Sunday, January 15, 2012

Subtle Differences...

So, upon my late night adventures into insomnia, I discovered one of the most poignant and clever pieces of video footage I have witnessed in years; Shit White Girls Say...To Black Girls. At first, I was a little put off by the title and having heard about it all week, I was naturally late on viewing the video. Apparently there are dozens of videos titled "Shit...." and it would be the stuff guys say to girls, gay people, black people, etc. Well this particular video was different. It was popular enough to amass over 6 million views in one week which for YouTube is a smash hit. The creator of the video wanted to comically express her experiences being a black girl around white women and describe some of the crazy, ignorant, and honest things many of these women said to her throughout life. The actual video was a riot as Francesca( creator) was adorned in a long, blonde wig complete with "Valley Girl" accent. She functions throughout the video making short sighted, blatant, and very rude remarks/comments to her black friend (the anonymous but supposed Francesca).

One would think EVERYONE could partake in a little laughter from this truly ridiculous depiction of ignorance well, I was completely wrong. Many viewers of the video said it was racist. This conclusion shocked me. The term racist gets thrown around so much that it has lost its original definition. A racist is a person who believes their race is superior to all others. Prejudice is when someone dislikes a group of people for their own personal reasons (exp. some Christians are prejudice against Muslims because they don't believe in Allah but, Christ). And ignorance is when someone is unaware or uneducated on a subject but decide to discuss it or partake in it anyway. Most of the time this leads to offense being taken and feelings being hurt as does the other terms but, not all ignorant people are racist or prejudice. The terms have small correlations but, they are not the exact same.

Some women viewed this video as racist because it poked fun at a somewhat slanted but, stereotypical view of how some white women act towards black women. Not all, some. The few who felt offended were offended because they misinterpreted what the creator was trying to convey. She wanted to express her experiences on her childhood in predominately white areas through a video much the other "Shit..." series videos, one that was tailor-made to fit her relatable conscious. The fact that anyone took offense is absurd. You cannot be offended at someone else's experience because it is not your own. As long as you are not the woman portrayed in the video, you should never be bothered by someone else's experiences. And if you are bothered maybe there is a reason, maybe you are that stereotypical person who has said and done all those things if not, more.

Francesca Leigh's video and thesis points out a very taboo and controversial conversation; Race Relations. People do not want to have this conversation because they are not prepared. They do not want to talk about their own prejudices out loud fore fear of ostracism. There needs to be at least a small conversation about race in the world in order to heal and help improve relationships. No person should have to endure the poking and prodding and interrogations that Black women, Asian women, Latino women, and many other women face constantly. I am not saying this behavior is exclusive to women of color but, they are almost 90% more likely to be asked these types of questions because they are almost always seen as "foreign" in the eyes of society. Name calling and sensitivity will not improve the issues between races. It is time we stop being cowards, up our respect level, and have the treacherous conversation before another "Shit..." video comes out titled "Shit Closeted Ignorant, Prejudice, and Racist Americans REALLY Think."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Newness of a Year

So I failed to list some of the highlights and lowblows of my 2011. Well, here they are, the ten goods and bads of my 2011

  • I did extremely well at Arizona State University. I am likely to graduate with honors.
  • My Great Uncle died, a true blow to the family. R.I.P. Uncle Mike.
  • I got a new car, Estelle. She is awesome in an old, slightly dilapidated way.
  • I went on a weightless bootcamp and loss 30 lbs and tons of money shopping for my new physique.
  • I ended two unhealthy romantic relationships and possibly ruined a friendship beyond repair. Lowblow.
  • Found out some saddening news about my health. Definitely one of my low points. Luckily with weightloss, I gained a small slice of redemption .
  • I met some of the most incredible people. Some were seasonal and others, luckily, are still around...for now.
  • I traveled the majority of my year. I went to Portland for the first time (AAAMAZING!), Los Angeles (just like old times), Louisiana (yet again), Dallas (finally got to enjoy it), San Antonio (first time, looking forward to going back in March), and many other places.
  • Had a chill yet exciting 25th birthday spent with someone who is a kind soul. It was nice.
  • Had one of the best New Year's Eve's of my life spent entirely with family. I was very grateful!

Overall, 2011 was awesome. I learned so many things about who I really am and where I am going. I learned that sometimes it is ok not to be so nice. In fact, sometimes being guarded is more beneficial to your health. I also learned to make a decision and stand firm on it. It is fairly easy to get distracted but, when you are fully determined, it takes ALOT to sway you. And lastly I learned that it is better to give than receive. I am not the most giving person but, this year I believe I made a breakthrough. I gave more than I received and it felt AAAAMAZZZING! I never ask anyone for gifts for my birthday or any occasion. I am grateful for whatever I get. I always accept everything with love and a smile because some of the things I truly desire no one would know or could purchase. I truly desire solace in a crazy and unjust world, no one can buy me that because it is something only I can get...for myself.

The main thing I want in 2012 is to except whatever I cannot change, appreciate what I DO have, work smarter not harder, build healthy, long-lasting relationships of all kinds, all while strengthening my strained ones, and lastly learn how to just BE for a while. I really want to master the art of meditation because it helped some many people I know focus and center themselves in a crazy world, in turn bringing them solace....and that is just what I need. BRING ON 2012, I AM READY!