Segregated Housing in 2016

My first interaction with the concept of segregated housing came in my freshman year from a friend of color on campus. They confided to me once, while discussing the topic of race, “Sometimes I wish there was housing just for the students of color…it’d be so nice to just have a place where you could chill with your people.” I was pretty taken aback with this concept, as the idea of outright segregation was something of the Jim Crow era. Then, a few weeks ago, I saw a news article about Cal State introducing segregated housing as an option for … Read more

Rich, Black Folk

340 acres of freshly cut grass. 10,000 square foot mansion. Prep schools and carpool. Luxury cars on every street. Are you thinking the people that live in this community are rich? Do you think they’re white? So do I. However, rich, black people do exist and are even are part of the 1%. But, it’s a very lonely few. In 2013, to be considered part of the 1%, it requires a household net worth of ~$7.9 million. Only 1.7% of those who make that requirement are black. But, does this privilege of wealth give African-Americans equal opportunities in the job … Read more

The Concept of White-Washing

“I have nothing against Black people. My coworker is Black and he speaks and dresses very well. He acts White. It’s the ones that walk around with their boxers out that I don’t like.” We’ve all heard someone say something like this at some point. One of my best friend’s Dad used to make comments like this all the time, and while it always made me somewhat uncomfortable, I never understood the extent of just how horrible that was. The article we read this week by Sue (2010) mentions this in the section about the false image of America as … Read more

Microaggressions & Gaslighting: Is There a Difference?

Dr. Derald Wing Sue defines microaggressions as, “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership” (Sue, 2010). Sue divides the different types of microaggressions into three main categories – microinsults, microassaults, and microinvalidations. While microassaults tend to be conscious, microinsults and microinvalidations are usually unconscious discriminatory acts or verbalizations. While all microaggressions are detrimental to the well-beings of members of minority groups, microinvalidations are thought to be the most damaging because they deny and negate the very real experiences of the oppressed (Sue, 2010). Microinvalidations are usually used by dominant group members to … Read more

Directorial Racial Choices and their Implications

I grew up in a mostly-white suburban town.  However, I was a part of the musical Once On This Island multiple times.  The premise of this musical is that there is a peasant girl (who was traditionally played by a black, female actor) who falls in love with a rich man (traditionally played by a white, male actor). The entire show centers around how these two very different worlds are not allowed to associate and talk to each other, and definitely not fall in love.  She winds up sacrificing herself for him essentially. In the two productions that I participated in, all … 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