Why Can’t All Bodies be Different, but Fought For the Same?

In her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander (2010) spells out the issues of the master narrative, which has, since the abolition of slavery and strategic implementation of the war on drugs and mass incarceration, legitimized and hidden from the American people what locking up thousands and thousands of Black bodies has done. The emergence of crack cocaine in impoverished streets and mandatory minimum sentencing laws covered up the racist intentions of politicians to win the vote of the southern working class Whites who were feeling threatened and uneasy by Black bodies – … Read more

Talking about Trump

As I was scrolling through Facebook the other day I stumbled upon a shared link by a conservative Facebook friend entitled, “I’m a Republican, Not a Moron: Being Conservative in a World That’s Not.”  Intrigued, I read through the article, the general gist of it being that everyone just needs to respect each other across party lines and that we have to learn that agreeing to disagree is okay. While I agree that respect and valuing others opinions, even if they differ from ours, is important, the extremely racist statements of current politicians such as Donald Trump make me skeptical … Read more

Predisposed to Disaster: Institutional Racism and Hurricane Katrina

I was only 9 years old when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, so I do not remember that much about the coverage of the disaster at the time. My parents largely tried to shield me from the extreme tragedy that took place in the city. I knew that a hurricane had hit, and I knew that it was bad, but I had no conception of the extent of the damage and lives that were lost as a result of the storm. Over time, I began to learn more about the staggering effect of the hurricane on the city and its … Read more

Race & Poverty: It’s Different in America

While in Barcelona over spring break, I found myself thinking a lot about our discussions in Contemporary Racism. The points about the history of the racial caste system in our country that were highlighted in the New Jim Crow readings were put into context when I visited Spain. Although race relations are troublesome universally, it seems when you step outside of this country that poverty may impact minority populations to a greater extent here in the United States than in other nations. I visited Barcelona for eight days last week with a couple of friends and we spent the majority of our … Read more

“Not our Problem, Dude”

This past break, I spent some time in New Orleans. We decided to take a walking tour to learn more about the history of the city. Our guide asked, “What does NOPD stand for?” Without hesitation, we replied, “New Orleans Police Department!”. He immediately said, “Nope… It stands for ‘Not our problem, dude’.”  This obvious jab at the police department resonated with me, especially after reading about the racism revolving around Hurricane Katrina. As I walked around different neighborhoods, I noticed that some looked completely unharmed or renovated, and some where still very run down. Neighborhoods with predominantly Black residents consisted of … Read more

Hurricane Katrina: Facts We Lost in the Storm

In August of 2005, a devastating storm, Hurricane Katrina, shook up the southeastern United States in a way that no one could have predicted…. Or could they? Behind news stories through televised reports, newspapers, and social media, there was an unspoken controversy that many people did not know about – race and race relations between the authorities running the institutions (such as the FHA and FEMA) and the Black population in New Orleans. Through reading an article called, “Institutional Discrimination, Individual Racism, and Hurricane Katrina,” by Henkel, Dovidio, and Gaertner (2006), the class learned about an alternate narrative of the … Read more