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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Tunnel Vision



Kodak Black


On his 2017 album Painting Pictures, rapper Kodak Black featured a song entitled “Tunnel Vision.” Tunnel vision may be defined as the tendency to focus exclusively on a single or limited goal or point of view.


In the video, a white man who dons Confederate flag apparel and a “Make America Hate Again” hat, presumably a sociopolitical critique of Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” motto, attempts to murder a black man with an AK-47 though the weapon malfunctions and the two engage in a mutual physical battery.


According to one source, Kodak Black was sentenced to three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to weapons charges in relation to having “falsified information on federal forms to buy four firearms.” In the chorus of his song, the entertainer states:


Lil’ Kodak, they don’t like to see you winnin’, they wanna see you in the penitentiary. I need me a lil’ baby who gon’ listen. Girl, I don’t wanna be the one you iggin’. My mama told me, “Boy, make good decisions.” Right now, I gotta keep a tunnel vision.


Given the political imagery within his video, it would seem as though the rapper was narrowly focused on a limited perspective—keeping tunnel vision. Remarkably, it was Trump who issued a pardon to Kodak Black, thus commuting the rapper’s sentence.


In response to Trump’s support, Kodak Black provided a statement in which he remarked, “I want to thank the President @RealDonaldTrump for his commitment to justice reform and shortening my sentence.” Turns out, someone wanted to see the rapper winnin’.


Hunter Biden


Recently, in regards to Hunter Biden, one source reported, “As part of the plea deal, the 53-year-old also agreed to complete a pretrial drug counseling program in exchange for prosecutors dropping a felony charge of illegally possessing a firearm as a drug user.”


Understandably, a number of people began commenting on the appearance of a two-tiered justice system within the United States (U.S.)—something upon which I’ve also remarked in a blogpost entitled Juneteenth. In response to the claim, legacy media outlets began a propaganda campaign to presumably protect the image of President Joe Biden.


Per one source, “Lying on the gun-purchase form can be a felony, though prosecutions for it are rare.” Since when does the rarity of an alleged crime factor into criminal indictment?


According to a separate source:


Kodak Black’s case involved three purchased guns and the attempted purchase of another, compared to one gun in [Hunter] Biden’s case. Prosecutors said two of the rapper’s guns were found at crime scenes, including the site of an attempted shooting. There’s no sign that [Hunter] Biden’s gun had a role in other crimes.


Though inarguably different circumstances, this appears to be a distinction without a difference. The claim is that Hunter Biden falsified federal paperwork to acquire a firearm, as evidence appears to support that the President’s son allegedly did just that:



When asked about the matter, President Biden reportedly stated, “[T]urns out that when he [Hunter] made application to purchase a gun, what happened was… I guess you get asked – I don’t guess – you get asked a question, ‘are you on drugs, or do use drugs?’ He [Hunter] said no. And he wrote about saying no in his book.”


President Biden, apparently aware of the alleged behavior of his adult-aged son, is the same individual who, per one source “signed into law the first major federal gun safety legislation passed in decades.” The legislation specifically addresses “background checks.”


If Kodak Black allegedly falsified documentation to obtain a firearm and Hunter Biden purportedly did so as well, comparison of the reported initiating crime is the focus—not circumstances of additional criminal activity.


Again, tunnel vision is defined as the propensity to concentrate entirely on a limited aspect. Disparaging a swath of the U.S. population while overlooking alleged crimes of one’s own family members meets this definition—to be charitable to the notion that doing so isn’t a deliberate act of hypocrisy on the part of President Biden.


REBT


From a Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) perspective, I will use logic and reason to influence my beliefs about what I think clearly represents a two-tiered system of justice in this case. Therefore, I invite the reader to consider the following universal negative syllogism:


Major premise: No human is perfect.

Minor premise: Hunter and Joe Biden are humans.

Conclusion: Consequently, Hunter and Joe Biden aren’t perfect.


This is a logically sound, reasonable, and accurate conclusion. In REBT, the concepts of unconditional self-acceptance (USA), unconditional other-acceptance (UOA), and unconditional life-acceptance (ULA) are based on the truth of imperfection.


With USA, I acknowledge my own fallibility. I am imperfect, always have been, and always will be. Regarding UOA, I further acknowledge that—just like me—other people maintain flaws.


Concerning ULA, I admit that the world is an incredibly faulty place with significantly imperfect actions taking place at all times. Therefore, use of unconditional acceptance (UA) merely assumes that demanding people be other than how they simply are is unreasonable.


I may not like or love the appearance of impropriety—observed differential treatment regarding Kodak Black and Hunter Biden—though I can accept that neither individual is perfect (UOA) and people aren’t treated equally in the U.S. (ULA).


Narrow fixation on one perspective (tunnel vision) while self-disturbing by use of an irrational belief won’t remedy a system of injustice. Rather, rejection of UA would likely result in angering oneself over illogical and unreasonable beliefs.


Conclusion


Personally, I’m glad that Kodak Black’s sentence was commuted. I’m not a fan of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives which, in part, serves as a direct transgression on the Second Amendment.


Shall not be infringed” is pretty straightforward.


Likewise, I have no problem with Hunter Biden who I recognize as a fallible human being. However, I do take issue with President Biden trampling on Second Amendment protections of U.S. citizens while downplaying the alleged behavior of his son.


All the same, I unconditionally accept that these matters are well beyond my circles of influence and control. As such, I’m only somewhat disappointed about the two-tiered system of justice in this country—not angered by desperate treatment.


How about you, dear reader? What is your belief in regards to a system of oppression that likely exists within the U.S.? Moreover, what consequence of your belief do you experience?


If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!



Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW



References:


Associated Press, The. (2023, June 22). Hunter Biden’s gun charge isn’t the same as those previously faced by Lil Wayne, Kodak Black. Retrieved from https://apnews.com/ap-fact-check/experts-explain-the-difference-between-hunter-biden-lil-wayne-and-kodak-black-gun-charges-00000188e50adc10ad9bf54affd80000

Associated Press, The. (2019, November 13). Rapper Kodak Black gets prison sentence in weapons case. NBC Universal. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/pop-culture-news/rapper-kodak-black-gets-prison-sentence-weapons-case-n1081521

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