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Have a heart.

 

Shoop” is a legendary song by the trailblazing hip hop group Salt-N-Pepa. We know the song, we love the song, we know the group and you agree with that first sentence I wrote. In the song Shoop the women espouse the same feelings about men.

Shoop isn’t looked upon negatively. The individuals within Salt-N-Pepa haven’t been vilified, boycotted, or taken to task for their lyrics. Salt-N-Pepa spent many albums man-ogling and telling men in no uncertain terms what they wanted them for.

Men and Women are different so shouldn’t their interpretations of similar things will also be different.

She raps “thank your momma for a butt like that.”
He raps “you got an ass like that from your momma.”

This is simply two different gendered people saying the same thing.  You’ll say it’s not but what you are really saying is that”She can get away with it but he can’t.” This is a double standard with all the agenda and psychotic trimmings. This is similar how women are more violent than men, but men are the only ones tagged with the violent label. Shoop was a sample of Ike Turner’s “I’m Blue”, how’s that for irony?

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Salt-N-Pepa here

Salt-N-Pepa’s song “Let’s Talk about Sex”, pretty much said the same thing, but people miss the point. There are thousands of songs by men showing their appreciation, like, lust of the female form, but not seeing the similarities in songs by females is not an industry problem; it’s a mental one.

Aaliyah goes Back & Forth while Lil Kim is being nasty as she wants to be. Khia can talk about her neck, back, and crack, where Nicki Manaj just so happens to put ice cream. Don’t overlook Beyonce’s drunk lovin’ or Foxy Brown’s sex without protection, disease infested. Liz Phair is fucking and running to Ciara’s Body Party. Trina maybe the realist chick, but Sheen Easton has those Sugar Walls.

Millie Jackson doesn’t want a halfway lover, but as Madonna said you can burn up from it. Iggy can give blowjobs for Louboutins, while Janet Jackson reminds the nasty boys that loves isn’t free. And by now, it doesn’t even matter how much Kelis charges for her milkshakes, because the double standard is real when everyone knows that whips and chains excites Rhianna.

Yet any male artist who utters something remotely sexual or unflattering is automatically labeled a misogynist. Maybe the blueprint laid out by Marilyn Monroe in Diamonds are a girl’s best friend was literal and not figurative.

These songs are reflective of the differences between men and women. Men aren’t and don’t protest songs where women lusting, ogling, body worshiping, showing them in a less-than-flattering light or shaming them. Men don’t protest those things not because they aren’t sensitive or that they don’t care. They don’t protest because they know it’s a song and you have a choice.

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Sometime you don’t want to feel, you just want a new purse.

“It’s so important that we let women express their sexuality and share their bodies.”K. Kardashian Sounds more like exploitation, but really how many times can you take naked photos of yourself and claim your are breaking the internet. How many times is it going to be about how you  look? If only people could take a selfie of their personality, social media would be the quietest place on the planet.

There are varying degrees to this sexual appreciation, but isn’t everyone different? Are men and women the same? Shouldn’t different points of views be appreciated for those differences not vilified, like Nelly was.

Forget the almost immediate call to the authorities when a males shows any hint of emotion…I wonder how many guys would be arrested if they dressed with their ass and flesh parts hanging out as a matter of liberation?

Women entertainers don’t have almost naked people dancing all around in their videos like men do. Some women entertainers are the almost-naked person dancing around in their videos.

These complaints from various groups and people are not about the entertainers having women on display in their video, it’s about the women displaying themselves and people being jealous of that display.

Of course we pretend like double standards don’t exist mainly because we benefit from them. There is also an anti-black-maleism is mixed into this topic in this also. How else do you explain Solange attacking Jay Z on camera and it being laughed off because it was o.k. to hit him because he’s a man. How do you explain Eminem’s lyrics vs. anyone’s…really.

 Misandry of the worst kind is the kind that goes about unchecked.

Women look men up and down, beyond his well-fitted suit, his lips, his hair, his shoes, and his wallet all the way to how he dances. Women look at men’s “packages,” watch men strut with sculpted muscle, sweating, pumped and shirtless. They watch the ones who grins because they look good with their shirts off and they watch the ones who don’t look so good with their shirts off. Women get a different, albeit less-obvious kind of eyeful, but an eye-full none-the-less. Yet it’s the men who quickly get slapped with some kind of condition or a syndrome for even acknowledging that they do the exact same thing.

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Here are the most popular searches for what people in the United States like…

Since women watch more porno than men, ladies what exactly is a porn addiction and what is the treatment for such a condition? I asked the question, knowing that no answer would come…

Some woman have made a name for themselves solely based on who they have slept with, but a man that has sexual encounter with multiple women is somehow a deviant.

Many women use vibrators like their is no tomorrow. There are married women who watch porn all day and other women who if they weren’t working would be watching porn all day, and they don’t have a condition, but Kirk Franklin does…

This double standard extends beyond music and pornography. Hillary Clinton said “I won’t play the woman card but I am a woman.” The largest allure of Hillary Clinton isn’t her policies, it’s that she gets to beat up on male candidates.

Karrine Steffans…AKA (SuperHead…don’t ask) said that Oprah and Maya Angelou were hoes…let’s see what happens when you publicly say it.

Many studies have found that women, without any legal restraints demonstrated a desire to control their partners and were more likely to use physical aggression than men.

 

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Is she still out there?

When the “terrorist” are women, society talks only of helping women and girls stay off this deadly path, while we launch unmanned drones to kill men and boys. Now that’s value…right there.

Women openly spank children and don’t get arrested, in fact most people are afraid to say anything to a woman who is disciplining her child. Someone is spanking a child in a crowded store and you need to go over four aisles to call the police…really.This powerlessness has lead to an industry of Spanking Shamers,people who openly say that people who were spanked as a child has mental issues.

If women didn’t support wars, there wouldn’t be any wars…try it and watch… Men would not be fighting other men if it weren’t for the vague notion of protecting their love. It’s violence by proxy because men are expendable.

This photo of Malcolm X carries a rifle while.peering out of a window in September 1964 issue of Ebony dramatized his defiance of threats. Contrary to what has been reported, he was actually hiding from an old girlfriend. Men are called deadbeats but bad mothers,just need a little help… She’s a stay-at-home mother, but she’s also single….ridiculous right…isn’t it all.

Tiger wood was hit with a nine-iron that fractured his cheekbone, by his wife…nothing was done, in fact he was ridiculed as the media tried to blame his injuries on a car accident. This being the case why would any male think that they would be viewed fairly? Recently Hope Solo and Britney Griner had domestic violence incidents and received a slap on the wrist for them, not so for male players, they lose their jobs.

There are more than 200 academic studies that show women are more likely to be the perpetrator in non-reciprocal violence. Since you may not read the studies that means females hit first and often, but it also means that if the male doesn’t take this kind of treatment and chooses to strike back…he then becomes the abuser. When women hit men it’s not being reported as violence, it’s views a being playful, emotional, she’s going through something or as the recipient deserved it.

People are people and no one wants to be hit by someone else, so why aren’t we as a society looking at them the same?

 

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Is it still funny?

What we will hear is a series of buts, someone muttering about pushing boundaries or role reversal, followed by lines that include copious use of the word “historically.” Women look at men as sex objects figuratively and literally, women are watching lots of porn, women are violent yet we pretend that it’s not happening.

There are laws that make infanticide a milder crime….why? Why are cities installing Safe Haven Baby Boxes, so a woman can just put her unwanted babies into these metal boxes?

We have slanted adoption laws, where women can at any time wash their hands of their kids with no consequences, financial or otherwise, to discourage infanticide, meanwhile men who walk away are jailed. Program on top of program exist supporting mothers, some of which aren’t good mothers, but men are put in jail when they are behind on child support.

Laws have been formed, jobs have been lost, and lives have been changed due to these glaring double standards. You’ll end up explaining how “Life isn’t fair”to children who will unavoidably grow up with a series of W.T.F.s in their head when they don’t have to.

 

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Today our society is not based on evidence and children grow up not understanding the whys in a land of equality and rules. Some grow up not understanding that they are somehow less than equal and the rules seem to arbitrarily be applied. As adults, we should know better. As parents, we damn sure should know better.

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There is a balance to everything

People notice how Former President Bill Clinton, who has been abusing and taking advantage of women for decades, remains one of the most beloved political figures in history. People wonder how did Ja Rule reached number one on the charts with lyrics such as, “I like to keep them drugged up on ecstasy”. While Rick Ross and Lil Wayne, in different songs, both hinted at putting something in a woman’s drink at a club, but for some reason only Rick Ross was taken to task for these lyrics.

In Chris Brown’s song “liquor,” a woman put something in his drink at a club and not one peep came from the masses. Is someone is telling the masses when to be outraged and who to be outraged at? Or are we a morally shallow society that allows double standards based on whether or not a person is liked? Either way that’s not a society built on rules, that’s a society built on enforceable whims.

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republicans

People of color are quick to say that the Republicans are racist, meanwhile the Democrats, who aren’t racist, haven’t even slightly improved the lives of people of color. But what is Racism, as an American social construct is an ideology of hate and particularly an ideology of hatred directed toward people of color. This word itself refers to any attitude towards individuals and groups of people which posits a direct linear connection between physical and mental qualities. It therefore attributes to those individuals and groups of people collective traits, physical, mental, and moral, which are constant and unalterable by human will, because they believed to be caused by hereditary factors or external influences, such as climate or geography.

While it is true that an individual may not have racial intent, but that individual’s actions may nonetheless have racial consequence. And that individual need not adhere to white supremacist ideology to benefit from its effects or to be injured by it. However, there is an undeniable psychological wage of whiteness, all too often the reward for blackness is a bullet…Mr. President this is the Wage Gap. Today in America, racial justice is beyond redistribution.

“…a psychological bird that told him that no matter how bad off he was, at least he was a white man, better than the Black man.”- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

People complain that Mexicans are taking their jobs; they complain that Asian Americans are taking over their country; they complain that Blacks are ruining their neighborhood – this is a concept of ownership. This is a concept that gave rise to the political slogans “Take Our Country Back” and “Make This Country Great Again”.

Many people of color don’t like the republicans, they feel the Republicans are amnesiac racist and corporate opportunist that would kick their own mother out of a wheelchair if it made them a dollar, yet these people of color are the main consumers of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Frito Lays products, etc the very products that sustain and support the Republican Party and its candidates.

Ben Carson and Donald Trump

As if either of these guys has a shot at winning…

In a default setting people of color have allowed, enabled, so-called racist from both political parties to rule over them.

What could cause people of color vote against their own best interest? What could causes them not to create a political party for them and by them? What is it that causes them to continually watch the very thing they claim to hate? What causes them yell racist and at the same time support “racist” policies and parties with their hard earned dollar? What is it that makes them no groom people of color for political office? What is it that causes them to beg for help from their “oppressor” in a park, while singing old spiritual songs? What could makes them stand for the lesser of two evils while their communities crumble around them?

Slave labor and sex trafficking is still coming in from the southern border…right. Reparations still haven’t been paid…right. Middle Easterners are still being bombed…right. Drugs are still ravaging communities…right. People of color are still being incarcerated at a three times higher rate than Whites…right.

Mrs. Clinton actually called Blacks “Super Predators” and not your lives don’t matter. Meanwhile Mr. Clinton is apologizing for the “unintended consequences” of mass incarceration, who the hell else were they going to lock up for profit…people that looked like him…

Every time you turn around the Department of Justice is investigating another incident (Just to calm you down)…right. You are still working hard every single day to make ends meet…right. College tuition is still rising…right. Wars are still being funded…right.

Hillary Clinton

Voting for someone who looks like you or is the same gender as you, may make you feel better, but how is that really working out? It is’t the Republicans or the Republican Party that has amnesia, perhaps it is the people of color who have amnesia.

MGHardie

Father Time–white man, white hair

Uncle Sam- white man, white hair

Santa Claus- white man, white hair

Moses- white man, white hair

The Forefathers- White men, white hair

Baby New Year- White baby

Jesus- White

Mother Nature- White Woman

Helen of Troy – White Woman

Lady Godiva- White Woman, White Horse

Mother Nature

White knight, white noise, white lies, white diamonds, Snow White, White House, and the ever popular white rose.

White velvet cake, white tea, white rice, white truffles, white potatoes, white onions, and oh yes blonde roast coffee

White peaches, white pumpkins, white wine, and White Christmas.

White christmas

White is the ultimate authority, they set it up that way, so that ain’t nothing good until it’s white.

Look at chocolate, dark, sweet, cream, milk–but no that wasn’t enough they had to go and make

that white too, and white chocolate isn’t even chocolate!



You don’t see chocolate vanilla do you. I knew they wouldn’t stop at milk. They may as well say,

here drink this, white it does a body good.

Racism is everywhere and its not subtle.

Another poem from It Ain’t Just the Size


After the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut where 18 six and seven year-olds were shot and killed by a single armed individual, President Barack Obama took to the airwaves and we all heard his emotional condolences to other affected. Back in 2008, when Candidate Obama was being honest he said that cultural changes will make people “cling to their guns and religion”, he couldn’t have been righter. In fact some would say that the gun is a religion. The United States of America has more guns than any other ‘civilized” country in the world. We have more people in prison than any other civilized country, prison is supposed to be a deterrent–obviously what we have been doing isn’t working. It can even be argued that the violence we do abroad is merely an extension of the violence in our hearts that sometimes spills out at home…

You will hear the terms “Kids killing Kids”, “Boys will be Boys”, “Guns don’t kill people”, these are paid for slogans that turn shooting tragedies, like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School into nothing more than nursery rhymes. Nursery rhymes right along side other rhymes like “babies having babies”, “Just say no”. Slogans that make you feel better, as if someone has a handle on it enough to craft a catchy slogan for it, while another avoidable shooting becomes nothing more than a parade of faces and a footnote in history. Disregarding the warnings from these events, the media and political framework from these events have become common. They pick sides, cloud the issues only to keep the same ways of thinking in place, year after year, incident after incident, half-measure after half-measure. Why half-measure and promises, because this is the culture of violence that we have created…all of us.

You will also hear words like “troubled”, “problems” and if no on is troubled or has problems. These media slick personalities will cloud the issue by making it a mental health debate. If the individual “snapped” how an examination beforehand reveals that is beyond any psychologist. They will also turn any remedy it into a privacy issues, or a rights issue. One as arbitrary as, at 18 one can smoke and at 21 one can drink alcohol, how is that working out?  They aren’t working, they don’t work. We as a society have not revisited those issues either, but it makes us feel better that we did something, maybe not the right thing, but we did something. “But it’s our right” they’ll scream, but since 9/11 the same screamers have allowed their right to be taken and twisted and their privacy to be intruded upon, without so much as a whimper—why? Because it was for the “Greater Good”. In the case of guns, finger pointing usually follows a shooting like this, but taking money out of the pockets of elected officials can save lives.

This tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut will be tied to false arguments and false conclusions, just as all the tragedies before it were. You hear the questions being asked: What happened to the shooter to make him act in this manner? This can’t be normal, he’s a monster, a monster really–so is America raising monster? This is all done to prevent us from squaring look ourselves in the face. Looking at the society we have created for ourselves and for our children to grow up in. Arbitrarily putting people on a ‘not eligible’ list, stopping the poor for getting guns, preventing minorities from getting guns, ect… none of it will work. We all know it that’s why we pray, we hold vigils, and we debate.

A week after the Sandy Hook shooting the NRA held a national press conference that blamed 1980 and 1990 era video games Splatterhouse, Bulletstorm and Mortal Kombat, and sports for America’s violent culture. The NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre urged congress to create a national database for the mentally ill, he also blamed the media for being complicity in misinforming people and President Barack Obama for cutting funds. The NRA proposes that every school in America has a police officer. The press conference was so out of touch and so sickening the only thing missing was the Wayne LaPierre brandishing a gun, and metaphorically he was. However, the NRA’s proposal seems like a great solution until the armed protector is the shooter. Make it tougher to get a gun won’t work, because the capitalist will find something else deadly to market and sell to the violence hungry masses. Scenes like the ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School have become as common as law enforcement police shooting unarmed people,and  as normal as the violence from our unmanned drone strikes in other countries. We the so-called educated masses, have lost the clarity and the fortitude to do the right thing.

How many guns does a person need? One for upstairs, one for downstairs, one for the car and one for the white tail deer. I know hunting is a way of life. Yes hunting defenseless animals with high powered weaponry for sport, is a way of life that desensitizes us to the value of life as a whole. We as a society hold the power to take life as our absolute right if someone, anyone offends us, unfortunately the taking of life is in direct conflict with the constitution the evangelist praise so highly, but just as so many religious do with their text, the constitution is left largely unread. Thinking that one right can take another right has to be a mental condition.

Here is what you won’t hear.

There have been 28 mass shootings since Columbine and 19 mass shooting since the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, 30,000 gun deaths yearly, 100,000 people get shot yearly, 18,000 people commit  gun suicides each year, yet there has been no meaningful change in the gun laws or the gun debate. Unfortunately, American citizens will fork over trillions of dollars and  the wherewith all for wars, but they no longer have the guts to do the right thing here at home. Any of these numbers should have indicated that our culture is in crisis, has been in crisis and every decision we make stems from the bad ones before it. This time, this incident in Connecticut, involved so many children and females in particular involved that the assault weapons ban might get a national tweak, might.  What if the next mass shooter’s are girls would that be enough to make us think? Probably not.

“The issue is not just violence in the media but the construction of violent masculinity as a cultural norm. From rock and rap music and videos, Hollywood action films, professional and college sports, the culture produces a stream of images of violent, abusive men and promotes characteristics such as dominance, power, and control as means of establishing or maintaining manhood.”

For one segment of American society the gun itself is a symbol of honor, human mastery over nature, authority, individual self-sufficiency and history. To that segment by opposing gun control affirm the value of those symbolic meanings and the vision of the good society that the gun helped to construct. However, to the other segment of  society guns perpetuate illicit social hierarchies, the elevation of force over reason, the expression of collective indifference to the well-being of strangers, and the only way the the fearful can sleep at night. To this segment supporting gun control means repudiation these things, meanwhile one sides interest’s are realized at the detriment to the other side. The truth is that injecting partisan cultural values into this debate are inappropriate. People have a tendency to adopt views shared by others of their cultural orientation, this is self-reinforcing. We need a new vocabulary, we need new voices on the matter and no compromise, or middle ground solution will remedy this. We must change our thinking completely.

What would the forefathers think? Where is congress on the matter? Who is paying who? It’s too much for the busy citizenry to deal with, right? So lets put it to a vote, and watch every year as the numbers for a ban grow, but that’s when the real violence will happen. The shooter could have used an SUV and ran down just as many young victims crossing the street to school. Why didn’t he? Because guns and ammunition are far cheaper and more effective ways to kill, when you are killing for power. So why not make guns more costly, but then only the wealthy would have them. We could make it into War on Guns, but how have the wars on Terror, Drugs and Gangs turned out? Why not just ban the firearm and keep the 2nd amendment, which is doable, but the capitalist would never allow that.

The numbers and our actions just don’t add up, what would happen if we as a society were to take firearms out of the equation?

MG Hardie

How does one explain that the one billion dollars you spent on a presidential election got you soundly drubbed by over 100 electoral votes margin? How do you justify the loss of each congressional candidate that was backed by 300 million in ads?

In the most telling of moments of the 2012 election it was hurricane Sandy showed people racism and prejudice is not functional for a forward moving country. Racism exists, prejudice exists, and it exists culturally and institutionally, especially for whites. This polarization runs across race and across class. After the re-election of President Barack Obama tens of thousands have signed petitions to secede from the union, an absurd proposition, but the sentiment that prejudice carries trump common sense. In the midst of this loud and prevalent ignorance some are waking up. Some realize that we cannot longer look at the countries the USA has attacked over the years or will engage in the future and say that they weren’t peppered with racist notions.

Today blacks that graduate with college degrees are twice as unlikely to get hired as their white counterparts. To say that America is racist is not a rhetorical narrative. White America is not prepared to view the world how it is or how it is becoming. They want everyone to think like them, many of them have a stuck in the past mentality. When they are confronted with a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-racial society they retreat to what comforts them and politicians and the 24 hours networks give them that comfort.

The media plays it loud, clear and repeatedly that they can go back to a time when half the country wasn’t free, to a time when the natives were being exterminated and their land occupied, to a time when the theft of Mexico’s land was underway, to a time when 4 million where enslaved. How can this narrative be the main one that is played over and over again by journalists, networks or any responsible party, because it is their agenda? And the disillusioned, jaded masses find solace in these and every fringe narrative propagated by the media. Then they present specials on why social media sites are often deluged with racist, sexist and homophobic rants as if the media didn’t bring people on to put it out to the masses.

The sport of politics continues on as the ratings driven media engine and fringe bloggers gently pull the racial heart strings of the prejudice and ill informed masses. In a free country demographics change, times change, but you still loudly heard the chants of “take our country back!’  Networks and commentators echoed these very same chants. Networks sieges on and repeat flawed and absurd narratives even when the rhetoric came from non-credible sources. This repetition not only reinforced this racial psychosis, but allowed people to cling on to racist notions, and live happily every after with ignorant sound bites. In the end, some believed, even subconsciously,  that race was more important that correcting the countries dire economic situation. This belief was and is so strong that some are willing to allow the country to collapse, to not hire people, and to undermine the President.

Politicians don’t have the fortitude to tell their constituents that the country no longer looks like it did when your forefather had power. Instead they fleece and exploit and lie to them to stay in office, to stay relevant. Countless commentators are willing to blow dog whistles and toss red meat as long as networks will give opportunities to commentate.

For liberals, conservative and anyone in-between the entertainment complex contains far too many bad acting participants to name, however, there is a market for hate, racism and prejudice. This market has led its followers, its donors and its noble activist to often be mistaken about the nature of the America’s problems. They become jaded, biased and socially irresponsible, quite simply it’s a sickness. This complex pits one vs. the other, lauds and celebrates party identification even though this identification inherently forces people reject factual narratives and new information. Some people feel as though they are nothing without the party, the party is a part of their identity. It is this party identity that urges people to vote against their and the country’s best interest.

The election is over and for Americans, all the ill will is no longer on the front page, the negativity is no longer blaring 24 hour a day. And on we trudge without so much as an apology, without a hint of remorse, and without a resolution to the sickness. For Americans it’s business as usual and on to the next crisis for the news media, on to the next pundit that seeks only to continue the debate and on to the next election of cruelty. Forward.

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We have the biggest best military,

We have the smartest people,

we are dropping bombs,

using troops,

laws,

sanctions,

aircraft carriers,

x-rays,

body scanners,

pat-downs,

we have all these cameras and  computers, but no matter what we do, it seems like bad

things are supposed to happen.

We headline all the bad things and bury the good ones.

We focus on war, violence and the mistreatment of others.

We keep spending and spending,

We burn with hate, live in terror and spread fear

–that can’t be right

–that can’t be right

—it just can’t be.

Somebody somewhere throws a rock and it changes the lives of everyone, that’s crazy.

And by bad things, I am not just talking about war and terror.

Whether you believe in evil or light and dark forces or not,

you have to admit that a lot of things that happen seems senseless.

It seems, that every time someone give into vices, it is somehow connected to something larger

something that pushes us towards an avoidable end.

Towards happenings that had to happen and couldn’t have happened any other way.

It’s just too easy to do the wrong thing.

I guess that’s how you know that it’s wrong.

Is this the way thing are supposed to be?

Are we already in hell?

Pick up “It Ain’t Just the Size” on Kindle for only .99 for the answer.

Join MG Hardie’s fan page.

One Name, Two Fates

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates is a memoir with a twist. Wes Moore is a young black man who rose from the drug, crime and poverty-stricken streets of Baltimore to attain prestigious academic honors. The twist is that Wes Moore is also a man who killed a Baltimore policeman while robbing a jewelry store. These two men grew up in the same neighborhood, both faced the same life obstacles, but they ended up on very different paths. One a Rhodes Scholar, interning for Condoleezza Rice, the other was behind bars for the rest of his life. It is the name of the latter individual that drove the author to reach out to him, to attempt to understand how they ended up in very different places.

Set in Baltimore we are given two boys with similar backgrounds and choices. The two Wes’ lived in the same neighborhood, both were raised by single mothers and both had early age brushes with law enforcement. The author believes that he is showing us a paralleling of lives by saying that what happened to the Other Wes Moore could have happened to him, this is not the case but it is interesting. “The Other Wes Moore” is a beautifully written narrative study on the effects of class and that alone makes it unique. Two black youths, who live in the same neighborhood, but in different classes.

The twist is more like a literary hook so-to-speak. Wes Moore’s mother was raised by college educated parents and she would have been a college graduate had it not been for forces beyond her control; his father was no slouch either although he dies early on. When Wes get too rambunctious she had the means to put him into military school. The Other Wes’ life was plagued with poverty and violence inside and outside his home, one day his father just takes off.  As a result of this familial disengagement he ends up having children by multiple women and selling drugs. Here, there is much to be said about “active parenting”.

The story is good, but I was quite disturbed and sadden that two hospitals allowed Race to place a major role in the deaths of two of the story’s characters.  Included in the book is a short ‘call to action’ by Tavis Smiley which will also, like the book, miss its intend mark. “The Other Wes Moore” will not reach the people who need to read it the most. This book is not filled with glorified violent acts, broad shouldered men, barely dressed married-single women, crime lords or thugs trying to get their paper. This book is not a copy of another book with changed names and places. No, it does not remain in the ghetto universe.

Throughout the book the Wes’ dialogue and we are exposed to the realest grit that life has to offer. We see the effects of not having positive mentors urban communities. We see the possibilities. We see the hope, but we also see the hopelessness. As the book ends we are left with these questions:  It is The Other Wes Moore’s fault that he was born into a lower class family? Was it his fault that he became a street urchin? Was it his mothers? His fathers? Or is it just easier to blame them instead the struggle in our society between, The haves and The have nots, The wants and The want mores?

Often these type of narratives make race or racism the deciding factor, “the man was holding me down” or “the opportunities were not there”, this is not so with Wes Moore’s book. These two children lived in the same neighborhood, shared the same obstacles and were divided only by Class. Class and it’s socioeconomic effects are subjects that very few want to discuss. Classism exist in every community, including the black ones. Wes Moore really didn’t need the hook, but I completely understand. And, he never really answers the question, How did this happen? In truth, he doesn’t need to because he knows that the answer is his upbringing. The book does not come across as arrogant, nor pretentious and I hope that this book will open discussions on the class warfare that is prevalent in our society. “The Other Wes Moore”  is less of a textbook for school and more of a textbook for life, so I am including a link to the author’s website, where there are resources for those that want to make a difference in their community, Wes Moore.

Wes Moore forces us to look at an overlooked, much maligned, under represented segment of our population, our children. They are ten percent of our population, but one hundred percent of our future. While adults spend countless hours with electronic doohickeys and bicker over race, politics and other created nonsense a child somewhere needs help with their homework, and another one needs to be told to put down the video game and pick up a book. What “The Other Wes Moore” points out more than anything else is that a child’s life course could be altered by acts as simple as that.

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates  is an amazing book and I can’t stress it enough. The way this book is written is worth the read alone. The author’s style is simply beautiful. “The Other Wes Moore” makes you smile, and does much to restore some of the promise that modern literature has lost.

4.5 out of 5