“To Be White is to Be Racist”

The amount of white people who are too engulfed in their white privilege to see the prevalence of racism is frightening. Whether that racism is on a blatant, subtle, individualized or institutionalized level, it’s there, and people need to start realizing it so that we can work towards decreasing it. Just the other day I opened up Facebook to see that someone had posted a news article about a high school teacher in Norman, Oklahoma teaching his students about racism. He captioned this post, “Lol this is a joke. I would’ve punched that teacher right in the jaw.” Based on … Read more

The First Encounter (of Many)

You never think it will happen to you, until it does. I am biracial. I was raised more so with my Greek heritage than anything else, but the pigment in my skin lets others know that I am different. I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood, school, and most of my friends were white. There were micro-aggressions that I faced along the way (i.e., getting made fun of from elementary through high school for my hair), but nothing severe enough that I found myself pretending to be sick, so that I wouldn’t have to face the prejudiced bullies at … 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

Know Your Facts

Over the weekend, our campus emails were blasted with a message from campus safety regarding a gun, which turned out to be a BB gun disguised as a real gun near campus. My friends and I obviously all saw the email and started to discuss the matter. I sat and listened to what they all had to say, and of course when any weapon is found it is quite frightening as this is supposed to be a “safe” place for all of us. However, one friends’ mind went in a complete opposite direction of what we were all talking and thinking … Read more

The Whitesplaining Epidemic

To all of the people who identify as women out there, have you ever had the experience where you are talking to a man and during the course of the conversation he feels the need to explain something to you, oftentimes in a patronizing or condescending way? This is called mansplaining and it is a phenomenon that women face even if they have extensive knowledge on the given topic. For issues of race, there is whitesplaining. Similar to mansplaining, whitesplaining happens when a white person tries to explain something to a person of color in either an oversimplified or even … Read more

Listen to Tupac. Really listen to Tupac.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Tupac Shakur. Tupac was a prominent hip-hop artist in the early 1990s well known for his deep, progressive lyrics in popular songs such as “Changes” and “Keep Ya Head Up.” However, he was more than just a rapper – he was a poet, a philosopher, and an activist. From a young age, he expressed incredible insight on contentious topics such as education, poverty, feminism, and police brutality. Recently, there has been a clear rise in national awareness and conversation about the roles of race and racism in modern … Read more

The White Man as The ‘Boogie Man’

In the classroom, when we talk about who benefits from systems of power & privilege, the answer is usually White, straight, cis males. As I continue to have conversations about race with my White friends (males especially), this response is usually one not received well. I’m often met with anger and frustration – an emotional response to what has been described to me as feeling ‘attacked.’ As one male friend put it, “blaming everything on White guys makes us all out to be the Boogie Man – and not all of us are.” I think this sort of response is … Read more