It-gadgets and illegal trade

A Chinese news agency, Xinhua, broke the story of a teen whose decision to sell his kidney for about $3,500 last April, is now costing him his health.

The Chinese youngster is experiencing “renal insufficiency”, and his condition is worsening.

Five people were charged with illegal organ trading in connection to the case. Xinhua reported that the entire deal netted about $35,000. Of the five people charged, one is a surgeon.

The young man’s mother was alarmed when she noticed the iPAD and iPhone that he purchased. From there he told her about how he got the money for the items.

This case comes on the heels of controversy after an Apple audit revealed wage violations including unpaid hours, excessive overtime, and abysmal salaries for workers in China.

It is not about blaming Apple for the teen’s choice, but a matter of highlighting when products are put before people. This case highlights what many label increasing materialism in Communist China.

Through the Internet and its inherent global flattening via limitless communication and advertising, conspicuous consumerism cannot be isolated to certain regions.

But, as a young person can work with individuals reprehensible enough to help him sell  a vital organ for it-gadgets, many wonder about checks and balances.

How much of producing quality products involves exploitation? How does one arrive at materialistic pressure such that one decides to engage in a life altering black market?

This teen believed that he could do without his kidney, an organ that processes blood and separates waste, to benefit from his new toys. But, what about the adults who made the trade possible? Professional ethics? Humanity?

Teaching people to value themselves more than their belongings is a start.

Most people appreciate the conveniences afforded by modern technology, and in many instances, Apple is on the cutting edge with its products and services.

Because of advances made by the company, the world became more accessible to millions of people. Yet how does one juxtapose possession pressure with that which is priceless?

The Chinese Ministry of Health’s statistics report that more than 1 million people in China need transplants, although only about 10,000 annual transplants are performed. The resultant illegal market is troubling.

What’s your bargain for exchange?

Ego Trips, epiphanies and intellectualism with Nikki Giovanni

When public figures present their humanity to crowds it is that much easier to understand why people love them. This could not have been more apparent than when Nikki Giovanni made an appearance in my hometown, Jacksonville, Fla., last night.

It was an honor not only to see her encourage and empower a mostly Black audience at Edward Waters College, but it was also humbling to see that a woman, whose brand withstands the test of time, share triumphs, pain and progress with audiences.

She delivered a constructively critical presentation and performed spoken word.

After signing every autograph requested of her, she graciously engaged the media and talked everything from peace to hairpieces in a  press conference at the college. She told the media that she had nothing else planned that night and would answer every question asked.

She re-emphasized the need for urban youth to have technology, namely computers or iPADS. She shamed anti-immigration legislation.

When asked about natural hair, Giovanni did not espouse self-hatred themes about women who embrace chemical alterations.

In fact, she said she thought it was quite clever when young women had green hairpieces.

“One plays with oneself,” she said. She shared that when overcoming cancer she colored her hair blonde to show her mother that she would be ok. Also, as a woman with tawny skin, her hair color gave what she described as an instant tan.

Giovanni kept it real. She kept it human.

The professorial poet reminded listeners of the need for emotionalism in light of technological advances. She said that she does not ask her students at Virginia Tech year specific questions that could be answered with their gadgets.

Instead, she said that she asks questions like “What role did personal ambition play in the Renaissance?”

Many told her that they had never encountered emotional responses to academic material.

I could go on and on about the myriad perspectives that she shared and causes she championed… However, I hope that you’ll check out my story for HBCU Digest on her visit.

** Sneakpeak**  She and I talked hip-hop and misogyny.

 http://www.hbcudigest.com/34244/

 

Learning from the Penn State allegations

Joe Paterno’s recent death caused many to wonder if he succumbed to lung cancer or stress stemming from the larger than life Penn State fall from grace.

When multiple sexual abuse allegations surfaced, many Eddie Robinson fans believed that Paterno’s record was invalidated by his inaction.

Regardless of where people stand on interrelated issues of  records, sports lore, abuse, victimization, brand building and power, sensitivity is important.

Communities want to keep their legacies. And while that is understandable, if the Penn State  debacle does not serve as a lesson, it was for nought.

Peace to all involved. Protect children. Check out my post on HBCU Digest on the subject.

http://www.hbcudigest.com/joe-paterno-and-eddie-robinson-reflections-on-character-and-action/

P.S. Why did Sandusky, the man charged, issue a statement? Errr. Does. Not. Compute.