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LEVEL
Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Elections

In LEVEL. More on Medium.

Just Rankin’ Sh!t

No shots at the field, but let’s get some real New York legends in the mix

If there’s one thing people dressed up as lovable characters and harassing tourists have in common, it’s that they know what a dollar’s worth — something that any NYC mayor needs to be in touch with. And be clear here: We’re not talking about the one that touched a kid. More like the one willing to throw hands for a bigger tip. Now that’s a work ethic!

The homebrewed fashion legend launched hip-hop style into the stratosphere with his bespoke ensembles — now he’s got brands like Gucci begging for that Uptown flavor. …


And as Republicans sink even lower, we have to take him seriously

Photo: Getty Images

In the coming years, Representative Matt Gaetz is likely to be the inspiration for another Lifetime docuseries themed around sexual predators (or at least have a Law & Order: SVU episode based on his current scandal). But that apparently has not deterred his political ambitions at all. Not only has the Florida congressman not resigned from his job while in the midst of allegations of sex trafficking a minor, Gaetz believes he can make it all the way to the White House. When I say mighty, you say white.

I hate that I even have to mildly take this sad…


The NYC mayoral candidate is embarrassingly out of touch and clueless about the city he aspires to lead

Photo: Getty Images

When Andrew Yang announced his bid to run for mayor of New York City in January, I rolled my eyes, yawned, and assumed residents wouldn’t consider someone not even fit for trash pickup to lead the municipality solely because they’ve seen him on TV. However, it didn’t take long for polls to remind me what planet I live on and all of its varying absurdities.

Though Yang was treated as an immediate front-runner by the media and his competition, it wasn’t until April that real numbers revealed that he’s not only a front-runner, but the leading candidate to win the…


American exceptionalism and xenophobia cleaves the Black struggle once again

Still from ADOS 2019 conference video.

Scrolling social media feels like, at any moment, I’ll get pulled into one of those haunted houses I hated as a kid. I didn’t know what was in them but didn’t want to terrify myself looking. I fell into one such spooky abyss last month — ADOS — and I’m mangling my nails trying to claw myself out.

The acronym stands for American Descendants of Slavery, which is an awkward phrase: Since the country was built on slavery, anyone American is a descendant. It’s hard to understand how a person can descend from a system. (I could call myself a…


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

It ain’t these mail-in ballots

Photo illustration; source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It’s not a pyramid scheme — just a financial “opportunity” that requires you to pay an entry fee and recruit some friends to do the same so that you can all exponentially grow your money over and over and over. Nothing suspicious here.

We’ve all seen an Instagram influencer touting the wonders of this miracle weight-loss solution that requires no actual physical exercise. Just add water! (Spoiler: You won’t lose your midsection, but you will literally lose your shit after drinking this stuff.)

The only thing more fraudulent than her psychic readings was the phony patois she’d speak on television…


Before you give up on democracy, picture the dumbest person you know making all of America’s decisions for you

New York State Senator Brian Benjamin, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and Dr. Hazel Dukes at a voter registration event outside Sylvia’s Restaurant on National Voter Registration Day, September 22, 2020. Photo: Pacific Press/Getty Images

Look, I get it.

It’s easy to feel discouraged. It’s easy to feel like your voice won’t be heard, your interests and concerns drowned out by a swarm of bullies who don’t appear to share many of the thoughts you previously hoped were a bit more universally accepted.

Maybe you think common decency and common sense aren’t quite so common after all.

Maybe you’re just exhausted.

You’re probably thinking, “Instead of heading down to the polls and voting, why don’t I just stay home and, you know, not vote?”

Well, before you officially make that decision, here are two things…

LEVEL

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