Category Archives: Culture

Culture in America and racial and political implications.

Alt Right is Wrong

richard-spencer
Richard Spencer founder of Alt-right

With the election of Trump, there have been unintended consequences -maybe not. The rise in hate crimes and most troubling, the alt right. Trump was able to tap into the xenophobia, racism, anti-immigrant and white nationalism that had been on the fringe or lying dormant. He single handily brought all of this to the mainstream. He is the epitome of a demagogue.

For those of you trying to figure out what is the alt right, here you go! The alternative right was born out of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that “white identity” is under attack by multicultural forces. Alt- Righters dismiss “establishment” conservatism and embrace white ethno-nationalism as fundamental value.

The most concerning thing about the rise of the alt-right and other extremists is that they have been emboldened because of the “green light” they have gotten from Trump’s racist rhetoric. Is Trumps ascension to the presidency a foreboding of things to come for our country? People of color are concerned for their safety and where they fit in this new paradigm.

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American History and Slavery

Racist murderer
Dylan Roof racist who murdered 9 members of Mother Emanuel Church

American history is and will always be a touchy subject. This may seem cliché but it rings more true than not. Why is this so? It could be that the political heroes we idolize as children are exposed as being more flawed than we thought once we get to college classrooms. It could be that everyone’s ancestors in this country get separated into categories such as the oppressors and the oppressed or the enslaved and the slavers.

Then of course there is always the definitive “history is written by the winners” line. This could ring true for a lot of the standard history textbooks used in K-12 classrooms around the country. In regards to my own educational experience I always tell people I learned two histories growing up: the one they taught in the classroom and the one that was taught to me at home. My parents saw this as a necessity because my ancestors where the farthest thing from “winners” in the eyes of history. Therefore who better to teach the lessons of the oppressed than their descendants? While both of these lesson plans were vital to my upbringing, the history taught in my household is one I hold in much higher regard. I understand that the curriculum from the school was supposed to be inclusive and could not pander to any one demographic. Still, without my parent’s intervention I never would’ve had an appreciation for what African Americans had to go through in this country. Continue reading American History and Slavery

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Mother Emanuel Massacre

Emanuel AME Church
A place of love and resolve.

The horrific massacre at Mother Emanuel last week is yet another reminder that we are not living in a post-racial society. The loss of nine innocent souls, including its charismatic pastor, Clementa Pinckney was truly tragic.The media is tripping over themselves not to call this a terrorist attack or a racist hate crime. Fox news is spinning the narrative as an attack on Christianity. Let’s call a spade a spade. The 21 year old racist targeted Emanuel AME specifically to “kill black people.” How much more evidence do you need? Our reluctance as a society to call it what is only speaks to our deep denial about racism in America.

America has been unrepentant in acknowledging it’s original sin: slavery. Therein lies the problem. Whenever I have a discussion with white colleagues on this topic, their response is always, slavery has nothing to do with today’s problem. My retort is, it has everything to do with our interactions today. We are seeing the vestiges of this evil institution play out almost on a daily basis in America. For example: Racial profiling by the police, police shootings of unarmed black men and women, being followed in stores, whites locking car doors when they see black men, black teenagers brutally handled at a pool party because racist white neighbors thought to many black children were someplace they didn’t belong. I could go on and on. You get the idea.

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Michael Brown murdered by Darren Wilson

FERGUSON

Michael Brown murdered by Darren Wilson
Michael Brown killed by Darren Wilson

The following article was written by Leonard Pitts Jr.

In September, I received an email that should have left me feeling vindicated.

It was in response to the nonfatal shooting of Levar Jones, an unarmed African-American man, by Sean Groubert, a white South Carolina state trooper. Groubert would later claim he shot Jones because Jones came at him in a menacing way. But this lie was unmasked by Groubert’s own dashcam video, which shows Jones complying with the trooper’s orders until Groubert inexplicably panics and starts shooting.

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Trayvon Martin

The elephant in the room

Trayvon Martin is the victim
Trayvon Martin

The issue of race has reared it’s head once again in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin case. Regardless where you stand on this issue, we can’t ignore the fact that race is still a delicate and highly charged issue in American society.

Many feel that now that a black man is in the white house we are post-racial; NOT! If you believe that, you need to step away from the crack pipe. The Trayvon Martin case is proof that race still dominates much of the American experience.

Regardless of where you stand on the raging debate on the Trayvon Martin killing, one thing’s for certain, the homicide investigation was bungled and flawed from the outset. Just last evening (March 27th) a startling revelation has come to light. The investigator who was first on the scene of the killing of Mr. Martin recommended that Zimmerman be arrested and charged with manslaughter. The state’s attorney told the investigator to “stand down” and not arrest Zimmerman citing that there was not enough “evidence” for a conviction. Really?

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Biggest Loser

Biggest Loser is Winner
Biggest Loser John Rhode is Winner!

Biggest Loser is Winner!

John Rhode, the biggest losers most recent winner did what most of us consider the impossible. He lost a total of 220 lbs! You have to respect anyone with that kind of determination and drive to will themselves to lose that kind of weight.

When I first noticed the “Biggest Loser,” I thought how gross! It’s hard not to be moved by some of the touching stories of the contestants, many must lose weight or die – literally! In an age where it’s predicted that many of our children will die younger than us due to lifestyle, it’s especially sobering.

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Steve Jobs Legacy

"Steve Jobs Innovations"
Steve Jobs Legacy

Steve Jobs lived an incredible life. Much will be written about his legacy and the indelible imprint he left on this life. He is arguably one of the most visionary men of our century. He did for technology what Henry Ford and Thomas Edison had done in the previous century with industry.

Steve Jobs redefined “cross-over” appeal. People of all races, languages and cultures embraced him as the change agent he was. There has been much written about his mercurial temper and his pursuit of the next big thing.

His ability to bring disparate groups of people together via technology and his inventions far surpasses any other human being on the planet. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Democrats and Republicans could do the same? Better yet; the Republicans and President Obama?

 

 

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Heritage or Hate?

Confederate flag symbol of hate?
Heritage or Hate?

There is no other icon in America that evokes as much emotion and controversy as the Confederate flag. We fought a civil war over it, we fight a cultural war over it to this day. To some, it’s a symbol of heritage, to others it’s a symbol of hate.

To this day, several Southern states conspicuously show the stars and bars in their state flag. What’s puzzling is, why would you want to celebrate a war that you lost? most politicians from the south and the north as well are very reluctant to offer their opinion publicly about the Confederate flag. If this was just an innocent symbol of heritage, then why would you go mum and not discuss it publicly?

 

 

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Summers Eve Racist Commercial

Commercials in American culture are wildly popular and very creative. However, when the commercial goes south, as they often do, the results can be disastrous. Case in point, the recent commercial by Summer’s Eve the maker of feminine hygiene products.

Recently, Summers Eve took a stab at marketing to African-American and Latina women. Needless to say, this advertising campaign went south, no pun intended. It was bad enough that they were hands which posed as talking vaginas. Then sprinkle a little blatant stereotype to the mix, and it was a recipe for disaster. The Latina vagina talked about giving birth to many children and losing the tacky leopard thong.

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