Kim Kardashian’s Safety Concerns: Dangerous Hypervisibility

English: Kim Kardashian at the 2009 Tribeca Fi...

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

During last Sunday’s episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kim Kardashian expressed a disquieting fear she wrestles with daily after being held hostage and robbed in Paris in 2016, where her engagement ring from her husband Kanye West and other jewelry, totaling $9.5 million, were stolen. However, as much as she shouldn’t have to face such fear, her security concerns were preventable and are products of her hypervisibility. Kardashian has primarily depended on this hypervisibility for her fame. What happens, though, when one’s celebrity is based on an almost ever-present camera, it permits marauders to violate—at least potentially—his or her body and intrude on his or her personal space. Unfortunately, for Kim Kardashian, people with malevolent intentions could do her great harm if she does not make serious changes.   

Kim Kardashian’s Recognition of Safety Concerns  

Understanding this reality now, Kim Kardashian revealed on Sunday’s episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians that she’s no longer “hungry” for media attention and no longer wishes to “be in the mix the way that I used to.” Her ingenious entrepreneurship—creating a compelling desire for millions to follow her every move and her every thought—leading to millions of dollars and millions of followers has come at a great cost: unsettling anxiety, restlessness about not if another threat to her and her belongings will emerge but when it will. Although people will look at her and simply say, “Oh well, you have it all and shouldn’t have gotten yourself into this situation,” she does not deserve to live in fear.

Yes, for years, she unknowingly exposed herself exposed to such victimization. As an American, however, she has the right to conduct her business through social media platforms without making it acceptable for criminals to exploit her. People should have compassion for anyone who has been robbed and experienced fear that they would be harmed, including raped, by dastards. Even those with far less visibility as Kardashian are targeted by criminals for execrable purposes. We all, therefore, need to think deeply about what happened to Kim.

Kim Kardashian at the Seventh Annual Hollywood...

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Lessons to Learn from Kim Kardashian’s Robbery: Use Social Media Wisely  

When one invites the world into his or her home and life daily through social media platforms, he or she must understand how vulnerable to attack this makes him or her. Using social media platforms as dominant marketing tools and means of conducting one’s business is fine; however, he or she must be selective about how much private information to share. Celebrity or not, people don’t need to know where you are all of the time and everything you have in your home or with you.

Kim Kardashian seemed not to consider how dangerous her open diary-style use of social media is. The post-robbery anxiety she’s experiencing a year later helps us all to comprehend how vital it is to adopt safe and smart practices while using social media. When one is finding more and more success through such transparency as Kim extended to followers, this transparency can become seductive, leading to excesses that impair quality judgment. If you’re not careful, therefore, your misguided longing for ever-growing success can land you right into the lap of a rapist, thief, and/or some other type of unwanted criminal.  

Thankfully, it appears, Kim has learned her lesson and will be implementing better social media practices.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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The Real Win by Colt McCoy and Matt Carter: Book Review

The Real Win by Colt McCoy

(Photo Credit: Amazon)

The Real Win: A Man’s Quest for Authentic Success, penned by former superstar Texas Longhorns quarterback and former NFL quarterback Colt McCoy and megachurch pastor Matt Carter, offers men a view of biblical manhood that can help them to experience a productive and sustainable relationship with Christ. McCoy and Carter, recognizing their own personal failings as men, call for men to learn from their errors and commit to lives reflecting God’s will for their lives, lives as men of God.

For both authors, it’s unacceptable for men to continue to use their mistakes as crutches, but it’s time to employ those mistakes as lessons learned that guide their future of sustained progress. They’re displeased with notions of manhood that lead to men evincing seesaw, inconsistent moral conduct. McCoy and Carter proffer a critical intervention for men allowing troublesome ideas of manhood to derail their lives and the lives of their families: their answer is biblical manhood.

The Real Win: A Man’s Quest for Success desires to send a clarion call to men, especially those struggling to be honorable men, to surrender their morally bankrupt definitions of success and replace them with God’s definition of success. In our postmodern epoch, we’re arguably witnessing the most selfish and reckless behavior in history. This book causes men to pause and see what they can do to ameliorate their homes, their communities, their states, their nation, their world. For the writers, men must first place complete trust in God to lead their lives. Without God leading the way, men and women will fail and are failures.

The book contends that authentic confidence emerges from a life seriously committed to serving God. This point, one that should not be overlooked, has the power to transform so many men’s lives—if only they would embrace and implement it.

McCoy and Carter want men to be true leaders in their homes, role models for their children, and living lives that please God. With numerous men around the nation neglecting their roles as fathers and as leaders in their homes and communities, this book is a vital one, and church leaders can improve the men in their churches by engaging them with this book, leading to increased opportunities for community members to see real men of God extending invitations to receive Christ.

In short, readers will find this a worthwhile read. One can tell that this work emerges from the authenticity of their lived experiences. After reading this, men should feel empowered to strengthen their commitments to living the lives God has called them to live.

I highly recommend that not only men read this book but also women. If we want to live in a better country, in a better world, then it starts with recognizing where we need to change and how we can initiate that change.

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers provided a copy of this book to facilitate this review.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Effective Cover Letter: Win with the First Sentence

Writing Effective Cover Letters

(Photo Credit: Uptown Magazine)

A cover letter presents job seekers with a great opportunity to wow employers with worthwhile content and excellent writing. Elegant writing combined with relevant and substantive content relates significant information about you before the employer has a chance to meet you in person. Who isn’t impressed with beautiful language that captures the true value one can bring to the company/organization? You have a mighty obstacle, though: many others are vying for the same position. The first sentence is one of the most underappreciated parts of a cover letter. Compose a first sentence that doesn’t waste space—understanding that employers don’t want to read another uninspired cover letter.

Communicate Passion in the First Sentence of the Cover Letter

Let employers know you’re excited about the opportunities this position affords you.

Therefore, use the word “enthusiastic” or a similar word early on in the first sentence.

Identify Where You Learned about the Position

Although some employers will explicitly state to indicate where you learned about the position, let them know even if it’s not required.

Also, in your effort to inform where you viewed or heard the position advertised, use a word that will grasp the attention of the employer.

Therefore, use the word “promulgated” instead of “advertised” or “announced.”

Summarize Your Education and Experience in the First Sentence

Inform the employer of your highest degree earned in the relevant area and the relevant number of years of experience you have in the area.

If you don’t a degree or a relevant degree, then simply state your total years of relevant experience. If you don’t have any relevant experience, then just communicate your relevant academic training.

A Sample First Sentence of a Cover Letter

Using the tips given above, you’re now ready to pen a winning first sentence.

Sample Sentence: Enthusiastic about the Store Manager position promulgated at www.walmart.com, I resolved that my Harvard MBA and 12 years of executive retail management experience are markedly apropos for the position.

Need Help Writing Your Cover Letter and Resume?

If you would like assistance with developing your cover letter and resume, please feel free to contact me at antoniomdaniels@gmail.com. The cost of my quality services are quite economical.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

7 Productive Alternatives to Messy Behavior

Misbehavior

(Photo Credit: The Education Insider)

Although it’s quite unfortunate that many are increasingly embracing messy behavior—often including it in the wildly popular use of “petty”—this growing acceptance of messy behavior poses a grave threat: the loss of numerous important possibilities. Time is valuable—incapable of being redeemed—and we need to develop into better stewards of time and the resources we possess. Your notion of “having fun” should be wholesome, as some dubbed their messy behavior as “having fun” or “just playing.” Are you being truthful, though? Or, do you frequently engage in messy behavior because you’re a messy person? The purpose of this piece is to offer 7 productive alternatives to engaging in messy behavior.

1. Read at least one book a week. With countless wonderful books available, including many classic works of fiction and non-fiction, spend more time reading these works. If a week isn’t long enough for you to finish one book, then keep reading it until you’re able to finish it. The goal is to spend more time reading and gaining more knowledge and skills from reading. Take time to reflect on what you read. Keep a reading journal. You might even find it fun to share thoughts about what you’re reading on Facebook, Twitter, and/or any other social media platform. This will be healthier and far more productive than engaging in messy behavior on social media platforms.

2. Start a charitable organization. Use your time to help others—to make a real, measurable impact on people’s lives. Don’t just say you already have and do.

3. Actively participate in an existing charitable organization. Existing non-profit organizations could benefit significantly from your time and support.

4. Exercise more. Purchase a membership to a fitness center and spend more time there.

5. Start your own business. If you have time to resort to messy behavior, then you have time to launch a new business.

6. Take some educational courses. With many online courses and degree programs available, no one has any excuse not to continue to educate themselves.

7. Organize a Neighborhood Clean-Up Day. If your neighborhood is clean, then find a neighborhood that needs to be cleaned and clean it with the help of others in the neighborhood.    

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Pop-Up Sermon: Stop Crippling People

Stressful Practices

(Photo Credit: Odyssey)

Although a true commitment to helping people is commendable, don’t become their crutch—don’t cripple them. At some point, you have to allow them to do things on their own. Yes, show them how it’s done, and then leave them to demonstrate that they want to put your teaching into practice. If you fail to end an unhealthy practice of attempting to solve everyone’s problems, or fail to discontinue doing everything they don’t want to or cannot do, then you’re placing yourself on a path to experiencing serious mental health issues (if you don’t already have them).

When will people ever grow if you never give them an opportunity?

Without a change of these toxic practices, people will take advantage of you—and you may never recognize it. You will inevitably destroy your body by trying to be a Superman or Superwoman for everyone. Let me take a moment to unsettle you: you’re really not a Superman or Superwoman—you’re really a “do-boy” or “do-girl,” meaning you’re getting used, hoodwinked, bamboozled.

Ameliorate the quality of your life by teaching people how to execute tasks, and then let them do the work. Learn to be more than a crutch for others.

#PopUpSermon

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Is Your Last Name Affecting Your Job Search?

 

What’s in a name? Apparently, if you’re job hunting, it can mean everything.

Implicit Biases

As a nation and as individuals, implicit biases inform every aspect of daily life, from which neighborhoods we’re willing to visit to our job hiring practices. A good job correlates directly to improved living conditions, happiness, health, and a plethora of other positive incentives. However, as a minority, obtaining a quality job in a country rooted in predominantly white history and culture can be tough. Even people who are white-identifying, but have an ethnic-sounding surname, face this problem: they receive less callbacks and less offers for interviews, despite their resumes clearly indicating they’re qualified for the job. Why?

Otherness and Race

This phenomenon has been studied extensively in academia, whereby surnames that fall outside of an established norm (i.e. a culture of whiteness) inevitably elicit a knee-jerk response of distrust and “otherness.” A study conducted in 2003, “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination,” by Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan, evidences this point.

In this study, fictitious resumes were sent out in response to wanted ads in Boston and Chicago. Each resume was rife with references, relevant experience, and deftness of form—the only difference was the name attached to each. Resumes had either stereotypical white-sounding names or stereotypical African-American names. The results were staggering.

For white-sounding names, callbacks for interviews occurred at a rate 50% greater than African-American names. And that wasn’t all: even when African-American names were attached to glowing resumes, they still received incredibly low levels of interest. White-sounding names attached to similarly stellar resumes received a 30% increase in callbacks. The conclusion? The amount of discrimination is uniform across all occupations and industries, and when an applicant has a white-sounding name, it is the equivalent of having eight more years of experience.

Unfortunately, phenomena haven’t changed since 2003. In 2014, another study was conducted that substantiated the findings of the 2003 study—proving that employers, in their hiring practices, are inferring something apart from race in a potential employee’s name.

In fact, it seems employers are making several assumptions based on preconceived notions about the cultures attached to ethnic-sounding surnames. When a white-sounding name is held as the golden standard, anything that falls outside of that realm finds itself faced with accusations of being unreliable, a less productive worker, or incompetent (i.e. an untrustworthy, “othered” individual). Certain ethnic names might carry with them the weight of assumed criminal responsibility, too, and be subject to excessive background checks or even more scrupulous Google searches for social media accounts.

Names Do Matter

In a culture like this, names are everything. Employers want the best candidate possible, and in that search, it is difficult, if not impossible, to detangle oneself from the web of preconceived notions and implicit biases that inform our culture of whiteness. As such, white-sounding names, names that are “easier to pronounce,” “more familiar,” and, most importantly, “non-other,”  unfortunately, take precedence, and equally talented minorities struggle to find a job they are more than qualified for.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Connect Intellectual Diversity to Justice Work

Diversity and Justice

(Photo Credit: Democracy Now)

Although an aggressive pursuit of racial, social, economic, and educational justice is admirable and necessary, those engaged in justice work must connect intellectual diversity to their efforts. You cannot claim to champion justice while failing to welcome and appreciate ideas and viewpoints divergent from your own. Justice isn’t justice when it’s disconnected from love. In fact, Dr. Cornel West, one of the greatest minds, public intellectuals, and fighters for justice in world history, often says, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” Are you so “woke” that you only see your ideas and viewpoints as the vehicles through which change can be instigated and engendered?

Democracy, Intellectual Diversity, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When looking at how to create change, one doesn’t have to look any further than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a real change agent and justice leader, the man who changed America forever. King met, engaged, and debated everyone, including racists and those desiring to kill and undermine him. He understood to develop solutions that have broad support discourse with those known and perceived to be disagreeable is required. The world-renowned slain civil rights leader was serious about democracy, keenly aware of how frank debate, especially with various opposing sides, is essential to an authentic multivocal, multiethnic democracy.

Kingian democracy, therefore, longs for inclusion, inclusion of all voices—regardless of how unsavory—revealing an unwavering faith in democratic ethics and possibilities. In Prophetic Fragments: Illuminations of the Crisis in American Religion and Culture, Cornel West (1988) asserts that: “King was convinced that despite the racism of the Founding Fathers, the ideals of America were sufficient if only they were taken seriously in practice. Therefore, King’s condemnation of and lament for America’s hypocrisy and oppression of poor whites, indigenous peoples, Latinos, and black people was put forward in the name of reaffirming America’s mission of embodying democracy, freedom, and equality” (p. 11).

King didn’t exclude the racist Founding Fathers from his notion of democracy. Unfortunately, though, too many in the postmodern epoch isolate themselves from others for far less critical differences. In this moment of increasing moral, social, cultural, political, and religious decadence, people will isolate themselves from others over the most inconsequential personal choices, including a choice not to “boycott” the NFL or make posts on social media platforms that pledge allegiance to their capricious brands of “woke.”

King embraced the reality that any valid notion of freedom and democracy must welcome intellectual diversity. As Booker T. Washington stated in his 1895 “Atlanta Compromise” speech delivered at the Cotton Estates and International Exposition in Atlanta, “In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.” Washington, sharing some affinities with King, understood the power of intellectual diversity. Washington anticipates the Kingian “beloved community.” With agapic love, King evinced for a nation, for the globe how potent, how beautiful diversity in all of its flavors can be and how we can enjoy being “separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand.”

Postmodern Fragmentation: A Challenge for Justice Work

In Postmodernism or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, leading Marxist cultural theorist Fredric Jameson (1991) asserts that one of the central problems in postmodernism, the cultural and historical period in which we reside, is a general proclivity to cherish fragmentation and reject totality. This fatuous acceptance of fragmentation figures prominently in whether efforts to achieve racial social, economic, and educational justice are successful. Late capitalism’s cultural logic leads too many individuals, individuals claiming to work for justice, to quarrel with one another over their petty differences, sacrificing their collective interests and aspirations for their own selfish interests and wishes.

Selfishness and Justice

To overcome this troubling propensity for selfishness, courageous and indefatigable justice activists and leaders must expose the rot, the funk selfishness is. We should never allow our personal agendas and interests to hinder and supercede the collective good, interests, and aspirations. When we do, we equip and permit the elites, the oppressors, the ruling class to erect additional barriers to the work of justice that’s crucial to achieving justice.

Before you disengage with people, especially those who have the same interests and goals as you (just with differing ideas and methods pertaining to those interests and goals), recognize when your words and actions are self-defeating, frustrating the very justice work you profess to hold dear.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison