Here's What You Need To Know About Kalief Browder

Here's What You Need To Know About Kalief Browder

Jay-Z made a documentary series about him, so here's what you need to know
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Jay-Z's documentary about Kalief Browder was released to Netflix recently, and it is incredible. It's monumental even. Finally, someone is sharing the heartbreaking story that tells so perfectly how broken our justice system truly is. But I realize, there are a lot of people who probably don't even know who Kalief Browder is, let alone why this is so important.

Kalief Browder was a teenager from the Bronx who was arrested in the spring of 2010 at the ripe age of sixteen for a robbery he did not commit. There was little to no evidence to prove he had done it, but because he was arrested in New York, he was sentenced to spend the time until his trial at Riker's Island.

You probably know about Riker's from any New York City-based cop shows, especially Law and Order: SVU. However, what you probably don't know about Riker's is that it has been demonstrated to be one of the most violent prisons in the country.

Reports have shown that of the approximately 7,500 prisoners detained at Riker's, around 80% of them haven't been found innocent OR guilty of the charges pending against them. This is especially important because Kalief Browder spent THREE YEARS in Riker's Island at the age of SIXTEEN.

In those three years, he did not see a trial. He was not given the right to a fair and speedy trial. Instead, he was beaten. Not just by other prisoners. By officers. Those officers beat him, starved him and generally tortured him. This has been caught on video and surveillance tapes, which have been published.

"What about posting bond?" You ask, outraged that a 16-year-old was put into an adult prison for a robbery he clearly didn't commit.

He couldn't come up with the $10,000 for bail.

Three years later, after the case was bounced around and continuously delayed, Kalief Browder was released from prison after his case was dismissed. He spent two of those years in solitary confinement, all for a crime he did not commit. A crime he told police, corrections officers, anyone who would listen, that he did not commit.

In 2015, Kalief Browder committed suicide with an air conditioning cord after suffering from depression and PTSD from his three-year stint in Riker's.

That's why this is so important. It is so important that his story is told because our justice system is broken. It is broken if someone cannot afford to post bail and they are then forced to spend time in prison when they have not been convicted of anything. It is broken if someone can spend three years in that prison awaiting trial. What is the point of having the right to a fair and speedy trial when you can't even demonstrate that right?

How we let a sixteen-year-old rot in the most violent prison in the United States for a crime he didn't commit is beyond me. But the real tragedy here is that despite all that and despite all the support he was given after his release, he still felt that his only solution was to take his own life.

Say his name. Kalief Browder is only one of the many victims of our broken justice system. Say. His. Name.

Cover Image Credit: Socialist Alternate

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Why Ocasio-Cortez Is Unfit For Office

For many of the same reasons as Donald Trump.

Kentaro
Kentaro
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's meteoric ascension to elected office was as much of an awakening to the Democrats as was the election of Donald Trump. They too were not immune to the American people's frustration with the current status quo. Unfortunately, for both Democrats and Republicans alike, this has led to the election of polarizing figures with little backgrounds in politics and a commitment to alternative truths.

Ocasio-Cortez considers herself a Democratic Socialist and is out of touch with reality as much as her idol Bernie Sanders was. Socialist countries past (USSR, East Germany, Vietnam) and present (China) were/are rife with corruption. The socialist utopia which Ocasio-Cortez envisions will be the death of small American business unable to pay the high taxes required to support her platform, which includes Medicare and housing for all. Furthermore, her platform contains a proposal to tax Wall Street to fund public universities and trade schools (her childish thought process probably consisted of Wall Street = stocks = money = something I can tax), and a proposal to abolish ICE and demilitarize the police — besides being incredibly idiotic, a proposal feeding on the misguided anger some American have for our brave law enforcement officers who risk their lives on a daily basis to keep us safe. Our government is in 17 trillion dollars of debt because of its inability to manage money, and Ocasio-Cortez is telling us to give them more. It's appalling and scary someone so out of touch with reality was elected.

Ocasio-Cortez apparently loves alternative truths and lies as much as Donald Trump. Her most recent claim was that 66 percent of her Medicare proposal would have covered by the Pentagon's accounting errors, which total somewhere in the neighborhood of 21 trillion dollars. Looking closely at the article which she cited as the basis of her claims, it becomes clear she did not read or comprehend the article in its entirety and is living in her own fantasy land. The 21 trillion dollars is the sum of all the transactions where the same dollar could have been transferred between multiple accounts multiple times. In fact, the Pentagon hasn't even spent 21 trillion dollars in its existence. Ocasio-Cortez has also said ICE has a quota to detain 34,000 people a day, again another case of her living in her own fantasy land and acknowledging a half-truth. ICE is required to maintain — not fill — 34,000 beds by the DHS Appropriations Act of 2016. Ocasio-Cortez has said many more alternative facts, but I have neither the time nor the desire to bore you and analyze them all.

It's incredibly sad honesty and integrity have no place in American politics. Electing officials who have no commitment to the hard truths will destroy our American values and everything we hold dear. May God help this country.

Kentaro
Kentaro

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