The Next Martin/Marsha Luther King

By now, you’ve heard the news. There will be no indictment for Officer Wilson, the man who shot Michael Brown. Shortly after this announcement was made, there was rioting and violence in Ferguson, among numerous arrests. In the wake of all this information, America has been wondering: what do we do now? After deep thought, the answer is obvious: we need another Martin Luther King.

Before talking about why that is an obvious solution, we talk about the rioters themselves. First off, separate the “rioters” from the “protestors”. Yes, there were certainly some protestors who took part in the riots. But I have serious doubts that there were people out there “Looting for Michael Brown”. Like in any situation, there were a few that took advantage of the chaos. Without a unified agreement of action, cop cars were flipped, fires were started and arrests began.

For those protestors who did riot, it’s important to understand their anger. My first reaction to the news last night was to speak about their feelings: this isn’t all about a life sentence for Officer Wilson. It’s about seeing justice enacted fairly for all people. It’s about rebuilding a bridge of trust that has been absolutely shattered. It’s about someone, anyone, stepping forward and saying, “Sorry that this happened to you.” But this feelings are not being articulated. Instead, they are being lumped together (mostly by the media) into unrest about a verdict. So every time a  headline comes out of Ferguson, all America will see is rage, instead of a message.

For those two reasons, we need another leader like Martin Luther King Jr. Someone with strong charisma and magnetic charm. An individual that knows how to elevate people who feel as if they can do little to change the world. A person that can speak for so many other people. This person would unite the masses from across the nation. On days like this, we would look toward our leader with heavy hearts and ask what should be done next. That person would step up and give a statement. Not only would that statement help to soothe the disappointment, but encourage all to keep fighting, albeit non-violently.

It’s not that the protestors and supporters can’t be trusted on their own. Or that the movement for justice isn’t strong. But imagine how much stronger it could be. Think back to Occupy Wall Street. Although tons of people were involved, it eventually faded from daily consciousness. They may have had numbers, but no direction and no defined spokesperson. This movement will also fade into obscurity-unless someone steps up to guide it.

In the wake of injustice, there will always be a risk of violence. Whether you believe that the officer was innocent or guilty, there’s no debating that an injustice was done to Michael Brown and his family. The people who chose to riot last night believed that destruction was the only answer to his passing. But I choose to believe that there can be another answer. Another way. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of equality for all. Because of what he was able to do, a hope remains etched in my heart that a day will come where everyone in this country gets a fair chance and is judged the same way. It’s long overdue for these dreams and hopes to become a reality.

If you believe that too, then my only question to you is:

How are you with large crowds?

martin luther king

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Need a Monologue?

“If there is something that you believe should be written, then write it. It is simple as that. So stop looking at internet quotes and begin.”-William Shakespeare

Shakespeare was completely right. In this case, the “something” I believe should be written: audition monologues. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen friends scramble to find audition pieces that fit them right. Mainly, the problem is identity, in all aspects. Examples include:

-Race.

-Age.

-Gender (Specifically Female)

-Actually funny ones.

So my idea is to put a book together called, “The Other Monologues” . The book would contain a variety of monologues for underrepresented groups, as well as monologues that would be flexible for a wide selection of actors. I would look to release it in the Spring of 2015.

The reason I write this up is twofold:

Now I have a group of people to shame me if I don’t finish it.
Your suggestions would help make the book!

That’s right! If you fill out this extremely quick six question survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TLZT97F , I’ll use the feedback to determine what kind of monologues I should write. This is not because I don’t have ideas. I want your feedback to make a quality collection of monologues that people would actually care about. If you’ve got a minute, the survey link is right above.

Thanks for reading. I know this note is only the beginning of the journey to release “The Other Monologues”. Want to come along for the ride?

Link to the survey is above. 🙂

monolgoues

Ending Sexism

sexiss

It’s good to be back.

Over the past month, I’ve watched so many news bulletins, seen viral videos and read hashtags of tons of stories with varying topics. There’s a lot to think about, and a lot that can be said. So to start off, I decide that we should start off easy.

I’m going to teach you how to end sexism.

To start, I’m going with this definition of sexism: behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex. I like this definition, because like any great politician, it goes both ways on the issue. Men and Women can be sexist. However, there is no denying that women have bigger problems with this. So how do we end sexism?

Every story that primarily deals with gender has to be reported: using people of another gender.

You might think, “Yeah, this has been done before. Haven’t you seen that Jets fan getting harassed on the streets of NY video?” But this time, I want to go further. In order to report any news story, any article that might have a bias towards one particular sex, you must create an article swapping out another gender. You cannot reveal the true story…for 24 hours. This would lead to a series of discussions that could lead to shocking revelations once the truth comes out. If this happens enough, people’s fundamental way of thinking could be altered. And to show you, here’s a couple of news stories over the last months that have been about gender

Story 1- #Gamergate

Story Summary: Zoe Quinn, a video game developer, is accused of starting a romantic relationship with an editor of a gaming magazine by her ex-boyfriend. Her ex-boyfriend says that this lead to positive reviews of her game. In the insuing weeks, Quinn and other female gamers receive threats and angry messages from (predominately) male gamers. Oh yeah, and they’re also upset about ethics in game journalism or whatever.

Gender Flip Version

Zack is an ordinary video game developer. One of 86% of male gamers. His ex-girlfriend accuses him of sleeping with a female editor of a gaming magazine. She also claims that lead to positive reviews of his game. The following weeks, Zack and other male gamers (re: a whole lot of people) receive threats of violence and angry messages from (Predominately) female gamers. Oh yeah, and they’re also upset about ethics in game journalism or whatever.

Discussions That Would Take Place:

In most forums that you find this story, there is little to no talk about the possibility that the boyfriend may just be feeling scorned. But I guarantee if the second story was published, the focus would be on the ex-girlfriend. Some might even claim that she was crazy. Even though this is a possible drawback, male gamers would also realize: Holy Snaps, there’s a lot of female gamers out there. (About 50%, to be exact. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/18/52-percent-people-playing-games-women-industry-doesnt-know) Lastly, I’m sure there would be huge backlash at women threatening violence against men. I’m sure that “crazy” would also come up again.

And after 24 hours…

Gamers get the real story. The ones who criticized women for threatening violence are forced to come to terms that males were the ones holding the threats. Or that maybe guys can get a little unhinged when a breakup occurs. But most importantly, “Holy snaps, there’s a lot of female gamers out there.”

Story 2-#Alex From Target

Story Summary: A young girl is at Target. She looks up and notices an attractive male cashier and decides to take a picture and tweet it out. The cashier’s name is Alex. #Alex from target becomes an overnight media sensation. He gets fangirl attention of all ages and even makes it onto Ellen! Oh, and he’s sixteen.

Gender Flip Version

A young boy is a target. He looks up and notices an attractive female cashier and decides to take a picture and tweet it out. The cashier’s name is Alexa. #Alexa from target becomes an overnight media sensation. She gets fanboy attention of all ages and even makes it onto Elllen! Oh, and she’s sixteen.

Discussions That would Take Place:

Did you notice the exact point where the gender flip version got creepy? The idea of older men posting a lot of compliments to a teenage girl is a little unsettling. Discussions would be had on whether this is too much attention for a teenager…in an ideal world. Let’s face it: this is a big problem already for our female pop stars who start as teens and our young actresses. So the discussion would probably turn to getting her a modeling contract or movie deal. She’d still be on Ellen though.

And after 24 hours…

People realize that it was an Alex all along! And then…Alex still becomes popular. But people weep for Alexa, the Target employee that never was.

Conclusion

My method is flawed. Flipping genders may promote some deep, thought provoking conversations. It could also create worse discussions as a byproduct. This method also leaves out those who don’t fit into male or female gender boxes. And it doesn’t offer a direct fix to each problem. But consider one last thing.

You turn on the news, flipping through six or seven stories. One may be about domestic abuse in sports. Another may be about a male celebrity getting botox into his face and everyone remarking on how different he looks. A third is focused on an Ebola nurse who just wants to get home to her family. Before you can make any assumptions, you have to ask:

Which gender is this really happening to?