Loving The Vintage

BLM-LA: We Are Taking BACK Our Communities Peaceful Protest

The LedfordsComment

For those of you who think that Black Lives Matter is an irrational group of people who hashtag #BLM after an African American gets killed by a cop unjustifiably, you are wrong. Our people are sick and tired of living with targets on our backs. We are tired of seeing our brothers and sisters die in the hands of officers with no real probable cause!

In a call for a meeting to help fix our communities and the justice system, BLM- LA was only expecting around 200 people in attendance. On Sunday, July 10, 2016 at 7:00pm, the beginning time for the meeting, approximately 1,500 people were waiting in line. The meeting space was not big enough. The diverse crowd of people relocated to the park, then rallied a peaceful protest through the streets of inglewood, to the City Hall, then eventually on to the i405 freeway. This spur of the moment, peaceful protest showed that we, as a community is stronger than the people who are suppose to protect and serve us. It was a beautiful sight to see. So many people came together for one cause, and that's for unity amongst people to fight off our justice system, or shall I say injustice systems!

Black Lives Matter is not just about fighting off our injustice systems, its about restructuring our communities, stopping the injustices and discrimination against our people. We are not saying that all lives don't matter, we acknowledge that all lives matter, but with our unique experiences with the world, to us, black lives matter, and black lives are the lives we are restructuring. 

From Peaceful To Aggressive: Trump Protesters

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In a protest that started off peaceful, well, at least for the protesters that could not get in to the amphitheatre. It was all fun, and a nice gathering of people of all ethnicities as people stood at the entrance with their stereos playing, "Fuck Donald Trump", and chanting, "no more sexism, no more racism". Lots of dancing, laughing, and hand shakes going around, as everyone was having a good time. Sounds too good to be true, we are actually having a peaceful protest until some girls got out of their car to dance, and a protestor yells, "show us some boobs". From there, another protesor gets really upset because she's chanting, "no more sexism". This is totally counterproductive. As Trump supporters are leaving the venue, there is a commotion in the middle of the street. A large group of protesters is marching, chanting, "fuck Donald Trump", then a car starts to burn out in the middle of the street to cause smoke to fill the air. From there, things started to get amphed up. Protesters marched towards the 55 freeway entrance, and blocked it off. As protesters pulled a bench from a hotel across from the freeway, and put it in the middle of the freeway entrance, more and more protesters started to come, and the surrounding cars playing, "fuck Donald Trump" started to chant with the protesters. People started to get more aggresive by jumping on police cars, and some protesters were left with injuries. Costa Mesa police department did a good job at keeping the situation under control by blocking off all intersections with different police units. As to my knowledge, only 19 people were arrested.

 

In the mist of the rage, people forgot one thing to mention, and that is the coming together of people of all colors, all etniticies, and all political parties to fight for one cause. It was a blood rushing, beautiful experience. With all of our history, and differences, the coming together of people is possible. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and I actually saw the beauty is what some people may call a disaster. When different groups of people come together to fight for one cause, it's always a beautiful thing. Let's continue to come together to fight against racism, sexism, bigotry, corporations, injustices, and biases.

 

Thank you for this beautiful experience.

The Achievement Gap: Wealthy Vs Unwealthy

The Ledfords1 Comment

 

"People don't rise from nothing. Successful people are beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard, and make sense of the world in ways others cannot. It makes a difference where and when we grew up. The culture we belong to and legacies passed down by forebears shape the patterns of our achievement." - Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers book reference)

Please, after you read that exert, read it again before you continue on with this scribe. 

There is an obvious achievement gap amongst us. There has been ongoing research on how to close that gap. Children that come from a family of wealth are smarter than children that come from a family that is unwealthy. They are genetically smarter, they learn faster, they take education more serious. They are prone to success.. WRONG! 

According to research, the IQ of elementary kids were assessed. They assessed both wealthy and unwealthy children, and took children with the highest IQs, and followed them throughout their life. The wealthy kids were significantly more successful than the unwealthy kids assessed. Given all of the factors, the only reason the unwealthy kids did not reach much success was because they did not have a community to support them. - Malcolm Gladwell

The results to that longitudinal study says that wealthy kids are not smarter than unwealthy kids. 

So, what is causing this achievement gap? Let's look at 4 factors outside of the child's actual intelligence that may cause this large gap in achievement

1. Community

The community in which a person live in has a huge impact on their achievement. It shapes their mentality. If your community consist of homelessness, liquor stores, gangs, police brutality, drug dealers, and violence, then it does not support success. It actually create this survival mentality. The unwealthy (specifically Blacks and Latinos) has created this survival mentally, where we have to survive first because of our communities. Wealthy communities offer resources that promotes success. This creates a safe environment, where survival mindsets are not necessary. This allow kids to focus on success and use all of the amenities available to them. 

2. Exposure to success:

The communities these children live in will determine their exposure to success. Let's take a wealthy child and look at their surrounding neighbors. Being that the cost of living is extremely high in suburbs, they might have a big business owner, doctor, computer engineer, lawyer, dentist, psychologist, or pharmacist that live in their area (one if not all). That's just to name some occupations. They are already exposed to success. They have their resources at their fingertips. All they have to do is want it, and go get it. It makes a huge difference. Unwealthy kids are not exposed to that level of success on a daily basis. What unwealthy kids are exposed to is much different. Their neighboring adult peers may hold job positions such as a teacher, store manager, construction worker, security guard, and so on. 

3. Opportunity: 

Let's just bluntly say this: unwealthy children are not given the same opportunities as wealthy children. There it is! People do not like to believe this, but it is true. There's a lot to understand about the culture of poor, and the culture of rich, and how the structure of society is built to help the rich remain prominent in this system. When you are wealthy, and you have a massive network of wealthy associates, friends, and family, your children will become the beneficiary of your network, and more opportunities will be granted to them. I'm outliers, the author mentioned the tenth thousand hour, which is the amount of hours successful people out in to their craft I'm order to master it and become successful. Some were lucky to get granted with an opportunity that allowed them to master their craft, and others get those opportunities because of the resources available to them due to their wealth. 

4. Culture:

There are some things people do not understand about the culture of wealthy people, and unwealthy people. Their mindsets are different, and all three factors above play a big role in the difference between the two cultures. Wealthy people simply work hard to eventually let their money work for them. They absolutely do not trade their time for money. For the wealthy people that do trade their time in for money, they make their time worth a lot of money. They have more self worth. Unwealthy people simply trade their time in for money, which makes it more difficult to take risk because they cannot afford to lose money. That eliminates the time given to them to invest in their own dreams. Wealthy people have generational wealth, which means that money and possesions are passed down from generation to generation. Unwealthy people do not pass down wealth, and work so hard to live in today, that they forget to live to set a path for the next generation, and generations after. Sometimes, you have to risk it all to have it all. 

After reading this article, I hope you have a better understanding on why there is such a large achievement gap between the wealthy and unwealthy. Most importantly, I hope this provides enough knowledge for you to help close that gap.

Thank you for reading. Please like, share, and discuss with your peers

Black Is Bad (The White Conscious)

The LedfordsComment

Does Black lives matter? Absolutely. Should we expect compensation from others to show appreciation for our black lives? No. 

Why? Because all lives matter, and others compensate themselves to show the world that the people of their culture lives do matter. 

How? By having OWNERSHIP! 

There is an importance in ownership that has never been emphasized. Let me show you how powerful ownership is, how powerful owning the venues in our communities is, and not giving our money to these company's who will not invest back in to our communities. Lets look back to what happened when we once had thriving ownership throughout our communities. 

What Happened in 1921

Black Wall Street, the name fittingly given to one of the most affluent all-Black communities in America, was bombed from the air and burned to the ground by mobs of envious Whites. In a period spanning fewer than 12 hours, a once thriving Black business district in northern Tulsa lay smoldering – a model community destroyed and a major African-American economic movement resoundingly defused. The night’s carnage left some 3,000 African Americans dead and over 600 successful businesses lost. Among these were 21 churches, 21 restaurants, 30 grocery stores and two movie theaters, plus a hospital, a bank, a post office, libraries, schools, law offices, a half dozen private airplanes and even a bus system… ALL DESTROYED. 

Ownership equals power. We once gained power, and were dependant on ourselves, but that was taken away from us. The only way to show that our lives do matter is to get that power back. Keep the money flowing through our communities. Stop spending our money on products and company's that invest in the very same things that keeps us in poverty. 

Racism is clearly still alive, and is being exposed more and more everyday, but no matter how much we expose it, people will see it for how it applies to them. In this case, being a victim of racism, doesn't apply to all people. Black Lives Matter is a powerful movement. It is bringing a lot of awareness to our culture. Now that awareness is flourishing through our eyes. Let's direct this movement to Black excellence and Black Ownership. 

We have to teach our kids that the world is adverse, but most importantly how to beat adversity!

I like to say we were born to lose, but built to win. For decades, and centuries, the black culture has been looked down upon, and we can't seem to gain the respect we deserve. The world has been taught that Black Is bad. Black Is bad is more of a conscious that is implanted in to the minds of people to generate their mindset on us. Their intimidation towards us is embedded in their conscious. It's so deep that black is afraid of black. We are afraid of our own kind. 

It's time to tap in to what Black is Bad is all about...

Now, if you set the Black race to the side, and just look at the color black. What does black represent? 

Black cat- bad luck

Darkness- evil

Dark angel- bad angel

Dark magic- bad magic

The list goes on. Anything that's dark is bad or evil. Darkness is used to represent evil in movies, video games, etc. The concept of Black is Bad has been taught for decades. How does it affect your consciousness on the Black race? Many people would not be able to answer this because it's too deeply embedded in their conscious. 

We all know that the media control the minds of the masses, especially with things they are not directly exposed to. By this, they paint an image of black people. They only broadcast the negative things that is happening in our communities, and create these terrifying stats of black on black crime, which has not been proven to be true. For major news channels, no one wants to hear about the million mans march, peaceful protesting, etc. They want to see riots, shootings, and things of violent nature to stimulate their interest. Right? No, wrong! Our country wants to see whatever news is happening around the world. News are slightly different when covering things pertaining to Whites vs things pertaining to Blacks, and even Hispanics. 

If you look at crimes done by Whites, compared to crimes done by blacks, you will see a huge difference in how they are portrayed by media. 

Crimes done by Blacks: He was a thug, he is assumed to be in a gang , police shoots him down. 

Crimes done by Whites: He had a mental disability, signs were ignored, he was apprehended.

Of course, this is not the case in all crimes.

There is a huge desparity amongst us, and you have to be very conscious of the media's role in creating these false images. 

Please pay close attention to what media is feeding your conscious. 

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS 

The Unconscious Subconscious.. Media Defines Beauty

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I want to discuss the media's role in creating the image of what's beautiful for women, which dates back to over centuries ago. As you can see, what's considered beautiful changes over time. What defines beauty is starting to evolve more rapidly, and is hitting the hearts of the masses from many different angles. It's affecting the minds and hearts of our young girls, and is carrying over to their adolescent/adult years. It is creating unrealistic expectations that women spend their whole life trying to meet.

Lets dig in to how beauty is defined by the media

1: Make-up
Beauty is beauty. You cannot enhance beauty. Beauty is already ultimate. The media has redefined beauty with make-up. Women do not feel beautiful unless they put on make-up. They show images of these flawless women with perfect skin tone make-up that took hundreds and thousands of dollars to do, and say here world, this is beauty. They tamper with a woman's subconscious, until they are unconscious to the fact that they are now insecure of what is already beautiful. God don't make ugly. Ugly is only found in the heart.

2. Body Image
How many of you women look in the mirror and say, "I Look fat" while grabbing that little extra skin you have around your waist? What if the media told you that love handles defined beauty? Instead, they put Kim K's unrealistic booty, Kylie Jenners unrealistic lips, and these models as the frontline of what a beautiful body look like. More and more women are getting or thinking about getting plastic surgery to uphold the media's image of beauty. The media creates this unrealistic image of flawless, which causes women to pay more attention to their own flaws. When you become comfortable with your flaws, you will become flawless! Flaws are all made up.

3. Attire
This has to be the most important one to me. I will start by saying this. Women, you do not have to be half naked to be beautiful! The media creates false beauty by simply selling sex. Sexy is not beautiful. Sexy is simply made for sex. Women walk around showing more skin than clothing, which degrades their potential of showing their true beauty. By this I mean, beauty comes from within, and your external self is like a mirror that reflects who you are on the inside. The media teaches you how to fabricate who you are on the inside by creating false beauty. Creating… an illusion.

Beauty is nature. Beauty is natural. Beauty is not made up, nor can it be enhance. You cannot enhance what is already ultimate.

Men, and women, how do you define beauty? What role do you think the media's portrayal of beauty has played in society? Please like, share, and leave your thoughts. 

America's Dream, an American's Nightmare

The Ledfords2 Comments

I'm here to talk about my perspective of the American Dream, and why we should let go the concept of the American Dream, and start thinking about living our own dream! One thing we can all relate to is being told, "I want you to graduate high school, go to college, get a degree, and find a job that pays well", right? As if a degree will assure us that a company will look at us any differently than their other applicants that carry the same paper. That's what they want us to believe. Look kids, if you go to college, pay a lot of money that you don't have, strive hard for your degree, you will put yourself in good standings to work for Corporate America.…

Don't get me wrong, college is very helpful, and is a great experience that prepares many people for life. I would never take away my college days. There are many things campuses offer to help students find their passion. For others, college is nothing more than a tool for networking...

Corporate America… The American Dream, or shall I say, America's Dream, and an American's Nightmare. Let's now put things in perspective. When you apply to one of these jobs, you try to make yourself look your best on paper. Say, you get called in for an interview, then you try to dress your best to impress them. The interview process is where it starts. That's when they gain power over you. That's when you give them the power to say you're not good enough, this person is better than you, etc. They say all of this by simply not hiring you (they will usually say something like, you're not what we are looking for right now). If they do hire you, you give them even more power over you. That's when they tell you to fix your life according to the schedule they give you. I am going to use 9am-5pm as an example. That is your new schedule. You now have to revolve your whole life around that time. They now control you, and you feel the need to stay for financial security. Answer me this question.. How is working for someone else financial security? when if anything goes wrong, they can fire you, or lay you off at any given time. You have to work hard in hopes of a promotion, or pay raise. What I am trying to say is.. How far you go is not up to you. Your growth within a company simply rely on how far they (corporate) want you to go! There is an input=output method that applies to life.

Example: 

Input= 40 hours a week, $16 per hour. 
Output= $640/weekly before taxes

Now unless they let you work overtime, your output will never surpass $640 because they control your input and output. You will find yourself not wanting to take time off because it will take away from your output. That's the American Dream in a nutshell.
I wish I would have known that 8 years ago. I wish someone would have told me to forget the American Dream, and follow your own dream. The best way to do this is to work for yourself. All that time and energy you put in to someone else's establishment can be geared towards creating your own, where your output has no limit, and your input is how much you want to work.

Ways to gain control over your life..

1. Invest in yourself
There is no limit to how much time, money, and effort you should invest in yourself. You will be the only thing holding you back.

2. Turn your passion in to a paycheck
Once you find what you love to do, try to find a way to make an income from it.

3. Gather knowledge  
There are endless learning opportunities in this world. You just have to step out and go get it

4. Find like minded people
I say this because you will feed off the minds you surround yourself with.

5. Believe in yourself
This is the most important one. Life is driven by one of two things, fear or faith. The fear of the unknown, or having faith in the unknown. Not knowing will cause you to fear, or have faith… so which one do you choose?

Thank you for taking the time to read. Please like, comment your thoughts, and share.

The Importance Of A Father-Son Relationship

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The father-son relationship is an art of parenting that is sometimes misunderstood, or even sometimes misconceived by society. The absence of a father in a young boy's upbringing can cause many setbacks in his emotional well-being, which usually becomes prominent when they reach their late teen/early adult years. I can go on, and on about the absence of a father, but today, I am going to focus on the presence of a father, and how beneficial it is to a young boy.

                I am going to start with a movie I saw, that changed my perspective on what I wanted the gender of my first child to be. I always wanted my first child to be a girl, until I saw After Earth (which is a movie that has a strong message that was overlooked by its viewers), starring Will Smith and his son, Jaden Smith. In this movie, the focus was primarily on the father-son relationship and its hardships. Will (the prime commander) has large shoes to fill, and Jaden (his son) trained very hard to be as great, or even better than his father. His father instilled greatness in his child through discipline beyond his son's understanding. Jaden trained better than his father did when his father was training, but he was told that he's not ready to be a ranger. Will decided to take Jaden on one of his journeys with him and his rangers as an act of bonding, but their voyage ship crashed in to an abandoned Earth, with them being the only two survivors.  Will was then hurt, and unable to move. Will had to leave their fate in the hands of him guiding his son through life and death situations. One simple mistake could mean death for the both of them. Jaden learned that he needs his father, and he needs to trust his guidance and commands. Later, Will learned that he also needs to trust his sons ability to survive. When Jaden reached a point where his father thought he wouldn't be able survive, Will asked him to abort mission. Jaden, who was determined to prove to his father that he can complete the mission, went on against his father's command.  Jaden was able to save his father and himself with a loss of communication using all of the skills and wisdom his father instilled in him. One thing his father instilled in him is that danger is real, but fear is a choice. He was able to use that wisdom and exert it in to bravery.

This movie has a great message, which is why I am going to give five reason why father-son relationships are important.

1: ROLE MODEL- Fathers, you will become your sons instant role model. Starting from the young infant-toddler years, your son will start to mimic everything you do;  from the way you stand, walk, talk, gesture, react, and so on. You will become the first person your son looks up to. 

2: DISCIPLINE- Discipline is the most important thing a son need in his life. This is where the father's role is critical. Fathers need to be there to teach their sons how to determine what's right and what's wrong. Once your child steps outside of their home, they will go on to live everything you taught them, or everything you did not teach them.

3: INTERACTION- The interaction between a father and a son is important. A son needs a father to get dirty with, to play sports with, to run around the house and make noise with, and so on. This type of bonding, in fact, helps with their temperament, and aggression towards others. A young boy needs to be active, and sometimes, only a father can provide this type of activity for their sons.

4: ATTACHMENT- The attachment that a son can have towards his father is amazing. The father, being someone that his son can closely relate to will create a bond that no one can touch. You will become so attached that you will see yourself in him. Your natural instincts to protect him, discipline him, let him handle thing on his own, etc will service itself because you will be so in sync with your sons abilities.

5: LEGACY- Every father wants to leave a legacy. You must instill wisdom in to your child that will carry on from their childhood, to their adolescent and adult years. You must trust your son as much as you want your son to trust you. That's why bonding, and building your attachment is very important because your wisdom will live on through your son's instincts, and conscious.