How Do You Hip-hop?

There are so many interpretations of hip-hop. Before we can get into different perspectives, we should first acknowledge where this culture comes from. Yea that’s right, hip-hop is a culture not just a genre of music. Declared as a culture in front of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by KRS-One and a committee of like-minded individuals who wanted positive change in society in 2001. Before that, hip-hop originated in the Bronx from a combination of different genres; funk, disco, and soul. It quickly became a platform for society to reflect on urban culture. Many became aware of what injustices were going on in the inner city more than ever, and with hip-hop, the people became equipped to inform and advocate for change.

The exact year and date is still a battle between scholars, but it is safe to say hip-hop was born in the mid to late 70s. What is not arguable, are the elements that constitute hip-hop in its truest form; emceeing, graffiti art, Deejaying, and beatboxing. The other 4 elements include street fashion, street entrepreneurialism, street language, and street knowledge. Just like any culture, with time comes change. Many believe mainstream rap is not the same or as rooted in the culture as the first hip-hop songs like “The Message,” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5. If you are looking for culture inside “mainstream,” you are least likely to find it.

Rahman Jamaal, National Executive Director of Hip Hop Congress, declared “I don’t see enough of the elements being brought together as a full representation of the culture all at once, that is in a way bigger than the mainstream capacity to harness all that knowledge. It would completely change the mainstream. The elements can definitely come together in an educational form.” Hip Hop Congress is a nonprofit, international grass roots organization. Its mission is to evolve hip-hop culture by inspiring social action and creativity within the community creating programs within public schools. “The perspective of hip-hop has changed over the years. However, hip-hop does change things, right now it is changing education,” Rahman Jamaal added.

Every culture will have many perspectives, Aubry Williams, an avid listener and Mass Communications student at Chabot says he likes hip-hop because “of the freedom of hip-hop. There’s no specific sound to make a hip-hop record. You can do whatever you want as long as it sounds good.” The musical genre does much more than providing listeners with a good time. It can also inform and empower.

“I like that hip-hop always touches on things that happen in America, there hasn’t been one thing historically that hip-hop hasn’t touched,” asserted Robert Knox III, on-air personality at KCRH 89.9 FM. Hip-hop is a culture that we are a part of and therefore constantly changing. A few of the Spectator staff, voiced their opinions about hip-hop, its origins, innovators and top five artists, on the latest episode of “Behind the Headline” coming soon to spectatorpodcast.com.

Mt. Tamalpais to Fruitvale Station

“From Mt. Tamalpais to Fruitvale Station” is a social justice hip-hop video experience that was released September 19, at Chabot College. The song was composed by the Justice Arts Collective (JAC), a musical group focusing on advocacy, cultural awareness, and using music for spiritual healing. Inside, building 700 South event center, the banging of drums and harmonizing voices could be heard over the more than 250 students that attended. “From Mt. Tamalpais to Fruitvale Station” is song highlighting injustice in our society but mostly the recent police brutality against people of color. There was a BBQ, performance, and an open mic before as well as after the video release. Charles Reed, a student that attended said, “The open mic portion was creative and inspirational because people had to challenge themselves to go up and speak. The environment was conducive to creativity and let speakers know they will not crash and burn if they made a mistake.” There was no “booing” when someone made a mistake only words of encouragement to help them voice their opinion.

Tommy Reed, a professor, and counselor for Umoja, gave a brief speech leading up to the music video release, “We’ve been planning this for the last few months, we are so excited for you guys to be here and we hope that you vibe with us on this beautiful video.”

After the video premiered, attendees were asked to write on an index card, answering the question, “How did the video make you feel?” Students were encouraged to go up to the mic and express what they wrote on their cards.

“The video should make the viewer feel some level of discomfort, and want to talk about these issues that are in our society,” said Juztino Panella, a leading member of the Justice Arts Collective, professor, and counselor at Chabot College. The JAC is composed of numerous musicians and poets who are mostly Chabot students and two Chabot College counselors.

Joan Cortez, a member of the JAC and student at Chabot, declared “The JAC has taught me to think about helping and advocating for people beyond myself and beyond my community. It also inspired me to write more and be in solidarity with other Chabot students and community members.”

The event was scheduled to end around 9 p.m. but the space that was created, welcomed all to say whatever they felt in a unity circle that enclosed the entire interior of the building until about 10:45 p.m.

Did you miss the video premiere? You can still check it out. The Justice Arts Collective invites all to visit their website www.justicecartscollective.org.

Women’s Basketball

The Chabot College women’s basketball team has been gaining a lot of traction over the last few years by having an all-star defense, and Grade A offense. Our Lady Gladiators, give us something to look forward to when we watch them play. Coming off some great wins last year, the team hopes to start fresh while continuing to have a winning mindset when this season begins. Not only are they receiving recognition from students and faculty, but players from the men’s team support them as well.

Chabot students, Lamont Jackson and Quiana Stevens gave insight on how they currently feel about the team’s chances. Jackson stated, “The girl’s hoop team needs more praise for how hard they play, and they deserve as much support as the boy’s team gets.” Stevens stated, “It’s beyond exciting while watching them in action, and it’s also great to see them balling out.”

Mykal Anderson, from the Chabot men’s basketball team, has high expectations for the women this year. Anderson said, “I never paid attention to girls basketball like that, but once I saw the girls head coach drain six 3’s in a row to win the Chabot 3 point shooting contest, I was tuned in.” Another boys basketball player, Levy Deplush was also impressed with the performance of the women’s coach. He said “She went crazy! I knew if that is their coach then they are definitely in good hands.”

The center for Chabot’s women’s basketball team, Ferrynn Steen, is looking forward to competing for a championship this season. Steen said, “I expect the team to be pretty good, but not the best. We’re a team with all freshman and no returners, so we have our work cut out for us, but we’re going to work hard every time we step on the court.”

Knowing that there is a brand-new group of players shouldn’t bring doubts but, should raise curiosity. There’s no question that our team will give us their all in each game. Our women understand they have big shoes to fill and they plan on doing that and then some. This season should be exciting and gives our school the fresh new look of our Lady Gladiators.

Napa Fire Covers the Bay in Smoke

On October 8, the Atlas wildfire in Napa County had grown in size and became dangerous to many homes and businesses near it.

Unfortunately, winds carrying the smoke across the Bay Area, left many to face the clouds of smoke.

The brown haze of heavy smoke from the wildfires in the North Bay brought about many air quality warnings from the Bay Area Air Quality Management. Their report on October 9 warned the public to stay indoors and to avoid unnecessary exposure and to reduce the amount of smoky air indoors by keeping the windows and doors closed.

By Wednesday, October 11, the harmful smoke had made its way to Hayward, creating a layer of toxic air. It prompted many at Chabot College to get face-masks from the Health Center to protect them from the smoke.

Chabot student Lisette Donaire recalled the day after, on October 12, when the air quality was still bad, “I was on campus October 12. I have asthma, like severe asthma to the point where I frequently have to go to the doctor. I used my inhaler about five times that day.”

Beatriz Saravia, a worker at Grocery Outlet in Oakland, was one of many people who had to evacuate as the fire neared her home in Solano County. “I heard about the fire on the TV news. We were told to evacuate Monday night (October 9) around 11 p.m.” She evacuated to her mother’s home in San Pablo.

By October 11, over 100 people had died, leaving many injured.

As of Thursday, October 12, smoke could still be seen to the north of Hayward, and the layer of smoke had moved south, affecting Fremont and San Jose.

Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa Fire destroyed 3,000 homes, including the home of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, and killed 15 people with hundreds still missing. PG&E has worked on trying to restore power for many customers affected by the wildfire.

The fire raged into the weekend of October 13, with daily efforts to put out the fire. It looked like it would be a while until the fire would end. On October 16, it rained over the area where the fire was and brought some relief to the fight.

By October 20, once the fire had died down, residents were allowed back into their homes.

Many buildings were destroyed, and many people are still missing. With relief efforts underway, the community hopes to rebuild as soon as possible.

Saturday Cafeteria Grand Opening a Non-starter

The Saturday Café will not be open as announced from 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. due to a lack of attendance during the pilot program which opened on Oct 21, 2017. The grand opening did not result in enough revenue for a successful outcome.

There are various reasons for the low attendance. A cafeteria worker commented that on that Saturday, “there were few in attendance… and no advertisement.” The local Flea Market was also active at this time, located in the Student Parking Lot G. This may have drawn people away who otherwise would have used the cafeteria.

Students on Saturday usually are attending classes on the opposite end of the campus. This may have been another reason for the limited attendance.

The main entrance doors to the cafeteria were not opened and the automatic sliding doors from the rear were the only entrance that Saturday.

More advertisement and better attendance will be needed for this program to continue.

Sanctuary Cities Raided

Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., immigrants in these Sanctuary cities have become targets for ICE, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. From September 26 through September 30, “Operation Safe City” was an attack on cities with “sanctuary” policies. ICE claims sanctuary cities allow violent criminals to prosper under the legitimate safety. Sanctuary is a term used by city officials, police, and institutions with civil records that will not help or provide any information toward the persecution of any undocumented individuals. It has been adopted by many campuses, cities, counties, and states who stand in solidarity with those affected by Trump’s deportation crackdown and more recently, the phasing out of DACA. Chabot College is eagerly awaiting the approval by the Chabot College/Las Positas College District Board of Trustees for Chabot to stand as a sanctuary campus.

Tom Homan, the acting director of ICE, accused the cities of protecting criminal aliens from appropriate prosecution claiming, “ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities.” One hundred and sixty seven people were arrested in and around Los Angeles, 21 in the Santa Clara County, 6 in San Francisco with a total of 498 arrests nationwide. Federal authorities said the ICE operation this week focused on those with criminal convictions, gang members, and immigration fugitives. They added, people protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, were not targeted.

However, “Trust within immigrant communities shall not erode,” Malena Mayorga says “Trump’s Administration is working hard but so are the communities by educating themselves in legal defense and awareness.” Malena works for Mujeres Unidas y Activas a grass roots organization that promotes personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice.

She states, “There are three main components for individuals to defend themselves. First, we must educate ourselves, encounters with ICE can be tricky, and if we don’t know our rights, ICE will have the upper hand. Second, there are legal services available, and ready to help against detention and deportation by providing representation and consultation. Third, at any sight of an ICE enforcement, please call the Rapid Response network hotline at (510) 241-4011. They will dispatch trained volunteer legal observers to document the encounter, track ICE’s strategies and connect to legal services immediately.”

There are support organizations such as Alameda County Immigration Legal Education Partnership (ACILEP) and Alameda County United in Defense Immigration Rights (ACUDIR). ACILEP specializes in connecting folks with “Know Your Rights” workshops and training for legal observers. ACUDIR takes action against the Sheriff’s cooperation with ICE and packs courts to support immigration cases. For any immigration defense questions email [email protected].

Throughout the nation, many city-officials conclude the ICE raids are a result of the cities noncooperation with the Trump administration’s executive plans. This series of raids occurred just as California Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign SB54, which would prevent police from arresting people for immigration violations without a warrant, among other prohibitions. Our community will continue to stand in solidarity against this type of oppression, Trump’s administration’s actions will test us.

25th Anniversary of “A League of Their Own”

This year marks the 25th anniversary of “A League of their Own” starring Geena Davis, Madonna and Chabot College’s very own Tom Hanks. The movie takes place during World War II.

The movie is loosely based on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) active from 1943-1954. The Rockford Peaches, Kalamazoo Lassies, and the Racine Belles are some of the famous teams in this film.

The movie tackled the issue of sexism in sports. During and after this league’s existence it did not get a lot of attention coverage like the MLB (Major League Baseball) did, because they were women.

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is another example of sexism in sports. The WNBA doesn’t get as many viewers or attendees as the National Basketball Association (NBA). In 2015 the average attendance for WNBA games was 7,318.

The average viewership of an NBA game is 1.5 million, and the number gets higher (over 3.5 million) during the playoffs and the finals. “I don’t necessarily have a preference I think both of the WNBA & NBA are just as athletic as the other. People don’t watch the WNBA because they don’t like to watch girls play basketball. We need more recognition for how hard the woman players go out there and play. I played basketball in High School so from my perspective girls are just as good as guys.” says Chabot student Jada Moses.

According to The Washington Post, about 40 percent of American athletes are female, but media coverage of female athletics makes up only 4 percent. “The WNBA doesn’t get a lot of attention like the NBA does which I understand because the media focus more on men than women. Nobody that I know watches the WNBA” says Chabot student Shavonee Porter.

Female athletes are only paid a fraction of what male athletes are getting paid. For example, the US Women’s soccer team split $2 million for winning the World Cup. Last year the US Men’s soccer team only split $8 million for losing. The average salary for a WNBA player is $72,000, while the medium for an average NBA player is 2.2 million. Same goes for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of that season. Sylvia Fowles the Center for the Minnesota Lynx, and 2017 WNBA MVP. Is only being paid $109,200. While Russell Westbrook 2017 NBA MVP plays Point Guard for Oklahoma City Thunder is being paid $26.54 million.

Vegas Shooting

On October 1, in Las Vegas, NV, a mass shooting took place killing at least 59 people and wounding up to 500. The shooting took place on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino carried out by the shooter Stephen Paddock. It is currently unknown what drove him to commit such an action. The mass shooting has raised the need for security as well as raising personal alertness.

The season for concerts and outdoor events is coming to an end, but the need for security is still at an extreme high. Events such as Rolling Loud, a hip-hop music festival, made sure to amp up on security and stay on high alert. Chabot students that attended Rolling Loud expressed concern for their safety, Christopher Trumpler, stated: “It’s extremely unfortunate what happened to the people in Vegas, but all we can do is hope nobody gets stupid.”

Events such as Rolling Loud, Coachella, and regular concert events list on their sites what is prohibited (such as alcohol, knives, and guns) all in hopes of limiting the desire of chaos.

On October 28, Chabot College is celebrating its’ school spirit and organizing a homecoming event. This event included a carnival, football game, and even a beer garden, which could mean a crowd of intoxicated college students in a crowd. Chabot campus security officer Michael Cook states, “There will be at least 2 Hayward Police officers at the event, especially the carnival as well as campus police.”

If you are deciding to attend large events, use the buddy system, especially if you plan on drinking. Have an escape route put in place in case anything does happen and let someone know where you are. Students are advised to watch out for any suspicious activity. If you do see any suspicious activity alert the security on hand. It’s not about feeling afraid anytime you’re in a large crowd, just be mindful and have fun!

Gun Regulations

Several things happen following tragedies like the October 1 Las Vegas shooting. People mourn and grieve. Some express their pain, others their frustration. Politicians show their compassion for the victims, flags are lowered, moments of silence are taken, and discussions of gun control begin.

“There are a myriad of reasons why, as a society, we now regularly suffer from the malady of mass shootings. Much of it has to do with the degradation of moral values in our society,” says Yih Chau Chang, the Press Secretary for The Responsible Citizens of California.

A surge of gun control and gun ban discussions flood the news after tragic moments in our country like this. The reasoning makes sense. Guns were used to kill and injure many people. Roughly 33,000 gun deaths occur every year in America, according to the CDC. Two-thirds are due to suicide. The second largest bracket is young men from ages 15 to 34, killed in homicides. They are often gang members, or victims of other street violence. The next striking number is the 1,700 women murdered per year, usually resulting from domestic violence. A small number of all deaths by guns come from mass shootings like that in Las Vegas.

“The more guns we have floating on the market, the greater the danger becomes and the greater the perception that we need more guns. It is a negative feedback loop of fear increasing fear. This also provides justification for the militarization of our police force which in turn disconnects them from the communities they aim to serve,” says counselor and instructor, Juztino Panella.

Large, sweeping gun regulation and bans do not address the expanded issue of gun-related deaths. It inhibits our ability to protect ourselves from threats, any and all, foreign and domestic. “The 2nd Amendment is the one basic, fundamental, and enumerated civil right that guarantees all of the others listed in the Bill of Rights, without it, the government would have a monopoly on violence and tyranny would become the eventual and ultimate result,” says Chang.

Murder is tragic, and gun deaths naturally strike fear in everyone. If we as a society, as a nation are intent on dramatically reducing the number of gun-related deaths, we need to target the larger issue. The Boston Gun Project and Operation Ceasefire of the early 90s targeted high-risk youth with chronic criminal offense. They targeted and prioritized a specific group with high-risk numbers. Police teamed with “youth workers, probation and parole officers, and clergy offered gang members services and other kinds of help.” Mentoring and guidance were offered, a moral value which our society doesn’t seem to prioritize.

Speaking on potential long-term solutions, Panella says there must be, “people working in communities to build networks of solidarity. The culture of fear comes whether we have weapons, or don’t have weapons. We need to change the culture of fear. That’s what needs to happen.”

Corgis Swarm Ocean Beach for Corgi Con

On October 21 of this year, 638 Corgis swarmed Ocean Beach in San Francisco, CA. This is a semiannual meetup of corgis where the pups can get a chance to socialize with other dogs in the form of licks and butt sniffs, as well as an opportunity for their owners to meet fellow corgi enthusiasts and other owners. All this while competing in games, obstacle courses, an “attempt” at a group photo, all this in the sand clad in costumes, sunglasses, pirate hats, and fancy outfits.

The event kickoff started at 10 a.m. with a sign in, and an attempt at a group photo with all the owners and their dogs. This group photo, along with the sign in, helps the event organizers get a head count on the number of owners with their corgis at this year’s fall event. According to Corgi Con’s website, over 600 corgis showed up this time, with over 1,500 corgi enthusiasts and fans alike. The amount this fall, however, did not break any records, with this year’s summer Corgi Con in June having over 938 show up, making it the largest ever Corgi Con to date.

With corgis of all different shapes, sizes, and colors, there were many activities for the dogs themselves. The event featured an agility course, in its form of corgi ninja warrior. The owners themselves attempt to guide their little loaves of fur through hoops, over hurdles, and into tunnels in a mini obstacle course. The crowd around them cheered with “awwws” and laughs everywhere as the corgis stubbornly made their way through.

The Corgi Con not only featured a full-length obstacle course but also had many different vendors present selling everything corgi related, from corgi pins, corgi plushies, corgi blankets, to corgi butt pillows, merchandised to the corgi fan’s. It also included an adoption center by Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue which allowed you to rescue special needs corgi dogs and corgi mixes.

At 1 p.m. the convention finally wrapped things up with a costume contest and a mini race, featuring the hottest pups all around, which not only included corgis but other dogs as well. The costume race featured dogs in various outfits. The outfits included sushi, a dinosaur, a Chinese dragon, Thor, Superman, and a Sailor Moon.

The race featured the fastest and the most agile of the group of corgis, as they quickly waddled across the sandy straightaway, with some stubbornly staying next to their owners, some running in circles, and others running in many different directions.

“I thought it was a good thing because it was a positive environment for everyone, both the dogs and the people surrounding them,” a student of SFSU, an attendee of Corgi Con, and a dog enthusiast herself, Daisy Araiza stated. “It was a very welcoming and wholesome environment for their families and a great way for dogs to socialize with other dogs and release their energy.”