Sunday, March 23, 2014

Nighttime Questions




Ruffled pages of ink staining the tip of my index finger.
Men  abused.  Used.
Cracked knuckles.
Specks of blood crusted into the folds of their wrinkled hands.
Doors not opened.  Assumptions falsified by the God that assumes no blame.

A couple of weeks ago I read an article in The New York Times about a group of mentally disabled men who had been abused at the hands of a turkey company (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/03/09/us/the-boys-in-the-bunkhouse.html?_r=0). 
When I read this article I felt an initial punch of disgust and sadness.  Fast forward to that night when I retold the story to my sister. 

Fingers grazing the curvature of a dusty armchair.
Shrinking away.
Holding close to an illusion.
Images. 
Blood flowing
the pale skin, kissed by the God that assumes no blame.

I started crying.  I wasn’t able to contain my sadness.  But it was more than despair, it was a lack of understanding.
I don’t understand why bad things must happen.
Now, I know I must seem naïve.  But as I grow older the answer to this question doesn’t become clearer instead it always seems one step ahead of me.

Fingernails raking questions
Off the inside of my wrist
Pounding through blackness
Deeply felt

The world sucks.  It is busting with violence, abuse, and sadness.  People are attacked by their own government.  Aid sent to countries in need is used corruptly by dictators.  Education is a privilege not a right.
This type of sorrow usually hits me at night.

Quiet whispers creep in
The ghosts follow
One
By
One
   
I wonder what I’m supposed to do.  How can I change anything?
I write on this blog.  I think about issues.  I talk about issues.  But what am I really doing with my life.  Am I doing what I was made to do?  Was I made to do anything?  Is the goddess mad at me for not following a predestined path? (existentiall crisis ensues)

Thoughts pour out
Dripping like sap
Stopping the beat of a young heart
Closing books
Dog eared pages
Dusty dreams

I wonder why some people’s top priority is finding a prom date an others is finding food?
Why am I given the privilege of being surrounded by a loving family while others are abandoned and ignored?

Things fall apart in my mind.
The crashing symbols of
Expectation and
reality

Mother says when things seem to be falling apart they are really coming together.
I think that’s totally bullshit.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mondays Suck

Below is one of my favorite poems of all time.

http://vimeo.com/36987057

When you're feeling down on your body.

Maybe you aren't fitting into those pair of jeans.  Or the reflection in the mirror isn't what you want to see.

Just remember.

This body is a gift to the world.  Sway those hips and let the magic happen.

homage to my hips

By Lucille Clifton
 
these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don't fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don't like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,   
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

This Valentine’s Day Fall in Love with Yourself



Sometimes I believe that if someone would fall in love with me I could learn to love myself.  If a guy, preferably on a skateboard with a cool beanie and jeans, that are skinny but not too skinny, magically fell from the sky and pronounced his undying devotion to me, then at that moment, all the issues I have with my self-image and worth would magically fade away.  Because then I would be worth it.  I would be enough.  We would hold hands and exchange knowing glances; he would save me from myself.  He would love my feminist ideals and would get turned on by my semi socialist political leanings.  He would want me and through him wanting me I would learn to love myself.
I hate when I think this way.  I hate thinking and feeling that I need someone to save me.  To make me feel loved or needed.  When I think like this I remind myself that no one can save me.  No one can teach me to love myself.

That’s what we must all learn.  No one can save us but ourselves.

So this Valentine’s Day instead of lamenting the lack of male feminists in the greater Cincinnati area I will choose to fall in love with myself.  I will treat myself with the love and respect I deserve.

We must all learn self-love and we must learn this independent of the love of others. 

Loving myself is the best thing I can do this February.

Because I must love myself first for anyone else to love me.

I dare you all to do the same.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mondays Suck

Above is a compilations of the feminist bookstore from Season 1 of Portlandia on IFC.  One word: hilarious.  Obviously, it plays on stereotypes but it is amazing.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mondays Suck

This video is very thought provoking.

What do you try to hide when you take a selfie?

For me it's usually the roundness of my head.  But really we should all see ourselves as completely beautiful.

Reflect on this and have a great Monday!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Introducing: Mondays Suck


This new feature of the blog is aimed at decreasing the inherent suckage that comes with Mondays.  It will include videos, jokes and anything else that will make the world a little bit better.

Below is a video done by Frankie Wantuch a Senior at SCPA.  It is both inspiring and truthful.  If you enjoyed it make sure to vote for her video at http://www.connecther.org/gitw/gallery/page/3 



Hope you have a great Monday and a fabulous MLK day.  His message still rings true today.


I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/martinluth115056.html#TUlolucrlpiyOou8.99
  I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character
-MLK Jr.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/martinluth115056.html#TUlolucrlpiyOou8.99

We must keep working together to live in a country where equality is the norm.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Musings while Procrastinating



This post will be brief I just have a few things to get off of my chest.    


I have exams this week and have been stressed out, so I decided tonight I would relax and watch some Netflix.


Why is it whenever I want to watch a movie about people who look like me I am faced with the choice of the following:


Gangs/drugs/ the ghetto


Madea/ black exploitation films


Films about slavery


Films about the south (i.e The Help)


I just want to be able to relate to someone I see in the media.  I want to feel like Hollywood is for me not just those of a paler hue.  Honestly, I am so frustrated with the blatant lack of diversity in movies/TV shows and the sterotypes perpetrated.  Even with my favorite shows I tend to accept an overall lack of black characters  (i.e GIRLS).  Or i have to be ok with the stereotypical black sidekick (the Mindy Project, Parks and Recreation etc).  These types of projections of black women allow for society to believe and accept them as true.


The next thing I want to talk about is the college search.  Like most other High school seniors I am applying to college but wait let me not forget that I am black which in the mind of many means I have an unfair advantage.  Yes I’m talking about affirmative action. Oh Joy.


Now I could list all of the racist, rude and inconsiderate comments I have received from friends, teachers and people in authority but there is not enough time so I will just begin with a few…

·        
" 1. “Gosh I wish I was black.  You guys get so many more scholarship opportunities.  It’s so unfair .”


Wait a minute.  Hold up.  Did she just say that.  Yes, yes she did.



My response (imaginary):

You do not know what it means to be black. 

It means having to explain to people I don’t know how to twerk.

Being black means that when I am standing with my father in an elevator people do one of two things:

1.       Clutch their purses to their bodies and eye him suspiciously

2.       Ask him if he played basketball… because a tall black man must have played for the NBA… its not like he could be a lawyer and business owner.


Being black means having assumptions and stereotypes constantly thrown your way. 


It means your accomplishments never being your own, “you got that because you’re a minority”.


It means on road trips we can’t stop in certain towns.


Being black means when I open a textbook my people’s history begins with slavery, which is not the beginning.


Black means rarely seeing positive portrayal of my people on the news/media.


Conclusion drawn:  you don’t want to be black.  You want the advantage but trust me you could not handle the hardships.


Real life reaction: “you have no idea what you’re talking about”

·        
    2. Me: “No one at our High school has gotten into that college for 4 years? I’m so worried.”

           Friend: “But were any of them a minority?”



My response (imaginary):


Of all the encouraging things you could have said.



For example, you are so smart and so involved.  Also, your essay was wonderful.  Don’t worry etc. 



But no you acted as if the only positive trait I have is my skin.  It is the only thing that makes me stand out.  The only reason colleges would accept me.



My real response: “WOAH. Hmmm. Ok. Well then… moving on.”



· 
    3.  “I don’t believe in affirmative action.”



My response (Imaginary) :


Well ok where do I begin?  First, off let’s begin with the obvious.  Black people have been marginalized in this country since they were kidnapped from their native land.  The truth is, not everyone is born on first base, some people are born in the stands and it is unfair to expect equality to become the norm in the United States if we do no address this unbalanced playing field.



Secondly, it is hard for you to understand the idea of affirmative action because of your white privilege.



 (White privilege definition: set of societal privileges that white people benefit from beyond those commonly experienced by people of color in the same social, political, or economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc.).  The term denotes both obvious and less obvious unspoken advantages that white individuals may not recognize they have, which distinguishes it from overt bias or prejudice.) 

check out this tumbler: http://thisiswhiteprivilege.tumblr.com/ 



I want to point out that I also as a middle-class 17 year old have privilege.  My goal in introducing this concept is to open people’s eyes.  This does not diminish my ability or need to realize my own privilege



So because you are unaware of the privileges provided to you because of your race it is difficult to be emphatic with African-Americans.  You think that racism is over, we have a black president all our issues must be solved.  This is not true and if you explore any websites working against racism you will find the truth (http://www.splcenter.org/   https://www.aclu.org/).



Don’t you ever wonder why poverty stricken urban cores are majority people of color.  Or that more black men are incarnated than attend college.  Or that the majority of people on TV look like you.  All these things express a lack of opportunity.  All we are asking for is equal opportunity, nothing more than is already given to you.



Additionally, it’s not like black people are literally taking your spot from colleges.  If I don’t get into a college I guess I can’t blame it on my race but you can.  Interesting.




That is all I have to say tonight.  Thank you all who take the time to read my blog.  And please comment on your views on the above mentioned topics. 

 I must now  go back to studying Spanish.


Adiós.