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January 16, 2014

So I recently watched an episode of the The Young Turks on YouTube, where they gave a commentary on Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s run in with a foul mouthed hooligan. Although, as the story unfolds, Kanye West proved to be more hooligan that the man who disrespected his wife, or wife to be.

The story is not what fascinates me, what inspired this post was the commentary by The Young Turks (TYT), where there seemed to be some consensus that Kanye was well in his right to pummel someone for verbally disrespecting his wife. This is the same channel that has a video regarding the ridiculousness of how a series of text messages led to a shoot out at a public venue.

To be specific I have two issues with the commentary, the first is the kid gloves members of the media often seem to use to addressing people of color, specifically Black people.

“Oh… You knocked that guy out for cursing you out? What was that? He used racial slurs? We understand, he had it coming.” It truly is a dangerous message for young people to digest, the idea that you get a free pass for losing your composure, simply because someone hurts your feelings.

In my opinion, this is a set up to get caught up in the American legal system. No, I am not advocating for blind obedience due to fear of authority, or obedience for the sake of fitting in, instead I am advocating for the practice of empathy, a by product that comes from adherence to the non aggression principle.

What is the non aggression principle? Fundamentally the non aggression principle is the commitment to not resort to  violence or the threat of violence to resolve disputes. An obvious exception would be when your life is truly in danger and you have exhausted all options in keeping yourself safe. In the story, Kim Kardashian gets racists insults directed at her from  a man, she calls Kanye, and Kanye shows up,  tracks the man down and beats him up.

The second issue I have with the TYT commentary on the Kanye West story, was the passive promotion of machismo. The idea that it is okay to seek retaliation is antiquated thinking. Violence only begets more violence. Take for example, the man has now pressed charges against Kanye West, with the help of the State. So Kanye now finds himself at the mercy of the State as the evidence and eyewitness testimony is overwhelmingly against Kanye. So now at the request of this man,the State now has the option of visiting violence against Kanye West by taking away his freedom, or a significant portion of his money or both. Just like when a parent, spanks one of his children for hitting a sibling.

One thing I learned from my military experience, is that the attitude of machismo is not practical, and therefore not rational. Machismo is impractical because there is always someone stronger than and more willing to resort to greater degrees of violence that  you are.
It’s nice to think that you can go about beating up on anyone who hurls insults at you, but what happens when you encounter someone who’s better at violence than you are? Then what?

Violence is overrated and bad for the brain, please give peace a chance. Furthermore if you are a black person reading this, and you take offense to what I said about the media and violence. Please understand that my pride for my heritage, comes from a place of love and not from a place of unrealistic expectations regarding how others should regard me.



My video response.

The Young Turks Video

Ugo is a psychotherapist and life coach.

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