What does it take for “you 2 crack”? No matter where you turn, there will always be situations and people whose goal is for you to crack. On this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri engage in a number of discussions–everything from how the government tries to crack suspects to the history of crack cocaine in America. The show starts with a quick update on the release of new evidence in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case and a brief discussion on the revelation that the producer of the controversial anti-Muslim film was a federal informant–just like we told you in the last episode of the show.

Other topics discussed include House Republicans taking a two-month vacation, third party politics, the Black vote, D.L. Hughley vs. Lupe Fiasco on voting, Black church leaders encouraging their congregations not to vote, the history of drugs, crack cocaine epidemic, Len Bias’ death, economics of crack dealers, War on Drugs, NDAA & indefinite detention, death of Gitmo detainee Adnan Latif, U.S. torture of Gitmo detainees, woman arrested and accused of letting children play outside unsupervised, Ohio death row inmate said to be too obese for execution, NATO strike that killed innocent Afghan women and girls, backlash for posting graphic death photos, one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, and more!

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Segment 1

  • Discussion about the new evidence release in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. You can find the new evidence on TheyAlwaysGetAway.com.
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  • Discussion about a website that received a threat letter from an attorney for using a commonly used photo of Trayvon Martin. We suspect that this is because they don’t like what the site is saying. The photo has been posted on the Internet so often that it is practically in the public domain by now. Although we frequently disagree with the analyses posted on that site, we find it shady that their site is receiving legal threats because of their opinion.
  • On the last episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Episode 052: Revenge’s Rival, we told you that we suspected that the producer of the anti-Muslim film (Nakoula Basseley Nakoula aka Sam Basile) that the government and media want you to believe is the cause of recent North African/Middle Eastern uprisings was working for the government. Now we’ve confirmed that he, in fact, was a federal informant.
  • Discussion about Congress taking a two-month vacation, and won’t be back until November 13, 2012.
  • We understand that it is election season, but there’s a lot of legislation waiting for their attention. It will have to wait until they return from their recess. This is disrespectful to the process they profess to uphold.
  • This really is a do-nothing Congress. Among the bills on hold until after the recess are Violence Against Women Act re-authorization, The American Jobs Act, Tax cuts for working families, Veterans Job Corps Act, Sequestration, the Farm Bill, and the Wind tax credit.
  • Discussion about the upcoming expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
  • Heit discusses voting for Peta Lindsay as a third-party candidate. She’s not on the ballot in Texas though.
  • Discussion about third-party candidate Jill Stein, who has made it on a lot of states’ ballots.
  • Discussion about third-party politics. Mention of Roseanne Barr running for president.
  • Discussion about how people don’t question candidates. Once they become a supporter, the flood gates open, and people accept whatever the candidate says or does.
  • Discussion about the social media backlash that we received for our criticism of Obama in a recent article.
  • Discussion on how to make the third parties more viable–work on a better presence in state politics and congressional seats.
  • People are so busy looking for a “right now” solution, that they don’t make good long term decisions focused on gaining a better third party presence in American politics.
  • Did you know that there is a socialist in the Senate?
  • Discussion about D.L. Hughley’s criticism of Lupe Fiasco for not voting. Is a vote really a voice though?
  • It is difficult to convince people who believe that voting is a voice that people who don’t vote are not non-participants in the political process.
  • Should Blacks, women, and others who didn’t always have the right to vote cast symbolic votes, even if they choose not to support the candidates running?
  • Discussion about Black church leaders who are encouraging their congregations not to vote at all, because they refuse to support Obama because of his stance on same-sex marriage. Even though this is a dumb reason, at least folks are willing to consider not voting out of protest.
  • When you understand politics, you understand that being involved in politics is not simply casting a vote. It encompasses all these positions–“I’m not going to vote,” or, “I’m going to vote for this candidate or that one.”
  • Politicians should be giving you something for your vote. Your vote should not be free to them. Demands should be made of them. This is the problem with Obama and Blacks–very few, if any, demands have been made by Blacks when it comes to Obama.
  • Hughley said the following of Lupe Fiasco:

    “He’s bright as hell, but dumb in the weight of the world,” Hughley said. “Young black men are going to listen to him. They are the ones who have decisions made for them, [decisions] that they are not even involved in, which is silly to me. You can’t go through life and not be a participant, and hope things work out for your benefit. When you vote or not vote, you are saying yes or no.”

    He continued “They want to raise the age of social security from 65 to 68…black men die at 67. Lupe Fiasco forgets that he’s going to be an old man when he’s looking for a social security check, and he dies right before he gets it!”
    Source: Hip Hop DX

  • Voting is not the only way to be a participant. Lupe Fiasco is participating because his music is changing minds.
  • When it comes to voting, the decisions have already been made for you. Choosing one candidate over another is not going to change this.
  • People in charge are going to do what they want to do regardless of how you cast your vote.
  • Black folks didn’t get the right to vote by voting. Consequently, voting is not the only way to bring about change.

Segment 2

  • Discussion about the history of crack and cocaine in America.
  • Cocaine came as an ingredient in tonics back in the 19th Century. Heit & Cheri watched a documentary, “HOOKED: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way – Cocaine,” which detailed the history of cocaine in America.
  • Discussion that Sigmund Freud’s dreams were induced by cocaine. Being on the drug probably led to him coming up with these epiphanies. He supposedly kicked the habit once he learned the drug was no longer socially acceptable.
  • Many artists of all forms dabbled in drugs for inspiration.
  • In the documentary, “South of the Border,” the Director Oliver Stone was actually chewing on the Cocoa leaves with Bolivian President Evo Morales.
  • Cocaine became a class issue, and back in the early days, people felt that laws should be based on the idea that certain classes of people can control themselves with drugs and alcohol, and others cannot. They sought to ban the sale of alcohol to “all classes of uncivilized people.”
  • Blacks on cocaine were characterized as “cocaine crazed negros” by Southern white society. They said they needed a higher caliber of weapon to deal with Blacks on cocaine. One story told of a police officer who claimed self defense in shooting a Black man multiple times. This isn’t much different than how police today justify killing Black and brown people.
  • Part of this was creating this fear that the “uncivilized people” would rise up against whites.
  • At one point they were giving Black slaves cocaine while slaving to increase productivity. Yet, they blamed the cocaine for Black aggression–as if forced free labor wasn’t the issue.
  • Cocaine in drugs fueled the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act. It required that habit-forming meds have a label that says so, and that the ingredients be printed on the label.
  • The first formula for the soft drink Coca-Cola had cocaine in it.
  • The Chinese opium epidemic affected the U.S. cocaine prolem. They instituted a national us drug law they made to ban cocaine is based on the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914–it didn’t require a constitutional amendment because they related it to their control over interstate commerce. It was the first drug control law.
  • Eventually these laws created an underground market for cocaine. Fast forward to the latter half of the 20th Century, and people continued to use the drug.
  • Discussion of how cocaine use went from powder, to freebasing, to crack rocks.
  • “Freeway” Ricky Ross credits himself with coming up with the process to create crack rock.
  • How was Ricky Ross able to make his connections with the Nicaragua? Was it a government connection?
  • Heit & Cheri also watched the documentary, “Planet Rock: The Story Of Hip Hop And The Crack Generation,” which was narrated by Ice-T.
  • Crack sales provide a job for many people who had no economic opportunities. People needed an income, and crack sales in the inner city provided a means. They were selling crack like a 9-5 job out of starvation.
  • There is another documentary about basketball star Len Bias, called “Without Bias.” The connection here is that powder cocaine was considered a high class drug, and crack was cheaper, and used by people with less money. So, when Bias died of an overdose, many people wrongly assumed it was a crack cocaine overdose.
  • Crack cocaine provided a faster and better high than powder cocaine. Poor people could afford it. This allowed society to shine a light on the problem, and criticize people involved with crack.
  • The fighting that resulted in the community
  • The problem was so bad that President George H.W. Bush took to the airwaves and set up a photo op with a bag of crack.
  • As a result of Len Bias’ death, there were changes in the way crack-associated crimes were sentenced for that drug as compared with powder cocaine. After it was all said and done, people received 100 times the cocaine sentence for crack-related crimes. This was done to penalize Black and brown people–who had far fewer economic opportunities to begin with–more heavily. It also helped to build the prison industry.
  • Discussion of the effects of the crack epidemic on cities, smaller towns, families and children. The media made the spread to smaller towns from large urban areas possible. They practically advertised it.
  • Discussion of the “48 Hours on Crack Street” documentary that was done after Len Bias’ death. It was so successful that it turned into the show “48 Hours.” This really was the beginning of crime reality TV shows, like “Cops.”
  • Obama reduced the crack penalty from 100 times cocaine to 18 times cocaine, but why couldn’t he make them equal?
  • Discussion about the plethora of crime-related reality shows that followed Cops and 48 Hours.
  • The crack marketing scheme made the move of crack from cities to smaller towns.
  • Being on drugs removes inhibitions, and ironically, that makes practicing Axiom Amnesia easier.
  • Discussion of Bush 41, lying about crack being sold across the street from the White House. It was all a setup by the DEA.
  • During the crack epidemic, there was an emergence of private prisons.
  • The Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 is the focus of a video done by Axiom Amnesia. It was written by Joe Biden. This was the largest crime bill in history, and now he is in the White House with Barack Obama.
  • Discussion of how the crack culture was represented in hip hop.
  • Discussion about how crack addicts were demonized, while cocaine addicts didn’t receive the same stigma.

Segment 3

  • Discussion of Obama appealing Federal court’s ruling that the NDAA’s indefinite detention provision is unconstitutional. According to the court:

    Federal Judge Katherine Forrest reaffirmed on Wednesday her May ruling that the provision was unconstitutional, and made the ruling permanent. She had previously found that the law could be used to imprison activists and journalists without trial, noting that it does not define what it means to substantially “support” Al Qaeda or “associated” forces.

    The detention provision in the NDAA affirms the administration’s right to detain a “person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces.”

    Forrest found that reporters who talk to and write about someone who could be defined as being part of an “associated force” could be deemed to be substantially supporting them.

    “First Amendment rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and cannot be legislated away,” Forrest said in Wednesday’s new ruling. “This Court rejects the Government’s suggestion that American citizens can be placed in military detention indefinitely, for acts they could not predict might subject them to detention.”
    Source: Huffington Post

  • Discussion of the “belligerent act” wording in the legislation.
  • The judge was right in striking down the indefinite detention for U.S citizen provision of the NDAA. Obama and Romney are not all that different. They both support the idea of detaining U.S. citizens indefinitely.
  • In Episode 003: I Need To Have My Head Examined, we discussed Guantanamo Bay detainees who have remained detained for over a decade, with no prospects of ever leaving.
  • Discussion about a detainee, Adnan Latif, a Yemeni citizen. He was found dead in his cell on 9/10/2012. He had been cleared by the government to leave, but they wouldn’t release him because he was from Yemen.
  • Latif wrote about his despair, which in part said, “Anybody who is able to die will be able to achieve happiness for himself, he has no hope except that.” He also wrote of the horrors he saw, speaking of the torture and pain he endured while held captive by the U.S. government.
  • People will treat their dogs better than they have treated the human beings in Gitmo.
  • We all know that the tales of torture are true. We have seen the pictures and heard the admissions.
  • The reason Latif was in Afghanistan is because he was seeking medical care for a head injury sustained in 1994. He would have been free to leave Gitmo had he only been born in another country.
  • Discussion about Attorney General Eric Holder closing the investigation on CIA torture of detainees.
  • How can we trust the government to police themselves? Of course they were going to find that they did “nothing wrong.” Nothing ever seems to come from these investigations, save the expenditure of money and resources.
  • The government says they don’t torture people, but we know that is a lie. What does it take to make people care about these infringements on human rights?
  • The government uses fear to keep people from speaking out against its wrongs. Nobody wants to face indefinite detention for telling the truth about their wrongdoings.
  • Discussion about a woman in LaPorte, Texas (Tammy Cooper) who was jailed overnight for allegedly leaving her children to play outside unsupervised after being reported to police by a neighbor. She was actually watching them, just out of view of the neighbor. The charges were dropped, and now she’s suing the police department.
  • Why couldn’t the neighbor just go over to the house and check on the kids to see what was going on?
  • We have been programmed to call the police, rather than simply check on the situation.
  • Discussion about how we don’t know our neighbors anymore. Part if this is because we have been conditioned to fear one another.
  • How does it make sense to jail a parent? The kids surely suffered for this.
  • Discussion about the 480-pound death row inmate who is supposedly too obese for execution.
  • If you’re so committed to putting people to death, why the discussion about being humane? Putting someone to death is cruel punishment, so what is the point of this argument?
  • The psychological torture of knowing that you will be executed is cruel punishment.
  • If you’re for torture, then just say it. But, don’t try to hide behind the “we want to be humane” argument. Death is not humane in a situation where the person would have otherwise lived. There is no humane way to put a person to death.
  • Discussion about a recent NATO strike killing women and girls gathering firewood in Afghanistan.
  • Discussion about Axiom Amnesia’s decision to post the graphic photos of the dead bodies left behind after the drone attacks and other violence.
  • People object to the images because they don’t want to see and hear the truth of war. People need to see it though.
  • Discussion about backlash we received for posting a photo that compares the Haditha deaths caused by Marines with the deaths of the Libyan ambassador and three other Americans.
  • All lives are equally important and precious, so why should the ambassador be given more value and attention that those little girls who were mowed down by a bomb dropped by NATO forces?
  • Discussion about Black American Sign Language being significantly different from standard American sign language.
  • They are basically saying that Blacks sign differently than whites–duh! This is really no different than the different cultural norm of Black English.
  • Discussion of the use of gestures while speaking.
  • Discussion about whether there are racial epithets in sign language. Some people think that American Sign Language is inherently racist.
  • Discussion about how Heit & Cheri organize the show. Next week we plan to do a show with no notes and will just talk for the entire show. In Episode 010: Remind Me What I Think, we did a show where we played a game and spoke off of the top of our heads.
  • Discussion about the one year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
  • It’s almost the one year anniversary of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, and Heit & Cheri have a very big secret that they will be revealing VERY soon. Stay tuned to find out!

Audio Credits:

“Bad Boys” – Inner Circle