People starving when tons of unsold food is thrown away globally because people couldn’t afford to purchase the food, that’s violence.
People dying and going bankrupt to pay for their healthcare, that’s violence.
People being evicted from their homes when there are more houses than there are houseless people, that’s violence.
I used to play basketball with some of my boys from the hood. We’d get a few guys together to play every Wednesday night. These games were always a lot of fun, and could get pretty colorful in terms of smack-down talk. Prince caught wind of these games, and one day asked me “how come you never invite me to play?” He asked if he could join in on a game. I was surprised, but I knew that Prince liked to play basketball, in fact his brother Duane Nelson was an All-State basketball player (Prince’s lyrics “I wish I were handsome and tall like my brother” were truthful–Duane was a towering basketball star.)
Now, my crew and I were just “regular guys” so Prince’s request presented something of a dilemma. Because he’d become so famous, putting together a simple game of hoops was not just a matter of picking a court and playing. This task would require me to discover my inner “Julie McCoy”–you know, that girl from LoveBoat–who was always putting together events and people? This gathering had to be on the down-low. No flash, no calling undue attention to the game. I made a private reservation after-hours so that Prince could play without any fans or bother. The Powder Horn Park Gym was happy to accommodate us. The next hurdle was choosing the right guys to make a full team; these had to be guys who wouldn’t blab to their friends or the media. I recruited my trusted buddy Gary Webster first off and asked him to help me find guys to play. Of course, there was Duane Nelson and Gilbert Davidson. The other guys we invited we’re Rob Johnson, Pat Adams, Scott Marsh and Marvin Bond. We needed just one more guy and Davie Lewis came to mind. Davie was a great athlete; I’d known him since 5th grade and he was a competitive dude. If you looked up the word “Testosterone” in the dictionary, you’d see a picture of him. It crossed my mind that he might be a bit of a problem, but we decided to go with him and set some specific “rules” for the game as a way of keeping him in check. Unbeknownst to me, this was like asking a bull not to charge when there’s a red cape flapping in the wind.
The guidelines for the game were: no guests, no girls, no shit talking, and no getting overly-physical. We were all big guys and our games could get pretty intense. We went over the rules again on the court before Prince arrived. They all agreed to them but as I found out later, Davie made the comment to Gary “I’m gonna block his shit as soon as we start playing.”
The guys all arrived at the court in sweats and T-shirts–the usual basketball attire. We awaited Prince’s arrival at the appointed time. Well, a long blue limo pulls up (so much for keeping things on the down-low) and Prince steps out, with two friends. He was a vision in black. He wore a black shirt with long purple lace sleeves, black shorts with a belt around his waist that was 6 inches wide with a huge gold medal buckle the size of a dinner-plate, long black tights under the shorts and what looked like Chuck Taylor shoes and socks. I turned to the guys–giving them all a significant evil eye that suggested they’d better not say a word.
We start playing; let me make this perfectly clear; Prince can hoop. What the guy might lack in height he makes up for in quickness and he has a nice jumper. Clearly, the guy’s got game. Davie is guarding him and Prince is schooling him. After awhile, the other guys on the team start talking smack and giving the big guy all kinds of grief about it. Prince is killing Davie and you can see he’s getting more and more frustrated. His nostrils were flaring; he’s stomping around clearly pissed-off. The wisecracks continue until Davie can’t take it any longer. Towards the end of the game Prince goes up to shoot another jump-shot and Davie charges. He hurls his 6 feet and 215 pounds of raging bull into the air to block it. He HAMMERS Prince and the basketball goes flying into the far wall as Prince falls into the bleachers and Davie hollers at the top of his voice “THAT SHIT IS OUTTA HERE!”
The silence that followed was deafening. Nobody moved; nobody said a word. All you could hear was Davie panting. Needless to say, he was ejected from the game. His departing words were: “I told you I was gonna block that fuckin shot.”
All-in-all, the game was a good time. I still laugh when I think about how “The Purple One” made Davie see red.
— Harlan Austin, Former Director of Security Services for Paisley Park Productions
So can we talk about how this “charitablegatekeeping ” helping teh underprivileged is so much more sinister when put together with the I only advance my friends trope?
This is some good analysis right here. It’s a real world example of networks of power working negatively through positive connections as opposed to monarchical dynamics of prohibition and saying no. This takes it up a level from concepts of carrots and sticks being wielded by those in power
Altamira, Brazil – Some 200 indigenous people affected by the construction of large hydroelectric dams in the Amazon launched an occupation today on one of the main construction sites of the Belo Monte dam complex on the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon. The group demands that the Brazilian government adopt effective legislation on prior consultations with indigenous peoples regarding projects that affect their lands and livelihoods. As this has not happened, they are demanding the immediate suspension of construction, technical studies and police operations related to dams along the Xingu, Tapajos and Teles Pires rivers. Shock troops of the military police were awaiting indigenous protestors when they arrived at the Belo Monte dam site, but they were unable to impede the occupation.
The indigenous protestors include members of the Juruna, Kayapó, Xipaya, Kuruaya, Asurini, Parakanã, Arara tribes from the Xingu River, as well as warriors of the Munduruku, a large tribe from the neighboring Tapajós river basin. The indigenous peoples are joined by fishermen and local riverine communities from the Xingu region. Initial reports indicate that approximately 6,000 workers at one of the main Belo Monte construction sites, Pimental, have ceased operations as a result of the protest. The occupation, according to the indigenous communities, will continue indefinitely or until the federal government meets their demands.
“Our forest and our river are one of the last natural heritages of Brazil. It’s sad to think: why are there so many dams planned on only one river?” Said Saw Exebu, spokesperson for the general chief of the Munduruku.”We don’t want this to happen on our lands. We don’t want dams built in our home, the Tapajós.”
Occupations against the Belo Monte dam complex and mobilizations against other Amazonian dams have become increasingly commonplace. Construction on Belo Monte has been halted on at least seven occasions over the last year due to the efforts of affected indigenous communities and fishermen to call attention to the failures of the Norte Energia dam building consortium and government agencies to comply with the project’s mandated environmental and social conditions. On March 21st, approximately 100 indigenous peoples, riverbank dwellers (ribeirinhos) and small farmers expelled dam workers and occupied the Pimental site, maintained by the Belo Monte Construction Consortium (CCBM). Additionally, recent strikes and protests by dam workers have created additional unrest at CCBM construction sites.
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