I’m Marcela Onyango, a stand-up comedian and writer based in Brooklyn.
I was born in Kenya, raised in Texas and at least three times a week, I record a 59 second video of my observations on current affairs during my lunch break. I spend my evening editing and posting it to Feel the News with Marcela, my TikTok show.
On Sundays, I curate a newsletter sharing some of the biggest news stories in the US that week, offering a critique of the state of the world around us – with a sense of humour and anarchy.
And now, every Tuesday I will be sharing a more international round up with shado in this weekly news column. Last week we saw continued white supremacy in St Louis, the death of the de facto head of British colonialism and calls for climate reparations across Pakistan.
Read on to hear my thoughts!
News that made me list what it takes to be a boss Karen
The wealthy white people of St. Louis, Missouri don’t think there are enough police, so they rely on a private police service called “the City’s Finest” to serve their exploitative needs. This is some boss level Karen* shit for multiple reasons.
First, you don’t just want to call the police, you want to own the police. As if the police don’t already belong to rich white people.
Second, to unironically call this rich people’s gang the City’s Finest shows a certain level of devotion to cruelty that only a Boss Karen would possess.
Thirdly, the rich whites of St. Louis feel like they need the private police because there aren’t enough police to “provide basic services”. The basic services they speak of include tracking down a burglar of a designer jean store. The City’s Finest are racing to crack this case because no rich person should ever be deprived of the right to comfortably shop for the designer jeans they’ll wear while yelling at their exploited workers. Yelling at people in not-designer jeans just won’t do.
Fourthly, the City’s Finest private police force is staffed by current St. Louis cops. So when the cops are done harassing people on the taxpayer dime, they can go harass people on Karen’s dime. Cops being paid twice to harass Black people is a Boss Karen’s dream because Karens know their opulent lifestyle depends on exploitation.
You can’t maintain exploitation without a police force just like you can’t be a good exploiter without your designer jeans. That’s why Karens all over the country are getting their own private police.
*I use Karen as a gender neutral noun for anyone who loves the police.
News that made me come up with another definition for Bezos
The Secretary General of the United Nations said that providing Pakistan with financial assistance after flooding that has killed over one thousand people is not charity but justice.
I would argue that providing financial assistance to victims of global warming which has been mostly driven by 100 companies isn’t justice enough.
Justice is completely dismantling a system that depends on the destruction of nature and humanity to survive like some giant roomba that feeds off of suffering. I’m talking about capitalism, not just Jeff Bezos. If Jeff was a roomba and you emptied him, people’s hopes and dreams would fall out and that’s why he is the best mascot for capitalism.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t give money to the people of Pakistan because that would also make me a roomba that feeds off of pain. Give people who need support in Pakistan money now – but understand it’s not enough.
What is enough is how much the ice cream truck in my neighbourhood plays the jovial tune to let people know ice cream is here. That tune is annoying enough. In the long run, justice for Pakistan and other victims of climate change will not be served by pouring out short term financial aid. Pursuit for money at the expense of nature and humans is what has driven global climate change. Money is the problem, not the solution.
Solving problems caused by money with money is like trying to get rid of a red wine stain from your white shirt by washing it in red wine. No one would do that because it doesn’t make sense, unless you have a market for selling wine stained shirts. Capitalism has a market for selling pain and suffering.
News that made me happier than skipping my 8:30 am college class
When the Arizona State University (ASU) administration wasn’t going to stop a fascist from speaking on campus the Phoenix Anarchist Federation didn’t just leave the students of ASU to drown their sorrows in a keg. The federation organised with them to resist the spread of hate on their campus. This news made me happier than every single time I made the decision to skip my 8:30 am class in college.
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The College Republicans United (CRU) of ASU invited Jared Taylor, a man who is on the who’s who list of white supremacists, because the United in CRU is referring to these college republicans’ unity to spread hate. Taylor was invited to defend white supremacy, which makes sense because that is a white supremacist’s job. Taylor is a fulltime white supremacist who puts in overtime. Taylor’s Southern Poverty Law Centre’s (SPLC) biography is something any grand wizard would be proud of. He is the founder of New Century Foundation, an organisation that used to publish the racist American Renaissance journal.
According to the SPLC, Taylor also hosts an “American Renaissance Conference” which is like a Coachella for racist intellectuals – but Beyoncé will never be invited to perform at this conference.
After reading this biography, the ASU administration wasn’t like, oh no maybe we shouldn’t let a man who doesn’t need to wear a white hood for us to know he brunches with the KKK on our campus.
They were like, actually, we will provide Taylor and the people who want to come listen to him with security. Yes, Taylor and his minions really needed protection from the 100 people picketing outside the event venue with signs in case they accidentally bumped a sign and got a paper cut.
The good news is that there were 100 people standing up to fascism when the university would not. Those 100 people were probably the reason why the event had a miniscule attendance and ended early. This is proof that if we all stand up against fascism, we will win.
News that made me cry a bit…don’t worry, I wiped the tears with my wine stained shirt
Chris Kaba, an unarmed 24-year-old Black man, was shot by the Metropolitan Police in London last Monday. Instead of focusing on the racist nature of policing in the UK, the British media chose to focus on Queen Elizabeth because why would you focus on racism when you are celebrating a person whose jewellery collection was built on racism.
Queen Elizabeth could wear her blood jewellery around without shame because the United Kingdom is built on her family’s plunder. When your country is built on plunder and you want to continue plundering, you tend to not want to shame those who did the plundering because that will just make you look bad.
However, worshipping those who plundered and gained from plundering is directly related to maintaining a racist system that kills an unarmed Black person. When you drink wine, you get drunk; when you love a coloniser, you are okay with racism.
So no, I’m not surprised that the British media chose to focus on the death of a beneficiary of racism instead of a victim of racism. What I am surprised at is that on Saturday around 1,000 people marched on Trafalgar Square to protest the murder of Chris Kaba, and a reporter from Sky News assumed that they were part of the queen’s mourners. I’m really surprised by this mistake because I saw the photos of the people participating in that march and they were holding Black Lives Matter signs.
One thing any reporter should have known by Saturday is that anyone who is holding a Black Lives Matter sign was not crying over the queen because she got her blood jewels from Black people. I’m from Kenya, a former British colony, and I did not shed a tear over the queen because I believe Black Lives Matter.
News that made me talk about pop culture
Jay-Z said capitalist was a slur and I shared my thoughts on TikTok… (it’s not).
@feelthenewswithmarcelaSubscribe to the newsletter for more content! Listen to the podcast and come to the irl show this Saturday in Brooklyn! Everything in bio♬ original sound – Feel the News
That’s it for now, catch me next week for more weekly roundups!
What can you do?
- If you enjoy my writing and you’d like to support my labour and help me make Feel the News into a late night show, please tip me, become a patron.
- If you want to learn more about why having a private police force is not something you should aspire to please read We Do This ‘Til We Free Us by Mariame Kaba.
- If you want to learn more about how pop culture is used to shape how we think about capitalism and race please read Black Looks: Race and Representation by bell hooks.
- Read more about why Marcela tells the news in 59 seconds for TikTok.