Posts tagged with "controversial"

Mulan illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 Magazine.

Mulan Boycott

by Justin Lyons

A new movement is taking over social media as pro-democracy activists try to spread a boycott of the new Disney film Mulan.

Disney’s live-action remake of the 1998 original film hit Disney’s streaming service Disney+ this weekend. On top of the monthly subscription fee, those wanting to see Mulan would have to pay $29.99 to unlock it.

Social media users in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand called for movie fans and Disney lovers to avoid the new film because of comments from Liu Yifei, who plays the titular Mulan.

In Aug. 2019, Liu expressed via Weibo, a Chinese social media site, that she supported Hong Kong police. The comments came amid pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Liu was met with instant backlash, but now that her movie is available to stream, the widespread boycott seems to have intensified.

Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong activist, has been particularly outspoken regarding the situation. He asked everyone who believes in human rights to boycott the film.

He also retweeted multiple tweets from other activists. One of which was from Twitter user Gwyneth Kwai-lam Ho, who linked a story about the boycott from The Guardian.

“Not while the true Mulans are suffering in the darkness of a Chinese jail,” the tweet said.

Mulan currently sits at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes among critics but 55% among audience members. It had a production budget of $200 million.

Rita Azar illustrates article on white militia and violence for 360 MAGAZINE

ARMED WHITE MILITIA VIOLENCE

Leading national racial justice organizational leaders issued a joint statement on armed white militia violence and police camaraderie with militia members following the arrest of a militia member in connection with the killing of two police accountability protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“Tuesday night, two protesters who were advocating for accountability following the horrific police shooting of Jacob Blake were allegedly shot and killed by a 17-year-old associated with a white militia group. We are outraged by these killings. The ability of a minor to travel from another state at the urging of adult white supremacists organizing on Facebook highlights the corrosive and dangerous convergence of race, police violence, and the presence of these violent groups. That this volatile cocktail was allowed to develop led directly to one of the most violent nights in the city’s history. In light of the fact that the suspect apparently crossed state lines in order to commit this crime, the federal government should launch an investigation to determine whether he was involved in an interstate criminal conspiracy.
“We are equally outraged by videos showing Kenosha Police Department Officers exhibiting camaraderie toward militia members – who were out in violation of the curfew before the shootings — and also seemingly ignoring protesters who tried to identify the shooter in this incident. Police solidarity with white militia members is abhorrent and intolerable – and it represents a highly dangerous threat to the lives and rights of people of color. In addition, the fact that Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis blamed protestors for the killings is another example of the racially disparate treatment that Americans across the country have been protesting against since May and for decades before. We call on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul, to immediately investigate and prosecute these killings, the shooting of Mr. Blake, and the increasingly pervasive issue of armed white militia members confronting and attacking protesters demanding police accountability. They must also demand the immediate removal of Chief Miskinis.

“Finally, turning to Facebook, the prevalence of armed white militia groups organizing on the platform is not new. Facebook must also be held accountable for its inaction while these violent groups have been allowed to grow and organize. Facebook must take immediate steps to ensure that its platform is not used to foment violence and hatred — and to take immediate and comprehensive action to put an end to groups using its services to organize activities that perpetuate racism and cause harm.”
 
The following leaders signed the statement:
 
·       Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
·       Reverend Al Sharpton, founder and president, National Action Network
·       Melanie L. Campbell, president and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable
·       Kristen Clarke, president and executive director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
·       Vanita Gupta, president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
·       Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP
·       Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League
 
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute (TMI) is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF and TMI on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.
 
National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender. For more information go to www.nationalactionnetwork.net.
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), founded in 1976, is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.” The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) is the women and girls empowerment arm of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education, and global empowerment as key elements for success. Visit www.ncbcp.org and follow us on Twitter @ncbcp and Instagram @thenationalcoalition.
 
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 56th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.
 
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.
 
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s largest and foremost grassroots civil rights organization. The mission of the NAACP is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. Members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights and social justice in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work by visiting naacp.org
 
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.

New Meme Greeting Card Company: “Dirty Pop Cards” Finds Humor in the Risque

You all have that one friend — you know, the one who gets your perverse sense of humor, the one who busts a gut when your raunchy side stands up. This is the friend who deserves a Dirty Pop greeting card. In a world where everyone sends memes and gifs multiple times daily, some might think the act of mailing a card is a thing of the past. Well, if that card is a pop-up pair of ta-tas or a fully erect penis — game changer! Tell me you aren’t giggling a little thinking about your most twisted friend opening 3D boobies or unfolding that special package and watching it come to life.

So, who has the balls to launch a new company with such risque merchandise? It’s the same person who defied the business-crushing COVID-19 pandemic and started a company despite the risks. Inspired by the vulgar memes that match her sense of humor, Thao Lam, CEO of www.dirtypopcards.com is doing her part to spice things up with her out-of-the-ordinary, bawdy greeting card company, Dirty Pop Cards.  Lam decided what the world was craving in these trying times was a little more laughter. With the extra challenges 2020 is creating, who doesn’t need to literally lol right now?

Lam is not going it alone. She and husband Levi Gale are the masterminds behind this widely successful venture. When creating their cards, entrepreneurs Lam and Gale seem to dig into the unspoken innuendos of imagery and language and let their minds roam to the raw aspects of human nature. They take the dirty little thought-process that plays out in most peoples’ heads and put it on paper. The result is a crass but hilarious Dirty Pop greeting card.

When you have a racy sense of humor, not everyone will get you. And even if they do, some will not be as amused as others. These facts make no impression on Lam, who says, “Quite frankly, life is too short to really give a sh*t.”  And it’s this attitude that has successfully launched a uniquely spicey card company in the most challenging times. For Lam, Dirty Pop Cards is about making people laugh. She knows her bawdy brand is not for everyone, and she and Gale have had to defend their raunchy wit by developing a bold business philosophy — “F*uck ‘Em.” Lam explains, “So, every time we see someone laughing over a DP card, we do a little happy dance. And every time we hear someone complain, we still do a little happy dance and say, F*ck ‘Em.” 

So, what’s on the horizon for Dirty Pop Cards? Lam and Gale are currently looking towards the holidays. Knowing this is the time of year when more cards than ever are sent, they can’t help but see it as a huge opportunity to spread their particular style of holiday cheer. Some might think putting a dirty spin on a holiday card is offensive, and these two entrepreneurs are ok with that. Their goal is to bring laughter to the people who appreciate their humor and tantalize a curious few. They know one of their perverse pop-up cards won’t end up in just any stocking. They also know a Dirty Pop card is the best gift ever for the more vulgar crowd on the naughty list. And it’s this group of sordid folks they cater to. 

Dirty Pop offers an array of cards that range from borderline obscene to ones that definitely cross the border. Their content is fresh, funny, playful, and, of course, downright crude. Are you looking for a unique gift that will most certainly be a conversation piece among lewd like-minds? Do you want to send a gift with crude shock value? If so, take a risk on the risque and explore what Dirty Pop Cards has to offer. You will not be disappointed. 

Mask illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Indiana School Quarantines on First Day

By Eamonn Burke

Greenfield Central Junior High School in Indiana opened on Thursday, as one of the first high schools to do so in the country. Within hours, the school had to quarantine when a student tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. It appears that the student was tested days before and went to school without knowing the results.

The emergency “Positive COVID-19 Test Protocol” that went into action following the testing involved isolating the student and a two week quarantine order for those who had come in contact. The schools superintendent, Harold E. Olin, knew the situation was coming but was “shocked it was on Day 1.” Nonetheless, Olin said in a letter that “It was very evident today that nearly all of our families and students were prepared to properly follow the safety protocols we have established”.

This comes amidst a national debate over the re-opening of schools in the fall. While most major school districts have announced a remote start, some in places like Texas and Florida, where the virus is running rampant, plan to open in the fall. Teachers unions have been vehemently opposing an in-person opening, threatening and executing lawsuits and strikes to make their point. They put pressure on Trump’s administration, who is urging for children to get back to school.

Further complicating matters is a study from Northwestern and a Chicago Pediatric Hospital found that children five years and younger carry the virus in high concentrations, although a study on their transmission rate has not been conducted.

On top of all the virus concerns is that of the mental health and success of students who are learning virtually. This spans everything from eye health to sleep patterns to ability to socialize. In addition, it can be harder for many students to pay attention and retain material when studying from home.

Trump Banning Tik Tok

By Eamonn Burke

President Trump announced Friday night that he plans to ban the social media sensation TikTok, calling it a “severance” from the Chinese-owned app.

“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told officials aboard his Air Force One flight in Tampa. “I can do it with an executive order or [emergency economic powers].”

This comes after TikTok has been accused of being a security threat from China, with whom tensions are currently high. ByteDance, the app’s parent company, has been accused of giving American users’ information to the country. Meanwhile, a Tik Tok spokesman assures that they are committed to their users’ privacy, saying that “TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access.”

The app could be saved from legal issues if the rumored acquisition by Microsoft comes to fruition. The two companies have had discussion and the deal is allegedly in the works, although Trump has voiced opposition to it.

The creators of Tik Tok have also reacted to the ban, and to the ongoing concern for data privacy on the app. One influencer, 18 year old Josh Richards is leaving the app due to the privacy issues after amassing more than 20 million followers on the app. He announces that he will transfer to rival app Triller instead, whose investors include Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, and fellow Tik Tok stars like Griffin Johnson and Noah Beck. Other stars are simply just saying goodbye to the app in recent posts.

Nick Cannon Anti-Semitic Comments

By Eamonn Burke

ViacomCBS has fired TV personality Nick Cannon after decades of partnership following anti-Semitic remarks that he made on his podcast, Cannon Class. The episode, allegedly filmed last year, featured Professor Griff, ex-member of the rap group Public Enemy who had been kicked out in 1989 over anti-Semitic comments before rejoining. The two discussed Jewish dominance in media and that they have robbed the identity of the original Hebrew people, who are black.

“You can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people,” he said on the show, agreeing with Professor Griff. He even went as far to suggest that “The people that don’t have [melanin] are a little less,” and that “They had to be savages” (referring to Jewish, white, and European people.

Cannon has faced ample backlash from the conversation, and he apologized afterward, asserting that “I do not condone hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric,” in one of many tweets. However, when ViacomCBS cut ties with him, he defended himself in another lengthy Facebook post, saying “I will not be bullied, silenced, or continuously oppressed by any organization, group, or corporation.”

He condemned ViacomCBS and demanded full ownership of his MTV show Wild N’ Out Cannon will keep his stint as host of “The Masked Singer”, but a planned talk show will be on hold until next year, according to a statement from Lionsgate and Debmar Murray today. He also personally announced that he will take a hiatus from his LA radio show Nick Cannon Mornings for a period of personal reflection.

Doctor illustration

Nurse Hospitalized Despite Negative COVID Test

By Eamonn Burke

Heather Valentine, a 24 year old ICU nurse in Houston, is now in the ICU with a case of the novel coronavirus. After noticing heightened exhaustion during her shifts and later a fever and cough, she got an antibody test. She came back negative, but according to the CDC these tests can be wrong around 50% of the time. A viral test for COVID, taken the next day, also came back negative. Her doctor, however, asked her to come in for a CT scan, and based on these results he was certain that she had the illness.

Initially skeptical that she had the virus, Valentine now spreads an important message. “You never think it’s going to happen to you, but I’m a perfect example,” she said. “Take every precaution, wear a mask, don’t go out if you don’t have to, it’s not worth it.”

This comes as Texas sees one of the worst bouts of COVID-19 in the world, seeing new records in cases daily. The hospitals are overrun and running out of supplies, as are many others across the country with the recent surge of the coronavirus across the nation.

Positive Goya Illustration

Goya Boycott

By Eamonn Burke

A boycott of Goya foods, a major producer of beans and an essential good for many families, has launched after its CEO Robert Unanue praised President Trump in a speech at the White House on Thursday:

“We are all truly blessed … to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder,” said Unanue.

Immediately, many prominent Hispanic figures such as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denounced Goya and Unanue, and hinted in a tweet she would boycott the company. Julian Castro, a former Housing and Urban Development Secretary, urged people do to the same despite the prominence of Goya in Latin American homes. The resistance comes from the public as well, as the hashtags #boycottGoya and #Goyaway have trended in recent days. Meanwhile, President Trump took to Twitter saying “I LOVE @GoyaFoods!”

Unanue, however, is not apologizing for endorsing Trump and is labeling the boycott as a “suppression of speech”. He was proud to support Trump, and also to say that Goya would be donating 2 million cans of food to American Food Banks. He also stated that he would be “honored” to be a part of the Hispanic Property Initiative, which was signed by Trump at the event with a goal of expanding “access by Hispanic Americans to educational and economic opportunities.” The CEO also has a extensive history of donating to Republican candidates and initiatives.

“If you’re called by the president of the United States, you’re going to say, ‘No I’m sorry, I’m busy, no thank you?’ I didn’t say that to the Obamas and I didn’t say that to President Trump.” said Unanue in an interview with Fox News on Friday. Republicans like Ted Cruz and Matt Schlapp and publicly defended the CEO while denouncing “cancel culture” on Twitter.

The unwavering support of Unanue is perplexing, when considering Trump’s history against Latinx people. In 2016, his presidential campaign was largely structured on restricting immigrants, especially from Mexico. In one speech he referred to the people coming from Mexico into the U.S. as “rapists.” He has relentlessly tried to end DACA, a program which protects immigrants, and offered little support to Puerto Rico in the midst of hurricane devastation. The Trump administration works closely with ICE and has detained immigrants at the US-Mexico border in concentration camps with inhuman men conditions.

It is also confusing when considering Goya’s history as a company. Goya is currently the largest Hispanic-owned company in the nation, but it began as a small store in Manhattan run by Spanish immigrants

As for President Trump, who is already unpopular with Hispanic voters, it is possible that he sees a reduction in the 26% of Latinx voters who support him.

Guillen illustration

The Murder of Fort Hood Soldier, Vanessa Guillen

By Emmet McGeown


“How can this happen on a military base? How can this happen while she was on duty? How can this just happen and then let it go under the rug like it was nothing?” These were the words of Mayra Guillen, sister of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, who has been missing for months and is now confirmed dead.  

On April 22nd, Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old Hispanic Small Arms and Artillery Repairer, went missing. She was last seen alive at a parking lot at squadron headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. For months, Pfc. Guillen’s family held out hope that their beloved was still alive, yet the discovery of remains near the Leon River, north of Austin, has vanquished that hope. While the FBI is still awaiting a positive DNA analysis, the family believes that the remains belong to Vanessa.  

Yet, this story does not begin with her disappearance nor does it end with her death. Prior to her vanishing, Pfc. Guillen, according to her sisters, was having difficulties with sexual harassment while stationed at Fort Hood, outside Killeen, Texas. The attorney representing the family in the case revealed that Guillen had confided to her sisters and several other soldiers that a superior had walked in on her while taking a shower and that he proceeded to sit down and watch her. Other relatives and Pfc. Guillen’s boyfriend have noted on social media that something is “not right” and that Vanessa felt unsafe at the military base.  

However, during a press conference on Thursday, July 2nd, senior special agent for the Fort Hood Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID), Damon Phelps, reported that there was no evidence backing the claim that she had been sexually harassed. He affirmed that “there has been no information — and we have interviewed hundreds of people… There is no credible information about that.” Despite this rebut by CID, family attorney, Natalie Khawam said, in an interview with PEOPLE, that she believes Pfc. Guillens was sexually harassed by Spc. Aaron David Robinson.

Spc. Robinson was the leading suspect in Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance, and as authorities caught up with him on Tuesday evening, he shot himself. It has since been revealed that Robinson was, in fact, responsible for the murder of Pfc. Guillen’s. Guillen’s was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in the armory where she worked, according to the family’s attorney. They made this discovery through an extensive investigation, in which witnesses divulged that they saw Robinson transporting a large box labelled “very heavy in weight.”

Then, after consenting to an examination of his cellphone records, court documents reveal, it was discovered that Robinson made several phone-calls to his girlfriend Cecily Aguilar on the night of Apri 22nd and into the early hours of the April 23rd. After being interviewed multiple times, Aguilar finally told investigators that her boyfriend had murdered Guillen. She also revealed how she and her boyfriend had met up and dismembered Guillen’s body together with a “hatchet or machete type knife” and, after attempting to set her corpse on fire, buried Guillen’s body parts in three different holes. Texas Rangers have since arrested Aguilar and she now faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  

The issue of sexual harassment within the Army remains a problem in this case, given that Guillen’s family, according to their attorney, claimed that Vanessa was planning on reporting Robinson the day after she was murdered, and had delayed over fear of reprisal and inaction. Yet the Army says there exists no credible evidence that she was sexually harassed before her disappearance, and in a statement from the Fort Hood Press Center, officials said that the criminal investigation “has not found any connection between sexual harassment and Vanessa’s disappearance.” They plan to continue their investigation in light of new revelations. 

Lupe Guillen, another sister of Vanessa’s, told NPR that her sister wanted to be in the military since she was a little girl, “she wanted to be a fighter. She wanted to be a hero. She wanted to be someone in life. … The military failed her.

The family is now pushing for legislation to create an independent agency for soldiers who are victims of sexual harassment and assault. 

Mina Tocalini, 360 MAGAZINE, BigKlit, illustration

Notorious BigKlit

‘The epitome of an angry bird’360

Provocative rap sensation BigKlit has announced a special new edition of her infamous 2019 LP, KLITORIUS B.I.G. The album – which includes a number of previously deleted tracks – is available today via ROT$ WORLDWIDE/RECORDS/The Orchard. KLITORIUS B.I.G. features the return of such long-unavailable fan favorites as “FaceFuk,” available now at all DSPs; the track is joined by a companion video, premiering exclusively via YouTube. 

LISTEN TO “FACEFUK”

WATCH “FACEFUK”

With its snarling vocal delivery, intense production, and wildly audacious lyrics, KLITORIUS B.I.G. marks one of the first highlights of what has proven a truly incendiary run from BigKlit. The project was recorded soon after her arrival in New York City, informed by grit, heart, and an insatiable hunger to create something altogether original and her own. 

BigKlit will celebrate the return of KLITORIUS B.I.G. with a livestream release party tonight, June 26, at 8 pm ET. Presented by Brooklyn’s BABY TV, tickets for the event are available on a sliding scale HERE; ticket holders will receive a link and password 30 minutes before the start of the show. Fans purchasing tickets in the 30 minutes leading up to the performance will receive their info in their order confirmation email.

BigKlit made an auspicious debut with last year’s BIG KLITOIRUS EP, followed quickly by the full-length projects. The NYC-based artist quickly caused a worldwide sensation with her breakthrough hit, “Liar.” With its brazenly explicit lyrics and brutal, relentless beats, the track proved one of 2019’s most provocative hits, first blowing up on TikTok before ascending to multiple streaming charts around the world, reaching #1 on the US Viral 50 on two separate occasions. “Liar“ is joined by an age-restricted companion video streaming now via YouTube.

2020 kicked off with the premiere of PSYCHOSIS, a remarkable 30-minute short film directed by @pgdm. “PSYCHOSIS is a dark and dreary fever dream with apocalypse-level anxiety steady throughout,” raved PAPER. “Every song featured in the film hits listeners’ ears like a hallucinogen — they can be deeply disturbing, comforting (‘Beautiful’), or both at once…It’s the type of digi-gothic, post-genre art-making that BigKlit has come to be known for, and her fans are going absolutely nuts over it.”

Last month saw BigKlit teaming up with Universal Music Group/Caroline Distribution recording artist Trippie Redd on a new version of “Beautiful. The track arrived alongside a haunting music video and companion short film, hailed by PAPER as “a work of art that’s unpredictable at every turn…complete with everything you’d likely see in a twisted thriller: lightning, murder, out-of-body experiences and drugs, all with romantic yet eerie songwriting aimed at a subject unaware of their own beauty.” Audiofemme further praised the video and short film, noting that “Beautiful” “embodies the song’s duality with a macabre love story and BDSM imagery. It’s fitting, because shifting the balance of power has been her trademark as a woman in male-dominated rap. By blurring the edges of asserting control or losing it totally, BigKlit remains a provocative artist worth keeping an eye on.”

LISTEN TO “BEAUTIFUL”

WATCH “BEAUTIFUL (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)”

WATCH “BEAUTIFUL (SHORT FILM)”

This spring also saw the premiere of another propulsive single, “Boy Bye.” The rocket-fueled track is accompanied by a spectacular intergalactic sex domination romp of a video.

LISTEN TO “BOY BYE”

WATCH “BOY BYE”

BigKlit is also featured in the new NOISEY documentary, 6 HOURS WITH BIGKLIT, streaming now exclusively via VICE.

CONNECT WITH BIGKLIT:

TIK TOK
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