All posts filed under: Question

your identity, politics, history, society; disrupt the narrative

Questioning Affirmative Action

Racial justice advocates should consider, with a degree of candor that has not yet been evident, whether affirmative action–as it has been framed and defended during the past thirty years–has functioned more like a racial bribe than a tool of racial justice. One might wonder, what does affirmative action have to do with mass incarceration? Well, perhaps the two are linked more than we realize. We should ask ourselves whether efforts to achieve “cosmetic” racial diversity–that is, reform efforts that make institutions look good on the surface without the needed structural changes–have actually helped to facilitate the emergence of mass incarceration and interfered with the development of a more compassionate race consciousness. In earlier chapters, we have seen that throughout our nation’s history, poor and working-class whites have been bought off by racial bribes. The question posed here is whether affirmative action has functioned similarly, offering relatively meager material advantages but significant psychological benefits to people of color, in exchange for the abandonment of a more radical movement that promised to alter the nation’s economic …

The Impact of Police Violence is Far Reaching and Long Lasting

Last week I, as many others, looked for every update that could be found about Erica Garner. Horrified at the possibility of police violence claiming yet another victim. Hopeful that she would pull through. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. At 27, a woman who had to watch her father get choked to death on TV just 3 short years ago–who had to constantly relive that trauma amplified by the media and played on repeat and be subject to the opinion of every fool who wanted to explain why he [Eric] deserved his fate, who had to endure police harassment, community harassment, and online harassment, who had to continue living in a city where her father’s murderer not only got away with it, but kept his job AND got a raise–had a heart attack. Is it any wonder given all that she went through that her body couldn’t continue on? I have so many thoughts that would take too long to organize into anything coherent and succinct, but luckily other people have been able to put …

Book 3: The Coldest Winter Ever–Sister Souljah

I know that I’m super late, but if anybody happens to be later than me, this is a must read! I read this book like I (used to) binge TV series on Netflix, and it’s about 400 pages long. But it reads like you’re watching episodes of TV. It’s Power before Power existed, from a woman-centric perspective. The book summary: Ghetto-born, Winter is the young, wealthy daughter of a prominent Brooklyn drug-dealing family. Quick-witted, sexy, and business-minded, this teenage female hustler knows and loves the streets like the curves of her own body. But when a cold wind blows her life in a direction she never expected, her street smarts and seductive skills are put to the test of a lifetime.  That’s not a whole lot to go from. And reading this summary didn’t really prepare me for what I was about to read. So I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it and may think about it, because it was a good surprise. But honestly, this book should be required reading in …

Book 1: Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America–Charisse Jones & Kumea Shorter-Gooden, PhD

Excerpt: Much of the shifting that Black women do is motivated by a wish, sometimes conscious, sometimes not, to confront, transcend, and hopefully defeat the ugly myths and stereotypes that so many in society continue to hold about them. Many women have developed ways of acting, talking, and dressing that conform to White middle-class norms of behavior and thus may help debunk and unravel discriminatory myths. Many feel pressure not just to meet White cultural codes but to exceed them. A number of women, for instance, talk about how educational achievement is a way of reversing the myths of inferiority. They say that they constantly emphasize their academic and professional achievements in order to be taken seriously by White people. —Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America, pp. 67-68; Charisse Jones & Kumea Shorter-Gooden, PhD

The relevance of reading, or why this shouldn’t come as a surprise

In light of the trending “Alternative Facts” presented by the Trump kool-aid drinkers, and the accompanying societal disbelief expressed on social media, I thought this paragraph I was reading for my own studies was particularly relevant: …when people define situations as real, they are real. We shall try to remember throughout our inquiry that material facts in large measure are the product of what people think, feel, and believe. The actual conditions, as they are, indicate from this point of view the great disparities between the whites’ and the Negroes’ aspirations and realizations. –Gunnar Myrdal, from An American Dilemma, Vol. 1: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy Those disparities in aspirations and realizations between white and black people could just as easily be applied to disparities between any privileged group in this country and their relevant subject of oppression. Also: Trying to defend their behavior to others, and primarily to themselves, people will attempt to conceal the conflict between their different valuations of what is desirable and undesirable, right or wrong, by keeping away some valuations from …