Monday, April 14, 2014

HHR Exclusive Interview with Musician “Lucky Logan”


HHR: Logan tell us a little about yourself…where are you from…where were you born…where were you raised…which city and state are currently home to you?

Lucky Logan: My name is Logan P. McCoy, I’m a thinker, rapper (street poet), philosopher and all around nice guy. I was born in Ghana but raised in Brooklyn. I have lived in Brooklyn longer than I’ve lived anywhere else.

HHR: You currently live in Brooklyn, have you always lived there?

Lucky Logan: Yea, I’ve lived in Brooklyn for the majority of my life.

HHR: Brooklyn is known for molding some amazing artist: Joell Ortiz, Mos Def, Jay-Z, Nas just to name a few; so  your in good company. What makes Brooklyn so unique amongst other cities when it comes to talent?

Lucky Logan:
To be honest with you, I really have no clue what makes Brooklyn so unique. What I do know is Brooklyn is a cornucopia of culture, sort of like the United Nations. Here, you’ll find people from all over the world who have come to call Brooklyn home. Maybe this diversity is what helps Brooklyn have its unique flavor and style. Artists in this  setting have a wealth of sources to pull inspiration from. I think this is one of the reasons Bklyn has produced so many talented artists.

HHR: What do you like about living in New York City?

Lucky Logan: I don’t want to sound like a t-shirt sold to tourists but “I love NY”. There’s no place like it.

Chidike Okeem: Can Black Conservatives Support Stop-and-Frisk?


Stop-and-frisk is perhaps one of the most controversial issues in American policing today. The fundamental basis for the controversy regarding stop-and-frisk is the concept of racial profiling. There are two schools of thought in defining the term ‘racial profiling’: Race-incorporated profiling and race-reliant profiling. Race-incorporated profiling is the use of race as one of many factors while making law enforcement decisions. By contrast, race-reliant profiling is the reliance on race as the principal and essential basis upon which law enforcement decisions are made.

Demonstrably, the race-incorporated version of racial profiling—that is, using race among other factors to make law enforcement decisions—is not problematic. Those who have an issue with law enforcement officers using race at all in their decisions are essentially preaching a message that aligns with the insidiously utopian colorblind worldview. Yes, race exists, and it would be absurd to imagine that law enforcement officers would blind themselves to race while doing their jobs. Color consciousness in policing is not inherently invidious. Color-centric policing is what is injudicious, offensive, and unacceptably discriminatory. Racial profiling is deeply problematic when the race-reliant definition is employed. When race is the sole or primary basis for law enforcement decisions, this is categorically indefensible, and it is nothing more than lazy and inefficacious policing. This gives law enforcement officers the power to enforce their racial and ethnic biases, as opposed to enforcing the law.

Stop-and-frisk would be an effective policing tactic if the policy were truly based on reasonable suspicion of criminal behaviors, as opposed to the race of certain people. The problem is that the policy is advertised as the former, but is really the latter in praxis. According to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), in 2011, more young black men are subjected to stop-and-frisk in New York City than there are young black men who live in the city. Clearly, stop-and-frisk, irrespective of whatever it is intended to do in theory, is simply inexcusable race-reliant profiling.

As Cato’s Tim Lynch writes:

 According to New York City Police Department (NYPD) records, officers’ ‘suspicion’ has been wrong nearly nine times out of ten. And of the cases where cops thought there was sufficient evidence to make an arrest and proceed to court, more than half of those cases were dismissed before trial.

This plainly shows that the “reasonable suspicion” that officers think they have for stops are clearly unreasonable. This kind of pitiful result is what can be expected from a policy in which the race-reliant variation of racial profiling is leading to most police stops. However, much like the failed War on Drugs, alleged conservatives continue to support this shockingly dysfunctional stop-and-frisk policy. The effort to apprehend criminals is treated as enough of a reason to treat the constitutional rights of innocent young black males as worthless.

An authentic black conservative worldview has to be one in which law and order is respected. Clearly, black conservatives support law enforcement. After all, when police officers dutifully apprehend criminals in urban neighborhoods, black residents are the beneficiaries of a living environment that is markedly safer. That notwithstanding, black conservatives cannot co-sign stop-and-frisk as it is practiced in New York City. Mainstream conservatives point to the crime in New York City and argue that stop-and-frisk has helped to decrease the crime rate. Even if one accepts that argument, these conservatives must argue that the civil liberties of black males who are pointlessly stopped and searched every single day simply do not matter. Black conservatism and mainstream conservatism must necessarily part ways on the issue of stop-and-frisk. Mainstream conservatives simply do not care about the civil liberties of young black men. Simply arguing that a policy reduces crime is not an argument for its judiciousness and ethicality.

There are smorgasbords of crimes that can be prevented by shredding the constitutional protections of citizens. For example, getting rid of the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine—an important legal Fourth Amendment concept—would lead to many more criminals in prison. Surely, getting actual criminals in prison is a conservative goal. Why not allow evidence obtained via police malpractice to enter into a court of law? The answer is because a restrained government with limited power is also a conservative goal—a much more important conservative goal than simply getting criminals into prison. There is absolutely no way that any true constitutional conservative can support stop-and frisk. The term, ‘constitutional conservative’ has been grossly overused by people who can only recognize constitutional contraventions when they are beneficial to a leftist political agenda.

There are too many “constitutional conservative” hypocrites, and not enough genuine constitutional conservatives who, without partisan duplicity, doggedly stand up for the civil rights of all people.
Additionally, arguing that violent crime statistics demonstrate an elevated rate of crime among young black men is not a coherent argument for harassing innocent young black men. Surely, police training ought to equip officers with the tools to be able to make a differentiation between a criminal and a law-abiding citizen. Clearly, if 90 percent of searches are proven to be incorrect stops, NYPD officers obviously have questionable discernment v
is-à-vis detecting criminals. Stop-and-frisk fundamentally reduces the important legal principle of probable cause to a simplistic racial hunch. Stop-and-frisk acts as a prime justification for the resentment that many in the black community have built for law enforcement.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Richard Ivory: Interview with Ted Williams, The Man With 'Golden Voice'

Ted Williams a formerly homeless man who became an internet sensation in 2011, sits down to discuss life after homelessness.
NEW YORK, — Each year the homeless population increases in the United States. The reasons for this vary. Natural disasters, disability, substance abuse, and lack of affordable housing are just a few factors that result in homelessness. According to The National Student Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness, more than 3.5 million people experience homelessness each year in the United States.

Why is homelessness on the rise?

The Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County provides an answer: “When a household is using more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs, they frequently have to make difficult decisions about what to pay, be it housing, utilities, food, childcare, health care, education or transportation. With limited resources, one emergency or unplanned situation can begin a downward spiral into homelessness.”

What do the homeless themselves have to say about their struggle? Ted Williams, The Golden Voice, a formerly homeless man who became an internet sensation in 2011 after a recording of his voice went out to the public on Youtube, answers to this and other pressing questions. Ted, a native of Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and New York sat down to discuss how he became homeless and offers some suggestions for empowering the homeless to empower themselves.