Trigger Warning by Killer Mike

If you haven’t seen the show Trigger Warning on Netflix hosted by ATL rapper Killer Mike, I suggest you go check this show out immediately.  I just finished watching episode 3 and I got to be honest, this show is hilarious so far. To give you a quick description of the show based off of what I’ve seen thus far, basically Killer Mike appears to be addressing everyday problems for the most part that affect people, specifically black people, and he’s trying to come up with solutions to fix these problems, but the way he’s going about these solutions is rather unorthodox & hysterical for the most part in addition to shedding some very hard truths in regards to black people.

Let me tell you about episodes 1 and 3 in particular since these two episodes primarily deal with issues pertaining to black people.  I’m not about to give away too many spoilers. I’m just going to briefly describe the problem in each episode somewhat…so bear with me.

The first episode deals with a very real topic that we hear echoed all over black social media from the pro-black babblers to the blacktivists to the everyday average knee grow and this has to deal with supporting black owned businesses.  The problem Killer Mike presented in this episode was that Mike had a concert to perform in 3 days in another city about 75 miles away from Atlanta. During those 3 days Mike decided that he was going to spend the next 72 hours surviving and thriving off of nothing but products and services from black owned businesses.  I’m talking about from his transportation needs all the way down to what country his weed was grown in. Basically if the product was not created by black hands before it went to market, he wasn’t going to use it. He even went so deep with it that he came across a black owned bbq joint and discovered the people who supply the meat to the black owned bbq joint weren’t black, so after learning that, he decided he wouldn’t eat the food.  He only wanted to eat food that came from black farmers to where that food made its way through the distribution pipeline all the way to the black owned restaurant. And the reason he was doing this was to highlight how quickly the black dollar is bounced outside of the black community. I believe in that episode he said black money survives circulating within the black community on average for 6 hours before the money enter the hands of a non-black person. Meanwhile in other communities, that money circulates for days before it leaves their community.

The reason I found this episode so fascinating is because he perfectly illustrated on video what I’ve been saying about black businesses for quite some time.  I stated that knee grows love to talk about black economic empowerment, but everybody wants to sell t-shirts, open up barbershops or beauty salons or figure out how to monetize their social media content and then call it “black economic empowerment”. Nobody wants to go out there and create real brick and mortar (or internet based) black owned businesses that serve real needs of black people (like grocery stores, auto mechanic shops, etc.)  This episode perfectly highlighted how the lack of these types of businesses is exactly why the term “black economic empowerment” is really nothing more than a catchphrase that means nothing at the end of the day. Killer Mike lives in Atlanta. It’s God knows how many black people in Atlanta and he was struggling to find black owned businesses in that black ass city that could supply all of his needs in life from food to transportation to lodging etc. So after watching that, when I hear people talking about black economic empowerment, I know that most of these people are full of shit and are just repeating catchphrases for likes and retweets because that infrastructure does not exist in comparison to other communities and even more problematic is that there really aren’t a bunch of black people out there trying to set up this infrastructure. And this can be proven by a brief scene that took place in episode number 2. Now I know I said I was only going to focus on episode 1 & 3, but I was just reminded of a brief scene in episode 2 that relates so much to my last point about black people not being interested in setting up this infrastructure of necessary businesses.

In episode 2, Killer Mike was going around trying to figure out how to make vocational training a priority over traditional college-bound education.  There was one scene where he had about 6 people in a room. A white guy, a white chick, 3 black dudes and I think 1 other person. Mike is going around asking these people what type of vocational skill would they like to learn.  The white guy says he would like to learn how to remodel and flip houses. The white chick, I can’t remember what she said. Now guess guess what all 3 black men said. 🙃 All 3 of these knee grows told Killer Mike that they all want to be in the music business.  All 3 of them. They couldn’t name one trade skill that they were interested in learning. 😕 Meanwhile, the white people who were in the room were the ones talking about actually trade skills that could be converted into real world use that is in demand in some capacity to further keep the dominant economy moving along.  When I saw that part, I just wanted to throw my remote control at my tv. It was just that pathetic and cringeworthy.

So that brings me to episode 3.  This episode was a bit more inspiring and shows that there might actually be some hope for Pookie and Ray Ray, assuming Pookie and Ray Ray actually want to change.  This particular episode focused on Mike dealing with some gang bangers/trap niggas trying to convince them to monetize and legitimize their gang banging/trap nigga lifestyle.  What I mean is, Killer Mike said he was in a store somewhere and he saw a Hell’s Angels motorcycle t shirt being sold. He came to discover that the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club has incorporated their gang, despite at the end of the day it’s a motorcycle gang full of white dudes.  Anyway, Mike said he saw how the gang was able to convert part of their gang operations into a legal business and still keep their name and the culture of their gang and he was wondering why the Crips and Bloods haven’t figured out how to do the same thing. Long story short, Mike convinces a group of Crips to start a soda company called Crip-a-Cola.  He convinces these dudes to literally learn how to make soda in the trap house, package it up, hire a graphic designer to create a logo, then go through the motions of trying to get the soda sold in local stores. Initially there’s some pushback because it’s an unknown brand that just happened to be started by some local gang members (which they decide to refer to themselves as a street fraternity, which I thought was clever).  After it’s all said and done, they sell some soda and get people (mostly white people) to change their minds about Crips and Bloods somewhat.

I found this episode rather fascinating because as much as I detest the Pookies and Ray Rays of the black community, a part of me still holds out hope for some of these dudes that they will eventually come around and get their lives moving in a more positive and productive direction.  The challenge is, how do you reach these dudes especially when they hit their teens and beyond?

For those of you who read my blog, I stated about a month ago that I was firing my black barber and replacing him with a hispanic barber. Well guess what guys, after all the shit I talked about my black barber, I decided to give him another chance. 😂  So as I was getting my cut, this dude came into the shop wearing a polo shirt from one of the local high schools leading me to believe he’s some type of faculty member at the school. This particular school is pretty much known as the most hood school in Orlando (or at least it had that reputation at one point, not sure what high school holds the hood crown these days).  I was chopping it up with my barber and dude overheard us talking. He chimed in and started asking me what I do for a living. I told him I work in IT. I asked him why did he want to know. He told me that he was looking for black men to help mentor these young people for a mentorship program he was starting. I told him I thought the idea was noble, but I also told him for the type of kids he’s going to be dealing with, he’s going to be in for one hell of a struggle if he can’t catch these kids when they are young, because once they hit their teens, for a lot of kids it’s a wrap.  Then my barber said something to me. My barber said when he was young he was into selling dope. He said he remembers older niggas used to tell him to stop selling dope and get his life right, but these older niggas were working minimum wage jobs. Basically he was saying, all of that “get your life right shit” is for the birds if the nigga telling people to get their life right can’t produce an outcome greater than what slanging is producing. And truth be told, my barber was 100% right. Basically, if more black men could show a lot of these wild teens how to really prosper legally, it probably wouldn’t be too many niggas selling dope.  This is why so many of these young black people look up to strippers, dope boys, rappers and ball players because sadly, these people appear to be only people in the black community who are “successful”.

I told this dude that I work in IT, I’ve actually been an IT teacher at one point in my life and I’ve been trying to figure out what’s the most effective way I could reach back and help some young black people. The problem I’m running into is that, I can’t really find any young black people who are interested in IT.  I can find some scattered in the suburbs here and there, but most of them are probably interested in certain aspects about IT that I’m neither proficient or fluent in, like coding and designing games. I know nothing about that aspect of IT. Even still, the suburb kids, I’m not really interesting in helping them mostly because they don’t need the help as much as the inner city kid with limited options and resources does.  The problem with the inner city kids is how do you get these kids interesting in something that is not necessarily sexy and glamorous from the onset and that would require them to actually focus and learn this stuff before they see the big bucks rolling in? Then put that up against all of the stereotypical hood elements they have to deal with courtesy of where they live, you’re in for a rough time.  

Despite all of the struggles I see with me specifically trying to figure out how I can use my skills and education to actually help inner city kids, I still have a glimmer of hope buried deep down inside of me somewhere for Pookie and Ray Ray in thinking that they can be redeemed.  I guess my problem is, am I really up for the challenge of going through the motions of trying to redeem these people and convert them into more productive members of black society courtesy of what I’m specifically qualified to teach. I don’t know. I don’t know if I have the patience to pour my knowledge into a person that I know could benefit from it, only for that person to not take the shit seriously or be convinced to go another route due to influences from the numerous hood niggas he/she lives around on the daily.  I don’t know. What I do know is, it was nice to see Killer Mike actually inspire Pookie and Ray Ray to do something productive that didn’t involve becoming a part of the music industry.

Anyway, I suggest you all check out the show. It’s called Trigger Warning and it’s on Netflix.  If you’ve seen it already, let me know your thoughts on the show thus far. Oh yeah before I go, one more thing about episode 2…for those of you who haven’t seen the show, I’ll just say this, you’ll never look at changing a door knob the same ever again.  I’ll leave it at that.

Your favorite mulatto.
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