Talking About Race: Performativity

Norms prove to be incredibly strong motivating factors in dictating social interaction. Following norms is like following the rules, they give people a feeling that they’re acting acceptably. This lends especially helpful when one finds themselves in an ambiguous situation where they’re unsure of how to act. In white American culture three ground rules provide guidelines for normative social behavior. These three ground rules are the politeness protocol, the academic protocol, and the colorblind protocol (D. W. Sue, 2013). The politeness protocol dictates people should be polite when engaging with others. Consequently, it discourages discussion of topics that are potentially … Read more

Mental Health in 2018: If You’re Black, Can You Never Come Back?

According to a study done by the Office of Minority Health through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as adults, Black and African American males are 20 percent more likely to suffer from serious psychological distress than adult White males. It was also found that Black and African American males are more likely than White males to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. According to the study, “Black/African Americans hold beliefs related to stigma, psychological openness, and help-seeking, which in turn affects their coping behaviors. Generally speaking, the participants in this study were not very open to … Read more

Just Waiting For Our Friend…

On April 12th, two Black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks. They had not placed an order; they were just sitting at a table in a public coffee shop, waiting for their friend to arrive. And an employee working at the Starbucks called the police on them. When the police asked the two Black men to leave, they did not, because it was absurd that they were being asked to leave a public store; they were waiting for their friend. When their friend arrived, he saw his two friends being put into handcuffs for “trespassing”. There is footage circling … Read more

So What is Affirmative Action?

Affirmative action was created as an effort to improve employment and educational opportunities for members of minority groups, and it was an outcome of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. President Kennedy was the first to use the term in an Executive Order that directed government contractors to take “affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin”. In 1965, however, only five percent of undergraduate students were African American. As a result, President Lyndon Johnson signed an Executive Order in 1965 that required government … Read more

Lens of Awareness: Racism Outside of the Classroom

Something that comes with education, of any kind, is the tendency to find ways to apply it and allow it to inform the way we now view the world. These new understandings and connections are the drive that makes us eternal students. What is complex, especially in the vital and often difficult path of education that unpacks and explains the functions of racism and oppression in a White Supremacist system, is allowing this to begin to naturally shape the way you experience and analyze the world moving forward. People may differ from one set of lived experiences to another, however, … Read more

Race, Terror and Mass Shootings

White males do the majority of mass shootings, yet people tend to associate violence and crime with people of color and minority groups. When the Stoneman Douglass school shooting happened it was rare to see media outlets talk about the shooters history of violence against minorities and it took days to find out that the shooter was apart of a white supremacist group. If this were a person of color someone associated with the Muslim religion it would automatically be labeled as a terrorist act or be centered on the race of the person. Instead of calling this act of … Read more

“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity” – Viola Davis

Stereotypes of gender and race permeate our everyday discourses from classrooms to politics and throughout the media. When we aren’t viewing individuals through the impressions granted by stereotypes, we are commonly white-washing our outlooks across matters; from mental illness, physical health, poverty, education and so much more, we downplay the intersections of race and gender. There is typically little room in society for minority groups to speak up for themselves, to challenge the stereotypes allocated to them and to reinforce positive change; in the case that this does happen, societal ignorance hinders our ability to listen and understand. More often … Read more