Back to Politics. Netflix scandal.

Unfortunately I cannot stay away from politics for too long. Writing about politics allows me to scream my opinions about issues that I cannot talk about daily at work. Working with people on a daily basis is amazing. I love the constant interaction and the ability to help people each day, but the downfall is that I have to censor all of my political views, therefore it is inappropriate to divulge personal political views at work with few exceptions of course.

I recently came across a movement of people deleting their Netflix accounts due to a new series that they are creating based on a movie.  People are boycotting a movie spin off show called Dear White People.  People are boycotting the show on the assumption that the show promotes racism and has an anti-white agenda.  There are currently 178 thousand dislikes on the trailer, and the 2014 film is currently streaming on Hulu. Now of course, I am a huge supporter of protest and old fashion boycotting to make a statement over injustice,but I wanted to find out about the show/movie and do a little bit of my own research.

“Dear White People” released in 2014 is a satirical comedy-drama film focusing on escalating racial tensions at a prestigious Ivy league college from the perspective of several African American students. Dear white people is a conversation about race relations. Many white Americans watched the trailer, and felt that it is race baiting. A narrative with a liberal agenda. Let’s actually talk about the show, and reality that is faced within society.  This movie and soon to be show is a comedy that through satire highlights the struggle of many African Americans and biracial individuals that enter into the world of academia after high school.  Not to place every person of one race or background under the same stereotype or “box”, but how is highlighting the college experience from an African American going to a traditional college automatically an anti-white agenda.  There are plenty of shows and movies that highlight traditionally black college and the various activities within the school (Stomp the Yard and Drumline to name a few). Traditional college with crazy parties, horrible Greek life, focus on rape culture, and binge drinking (Neighbors, Neighbors 2, and Greek to name a few ).  These shows highlight both black and white college students in a certain light, but each do not have the interaction between the two or deals specifically between the common interaction faced traditionally on college campuses.

So lets be frank. Yes the show does highlight white people in a negative light based on what we have experienced as black people. Yes does it stereotype white people as one group of people with similar views, similar notions, similar stances on another group of people.  Do I agree with placing all white people in a box. Well no. I think that perpetuating stereotypes only helps divide people rather than bring them together overall, but it does not validate this show as white baiting or anti-white agenda.  The reality is that within American society there are already certain stereotypes that are ingrained within us due to (wait for this one) movies that have already reinforced these stereotypes. People within the film industry only have a limited amount of seconds to get across a minor characters’ personality and a basic inclination of who they are.  This means that the film industry prey upon stereotypes that are already ingrained within society.

My issue lies in the fact that people are upset about what one show is doing to “whites” in placing stereotypes on them to fit into a certain dynamic for a show, but it was not an important issue when the film industry has placed stereotypes on minorities for decades. Again I am not validating Lions gate’s decision to perpetuate one stereotype, but it is the reality that we all live in. If you are triggered by this show than you should reevaluate the entire industry within our country. Just like liberals, conservatives pick and choose which films and projects to rally against. If you want to protest, protest the whole system! Don’t fall victim to the stereotypes, and realize you cannot escape them. Stop watching all media, stop paying to watch movies, stop streaming videos, and stop watching television.  This may seem a little severe because it is. The alternative is to realize most films perpetuate stereotypes to get a message out there. Its a sad reality, but maybe you could learn about life from a different perspective by watching a new show or simply do not watch the show at all.

So go head and boycott a show that has had a ton of money spent on it already, that is being released within the next few months. Also miss out on 1,000 of hours of new material being released by Netflix this year.  Sometimes you have to pick your battles. If you would prefer to give up Netflix than so be it. I will not condemn anyone for boycotting because it is one of the most underrated forms of protest that has the ability to make a huge impact. Just remember the next time you watch a film and an African American is portrayed as ghetto, uneducated, and loud. When a Hispanics shown as being loud, with a lot of children, and illegal immigrant. Asians as nerdy, traditional, all Chinese, strict parents, and heavy accents. Overweight people as lazy, food crazy, and without motivation.   All these stereotypes are wrong too, and do not call someone a snowflake when they protest in a similar way. Honestly I cannot say I will watch all of Dear White People because every show is not my cup of tea. Well actually I’m not a huge fan of the modern film industry and I usually do not watch too many shows or movies, but all of it is something small to think about. In addition I challenge everyone to research a topic before reacting. You might learn something. I also promise a review on the show once it hits Netflix.

Until next time.

-KP

 

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Dear Mr President

Dear President Trump,

I have constantly rallied against your campaign while you were running for president. To my dismay you became president.  After you became president-elect, although I still adamantly was disgusted by the election result, I have decided that you have won the electoral college (an elite system that was created to only allow certain individuals vote for the actual president) I would still respect your title as president.  With that said I may respect your title, but you disgust as human being.

Although you promised to get career politicians put, you in fact have become the epitome of a politician.  You promised during your election “to make america great again”.  My first question is what made american great in the past. Depending on the person, there will be a diverse amount of answers, but to make this letter short, lets take this to the core values of America. What made America great is the fact that are values in our country is the freedom and democracy.  As you have only been in office a few days and seem to continuously attack one the main core values of America.

You silenced government agencies’ twitter pages, have them taking down certain pages to accommodate your philosophies,  you have condemned women for exercising their right to assemble.  This is not America. This is not Freedom. This is not democracy. THIS IS ONE MAN CONTROLLING AND MANIPULATING THE GOVERNMENT!  This is what happens in communist, oligarchies, and under dictators.   How are you making America Great again?

Here is a small piece of advice from someone who does not identify as either a republican or democrat.  Put your own big-headed opinions aside and listen to the concerns and cries of your fellow Americans.  What would make America great is to stop the government from infringing on our basic rights.  Allow people to make their own choices in regards to their body. Stop allowing watchdog agencies to tap into my computer because I smear your name. Stop thinking I am an uneducated person because my opinions differ from yours.  Accept that america is great because we are a melting pot of people.  Stop worrying about building a wall to keep people out, and build a society that does not need to be a police state, but rather a community that will expel the negative (which right now includes you).  Stop worrying about the numbers at your inauguration, and worry more about the fact that this country was built on a separation of church and state which never seems to correlate to laws that do not directly violate our freedom to practice any religion that we shall believe. Stop telling me about your christian values when you cannot even stay married to the same woman without divorce. I guess what I am saying is stop being you. Stop saying you are going to make America Great when you are just proving to be just as hypocritical as any other politician in office.

So even if you will not make America Great, I will continue to make America great again through my daily actions. I will continue to spread love and understanding. Instead of blaming people for having a difference of opinion than me, I will listen and learn from their knowledge of the subject.  I will listen and be understanding even when I disagree because that is the ultimate form of respecting someone else.  I hope within the next four years that you prove me wrong, and you truly make America a great place to live again.

Well I will conclude with talk to you later Mr. President. I hope you will hear my message and many other Americans cry for a Greater America.

 

Truly yours,

KAT

Media: A source of Good or Evil

One of my biggest issues that plagues modern society is the large reliance on the media that we all have become accustomed to.  On a daily basis the media helps to inform the public of news that ranges from local to international issues.  The media helps to link together each corner of our globe and helps connect people around the world within seconds, but with the universal link and connection also came many consequences. To warn this post is not written to create a forum to advocate limiting or restricting free speech and the use of the media.  In fact I am not a huge fan of limiting the freedoms of individuals overall.  I am simply highlighting some of the issues that are caused by the increases reliance and constant link to media sources.

One major issue that plagues the media is the constant bias that is present within reporting.  Many people watch new stations and read articles expecting to learn facts and information on a topic.  This information may be accurate but seems to slightly lean towards a certain political belief or values.   Many people are unaware of the fact that there is a slight to obvious bias within media sources and many individuals take information found within a news source at face value.  People expect many news sources to report information without including bias or a lot of opinion, but the fact is that many news sources and reporters write and produce stories with a slight bias regardless of intentional use of their opinion. Learning true information within our media today usually means either digging to find raw facts or taking many sources and finding your own truths.

A second major issue within the media is of course stereotyping. I think in almost half of my posts I have highlighted some source of stereotyping in society.   Media especially television is known to over emphasize stereotypes.  Many media professionals state that you have only a few seconds to define a person and to make them seem personable to the audience therefore by reinforcing stereotypes regardless of negative or positive implications plays a role in film.  This causes some stigmas and untrue stereotypes to live on within a society regardless of the evolution of culture and society.

One of the last and most influential negative aspect would be the media’s unintentional harm to society.  Within the recent years there has been in increase in violent acts such as mass shootings, killing sprees, and fatal actions that end in suicide.  These actions are committed but are also accompanied by a plethora of information about the person committing these tragedies.   The media have inspired a culture that allows people to become martyrs or infamous for wrongful actions.  It gives people attention who only seeks a massive amount of attention.  We fixate on why these people committed these crimes and how society should change to understand these individuals.  They created a culture where instead of eliminating the problem we fester the wound and spread the germs like wild-fire.  We create a society that caters around figuring out the individuals.  I know this is not the intention of the media, but has become the unintentional outcome of the coverage of tragic events.  As a society we also tune into these reports, make them part of everyday conversation, and re-post or post on social media about these tragic events.

What is the fix to all these situations? There is no clear-cut solution that would not cause a pass mutilation of our individual freedoms, but it helps to simply stay informed and think before catering to the media and automatically becoming an additional person spreading the information gained through media sources.  Be vigilant and become active in the information that you choose to read and watch.  Always be aware of everything around you including media sources.  Even scrutinize my bias towards stereotyping and bias that are written within my pieces. It is a part of nature to always question the truths other people are spreading and telling.

Security in Exchange for Freedom

The other day, I heard one of the most startling statements on the news.  A French politician was talking about the recent attack on the country.  He made a statement along the lines that France has come to regret the amount of freedom that it has placed within the hands of the citizens and that the state has failed to protect their citizens.  Later in this same news segment a political analyst stated that France is looking to enact legislation similar to the American Patriot Act.

Since the attack that occurred on September 11, 2001 there has been increase in the amount of information the government has been able to obtain without a warrant.   There has been an increase in spy activity on citizens and occupants of the United States.  There have also been extra measures taken to protect the United States from future attacks.  We are slowly diminishing our liberties and freedoms that so many revolutionary figures have fought to gain.

Why has our society moved away from freedom to gain a small amount of security?  So many of us are frightened to the point that we are willing to sacrifice our freedom to feel safe.  The reality is that no matter the implements put into place, we can never be truly safe.  Each day you have to face the world and the evils that exist within it.   There is no full proof plan that can be put into place that will protect us at all times, so why are we so willing to give up our freedom for a small sense of protection and security.  Why allow the government to infringe on the rights that so many people fought and gave their lives to protect? I am not saying that this spy ware and extra measures that has been in place has not caught many individuals with harmful intentions, but it has placed limitations on millions of citizens who have done nothing to deserve the invasion.

Hopefully people begin to realize that limiting the rights and freedoms of their citizens will not help prevent these terrible and unfortunate attacks throughout the world.  These attacks will continue, but hopefully throughout the course of unrest Freedom will prevail on top.

I would like to end with a quote by Benjamin Franklin, who summarizes the dilemma perfectly: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

*note I stayed rather vague on the topic because it is a simple rant. I have done some research on the topic although this is not my specific area of focus within political science.  My research focused on the causes for Americans to need a sense of security and the abuses that has occurred from increased protection measures.

What is being “too white”?

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In American society, if one has an ounce of African-American blood running through their veins, other Americans instantly consider the person “black”.  Do not get me wrong, I embrace the fact that people call me “black”, and I encourage people to realize that in fact my father is African-American and North American Indian.  “.

Although at large people only consider my African-American heritage, there is one thing the drives me insane. When someone state that I act “too white”.  People from both the African-American community and White American community have both stated this comment.  I will not argue with someone who states that I have “white” mannerisms, I dress preppy, I engage in “white” conversation, or any other “white” attribute that I seem to obtain.  I guess what I am trying to say is what makes what I am doing “white”, how am I “too white”? (besides the obviously fact that my mother is in fact white). Many educated people of color that I have had the pleasure of knowing find it highly offensive and demeaning to categorize their mannerisms as “white”.  If you look at some of the most inspirational advancements within the African-American community it was by these amazing people who seem to have a lot of  “white” mannerisms.

What this all boils down to is: when in American culture have we substituted having diction and speaking American English language as it is taught categorized as white?    Why is wearing a certain brand of clothing considered “white”?   On that same note “why are so many white people acting black?”  Why do we categorize mannerisms, personal style, and speech by race.

Our major issue in American society is not police brutality against people of color, the major issue is separating everything between what is “black” and what is “white”.  We separate and distinguish between our differences rather than coming together as a whole society to celebrate our similarities. Unfortunately our society is constantly reinforcing stereotypes and categorizing certain negative characteristics as “black” instead of listing it as it truly is.  Such as aspects that people consider “hill billy” or “country” is a negative connotation that does not necessary stem directly to one race or another.  Can we list a style as hip-hop and speech simply as “slang”?  By eliminating certain stereotypes (Not just white or black but all cultures) that cause negative view of a culture as a whole can allow American to be great nation that we pretend it to be.

Passion behind the “Pen”

Our lives are impacted by sometimes the most small and insignificant conversations and moments that seem rather coincidental at the time.  There are so many small and incidental moments in my life that has caused a shift in my entire mindset.  It is no secret that my family and upbringing was different from most people at the time.   I come from a multi-racial family that was culturally inclusive.  Growing up within an environment that is a result of multiple cultures colliding has shaped my unique outlook on life and wide cultural acceptance.

I was thinking the other day about my inspiration to blog or write in general. When looking at previous blogs most are inspired by the harsh nature and consequences of stereotyping. Not only do I blog about the most insignificant forms of stereotyping, such as stereotyping introverts and extroverts, but  I have written multiple pieces throughout my college career and researched the existence of stereotyping in many different forms that range from the Japanese internment camps within the United States during World War II and the ways in which Hollywood reinforces stereotypes within society through show and movie scripts.  Stereotyping is a large social issue that plagues society, but has also been one of the largest social issues that affects me directly on a daily basis.

When I was younger, my family lived in a smaller town that was comprised of a large white majority with a small black minority.  Twenty years ago in this neighborhood there was little to no biracial or multi-ethnic families.  To be honest, this fact never quite bothered me. I never realized that my family or I (for that matter) was different.

The first time that I realized I was different was in first grade.  Earlier that day my mom visited school to drop off treats for the class; that afternoon on the bus ride home, one of my classmates simply asked me if I was adopted.  Oddly enough at this point in my life, I had no idea.  She asked me if I ever realized that my older sister and mom skin was completely different than what mine was.  That night I asked my mom why she would not tell me who my real mommy was and why I do not look like her and Ashley (my older half sister).  Looking back on the day, I have realized that I offended my mother deeply that night (also because she told me).  After that afternoon, she spent probably about two months convincing me I was not, in fact, adopted. (Unfortunately she still needs to convince me of this sometimes because I am still the “black sheep” of the family and act completely polar than the rest of my siblings)

From this day forward, I viewed the world differently.  I never saw the world the same or uniformly.  This would be the first step in my journey towards becoming the person I am today.  It has shaped my personality, explains my confusion on how I should look and act, how I should speak, and my personal style.  When we are young, we strive to maintain the status quo, and to fit into the mold of society.  At this young age, realizing that my family was not the status pro quo was probably the most difficult part about growing up in a biracial family.

So all those who seem to wonder across my site or my writing, beware there will most likely be an undertone examining the social issues of stereotyping and racism, and urging people to open their minds to new ideas.  My past shapes why and what I write daily. Also keep in mind that children are so impressionable and the sometimes the smallest things have some of the greatest impacts on their lives without one ever realizing it.

Finally Weighing In: “Black Lives Matter”

It is not often that I write, discuss, or share my personal beliefs on politics or current events, but in the recent weeks I have been pondering about the controversial civil rights issues that have been present within the media and political debate within the past few months. I abstain from many politically charged debates mainly, which lead many to believe that I have few opinions. This is far from the truth noting that I am a political science major, and have a strong stance on most issues, but often view situations quite differently due to my extensive political background. I refrain from debate due to my twisted unusual views and the fact that I hate debating people who are emotionally attached to a subject that they have little to no accurate knowledge about. With that said, I warn those who decide to continue to read that this is purely my opinion and up for debate, and I will not give you a simple response.

Within the media, I have seen to spectrums of the argument. One stating that the incidents are not civil rights issues, but actions of the officer were caused by these individuals violating the law. On the opposite end, people state that police brutality is a persistent problem that plagues black communities. These two sides are blaming one another for what occurred and for the outcome and results of these incidents. As an educated woman of color, I can appreciate both of the arguments and relate to both sides, but there are some many underlying issues that are never addressed by both sides.

Yes, I agree if these individuals did not commit a crime or show aggression towards officers there could have been a different outcome. (the key word is could because no one truly knows) There was so much controversy when Pharrell Williams stated that Michael Brown committed a crime and was pursued by the cops for his actions. Williams was correct, he was being pursued because there was a crime committed. His death was a result of his mistake. No matter how smart he was or the bright future that he may have had, the facts are he committed a crime, and the officer was in the right to pursue him. No one can dispute this, regardless if there was the end result of the situation. I understand that this outcome probably would have ended differently if this was a white male versus a black male, but the reality is that we will never know because that is not what happened. To put it quite frankly there would have been little to know media coverage of the incident if it was a white male and there would be less controversy and interest in the case. Would society be blaming police brutality if it was a black cop and a white suspect? Would the black cop be charged with a crime? We simply cannot say with certainty the outcome if the roles were reversed. One fact is for sure; there would not be riots and protests on the scale of this event if circumstances were a bit or radically different.

With the being said, I also agree that there is a sense of racial profiling within the American society that has existed for years, and are targeted towards black individuals being criminals or law breakers. I agree that on a daily basis, black individuals get stopped and pulled over by the police at a higher rate than white individuals. We are accused of crimes that we did not commit and people look at us more suspiciously. Recently, I was shopping at a store and went to leave at the same time as two white individuals. The security alarm went off, yet I was the only one stopped. I was asked to verify my purchases, and ask to search my personal belongings. I willing obeyed knowing that I did not take any un-purchased items. I was released shortly after with an apology. The worse part of the situation was that one of those other individuals could have easily taken an item, but I was automatically the target. Someone dressed properly and with proper grammar is still defined by the color of their skin. The high rate of racial profiling within America continues, and it seems impossible for African Americans to break these stereotypes that many people place on them.

Putting both arguments aside the problems lies within the great divide that still exists within society. The struggle and hardships that are faced by African Americans is the true problem in society, and is greater than just police brutality and the death of one or two individuals. This is not to say that White Americans have not embraced some the black culture such as music, dance, style, and the outrageous slang but simply realizing that there are still misconceptions and stereotypes still placed on African Americans. Many people who are posting on social media about police brutality and the terrible nature of the police department need to realize that the protests and riots are not due to a single incident, but rather linked to deeper underlying issues and frustrations rooted within many communities of color. We need to unite not as African Americans and people of color, but as a human race to stop stereotyping and to become as one. I am not saying to hold hands and sing Cumbyeya, but to simply recognize that there is a problem in our society that stems from our own misconception and beliefs that is deeply rooted within society and to move on to become a stronger society. At the end of the day I just want everyone to remember not every black person is a criminal or thug and not every cop is militant jerk ready to kill. We are all human beings that make mistakes that should take responsibility for our actions.

To simply put my opinion for all those who have trouble following my endless rant. Michael Brown was in the wrong, and that cop had every right to pursue him, but did he have the right to shot him…. I simply do not have a definitive answer, but at some point will he realize that regardless if it was right or wrong he took a life of a young boy who made a mistake. No human is perfect. We cannot blame him entirely for firing upon him, and it was up to our judicial system to discover an appropriate decision for the case regardless if we agree with the decision or not.

Simply keep in mind regardless of your race, ethnicity, or family background next time you pass someone rethink that stereotype you just placed upon them because there is a ninety-five percent chance that you have already created one for them. Stop judging a book by the color of the cover and move pass the preconceived notions that you may already have. Lastly, stop judging me as you read this last sentence. Peace and love to you all!

Stereotypes: Who is to blame

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As one scrolls through social media one gets a snapshot into the lives of all those people that we call friends or acquaintances. Over the past few months I have noticed a handful of my African American friends make posts or comments such as the following statement:

“As a black man, I feel as though I have to work twice as hard and present myself twice as well in whatever I’m doing, because whether someone believes misconceptions and stereotypes or not, I can’t afford to let any of them enter their mind.”

I found myself guilty of liking and emphasizing with those friends who would post these status and updates. Although I am biracial, I could understand the motive behind these statuses and comments. I am constantly telling people about how I have to work twice as hard and seem to be prove a point every step of the way. In the same instant I have thought about how each person has to deal with stereotypes on a daily basis. Society has engrained within each of us a set of rules that we seem to guide our very existence upon.

How Asian’s are deemed as the mathematical and scientific intellects of society, white males the leaders, African Americans as underclass, Latinos as trespassers or illegal aliens, women as the weaker sex. No matter where ones turn there is another stereotype that we as a society continue to reinforce. We constantly talk about the dislike of others or outsiders placing us in a box but continue to endorse society to place us in the box.

We continue to allow stereotypes to exist by filming and producing shows and movies such as “Basketball Wives” and the Madea movies that only help to reinforce the negative images and actions of African Americans. In the instance of Latino the “George Lopez Show”, and for women almost any film which the woman is the madam in distress (which is about 85% of movies out there). Not only do we film and produce these types of shows, but we also become a captivated audience to these productions. How can we argue that society puts these negative stereotypes onto us when we are willing to sit back and laugh at this debauchery within our homes?

Not only do we watch this madness on television and in movies, but we are all guilty of placing ourselves in this box. By referring to ourselves or allowing others to refer to us as the “black friend” or the “white girl of the group”. We also soften the atmosphere by creating a joke like “hey don’t worry I am not going to steal anything”. And let’s not forget about apologizing or needing to explain being that black person who loves country music. Why do I need to apologize or explain my preferences?

I am going to leave all of you with something to think about. Next time you are tempted to post a status about needing to prove yourself to others, or working twice as hard to keep stereotypes out of their minds think about white men for one second. While most people think they have the easiest stereotypes to live under, they indeed are one of the hardest stereotypes to have. Because instead of being able to be the first woman to complete an obstacle on American Ninja Warrior, the first African American President, or the first Latino Court Justice, they are expected to become all of these things. When they have scandals and make mistakes, they are scrutinized heavier because they are expected to “know better”. When someone becomes the CEO or gets promoted over the “white men” they do not see the other person as the more qualified, but sees the fact that the “white man” is a disappointment for not gaining a position that is was destined for. Or if the son of a prominent attorney decides to become an artist it is looked upon with shame. The stereotypes when one has to live up to a high standard are much more difficult than those when people think lowly of you. It is easier to prove someone wrong than to try to prove someone right. It is more satisfying to do something someone sees as impossible or unlikely than to become someone people expect you to already to become.

Now I am well aware that stereotypes will not disappear overnight, but it is nice to be aware that although we complain about these stereotypes we also help to enable people to continue to solidify these misconceptions through our actions. I am not saying to give up your favorite television shows (it is also one of my guilty pleasure), but I am simply trying to soften the blow when someone decides to place a stereotype upon you or others you may know. Although I will still continue to like those status updates about the unfairness that stereotypes place on a race that I feel a part of, and share feminist articles on Facebook I do understand that I not only endorse stereotypes but help to create them. Simply live your life to the greatest and do not ever compare your struggle to another’s because everyone is fighting a different battle.