city of Chicago; the total leading number of murders in the United States with the majority being black men under forty years of age. According to the number of murders reported to the FBI based upon cities with a population of 25,000 residents and above, Chicago Heights, IL was ranked #30 on the list of murder capitals of the world in 2016. Places like Birmingham Alabama, Myrtle Beach South Carolina, Riviera Beach Florida and twenty-five other cities outranked Chicago Heights as murder capitals. For the second year in a row East St. Louis was ranked #1 with a crime index of 3%, meaning it's only safer than 3% of the cities in the United States. Chicago Heights was safer than 15% of the cities in the United States. 

   Whenever we're looking at statistics like this, coupled with sensationalized news stories, some of us could easily get the impression that Chicago is 1980's Beirut or the present day West Bank. While there is definitely a disproportionate amount of violence going on in some Chicago communities in comparison to other communities that are the same size, it's also important to keep in mind that a white person is about six times more likely to be killed by another white person than somebody black. The media's lack of coverage on this white on white violence is virtually nonexistent in comparison to its obsessive compulsion of black on black violence. Considering that propaganda we still cannot dismiss the narrative of those who live and have grown up in Chicago who see this carnage. I've lived there myself for a few months on the South Side, South Lowe to be exact, back in the early 2000's. Since that time, and with it's growing poverty and community deterioration, it's gotten much worst. Depending upon Politicians to fix it is equivalent to expecting Physicians to help regulate Big Pharma. There's no silver bullet and it requires a concerted effort of grassroots initiatives of dedicated community members to change the culture of violence in Chicago and transform its socioeconomic landscape. In the meantime, these Changemakers must survive in order to have an opportunity to strive. Here is something one of my sister's named Tanya shared that highlights some basic rules for how to survive in Chicago. Tanya is a professional hairstylist that was born, raised and currently resides in Chicago:

1. Don't sit in cars kicking it.
2. Get EVERYTHING you need and get to your destination.
3. Keep your eyes and ears open! Watch your surrounding instead of running your mouth.
4. Know who you're hanging with and what they're up to.

5. Google numbers, order your food ahead of time don't sit in local spots.
6. Track the bus if you have to ride it. That bus stop stuff is dead. Also if it does not look safe always walk a block up.
7. Don't be listening to your headphones, you gotta hear stuff.
8. Don't sit and watch when people getting rowdy KEEP IT MOVING!!
9. If you get into a confrontation assess your situation first before you snap. You never know what a person got on them. Forget being tough. Make it back home.
10. If something don't look right trust your instinct. If you hear gun shots get down quickly until it stops.
11. Don't loiter in front of the house like an easy target!! Don't run unless someone is shooting at you.
12. When in public, keep your face out of your phone, and your phone out of your face. Keep that $500 object hidden. Period.
13. Don't mix BEING CAUTIOUS with BEING SCARY. Forget what somebody thinks, make it back home to your FAMILY!!!!

   Although these survival tips relate to communities in Chicago, they are also applicable to other communities around the country and internationally. I've been to hoods in Canada these tips apply to as well. It's also worth mentioning that from 1980 to 2008, 53.3% of gang-homicides were committed by white offenders and 56.3% of gang-homicide victims were white according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. This means that there are communities that are predominately white and poor where these survival tips also apply. In fact, black people, especially males, need to follow these survival tips in any predominately white communities that are poor and especially when they're affluent. Historically there's been countless examples of blacks being racially profiled, harassed, criminalized, incarcerated, assaulted and murdered simply because they were in a white person's neighborhood. 


Monday, May 29, 2017

Who are the 85%?

In the 1950s a Psychologist by the name of Solomon Asch did a series of social experiments on human conformity called The Ash Conformity Experiments. These experiments began with a perceptual exercise. A group of 6 people were asked to participate in a study where they would all sit at a table and be shown a series of cards with one target line on one side and three comparison lines on the other side.

The participants would then be asked one by one which comparison line matches the target line. One by one they all choose the correct answer when the first and second card is shown. Of the 6 people participating, 5 of them were previously instructed to unanimously give the wrong answer when the third card is shown. This is unknown to 1 participant, the subject, who is now positioned to either say what they know to be correct or go along with the group just to fit in, knowing that the answer is wrong. There were 18 different cards shown and the 5 participants unanimously gave the wrong answer on 12 of those cards.

While most people said they would say what they knew to be correct and not go along with the group, researchers found that 75% of the subjects conformed and gave the wrong answer at least once. When the experiment concluded it was then revealed to the subject that the 5 other participants were instructed to unanimously give the wrong answer. When the subject was asked why they went along with the group just to fit in the answers Asch received ranged from self doubt, fear of being ridiculed by the others and the honest belief that the majority’s answers were correct. There were others who did not conform and of course they were in the minority. Keep in mind that this study was conducted on white male undergraduates of the same age range; a conformed racial, gender, cultural group. Given different racial, cultural, gender, age and socioeconomic backdrops researchers may see different results. Although this was the case, there is much to learned about conformity and one's sense of justice, especially when there are no visible signs of a reward or penalty for not conforming. 

Asch’s primary reason for conducting these experiments was to study how group behavior can influence an individual. What researchers recognized in these experiments are two forms of social conformity: Normative and Informational. Normative Conformity happens when people want to be accepted or liked, such as peer pressure and following music/fashion trends. Informational Conformity happens when people go along based on the belief that others are right or have more accurate information. Whether it was normative or informational social influence, the 75% of the subjects Asch identified as conformists are similar to the 85% within the Five Percent lexicon.

Within our lessons, some of the characteristics used to describe the 85% and their susceptibility to normative and informational social influence are, “poisonous animal eaters” [poor diet choices/not health conscious], “slaves from a mental death and power”, “do not know their origin in this world” [disoriented/lacking a cultural identity], “worship what they know not” [blind followers/non-critical thinkers], “easily led in the wrong direction but hard to be led in the right direction” [naive/easily manipulated], “worshipping that which they cannot see, invisible”, "do not let the 5% teach them" [stubborn/incorrigible], “they believe -in the 10%- on face value” [naive/easily manipulated] and others. In our language of Mathematics 8 is Build [and Destroy] and 5 is Power so the 85% are often referred to as a “Build Power” because this is exactly what they need to do in order to be a master of their destiny, not be mastered. Note that 8 + 5 = 13 and the 13th letter in our Alphabet is “M” for Master; the apex response to “What is his [or her] own self?” as our 13th degree in our section of lessons known as the 1-36 asks us. Not all normative and informational social influence is bad. Some social pressure is important to maintain the integrity of a community against social decay and some of us do have more accurate information we should trust in after further investigation. As the 5%, or free thinking minority in Asch’s experiments who did not conform to the group, we teach, train and learn from others what’s necessary to rise above the gravitational pull of negative normative and informational social influences. This requires more than personal integrity or the audacity to stand out or stand alone. Among other things, it requires a sound premise [Knowledge = Foundation] of facts to stand upon, self confidence, the skills to defend our position and being inoculated against the potential ridicule, sabotage and loss that can come along with being a non-conformist. 

 Sheeple and Social Economic Engineering

Allah, affectionately known as “The Father”, who started the Five Percent Nation in 1964 began as a non-conformist. He stood alone and didn’t claim affiliation with any religious, political or Black Nationalist groups during one of the most turbulent times in American history. He taught youth that many in society perceived as incorrigible without a college education, a program grant, a paycheck or for community service hours. He just cared enough about his community, especially the youth, to do everything within his power to help transform its condition and help inspire, empower and educate them to be its future leaders. It's a tough path that demands resilience and the knowing that we may very well lose our life standing out or standing alone for what we know to be true. As evidenced by the problems we see in this world, most aren't willing to do this. Most people, we refer to as the 85%, means "the majority" or those who go along to get along even if it's wrong; like the silent majority who voted America into the mess #45 is making. Being of the majority doesn't make a person inherently evil, inferior, untalented nor are the names 85%, Build Power or Eighty Fiver a coded racial epithet Five Percenter's use to discriminate against or ridicule people. This, among other words/phrases we use in our language, is a sociological term used to coherently define how most people function within society; a society where a crony capitalistic minority, often deemed The 1% [we call the 10%], use social influence to monopolize its resources, institutions and economy. A question I always get from people who are striving to learn more about the Five Percent is, "Can the 85% ever become the Five Percent?" and my answer has been consistently the same: HERE

While many within the Five Percent commonly consider "Who" are the 85% as a means to define those who fit the description within our lessons, as evidenced by what some of us choose to do and how we choose to do it, it's clear that we may overlook the "When", "Where" and "How" are the 85%. There are moments or ways of thinking about ourselves and the world that are of the 85%. There are places that are Build Power domains. There are also procedures and social norms that dictate the function of an Eighty Fiver. In many cases, and without recognizing there's a difference between Who, When, Where and How, it's hard to even tell the difference between the 85% and those who call themselves the Five Percent. Either because of a person's social media persona, their close affiliations or the sheer lack of youth advocacy and community outreach in their neighborhood and city as a whole. So this question, "Who are the 85%?" is our 14th degree for a reason: it's synonymous with knowing our culture as 1 is Knowledge and 4 is Culture. It's about self evaluation, growth and development, not sitting on a high horse pointing our fingers to ostracize a segment of our human family. Besides, an Eighty Fiver may be the very one to save you or one of your family member's life while your Five Percent bestie is only in a position to say "Peace!"


Saturday, May 06, 2017

Get Out: A "Woke" Analysis

When they [horror films] resonate, when they hit their stride, it is because there is some social.., there’s something in the zeitgeist, some real fear that the movie is playing to. You know that’s like how the torture porn genre became big in the Post 9/11 Era. You know, that was us exorcising this demon within us. We were out for blood.., in this weird way. So this one [Get Out] is less allegory and more strait up about what it is.–Jordan Peele

The opening quote is from a BUILD Series Interview in February 2017 with Get Out Writer/Director Jordan Peele and best summarizes the layers of insight I drew-up from this film. His deliberate use of the German term “zeitgeist”, meaning “spirit of the age” (zeit ‘time’ geist ‘spirit/ghost’), speaks volumes in and of itself. Get Out, dubbed a Social Thriller by Peele, was released in 2,781 theaters on Oscar Weekend, February 24th, with a production budget of 4.5 million dollars. Earning a coveted 99% Rotten Tomatoes ranking, Get Out has grossed over $170 million domestically as of today. As a Blumhouse Production, a company that’s generally known for low-budget horror films, this was highly successful for a film with a 4.5 million dollar budget. In fact, Get Out is the first film debut by a black Writer/Director to gross over $100 million dollars.

What interested me the most about Peele’s quote was the ambiguous “what it is.” While it’s obvious to the naked eye that “it” in this film can be race, there are many other layers undetected by the naked eye. When I first saw this film there were five films that specifically came to mind where I could see Peele drawing his inspiration. In viewing some of his interviews about Get Out he mentioned four of these films specifically by name or included them in the film’s dialogue. These films are as follows and should be critically examined to gain further insight into various themes Peele is strait up about in Get Out: Rosemary’s Baby, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, Eyes Wide Shut and The Stepford Wives (1975). The fifth film that I haven’t heard him speak about or imply is called Inception. While Peele is credited with writing this film, it’s clear to me that it’s much more at play behind the scenes. In music production there’s a function used called quantization that eliminates imprecision. For example, if a snare or kick drum you’re playing is a little off beat, the quantizing function will sync the snare or kick exactly on beat. Although it’s precise, sometimes it sounds too perfect, digital, mechanical and loses some of its human touch. The timing of this film, and his constant admittance that he didn’t think this film would ever be made, could not have been any more perfect. In the same interview Peele states, “Since Strait Outta Compton came out and really broke a lot of monetary boundaries that were thought, um, existed, I feel like we’re in the beginning of a Renaissance of many untapped voices to do, to get platforms to do really elevated work.” While some people believe in perfect storms, it’s also possible for perfect storms to be made. Our most recent presidential election is an obvious example of that.
Franz Friedrich Anton Mesmer

In addition to race and microaggressions, one of the other themes in Get Out was the use of mind control, hypnosis and the audit-like techniques employed by Scientologists. The fact that I haven’t seen much commentary on that I thought was very strange. As someone who has studied these sciences in great detail over the years, I can say that they’re very real and being used on the masses of people every day; often under the guises of advertisement, marketing & promotion, media and image branding. The main character Chris [Daniel Kaluuya] was hypnotized during a time known as the witching hour in occult circles; the same time certain “programming” is on the television and the point during our sleep where we’ve reached the REM stage. So I've learned not go to sleep with the television on. If you must, leave the television on something specific, or even play specific music, that you want to download into your subconscious. Keep in mind that this is also the time where certain orders, covens and etc. perform certain rituals; there is less conscious resistance to any determined idea when people are sleep. During the dinner scene where Chris laughed it off that his girlfriend Rose’s mother, a Psychiatrist/Hypnotherapist, used a watch-like pendulum to hypnotize people, it was eventually shown that this is something we shouldn’t laugh off. Hypnotism, as we seen by Missy Armitage’s use of a simple tea cup, can successfully work using various objects in place of a pendant/pendulum. To be crude about it, if nakedness, music or a treading topic can focus our attention long enough to put us to sleep then that’s just as good or better than a pocket watch. This concept is what "Law of Attraction" self-hypnosis mechanics are based upon. While many viewed the tea cup as the object Missy Armitage used to hypnotize Chris, I would argue that it was actually her silver spoon. Historically, that hypnotic symbol of wealth, and the false sense of white acceptance and promise of miscegenation, has been the death of many black people in North America.

Another theme expressed in Get Out, which echoes Peele's above comment on America's "torture porn genre", is the culture of sexual ambiguity that’s often said to exist in affluent white communities, especially Hollywood, dating all the way back to its cultural codification in ancient Greece, Rome and in many contemporary European societies. Popular examples of this are the history of Sappho in Greece, Caligula in Rome and the grotesque Sheela Na Gig carvings of naked women stretching their vulva found on churches, castles and other buildings throughout Europe, particularly in Ireland and BritainDuring a scene when Chris talked to his friend Rod [Lil Rel Howery] on the phone about his experience at Rose's parents house Rod jokingly remarked that her mother Missy Armitage is probably hypnotizing black people to be sex slaves on some serious "Eyes Wide Shut sh*t!" This theory of Rod's was a constant reference throughout the film and speaks to the general notion and conservative attitude black folks have concerning these ideals [how white folks get down], especially in a society that has historically restricted our liberty. It must be noted here that although we've seen elements of this sexual ambiguity expressed in some black and brown societies that pre-date Greece and Rome, those societies did not accept nor entertain these elements as a part of its cultural norms. For example, the word homosexual [and lesbianism] is derived from Greek and Latin [Roman]; many classical and indigenous languages didn't have a word to functionally define or support this sexual ambiguity. Even when you're looking at the Erotic Art temples of India; they are the direct result of Hindu influence whose lineage goes back to the Aryans or Indo-Europeans who invaded India. At one point Chris starts to learn something isn't right when he discovered a hidden Pandora-like box in Rose's room of her posing intimately with over a dozen young black men, including the black gardener, and one female house maid. It was the Nation of Islam co-founder, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who often described the white woman as “the devil's last trick for the black man, and the modern day Delilah” used by the white man to thwart our progress and create enmity within the black family. In a Theology of Time lecture on July 4th 1972 Muhammad warned, “My young brothers, do not grab these blue-eyed gals of his. They are doing this today to get you away from the God of your salvation. The girl has been taught a long time, so when this day comes that she will sweet-heart with you and she will blind you to the knowledge of the time so that you won't recognize what she is doing.” 
As in any film I watch, my approach is as a social scientist and Get Out is an excellent study of America’s past, present and potential future attitude about race, relations and cultural appropriation. In an age where “Stay Woke” has become a popular generic hashtag among Millennials, our next step is to literally “Get Out.” Get Out of the mindset that coded films such as this are enough to effectively combat over a century of Hollywood propaganda that has systematically demonized, caricatured, dehumanized and co-opted the culture and identity of black people. We must all play our part in using our voice to create and control our narrative. A voice to tell our stories through all spheres of people activity, that no one else is qualified to do.


Monday, May 01, 2017

Annette Larkins: The Fountain of Youth Interview

  In episode 45 of Atlantis Build Talk Radio I share an insightful interview with world reknown 75-year-old raw foodist Annette Larkins about her journey. She is the creator of the Annette’s Raw Kitchen DVD, the books Journey To Health and Journey To Health 2 and host of the 12-part public television series Health Alternatives With Living Foods and appeared on various radio/television shows including The Steve Harvey Show. You can listen to and download Episode 45 of Atlantis Build Talk Radio at the link below: