Hey everyone, I have made a YouTube channel where I will be posting my daily life as well as things I want to talk about and more. Feel free to check them out, and subscribe to stay updated!
Hey everyone, I have made a YouTube channel where I will be posting my daily life as well as things I want to talk about and more. Feel free to check them out, and subscribe to stay updated!
With all the things going on at Mizzou and Yale, it has come to my attention that people have no idea why the situation at hand is such a serious one, and through the emails sent by the professor, it is clear that the majority of these people who are in opposition are okay with this because it does not affect them. This is their privilege, and their lack of even attempting to understand the circumstances shows just how much work we need to put into this. These people are coming into positions of power and authority, and to have these authorities who refuse to understand the situation is a part of the problem.
I feel so lucky and thankful to be able to get to class feeling somewhat safe. At Mizzou, and I’m pretty sure this is happening to some degree at Yale, students are being threatened by racist white people and racist white terrorists and being told not to come to campus if they value their lives. Students are evacuating a campus that they have paid thousands of dollars of tuition to be there because they are seriously fearing their lives. As a result, there are students emailing their professors in hope that their education could still be saved despite this threat. Many professors (not all, because I have definitely seen the opposite happen as well) have been responding to their students saying that they will still conduct class and that they should attempt to work around the “bullying.” This is problematic in two ways, first in that it denotes the history and the seriousness of having the KKK being in the proximity of black students, and second, it denotes the impact of bullying and it does not give it the appropriate attention that it deserves.
Bullying in itself is a very serious issue that often goes addressed. Aside from the few talks had in grade school, we don’t talk about bullying in a concrete context. It is always vague, something that happens to that one girl who you used to know but don’t remember or whatever. It is also trivialized by people who claim that people need to “suck things up” or just “get over things”. Bullying is not something that is addressed in the adult realm, and a lot of people remain uneducated about what the effects are of being bullied or bullying. Bullying affects many people in our society, it extends further than just the limits of grade school. It can happen to people of all ages, and it can trigger and start the development of many mental disorders. Bullying is not something that should be seen as something trivial. It is a major source for suicide in younger people and it also has decreased the amount of students actively involved in school. Being bullied is not something that everyone has the privilege of working past.
The KKK is a white domestic terrorist organization that was founded to uplift white supremacy. That is literally what they have aimed to achieve. That means that their mission is to benefit by hurting people of color and other social minorities. People have supported this hatred by attempting to claim that people are against the uplifting of whiteness in general and how offensive it is that white people cannot celebrate their culture. Besides the question of exactly what the culture is that that they are celebrating, people continue to ignore that white people are constantly celebrated. This is a eurocentric society and everything we do is based on the sphere of whiteness. Our education system was built on white people, our jobs, our places of living. LIterally everything we see in America is centered around having whiteness being valued over uplifting those who fit into the sphere of whiteness while pushing down anyone who can’t fit into the sphere.
The KKK was founded in 1866, the year after the Civil War ended. It now extends through most states, if not all at this point, and have inspired the creation of other skinhead groups. The KKK fears white genocide, and works at the active oppression of minorities and especially black people. The KKK has had a history of reorganizing and strengthening in times of social activism that promotes the uplifting of racial minorities. They have gone as far as bombing people’s homes, churches, jobs, and social places. In the past, they were known for hanging black people, and carrying a burning cross around areas where black and minority people stayed in hopes of scaring them and making them fear for their life. The KKK didn’t want for equality for minorities in the political and economic areas. They actively worked to make sure that these people could not be heard, thus making sure that they disrupted the already biased process of legislation so that people of color could not participate.
In this society, due to the whitewashing of history, many lack an overall memory of certain events. The terrorizing of black people by organizations by the KKK and white supremacists in general has long been prevalent in our American history. Yet today, who can truly say that they understand the significance of these Yik Yak threats, given the context?
What people don’t want to accept now is that the KKK is rebuilding as we speak as a response of the movements we have seen lately, particularly, the #BlackLivesMatter movement. They feel threatened because they genuinely believe that these movements are for the killing of white people in mass numbers, even though they have nothing to precedent that. In fact, they have been the ones who have promoted and anc actively worked towards the elimination of non white people because they consider these people a threat that needs to be eliminated. The irony of this is that when you look at history, you can see that these people of color occupied these spaces long before the country was founded, and white people committed genocide in order to claim the land, and then bring other people into the country to do the heavy labor of building the country’s foundation, off which they still make money from today, and not grant them any sort of credit nor retroactively provide some sort of reparation for the damage caused.
These students have gone through a lot in protesting to get their president to resign. It took a lot of work in order to organize and make this movement work, and it takes a lot of emotion and pain for students to be ready to do something like that. This was an amazing feat, and it showed people that even though it seems difficult, it can be done. The issue with this is that the students never should have had to go through all this just to have the a decent experience. These students are paying money and taking out loans in order to go to this school, and people are generally okay with them not only not feeling safe on campus, but they are genuinely fearing for their lives.
This is not just happening on Mizzou’s and Yale’s campuses. This is going on constantly across the U.S. and all over the world. People of color, despite being the most populous people in our country, are the most oppressed groups of people. They have to go through life knowing that they are meant for the background, and that they clearly not meant to be valued in society We are meant to promote institutions like these and provide funding for them, while also not making too many waves about how we feel on campus. Being at Duke has really given me a new perspective on things. It has allowed me to gain a better sense of what the elite thinks of those who are less fortunate. If it is one thing that people may not be able to notice outright is what your class is. I have been caught in so many conversations where people have said the most classist things while not realizing that I am one of those people who they are talking down to. And the amount of times people have been intersectionally classist and racist have been crazy. Not everyone realizes what they’re doing, in fact, most people do not realize what they are doing, because they have been hardwired to believe that this is okay.
Living in this society has been a struggle due to the overall ignorance of people. This isn’t necessarily always the fault of these people. One of the things I advocate for is the help of lower-income groups of minorities. These people often don’t have access to a better education, and many have no idea that they have opportunities that are available to them should they look for them. In addition, there are a lot of obstacles in the way for people of color and people who make less money. This situation is not an accident, as it was constructed years ago and has been upheld since through dog-whistle racism.
These threats need to be taken as seriously as the threats made on our country in the past. This is a threat against the safety of all people and we need to start having compassion for others for the sake of the continuance of our country.
In a time like this, where racial fatigue is very prevalent, especially in primarily white institutions, dismantling racism is a tricky topic. The question is not whether the racism has become intolerable; that has been answered long ago. The question now is where to begin, and where to hit the right place in order to make the biggest impact. I have had a few ideas, but I have been met with people telling me that my goals are too big, that I should aim for something smaller. After the recent events, I have to refute all of these thoughts, and though I may be too optimistic, I have to continue to believe that there is a way to shut down these issues, even though the means to get them may seem more drastic than what people are used to.
On Duke’s university, where the driving force is the men’s basketball team, it has been discouraging to see the divide between the black players and the black students. A lot of the athletes don’t see themselves as athletes, and I don’t judge them for it. They are here on scholarship, have had to sign a bunch of legal papers, and must do the best they can to support themselves after this time in college. They are told that they should not be concerning themselves with politics as to not reflect onto the time, and if they decided to go against these restrictions, they will be released and it will be nearly impossible for them to rebuild.
Yet the issue doesn’t lie within the students themselves, but the flaws of the racist university and the racist rules provided by the NCAA. For some college athletes, they have the ability to capitalize on their talent while in school and simultaneously get there education and stats in college. There are much fewer restrictions for someone wanting to be a professional golfer while in college. But these are not the most involved sports, so they usually aren’t considered in the realm of college athletics. Usually, one thinks of football and basketball as the main sports which bring in revenue. These are the sports where students have more restrictions and are not allowed to profit on their talent as players and must rely on the scholarships that they are giving.
But the sad thing about this situation is that while the students may not be able to capitalize on their talents, the university sure can. The university has the ability to make jerseys and many other paraphernalia for each of the players. The players don’t get any money from this at all, despite them doing the actual leg work. This exploitation has been regulated so that the university can then have the ability to fund their other expenses. College sports are such a big deal because they are the ones who work and bring in the most money to the university. It is in the university’s best interest to then keep these workers satisfied so that they may not revolt. This exploitation is generally seen as acceptable because college sports has such a big following worldwide. But these students, many who come from low-income neighborhoods and must rely on their scholarship, aren’t seeing near as much as they deserve for their help to the university. For Mizzou’s black players to collectively decide not to do what they are supposed to, it threatened the existence of a lot of things on campus, most importantly, the university’s revenue. For their best workers to strike, it was inevitable that the president would have to resign. By no means is this done, but it has moved the university steps forward to make things tolerable for minority students.
This intolerance that students of color is not exclusive to Mizzou. People of color at many of the universities in the country can probably tell you how they have face oppression on campus so that the university may profit. These systems have long been in place, but with the newer generation’s willpower to lean toward more radical means, there have been more grand movements that have been focusing on confronting the issues head on. This activism is not new, but it is evolving along with the changing environments and technologies.
Every college and university has a mission statement of some form that lays out the goals of the institutions. Duke’s looks like this:
James B. Duke’s founding Indenture of Duke University directed the members of the University to ‘provide real leadership in the educational world’ by choosing individuals of ‘outstanding character, ability, and vision’ to serve as its officers, trustees and faculty; by carefully selecting students of ‘character, determination and application;’ and by pursuing those areas of teaching and scholarship that would ‘most help to develop our resources, increase our wisdom, and promote human happiness.’
“To these ends, the mission of Duke University is to provide a superior liberal education to undergraduate students, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also to their development as adults committed to high ethical standards and full participation as leaders in their communities; to prepare future members of the learned professions for lives of skilled and ethical service by providing excellent graduate and professional education; to advance the frontiers of knowledge and contribute boldly to the international community of scholarship; to promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry; to help those who suffer, cure disease, and promote health, through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient care; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities, on and beyond our campuses, for traditional students, active professionals and life-long learners using the power of information technologies; and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential, a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship, and a commitment to learning, freedom and truth.
“By pursuing these objectives with vision and integrity, Duke University seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with the University; to contribute in diverse ways to the local community, the state, the nation and the world; and to attain and maintain a place of real leadership in all that we do.”
In Duke’s mission statement, they very clearly lay out the intentions of the university to prepare students to be ethical and to help those who suffer, amongst many more goals. Yet, here we have it that the university has been consistently failed to carry out their mission statement to the fullest. These academic institutions are built with the goal of helping develop the minds of students so that they can continue on the legacy of the university. One could argue, then, by that logic, that the university is actually succeeding in carrying on that legacy, as the majority of these universities were founded on the basis of exploiting those who suffer, the very same people the mission statement says they aim to help.
Duke and other colleges and universities aim to bring in the most money through students, alumni, donors, and so forth. Diversity has been the latest trend in the academic system, and as a result, many institutions aim to bring in people of color- but of course, only just enough, as to not anger their funding sources. These students who are brought to these institutions must then be expected to not only reflect the institution positively, but then make sure that they gained credentials. What makes their experience different from those students who fit into the sphere of whiteness, they must then be expected to navigate the internalized and outright racism that is present at the university. The university was not created with including these students of color, and throughout history, that issue has never been corrected. In addition, when issues do occur as a result, the students of color must be expected to come out of their pain and share their experiences so that it may have the option of being validated by the white students. While seemingly progressive, this implies that the students’ stories must rely on validation of whiteness for a change to be made. The university has long has a history of promoting the need for more diverse views, only to squash these views and sweep them under the rug.
Now the president of Duke wants to hold a discussion in lieu of the movement at Mizzou, but this discussion should have happened awhile ago. This negligence and attempt to cover his tracks and backtrack may seem like a genuine feeling of remorse on the outside, but upon looking in, you come to the realization that these students have long been having discussions and voicing their needs, and that the university has been willingly ignoring these voices.
Institutions like Mizzou and Duke and Yale have many sympathizers, those who feel like there is no need for the outrage, especially with the freedom to speech abound. What many fail to accept is, while everyone has the freedom of speech disbarring certain things, it only protects you from government taking action, and that you will still face the repercussion from others who do not agree. Of course, I’m not going to tell a student that they cannot wear an outfit, but that student cannot come back and complain when I call them out and let them know about the internalized oppression that comes with wearing said outfit. I do not need white validation in order to let you know that what you are doing is racist, even when your “intentions were far from that.” The university does have a need for money in order to continue the upkeep, but as per the mission statement, they have a responsibility to their students that they have not been upholding, and as a result, these students have just as much rights to freedom of speech in order to fight against it.
This is not an easy post, nor is it one that everyone wishes to engage in. I get that. It’s a very charged conversation, and can leave people feeling like they sacrificed too much of themselves. I will definitely validate that feeling, as I am completely aware of the consequences of opening up your thoughts for discussion, and I can definitely attest to the times where I have felt nothing but defeat. But this needs to be brought up, and since this does relate directly to me, I will engage in this topic that may be distracting to others.
I am Pro-Black, but I am not Anti-police. I am not necessarily for the cops, but I am not against them either. How does that work? Well, let’s break it down.
I know woke me is screaming at the sleepier part of me for writing this into actual existence. But I am tired of having to constantly answer the same question over and over. It is utterly exhausting, and it doesn’t actually push forward the conversation.
I do not support the police system overall. I cannot support something that is based on preserving the concept of utilizing black people as property and extorting them for capitalist gains. I cannot accept something that is going to say they’re against “illegal immigration”, even though their families literally did the same thing a few generations back. I cannot support a system that hopes to profit off those who are marginalized. I cannot and will not stand for that. The police system overall has aimed to cage in minorities and keep them from having a voice socially and politically. I cannot support something that is so blatantly racist while also claiming my racism at the same time. That is a very hard and easy line for me to draw.
However, I do not advocate for the killing of cops. That shouldn’t even have to be something I say, but here I am. I do not condone the killing of a life due to rage.
It becomes a blur when you know some cops, and you know that some of these cops are actually decent. I know there are cops right now who actually are aware of what is going on and don’t want this police brutality to continue on. I am aware that there are some “good” cops.
But where are they when we continue to see acts of senseless police brutality? Not even just after the fact, where are the good cops going in and restraining the “bad” cops from committing police brutality? And why do we have to have “bad” cops? Why do we need to allow for bad policing in order to emphasize that there are “good” cops?
We live in a racist, white supremacist society. I do not create this situation, only study it and critique it as I experience it. The cops get their salaries from the tax money that everyone pays into. They work for us, yet we are taught from the time we are young to fear them, and that they are in control.
The fundamental goal of prison, idealistically, was to rehabilitate a person so that they can return to society and return to everyday life without having to resort to crime once again. Instead, the prison system consists of quotas in order to make enough profit and using them for cheap labor to the point where it has become legal slavery. The police’s job, idealistically, is to serve and protect the people. Instead, the police aim to make their money and instill fear in order to validate their power. We are going about helping the communities in all the wrong ways, yet we expect for the mass majority to be okay with it. This is because those in power aren’t bothered by the police system. And why would they be? The system benefits them greatly.
It is 2015, about to be 2016. In my nineteen years of life, I have witnessed the power and the authoritative nature from the police. I have seen them cover up and protect their own, often at the expense of the people that they claim to serve and protect.
People of color have been Otherized by Whiteness. That is a fact, and it manifests itself in so many ways. We have been here to see them senselessly beat, kill, and rape so many bodies simply because they need another way to show that they truly have this power. We have witnessed the system become so drunk in its power that they are convinced that they can do what they want. And they have been validated and continue to be validated, not just by the elite, but by those who continue to those who benefit from the system and those who believe that the system is built for them when in reality, the system couldn’t care less about them.
I deserve the right to live without being senselessly killed just as much as the next person. Now does that mean that I am necessarily going to be guaranteed a long and happy life? No, because life honestly suck sometimes, and that’s just something that we have to accept. But there are things that we need to stop accepting. And allowing officials that we pay to brutalize us is not something that we need to accept. I have had so many people tell me that it’s simply a matter of race, and if those people of color were just smarter about how they treated cops, then we wouldn’t be in this situation. It actually isn’t, especially when you see that everyone you know is subject to this brutalization, regardless of race and background.
I shouldn’t have to preface things with the disqualifier “not all.” In a dream world, we wouldn’t need it because no one would ever dare to even think of the things that have been going on. But I need people to understand that even in things that may seem completely opposing, there is room for intersectionality and there will continue to be.
Many people judge people like me for wanting to completely get rid of the system for being so hateful. But looking at the context, can you blame us.
I am exhausted of people dying. That has been traumatic as hell. But what people don’t understand is that there is a collective exhaustion toward the instance of police brutality. We are tired, and we are unapologetic. We aren’t just going to sit here and allow ourselves to continue to be hurt for doing simple things like walking around in a hoodie.
I shouldn’t have to say that the police matter, and I don’t, because the police are not marginalized to the point of being silenced. They do not face oppression to the point of centuries of built up tension. They are not the ones who have been attacked for years for something that they cannot control. The police are not the Other, they are the establishment. They are part of Big Brother. They cannot sit here and tell me that recording them doing their job equals a level of hate as them owning me back in the day. The amount of hate that I receive as a queer black women is not going to be something that the police can level up to.
I grew up around a few police officers. I went to school with their kids, hung out with them, talked. I did not grow up to hate the cops. The cops were the ones who disillusioned me. I want nothing more than to see the best in groups, and while that may be naive, I do want to value that positivity that I like to put around me. However, I cannot sit here and accept the fact that people around me are dying and that I could be next.
I feel empowered to have such a platform and ability to speak freely. But I know that this isn’t something to settle for. I’m calling these breadcrumbs exactly what they are, and letting others know that this has got to change. I understand that every life matters, but people don’t understand that black lives matter, that queer lives matter, that trans lives matter, that Muslim lives matter, that brown and yellow people matter, that Otherized people matter. And people can’t understand that you can have both of these sentiments at the same time. It should not be my responsibility to scream this in your face. I shouldn’t have to put my hands up in order for the cops not to shoot.
I want to see the end of killing, but more specifically, I want to see the end of police brutality, which continues to be mis-labeled and not recognized due to the system of white supremacy. If that is something that offends you, then you need to seriously think about what you value in this society.
So I have written in the past about my makeup and I realize that I haven’t really been sharing my looks with everyone on the blog, and I’ve only just started vlogging. I thought I would start a new beauty section of my blog where I’ll share makeup, looks, and more.
So if you haven’t already, feel free to add me on
Instagram, and follow my YouTube channel. You can find me at my handle, Educated Black Girl, and I’ll add a link to my about me page. I may start Snapchat? Let me know if you guys want me to jump onto that as well. Today is a short post because I literally spent almost all day without my computer, and the time I have had it, I’ve used it to finish my midterm for my 8:30 am class. So next full blog will be coming tomorrow, my vlog channel updates everyday, and I try to keep the Facebook page updated as well. Thank you guys so much for following me, and I hope I can get to interact with you guys more!
So as it’s starting to draw closer to the end of the semester, I find myself constantly reflecting on things I need to work on as a person and as a content creator. I am human, and I realize that, but I also realize that I have not been holding myself to the same standards as a person as I do as a student. I strive myself to be best in everything I can, and I completely understand that’s not possible, but I do aim for always improving myself. This past week has given me time to reflect and understand that what I think I can do is more than what I have been doing, and that it’s not a bad thing for this to be the case. Coming to Duke, I automatically lowered my standards for myself, and I resigned myself to believing that I was not going to do well otherwise. What I have come to realize is that in the past, I was stressing myself out by trying to force myself into majors that were literally sucking the life from me. Since I have figured out what my major is and am now about to officially declare, I have noticed that the way I feel about myself is a lot better than I did last year. I feel more confident, a little bit more like I belong, and like I can do more.
There comes a time when you have to consciously raise the bar for yourself, which is a terrifying thing. As an overachiever, I always aim to excel. This hasn’t been happening for the past few weeks, and to be honest, for the past few months. To not excel means that I’m simply achieving, which the academic in me hates, especially at Duke. Sure, that means I’m doing alright for myself, but in that mindset, I don’t want to simply be alright, I have this craving to do great. So here I am working on new goals for myself, which also means branching out of my comfort zone which also terrifies me.
I was always the girl who would stick to the safe side, answer the teacher when I knew the answers, and always keep to myself. Sure, I have had my little group of friends, but other than that, I didn’t try to much. High school was an obvious nightmare, especially having to spend most of it in braces and glasses. So it was a nice surprise when I found myself coming to college, on my own completely, where I had a chance to reinvent myself and come into my own. I have loved some, had some good laughs. And though I have come to one of the top universities in the nation and in the world, I have had quite a few failures. This is how life goes, some ups, some downs, you learn from the mistakes, so on. But in the living that I have done, I realized that I have let some parts of myself get away from me.
Being who I am in a world of Duke, I always am trying to find the positive side of things. And I’m not going to lie, it’s really hard sometimes. I have had many times where all I want to do is break down and cry. There are times where I have honestly considered packing up all my things and begging my grandfather to come and get me. I have certainly been ready to accept defeat. It’s not an easy life, especially when understanding that everything that is constructed in this society is literally designed for you to fail. It gets tough, understanding that you have to go through a life where you know that your experience is automatically going to be less than everyone around you.
Being a young, black, queer woman in America is a stressful struggle that I have to face every day. It’s not something that gives you release. The cards are obviously not in my favor. But it’s very possible to have positivity. I’ve had some critics to believe that through my blog and through my discussions about race that I only focus on the negatives, and that I don’t have any positivity in my life. I tend to be on the cynical side at times, and i can understand when people believe that I’m being negative. But i have other positive sides to my life. I do have things that keep me going and stuff that pushes me. I have a life, friends, and fun. I am a regular human being, when you get down to it. There’s going to be negativity, naturally, because in the “real world,” we have things that are negative, and I can’t always evade it. But I focus on surrounding myself with things that build me up rather than push me down. I only hang out with a few friends because I know that they have no ulterior motives or attempt to be fake. I have an amazing job on campus that I probably won’t leave until I graduate, and I’ve managed to support myself for the past two years, which is not something a lot of students coming from the ghetto can truly say. I have accomplished a lot in the past two years. I have lived a full life, and from here on out, it can only get fuller, bigger, brighter.
I have people who question my reasons for starting this blog, and why I have decided to vlog. For a long time, I have felt so bad about myself. I believed the narrative that was supplied to describe my life: angry black woman who speaks too much and doesn’t know her place. Coming into my own, I have realized that I can no longer accept that narrative for my life if I expect my life to continue on this overall upward trajectory. I know that great things are coming for me. Not out of luck, but because I’m pushing myself and I’m working to make these great things happen. I am able to speak out because I’m creating the narrative for myself, and I’m in control of who people perceive me as. That has always been a given for me. What has been a part of my realizations is that I am also in control of how I see myself. By no means is this going to be an easy process, and I know it isn’t going to be something that I can see immediately. It’s going to be hard, I’m going to want to quit, and this time, I’m going to see some type of pay out. I deserve to be happy in every sense possible, and I’m going to make this happen, little by little. Allowing myself is something that I know I need to do, and I know that I need to stop holding myself from. I want to be able to go into my second decade of life comfortable in my body, in my skin, and in my mind,and this year is going to be the year that I work toward that.
I think I have already established many times over how much race plays a part in the way people are treated. Race is a social construct that we have allowed to be a crucial part of our lives. It determines how you are going to be treated, what type of education you will receive, and so much more. What people don’t usually address is the intersection of that with another social construct: gender. Though scientists have recognized that there are more than just two genders, that is what we as a people have come to determine as socially acceptable. And even more so, we have given more respect and privilege to those who fit into the construct of being men. As a result, those who are women face struggles because not only do they lack those privileges granted to men, they are seen as less than, an inferior type. So, as a result, women are at the lower end of the sociology. What I aim to talk about today is the combination of these lower hierarchies, being black and being a women, specifically as it pertains to their well being and their sexuality.
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