An Open Letter to My “White” Black Friend

It is very easy, I’ve found, to look out and look around and see behaviors and interactions that are silently swept into the cyclical system that White supremacy has made out of our country. It is valuable as it is easy to analyze and self-educate in response to these observations. A habit equally if not more valuable to the resistance to oppressive systems, however, is the ability to look inward to analyze and learn from one’s own behavior. In practicing this, I am writing an open letter to one of my best friends from home. We’ll call him James for … Read more

Mythbusters: Mass Incarceration

For most of the 20th century the prison population in the United States remained below 300,000 prisoners. By the year 2000 the population rose to over one million prisoners. When numerically compared to other western nations, the US prison population rises to the top. The racial disproportion in prison populations is unmistakable; African American men make up 39% of the prison population though they represent less than 12% of the total adult male population. (Bobo and Thomson, 2010). The heavy presence of incarceration in the United Sates might seem to reflect high crime rates and a successful police force, where … Read more

Mass Incarceration: Not Just a Social Problem

https://www.flickr.com/photos/breadfortheworld/21685440474

Today when we talk about mass incarceration, many people may think that we are talking about a social problem. Yes, it is a big social problem, since America has become the country with highest incarceration rate for years, which is much higher than the incarceration rates of all other western industrial countries. Although each year the United States federal and states government spends about 70 billion dollars on incarceration, some prisons like which in Texas and California still got overcrowded as there are too many prisoners. However, people often put too much attention just on the population and life quality … Read more

Not the First, Not the Last

Stephon Clark is not the first Black man to be shot and killed for posing an imaginary threat to the nearby community. Unfortunately, he will most likely not be the last person of color to fall victim to police brutality and ignorance. The police officers claimed that Clark was facing them and seemed dangerous and like he was holding a gun. Contradictory to their statements, the autopsy report says Clark was shot from the back 8 times. In past police shootings, the court has typically sided with the officers when there is clear evidence that the officers shot because they … Read more

Tarte Shape Tape – 50 Shades of White

Notice anything in this photo? Do you think you’d be able to pick out your shade? Tarte is a cosmetics company, prominent in high-end make-up stores like Sephora and Ulta Beauty. On their website, they boast their dedication to cruelty-free, vegan skincare and cosmetics that are both ecologically friendly and high quality. Tarte has recently made headlines for their controversial new line of Shape Tape Foundation. By glancing at the photo above from the lens of our class, it’s easy to see the issue. The line offers only three to four colors that are appropriate for people of color, but … Read more

Affirmative Action… Not Gaining Traction

On April 6th, 2018, The U.S. Justice Department announced that it might formally enter a lawsuit accusing Harvard University of discriminating against Asian American applicants as the agency probes its admissions policies for potential civil rights violations. On April 10th, the case moved a step further as a U.S. district judge proposed a tentative October trial date and suggested ground rules for admissions records to be made public in upcoming months. Harvard denies the allegations and is seeking to prevent public disclosure of any evidence its attorneys say would compromise the privacy of applicants and under­mine the admissions process. The … Read more

Radical Black Love Is the Counternarrative

Two Black Women

Derald Wing Sue (2005) describes the masternarrative as white talk that “depicts historical and cultural themes of racial progress, of a fair and just society, of equal access and opportunity, of meritocracy, and of colorblindness.” This idea of reality, often held by well intending white people, is one that denies the harmful effects, both past and present, of racism and, thus, helps to perpetuate it. The perpetuation of racism and prejudice can be depicted in both large (overt) ways and small (subtle) ways. A prominent and common way today is through the use of subtle, racially insensitive comments known as … Read more