The insurrection at the Capitol building awakened some of America’s greater parts. But can the country’s majority stay woke?

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Photo by Jana Shnipelson on Unsplash

The storming and seizing of the Capitol building will forever remain etched in our collective memory. It’s challenging to forget an assault on democracy or a federal institution penetrated. Politicians were hunted for harming. Property was destroyed and defaced — feces and urine were left behind. The damage superseded government property. A week after the insurrection, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released a video telling her experience inside the Capitol that day as she hid from domestic terrorists while fearing for her life. Four Democratic members of Congress caught COVID, likely due to being bunkered for hours with unmasked Republicans. …


The coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol was 2021’s first strike — and things could get uglier

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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Today’s free world is white-hot.

The Divided States of America seethes from both ends. One half includes the Donald Trump faithful, which days ago stormed, scaled, and penetrated the U.S. Capitol like a ninth-century Scandinavian platoon. They accredit their rage to the phantom of a rigged election and the reality of electoral votes putting a final nail in the coffin of their defeated leader.

It’s also quite possible that the catalyst was Georgia painting both its Senate seats indigo — one secured by a Black man — which added insult to an already injured red party.

Liberals populate the second hemisphere. Those who not only voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris but also, despite their blood-orange president, helped pump new blue into American democracy over the past few years. They made household names of elected officials like Levar Stoney, AOC, and now Jon Ossoff. Although liberals and Trumpeteers are marketed as nemeses, their primary makeup and inspiration are uncomfortably identical. White people make up the majority on both sides. Most noteworthy, both so-called sworn enemies are fueled by the same octane: patriotic entitlement. As if mean-mugging their reflection, they stand appalled at the other side’s audacity to challenge their birthright and power: privilege. White privilege, to be specific. How dare they not claim me victor? How dare they not acknowledge my triumph?


My Top 5 Club Quarantine DJs of 2020 Pt. 2

While the country quarantined, disc jocks used social media to provide melody and history and, most important, connection to community. These four were my most essential.

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Photo courtesy of DJ M.O.S.

Music was my MVP of 2020. The men and women who provided us with a therapeutic soundtrack to an abnormal year while revolutionizing the way we consumed our favorite tunes — past and present––are true heroes. The exclaim “Last night, the DJ saved my life” rang apropos on too many nights. While the world spiraled in COVID-19 and financial despair, brilliant music minds like Olivia Dope, Natasha Diggs and Jermaine Dupri educated on music history, helped us fall back in love with our favorite songs, and, most importantly, quenched our craving for connection. Reborn were those who’ve never experienced sweating to a Teddy Riley single at 2am or being transported to NYC’s Lower East Side during the eighties. Since 2020 has raised the value of delivering flowers in real time, I’ve taken the pleasurable liberty of reaching out to my Top DJs of 2020. It’s universal knowledge that D-Nice gets the crown for Club Quarantine. …


My Top 5 Club Quarantine DJs of 2020 (Pt.1)

Over the weekend, Derrick “D-Nice” Jones entered a Clubhouse room to be honored as the #1 DJ of this pandemic-challenged year. While accepting his flowers, Derrick captivated listeners by articulating the confusion, frustration and tears that preceded his 2020 triumphs. Here are those powerful words.

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Photo by Josie Bruno

“I moved to L.A. at the beginning of 2019. During that time, I never made L.A home because I was constantly on the go. So when we were sitting at home forced to quarantine, I was frustrated. Like, “Damn. What am I going to do?” I didn’t even have toilet paper or paper towels. I went to the store and everything was sold out. People had broken into Whole Foods; they had broken into Ralph’s and I was just extremely sad that out of all the things I’ve done in my life, during this unprecedented moment in our generation, I wasn’t prepared. I remember going out the night before the stay-at-home [order] was sanctioned. I said I’m just going to go out and have a fantastic dinner. I had dinner at Avra. I remember seeing one of the bathroom doors open and was like I need some toilet paper. My buddy owns the restaurant. He can’t be mad at this. …


As we face another COVID-19 lockdown, our sanity will depend on our cribs’ sanctity

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Photo courtesy of Swizz Beatz

2020 is grinding to a halt and as the great Game of Thrones tagline goes: Winter is coming. In tow, instead of dragons and throne-obsessed Europeans, is a 10-month-old pandemic with no foreseeable end. This means most Americans more than likely will return to the lockdown that kept them quarantined throughout late Winter/Spring 2020. Nationwide anxiety has spiked; I can empathize. March to May was suffocating. Days blended together, blurring the distinction between a Wednesday and a Saturday. The rare ventures outside were mainly for weird jogs throughout my desolate neighborhood or Trader Joe’s trips (never have I been happier to buy turmeric and wine). No one desires a repeat of those days, but what we mustn’t do is allow a return to the spiraling and depression caused by cabin fever and isolation. …


You really wanna know why POC are scared of a shot for an unrestrained virus?

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Photo: CDC/Unsplash

My favorite person in the entire world died of cancer. Not only did it shatter me irreparably, it didn’t make sense.

Although my grandmother was the epitome of a Black Southerner (besides walking miles to receive an education as a child and baking cakes and pies with sorcery as an adult, her first name was Virginia), she was one of the healthiest people I’d ever known. Her breakfast was normally light — toast or a small bagel with tea sometimes, but mostly coffee (she saved heavier breakfast items like grits and biscuits for the weekend). In the summertime, her diet consisted primarily of colorful plate-sized salads accentuated by the tomatoes she grew in her backyard. She never ate late at night. She was supposed to live until 100. …


The answer is yes, but it’s bigger than twerking at brunch

Brown Buns. Get it?
Brown Buns. Get it?
Photo by Cesar Carlevarino Aragon on Unsplash

Black Twitter has been beside itself all week. Chet Hanks went full Jafaican on Clubhouse, and then Obama (un)surprisingly denounced “defund the police.” But the uproar started when video footage of a Dallas restaurateur berating customers about twerking in his establishment went public.

Kevin Kelley, owner of TRUE Kitchen and Kocktails, says he asked three separate tables — occupied by female diners — more than once to cease dancing. Kelley added that patrons were also standing atop restaurant furniture and pressing their hands onto his window glass. (I’d assume those hands were not spotless.) Despite the owner’s pleas, the performances continued until the straw snapped the camel’s spine. Kelley went off, addressing the entire restaurant, in an indignant manner, letting it be known that TRUE Kitchen and Kocktails did not condone “twerking and shit.” His reasoning was that 75% of his customers are female and he didn’t feel he could ask men to carry themselves in a respectable fashion if the women were behaving licentiously. …


The comedic giant’s streaming beef echoes the disenfranchised and challenges the privileged. Where do you stand?

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Photo courtesy of Netflix

What separates Dave Chappelle apart from his peers travels further than him being today’s #1 comedian. Yes, he writes and performs stand up better than 98% of the human race. And yes his POV beams so brilliant that at times society gets introduced to undiscovered angles of itself. But the creator of the Chappelle’s Show no longer needs jokes to captivate an audience.

Today, Dave Chappelle stands as one of our generation’s greatest storytellers. Like a 1973 Bordeaux, his skill for crocheting hilarious details into luminously poignant tales has aged exquisitely whilst refining consumers. He has the command to make us hold our breath for eight minutes and forty six seconds as he reps for George Floyd. He can stalk a stage being as entertained by his own material as us or sit hunched on a stool for 60 minutes. …


Apple purchased rappers Gucci Mane and Jeezys’ deadly beef in exchange for millions of streams. Unfortunately, a resolution was never part of the deal

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Complex.com

Never before have two platinum-certified music artists weaponized their catalogs to settle a personal beef. Especially not a feud consisting of verbal disrespect, threats and death.

Last Thursday, rappers Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy faced off — in person — for the season 2 premiere of the scorching tale-of-the-tape series Verzuz. Millions of Apple TV and Instagram faithful witnessed this once unforeseeable moment in hip-hop history virtually. Worth the price of admission alone (actually, it was free — you were simply requested to pay attention) was the sight of two sworn enemies occupying the same room. In a promo interview leading up to the event, Jeezy was asked by a reporter if it was possible that the showdown could transpire without “an incident.” …


Thousands of African Americans really wanted a second term for one of history’s most racist presidents

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Photo: Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

There is a branch of Islam referred to as the Five Percent Nation. Its name derives from the belief that the world population is broken down into three percentages. Eighty-five percent of people are ignorant to the evil of the world in which they live and the fact that the original man is the Black man. The 5% — the Five Percenters — know the truth within and around themselves and aim to “civilize” the 85% with education. Then there’s the remaining 10% of the population. …

About

Bonsu Thompson

Bonsu Thompson is a writer, producer, Brooklynite and 2019 Sundance Screenwriters Lab fellow.

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