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Guest Post: Why I Marched on January 21, 2017

Yesterday the Women’s March took place. If the captivating images of this event are any indicator, I have no doubt I will one day teach this to my U.S. History classes. Unfortunately, my duties as a wrestling coach kept me from participating in this historic event. This left me following the march in spirit as I read posts, watched videos, and looked at photos from many of my friends in attendance. One such friend, Isabel Otero, was kind enough to put her emotions into words and provide this guest post. Her second on this blog.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Why I Marched on January 21, 2017”

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The Electoral College: Introduction and the 2016 Presidential Race

Well, it’s finally over. The 2016 Presidential election, it’s done. What seemed like a sad reality show come to life finally ended and the results are clear. America chose Hillary Clinton for President. Almost 2.9 million more Americans preferred Clinton, as a matter of fact. Clinton took 48.2% of the popular vote, or 65,844,954 votes to Donald Trump’s 46.1% or 62,979, 879 votes. However, despite Clinton winning in a clear landslide vote vs vote, Donald Trump won the Presidential Election by attaining 306 Electoral Votes to Clinton’s 232; this made Donald President Elect and left Clinton with more votes than any other losing Presidential candidate in U.S. History.  Continue reading “The Electoral College: Introduction and the 2016 Presidential Race”

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“A City too Busy to Hate” and Mayor Kasim Reed

Ever since the Civil Rights era the city of Atlanta has often dubbed itself the “city too busy to hate.” Now that the city is in the throes of this generation’s protest, Atlanta seems to be adopting that moniker once more. Check out this inspirational video from 11Alive created after NAACP led protests in the city.  Continue reading ““A City too Busy to Hate” and Mayor Kasim Reed”

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Donald Trump’s Confederate Flag

After the Charleston Church shooting last year Confederate Flags and iconography suffered tremendous backlash. Most notable of which was the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag (CBF) from the grounds of the South Carolina State House. Naturally, with every backlash comes the counter-backlash. One year later in the midst of a Presidential election, the flag and those that wield it have found a new ally…Donald Trump.  Continue reading “Donald Trump’s Confederate Flag”

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‘Tis the Season for Discrimination

Today’s post features a personal story and insights on disability discrimination from Isabel Otero. Isabel is a high school friend of mine and routine commenter on this blog. I have featured her keen insight before on this blog; especially on matters of discrimination and race. Having worked with the Department of Justice and currently the Southern Poverty Law Center, she certainly has a lot of experience in the matter. Enjoy.

As one of our political parties drags the fringe of their base –kicking, screaming and brandishing guns– into the mainstream, our airwaves and holiday conversations end up saturated with words like “Trump, “intolerance,” “war” etc. History tells us that our collective finger-pointing will soon move on to the next easy target, so Syrians sit tight –as a Latina — I will tell you some of this may pass. It’s hard to imagine a time when someone will not be stigmatized and treated as second class citizens due to some part of their identity. I’d like to talk about one of those groups now. No, this time it’s not the LGBT community, African-Americans, women, atheists, Muslims, or Jews. I want to talk about people with disabilities. 

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Understanding White Privilege

A week ago I wrote briefly about the upcoming film Straight Outta Compton: The Story of N.W.A., and how that movie’s message is relevant to the current racial climate in the United States. I got a few interesting comments to that post and some pretty cool reactions on Facebook.  Not surprisingly, some people took offense. One Confederate Heritage advocated, and self proclaimed researcher George Purvis, became distraught over a sentence I used in that post: “White privilege is a very real thing.” Afterward, Purvis gave an account of his hard life growing up poor in southern Mississippi. His post was intended to disprove any notion of white privilege due to the existence of interracial poverty. Despite George’s personal story, white privilege is still a very real thing.

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“Our Art is a Reflection of Our Reality”

The other night I saw the new high adrenaline thriller, Furious 7. I always get to the theater early because I’m a movie junkie and actually enjoy watching trailers. While sitting there watching some of the mindless swill soon to be released, I saw the red-band trailer for Straight Outta Compton. This looks like a promising movie which does more than focus on the rise of the popular “Gangsta” rap group N.W.A. Judging by the trailer, the film attempts to tie sexual commercialism and the brutal beating of Rodney King to the environment which produced groups like N.W.A. The link above will take you to the trailer.

In the trailer for Straight Outta Compton O’Shea Jackson Jr., who is playing a younger version of his father Ice Cube, states that “Our art is a reflection of our reality.” The character utters those trending words in response to the accusations that the group’s music glorifies violence. When I heard that quote, I thought about the protests in Baltimore and the riots in Ferguson last summer. It made me consider what “our reality” looks like. Continue reading ““Our Art is a Reflection of Our Reality””