Every. Single. Day.

Every. Single. Time. I got a campus safety alert in college, I crossed my fingers and hoped it was not a black or brown man. I remember hearing people say to stay away from sketchy neighborhoods in Allentown, which at the time didn’t look too different from where I grew up. I heard people talk about going to White Wawa instead of Black Wawa or “Blawa.” Some people would drive out of their way to exclusively go to the former. These instances are a symptom of a larger problem, black and brown bodies being seen as dangerous. Police brutality is a … Read more

True Match Foundations: The Link Between Ethnicity and Foundation

L’Oreal has released a series of commercials that make me a little uncomfortable. The commercials are for L’Oreal’s True Match foundations which are supposed to “precisely match your skin’s tone and texture.” The commercials feature a few celebrities: Beyonce Knowles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc50e02zDt8&feature=BFa&list=PLF68B3695EF7533DC), Jennifer Lopez (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njIKU3sZy4E&feature=BFa&list=PLF68B3695EF7533DC), and Aimee Mullins (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0GbUTjQdaY&feature=BFa&list=PLF68B3695EF7533DC). The script for each commercial is the same. They start with “There’s a story behind my skin. It’s a mosaic of all the faces before it. My only make up, True Match.” While the celebrities say this, their ethnic background pops up in a list alongside their face. Why is their ethnicity … Read more

Privilege Role Play

While browsing the internet I came across Jane Elliott’s Brown Eye-Blue Eye experiment. For those of you who are not aware of what it is, Jane Elliott separated people into two groups based on their eye color (brown eye or blue eye) and created an environment where one group (the blue eye group) was discriminated against. The brown eye group was seated in a room and Elliott instructed them on ways to treat the blue eye group once they entered. A few of the instructions in the video I saw, Angry Eye, included calling the college aged men in the blue eye group “boys” instead of men, treating them as inferior “because they are inferior,” and not letting them succeed “because if they succeed we have failed.” The people in the blue eye group sat on the floor of a waiting room and entered the room with the brown eye group without any prior instruction. Elliott serves as both an instructor and a facilitator for the interaction.

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Trayvon Martin: ‘Racism without Racists’

Everyday people of color, especially young men of color are profiled. They are seen as criminal, unsafe, suspicious, etc. Unfortunately, this issue has to be brought to light to the eyes of many Americans through the story of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed for appearing “suspicious.” Trayvon was unarmed, wearing a hoodie, and about 100 lbs lighter than his killer, George Zimmerman, but for some reason Zimmerman felt threatened. Zimmerman has yet to be arrested under a self-defense claim. Normally, in cases of self-defense, the one claiming self-defense bears the burden of proving that is the case, but in this particular situation, the police have chosen to take Zimmerman’s word for truth. It took three weeks for this story to receive the attention it deserves, despite the recent emergence of a socially aware group both for and against Kony 2012.

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Kony 2012: An Observer’s Perspective

As of right now, I have remained a sideline observer of the Kony 2012 initiative. I have read countless facebook status updates, tweets, and quite a few articles from everything from news sites to blogs on Invisible Children and the make Kony famous initiative. I have been apprehensive about deciding whether I am for or against Kony 2012 for a few reasons, most of which are about the racial issues about it.

A few of my concerns are highlighted in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KLVY5jBnD-E

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Racism Isn’t Just Black & White

Jeremy Lin has been in the headlines for his basketball skills, but a lot of people have taken interest in another aspect of his identity, his race. Lin is one of the first famous Asian American NBA players, and the media can’t seem to get enough of him. From ESPN to Twitter, Linsanity has taken over. Recently, there has been controversy over ESPN’s repeated usage of the phrase “chink in the armor,” especially as a headline on their website referring to a recent Knicks’ upset below a picture of Lin. See image here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2012/2/18/2807696/espn-chink-in-the-armor-headline-jeremy-lin. For the purpose of this post, I will be discussing the picture in the link above and this video of a news anchor using the phrase again: http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/2012/02/18/espn-uses-chink-in-the-armor-line-twice-did-linsanity-just-go-racist/ ESPN has since removed the headline and reprimanded the people involved, but unfortunately, thanks to technology these images will live on in internet infamy.

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Social Consequences of Breaking the Silence

Tatum (2008) argues that there isn’t enough talk about racism in the United States. White people in the United States don’t have to talk about race, but for people of color it is sometimes impossible to escape the dialogues on race. When speaking about racism in the United States, I think it is important to remember to or for whom you are speaking. The to or for whom is often laced with racial undertones and power dynamics.

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