A mixed race military brat, I grew up all over the place. Moving from Georgia (state) to Korea, back to Alaska, then Hawaii, then across the globe to Britain, then back to Florida. While always having a leaning toward film and video production (many final papers became final short films) I graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelors in Interpersonal Communication.
In 2007 I began independently studying film, all the while eating my favorite dishes of blackened shrimp and chicken adobo. That year I went to Sarasota, FL to visit some long time friends and among other things sit down to view a few films. We first watched Oldboy by Park Chan-Wook, (later remade by Spike Lee), a fictional film that explores the idea of revenge and uses violence as the tool for said vengeance. One person condemned the film's use of stylistic violence on the grounds that it was unpleasant to see and devoid of any value. Next, we watched Baraka by Ron Fricke, a non-narrative documentary of human activities shot in 24 countries. Though not aiming to address animals specifically, one scene of the documentary shows extreme close ups of baby chickens having their beaks melted off.
When it came time to discuss the film I asked "What did you think of the documentary's use of violence?" This question was met with disbelief and anger from the same person that condemned the fictional violence of the first film. In fact, they maintained that the documentary footage we'd just seen wasn't violence at all. Others remained silent during the debate. This is the moment when I first realized that I didn't want to perpetuate violence onto others. However, I also realized something equally as important. I realized that people possess both the ability to not see violence right before their eyes and the willingness to remove themselves from any personal responsibility for the violence they create. This day motivated me to closely examine this phenomenon and lead me somewhere that I hadn't expected. I found myself also studying the American political process.
I had never met or conversed with a vegan person before I decided to change my actions to align with my values. With the support of my wife Michelle, I decided to attempt what I thought was the impossible and change my diet. That was five years ago on Valentine’s day. As it turns out, it's extremely easy to make chicken adobo or anything else I love eating without hurting anyone. Once I had the first hand experience I set out to tackle the issue in earnest. In 2015 I created The Onion Knight Show, a free channel on Youtube dedicated to demystifying politics and educating people about how we can use the U.S. political process to end the oppression of people and animals alike.
I published the first in depth policy interview with the first Vegan candidate for President; Clifton Roberts of the Humane Party.
I also broke to the world the news of Dr. Breeze Harper’s nomination as Vice President of the Humane Party.
My advice to black folks that have reservations about going vegan is to stop selling yourself short. You are so much stronger than a temporary urge you get to eat some particular thing over another or a stereotype that eating vegan is only for rich white folks. You can do ANYTHING you want to do. Once you've transitioned, it comes effortlessly.
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