Writing

Is The Black Struggle Only For Blacks?

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Rachel Dolezal is continuing to perpetuate this trans-racial persona that pushed her to fame back in 2015. This week, Dolezal announced that she is releasing a book that is due to arrive in stores in March of 2017. The name of the book: In Full Color. Many were rather confused and taken aback by this news, as the book is set to detail her struggle of being black. The summary given on the back cover of the book states, “…she’ll discuss the deep emotional bond she formed with her four adopted black siblings, the sense of belonging she felt while living in black communities in Jackson, Mississippi and Washington, D.C., and the discrimination she’s suffered while living as a black woman.” Is it possible to write a book on the black struggle, without actually being black? Twitter doesn’t seem to think so.

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And the bizarre Rachel Dolezal saga continues. It seems that she is making a mockery out of the black experience. There are several writers of color struggling everyday to get their work published and circulated to the public. A Caucasian woman like Dolezal, however, claims blackness and immediately secures a book deal on a topic that we are not sure she is capable of accurately discussing. This raises questions as to whether or not Dolezal is simply delusional, or if she is just too far deep in her lies to back out now. It seems that the world may never fully know or understand her exact motives, or what truly lies beneath her excessively teased hair. The only thing that we can be sure of, is that there’s a first for everything.

Did Korryn Gaines Do Too Much?

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The fatal shooting of Korryn Gaines has been the topic of controversy for some time. However, not many people are aware of the questionably bizarre details leading up to her death.

Gaines had a long history of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and several traffic offenses. Not too long before she was killed by police, Gaines was stopped for having a missing license plate. In place of her license plate, there was a piece of cardboard with the following message written on it: “Any government official who compromises this pursuit to happiness and right to travel, will be held criminally responsible and fined, as this is a natural right to freedom.”

During one of her run-ins with law enforcement, Gaines recorded herself throwing her traffic citation out of the window, badmouthing the police officer that pulled her over, and shouting to her five-year-old son that the police were trying to kill them. Gaines even went as far as to tell the police officer that he would have to murder her before she got out of the car. However, there were no signs of police using force or making any attempt to hurt her at all.

Unlike the rest of the deadly encounters that minorities have recently had with police, the police officer in the video is clearly seen being respectful and polite when dealing with Gaines. It is Gaines who immediately becomes agitated and causes the situation to escalate on more than one occasion.

The final deadly incidence took place a few weeks later when police came to Gaines’ house in order to serve a warrant for the arrest of herself and her boyfriend, Kareem Courtney. According to reports, her boyfriend was wanted for assault.

Although Gaines did not answer the door, police were able to hear a man and a woman’s voice from inside of the apartment, as well as a crying child. The officers then got a key from the landlord and entered her home.

Upon entering the home, the police officer saw Gaines sitting on the floor, pointing a shotgun at him. Her boyfriend, Kareem Courtney then attempted to flee the apartment with his child, however police were able to capture him. Courtney informed policed that Gaines had a mental illness and was unstable.

Police spent hours attempting to negotiate with Gaines, and begging her to surrender. They event brought in her family to help talk her down, but all attempts were unsuccessful.

In her final moments alive, Gaines pointed her shotgun directly at a police officer standing in her doorway, causing the officer to fire a shot. Gaines fired a shot in return, prompting the officer to fire the last three shots that fatally killed her.

Upon hearing of this incident, the Black Lives Matter movement was in an uproar. Although Gaines was fatally shot by a police officer, was this really a case of police brutality against blacks? It is clear that Gaines had some type of mental issues, as she had many clearly documented run-ins with police, where she continually provoked them, and constantly egged them on for no apparent reason.

In the videos that she posted before her death, Gaines was uncooperative and disrespectful to the police officers who pulled her over. There was no sign of police brutality or discrimination during these encounters. After investigations into the Baltimore County Police Department were completed, it was decided that no charges would be filed against the officer that shot and killed Gaines. As a result, the Black Lives Matter movement was incredibly upset over this decision, as they felt that police were unjustified in shooting and killing her.

At what point is it necessary to gain control over an impossible situation and take matters into your own hands? Gaines was armed and was reportedly pointing her shotgun at her five-year-old son, as well as at police. With all that is going on in the world, is it too difficult to decipher between self-defense and deliberate killing?

Dignity or Disrespect

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After a recent abortion overruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the state of Texas has now created a new rule, requiring that abortion clinics bury the remains of the aborted fetuses. In addition to the cost of the abortion, the woman undergoing the abortion will also be responsible for covering the costs associated with the burial of the fetal remains.

The governor of Texas has stated that by implementing this new legislation, they are “giving a voice to the unborn.” However, critics believe that this is not a public health concern, but rather a cruel attempt to restrict women from having abortions. The timing of this new rule is a little too convenient to many people, as the state of Texas had just lost their fight to ban abortion. Forcing a woman to not only pay for the abortion, but also the burial costs of the procedure seems to be a form of shaming these women for having an abortion. These regulations were not put into place to solve any rising public health or cleanliness issues, and it poses no benefit to the woman receiving the abortion. This is another attempt to persuade a woman to think first before having an abortion, or sway them from having one at all.

Furthermore, requiring the woman to cover the costs of the burial is even more unconstitutional, according to opponents of the new legislation. Planned Parenthood reports that an abortion can cost anywhere from $300 to $950. Adding cremation and burial costs to that, will mean that women seeking to have an abortion will be spending anywhere from $1500 to $4000. This poses a huge problem because many of the women who seek out abortion clinics are low income individuals who oftentimes have trouble affording an abortion in the first place. Of these low income individuals, a majority are women of color. Knowing that these costs will significantly add up, critics believe that this is a strategic move by the state of Texas to end abortion. The question remains, is this a real attempt to protect the rights and dignity of the unborn fetuses, or is this just another underhanded attempt to take away the personal and constitutional rights of a woman to choose?

The U.S. = The Original ISIS

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It is no secret (or surprise) that the number of hate crimes against minorities has greatly increased since the election of Donald Trump. Muslims have been labeled as one of the most targeted groups in the United States, especially since the attacks on 9/11. Trump has notoriously vowed to ban all Muslims from the U.S. since the very beginning of his campaign. Since he has been elected, however, Trump has somewhat gone back on many of his promises to expel Muslims from the U.S. In spite of these regressions, Muslims are understandably still worried about what Trump’s America could look like. Not only is he surrounding himself with bigots and Islamophobes, but the problematic statements of these leaders have also prompted many vicious attacks.

The most recent attack took place at Ohio State University. A Somalian man by the name of Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove through a crowd of students on campus, slashing multiple people with a butcher knife in the process. ISIS took responsibility for the attack, although no linking evidence was found at the scene of the crime. It was reported that Artan posted on Facebook that he was “sick and tired” of Muslims being mistreated. Trump immediately took to Twitter to inform the world that Artan should have never been in the U.S. in the first place.

Due to the blatant hatred coming from the United States, this causes many to wonder if these incidents are, in a sense, warranted. The U.S. has long been discriminatory and oppressive towards all minorities, especially Muslims. The possibility exists that ISIS, and other copycat individuals are simply continuing to perpetuate the hate that the U.S. has already projected on themselves, as well as the rest of the world. The United States is known for waging war, useless fighting, injustice, and displacing innocent groups of people. Are other cultures simply mimicking what the U.S. has been doing all along?

One Man’s Struggle

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The stigma surrounding HIV continues even into the 21st century, all over the world. Although this virus has been mostly under control for several years, there are still many skeptical people. While people tend to associate HIV with homosexuality and unprotected sex, there are actually an exceptional amount of cases that are not sexually related at all. According to the United States Department of Health & Human Services, 36.7 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV/AIDS. Of these people, 1.8 million are children, most of whom were infected by their HIV positive mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

One young adult in South Africa by the name of Sabelo Chonco detailed his experience with HIV and the challenges that he has faced because of the disease. Chonco most likely contracted the virus from his late mother who never disclosed the status of her health before her death, out of fear of being judged. He explained that because of the virus, he was unable to participate in the conventional behaviors that teens partake in. Things like dating and sex were all off-limits to Chonco, as he was unknowingly carrying around the HIV virus until the age of fourteen. As non-diseased individuals who have never suffered from an incurable disease, we take these seemingly normal activities for granted. Chonco noted that he was afraid to interact with those of the opposite sex, or even go to the clinic to get in medicine out of fear of being judged.

Although Chonco has never been sexually active, he still faces the stigma that goes along with being HIV positive. Because of the poor information that is given to those in his country regarding HIV/AIDS, Chonco and his community are faced with many unaswered questions. He feels that the more people he can speak with and educate, the less stigma there will be surrounding the virus.

The “Church” of Scientology

 

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The Church of Scientology is notorious for being the center of scandal and controversy. Members of scientology are known for being wealthy celebrities who donate considerable amounts of money to the “church.” There is much debate as to whether or not the church of scientology is even, in fact, a church at all. Scientology is defined as a religion that is based on a set of scientific beliefs and practices; many of which are in direct conflict with modern day science.

Because of her new show on A&E, King of Queens star, Leah Remini is under fire for her ousting of the Church of Scientology. She has been revealing the deepest, darkest secrets of the “church” and all of those that are involved in it. While scientology is known for its extremely secretive nature, the most common factor that seems to come to light is the physical, mental, and sexual abuse experienced by the members of the church. Throughout the series, Remini makes the point that a true “church” should not, and does not use religion against its followers, or for any kind of abuse. This raises the question, what constitutes a legitimate religion? Is there such a thing as a true and legitimate religion? Who has the power to establish these rules?

Ann Coulter Tries (and fails) To Take On Beyoncé & Michelle Obama

A recent tweet by Ann Coulter has the twitterverse in an uproar. She tweeted:

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Twitter immediately clapped back at Coulter, due to the inaccuracy of her tweet. Those lyrics are actually those of Nicki Minaj, not Beyonce. However, Michelle Obama is still under fire for her consistent support of rappers and singers such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Common, amongst others. As a result of their promiscuous lyrics, many find it appalling that Michelle Obama would site these individuals as role models for her daughters. While many twitter users noted that Beyoncé twerks, squats, and does other suggestive dance moves, other Twitter users made sure to point out that sexual talk/dancing ≠ sexual assault. Therefore, this still does not justify the comments made by Donald Trump, which is seemingly where Ann Coulter was going with this tweet. And who said Ann Coulter (and the rest of the twitterverse) has the right to be the judge of what is considered to be inappropriate for someone’s children and what is not? It’s okay for the world to admire Miley Cyrus’ “free-spirited” bold new personality and look, but the Obama girls are not allowed to admire Beyoncé’s feministic approach to music?

In what world are the lyrics of any singer 100% appropriate? The day-to-day language of the average person contains at least some profanity and/or provocative comments. The only music in the world without any cursing or sexual innuendos is religious music, and of course, Kidz Bop. (However, Kidz Bop has been getting a little more promiscuous lately). Is it possible for the Obama girls to be completely sheltered from all sexual innuendos, racy dancing, and profanity? Absolutely not. They have to grow up at some point, just like the rest of the children in the world. How does Ann Coulter think that children come into this world? The stork method?

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