On Monday during a discussion at Iowa Brown&Black Forum, a student asked Hillary Clinton to explain her white privilege. Clinton mentioned how fortunate she was to go to a great college, a wonderful neighborhood, and a great public high school. However, she did not come into contact with the benefits of wealth and privilege until she was 11.
No one was satisfied with her answer. Throughout this entire election season, Clinton has tiptoed around the issues of race while still trying say that she is in solidarity with people of color. Basically, she flip-flops. One moment she’s agreeing on an issue, and then saying something completely different. Of course she’s better than Trump, but by how much?
The reason why Clinton can’t fully answer a question about white privilege is the same reason that your coworker doesn’t understand why she can’t touch your hair while calling it nappy. Clinton doesn’t get it.
This time around “it” is what it means to be always unwanted by a society that was founded and controlled by old white men. She can smile and try to answer the questions. She can call herself your aubela. She can wave the Kwanzaa flag. No matter how hard she tries, she’s’ not fooling anyone. It’s all for election votes.
This game that she’s playing is dangerous. Now more than ever we need a presidential candidate that understands the struggles of people of color. False friends only impend progress. Don’t be fooled by Clinton’s smile because she’s looking right past you and staring at the White House.
Bill Cosby will not face criminal charges for two of his alleged rapes. This still does not mean he is innocent and it definitely does not mean that he needs the support of the Black community. Since Bill Cosby was arrested people left and right have questioned whether or not he committed the crimes, the morality of the victims, and furthermore blamed everything on the fact that Bill Cosby was a successful Black man.
For decades, Bill Cosby was a pillar in the Black community. He had a statue in Disney World, several honorary degrees, and always had commentary on what the Black community was doing wrong. Now, all of that is gone and finally his crimes against women are recognized.
Over 50 women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Several comedians have come forward and said that they’ve always known that Bill Cosby was a rapist. However, there are still individuals in the industry who would rather deny the validity of the victims’ stories so that can redeem Cosby by hearing his side of the story.
They believe that this is a part of a conspiracy to bring down a strong Black man. He is not the man that we need to rally behind. There are other Black men and women who are victims of true crimes that the media is too quick to forget. Trying to explain away Bill Cosby’s crimes does nothing for the Black community. Not everyone is saint. Every community has its monsters masquerading as saviors. Bill Cosby needs to face punishment for his crimes without being protected by the Black community.
Queen B has done it again. However, this time I’m not too sure what her master plan is. Just in case, you’ve been living under a rock or haven’t gotten your weekly Beyhive newsletter, Beyoncé plans on writing and possibly starring in a film about Saartjie Baartman.
Saartjie Baartman was a South African woman who during the 18th and 19th century was sexually abused. In addition to this sexual violence, Baartmen was displayed in human zoos. After her death, ignorant scientists dissected her body, and it wasn’t until 1976 that her body cast was removed from display. Over time, Baartmen became the symbol of the sexual exploitation and fetishization of Black women and their bodies.
Even though, this movie could be an influential step toward representing the dark history of Black women’s body that the history books like to forget, it is still problematic. If there’s going to be a movie about Saartjie Baartman, then it has to be done right. It has to be a complete portrayal of her struggle while in a world that explicitly treated Black women as animals. The question that’s lingering on everyone’s tongue is whether or not Beyonce will be able to do it right?
There’s no denying that Beyonce is a household name. She’s an influential force that has sold millions of records. However, when people watch the film of Saartjie Baartmen, they’ll first watch Beyoncé on the screen and then they will see Saartjie Baartmen. This time around Beyoncé star power on the silver screen might distract the audience from Baartmen’s story.
Another question we have to ask—Is Beyoncé the right one to be telling this story? There are hundreds of screenwriters and actresses who would jump at the opportunity to portray Baartman’s story on screen. Perhaps someone else who is sponsored by Beyonce can create the movie of a moment in history people try to forget.
On Wednesday December 30th, the “affluneza teen”, Ethan Couch, and his mother will be brought back to the United States. This of course happened after he and his mother fled to Mexico. Now captured, the question everyone is asking—Will they finally face punishment for their atrocious crimes?
Back in 2013, Ethan Couch killed four innocent civilians while driving drunk. At the time of this accident, Ethan was 16 and sentenced to 10 years of probation. Why such a light sentencing for such a serious crime? Well Ethan was not responsible for his actions because he suffered from affluenza, a disease of the privileged. He was never told right from wrong and got everything he ever wanted. He went to rehab; however for Ethan, probation was only a suggestion and he fled to Mexico with his mother.
It’s no surprise that Ethan did not stay. His reason for fleeing is the same reason that Lindsay Lohan can have multiple counts of drunk driving and still have a career. Money talks louder than rulebooks—also you have to have the right complexion for protection.
Ethan is a rich white male in America. The law was made for him. But for the rest of us, our lives are in constant danger and our rights are denied. This story of Ethan and his gross disrespect for human life and law is not unique to him. It is the story of several privileged millennials who believe that they are above the law.
In 2016, people need to take responsibility for their actions. Ignoring the issues of race and privileged has created a society where Black lives are lost, no longer protected, and not wanted. When we compare Black teens such as Tamir Rice, Emmett Till, or Trayvon Martin to Ethan Couch, what we see is a hatred and disregard for Black lives. Our lawful society would rather have a rich teen that is responsible for killing four people than our innocent Black teenagers.
The privileged are staying privileged. The rest of us are not. If society continues on this course, then the separation between the races, the rich, and the poor will only continue growing. There’s a virus haunting America and it’s been living with us for centuries. This virus is killing innocent Black men and women, and if we stay silent about our outrage, then we will continue dying.
It’s the Holiday Season! There’s no way that you will walk down the street without seeing a candy cane or hearing a Christmas tune. For some, this is a time of bliss. Presents, a New Year, and eggnog—what more could a person ask for. While for others, the holiday season is a hard time. Not everyone can get swept into Rudolph’s red nose. Life is hard, confusing, frustrating, and a million of other adjectives that could just wrap around you all day. A certain season doesn’t mean you have to suddenly be happy and act in a way you wouldn’t have before the frankincense and myrrh.
Like always, you are most important, and self-care is your top priority. If that means skipping out on a holiday party because you’re not feeling up to it, then that’s fine. If your friends ask you why you’re being such a Grinch, then you can tell them how you’re truly feeling. However, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. YOU DO YOU.
I know that this is a simple phrase you’ve probably said in passing almost a million times, but it’s a phrase you have to remember, especially during the holidays. During this season it’s so easy to give so much away without keeping anything for yourself. If you give and give without taking a moment to relax, then there’s going to be none of you left. And no you, is not a good look. So just in case, you’re tempted not treat yourself with some much-deserved self care, here are five ideas to help you out.
- Buy yourself something nice.
- You’ve earned it. That is all.
- Go escape the holidays!
- If you don’t want to be in the holiday spirit or near any holiday cheer, then find your own special place that’s away from everything.
- Remind yourself you’re amazing.
- One morning when you wake up, stare in the mirror and tell yourself five great things that you’ve done this year or five things that you plan to do in the New Year.
- Take some time to turn off your phone and just sit down and think.
- You don’t have to be on all day. It’s good to restart your batteries and get a fresh start.
- Don’t let anyone bring you down!
- If they’re not a part of your squad, then leave them behind in 2015.
When Shonda Rhimes proclaimed that she has no intentions of getting married, my mother gasped. Her like many other women, believe that the next important step after gaining a successful career is marriage. Meanwhile there are other women who cringe at the idea of marriage. The desires of mother and grandmother are not ours, and not wanting marriage is perfectly fine. For centuries, Black women were denied a home. If she was given one, it did not happen under the best circumstances. She was forced to embody the role of the Black mammy. So, when Black woman finally gained their home, it was sacred.
Fast forward to now. The histories of violence against Black women and their bodies remain with us. We have come far. We are strong. We are #blackgirlmagic. However, we don’t have to force ourselves to do things that we don’t want. It’s the 21st century, Shonda Rhimes rules ABC, and we have a Black president. Although, society wants to tell you that people of color are not wanted, it’s a lie. Like come on, Donald Trump is just a bad weave clumped on top of a rotting tomato.
Centuries of struggle have forced for women of color to forsake what they want. Some women dream about their wedding day while others don’t. You don’t have to know whether or not you want to get married. Yes, the biological clock is ticking, but don’t let that clock lead you to unhappiness. If everyone had a say on what to do with your body, then it wouldn’t be yours anymore.
We are living in a time where there is an all out war against Black bodies. You thought that this war was just for your grandparents and parents. If you’re still thinking that after the Civil Rights Movement everything was all peace, love, and happiness, then you need to wake up. Nowhere is safe. People who are still living in a Plessy vs. Ferguson world think that Blackness is a sickness infecting our society. They’re trying to get rid of it any way possible.
Despite college campuses being a place of intellectual growth, in 2015, it’s still a breeding ground for racist, idiocy. Online, a white student at the University of Missouri threatened to shoot every Black person that he saw on campus. Rightfully so, this threat has led to fear and anger circulating throughout Missouri’s campus. Yes, the president has stepped down and the student responsible for making those threats has been taken into custody, but when are things going to change?
University of Missouri, like many colleges and universities, has been plagued by racism for years. However, due to how engrained racism is in our education, nothing has been done. These universities have their presidents resign, but do not fully address the problem. Change only happens when they fear that their endowment or enrollment is in jeopardy.
There needs to be a fundamental change in how colleges and universities discuss racism and race relations on college campuses. The tone-deaf boys and girls who think it’s fun to wear blackface, dress up as a “chola”, draw a swastika in feces on campus, hang a picture of a lynched Black woman on a student’s door, pet Black people’s hair like they are a part of human zoo are the same men and women who start running companies, teaching classes, working anywhere as they spread the racism that they thought was funny in college.
I stand with Mizzou, but I’m done seeing my bothers and sisters fall to racism. Every time a Black life is lost, we are reminded that every fabric of this privileged society is failing everyone. In this 21-century, we are fighting the same battles that our ancestors died for. I am ashamed to say that I am a citizen of this country, which my ancestors were used to build. Even though our backs burned from labor and centuries of physical abuse and violence, I still do not feel safe walking down the street or going to college. Our ancestors are weeping because in a world where we can like something by simply tapping a button, we’re still able to spread so much hate.