Something different- Racism in PWI

Just thought I’d share this…it was very insightful and I wanted others to read it as it was a very strong analysis of what many schools, majority white, try to do when confronted with the history of racism and slavery. 

Race and racism were never discussed in any meaningful way in any class or even a single lecture that I had in my entire K-12 years. I went to public schools, but exceptional ones—selective magnet ones, with gifted/honors/IB/AP courses—so theoretical school “quality” was not the issue. Not until college was it even discussed in a critical way, and even then it had limitations. I attended PWIs where the “hurt” feelings of Whites is of greater concern to professors than how microaggressions, overt racism, and structural/institutional/systemic racism impacts Black and other students of colour. Here is this major thing—race—that is never a question of “if” race is factor but “how” is race a factor and it is practically nonexistent in classrooms or appears in highly abusive ways. My schools were no anomalies. This is fairly standard. (See thisthisthisthis andthis.)

Even in high school when books such as Things Fall Apart, Beloved andTheir Eyes Were Watching God were assigned reading and we engaged in college-level literary critique in high school, that critique remained literary. The manifestations of racism (as well as other isms) in the lives of the characters was examined as some sort of anomaly occurring in complicated albeit fictitious literary worlds. The juxtapositions between those characters’ lives and the lives of Black students as we lived them were never topics of examination. Whether assignments were something as stupid as worksheets/end of chapter questions that focused on details or something as complex as the aforementioned literary analysis, everything but truly examining racism occurred.

Then of course there is the real theatre—the games. The absence of nuanced Black history in classrooms. The ideas perpetuated in classrooms, that Black people did not exist, then popped up as slaves, then Lincoln, then MLK, then today, as some sort of quick linear nonsense where Black people are objects not subjects in our own experiences. The ridiculous Black History month activities of picking 5-10 Black sociopolitical icons who have already been turned into one-dimensional caricatures and focus on how benevolent Whites made their existence “worthy” and write repetitive superficial reports on them. The typical labeling of racism (and other isms) as “bullying” versus what it actually is.

But then I remember the truth. While theoretically education is supposed to be a tool to liberate, education as an institution does not serve that purpose. Its purpose is to convince, control, indoctrinate and create compliant future workers to support capitalist hierarchies where most will remain at the bottom. It exists to reinforce the status quo. It exists as a drop off spot for kids in the post-Child Labor Laws era, so that older people can fulfill their roles in the capitalist hierarchy. Why on earth would it be a place where meaningful discussion would occur on race and racism? A truly educated populous—not via the banking method but education as the practice of freedom, as Paulo Freire referred to—would completely revolt against existing kyriarchy. Why on earth would those invested in kyriarchy want this to occur on a mass scale? Once I remember the aforementioned, the disaster that is education makes more “sense” so to speak, though it is truly a disgusting “sense.”

There are people who want “nigger” removed from books written during the error of slavery as if this erases slavery. There are people who do not want slavery taught at all, as if the manifestations of slavery, such as racism, Black body dehumanization and capitalism itself do not exist today because of what occurred then. They want novels that mention racism removed from the curriculum as it “scares” White children and makes Whites “look bad.”

Ultimately, they want the conversation on race and racism to be nonexistent prior to age 18…for White students. (Beverly Daniels Tatum wrote a great book on why this is a mistake.) Black students and other ones of colour do not have said luxury. Since we experience the manifestations of racism from birth and begin to deal with it in classrooms at an early age, we cannot ignore it to make Whites who perpetuate it (or even do not perpetuate it individually, but do not have to in order to have White privilege and benefit from racism/White supremacy) no less, more comfortable. Black children are expected to place White comfort at the center of their entire frame of thought and to not do so while also rejecting “responsibility” for all of the ways that we are affected by racism as students, is called “making excuses.”

The myth that younger people are automatically less racist is just that—a myth. Racism prevails on campuses and not just among administration and teachers, but also students. The nasty reaction by non-Black youth to “Rue” in the film The Hunger Games is just a microcosm of how racism is proliferated by youth. The Abigail Fisher and Suzy Weiss type of youth who think they are “owed” a slot in a school for being White reveals racist sentiments among the young.

The delusion that racism does not exist—and if it does, Black people are to ignore it and accept responsibility for any problem that exists because of it, while never mentioning the existence of racism in the first place, as Whites benefit from racism and pretend that it is solely their “hard work” that affords them the perks that they cannot even recognize because of White privilege—remains a dangerous one. Only a genuine approach to education—and apparently outside of the institution that is education—will begin to change this.

– gradientlair

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I got it!

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So I got the internship! I can tell I’m going to love it here. I basically do what I’m told and the rest is up to me. From when I come in to how i dress. And get this. They even give me free green tea! Whaaaaat!?! The picture I posted is some decor in the office. On Wednesday ill be attending the first meditation session. Ill update you guys on everything I learned and experienced. Until next time… Stay happy 🙂

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Possible Internship?!?

So this summer I was very pressed to keep busy. My goals were to get a job and an internship, while doing side jobs as well. Even though I love not having to do a thing in the world at times, I appreciate it so much more when I’m actually being productive with my life. I use to lay on the couch day after day not giving a damn about being productive. But since going to college, I have found that I HATE being unproductive and summer is the worst. I need to be doing something or else I get bored and fidgety and over think my future. I want to stop living in the future and planning out things I want to do and just DO them ASAP! So by getting out there and working, I will be able to experience new people, experiences and be productive! Perfect solution to a boring summer.

So I had first had an interview with Counseling in Schools. Its a non profit organization that helps students in low income neighborhoods with school work and make sure they stay in school. I’ve always been intrigued with the education system in America, seeing it as a vital part of America, there’s a lot that can be improved. So I was glad I finally got the opportunity to help out with an organizations with such great ambitions. Sadly though they were looking for someone with more experience and I was passed along being a simple college student with no real experience in researching for grants, as that would be my job. 

Though disappointed, I was still ambitious to find an internship. So I did research and came upon something so great my mouth dropped to the floor as I came across it. It’s a non profit organization called the Interdependence Group. It’s a meditation center that teachers psychology and philosophy based on Buddhist teachings. I was so astonished to find this. I e-mailed the hiring manager as fast as I could with my resume and cover letter all set up and by Monday I received an e-mail back asking to meet with me. What a great combination of being productive and finding an internship, while I embark on this wonderful journey of finding myself. Though I don’t get paid, I do get to attend all the classes they offer for free which already had me hooked! So my interview is tomorrow and hopefully then or at least by Monday I shall know if I got the internship for sure. Wish me luck and this all goes to show when one door closes, another one will open. 🙂

But if anyone is in the New York area and wants to check out the place or at least know more about the organization the website is right hurrr —-> http://theidproject.org/

P.S I know I’m corny, I’m just trying to be inspiring GOSH. 

Baby Steps…

Part of my reason for starting this journey is to be happy. Simple as that. I don’t really like to broadcast this for it makes me feel vulnerable, but I’m learning that its ok to feel vulnerable and to accept every flaw within me. So in 2011 I was diagnosed with depression. I was going through many signs that were obvious, but I was in denial. Something wasn’t right and I couldn’t figure it out. So I tried many things to make myself happy. I worked out to increase the flow of endorphins. It was fun and got a personal trainer and got in great shape, but I was still feeling irritated all the time. I analyzed every part of my life and couldn’t figure out how I lost all my energy. It felt like one second I was enthusiastic and excited about life, and the next day everything had just gone to shit. It was a struggle to even wake up in the morning just to go to school. Nothing made me smile anymore. Not my friends, not music, not watching a movie. Everything I was once content with just made me even more hollow then before. It was an aching hole I was desperate to fill.

Before I know it,  I hit rock bottom and that’s when I decided to see someone. It was then I was diagnosed with depression. I told her about everything and how I had been working towards getting better. She stated I was doing everything right…yet I was still unhappy.I sought for help, for a clear answer to get rid of this but it never happened. So with wanting an easy solution I was prescribed anti-depressants. I finally found progress and was able to get better. Though I had some downturns and mishaps, my depression seemed to slowly dissipate. 

But I still wasn’t satified. I was once find being drugged up all the time because it did work and helped with my depression so much, but I didn’t want to depend on this pills just to be happy. I wanted to be naturally happy, the way I was intended to be. I was also dealing with a lot of side effects that I clearly didn’t like. One thing was that it made me tired all the time. I was sleeping for over 12 hours a day. It was ridiculous. I’d even miss class because I couldn’t gather the strength to get out of my bed. I also lost a lot of my concentration. I was off my medication for a semester in school cause I felt like I was cured. (I was in fact the worst I’d ever been though lawlz) But I had full focus and could actually pay attention to all my professors. I got straight A’s that semester. The next semester when I got back on, my grades suffered as well. It felt like I had to choose between my happiness or my grades, and thats something I just couldn’t fantom. 

So this summer when I returned home for summer break, I decided to find my way to happiness without the pills. I don’t want to depend on something artificial for my happiness.  I want to achieve it on my own time with my own effort without chemicals affecting my brain everyday. So I officially detox myself from my medication and am beginning a fresh start on this journey. 

 

P.S I also want to clarify that I’m ok and have done this before and not “off my meds” for those who aren’t clear with medication and depression and all that. ThanksImage

The Beginning…

The beginning of last year I was going through some personal issues. I found myself wanting to start anew. I craved clarity into my life. Upon this journey I discovered a flyer for Buddhist Meditation Club. I only viewed the meditation part, and thought that this would be a great way for me to learn to meditate and maybe clear my mind from all the negativity surrounding it. But it did more then that. It awakened a part of me that I didn’t know existed. It awakened the spiritual side of me. I started going to meetings as often as I could and learned much about meditating and buddhism. This inspired me to continue learning more on this culture. Through the meetings I learned the basic meanings of Buddhism which was to live a simple life in moderation, without harming others. Do good to others and you will live a fulfilling life. Each meeting we would read passages from the dhammapadda and discuss our thoughts about them. It was refreshing to be around people who just sought to live good lives without the bullshit that surrounds us everyday. Finally escape from reality and a sanctuary you can say, that was inhabited by good energy. Because of this club, I have now been enthusiastic on continuing my journey to find inner peace. I started this blog so I can share my journey with all those who are interested as me in finding inner peace as well. I will be listing many things I discover and will share them with you and my thoughts on how they helped me become a better person, and more in touch with the happiness that lies inside me. I will be posting books, crystals, and exercises that I have found useful in helping with this process. I hope you all find your way as I hope to find my way onto eternal bliss. Thanks for reading!.