In Purbalingga, central Java, numerous small workshops represent the first step in a global supply chain. Almost all workers are women, all of them scraping a living by measuring and cutting artificial hair to the requisite size for false eyelashes, and then knitting them onto a thin plastic thread. The job requires intense concentration, often leaving workers with sore eyes and backs. Their financial remuneration for such monotonous work is about $0.04 per pair, sometimes lower. By the time the product reaches Western consumers, the price they pay has often reached $10 a pair – a mark-up of 2,400%.
Nappys de Babi, a natural hair group in Ivory Coast, is paving the way for the re-introduction of natural hair care in the West African country. The word ‘Babi’ is the nickname of Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s bustling capital.
In Ivory Coast, straight hair is the ideal. Many women use relaxers, or wear weaves and other extensions. Additionally fair-skin is highly desired and advertized, leading to the widespread use of carcinogenic whitening products.
According to one of the founders Miriam Diaby, “Society frowns on ‘afro’ hair overflowing all over the place.” Bibi Gagno, owner of the website omgiloveyourhair.com, male stylist Ange-Dady Akre-Loba, as well as Liliana Lambert, a half-European, are part of Nappys de Babi to contribute to the de-mystification of afro-textured hair.
Nappys de Babi’s community has grown to 2,400 members. They hold meetings every two months to share hair care tips, information and their experiences of going natural.
You asked, I had to deliver. A full series dedicated to 90’s and early 00’s Hip-Hop/Rap/R&B. Most of us that are 20+ remember how much the 90’s were influential to us growing up, the sounds, the feeling, the people, the entertainment, even the colors.
This series is my ode to a huge chunk of my childhood and adolescence. Hopefully these joints connect with yours as well. If the feedback is good, I might turn it into a full series and do more. Only time will tell, enjoy.
Joints from Foxy Brown, Jay-Z, Kelis, 2Pac, Kelis, Gang Starr, Big Pun, Total, Queen Latifah, Soul For Real, Geto Boys, Juvenile, Mariah Carey, Warren G, Dr. Dre, Brandy and many many more.
1. Foxy Brown - Hot Spot
2. TLC - No Scrubs
3. Aaliyah - Back & Forth ft. R. Kelly
4. TRU ft. Master P - Hoody Hoo
5. Outkast - Player’s Ball (Reprise)
6. Ja Rule - Holla Holla
7. Kelis - Caught Out There
8. Groove Theory - Tell Me (If You Want Me To)
9. Brandy - The Boy Is Mine ft. Monica
10. Warren G - I Want It All ft. Mack 10
11. Dr. Dre - Fuck With Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’) ft. Snoop Dogg
12. Ma$e - What You Want ft. Total
13. Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Pt. II
14. A Tribe Called Quest - Find A Way
15. Geto Boys - My Mind Playing Tricks On Me
16. Big Pun - Still Not A Player ft. Joe
17. Soul For Real - Candy Rain
18. Queen Latifah - U.N.I.T.Y.
19. Total - Sitting Home
20. Jay-Z - Can’t Knock The Hustle ft. Mary J. Blige
21. Erykah Badu - Appletree
22. Snoop Dogg - Lay Low ft. Master P, Butch Cassidy & Tha Eastsidaz
23. Volume 10 - Pistolgrip Pump
24. Musiq Soulchild - Just Friends (Sunny)
25. Method Man - You’re All I Need ft. Mary J. Blige
26. Gang Starr - Full Clip
27. 112 - Only You (Bad Boy Remix ft. The Notorious B.I.G. & Ma$e)
28. Juvenile - Back That Azz Up ft. Mannie Fresh & Lil’ Wayne
29. N.O.R.E. - Superthug ft. Pharrell Williams & Kelis
30. De La Soul - Breakadawn
31. Mariah Carey - Honey ft. Puff Daddy
32. Foxy Brown - Get Me Home ft. Blackstreet
33. 2Pac - I Get Around ft. Digital Underground
The racist immigrants carry disease rhetoric is nothing new.
Perhaps we need a U.S. history lesson:
Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the U.S. forged a program, through a series of agreements with Mexico’s PRI-dominated government, called the Bracero program. This program was used to fill in the gaps in manual labor the U.S. had after the war.
It sounds like a liberal dream: immigrants being given an opportunity to work in the “land of opportunity,” yet it was hardly that. The laborers were forced into horrible working conditions. Many died from exhaustion (often from working in the sun too long) from working in the fields picking food for the U.S. Many also suffered from disease.
The U.S. decided what was best for the issue of disease: a widespread use of a highly toxic livestock pesticide that braceros were often doused in as part of processing into the U.S.
As a huge proponent of serious charitable organizations, it always is disturbing to see trends such as Kony 2012 and various Susan G. Komen for the Cure initiatives take the social media atmosphere by storm. From the ultimate backlash against the celebrity-driven Kony fraud to the embarrassment of the KFC ‘Buckets for the Cure’ campaign backed by Susan G. Komen, I was immediately hoping that the infamous new ‘ice bucket challenge’ would in fact be an exception to the series of misled social media fundraising campaigns.
As soon as the ALS Association published its official numbers and my contacts within the investigative community confirmed the worst, however, it was apparent that once again we have been shoveling (or dumping in this case by the bucket-load) our hard earned funds into an organization that only uses about 27% of its financing to actually fuel research ‘for the cure’ — which just so happens to be based on pumping up the bloated pharmaceutical industry.
But don’t just take my word for it.
$95 Million Later: Only 27% Of Donations Actually Help ‘Research The Cure’
Reaching over 94 million in donations at the time of writing this article, thanks primarily due to the viral ice bucket challenge marketing campaign, you may be surprised to see the admitted breakdown of the company’s donated resources. You may be even more surprised to see the income breakdown within this non-profit that prides itself in helping ‘find the cure’ for ALS — now the most common among the five motor neuron diseases. From the company’s own records, we find the following cost breakdown for the year ending in January of 2014 [see above pie chart].
Research, as you can clearly see, sits at only 27% of the organization’s overall expenditures. Fundraising (marketing), stands at around half at 14%, and 1.9 million in administration (7%) was spent on their roster of highly paid non-profit executives. In fact, we even have the salary figures for each executive, including the ALS Association CEO’s six figure total:
- Jane H. Gilbert – President and CEO –$339,475.00
- Daniel M. Reznikov – Chief Financial Officer – $201,260.00
- Steve Gibson – Chief Public Policy Officer – $182,862.00
- Kimberly Maginnis -Chief of Care Services Officer – $160,646.00
- Lance Slaughter -Chief Chapter Relations and Development Officer – $152,692.00
- Michelle Keegan – Chief Development Officer – $178,744.00
- John Applegate – Association Finance Officer – $118.726.00
- David Moses – Director of Planned Giving – $112,509.00
- Carrie Munk – Chief Communications and Marketing Officer – $142,875.00
- Patrick Wildman – Director of Public Policy – $112,358.00
- Kathi Kromer – Director of State Advocacy – $110,661.00
And let’s be clear: I am a huge proponent of prosperity and business expansion. When it comes to private business and commerce, it benefits us all to see growing numbers among a company and its members. This, however, is not the case for a ‘non-profit’ organization that is based around the concept of ‘searching for the cure’ and ‘funding research’ as its primary goal. Especially when this organization is being funded with close to 100 million dollars through a viral social media campaign in which it appears no one truly took the time to investigate the very company they are shoveling their assets into.
But as our friend Sayer Ji of GreenMedInfo points out in his breakdown of the ice bucket phenomenon, even the smaller portions spent on ‘research’ for ALS are actually going towards pharmaceutical interventions and the pharmaceutical industry at large. There is simply no room to spend even a single percent of the $100 million in an effort to educate you about the reality that numerous studies available through the United States National Library of Medicine have demonstrated the natural preventative effects of key substances like:
Vitamin E: Shown by research to exhibit a whopping 50-60% decreased risk of developing ALS when taken alongside powerful polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Vitamin B12: Demonstrated by scientific study to be highly beneficial in the aid and understanding of ALS. In fact, PubMed research specifically reveals the integral usage of vitamin B12 in ALS research:
“To develop a symptomatic treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we compared the effects of ultrahigh-dose and low-dose (25 and 0.5 mg/day, intramuscularly, for 14 days) methylcobalamin on averaged compound muscle action potential amplitudes (CMAPs) in a double-blind trial. No significant changes in CMAP amplitude were found in 12 patients who had the low-dose treatment at either 2 or 4 weeks after start of treatment. By contrast, 12 patients assigned to the ultrahigh-dose group demonstrated a significant increase at 4 weeks. This method may provide a clinically useful measure to improve or retard muscle wasting, if a larger extended trial fulfills its promise.”
And the list goes on. But what’s even more important to consider is the lack of information regarding the actual cause of ALS, which may be even more valuable to many sufferers. Looking to the research we find an extensive list of culprits that can be identified and reduced, including:
Pesticides: Not mentioned by the ALS Association, a number of studies have drawn links between ALS and pesticide exposure.
Lead: Often contaminating the food supply and foreign products, 4 studies have demonstrated a relationship between lead and ALS at large.
Statin Drugs: You may already be well aware of the dangers surrounding statin drugs, in which case this may not surprise you. ALS has been identified as a possible side effect of these drugs that aim to reduce cholesterol.
The Bottom Line: Spread Information, Give to Trusted Charities
Amid all of the social media madness when it comes to charitable organizations like Susan G. Komen and now the ALS Association, it remains true that the key element necessary for real change is the spread of information. And when financial abilities allow for it, supporting real charities with a proven track record of directly supporting its stated goals with the bulk of its financial power.
As a major believer in supporting real charities, I always am searching for real organizations that follow these principals. Earlier this year, I found out about a Washington native named Ben Charles whose charity had been shut down by beauracratic government officials — even going as far as to threaten Ben with arrest for feeding the homeless on the streets of Olympia. Concerned about this issue, I further reached out to Ben back in early December of 2013, documenting the government crackdown on his initiatives and others.
Later that month, I gave another church that was targeted by the government for handing out turkeys on Thanksgiving a $1,000 donation in order to purchase additional food items (specifically turkey) and distribute it among those who needed it in the area — a proverbial middle finger to the bureaucratic park rangers and officers who sought to shut them down. This was also done as an initiative to drive others to do the same.
Now, amid yet another social media donation campaign that has led to almost 100 million going ‘towards the cure’, I am inspired (and want to inspire others) to give to a charity that really gives directly to the people it seeks to serve. That’s why I am giving $2,000 to Ben Charles and his grassroots ‘Crazy Faith’ food program in Olympia, Washington in order to help feed hundreds of homeless individuals on the streets with healthful food items.
With this donation, 100% is to be used in order to purchase high quality foods to feed those in need — and educate them on how to better their lifestyle with wholesome foods.
Whether or not you have the funds available to support your local communities, what’s even more important is the spread of information. If everyone donating to the ALS Association actually took the time to share key articles such as those highlighting the dangers of ALS-linked toxic substances, or those discussing the power of natural alternatives to ALS treatment, millions would be helped within hours.
No matter what the next social media fad becomes, always remember that it is your voice that propels change and life-saving differences.
Kim Kelley-Wagner has two daughters who were adopted from China. In everyday life, they have been subjected to horrid statements from people - to their faces, to their mother as they stood by her, etc. In this photo collection, shared on her blog, Kim and her daughters (Lily and Meika) put these ignorant cruelties front and center. [x]
"I have tried to explain to my daughters that people do not say these things to be mean, they say them out of ignorance, which is why I am sharing some of them. Words are powerful, they can become tools or weapons, choose to use them wisely."
Oh i’ve seen this thing before, motherfucker, multiculturalism and internationalism are the bedrocks of this country, it is our foundation as a nation, we should embrace people of different ethnic/racial stock, not exclude them, for in their inclusion the whole nation is stronger.
Educate the youth. Change the world. You could view this as disheartening or empowering. I choose the latter. Why? Because knowledge is power. And self awareness/love is the key to all success no matter how the deck is stacked against you. #blacklivesmatter #tofergusonfrombrooklynwithlove #insolidarity #mikebrown #michaelbrown #justiceformikebrown #ypoc #ericgarner #trayvonmartin #rekiaboyd #renishamcbride #willchamberlain #oscargrant #ezellford #johncrawford