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Messages - naturallybeyoutiful

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Black Law Students / Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« on: April 09, 2008, 04:52:09 PM »
Lol I might start one when I finish grading these undergrad papers.  But I am curious to hear your thoughts on this.

We can definitely chat!  On second thought for me, it'll need to be after exams though since it is finally hitting me that I have 2.5 more weeks of class plus Ames Oral Arguments plus a research paper!  I'm going to be busy for a minute! :P  In a few weeks though, I'm game!  So don't forget!  :)

Black Law Students / Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« on: April 07, 2008, 09:06:53 PM »
What is an objective wrong?

::grabs popcorn::

Don't pop that bag just yet.  LOL  Sorry to disappoint, but this will have to be a convo for another night.  You know me though, I'll be happy to have it with those who really want to explore whether there can be objective truth...whether something really can be "right" or "wrong."  We know already that there will be people on both sides of the issue, so maybe we could start a separate thread where people interested in this topic can discuss this.  With that said, good night.  ::secretly hoping I don't sign on tomorrow and find a thread already started and is like 50 pages deep :D:: 

Black Law Students / Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« on: April 07, 2008, 08:57:29 PM »
A SOUTH Australian father and daughter have revealed they are a couple, and have had a child together.
John and Jenny Deaves reunited 30 years after Mr Deaves separated from Jenny's mother.
This is disgusting.   :-X

Mr Deaves admitted that he "initially" thought having sex with his daughter was wrong...."Emotions take over, as people no doubt realise, there are times during your life where emotions do rule the heart, it rules the head," he said.
Precisely!  This is why what is right and wrong is not a matter of one's "emotions."  Our hearts can deceive us, and what "feels" right should not be the guide for human behavior.

Speaking of housing ... I was looking at the affiliated housing page, and aside from being scandalized by the prices, I was wondering about the leases. I mean it wouldn't be such a bad deal if it was 9 months, but all I could tell was that the leases ended June 30, which suggests not only 12 months but the impossibility of subletting. How does this work?

At least for my place -- When your lease ends on June 30, you have the option of moving out on that day, extending your lease for one more month only (which seems to be a good option only if you are graduating in June or just otherwise needs more time for moving out), or extending your lease for the next term.  The new lease begins July 1 and extends through June 30 of the next year.  So, if I understand things correctly, you do essentially end up committing to your apartment for the next 12 months. This means, of course, that you are responsible for the rent for the months of July and August, two months when you are very likely not planning to be in Cambridge.

Thus, you are allowed to sublet your HRES apartment, so long as you sublet to a Harvard affiliate (e.g. a current student, professor, etc. or someone coming in for the summer to teach, do research, attend a summer program, etc., at Harvard.)  This does mean that you can't just grab any random Joe off the street or off craigslist (w/ the penalty of possibly having your lease cancelled if you were found to be in violation of this policy), but you are able to use the HRES Roommate Connection site, craigslist, and word-of-mouth to find people coming in for the summer who fit the criteria.  All in all though, it's doable.  It just means that you take the risk of paying your summer housing bill if you don't find a subletter (which possibly opens you up to double liability if you're having to rent elsewhere during your summer employment stint.) 

One thing to keep in mind -- What a couple of friends of mine who don't have studios/1 BR are running into is not so much the need to find a sublettor, but the need to find two.  This is because they may have a 2 BR in a Harvard apartment that they share with a student who is graduating in June from say, a one-year M.Ed. program.  But as a law student planning to stay put for three years, they have no incentive to move.  So not only is my friend having to sign the lease for the new place effective July 1, but she has to find a sublettor for her room for the months of June-August, as well as another for the second room for the months of July-August (though not June b/c that is the former roommate's responsibility.)  This is on top of the general roommate search to have the place filled come August, which shouldn't be difficult truth be told, but it is just another step in the process.

Disclaimer: I share all this not to make things sound impossible -- as clearly, people are doing it all the time -- but just so you can make an informed decision about whether this is something you are open to having to deal with down the line.  Of course, if you were to room with another law student (which has its own pros and cons) or with a student planning to be here longer than a year, the preceding paragraph is a non-issue.  Also, just keep in mind that Boston/Cambridge is a college area, and there is no shortage of people who are coming here to study -- either for the academic year or summer.  It's just a matter of working out the details! 

I am, however, very happy with my decision to live in affiliated housing, and I definitely encourage you to explore it if you don't mind the rent (which, ::sigh:: does go up every year!)  If anyone else living in affiliated housing has something to add or has a different take, feel free to share it.  After all, this is my first year in Harvard housing, but I think what I said pretty much holds for most, if not all, HRES apartments.

Edited to fix the's late!  :P

Is it racist to expect waiters to speak English rather than Swahili?...Just because something became dominant from a racist analysis, is it still racist?  Is it racist to say that baggy jeans are worse than a suit when (in our hypo) a black person can just put on a suit and remove the racism?  And if a white person can put on baggy jeans and create racism against himself?  Isn't racism supposed to be so insidious precisely because it's about factors beyond your control?

Assuming that you are in good faith eagerly desiring to understand what racism is and isn't, here are my suggestions for you.  (I think you'll find the answer to your question many times over.)

Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
The Life and Times of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano
Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember by James Mellon (editor)
David Walker's Appeal by David Walker
Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois
The Miseducation of the Negro by W.E.B. DuBois
Native Son by Richard Wright
Black Boy by Richard Wright
Groundwork: Charles Hamilton Houston and the Struggle for Civil Rights by Genna Rae McNeil
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Then consider watching the screen adaptation of Alex Haley's play Roots, as well as all the videos in the Eyes on the Prize series.  Add to that list movies like Glory, Proud, Pride, etc.  I'm not sure how many of these things you have ever been exposed to (and given the sad state of public education in robbing blacks and whites in this country of an understanding of the true heritage of this nation), I'm likely to guess not many.  These might be of help in dispelling the notion that racism is something that people can "put off" and "put on" like articles of clothing.  If that were the case, black people would have rid themselves of clothes long ago!  It's not that simple, and unfortunately, it's hard to engage in a substantive, meaningful dialogue without some basic understanding of what those of us serious about addressing racial discrimination mean when we say "racism." 

I know some may look at this list (which is, at best, a meager start) and think -- Does it really take all that?  Given the fact that more of the same seems unlikely to really change things, I'd dare say yes, it does. 

3) On the micro level, breaking things down racially doesn't make sense. There are fabulously wealthy and socially privileged black people in this country, and obscenely poor and socially disadvantaged non-blacks.
Breaking things down racially wouldn't make sense if racism only reared its ugly head when dealing with a certain subset of the black population.  Please don't make the mistake of assuming, however, that there is not some commonality between the experiences of even these two seemingly disparate groups, particularly as it relates to structural forces that work against people of color at every level of society.  The picture only becomes more complicated when the status of middle-class and working class blacks come into play.  Moreover, I find that many people are under the mistaken impression that black people live "chocolate-covered" lives of whatever life is like for whites of the same socioeconomic class.  This simply isn't the case, hasn't ever been the case, and--if blacks and whites don't find the courage to own up to our country's racist past and work together for real solutions--will never be the case!

4) By perpetuating false and toxic ideas such as "all whites are privileged", people oversimplify and poison the racial dialogue in this country.
I agree that the racial dialogue is sometimes oversimplified.  This does not, however, defeat the reality of privileges imbuing to white people by virtue of their whiteness.  I'd dare say that many of the aspects of life that you consider "normal" and "expected" are simply not true for others.  Sometimes, it can be a little like living in a foreign country -- what MLK callled "exile in [one's] own land."   Sure, some things have gotten better.  But that's because we've fought literally to the death to make them so!  Bottom line is, things are not equal!  Never have been.  Are not now.  This is simply the lived experience of whites AND blacks in this nation.  Wealthy white people may derive even more benefit from their whiteness than do poor whites, but it'd be incorrect to assume that poor whites thereby start at zero, so to speak.  Even poor whites enjoy advantages that, on average, still do not accrue to blacks of even a similar social status.  I'm not sure how we can ever solve some of the nation's problems if people refuse to admit this!

Furthermore, it would be helpful to reverse the oversimplification of the racial dialogue by defining the characteristics (e.g. earnings power, home ownership rates and the (sub)prime mortgage lending rates associated with them, higher education levels) behind each of the "comparable" sub-groups you reference -- middle-class blacks and middle class whites, for example.  I think people assume a parity that isn't there when making blanket assumptions of what blacks of a certain class do or not need.  Knee-jerk reactions in either direction are unfair, but particularly when they tend to ignore persistent disparities that this nation created by rule of law (de jure and de facto), tradition, and culture with devastating consequences for blacks in this nation -- free or slave, rich or poor!  (Where is my forty acres and a mule?!!?!  Plus interest!!!!  :( But I digress...)

5) Though the lack of racial parity is still a significant issue in the US, it is fortunately becoming better; and will hopefully one day dissapear.
Racism and race-based discrimination (which has, in turn, fueled blacks' economic "disadvantage") are cancers on the soul of this nation.  Always have been.  Wishful thinking and that dreaded idea of color-blindedness only serves to create a freeze-frame for the current state of things.  I want more!  I see no other feasible solution than both sides dealing with these issues across disciplines and head-on, in part by aggressively attacking the hidden assumptions, shameful history and enduring ramifications of generations of sin, slavery, and inhumanity!

6) Though socioeconomic and class-based parity in this country is far better than it is in the majority of the world; it is slowly and frighteningly becoming worse, across racial and ethnic lines.
Agreed!  Education plays an important role in perpetuating social inequality.  This is but one expression of racism in general, of course. In addition, personal choices and the exercise of responsibility and self-determination (or lack thereof) also play a part, too.  Clearly the solution to this issue is complex and multi-faceted.

9) Again, "white privilege" might benefit some or most whites, but does absolutely nothing for those whites who are not in the soceoeconomic position to actually take advantage of it.
Some who live on the other side of the color line, incl. myself, will disagree here. Talk to many poor whites and you find that they, too, have not had the good fortune of growing up in America without the tainting of race prejudice and its sundried social manifestations.  To say that poor whites get "absolutely nothing" in a society that still makes judgments about people based on the color of the skin flies in the face of history, logic, and lived experience!

My $0.02...

I am urging people to unpack stuff a little beyond "it's professional because it's professional." Why is that outfit, precisely that, considered "professional"? Was it anything else before it was "professional"? Was it only or primarily worn by certain groups? Which groups?

Etc. Come on, y'all. A little analysis is not that difficult.


Modern black leaders:

 ::) Not to be confused with modern leaders of blacks.  JSIA!

Here's a checklist for you, from sociologist Peggy McIntosh of Wellesley University:

___ 1. I can arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.  There are many communities with more black people than white people, the same goes for other minorities.  Furthermore, why does this matter unless your assuming that a majority of White's are racist toward minorities which I do not believe is the case

___ 2. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.  I do not think that a majority of minorities have been harassed and followed while going shopping any more than others.  If you go shopping in a big city there is a distinct possibility that you may be harassed by someone on the street asking for money regardless of what race you are.

___ 3. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented. [Do you actually watch TV?  Blacks are considered a minority and are on many television shows and in the paper.  Most of the items in the front page of the paper are negative things anyway, would you want to be on the front page?  I also don't know of any WET (white entertainment television) where I can see people of my race almost exclusively.[/b]

___ 4. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization", I am shown that people of my color made it what it is. "I also don't remember any "white History month" and I have heard of many blacks who helped shape our country"

___ 5. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.I dont even know what you are saying by this, I do not believe that many curricular materials say many races are not real.

___ 6. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the food I grew up with, into a hairdresser's shop and find someone who can deal with my hair.Really now, are you going to tell me that there are no minority music artists?  Supermarkets put up food that they can sell, and there are many supermarkets/restaurants which cater to different preferences

___ 7. Whether I use checks, credit cards, or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial responsibility.again your assuming people are racist, I doubt that a majority of minorities are made fun of for using credit cards, checks, or cash.  I have never seen a store that says "Caucasians can use whatever form of currency they would like, Minorities must pay in cash"

___ 8. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing, or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.Neither are most minorities.  I will admit that there are some minorities who are generalized to "smell offensive" to other people.  I don't think it should result in said race getting rewarded in any way.

___ 9. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.This works both ways.  I worry about racism (AA) or things like a Black beauty pagent and am told I am a self-interested, self-seeking, racist

___ 10. I can take a job or enroll in a college with an affirmative action policy without having my co-workers or peers assume I got it because of my race.SO TAKE AWAY AA and you will not have this problem...oh wait I doubt you really want to do that

___ 11. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.Again I do not believe most in the business world say certain minorities are more tardy than others.

___ 12. I can choose public accommodation with out fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated.How many minorities are treated poorly in public accommodation any longer?  And there are some clubs and streets where it is not at all safe to be a white person.

___ 13. I am never asked to speak for all of the people of my racial group.Just was at the beginning of this post (although technically i'm not a WASP, but I am white

___ 14. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk with the"person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race.There are plenty of minority managers and leaders.  However, being as they are a minority, there are likely fewer than those of the majority.

___ 15. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my does this mean if a minority cop or woman cop pulls me over I can blame it on being a White male?  I just got a speeding ticket on the way back to campus for going 48 in a 35, with the 45 MPH sign literally 20 feet in front of me.

___ 16. I can easily by posters, postcards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys, and children.s magazines featuring people of my race.again it depends on which minority you are in.  I believe business produce what there is consumer demand for.

___ 17. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in .flesh. color and have them more or less match my skin.are you kidding me!?  So start a business and make bandages that are the color of whatever your skin is if you think it will sell well enough for you to make money

___ 18. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.I have been told many times that people are surprised what I am doing with my life considering where I came from.  I believe Bearly is probably the same way.

___ 19. I can walk into a classroom and know I will not be the only member of my race.Depends on where you go to school.  There are plenty of schools that are a majority of minority students.

___ 20. I can enroll in a class at college and be sure that the majority of my professors will be of my race.Unless your insinuating that there are many racist teachers I dont understand why this is a problem.  As you are a minority it is probable that most teachers will not be of your race.[/b]

 ::)  Precisely! 

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