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

Phenotypes & Stereotypes

I drive three hours almost every weekend to go home to my family, and lately I’ve been listening to podcasts to help pass the time, namely RadioLab. I came across an episode from season five simply titled “Race.” There are a lot of interesting stories featured under this topic, but one in particular has kept me thinking long after listening to it. There has been this trend circling around the internet where people reveal the results of a DNA test that tells them what percentage of their genes are specific to other people living in certain regions. For example, if … 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

Psychological Parasites

The world is full of hierarchies, organized in distinct categories with distinct characteristics. Hierarchies have a sense of superiority and inferiority between the things being ordered, such as movie ratings. Movies can be rated in different categories, but there is a sense of one movie being better than the other movie, and then better than the next. This can also happen with people. Some experts, such as Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow) say that the hierarchy of people in America happened as soon as the first settlers set foot on American land and kidnapped Africans to build their nation … Read more

The Significance of Social Cognition in Determining Racial Ideology

As I read the section entitled “The Birth and Death of Slavery” in Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, the key role social cognition played in creating racial ideologies became abundantly clear.  As Alexander explains in her historical analysis of the creation of race in colonial America, a fledgling country had certain capitalist needs for an increase in land and an increase in labor; in order for these demands to be met, Native Americans were killed and forced off their land and blacks were brutally enslaved and exploited as a free labor source.  … Read more

Supremacy and Privilege: The Insidious Consequences of Language

The social constructs that define our reality seem so natural and organic it is as if they were created along with the four elements. But we know that things like race and gender were built by people in order to create a hierarchal society, so how do we begin to deconstruct the categories we both rely on and often cannot see? I suggest that the first step to deconstruction is changing how we describe our identities and the identities of others. I, a white female, have the privilege of calling myself an American.  When I introduce myself as such there … Read more