Culture

Over 50,000 People Want To Remove Tomi Lahren From The Blaze

Tomi Lahren, the controversial millennial shock jock who is always all over your Facebook feed seems to have a whole bunch of folks who don’t like her.

Over 53 thousand people have signed a Change.org petition calling for Lahren to be removed from Glenn Beck’s Blaze television network because of her habit of being wrong and intellectually lazy.

“Everyone has a voice and an opinion,” the petition reads. “However, when the wrong voice is given a platform and is allowed to influence an audience of millions by perpetuating derogatory ideology toward select groups of individuals, this is where the injustice lies.  Tomi Lahren (although her words are laden with passion and emotion) lacks the knowledge and experience to effectively communicate and facilitate.”

The petition campaign was created by a man named Cameron Tendaji and it has gained traction on social media.

“As a millennial in these “progressive” times, Tomi Lahren should be allowing safe spaces for all audiences,” The petition reads. “Instead, she attacks minority groups, fabricates historical “facts”, and is grossly misinformed on political topics.”

Lahren is pretty flawed as a media figure.

She has little experience and has been a darling of the right-wing since her schtick of attacking progressives started a couple of years ago.

She is a bomb thrower of the Rush Limbaugh variety and has almost no journalistic credibility.

Some of her commentary is borderline racist and almost always unfair.

However, should she really be silenced just because we disagree with her?

Is it really the job of media to create “safe spaces”?

Isn’t the role of media to stir the pot and chafe for change while identifying uncomfortable facts?

Just a thought.

Anyway, if the folks supporting this petition get their way then Lahren will soon be silenced.

“Tom [sic] Lahren’s hate speech against minority groups will no longer be tolerated,” the petition reads. “She will learn that although we have freedom of speech, there is no freedom from consequences. This may not solve the main issue; however, great things have small beginnings.”

But instead of removing Lahren, shouldn’t we just create a better alternative to her?

Stay tuned RISE NEWS readers, stay tuned.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

“Peace”: You Have To Read This Powerful Poem About Police Violence

By Courtney Anderson

They take our lives every day.

Shoot us in the back.

In front of family,

friends,

and strangers.

They leave us in the streets.

And Cuff our dead bodies.

**

They lie about us.

Drag our names,

stories,

and lives

through the mud.

We deserve our deaths, they say.

We killed ourselves.

We always kill ourselves, they say.

**

Our lives are played on social media.

And so are our deaths.

**

And our killers go free.

Every.

Single.

Time.

**

And then

They ask for our

Peace.

**

Peace! Peace! Be Peaceful! Have Peace!

Be peaceful as we slaughter you!

Stand still as we shoot.

Paint our streets with your Blood.

And above all, have Peace!

**

There is no peace.

There is no peace.

There is no peace.

There will be no peace.

As long as they live,

and we die,

There will be No Peace.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Annette Bernhardt/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The Shooting Of Harambe Has Opened Up A New Culture War In America

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days or so, you’ve probably heard folks be shocked and upset at the death of Harambe, a silverback Gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo who was shot and killed after a 4-year-old boy fell into the enclosure there on May 30. 

As the days continue to progress, the individual pieces of the story are becoming clearer, which is helping to lift the mask on how dangerous the situation was for the child.

According to an article written in the Huffington Post Canada, Greg Tarry, associate director of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), made several notes about how the gorilla was a threat to the life of the child.

“Even when it was standing over the child in the water, that’s generally kind of a dominance thing,” Tarry said in the article. “He was jerking that child around like a rag doll.”

The move which took Harambe’s life was considered a tragic necessity by many zoological experts, since the gorilla was showing signs of aggression towards the boy.

Multiple sources, including the director of the Cincinnati Zoo Thane Maynard defended the use of the gun instead of a tranquilizer.

He stated, “Tranquilizers do not take effect for several minutes, and the child was in imminent danger. On top of that, the impact from the dart could agitate the animal and cause the situation to get much worse.”

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Regardless of the quotes from several experts discussing why shooting the animal was a tragic but needed necessity, many commenters and social media keyboard warriors believe that the life of the child whose life was in danger was less important than the life of the gorilla, as noted in multiple examples across plentiful social media sites.

According to multiple accounts and an article written on The Daily Banter, reactions included the likes of “responses to this tragedy range from cries of “the parents should have been the ones shot,” to, “another innocent beautiful animal has been… killed as a result of awful parenting,” to, “kids are a dime a dozen, there’s millions of them, he’d be one less moron in the gene pool, the gorillas are the endangered species here not brats,” to “open season with $1000 a bounty on those too stupid to live!” to “it’s the stupid cunt who didn’t notice her child wasn’t there,” to, delightfully, “eugenics comes to mind.”

The same article summarized it best when it said “An undulating online army of angry idiots, righteous in their absolute moral authority and bolstered by the warmth of all those Facebook likes and shares, raining fire down on a person or people they know literally nothing at all about involved in a situation about which they simply don’t have all the facts yet.”

While the shooting and the death of an innocent, endangered animal is certainly nothing to celebrate and something to be rightly mourned, doing what had to be done to save a fellow human being is nothing to make jokes at, or to chastise because the process would have taken the death of an animal.

It’s becoming apparent that there is a chance that this is becoming a cultural war in between those who value animal lives over the lives of humans, and vice versa.

It’s becoming increasingly scary to see those who would, time and time again, put the lives and safety of humans on the backburner to save the life of an animal.

Defending animals and their livelihoods, especially if they are endangered species is something that is duly important, and something that more people should become involved in.

But in rare and tragic situations like these, wishing death and vitriol against parents and people who most likely feel the weight of the world on their shoulders does not show the compassion that you want to emit, and it does not show the peace that animal activists and humans alike want to see in the world.

While we should take every step necessary in order to ensure that situations like the ones that happened in Cincinnati do not happen again, we should also be aware that in the event that something like this does happen again, we should realize and acknowledge that the zookeepers and the people that if the situation calls for it end the life of the animal have known the animal for much longer than a bunch of keyboard warriors and desk chair activists, and it must pain them to bring the end to an animal that they’ve known for years, but they also have a duty to save a member of our own species, a human child who is just as unrepeatable and irreplaceable as a beloved animal.

This was not a case of willful, premeditated killing. It was a necessity to save a life.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Jere Keys/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Amber Heard, Yet Another Case Of Victim Blaming In The Media

Recently actress Amber Heard has faced a lot of harshness and criticism after filing for divorce against her soon-to-be ex-husband, Johnny Depp.

Heard was granted a restraining order against Depp after a fight the two had on May 21st in which Depp threw his cellphone at Heard, allegedly hitting her in the face with it.

She filed for divorce on May 23rd and appeared in court a few days later with a bruise on her right cheek.

More evidence of prior abuse has been released. Photos of Heard surfaced from a dispute back in December of last year in which Heard has bruises on her face and what appears to be a cut lip, all of which she says were from Depp.

But, many people are all too quick to discredit Heard’s accusations towards Depp because in the divorce she is seeking a spousal settlement from Depp.

They claim she is making it all up simply to get money out of him.

Heard’s lawyers, Samantha Spector and Joseph Koeing responded to these accusations: 

“Amber Heard is simply a victim of domestic violence, and none of her actions are motivated by money. Amber is a brave and financially independent woman who is showing the courage of her convictions by doing the right thing against Johnny’s relentless army of lawyers and surrogates.”

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Her lawyers also say that her waiting until now to speak out is really no different than any victim of domestic abuse “(they) think first of the harm that might come to the abuser, rather than they abuse they have already suffered.”

Unfortunately, domestic abuse and violence against women have always been a far too common occurrence in our society.

These situations were once considered “personal matters” to be handled privately behind closed doors, but have recently been gaining more and more attention as victims of these acts began to stand up and speak out against their abusers and demand justice. 

However, these courageous women are rarely met with the support they need when speaking out against their abusers.

Often women who do so are immediately discredited as liars, as women who would make up such accusations to get attention, money from the abuser, or even for the sheer pleasure of slandering their name.

This recently happened to pop-star Kesha, whose attempt to pull from her Sony contract with Dr. Luke, a man who see claims who sexually and physically abused her for years, was denied in court because the judge claimed her accusations against were not enough. 

Similar things were also said to the dozens of different women who came out and said Bill Cosby had sexually assaulted them.

Heard and many of these other women had what the public always demands out of a women claiming to be abused: photographic or video evidence, police reports filed, eye-witnesses to back-up their stories.

And yet people in our society are still hesitant to believe them, but quick to call them liars.

This practice of almost never believing the victim is what causes women to stay in dangerous situations with their abusers for years.

We as a society need to step up and listen to them when they gain the courage to speak up, and not shame them for it.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: GabboT/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Wynwood Radio And The Hype Of A Gentrified Community

Wynwood, Wynwood, Wynwood, oh hipster community, growing in fame, apparent fortune, and broadcasting presence, online.

Meet Wynwood Radio.

This is a story of resilience, openness and community.

Started in 2009, with very little money and a group of immigrant friends, Wynwood Radio was founded in a small studio nearby Midtown.

Some people might think: “not the best time to open anything or the best area to go into.”

With the Great Recession hitting the Miami area hard and the broadcasting world being in a world of flux, four friends let both aspects aside and were determined to provide music and entertainment to a new community that they believed in.

Read More: The Story Behind “Miami’s Like Most Super News Source, Bro”

“We got so in love with the growth of Wynwood as a community based in many types of arts that we decided to hone our own art to contribute to this community,” Vicente Solis, one of the developers of Wynwood Radio said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “Our idea was to bring people together through music, art, history, food and other things that make Wynwood so special.”

Creating this type of station was not a first for the group of content creators.

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Before submerging in the Wynwood community, Solis had worked with one of the founders of Wynwood Radio, Adrian Olivares at another online radio station in Mexico City.

Olivares believes in the power of community involvement to create a successful product.

The homepage of WynwoodRadio.com.

The homepage of WynwoodRadio.com.

“We witnessed all the community meetings every month and we say how security and infrastructure in the area improved as a result of the constant requests of residents and business owners,” Olivares said. “All of it brought Wynwood to its hyped stage.”

That hype is frequently associated with the gentrification of the area.

It is that gentrification process in Wynwood where some have felt discomfort.

“Maybe the process has happened a little too quick in the area,” Solis said.

While others have felt they have been given a second chance.

“All the locals that I know have gotten more job opportunities because of all the businesses that have opened there,” Olivares said.

Read More: The Magic City Hippies Are Ready For Prime Time

It is that duality what makes Wynwood Radio a prime participant in the development of community.

“We have a pathway for community members to have a voice, to promote their own events as well as choose their own music to be broadcasted in the station,” Olivares said. “We all have different ways to look at Wynwood, different ways to express our talents, and that is what we want to show in our programming: diversity.”

Besides showcasing music from the 1940’s to the latest releases, Wynwood Radio also promotes community events and issues that happen in Wynwood and neighborhoods nearby.

Both Solis and Olivares emphasized the importance of community members to maintain close connection with the station, they are open to receiving music selections and program ideas from any community member to continue the development of Wynwood Radio.

For more information on Wynwood Radio, you can visit www.wynwoodradio.com

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Maju Rezende/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Empowerment Comes From Within: The Decision Is Hers

By Mashal Mirza

Mascara. Eyeliner. Lipstick. Blush.

These are the essentials for many women around the world. You can walk into any woman’s bathroom and see at least one tool used to enhance her appearance.

Makeup is a universal language, spoken and understood by women of all ages, races, and cultures.

However, we live in an era where young girls are constantly receiving conflicting messages about makeup. The back-and-forth debate often sounds like this:

“Be natural! You don’t need makeup to be beautiful.”

“Makeup is transformative! Wear it to gain confidence!”

As a woman, I am torn between the #nomakeup selfies that trend on Instagram and to be “easy, breezy, beautiful” with CoverGirl.

But why should I be convinced of one idea or the other? Makeup is a personal choice.

While I do choose not to wear makeup on most days, when I do decide to put some on, it is not to please anyone but myself.

The application of makeup is fun, and for many, including myself, the end product is the best part.

Looking into a mirror and seeing the sharp lines of contour, the flawless shading of eyeshadow, and the crispness of a perfect cat-eye is one of the most satisfying feelings.

Makeup is an art. Every face is a blank canvas, and how a woman chooses to apply makeup is indicative of her style.

Makeup should not be a controversial thing. Carsten Schertzer

Mashal Mirza argues that makeup should not be a controversial thing. Photo Credit: Carsten Schertzer/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Every woman has her own unique taste and modifies the application of makeup to fit her face. Makeup is a celebration of diversity, because it’s available to transform faces of all shapes and colors.

I have dark skin and round eyes, and I can walk into Sephora and find hundreds of products that suit my aesthetic. On the other hand, my friends with light skin and almond shape eyes can also walk into Sephora and do exactly the same thing.

So what am I getting at here? Not to lecture girls about makeup? Sure. To let girls make their own decisions about makeup? Absolutely. But what I want to stress most is this:

Makeup is an art form. It is a timeless tradition that unifies women globally. We should celebrate its unique ability to not only make a woman feel beautiful, but to also empower her.

Her empowerment isn’t simply derived from her ability to whisk her mascara wand, but it is her ability to take on the world. Whether she walks out with bare face or with perfectly crafted smokey eyes, the confidence that she has in herself and her capabilities is something to be honored.

To wear makeup or not to wear makeup is not the question. When girls question their ability to love themselves, it is our responsibility and duty as a society to assure her that self-love is always the answer.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

“You’re Pretty. I Mean For A Brown Girl”

By Shireen Valliani

The roaring words “You’re pretty; I mean, for a brown girl” continue to thrash through my mind. My response? I guess I could have been a little appreciative that someone took the time out of their day to throw a so-called “complement” my way, instead I was outraged that someone even bothered to make such a disgusting remark.

Even though I am a VERY proud Pakistani, the color “brown” does not define me. There are so many components that women tend to worry about- their body type, their facial features, their hair, their intelligence, their rights, their skin, their clothes.

You’re too fat, you’re too skinny, you’re too pale, you’re too dark, you have thunder thighs, you have chicken legs, your face is too round, your face is too narrow, you’re cake faced, your face is too bare.

Why does culture have to be added to this already elongated list of things women need to worry about? Women are beautiful, and not because of their physique or appearance, but because of their power and intelligence.

Unfortunately, I have been raised in a society that has centralized physical features. I grew up being told to stay out of the sun because my skin tans easily and “darker skin is not appealing.”

These stupid beauty standards have impacted many women very negatively.

Some days, I look in the mirror and instantly become upset because I’m not a size 0 and as a matter of fact I am on the chubbier side.

But as I sit down and truly reflect on the past 21 years of my life, who really cares about those superficial things?

No one is going to leave a mark on the world for their external features, they will be known for their intellect and the contributions they make in this world. Why has attaining an unnatural beauty become our one true goal?

Lip Jobs, nose jobs, liposuction, screw all of that. I would want my daughter to appreciate her natural beauty, and above all her intellect. I want her to understand that she is worth so much regardless of her size, skin color, appearance and I never ever want her to feel ashamed of her color.

Brown is just as beautiful as any other color and honestly the world would be a boring place if we were all just ONE color.

I used to be ashamed of my tan skin, I used to be ashamed of my color, my culture, and my religion.

Today, I couldn’t be prouder. I am proud of the way that my color reflects my origins and the country in which my parents were raised. My color is not just a color, it represents my identity and traces me back to the beautiful country Pakistan.

It reminds me of all the challenges that my parents went through to become who they are today, all the endless time they spent providing money to put food on the table and simultaneously being educated. It reminds me of all the hardships my grandparents faced to provide their children with basic necessities.

So, to some people I may just be some “brown girl” but I embrace my color openly.

Although understanding how to be confident in myself is a journey that I venture on everyday, I have learned to appreciate myself for who I am and refrain from comparing myself to those around me.

My color is beautiful. YOUR color is beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Zaheer Molu

Black Violin: “We Studied Classical, But We Lived Hip-Hop”

Kev Marcus (Kevin Sylvester) and Wil B. (Wilner Baptiste) are some of the hottest names in classical music today. They’ve also made a splash in hip-hop circles for their work, which makes them a pretty unlikely success story.

Together they form Black Violin, a hip-hop, classically influenced violin and viola duo.

This talented pair creates a unique and genuine sound that is redefining current and past musical genres and it all started at a South Florida high school, where the two met years ago.

Their music was formed from a blend of their classical training and musical taste in hip-hop.

“We didn’t try to do this, and that is why it works- we were it,” Kev Marcus said in an interview with RISE NEWS.

Their sound incorporates qualities of both genres into one, eloquent blend. It is a sound unlike any other that identifies the similar chord structures between the two genres, while also illuminating the tonal differences.

WATCH: Black Violin’s “Stereotypes”

“Classical is pure, naked, and vulnerable,”Kev Marcus said. “There is a fragility to it that mirrors hip hop’s rigid feel.”

Black Violin creates a sound that challenges people’s perceptions, and inspires others to think outside the box.

They also are not afraid to take a stand on issues impacting people’s lives.

“When coming up with the music we weren’t thinking about how as black men we can change people’s perceptions, it was just a natural reaction for us,” Kev Marcus said.

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Kev Marcus (Kevin Sylvester) and Wil B. (Wilner Baptiste) make up Black Violin. Photo Credit: Black Violin/ Facebook

He said their goal is to break down stereotypes that keep people from expressing themselves and creating something new and innovative.

Their music always comes first, but social activism and influence emanates from their sound, their image, and the way their music relates to a universal crowd.

“Stereotypes” is one of Black Violin’s most popular songs, and it features Kev Marcus’s three daughters, wife, and mother.

As musicians, Black Violin is genuine and groundbreaking; but the emotion behind their sound is a powerful quality of their music.

Kev Marcus described that their intention is to convey emotion in what they play.

“I want you to feel invigorated, inspired, happy, and so on,” Kev Marcus said.

Black Violin’s music does just that and more.

Listen: Black Violin’s “Shaker” 

Their sound is relatable for people of all backgrounds and ages, and represents timeless qualities of music in a revolutionary way.

Black Violin demonstrates how musical genres can be transformed and redefined to create insightful expressions of emotion and tone.

If hip-hop is raw and rugged, and classical is naked and vulnerable, their music allows their listeners to find catharsis in the balanced blend of the two sensations.

Black Violin is about to go on a tour of Europe. For more info, you can visit their website: www.blackviolin.net

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Black Violin/ Youtube (Screengrab)

This Gen X’er And Her Two Young Daughters Are Trying To Revolutionize Millennial Menswear

Who says that you have to be a millennial in order to know what they want?

After spending five years as a housewife, Mary Di Fede-Garcia, age 47 and a resident of South Florida, decided that it was time for a change.

She focused on the men’s online clothing market for young people, sensing that it was a soft market.

Then Di Fede-Garcia launched Solsburry last December.

Solsburry is a website where men, mostly millennials, can find affordable clothing.

According to Di Fede-Garcia, Solsburry was chosen as the name of the brand because of a story told by former Genesis front-man Peter Gabriele.

“Peter was not getting along with his band member, Phil Collins, and he got to a turning point in which he needed to decide between going solo or take the back seat at the band while Collins was the lead,” Di Fede-Garcia said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “Peter went to a place in England, called Solsburry Hill, where a sense of change came to him, decided to go on his own, and became very successful.”

Picture 1

Mary Di Fede-Garcia, second from left, with her husband Alex and two daughters at a party in 2014.

Change has come to Di Fede-Garcia’s life as well, but the creation of Solsburry, the brand, was not an easy feat for her.

She had to face two of her greatest challenges: the Internet and social media.

“While I was building the brand in my head, I said to myself: ‘Let me face my biggest fears right on’,” Di Fede-Garcia said. “’If I am technologically challenged and I manage to do well on the web and social media, then I would know that there is nothing I can’t conquer.’”

To overcome her fear and after working for some months with a web developer, Di Fede-Garcia established Solsburry on the web, and it is spreading its name in social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Di Fede-Garcia has had support from her family in figuring out how to efficiently use social media as a branding and sales tool.

“Seeing her struggle since the beginning in not knowing how to do certain things on the web led me to help her,” Mary’s 18 year old daughter Lauren del Pino said.

Lauren is helping with the social media marketing efforts for the brand while her 22 year old sister, Danielle del Pino, is leading the web styling and selection of clothing for the brand.

“My sister helps out with the social media section because that is natural for her,” Danielle said. “I love helping out putting together the styling and the organization for the brand, and, of course, the photoshoots.”

The two daughters not only help their mom build and maintain the brand but also, along with their friends have provided significant inspiration since day one according to Di Fede-Garcia.

Picture 3

A view of a Solsburry photo shoot.

“My daughters have male friends who visit the house, and they are always commenting about how the women’s clothing market is over saturated while the men’s one is missing attention,” Di Fede-Garcia said. “I decided that I wanted to provide quality clothing that is durable, easy to wash and wear.”

Solsburry, is aiming at providing clothing for young men from high school to young adults who are starting their careers- men who want clothes that make them to look good but are also affordable.

Di Fede-Garcia said that she understands that young men at those stages have other priorities that are more important than looking good.

She also contributes a portion of the proceeds from each piece sold to some charities each month.

More Info On Solsburry:

www.solsburry.com

info@solsburry.com

Phone: +1 (305) 275-1829

Toll Free: 1 (844) 834-1829

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Photo Credit: Solsburry/ Submitted.

This New Carly Rae Jepsen Music Video Just Made An Important Point About Modern Relationships

Carly Rae Jepsen doesn’t have to be one of your favorite musicians (or even someone you can stand) for you to appreciate what she is doing with her latest music video.

The video for the song “Boy Problems” is a throwback of sorts to a 1980s slumber party scene. But it also features plenty of selfies, laptop computers and tablets.

While the song is ostensibly just about those moments when you just can’t stand your friend talking about her troubles with boys, it can also be read in a deeper way.

Perhaps Jepsen is trying to point out how silly modern drama about relationships and social pressures tied to those moments really are.

We shouldn’t be so hung up on another person that we lose sight of ourselves and our own emotional well being. And in the end, drama is such a waste of time and energy.

Anyway, watch the video and tell us in the comments whether you think our theory makes any sense:

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

Cover Photo Credit: Carly Rae Jepsen/ Facebook (Screenshot)

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