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Saturday
Jan302016

The Unsinkable Cam Newton

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The 50th Super Bowl will take place eight days from now in Santa Clara,
California between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. The clash
is being viewed as one for the ages because of the opposing storylines of the
quarterbacks involved. Peyton Manning, one of the game’s greatest at the
position, is possibly looking to do what John Elway did and ride off into the
sunset with another Super Bowl win. For Cam Newton, a Super Bowl win
would be the perfect finish to a nearly perfect season in the NFL. But there’s
been a heavy cloud hanging around this game, set squarely there because of
Cam Newton. He addressed it recently, by saying he knows it’s due to being
an African-American quarterback. The truth is, it is that and much more.

Cam Newton makes it six Black quarterbacks that have appeared in the big
game. So far, only two who’ve appeared have won it all - Doug Williams and
Russell Wilson. Cam’s appearance is to some, a sign of the talent many saw
as he led Auburn to a national collegiate championship in 2011 beginning to
truly take hold professionally. The former Heisman trophy winner has grown
as a QB, and become a major name due to a certain swagger he exudes. The
“dab”. The shoes. The dancing in the end zone. And with this swagger, this
confidence comes the inevitable brushback that appears whenever someone
confident of color makes a mark. You may know it as prejudice. 

There are those who’ll always throw shots at the successful, for different reasons.
In some cases, they have a bit more truthful weight - Cam has been dubbed “Scam”
Newton for his part in an incident involving a stolen laptop while he was at the
University of Florida and the involvement of his father in attempting to coerce money
from Mississippi State University in order for Cam to transfer there. Cam owned up to
the laptop incident & after being suspended by Auburn initially regarding the bribery
charges, he was reinstated by the college with the NCAA backing him. But it seems
that what rankles some these days is that Newton is having TOO much fun. Every
week this past season it seemed there was a letter written to some newspaper or
website that felt his dancing was too explicit & indecent. Yes folks, in a time where
Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is a spokesman for State Farm based on his
pelvic gyration move patterned after a wrestler, Cam’s celebrations are too much.
Reading social media pages after each of the Panthers’ wins this season reeked of racism
& disgust boiled over in talk of “values” and “having respect for the game”. Yet we have
Johnny Manziel of the Cleveland Browns who HIT HIS GIRLFRIEND on camera, has gone
into rehab for alcohol and has flouted team rules to the point of allegedly wearing a
disguise while sneaking off to Las Vegas before a game being regarded by some as a
party animal. It’s not hard to tell why there’s so much ire for Newton. The Panthers
organization had their own questions before drafting him, even going so far as asking
Cam(at owner Jerry Richardson’s behest)not to get any tattoos or lengthen his hair.
This, despite other team members already having these. It was a move that in the
long run, was meant to preserve Newton’s persona as fairly clean-cut. Newton didn’t
have any real room to argue against it, what with how Michael Vick’s career came
crashing down and the failed careers of highly rated QB’s at that time like Akili Smith
and Jamarcus Russell. Look at Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers. He got to
the Super Bowl and there was a furor over his tattoos which led to the attempts to
label him a thug.
One has to consider that the quarterback is part of the American mythology
that has been constructed for decades. Football is one of the two sports we have
that we excel at without question that no other country can dominate. Why? Because
it is a game of controlled violence and keen intellect. And the quarterback is the one
to sort through it all & lead his team to victory. The Black NFL quarterback now is
still fighting to be well regarded within the league overall. While Doug Williams led
the Washington Redskins to a championship & Russell Wilson did the same with the
Seattle Seahawks, the difference between them and Cam is that Cam is more
outspoken & tied into contemporary Black culture. And he’s proud of it enough to
flaunt it. This is not a knock on Williams or Wilson - they’re reserved men who are
proud African-Americans. But that gets unfairly interpreted by a cross-section of white
America as being “respectable” or “knowing their place”. Same thing was stuck on
Donovan McNabb as a contrast to Michael Vick. In the eyes of these malcontents,
Cam is another bad Negro like Vick was. And the air of respectability confuses those
looking in - veteran & analyst Ryan Clark claims it’s culture, not race that is behind
the criticism of Cam Newton. You cannot separate the two. Not when you have a
league that historically has been at odds with the Black quarterback, either trying
to make him a wide receiver or defensive back upon being drafted or not drafting
them outright, giving them the only options of semi-pro football or the Canadian
Football League. Not when one of the bones of contention before the NFL-AFL
merger of the 1960’s was due to the prominence of Black players in the AFL and
their willingness to at least play Blacks at the QB position on a fleeting basis. 
Photo Credit: USA Today

Cam Newton is aware of this. He’s aware what drives these individuals to look at him
this way, call him these names. He knows that no matter how many touchdown footballs
he gives to little children, no matter the charity work he does, no matter that he’s a
Christian and a pescatarian, that a Black QB like him shouldn’t win a Super Bowl because
he’s arrogant.(he plays in the South, so I’m sure “uppity” is also in play.) he also doesn’t
give a damn. And that is not only fueled by his journey to this point, which includes a
near-fatal car accident two years ago, but the knowledge of other Black QB’s before him
who didn’t have a shot. Names like Joe Gilliam, Condredge Holloway. Names like Vick,
whose career was severely impacted by dogfighting & prison for two years, not to mention
some questionable coaching (looking at you Dan Reeves). Cam is fortunate to be in this
position with a coach in Ron Rivera who’s won a Super Bowl as a member of the 1985
Chicago Bears and a team of capable veterans. He’s fortunate that the Panthers are a
stronger organization than the 49ers, who have crumbled in the 4 years since their
last Super Bowl appearance with their coach leaving and player exits due to retirement
or drugs and domestic violence issues being too problematic to ignore. For what it’s
worth, I hope he dabs it up on Super Bowl Sunday. All the way to the White House.
Let the keyboard bigots and other social media trolls write a petition that will mean
nothing then. Because if Cam gets this first one, he’ll be on the forefront for quite a
while.  

 

Wednesday
Jan202016

No More Parties In SA - Chris "Preach" Smith



Just before midnight last evening, what already proved
to be a traumatic beginning to this year in music was
solidly underscored by the retirement of the prolific rapper,
actor and activist Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def. The news was
delivered via a voicemail message that was released
through Kanye West’s website. The message began with
a freestyle that was a riff on Kanye’s latest single release,
“No More Parties In L.A.” and contained a shoutout to
‘Ye for being a “real friend” and that he would release one
last album this year and also cease doing motion pictures.
This comes in the wake of Bey being arrested by authorities
in South Africa after trying to travel to Ethiopia to perform
in a concert there. The Department of Home Affairs claims
that Yasiin was using a fradulent document, namely a World
Passport. They also state that the rapper had entered South
Africa in 2013 and had been illegally living in the country
after staying past the alloted time in conjunction with his
visa which expired in 2014. A representative for Bey stated
to the press two days before this announcment that the arrest
at Cape Town International Airport was unwarranted, and
that the document was accepted before by the South African
government. Yaasin has done shows in the past couple of
years in different nations, but there is no record of what
documentation he used to travel.

This situation on the surface is puzzling, and offers up many
more questions than answers. It’s no secret that Yasiin has
been an outspoken advocate for justice and human rights,
most notably shown as he underwent the force feeding method
of torture that was inflicted on prisoners at Guananamo Bay,
Cuba under the direction of the United States government on
videotape. This has been brewing since the rapper was unable
to make a show here in Washington D.C. last year due to some
travel hangups. One has to ask: if Mos has been traveling with
this World Passport, why would the South African government
accept it on prior occasions and not now? Granted, the World
Passport is a travel document created by the World Service 
Authority, a group that was created by the late Garry Davis
based on the 30 articles of the United Nations Declaration of
Human Rights that was created in 1948. The document is not
globally fully accepted because there have been individuals using
it under false names among other security issues, but it is legally
accepted in Ecuador, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Togo, Mauritania and
Zambia. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are also World
Passport owners. A representative for the group claims they’re
now in touch with Bey’s lawyers and says that this was accepted by
South Africa beforehand. Another problem that comes up is this: if he
has been living illegally in the country according to authorities, why
arrest him now and demand that he leave instead of in 2014 when
it was determined he stayed past the limit?

The situation does bring into light a pressing question in terms of
nations and borders. One of the hot topics of this current American
presidential election season is immigration. Syria, racked to the core
by a civil war, has seen hundreds of thousands flee their homeland
into Europe and Canada and sparingly into this country. Without 
being marked as purely the stuff of conspiracy theorists, identity
through the passport and the ideas of how one can truly be a citizen
of the world are in question. Chuck D and Public Enemy have been
hammering this home throughout their careers. More and more
we are seeing how the Black and Brown diaspora is connecting via
social media and travel. Tie that into the social justice movements
here and abroad. It does figure in to this situation. Now, this next
question may be pure speculation but it has to be asked: is Yasiin
marked by some authority somewhere because of his sociopolitical
beliefs and activism work? For embracing Islam as he does so? We’ve
seen musicians being asked to leave countries before i.e. Snoop Dogg.
But when it becomes political, it takes on a whole new meaning. You
almost forget that South Africa in their apartheid era spurred the
flight and exile of their own artists in Miriam Makeba and Hugh Maskela
among many others. Given the recent stirrings of protest from students
who fight to strip colonial markings and influence from their universities
there as well as for more fair inclusion of Black students, one wonders
what the government’s true thoughts are about an expatriate American
rapper with a conscious message in that mix. 

The saddest thing of all about this situation is that Bey looks to be 
done with entertainment, period. It’s going to be damn hard to really
imagine no more music from him. It’s going to be damn hard to not
see his personality jump out at you on the screen. As I finish editing
this piece, the television is blasting one of my favorite sci-fi films, The
Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy that he starred in. It hits me that Mos
has been on the scene in some form or fashion for over two decades
going all the way back to The Cosby Mysteries. That’s a long period of
time. And perhaps other things in his life have led him to make this
decision. When he references Kanye’s recent song “Real Friends”, in
listening to the message, you hear the weight. Whatever the outcome
of this is, there are no more parties to be had in South Africa. And 
wherever Yasiin Bey chooses to go next, hopefully it can be in peace. 

Tuesday
Dec012015

"Fargo" & Confronting The White Winterland - Chris "Preach" Smith

Photo Credit: FX

In the past few years, fans of dramatic television series
here in the United States have seen a sharp uptick in
the level of high quality programming on their screens.
It’s no accident - the traditional major networks have
been struggling to compete with serial offerings from
cable networks like HBO and Showtime as well as other
networks like FX. Add Netflix and Amazon to the mix
and we now are in the midst of a treasure trove of solid
TV programming available. For me, it becomes a bit of
work just to keep up with the amount of shows to check
out. One that has caught my eye from last year has
been Fargo, inspired by the iconic Coen Brothers movie
from 1996 and now in its second season on FX. It might
be the best series on television right now. And one of
those reasons is the character of Hanzee Dent, the Native
American right-hand man of the vicious Minnesota crime 
boss Dodd Gerhardt.

Fargo has been a crowd-pleaser because it has embraced
the dark humor of Joel and Ethan Coen’s film of the same
name, and has delivered compelling characters along with
storylines taken from real-life events. Plus a lot of gritty
action and noir elements don’t hurt either. This combo is
all the more important because of the frozen Midwestern
setting. White as far as the eye can see, in both the ethnic
population and the landscape. This season, Fargo has become
a prequel of sorts to the previous one that was set in 1996.
When the show opens up, we are confronted with a Native
actor on the set of a fictitious Ronald Reagan picture set in
the Old West during a break. The clueless director makes an
awkward comment about the actor’s “people” being part 
of the massacre the film is portraying. From that point on,
you realize that this show is not going to shy away from 
the bigotry that has attacked and decimated the indigenous
people of America. Native people being viewed as sentimental
and stereotypical and ultimately just part of the scenery.
Which is kind of how Hanzee is introduced, as a silent witness
to Dodd and his brother Rye’s(Kieran Culkin) argument in 
that same episode. Dent, played by veteran actor and Standing
Rock Sioux Native American Zahn McClarnon, seems to be just
another gunman in a Midwestern crime family that goes back
to World War II. It’s a perfect set-up for the show’s creators
and the character to touch upon something we just haven’t
gotten in period films and TV - race.

This season of Fargo goes there - not bluntly, but in a manner 
that’s pointed and subversive. Take for example the first murder
in the first episode that gets the ball rolling, a sort of comedy
of errors initiated by Rye Gerhardt. The Black cook in the Waffle
Hut comes out to try to stop Rye and gets a bullet that fatally
wounds him. A sheriff comes in afterwards with Lou Solverson
(Patrick Wilson), and recognizes him as a former high school football
standout. That’s it, but it is enough to give a slight bit of definition
to a character of color where other shows may not have bothered.
This instance helps the viewer to see how race, and matters related
to it, are viewed and expressed in 1979 Minnesota and North Dakota.
There’s a lot of complexity in the air that joins with the uncertainty.
For Hanzee Dent, and for Mike Milligan, the hitman for the Kansas
City mob played by Bokeem Woodbine, they are the most visceral 
signs of how the times have changed in the American heartland and
also how they haven’t. With Milligan being a Black representative of
arguably the most infamous crime organization the United States has
ever known, he has to not only be good but highly exceptional. In a
performance that should warrant Emmy consideration, Woodbine
imbues Milligan with a personality that honors the flavor of what
executive producer Noah Hawley wanted and stokes the audience’s
hidden desire to root for the bad guy. (The accent though. The first
time I heard it, I was in stitches.) Milligan is confident, strident even
in the face of uncertainty. There’s one scene that is striking - when
Simone Gerhardt comes to him and suggestively comes on to him,
Milligan’s retort is eloquent but as blunt as a Louisville Slugger as he
lays down his terms for her assistance in bringing down her family.
The familiar trope of a white woman clinging to a Black man via
sexuality is used here to add more drama and in the process, shatter
the stereotype of the Black buck without a mind of his own. Even
the fact that Mike’s conversation with the boss in which the boss 
attacks him for being incompetent solely because he’s “a darkie”
and Milligan’s own comeback denotes the complexity of his role.

Photo Credit: FX

As for Hanzee, he gradually steps away from the background
to make his own imprint. (Side note: McClarnon has revealed
that the character’s name comes from the Lakota word of
aháŋzi, which is translated to mean shade or shadow.) Starting
with the second episode, in which he calmly tells Dodd he’s cut
the ears off an enemy held in the family barn, Hanzee shows
that he is the shadow of the Gerhardt family and all that it
implies. He’s not taken in by any code but his own, and is loyal
to a point. Hanzee is also fiercely aware that being Native also
means being invisible, as evidenced by a conversation he has
with the mechanic Sonny as they speak about their Vietnam
War experiences. “Did you work the tunnels? “Send the Indian”,
they’d say. Who cares about booby traps?” Invisible but yet so
expendable. This feeling underscores the rage that Hanzee lets
out as he dispatches people in future episodes. It’s a feeling of
being connected and yet being constantly trampled upon by
almost everyone he meets including Dodd down the line.(More
on that in a bit.) Yet you can’t help but feel for him, even as he
assaults people dispassionately. You can’t help but feel that Dent
is only doing what he’s observed being done to his people in the
name of life, liberty and other American vaules that others will
tout as a cover for their misdeeds. McClarnon’s acting is highly
nuanced, with enough grit and enough pain that’s evoked without
a ton of dialogue. He uses brevity and silence to pick apart the
previous Hollywood-enforced views of indigenous characters and
reinforces that innate desire again to have a connection to the
bad guy. It’s part of what Fargo does so well - allow the audience
to connect with every character and give each actor the chance
to emote fully. Even when Dodd(Jeffrey Donovan)goes full on 
white male racist, seeing Hanzee just empty a bullet into his 
brain makes you…cheer. Because you can only imagine what he
went through in that Robinson Crusoe-esque relationship.

Photo Credit: FX

The fact that Hanzee Dent and Mike Milligan are two men 
of color on the opposite sides of a turf war between two 
older crime organizations that are the empires of immigrant
white males is not something to brush aside in this story.
Both men are actutely aware of their roles. Both have 
endured and become dispassionate assassins because of 
their circumstances(Dent being in one of those religious 
schools for Natives in a flashback, and Milligan speaking 
briefly about hardships with his mother). But both have 
also proven to speak to a hidden facet within this season
of Fargo - they both have observed enough about the nature
of the American society they came up in to survive. To be
more ruthless and yet keenly aware of why. The show has
been highly acclaimed by many this season, and I think that
it’s justified in the way these two anti-heroes have been
depicted. It speaks not only to the power of television dramas
that are constructed well, but it also provides more ammo
for the push to have television be more reflective of its 
viewing public. For Zahn McClarnon and Bokeem Woodbine
to have such standout performances amidst a mighty cast
that includes heavy hitters is important not only for TV 
but for more diversity represented in artistic media period.
I’ll be awaiting the end of the series with great expectation
as to what awaits these two on the white winterland.

 

 

Wednesday
Oct282015

Halloween Blackface? Don't Do It. - Chris "Preach" Smith

Photo Credit: WHNT

Halloween is two days away. And I don’t mind telling
you that I’ve grown to actually dislike it. Why? Take a
look at the photograph leading this story. That’s a picture
of Heath Morrow, a teacher from Decatur, Alabama and
his wife dressing as Kanye West & Kim Kardashian. Morrow
decided to make his appearance more enhanced by using
blackface. After a considerable and justified uproar once
the photo hit social media via his wife’s Facebook page,
Morrow apologized in a written statement on Monday. Part
of the statement by Morrow read: “I would first like to
apologize for my error in judgement.” He faces no sort
of disciplinary action by the school board, and continues
to teach. And stories like this are beginning to pop up
everywhere online as they have in the past few years
once the end of October comes to a close. Why?

Because Halloween is the one time of the year where you
get to see how a cross-section of white people truly feel
about Black people, and other people of color. It’s the time
where they let their subsconscious speak for them, fueled
by the need to party hard and large amounts of alcohol. 
Every year we see these pictures pop up on the Internet,
every year we get outraged and spread the word about it
and see who’ll be pissed off and who’ll try to defend it in
the name of fun. Halloween has been called a “holiday”
by some people. It seems like it’s a holiday for the casual
bigots. Oh sure, to those who coat themselves in blackface,
wear the headdress of Native people or don oversized
sombreros and ponchos, it’s fun to pretend. It’s paying 
them a compliment! It’s also the same sentiment that is
a by-product of all of the ills this society suffers with. It
says that all of these other cultures are disposable. Something
to slip on and lose oneself in, then discard whenever they’re
ready to. Think about it - whenever you see these horrible
blackface costume wearers, look at who they try to emulate.
Rappers. Athletes. Gang members. People who they claim
they don’t pay any attention to, but on one day of the year
they look to mock or try to be? It’s a fantasy that’s steeped
in some sort of weird envy. In some cases, it’s a distinct
sickness, as shown by those who decided to go as the late
Trayvon Martin. Or the recent exploitation of the conflict
between the Palestinians and the Israelis in costumes that
could be found on Amazon recently. Right down to one that
depicted an Arab sheik with an exaggerated nose. In a lot of
ways, Halloween is escapism. For adults, more so. But when
that escapism belittles people and hurts them. It’s disgraceful.
And no, it’s not a “cry-baby” sensibility to be aware of, contrary
to what Grace Dent of the Independent says. It’s become
all too apparent that the digital shaming of those who engage 
in this casual bigotry isn’t enough. There has to be firm and
swift reprocussions delivered in a consistent manner. No neat
slaps on the wrist. Frankly, you might have more action if these
people who engage in blackface & other offensive practices on
Halloween caught severe beatdowns. I’m not advocating for
violence when I say that. But let’s be real: the reason why
you see these things occur is because they’re done by people
in an environment that won’t give them any flack. There’s no
clapback for this claptrap. Now if they went to a function where
there were people of color that would give them the business?
You’d see some real consequences dealt out by fists. As much
as people love candy corn, I doubt they’d like to see their teeth
on the ground as a bloody replica of that Halloween treat.

So if you’re reading this, and you feel your Halloween attire may
have crossed into the racist zone? Check out this infographic to
get a good idea. You don’t want to catch a beatdown, in digital
form or otherwise.  

Tuesday
Oct202015

When The Rush Is Taken Away - Chris "Preach" Smith

Photo Credit: The Root


Russell Simmons is undergoing one of the worst weeks
a mogul has ever had with no clean end in sight. And 
in the process, a nagging issue within communities of
color comes to the surface once again with some dire
situations taking place.

The hip-hop and business titan has been receiving major
scrutiny since October 11th, when his RushCard prepaid
credit card service essentially shut down while in the midst
of transitioning to a new processing company. As a result,
thousands of people have been left stranded without access
to their money that they deposited. HipHopDX was first to
report the news as it broke. Since then, thanks to a flurry
of social media posts on Twitter and Facebook from both
affected RushCard users and those agitating on their behalf
to get the situation more coverage, the company is now 
forced to rectify the damage under a magnifying glass. But
the true damage may be the painting of Russell Simmons 
as a vulture preying on the underprivileged and unfortunate
members of American society due to the fiasco that has taken
place. Simmons himself has responded to some members’
pleas and ire by having them personally contact him via 
Twitter, even as he was berated online for offering “prayers”
for those affected. RushCard itself proclaimed a “fee holiday”
from the first of November until the end of the year, where
their customary fees would be abolished. But that’s of little 
comfort to those affected, many who have said that they will
no longer use the prepaid service. 

Prepaid credit cards on a whole have been on a rise since 2003.
The RushCard itself was one of the first to hit the scene. For
those who haven’t used prepaid credit cards, they essentially
work like this: you sign up for the card, without any credit
checks. You agree to pay a one-time setup fee that ranges from
$3.95 to $9.95. You’re then offered a choice between a plan
that lets you pay as you go, or an “unlimited” plan. The plan
differences are seen in terms of the monthly fee a user has
to pay (free for the former, up to $7.95 for the unlimited users),
fees for transactions(the company usually charges a dollar per
transaction) and whether you have direct deposit or not. And
that is a key point that led a lot of those who didn’t have a full
banking package, the “underbanked” and the “unbanked”, those
who don’t even have a banking account in their name. By recent
reports, that amounts up to 68 million Americans. Mostly Black
and Brown folks. For those who didn’t have the means, the card
that Simmons’ company offered was a neat alternative that
seemed trustworthy. I had one in the early years of its existence.
I soon dropped it because I had concerns after dealing with a 
RushCard customer service representative who had processed 
a transaction I made incorrectly. Also, the company at that time
had begun their aggressive campaign to get people to deposit
their entire paycheck onto the card through Western Union. 
Another thing that was troubling was that despite it being touted
as a credit card, there were many businesses like hotels that
would not accept it for payment. But through television ads and
other means, the ranks of RushCard users grew. And other companies
took notice. Now, PayPal has its own prepaid credit card. American
Express has also entered the field with their SERV card, marketed
in part with CVS Drugstores. It’s now customary to see advertisements
for prepaid credit cards in check cashing places. You can forget just
how many folks out their rely on this means of financial management.
And in the process, you can also find those willing to basically take
shots at them. How many times have you heard or seen someone
make RushCard users the butt of jokes. Or act like they wouldn’t
be caught dead knowing one? Even now, as people are suffering,
there are those who want to offer up more jokes than solutions.
Solutions are available, but not plentiful. For one, those affected
can’t sue RushCard because of a section of the terms and conditions
that they signed in getting the card that prevents such an action
either in court or by engaging in a class action lawsuit. And therein
lies another problem with prepaid credit cards: the lack of full consumer
protection as offered by the FDIC with traditional banking. Think about
it - the prepaid card industry raked in $65 billion dollars three years ago.
Included in that amount were fees for lost cards(which can cost a user
thirty dollars and up) and the various fees for transactions

At the heart of all this, is the fact that a great deal of us have taken
to these means because the current financial structure hasn’t made
itself accessible to our needs. There’s a deep-seated mistrust of banks
overall, and the Wall Street bailout hasn’t helped ease public concerns.
When you have banks that demand you must put in a certain amount
monthly to even have a checking account, when you have banks that
are willing to gouge out fees from the pockets of customers for any 
and all matters, the people don’t have many other options available
to them. Even Black-owned banks are fighting an uphill battle to serve
their own as they’re going out of business due to lack of funding they’ve
always received. Even credit unions have their issues, mainly with one needing
to be a resident of a particular region or employed in certain companies
to even use them. Take into account those who’ve just made their way
here from other countries as well and what they have to consider. The
public embarassment that Uncle Rush is now dealing with is a problem
for him and RushCard, yes. But it may not have been one that he, the
company and those customers could’ve avoided. The hope with all of
this is that each of the affected customers get their money back two
times over. The hope is that RushCard not only fixes the issue that 
plagued their transition but actually lowers fees and makes themselves
accountable under federal consumer protection guidelines. And the
prevailing hope is that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will
be able to fully enact their own measures recently proposed before
Congress that will prevent such a heinous situation from taking place
again. We’ve seen just how tragic it can be when the rush is taken out
of your normal life due to a situation like this, especially in our own
communities of color.  

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