To those of you with children… You know when you host your kid’s birthday party, you are constantly reminded that there are plenty of other children who behave far worse than yours?
This bears no relevance to me, just thought I’d point that out.
Hello! My name is Kimani Wallace David (pronounced Key-mah-knee, or for those of you who appreciate IPA, it’s [kí.mɒ.ni]), your TYT Community Ambassador!
And I’m pretty damn excited.
Consider this my official self-introduction.
Kimani is a Kenyan name. More specifically, it is a Bantu name from the Kikuyu tribe, though I am not of Kikuyu blood, not that it matters. I turned 23 years old on September 30th, 2012. I know, to many of you I am a little kid. I accept that. I have a lot to learn. That said, I also have a lot to offer.
I was born to a drug-addled mother in San Pablo, California in 1989. I say this not to garner sympathy, but it does serve as a reminder that some of us are born on base (Romney) and others are born in the dugout. Immediately after birth, I was handed over to CPS and subsequently the nightmare of the California foster care system. I was eventually adopted by two very loving, very strict, and very religious parents and moved to a small town called Foresthill, also in California. Now, I live in Los Angeles after living in Santa Cruz, San Jose, Buenos Aires (Argentina), Sacramento, Rocklin, Auburn, and Foresthill. Through this short journey, I learned to question… well, everything.
I graduated from the University of California: Santa Cruz (Class of 2012) with a BA in Film and Digital Media Production, a minor in Linguistics, an AS in Behavioral Science, and an AA in Liberal Arts.
I’d like to explain my political philosophy and talk about how I came to be with The Young Turks (both as a fan and as an employee).
I consider myself a socialist libertarian. I believe that only pure purpose of government is to provide for the general welfare of the citizenry and to protect the civil rights of said citizenry. That’s it. So, when the government operates outside of those two basic functions, I am fundamentally against any actions taken.
A minute example of this is California’s seatbelt law: requiring car manufacturers to have some sort of safety restraint in their product is fine, but requiring the citizen to wear them is outside of the responsibility of the government.
A grander example of this is the USA’s penchant for war and by proxy, corporate imperialism. I feel that we have had one good reason to engage in war on a foreign front, and that reason was Pearl Harbor. I find it utterly shameful that the USA continually perpetuates it’s own collapse by ignoring our domestic issues in favor of attempting to control international interests. Rome wasn’t built in a day, sure, but it didn’t take long for that empire to fall apart.
That said, my world view is still under construction.
In regards to my ethnicity, I do believe that ethnic solidarity is important. I am Kenyan and French Creole by blood; my dad, however, is from Honduras and is what is now termed as ‘Black, not African.’ The appropriate term for his ethnicity is Carib, though that is not the colloquialism nowadays.
My mother is of English and German descent (níe Barnes). She is a huge fan of Tea Party politics. No, I am not joking. Her religion is a big part of her life.
The first time I became aware that black people were considered different than white was in second grade, or the summer following. I had just seen the movie Toy Story, and my 7-year old self was incredibly excited. My mother bought me some cowboy boots, a vest, and a hat from a goodwill so I could pretend to be Woody. (I was 7. Times were different. Calm down).
Our neighbor ran a daycare, and they would always let me come over and play on their playground equipment. The day after I received my Woody outfit, I was over there in the full garb, running around the swingset like a maniac (which is a little weird – my mom didn’t let us eat much sugar).
One of the older kids, Nico (he was in 5th grade, so 10 or 11) confronted me about my clothes. At this time, I was swinging on the swingset, and he had grabbed the chain as I was going by. He laughed, said something to the effect of “Who are you trying to be?”
Then he told me that blacks couldn’t be cowboys. Cowboy boots were for white people. So I did what any bad 7-year old would do and I kicked him, or at least tried to. I was still on the swing and obviously didn’t think my strategy through. He rewarded my feeble attempt with a fist to my forehead, knocking me off the swing set. He jumped on top of me and kept hitting and kicking me. The neighbors weren’t supervising us, so this went on for a while. I must have been crying loudly, because my mother came outside and saw what was happening. She shrieked and stormed down to the playground, causing Nico to run off. He actually lived down the street by 8 or 9 houses, so I assume he went back there.
I remember the pain, but I also remember being confused. Needless to say, my family had many a problem with his (like father, like son in Nico’s case). I hope he’s learned something by now. At the very least, I hope he’s learned that there were black cowboys indeed.
My life has gone quite well considering how many alternative routes there could have been. I grew up in a lower-middle class home in a mountain town in California of 4,000 people. Foresthill. I was one of five or six kids in the town that wasn’t white.
I became a fan of TYT in 2008, when I was looking for any news media source that wasn’t bullshit. I was taking a sociology class in junior college (the professor of which was the daughter of the Sacramento Kings sign lady for those of you who are really in tune with the NBA) and I had realized that the mainstream media was driven by corporate interests. I wanted no part. During the election cycle, right after McCain had chosen Sarah Palin as his running mate, I discovered TYT. I had been trying, like so many others, to find out who Sarah Palin was.
I found this video and never looked back.
I thought TYT’s perspective appropriately meshed with my own views, and they weren’t malicious about their treatment of Palin. TYT became my main news outlet that day.
When Cenk posted a video asking for someone from the ranks to step up and apply for this position of Community Ambassador, I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I moved to the LA area a month after I graduated. I had 300 dollars in my bank account having maneuvered my way through my collegiate experience working for my education with no outside support.
So I was very available for employment. I annoyed the shit out of Aaron until I was able to get an interview with him. He passed me on to Steve Oh, who I learned was NOT the audio guy. For whatever reason, they liked me enough to hire me!
I’m here. For you guys.
I want to be your resource, your insider. I am always available to answer any non-technical questions via firstname.lastname@example.org or via my twitter, @kimaniWdavid. And we can really talk about anything!
Thanks for reading, TYT members. Damn pleased to meet you all!
~Kimani W. David, your TYT Community Ambassador
Enjoy the cuteness of my niece and nephew (I’m unbearable with how cute I think they are):