Dungeons and Dragons, Fantasy and Racial Homogenization

With the 2016 release of the popular Netflix series, “Stranger Things,” the 1970’s role playing table top game known as “Dungeons and Dragons” has been making a comeback – entering into mainstream media in several facets from live streaming web-series to podcasts to TV shows. In a 2017 New Yorker article that describes this comeback, Neima Jahromi describes the time spent submerging into the fantasy make believe of Dungeons and Dragons as an “escape” from the troubles of reality. Since my time spent studying abroad, a couple friends in my program started up a vast and ongoing adventure in our … Read more

Two Sides to Every Story, I Wish I Knew Yours

Everyday we are surrounded and presented with racial tensions, whether we notice them or not. Black oppression dates back to the 1800’s, yet it is still more prevalent in 2018 than ever before. After reading a portion of Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, I have become more familiar with how history intersects with our present day racial divisions. Evidently, the life experiences of blacks and whites are very different, as well as the stereotypes that surround each group. The stereotypes of black individuals dates back to the time period of slavery, which still affects how many individuals view … Read more

Social Stigma Against Black Men and Mental Health

After engaging in an onstage rant and ending his concert prematurely, it was reported in November that rapper Kanye West had suffered a “nervous breakdown.” After going on a lengthy tirade about a personal conflict with Jay-Z and Beyoncé, West warned, “Get ready to have a field day press, ‘cause the show’s over,” dropped the microphone, and walked offstage. While the rapper’s antics have become rather commonplace and even expected, something was different this time. This time was different because he was immediately admitted to a hospital – reportedly for a psychiatric evaluation – thus, bringing about a nationwide conversation … Read more

Designated Survivor: A Hypersensitive Culture?

I sit down every Wednesday to watch a new show called Designated Survivor. The show revolves around the idea of the designated survivor: the person the government picks to stay home when holding the State of the Union address at the capitol. The reasoning behind the idea of having a designated survivor is in case something were to happen to all three cabinets of the government during the address, there is someone to take over as President. The opening episode of the series is just this, an attack on the capitol building where a designated survivor now has to take … Read more

Racist Comments in the Public Eye and How We Deal with Them

There are moments when a comedian goes from funny to offensive, or an ordinary college student goes from innocent and ordinary to an ignorant offender of a racist action. These are pivotal moments, because the way the world and those involved choose to respond can make all the difference of how the racial discourse continues on. Melissa Villaseñor was recently announced as the first Latina cast member of Saturday Night Live, and will start her first season on the show this fall. This was a great step forward for the show, adding some diversity and representing people of more racial … Read more

Accusations of Reverse Racism on Hamilton: An American Musical

After taking home a record-setting 11 victories at the 2016 Tony’s, performing for the president at the White House multiple times, and selling tickets for record-breaking prices, there is no arguing that the success of the Broadway musical phenomena, Hamilton, has been revolutionary in its own right. However, these accomplishments have not come without controversy. Earlier this year, a casting call for Hamilton was released on social media, indicating that the producers were “Seeking NON-WHITE men and women…for Broadway and upcoming Tours.” This word choice received harsh criticism and accusations of “reverse racism” from those both inside and outside of … Read more