Nickolas Wildstar is seeking to become the Libertarian Party’s candidate for the governorship fff California, which would be the most fascinating thing about the man were he:
A. Not named Nickolas Wildstar.
B. Not a dynamic crusader against police abuse.
C. Not a rapper with a single that appeared in the film, Scary Movie 4.
D. Not inspired in some ways by the political movement (of all people) Donald Trump.
E. Not genuinely intelligent and fascinating.
Can Wildstar make a dent in an already crowded 2018 race? I say probably not, he says unquestionably yes. Either way, the man’s intentions seem pure, his stances seem interesting and his website, eh, well, it sorta needs work. But, hey, no one’s perfect.
Nickolas Wildstar, you are the 315th Quaz Q&A …
JEFF PEARLMAN: So Nickolas, I know about you because you sent me information about an incident from Jan 16. 2017, when you were stopped and arrested by police. Can you tell me, in great detail, what happened?
NICKOLAS WILDSTAR: Absolutely, Jeff, and thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my story. This was a Monday, so I on my way to work like most Americans and I take public transportation so I was walking to the bus stop which is maybe a mile away from my home. I just started a new job a month earlier and had taken the same route to work every day since then. My shift started at 7 am so in order for me to get there on time it was imperative for me to catch the 5 am bus. So I did my best to leave 20 minutes before then and at this time of the morning it was still dark outside. I walk at a pretty fast pace because I don’t want to miss the bus, and this day in was no different. By the time I get to the bus I’m always sweating a bit.
I was maybe a block or so away when I noticed one police cruiser after another racing toward me on the opposite side of the street blaring their lights and sirens. One of the last ones that had driven by seemed to linger and I knew instinctively that he was taking a good look at me as he was slowing down. But I kept walking. When you’re a black man and have had as many unnecessary encounters with police as I have you tend to grow a Spidey Sense, so I took my phone out of my pocket in preparation for what I knew was coming. The next thing I knew the inevitable was happening because that same cop was now following behind me and, using his car lamp, had a bright beam of light surrounding me. Before I turned around to face him I stopped my Pandora app (which I was listening to via a large pair of light blue Bluetooth headphones) and started my Ustream Widget, which I have strategically placed on my phone in the case of an event like this.
Now that I was recording I took off my headphones, held up my phone, stopped walking, then turned around and for a moment just stood there in silence as the cop exited his vehicle. Due to me being blinded by the light I couldn’t really tell when this was, so I yelled out asking about him following me. Admittedly, I was not very happy about having been stopped so my tone wasn’t necessarily friendly—however I did start by saying, “Can I help you?”
The officer responded, but I couldn’t make out what he was saying due to his distance. So I exclaimed, “Excuse me?” as he walked closer. He continued to explain as he approached me but I had only partially heard what he had said, which was, “We had a …” and since part of me thought this possibly could be about a nearby emergency I calmed down a bit and asked, “You had a what?” By this time he was close enough for me to make him out saying something about a burglary, and immediately my agitation returned. I told him that I didn’t care since I was obviously on my way to work (my wardrobe made this clear), and asked, “What the hell are you following me for?”
He attacked back and said, “I’m following you because you match the description!” He stood just a few feet in front of me as a second officer arrived on the scene and now accompanied him. The line “You match a description” is an age-old excuse for cops to mess with me, and almost always has to do with me being black. I told that to him, and—to my surprise—the second cop said, “Yes!” Hearing this pissed me off and I fired back, “I don’t give a damn! I’m on my way to work!” The cop continued by saying how it’s his job, so I snapped at him. I noted that that did not permit him to stalk me and follow me around with his light beaming on me.
Just as I finished saying this the officer who initiated the stop began to walk toward me, gesturing for me to turn around so he could arrest me. I warned him not to touch me or I would sue, yet he proceeded to grab my arm despite my protestation. He then started to aggressively turn me around. I allowed him to do so, just to keep myself from being harmed. But first I sked him to let me share my video.
The officer took me to jail, and I sat handcuffed in a cell for nearly an hour. I was finally released, but not without first being given a ticket for resisting arrest.
J.P.: I just watched the video. Let me play devil’s advocate—you were clearly not happy with the cops pulling you over and you let them know. Some people would say, “Why not just give them your ID if you did nothing wrong?” So, Nickolas, why not just give them your ID? What do you feel like white people in America misunderstand about situations like this?
N.W.: Let me start by saying how I think it’s sad and awful that after all America has faced throughout its history of basic human rights that something as simple as a person wanting to freely be able to walk down the street without being harassed can still be dissected into a problem of racial prejudice. Had there not been a description to match, I would’ve just been seen as a guy on his way to work. But due to me being black this fact of the matter becomes a matter of question and scrutiny. In the beginning of the video I included audio of the police dispatch recording describing the suspect—which I clearly did not match.
One of the three black men they were looking for was described as 5-foot-10, 150 pounds, wearing blue jeans and a dark-colored hoodie. The only details given on the other two was that one of them may had been wearing a white or tan striped shirt. I was wearing a tan striped shirt but I had also been wearing brown slacks. Both the shirt and pants were pressed and were underneath a big grey overcoat that I was wearing. Along with that I was carrying a blue lunch tote bag and a blue umbrella. I was also wearing those large blue headphones. I’m also 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, and have distinguishable shoulder-length hair.
Had any of this been taken into consideration (other than the vagueness of focusing on me being black), this whole thing could’ve been avoided. Getting my ID from me wasn’t going to fix this and it was not going to help the officer be able to decide if I had committed the crime. The only relevance in him requesting my identification was so that he could run a background check for an arrest warrant or to see if I was on probation—which, again, in no way would have helped them find the three men they were looking for.
There’s no coincidence that this took place on Martin Luther King Day—especially with me being such a strong vocal advocate in defense of civil rights for all Americans. In a funny way the universe was giving me yet another opportunity to fight for what I believe in. I’m no lawyer, but I am well aware of my protected rights as a citizen and the sovereignty of my person to be respected by oath keepers that swear to uphold the United States Constitution (such as our soldiers in the military, politicians and police officers). The Fourth Amendment is supposed to prevent these sworn officials from violating a person’s natural right to not be unreasonably searched, yet the common practice to stop and frisk black people has been widely accepted by everyone. I’m not just referring to white Americans who stand by idly and allow this to happen to another person born in the same free country as them, but also by those black Americans who do not continue to fight against this injustice. Both sides have ignorantly assumed that these problems had went away and swept them under the rug. Now they’ve resurfaced generations later for their children to deal with.
We all know that it’s unacceptable that a dragnet be set up to pull in everyone from a particular race in search for just a few. We all know that it shouldn’t be acceptable that one person uses the color of law to forcibly assault another. The truth of the matter is we have majority of white Americans in this country who still categorically see people of color as being inferior and in need of discipline. As long as this dominative supremacist mindset exists, the spectrum of colors in this country will continue to clash with one another.
Had I turned around with my camera in hand and the officer had his weapon drawn and assumed I was armed then shot and killed me, the argument then would have been, ‘Well, why did that guy have his cellphone in his hand?” As long as a lawful argument can be made for one person to kill another (because they have a badge of authority), no justice will produce no peace. The killings of Kelly Thomas and Eric Garner are just two of the many great examples of this, yet many people still support the actions of police.
Universally this needs to stop and can no longer be permitted by law enforcement. Too many people of all races are being harmed, and until all of We The People stand united against police racial profiling then the struggle to stop this will stay broken up into groups. As as much as some people may say it was my responsibility to help him with his investigation, I would argue that I’m also at liberty to not help him. That day I simply just wanted to get to work without interruption, so I shouldn’t be persecuted for wanting to do just that. Every working-class American should understand this no matter what race they may be.
J.P.: You are a Libertarian candidate for the governorship of California. Why? What inspired the run? What’s your political background? And what do you hope to accomplish?
N.W.: I’m a newcomer with not much of a formal political background. I’m sure this will be refreshing for most people to know, since it’s career politicians like Jerry Brown who have gotten this state into a mess. But this wouldn’t be foreign to Californians since they also elected first-time politicians Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan to govern. What would be firsts for a California governor is me being black and me being a Libertarian. Both would both be resounding achievements for the state. With me being of African-American descent, having a black governor would be the state’s opportune chance to once and for all put to bed its negative race relations. My own personal experiences definitely makes me more aware of where the root of these problems lie and I’m outfitted to deal with them.
Seeing as I did run as write-in candidate for governor in 2014, I guess I do have some sort of history in politics. My inspiration to run for office then was the same as it is now—a call to action due to lack of leadership. I feel it is my duty as a well-informed citizen to do what is necessary to prevent the people of this state from being hurt by the people they’ve elected to help them. The way for me to make this stand is to offer myself as a representative willing to serve the people in the highest position available. As a political activist I’ve attended rallies organized by Occupy protesters, BLM, the Anonymous group, labor unions, climate change activists, genetically modified food activists, anti-police brutality activists and many more. But no matter who I march alongside with, I constantly hear how they feel failed by corrupted politicians.
As the state and nation’s first Libertarian governor I would like to prove how the Libertarian ideals of minimizing government and maximizing freedom are more in line with the desires our country’s forefathers desired. Abolishing taxes is the cornerstone of this proposal, and—with California being one of the states that taxes its citizens the most—a reprieve could definitely be used. For the entire four years I’m in office I will offer this, but tax reform will only be the beginning. Ending the war on marijuana, eliminating vehicle registration fees, establishing a free-market healthcare system and an educational system that actually educates, preventing personal invasion of an individual’s choices, overhauling the state’s prison and judicial system, implementing the American Anti-Corruption Act by executive order and starting the groundbreaking process on moving away from a service-based economy are just a few of the plans I have in store for Californians.
J.P.: I’m gonna be blunt—I don’t see how you can possibly win. Tell me why I’m wrong.
N.W.: My pleasure! I am going to win for the many reasons you see all around you. Since the presidential election, the people of the state no longer have faith in the two-party system. This dismal fact will absolutely be a contributing factor to my success. Me stepping up to the plate as a Libertarian candidate sets me apart from the Republicans and Democrats.
In fact, speaking of them, let’s talk about my competition. There are a few names floating around on the Republican side, but only one that seems to be sticking is John Cox. He is, to be honest, a nobody no one cares about. And on the Democratic side you’ve got too many players who will ultimately split who members of the party will support. They’ve got all their money on Gavin Newsom, but with Antonio Villaraigosa, John Chiang, and even possibly Eric Garcetti mixing things up they’ll all be grasping at straws. Within the Libertarian Party my main competitor is Zoltan Istvan, who is a transhumanist who ran for president against Donald Trump and drove around the country in a coffin-shaped tour bus! Needless to say, there’s no competition there.
Looking at the complete roster with all the candidates, I’m without a doubt the strongest one running in the race if you know of me and what I’m about. Most voters haphazardly make their selections by name recognition. With that in mind, seeing a name like “Nickolas Wildstar” on the ballot will attract votes on its own. Winning in the June primary would be all that I’d need to solidify becoming governor, and with another historically low voter turnout expected I wouldn’t need more than maybe 750,000 votes to do this.
The worst thing that could happen is where Villaraigosa and Newsom are able to muscle everybody out. Since California is a ‘top two’ state voters would be forced to choose between two Democrats only during the November general election and that would be awful for both Democracy and for anyone with a clue of these guys’ pasts as public servants.
I know me winning seems like a long shot but that is only because of the indoctrinated belief that it takes money to win elections. Well, I disagree. My observance is that it isn’t dollars that win candidates elections, it’s the people who support them. People love rooting for the underdog and this would be one of the greatest Cinderella stories for the ages. Hope gets the undecided, undetermined, under-motivated voters energized and that is the base of influence I will be tapping into to help propel me into office. The grassroots of the underground has already started to settle in!
J.P.: On your website you write, “I’m gonna go out on a limb here and be brave and say ‘I CAN HEAL US ALL, I CAN FIX ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS, AND I WILL SUCCEED!’ This actually sounds very Trump-like in its absurdity. And I mean no disrespect, but how can you make a promise like that? All our problems? My roof leaks. My neighbor’s son struggles in math. The guy down the block hates his dog. Isn’t a promise to fix promises going too far?
N.W.: As absurd as the claims Trump made were, he did win the presidency. So that goes to show you there are a large group of Americans who are ready to cut the BS and get straight to the point. The statements I make do seem unrealistic, but if you really think outside the box about what I’m saying you can see how government does have major influence on more than it should … including our own personal happiness.
Figuratively speaking, I could say the reason your roof leaks is due to you buying cheap material, but with Governor Wildstar now in office you have more money due to my cutting the income tax. That creates more personal wealth for you and now you are able to buy better material at a lower cost from the company that produced the goods who chose to lower the price of their products because of an increase in profits since there is no business tax, sales tax, payroll tax, etc. I could say your neighbor’s son struggles in math because he has no interest in learning algebra, but he would no longer need to learn it since the new basic math prerequisite for public education has been met and the choice of learning excelled math skills has now been left up to the parent and the child. I could say the guy down the block who hates his dog only does so because he lost his last apartment because he has a pit bull and the complex only allowed Golden Retrievers but after Governor Wildstar removes prohibitions on breed-specific pets he no longer needs to worry about being discriminated against.
My point: Our problems have problems and when we really sit down and analyze what the origin of them may be, more often than not in some way good ol’ Uncle Sam has something to do with spoiling things. In essence all of what politicians say on the campaign trail are promises to make our lives better and as grandiose as some of their claims may be, it’s usually more of the same especially once they’re elected. I’ve gotta believe that I can heal those who need it, fix all the problems that need fixing and will be successful in doing so or else my motivation will be just as empty as my predecessors. Liberty can be a mighty tool when wielded and I hope to use it to strike at the heart of poverty, oppression, depression and all the ugly wicked ways that our broken two-party political system has created. The greatest result of liberation is the person being given the capability to take dealing with his own problems into his own hands. It would be an honor for me to be given the role to cut the ties that binds us. So if you don’t believe I can fix your problems, you can believe without a doubt that I’ll improve the ability of you doing this for yourself.
J.P.: How does one actually run for governor? Was there paperwork to file? Do you need a certain number of signatures on a petition? Are you working with a party? Trying to get in debates?
N.W.: Me being with the Libertarian Party as a candidate greatly increases my chances of getting ballot access statewide. Since it is the third largest party, they certainly are in place to make sure that every person in California will have a chance to vote Libertarian. However, to get on the ballot I will need to either pay the $3,400 filing fee or collect 10,000 signatures. Most likely I’ll just end up paying the money, but once that’s done that’s it. I’m sure no Republican or Democrat is going to debate me until after the primary and unless more Libertarian candidates jump in I’m confident the majority of party members will support my candidacy so no need for sparing there. All a person has to do to run for governor is to be a registered voter, a United States citizen and have never served a dual term as governor before.
But, please, don’t go getting any ideas! I’d like to walk away with the victory in 2018 as easily as possible. I’ve got enough competition.
J.P.: Don’t take this wrongly, but I really can’t figure out who you are. So, um, who are you? I’ve seen you identified as a “Political activist and rap artist.” But where are you from? What do you do? How old are you? In short, what has been your life path?
N.W.: Such an existential question!
My name is Nickolas Wildstar and I’m a California transplant from Milwaukee. Shortly after graduating from high school I moved here at age 17 back in 1999, so in human years that would make me about 35 now. Asking “Who are you?” is a pretty packed question to me so on the surface I would say I am a man who is married to a lovely woman and have been for over five years now, I am a musician who is known as QBall, and I independently released an album called “The Real” with a song that was featured in Scary Movie 4. I am involved in political activism that has had me use money from recyclable materials collected to feed those in need and even had me falsely imprisoned for standing up for what I believe in. I am a working-class citizen who has for the past two decades held jobs ranging from telemarketing to cleaning toilets to project management to supervising customer service departments to seeking public office. I am these things, but the person of who I am is another something. I am loving, passionate, loyal, determined, brave, focused, caring and many other words of powerful definition but all in all I am who I am. My life path has only become clear to me over the past five years or so and that is to combine my skills, talents, and abilities to bring about true freedom to my life and the lives of others by becoming governor of California.
J.P.: As a Californian, my biggest issue is the drought. So, if you’re governor, what do we do about it?
N.W.: The drought to me has been one of those hot-button issues I think government has used for more political gain than it actually being of extreme importance. Even Jerry Brown himself has declared that the drought emergency was over. But during the driest periods over the past decade there has been wasteful use of water by government and politicians, with even Antonio Villaraigosa violating his own laws restricting water while he was mayor of Los Angeles, record rainfall that’s even caused the failure of the Oroville Dam, and even companies like Nestle siphoning 36 million gallons of water from California to sell off as bottled water. All in all, the details on the drought need to be further reviewed for negligence and other errors but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t proceed with water preservation efforts such as modernizing water treatment facilities to make drinkable safe tap water and desalinization of ocean water for mass storage in preparation for future droughts.
J.P.: I’m gonna say something, and you’re not going to like it. But your website—which you’re using as a platform for your gubernatorial run—is overloaded with spelling errors. And I can’t look past that. It makes me wonder how serious you are. I mean, can I vote for someone to reform the state budget when he doesn’t take the time to throw an apostrophe between I and M in I’m? Does this make me a big asshole? And tell me what I’m missing?
N.W.: You would be a big asshole if writing wasn’t your profession, but since it is your scrutiny is within reason and I’d expect nothing less! I’m a one-man show so I’ll admit sometimes a ‘covfefe’ does slip through the cracks. But I’m human and to tell you the truth I don’t get paid to do this. A lot changes once money gets involved, and trust me if I were getting paid to proofread there would be no spelling or grammatical errors whatsoever. As governor it’ll be my job to avoid making as many mistakes as humanly possible and I’ll have a whole team of aides to help me in doing exactly that.
My current website was actually used to promote my earlier gubernatorial run and is now just more so a reference for those who don’t know me to learn a bit more as well as to promote my activism efforts. But soon I’ll be launching Wildstar2018.com, which will be where people can go to find out about my new campaign for California governor as a candidate for the Libertarian party. By the way, thanks for taking the time to even visit my website and for letting me know all that information about it free of charge.
J.P.: I’m very anti-gun. Your website suggests you’re worried about the government trying to disarm citizens. What do you think we should do about gun violence in America?
N.W.: Hey I’m very anti-gun as well, but I’m also pro-constitution and as much as we may not like guns I would be obligated to uphold my oath and protect citizens’ Second Amendment rights. As much as I don’t like guns, I would promote for those that do like them and have them to take a non-violent stance so they’ll only be used in an emergency for someone to protect themselves. Statistically there are more responsible gun owners than not, and the majority of crimes involving guns are those where the gun used was not registered so it is a false assumption that there is an epidemic of gun violence in our nation other than the isolated incidents that are reported in the news and we all know this is done for a TV network’s political agenda. That’s not to exclude places in our country that have an exorbitant amount of gun related crimes, but California is not one of them so more awareness of this fact needs to be made on that here. Were residents made to feel more confident about their neighbor or a stranger being armed, there would be less of a fearful environment of guns since people would know our focus would be to protect one another as a community.
History has shown us that disarmament has often always lead to some sort of mass killing of innocent people. This isn’t to insist that the government has genocidal aspirations for us, but for there to be a consistent effort by them to take away this type of property from citizens who acquired it lawfully should be a matter of question and concern. The last thing we’d want is to have a power-hungry overzealous supremacist in power who has declared martial law upon an unsuspecting unarmed citizenry. Plenty of movies have imitated life itself by showing us that this doesn’t end well, especially if there is no resistance equipped to oppose them. This is the sole reason behind why the amendment was created in the first place and with people among us that can remember Nazi and Japanese internment camps, lynchings, Waco, Ferguson, etc. it is dire that We The People should never forget the necessity of such a drastic precaution. I’m hoping one of the end results of me being governor is a more free, safer, peaceful California that became gun free by choice and not by dictatorship.
QUAZ EXPRESS WITH NICKOLAS WILDSTAR:
• Five all-time favorite political figures: In no particular order I would say: Ron Paul (How can you not love the godfather of the new American Revolution?); 2. Malcolm X (I often wonder had he ran for office and became President X how that would’ve been); 3. Andrew Jackson (His last words were “I killed the bank!” Enough said; 4. Frederick Douglass (The accomplishments of this man leave me speechless!); 5. Marcus Garvey (Imagine if this guy had the Internet)
• Rank in order (favorite to least): Eric Trump, LaTroy Hawkins, bacon, Al Sharpton, Erik Estrada, Steve Guttenberg, “Good Times,” Joe Lieberman, VCRs, the number 16, scallops, Brooklyn: Oh, goodness—OK let’s see. 1. Bacon—I gave up pork this year so I’m not supposed to say that but … hey; 2. Scallops—Only because if you wrap bacon around them they’re delicious; 3. Brooklyn—Been there once and had the time of my life so the city definitely tops my list here; 4. VCRs—Still have one, but thanks to the hassle of video cassettes it doesn’t get much use other than by way of the aux setting; 5. The Number 16—I’m cool with the number 1 but that number 6 has always seemed a bit shady to me since it’s the only single digit that could resemble another; 6. Steve Guttenberg—His smile makes me think he’s just an all-around good fellow and I’ve enjoyed his movies enough. So much props to him; 7. Joe Lieberman—He’s fought for the little guy at times and his attempts to stay away from partisan politics are commendable; 8. LaTroy Hawkins—I’m not a sports fan so I didn’t even know who this guy was until I Googled him but since I saw he played for the Brewers and my hometown is Milwaukee he gets a thumbs up from me; 9. “Good Times”—The obscene level of coonery turned me off to this show at a very early age so I’ve never seen a single full episode and don’t have an interest in ever doing so either; 10. Eric Estrada—Wasn’t ever a fan of his and my choices are getting slim here; 11. Al Sharpton—If there was a need for a picture to describe the word “slimeball” in the dictionary a headshot of him should be used; 12. Eric Trump—Every time I see him I think of Ward Meachum from the Iron Fist show on Netflix!
• What’s the first thing you’ll do as governor?: Get to work on fixing the state’s budget problems which would include (but will not be limited to) an audit of the state’s finances, tax reform and reductions of state employee salaries starting with my own which will be cut from its current amount of $173,987 to $99,999. I strongly believe a penny saved is a penny earned and I will certainly practice this once in office.
• Three memories from your first-ever date?: 1. Applebee’s since it was her favorite restaurant; 2. Being called a gentleman for my chivalry because I paid for the meal and opened doors for her; 3. Feeling like I was graduating more into adulthood.
• What are your five favorite things about California?: Kendrick Lamar said in ‘The Recipe’— women, weed, and weather and I couldn’t agree more. Ha!. Also, one of my favorite things would be how forward-thinking the people of California are especially to have successfully recalled a governor which most states wouldn’t even dare to do. But I would have to say my most favorite thing about California was being able to discover my wife who was born and raised here and is one of the single greatest things that has ever happened to me!
• Five all-time favorite hip-hop artists: Again, in no particular order I would say: 1. The Roots (Hearing the ‘Like Water For Chocolate’ album as a teenager forever changed my life!); 2. Ol’ Dirty Bastard (Who can not love ODB?); 3. Black Milk (His music is like diamond needles in the stack of rap); 4. Madlib (For him to be able to go from Quasimoto to Madvillain to Yesterday’s New Quintet is just pure brilliance); 5. J-Dilla (All of his work proves without a doubt how much of an underrated genius he truly was).
• Your last name is Wildstar. That’s beyond awesome. What’s the origin story?: Appreciate the compliment! I assure you I am just as awesome of a person as my name suggests. My father named me but instead of me having his name he gave me my own. He was a huge anime fan during the early 1980s and loved the Wildstar character from the show Star Blazers. Next thing you know Nickolas Wildstar is born!
• In exactly 17 words, how do you feel about Jerry Brown?: I feel Jerry Brown has done an awful job governing California but nothing that I couldn’t fix!
• You have friggin’ awesome hair. What’s the secret?: Thanks for saying that, my man! I would have to give thanks to genetics and my wife for that. I used to have my hair shaved bald until I met her. Then she wanted me to just let it grow all out. At a point nature took control while Ladie Wildstar has maintained the style for me.
• This is my all-time favorite song. Thoughts?: Wow Blind Melon! Soon as the saw the band name one of my first thoughts took me back to the video of the little bumble bee girl! Also makes me think you must be pretty psychedelic and somebody I may want to hang out with! Thanks for sharing the jam with me!