Spring Valley, SC and the School to Prison Pipeline of Black girls

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The video of  Ben Fields assaulting a young black student at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina is disgusting to watch as a young black student is being slammed and flipped over out of her desk. The hard reality is the place that students go on to pursue their aspirations and dreams to contribute to their country violate their basic civil liberties and becomes a pipeline to prison.This video was an example of the School to Prison Pipeline of  Black Girls. The officer there, Officer Ben Fields was a School Resource Officer. After Columbine, the influx of school resource officers in schools began happening in the early 2000. Since the zero tolerance policy has been enacted the policy by federal government was used to punish any infraction of a rule, regardless of accidental mistakes or ignorance in schools.During that time, the number of officers in schools arose from 9,000 to 400,000 SROs.

The sad thing is that the young lady was living in foster care after her mother had passed away. Statistics show that children out of foster care have a higher than likely chance to be at-risk youth and that young girl certainly was that at the moment, vulnerable and probably pissed at the world that she has to live under her conditions for the use of force to be used over a cell phone. The zero tolerance culture dominates as result of that policy that Instituted the cell phone bans, there has been more police in schools.Kimberly Crenshaw and the African American policy form have already pointed out the way that black girls are routinely pushed out of “education” due to the School to Prison Pipeline.When a student from a predominantly white neighborhood is discipline they go through all procedural steps in order to not criminalize that young student, on the other hand African American students get disciplinary action given to them based off of talking back or their attitude. These instances have caused higher suspension rates particularly among those of color and treating black kids like prisoners. When white middle class students are throwing chairs at a teacher the calm the situation down. Mass shooters of schools and churches are often racist and hate women such as the shooting in the state South Carolina.

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There have  been too many recent encounters that  black people are having to deal with as a result of police brutality such as in Baltimore, Maryland and Ferguson, Missouri. I don’d believe in respectability politics when it comes to talking about civil rights or micro-aggression because if that’s the case if a man feels as though his wife disrespected him and he slapped her does that give him a ride to put his hands on her?NO so miss me when you say “if you would just pull up your pants” ,analogy, “then the officers would have taking you seriously”… therefore you would have gotten shot at?!.Kidding me. That’s what’s going on with this little girl in South Carolina and The School to Prison Pipeline is particularly high in our communities.You have to look at the intersectionality of race, class, and gender. Women face high rates of domestic violence and it’s mixed in with rape culture. Sexual assault on campus often go unresolved. If this was a white female student would he have reprimanded her they way he did the young lady in the video?
There is a long history of criminalizing black people and I do believe that this officer was doing just that.As a southern State that fought to take down a symbol of hatred and go through a mass shooting in Charleston in which nine people were gunned down during church service.South Carolina has a major past of racial hatred. There is no justification for officer Fields to have done this and was improper protocol his procedures. Perhaps we should have waited for the story to turn into her being to death the way Eric Garner was choked to death in New York City by NYPD because he has improperly arrested. This young lady deserves justice for her body being dragged across a room and sustaining scars physically, psychologically, and to those young black, queer,straight, gay, lesbian, bi , cis, trans non-conforming women that experienced this in silence.

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Meryl Streep: I’d Rather Be a Rebel than a Slave

 

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The Internet was outraged after a picture of Meryl Streep circulated of her wearing a shirt that said, “I rather be a rebel than a slave.” Some believe that critics are being too harsh on Meryl Streep. She’s always been a feminist and this shirt just further proves the fact that she fights for gender equality. Others point out that this shirt is a representation of a lot of the problems with mainstream feminism. No one wants to be enslaved, but historically speaking Black people didn’t have a choice.

There’s a form of privilege that’s involved with being able to say that you would rather be a rebel than a slave. Some have a choice to fight against the oppressing systems. However, for those who are the ancestors of slaves, the shirt makes us want to give a Rihanna worthy side-eye. Our ancestors didn’t want to be enslaved. We were dragged from a different continent placed on a new continent that was not melanin friendly, forced to work for centuries while enduring the rape and massacre of our people, and then once freed were forced to learn how to function in the Plessy v. Ferguson world where institutionalized racism is the norm.

I too would love to be a rebel, but first I have overcome years of being enslaved. It’s moments like this that make you want to pull a Marcus Garvey and go back to Africa, but plane tickets these days are too expensive. Lately, it’s been a tell all tale of who’s accepted and not accepted in mainstream feminism. During these moments where Hollywood’s favorite feminist are caught in a moments of tone-deaf tomfoolery, you realize that it’s not just enough to say that you fight and always fight for the equality of women. If you’re going to say that you fight for the right of all women, become culturally aware. Remember that for generations of individuals, slavery was not a choice.

Just Do You: Say No to Cuffing Season

 

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Perhaps it’s the pumpkin spice lattes that’s causing cuffing season to start. With the start of cuffing season, questions about dating will start appearing again. Instead of planning your amazing Halloween costume, you’re left wondering whether or not you’re supposed to get drinks and if you get drinks what does that mean.

On top of all that, everybody and their mommas know that dating as a woman of color is hard. There are so many unseen expectations or rules that guide your hand with every Tinder swipe or settle wink at a party. Either you have to be as classy as the First Lady or as seksi as Amber Rose or Nicki Minaj combined. For some reason, people don’t want to give women of color the right to be bad, or different, or anything that we want. We have to exist in some cookie cutter form that makes it easy for others to understand us.

I have no intentions on waiting on someone who doesn’t understand who I am to tell me how I am supposed to be or behave. I can go from Rihanna to Annalise Keating in .25 seconds. Furthermore, cuffing season doesn’t mean that I’m going to start linking up with anything in sight and trying to make myself into someone’s Happy Homemaker. We’re not pieces of double sided tape. We don’t have to stick to anything that we don’t want to.

People need to stop waiting from some unforeseen force to give them the right to behave a certain way. This isn’t Star Wars—the force is not with you. At the end of the day is just you and your choices. No one can dictate what you do because they aren’t you.

 

 

 

The Politics of a Black Woman’s Body

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Serena Williams is amazing. She’s gorgeous, talented, and dedicated. Even though Serena is a powerhouse of talent, people try to undermine her. First, a news anchor tried to shame her body. Now, she’s talking about the ridiculous pay disparity between her and Maria Sharapova. Despite having dominated the court on multiple occasions, Serena still has fewer endorsements than Sharapova.

During an interview with the New York Times, Serena Williams delivered the perfect response for one reason why Maria Sharapova had more endorsements. Serena stated what the media has been avoiding to explicitly say. Even in 2015, some companies prefer the image of blonde hair and blue eyes when marketing toward their audience.

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Serena’s not worried. She’s making millions and is at the top of her career. However with Serena, we are reminded about what happens to our bodies when they are viewed as a threat. People will try to criticize, isolate, and terrorize you until you’re destroyed. What if Serena wasn’t as emotionally and mentally strong and succumbed to what the haters were saying about her body? She could’ve tried changing her body and possibly ruined her career.

As Black women, our bodies are continuously policed. We have to be aggressive, or the angry black woman, or the seductive Jezebel. If we don’t fit those categories, then the media doesn’t know what to do with our bodies or us. After so many centuries, it seems like the song about Black women is remaining the same.

However, nowadays we have control of which magazines and blogs that we want to consume. The best part about being young, black, beautiful, and talented in 2015 is that we no longer have to rely on the general media for representing Black women and other women of color. We are creating our own forms of representation.

Traveling While Black

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The day will come when you will want to travel. You’re going to spread your wings, buy that plane ticket, and tell your friends you’re not going to make it to this week’s wine night. As long as you have the money, time, or an amazing credit card limit, you’re free to go anywhere. However, there’s a thought that crosses some Black women’s minds when trying to decide which destination will be the perfect getaway: I’m a Black girl.

There are the initial concerns. Will the country I’m visiting have my hair products? Will people try to pick at my hair like I’m in the zoo? Will people gawk at me like I’m an exotic animal? The hair worries are easy to fix. Put your hair in some beautiful box braids or bulk buy your hair products and be on your merry way.

I wish that the solutions for the gawking and the microaggressions would be that easy. While traveling, you have to make sure that you don’t pack away your tough skin. There’s a chance that the same racism you can experience in America will also appear while abroad.  Recently, a group of black women in California were kicked off a train for laughing to loud.

giphyYou won’t be able to predict the racism that you might face. I have a Black friend who moved to Japan and started a new life and loves it there. I have another friend whose mom went to Paris and hated it because she couldn’t stand the racism. She told me that because of her mother’s short hair, someone tried directing her to a men’s bathroom. I know—ridiculous.

Personally, the only side-eye moment I had while traveling was when I was in Dublin. While walking home with a friend, a guy started singing the lyrics of “Anaconda” as I walked by. I gave him a deadly stare and continued walking. A random, catcalling guy wasn’t going to ruin my time abroad. I had worked hard for this opportunity to visit Europe.

Traveling while Black means you have to never forget you’ve worked hard to go abroad. You can’t let someone ruin your vacation mindset. If someone tries to ruin your vacation because of the color of your skin, don’t stand for any form of discrimination. Share your story on Twitter, Facebook, or any platform that you have access to. 

Donald Trump Strikes Again

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Recently in the news, Donald Trump told a well-known reporter, Jorge Ramos to “go back to Univision.” For those who are unfamiliar with Univision, it is a television network, which is aimed at Hispanics Americans. When Ramos tried to stand up and ask his question, Trump told him to sit down. Ramos refused to sit down and remain silent. Trump then had him removed from the room. Later on, Ramos was able to return and ask his questions about immigration and Trump’s plans for deportation.

Trump has an extensive history of side-eye worthy comments about race. If I were to list all of his comments, we would be here all day. Seeing Trump’s foolishness in the news is no longer surprising. Breaking news: Trump is ranting, and water is wet. People believe that he’s going to drop out. However, he’s still going strong. There are people out there who believe in what Trump is saying. He’s a legitimate presidential nominee.

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Past the jokes and his flurry red face, Trump is frightening. It’s scary that a person who obviously discriminates against people of color in America is allowed to have so many soapboxes to spew his antics. Meanwhile those who are actively trying to voice the concerns of minorities are silenced. Trump is an example the privilege that a certain skin color can get you in America. You can scream, shout, and say a number of racist comments, and still get airtime to say more.

It’s 2015 and the world is changing. The rise of social media has made snatching wigs or toupées much easier. We have to continue uniting and using our voices. Tolerating people like Trump and waiting for the brewing storm to disappear is a thing of the past. For centuries, people of color have been a powerful force in America, and it’s time for people to recognize.

We got 99 questions and Justice ain’t one?!

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After 19 Days of Community Engagement and Protest 14 year old, Radazz Hearns is being charged with aggravated assault and weapons offenses but how engaged in the city’s youth out there in the open?