You've never experienced anything like this

OBAMA 2008!

Today 11/5/2008 Barack Obama was officially elected president of the United States of America.  I can’t help but think of Dr. King, Jackie Robinson, and so many others who broke the color barrier and made it possible for future generations to achieve success.  I am honored.  I am humbled.  I am greatful.  But most of all I am optimistic about the futre accomplishments of Black people!!

Say it loud!  I’m Black and I’m proud!

Say it loud! We gotta BLACK president now!

Peace and Love


Serious Must Read – Am I Wrong?

It’s funny, I almost wasn’t going to post anything about the celebration of Dr. King, but being as passionate as I am, I knew if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight. 

It breaks my heart when I see our youths (of all colors) running around degrading one another with n*gga this and n*gga that.  (And before you stop reading this, I want you to know that I am not one of those wanna be whites or stuck up Blacks or anything like that, I’m just educated, that’s all)

Now, this is without a doubt the most DISRESPECTFUL and OFFENSIVE word in the history of mankind.  And no matter how you mix it and mash it: with an “a” at the end, or “c’s” instead of “g’s”, the word means the same.  It was a word used by the slave masters to show that the slaves were inferior, less than human, less than cattle.  The word was used when slaves were beaten and lynched, it was used in the 60’s when Blacks were hosed and chased with dogs, and you’d be naive to think that in 2008, it’s meaning is any less.  It’s meant to be suppressive, corrupt, inhumane, callous, humiliating, and was never and will never be a substitute for “what’s up my brotha” 

I am reminded of an expression: A man put a grasshopper in a jar.  The grasshopper jumped and jumped trying to get free but kept hitting the lid.  After some time, the grasshopper stopped jumping and stopped trying to get free.  Finally, the man took the lid off the jar and allowed the grasshopper the chance to escape.  But, the grasshopper remained in the jar, not even striving for it’s freedom anymore.

In psychology, (I know what what I’m talking about because this is what I’m getting a college degree in – see my about me section), this is known as learned helplessness.  This experiment was also done with dogs and electric shocks. 

When we use this “n” word, we are suppressing ourselves.  We no longer need the slave master to use this word because we use it ourselves.  We have been conditioned and don’t even realize the great damage that has been done over the years.  And when we finally can be free of such a degrading word, we choose to use it ourselves anyway.  And for what?

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not trying to be hard on anyone.  I have spoken to many people who use this word.  It’s how they grew up, it’s a part of them, and has become a habit.  And to those who feel they have taken the word and made it positive, I say this: when you can reverse the effects of slavery, when you can take back all the lynchings, and the years of oppression, the racism, the hatred because of the color of your skin, and everything else, then maybe you can turn that word into something else.  But you can’t.  You just can’t… the damage has been done, and we don’t need to add to it. 

All I know is,

When I die and I come face to face with my ancestors and other greats like Dr. King, Booker T. Washington, Huey P. Newton, and the list continues, they will know that their deaths, their beatings, lynchings, murders, fights, and their struggles were not in vain.  I stand for something: truth.

New job, new semester, one good, one bad

I have some exciting news.  I just started a new job working for Oprah.  Yes, you read correctly.  I am working at her magazine company, O Magazine, out of New York City.  I am in the editorial department and so far I love it.  The atmosphere is great and the Hearst building is fabulous, water flows off the walls, the cafe is stylish, and the elevators are fast.  The people are nice and professional and know when to get down to business. 

I am also starting a new semester at NYU.  Now, as you may remember, my experience at this university has been less than ideal.  The students are great and the atmosphere is exciting, BUT, the administration is terrible.  I can’t speak for everyone, so I speak firsthand when I say they treat ME as if I’m just a number.  They ignore my emails and calls, and give me the wrong information.  They give me the run around and don’t take responsibility for their actions.  They have no sense of honor or commitment to the students (I’ mean me) and they just don’t care.  They don’t care whether you graduate or not, just as long as they collect a check. 

Suicide update: Oh yea, and for those who are wondering how my quest as a journalist to cover the suicides (see December archives for this post), I had to go all the way to the University of CT.  The professors and staff at UCONN were friendly, nice, and very willing to talk about this very important issue that has plagues so many universities.  I have nothing but kind words for UCONN.

What Do You Think- Is Obama the Anti Al Sharpton?

I have heard on several news programs that Obama’s success is due, in part, because he is viewed as the “anti Al Sharpton.”  The news programs suggested that Obama is popular among many white Americans simply because he promises to keep the issues of race and discrimination out of the forefronts of their minds.  Unlike Sharpton, who some say is a rebel rouser and only focuses on racial inequality, Obama tends to focus on other things and as a result is accepted by many whites.  What do you think?  Are these news program correct? 

What Do You Think – Nebraska Mall Shooting

A teen opened fired in a Nebraska mall, fatally killing 8 others and then himself.  He wrote in a note “…Now, I’ll be famous…”  Does broadcasting these events encourage others to copycat this behavior?

What Do You Think – Joe Horn

Joe Horn of Texas has shot and killed two illegal immigrants.  Apparently, the two men were robbing Horn’s neighbor’s house.  Will he stand trial?

NYU Suicides and a Journalist’s Quest…

As you may well know, NYU has had two recent suicides.  And one might expect that the NYU community would be more outspoken on these events.  But surprisingly, everyone seems to be on lockdown. 

As a journalism student here, I have been reporting on the mental wellness of our students in hopes to educate and bring awareness to some of the ways the university is adjusting.  In my reporting, I have made it clear that the details of the suicide are not my focus, but rather the causes of depression and prevention methods.  One would expect that the administration would cooperate with my requests to cover such a topic, but I have met quite the opposite.  My experience has been very discouraging. 

The campus Wellness Center, a place of refuge and counseling for at risk students, has refused to answer basic questions.  In fact, they have sent me a less than nice email basically telling me to “leave them alone.”  (And by the way, I just want to add that in order to even get real counseling here and not just three quick sessions, you have to pay on top of the more than $40,000 it costs to even enroll as a student here. But that’s another story).
            In response to the suicides, NYU has taken some precautionary measures.  They have placed security guards on the roofs of the dorms.  When I asked to speak to a guard about this, they refused.

I do understand the sensitive nature of these events, and yes, the details should remain private out of respect for the families.  But a dialogue needs to be created around the greater issue.  Students are not dealing appropriately with the pressures of being students here.  And while some efforts are made to foster campus unity and high quality of living, there is still something missing. 

And yes, most students go through NYU and have a blast, but it’s important to create an environment that can properly cultivate more student needs.  Here’s an interesting statistic: NYU is among the top dream schools, on average, yet it’s ranked as having one of the highest transfer out rates of students.  Why?  Well, these are questions that need to be answered but won’t be as long as the school refuses to speak with diligent students, such as myself.  As you can see, I am a little frustrated, but so goes the life of a journalist.  To be continued…