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Black Issues Medium Politics Social Issues

Federal Education Reform Needs To Include Race

Unsplash — moren hsu

If America were a tree, white supremacy would be its roots.

Source — Blogspot

African-American history is actively erased. Hispanic/Latin-American history is actively erased. Asian-American history is actively erased. The history of the Indigenous people of the Americas is actively erased. Why? White supremacy.

Read the rest of this story at Medium.com!

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Beauty Medium Social Issues

The Reason You Hate Fat People Isn’t Because You Care About Their Health

Unsplash — Siora Photography

Fat people simply existing in this world does not mean they are advocating or promoting anything; let’s start there

This problem goes beyond Lizzo.  This is a problem of how fat-shaming, body-shaming, and faux-health concern are rooted in our culture.

One of the core issues here is automatically equating thinness to health. Even medical professionals see fatness as the cause of illnesses that have nothing to do with weight.

A woman named Karyn S. had a horrid sinus infection and was lectured by a physician on how she needed to lose weight as she was hacking on the consultation table.

Rebecca Hiles was told by her doctors for years that her persistent, violent coughing fits were “clearly just weight-related” when in actuality, her lung was rotting.

Martina Donkers was told that her increasingly painful knee pain was “due to early-onset arthritis as a result of my being overweight” despite being an active dancer and netball player. She was diagnosed with ‘patellae chondromalacia’ and told she would have to manage that for the rest of her life. Her doctor told her, “It was probably hereditary, exacerbated by my weight.” After joining a gym, she was introduced to a personal trainer who helped her ease the pain of her knee condition- completely ridding her of the pain in six months. The treatment style changed, not her weight.

A friend of Virgie Tovar had been dealing with severe exhaustion but chose not to see a doctor for a while in fear of being told to just “lose weight.” It turns out that she was anemic. She had to undergo an emergency blood transfusion because her red blood cell count was so low.

And fat-phobia related horror stories go on.

Fat-phobia kills

If doctors (people with whole ass degrees) are treating fat patients differently because of their weight, imagine how accurate the on-the-spot-diagnosing from randoms are?

Read the rest of this piece on Medium! 

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Dating Medium Social Issues

The Chronicles of Dating-App Fatigue

Unsplash — Pratik Gupta

Swipe right.

Swipe left.

Swipe left.

Swipe rig– no, swipe left.

Swipe right.

Swipe left.

Swipe right.

Swipe left.

Swipe right.

Swipe right.

We’ve all been there. Stuck in the endless vortex of swiping on one of the big three: Tinder, OkCupid, or Bumble. No beginning, no end, there is only swiping.

Unsplash — Brooke Cagle

But seriously, dating in 2020 means your index and thumb finger have endured more repeated use than gym equipment on January 2nd.

Unless you live in a small town in the middle of nowhere or your settings are so set explicitly that only three people fit the criteria- the swiping is endless. Up until Tinder added a swipe limit (that you can bypass via paywall), you could swipe left or right on people all day long. However, you can still swipe to your heart’s content on Bumble and OkCupid.

Read the rest of this post on Medium.com here!

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Beauty Black Issues Medium Social Issues

Beauty and the Blackfishing

Isabell Winter — Unsplash

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. That’s a bold-faced lie.

A few days ago, I saw a bunch of people posting a picture of some random woman on Twitter, saying she was doing blackface. Before you open images on Twitter, you only see the top half. So all I saw was this:

Kim Kardashian West — Twitter

“What are they talking about? She’s clearly blac- oh my god, it’s Kim Kardashian.”

Kim Kardashian West — Twitter

I was shocked. I thoroughly thought it was some photo shoot featuring a light-skinned black woman. NOT Kim K: a woman of Armenian and English descent.

What is going on?

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Capitalism Medium Social Issues

The Rebranding of Suffering Into Feel-Good Stories

If you aren’t familiar with the premise of Undercover Boss, it’s where executives or owners of corporations go work at the “low-level” jobs of the businesses they own. They meet with employees that all have sad backstories and/or financial troubles whilst wearing a disguise to conceal their identity. They then reveal who they actually are at the end of the episode and grant the employees they’ve met various gifts to soothe the issues mentioned earlier in the episode.

Recently, I was watching an episode of Undercover Boss that featured the Mayor of Gary, Indiana- Karen Freeman-Wilson. Freeman-Wilson posed as a municipal employee and was trained under a fireman, a policewoman, and a beach hygiene city employee.

The person responsible for beach clean up, an older man named Steve, said that he’s made $13.24 an hour since 1991 and hasn’t received a pay raise in 15 years. His wife was diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and was also awaiting a heart transplant. After hearing all of this, the Mayor responded with: “Steve is the poster child for resilience.”

At the end of the episode, she gave him and his coworkers a 10% raise (a mere $1.32) and created a $10,000 health fund for his wife’s medical expenses.

At first watch, you’d look at this and feel happy. A man who has been loyal to his city finally is getting the recognition and financial compensation he deserves. The show wants you to believe this as well, with jangly guitar music coupled with dramatic sound effects playing in the background at the end of the episodes. But looking deeper, this story- and the others like it- show a disturbing trend.

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Categories
Medium Politics Social Issues

You Are Your Politics

Jeremy Bishop — Unsplash

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” — Thomas Jefferson to William Hamilton on April 22, 1800

After the 2016 election, social media was akin to the desert wasteland from Mad Max- a hostile, apocalyptic environment, and every man is for themselves. There were millions of vitriolic messages from angry Democrats directed at Republicans across all media platforms and equal response from satisfied Republicans.

After a couple of weeks or so, when the initial waves of outrage died down, the “friends > politics” memes began to spread like a juicy rumor in high school hallways.

Photo Source — Facebook

Nathan Krause — nathankrause.photo

Razy Hashim — yourquote.in

To be able to actively ignore a friend’s problematic political views for the sake of the friendship is to be in a position of unbelievable privilege.

Being friends with someone belonging to an oppressed group and having politics that outrightly endanger your friend makes you incredibly imperceptive and insensitive.

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Black Issues Medium Social Issues

The Hypocrisy of White Supremacy P.2

                                 Photo Source: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The first installment of ‘The Hypocrisy of White Supremacy touched on the hypocrisy that past presidents, first-wave feminists, and white moderates showed in their dealings with black people and why white supremacy, as a concept, is a falsehood. After writing that, my mind was drawn to the sheer access black people historically had into the lives of white people, despite being seen as subhuman. Also, how European colonization is ultimately the root of the “anti-diversification” movement that the alt-right peddles.

Let’s start with slavery.

Mãe Preta (1912) | Artist: Lucílio de Albuquerque

The services ‘provided’ by black people via enslavement have always been an integral part of the progression of white societies around the globe. Black slavery is what made America as prosperous as it is today. Four hundred years of free labor will do that. These services, however, move past the manual labors of carpentry, building, and masonry.

Slaves were intimately involved in the lives of their masters and their master’s families. It is peculiar that enslaved black people were always seen as lesser than white masters, yet, played such an essential role in their personal lives. Slaves were dehumanized beyond belief, of course, but the vast plantations of the south could not run without a multitude of enslaved black people at the ready performing a myriad of household and field tasks.

Devane-Johnson held focus groups asking black women, ranging in age from 18 to 89 years old, on their thoughts on breastfeeding. She was performing research for a doctoral degree at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing. Devane-Johnson mentioned in her report:

“A lot of slave babies died during slavery because they weren’t breastfed. They were fed concoctions of dirty water and cows milk. Meanwhile, those children’s mothers were giving white children their milk.”

Enslaved black women raised white children before tending to their own. Enslaved black women nursed white babies before nursing their own.

Written below is a firsthand account from former slave Ellen Betts recounting life as a wet nurse in St. Mary’s Parish, Louisiana. This excerpt is from the book, ‘Bullwhip Days — The Slaves remember’ by James Mellon. You can find more information on Ms. Betts’ life at the Library of Congress website.

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Black Issues Medium Religion Social Issues Uncategorized

Why Learning About Slavery Made Me an Atheist

                           ‘Memory for the Slaves’ (1998) by Clara Sörnäs

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear and sincerity of heart, just as you would show to Christ. — Ephesians 6:5

My relationship with religion has always been complicated. Being raised Christian, I believed in the many stories of the Bible, the power of God, and the might of Jesus like everyone else. Well, I did up until I was about 13. I enjoyed Sunday School and the entertaining theatrics of the church immensely growing up. I enjoyed being Christain. Having God as an answer to everything my little brain couldn’t explain was comforting. It wasn’t a Christopher Hitchens logic-fueled monologue or Richard Dawkins ‘owning’ theists in debates on YouTube that brought me to atheism- learning about the trans-Atlantic slave trade did.

Here’s a quick re-cap on God via Christianity for everyone that needs a refresher. God is described in the Bible as being omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Omniscient meaning He knows everything that has happened, knows everything that is happening, and knows everything that will happen. Omnipotent meaning He can do absolutely anything. Omnipresent meaning He is everywhere, witnessing everything at all times.

The strength of my faith was at its highest when I began to learn about the details slavery and all of its horrors. Because of this, conversations I had with myself went as follows:

“So God knows everything that’s going to happen, yeah?”

Yes.

“Soooo that means he knew slavery was going to happen?”

Yes.

“And since he is always everywhere, seeing everything that means he was with every slave from birth to death?”

Yes.

“But he can do anything…does that mean he could have stopped it and didn’t?!”

Yes.

What hurt me the most was not the fact that God seemingly ignored all the suffering of my ancestors 200 years ago, but that so many of the descendants of those enslaved people worship the God that allowed it.

Read the rest of this piece on Medium.com.

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Medium Social Issues

Homeless People Are Still People

Flickr: Rui Duarte

When I was a kid, I didn’t understand the complexities of homelessness.

I just assumed that homeless people were all lazy and irresponsible. It couldn’t be that hard to get a job and take care of yourself, right? When you’re young, life is simple like that. No one ever explicitly told me this, but it was just a general understanding. Either you work hard and have a nice life, or you’re careless and end up homeless.

Being born and raised in Las Vegas, you’re surrounded by wealth and reminded of poverty constantly. When you’re driving down the Strip, it’s hard to imagine that just a few miles away, people were living in worn-down tents and sleeping on scalding sidewalks.

It didn’t make sense.

Photo Credit: Trip.Com/travelguide

Photo Credit: Aaron Gilbreath

As I got older, the black and white method of childhood thinking became a multitude of grays, and I began to have a grasp on the issue.

When I was 15, my dad and I went on vacation to San Diego, California. One of the nights we were there, the two of us went to a gas station that was near our hotel and bought apples, bananas, individually wrapped sandwiches, and bottles of water. We walked around for a couple of hours, handing them out to the homeless people that lined the San Diego streets.

I’ll never forget that night. I’m not bringing this up so I can get brownie points for helping people out. I’m saying this because that night after we went back to the hotel- I was disgusted. Disgusted that so many people could be sleeping on the street, and no one was helping them. I was discouraged as well because I knew 15-year-old me couldn’t pass out food to everyone or give them all a place to stay. I knew homeless people existed before then, obviously, but it’s easy to put blinders on and go through your day to day and not think about them. I haven’t had those blinders on since.

Again, I saw two sides of the same city. The same city with stunning beaches, great nightlife, and a fantastic food scene had people crammed underneath bridges trying to survive another day.

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Categories
Black Issues Medium Social Issues

Why Being ‘Colorblind’ Makes You Racist

You can’t deny someone something that they actually are.

“I don’t care if you’re black, white, purple, or green, I see everyone the same!”

“When I see you, I don’t see you as black!”

“I don’t see color!”

“If we stopped making everything about race, then it’d go away!”

Ah, colorblindness.

No, not this type of colorblindness:

This type of colorblindness:

If you can’t notice the difference in color between the different races, then you should see an eye doctor. Now obviously, there’s nothing wrong with there being different skin colors. We’re humans. Due to evolution and genetic mutation, varying skin colors should be expected. The problem is when you start seeing different skin colors as an issue. That’s where this whole ‘colorblindness’ thing comes in.

Read the rest of this piece on Medium.com.