Thursday, January 11, 2018

So, About That H&M Monkey Ad...

So, while this blog was on an 18 month-ish hiatus, a lotta shit's happened. We have a new President. Rappers now are judged solely by how many bright colors they have in their hairstyle. 7 footers in the NBA routinely pull and pop 3 pointers. It snowed in Charleston, SC. For Christmas.[1]

One thing that hasn't changed is racism. America's Original Sin[2] still persists, and it shows up in some of the most unlikely places. Plenty of people were rightfully enraged earlier this week when an a photo on the H&M website went viral, showing a little black boy wearing a hoodie with the words "The Coolest Monkey In The Jungle". People questioned why a multinational apparel company would do something so utterly dumb in 2018. Where the black folks in the room were, assuming there were any when this decision made, and why they didn't say anything. But one question was most pervasive... "Where in the hell were this boy's parents?"

Turns out, the boy's mom doesn't have any issue with the image, and thinks everyone outraged is "crying wolf".
The mother of a black child featured in a photo shoot slammed as racist has said that those outraged by the image of her son are “crying wolf,” according to reports.

Swedish clothing giant H&M was forced to issue repeated apologies after the page for a hoodie available in Europe featured an image of the boy with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” on his chest. Social media users took note that a white child in a similar hoodie was a “survival expert” and decried the company as insensitive to the history of “monkey” being used as a slur against black people.

“Stop crying wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here ......... get over it,” a woman who said she was the mother of the boy claimed in Facebook messages published on social media.

She said that she was at the shoot and that everyone is entitled to have an opinion about it, but that outrage was “not my way of thinking.”

The comments were reported by multiple news outlets, though the woman connected to the account, who lives in Sweden, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily News.

After originally sending the News a terse apology saying that they were sorry if people took offense to the image, H&M has stopped selling the hoodie and said it will do “everything we possibly can to prevent this from happening again in the future.”
This entire story has me conflicted in a million different ways.

First and foremost, I love H&M. It's trendy, good quality clothing at great prices. A solid percentage of my wardrobe is from there. I'm wearing a damn H&M hoodie right now as I type this. So when black folks were calling for widespread boycotts of a clothing store most have never even visited, I was like "nah breh, I'm good."

On the flipside, there's no doubt that the imagery was bad, especially given the long history of the use of the word "monkey" in derogatory manner here in the US. I wouldn't put my kids in that hoodie, regardless of how awesome a sale price it would be offered at.

That said, this mother doesn't live in the US. She's Swedish (yes, for those who don't know, there ARE black people in Sweden. I've been there, I've seen them firsthand. They aren't in large numbers, but they exist). Perhaps the phrase "monkey" doesn't carry the same connotation there, or maybe it does and this mom doesn't feel offended by it. The way that people jumped on this story and talked about the child model in paternalistic phrases like "Young King" as if this child was somehow an orphan who stumbled into a photo shoot and was exploited by Evil Yakubians rubbed me the wrong way. As a parent with kids who have done such work, I know that's seldom the case. There's always a parent or guardian present, and those parents do have a say so in how their children's images are being used. This mom had to issue, and in the grand scheme of things, her opinion should matter more than anyone else's.

Should H&M have been a bit smarter? Sure. Would black people in the room (or God forbid a focus group) have maybe given them some valuable insight? Probably. But ultimately, there's one person (two if his Dad, who wasn't mentioned, is around) who's responsible here.

Question: Was this mother wrong? Do you get her rationale? Are you happy the blog is back?

[1] Maybe it was slightly before/after, but still, IT SNOWED ON THE BATTERY!

[2] Is the Original Sin slavery, or racism? I forget. It's been a minute.

Monday, December 11, 2017

What Are The Different Types Of Driving Under The Influence Charges In Queens?

Getting your first DUI is one of the scariest things that you will ever encounter. Fighting a DUI charge is not easy. New York has some of the harshest penalties of any state for driving while intoxicated. There are various types of DUI charges that a person can be charged with.

If you are found driving while intoxicated in New York, it is possible for the jurisdiction to suspend your license, put you in jail and impose stiff fines. New York defines driving while intoxicated by doing a Blood Alcohol Concentration Test (or BAC). There are different types of DWI classifications depending on what type of motor vehicle you are driving:

The different types of BAC levels are:

● 0.08% for those who are over the age of 21
● 0.04% if you are driving a commercial vehicle
● 0.02% if you are under the age of 21

Additional alcohol and drug crimes

Depending on the BAC test results you might face other criminal charges, such as:

● DWAI/Alcohol is the term that is used when you are driving while ability impaired and are under the influence of alcohol
● DWAI/Drugs is the term that is used when you are driving while ability impaired not by alcohol but by some other drug
● DWAI/Combination is the term that is used when you are driving while ability impaired by both drugs and alcohol
● Aggravated DWI (A-DWI) is the term that is used when you are being charged with aggravated driving, and you have a BAC of 0.18% or more

Penalties that can be imposed for excessive alcohol concentrations or the combination of drugs are related to criminal prosecution. If you refuse to submit to a test for chemicals or you break the “Zero Tolerance Law,” then you can face harsher criminal charges.

The type of DWI that you are charged with depends on many factors, including:

● Your age
● The substance that you took which impaired you (alcohol, drugs or the combination of both)
● What type of driver’s license you hold (special license like a CDL, or just a regular passenger license)
● If you were willing to submit to a drug or chemical test

DWI for those who are under the age of 21

If you are less than 21 years of age and you are found with anything higher than a 0.02% BAC, then you have already broken what New York calls the “Zero Tolerance Law.”

If it is your first offense then you might face:

● A suspended license for six months
● A $125 civil penalty
● A $100 fee to have your suspension terminated
● Mandatory enrollment into the New York Drinking Driver Program and all the costs that are associated with the program
● The potential to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle and all the costs surrounding installation and use

If it is your second offense, then you might face:

● A revoked license for an entire year (or until you turn 21)
● A $125 civil penalty
● A $100 termination of suspended license fee
● Mandatory enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program and all the costs that are associated with the program
● The potential to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle and all the costs surrounding installation and use

DWI Penalties for those who are over 21

If it is your first offense:

● Your license suspected for 90 days
● A $300-500 fine
● A minimum of $250 annual assessment fine, which totals over $750 in fines over a three-year period, which is a part of New York’s Driver Responsibility Program
● Up to 15 days in jail
● Mandatory enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program and all the costs that are associated with the program

If it is your second offense:

If you receive a second DWI charge within five years of your first offense, you might be subjected to:

● Having your license revoked for up to six months
● A $500-700 fine
● A minimum of $250 annual assessment fine, which totals over $750 in fines over a three-year period, which is a part of New York’s Driver Responsibility Program
● Up to 30 days in jail
● Mandatory enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program and all the costs that are associated with the program

There are many different classifications for drinking and driving in Queens. If you are being charged with any type of DWI offense, it is imperative to have a queens dui lawyer on your side to try to minimize your charges or have them dismissed altogether.

What Are The Different Types Of Sex Crimes?

A sex crime is not just one single type of crime; there are many criminal offenses that can be encompassed under the “sex crimes” category. Most of them involve the coercion or illegal sexual acts of one person against another. Sex crimes are determined at the state level, meaning they are classified by the state in which the offense was committed. Every state makes laws about the definitions of things like “rape” or “sexual assault, ” and they have varying time limits, also known as statutes of limitations, which define how long an individual has to file a lawsuit. Below are the different types of sexual crimes and their various definitions.

Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure is a sex crime where an individual breaks the law by showing their genitals in public. Most states have laws making it illegal to show your genitals in public because, in most instances, it is a way that sex offenders either get sexual gratification or try to get a sexual response from those around them. Because it is not only alarming but offensive, indecent exposure laws vary by state, but in general, exposing yourself in public is a crime in almost every state.


Prostitution is another category that falls under sex crimes in many states. Prostitution is defined by offering sexual acts in exchange for any type of payment. It is not only illegal for someone to offer sexual acts for payment; it is illegal in most states for someone to hire another individual for sexual acts. Currently, prostitution is illegal in every state with the exception of Nevada. But even in Nevada, it is heavily regulated. Prostitution does not always mean payment in the form of money; there are all sorts of ways that “payment” can be defined.


Rape is defined differently according to state laws, but it generally refers to someone having non-consensual sexual intercourse under physical force or the threat of physical force, and sometimes even under duress. Common-law rape is an act of rape that is forced upon a woman by a man who is not her husband. But many states have overridden the “common-law” definition of rape, including the wording in the laws and other specifics related to “consent.”

Sexual assault

Sexual assault is usually defined as an offense that involves an unwanted sexual touch. Ranging in severity from groping to rape, each state deals with sexual assault differently and with varying elements of wording and legal definitions. Sexual assault is a much more difficult crime to prove for a plaintiff. Because sexual intercourse is not a part of the definition, proving that someone touched you inappropriately can be very problematic.


Solicitation is different from prostitution because it involves anyone either encouraging, demanding, or requesting that someone engage in an illegal act through criminal conduct. In most states, solicitation is tied to prostitution because it is the illegal act of trying to engage someone in a criminal sexual act. There are all sorts of variations of solicitation laws according to the state where the offenses occur. In general, though, it is the communication of a request for a person to engage in a criminal act, typically related to a sexual act.

Statutory Rape

Statutory rape is when you have sex with a minor child who is not old enough to give legal consent. Each state has an “age of consent,” which is the age at which someone is considered capable of giving informed consent to have sexual intercourse. If someone engages in sexual intercourse or sexual acts with someone who is not of the legal age of consent, that is a clear violation of the law, and it can affect someone for the rest of their life.

Statutory rape is also determined differently by varying states, as is the way that the cases are prosecuted. Some states have laws that punish statutory offenses in the same manner as rape, while others are punished by a lesser degree of sexual assault.

Sex crimes are a type of crime that involve sexual acts through coercion. Sex crime laws were created to protect innocent victims from being assaulted or being forced to commit sexual acts against their will. Both men and women can be accused of sex crimes and on varying levels according to the state where they live. Because having a sex crime on your criminal record can severely limit your future, if you should be accused of one, it is imperative that you seek the counsel of a criminal attorneys Toronto who specializes in sex crimes.