ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: race

Taking Space

On a typical school night, I’m usually texting my friends about Bravo reality television, and catching up on some major assignment that I’ve procrastinated on. Last week I was working on a major assignment, and couldn’t find the page count needed. Stressed out once again, I fought back tears as I struggled to finish the assignment. After a dramatic 30 minutes of me crying over school, I decide to look over the rubric one last time. The fog of stress had lifted, and I could clearly see that the assignment was to be no more than five pages. So why was I having such an intense emotional reaction to making such a  simple mistake? I think the reason is that I’ve been alive for 22 years, and only truly thought… Read more »

Why The Grammys Hurt So Much

I update my music playlists every three months. If people want the latest reviews on music, I am not the femme they should be speaking to. For some reason, listening to new music stresses me out. For one, it’s extra work. It’s often hard for me to find music, and I don’t download it illegally. Also, there’s the whole sitting there and listening to the music thing. You have to form an opinion on it. All of this is just way too much effort for me. I’d rather just listen to my Kanye West and Florence + The Machine playlist I’ve had since high school, and go on my merry way. Because of my lack of interest in new music, I guess I missed getting stung by the Beyoncé bug…. Read more »

An Ode to Equal Pay Day

Dear Equal Pay Day, Oh how I wish this wasn’t necessary. It’s 2016, 53 years after the Equal Pay Act was signed by Kennedy in 1963, and we’re still having this conversation. This isn’t your fault, of course, but the fault of systemic misogyny, sexist societal views, and racism. You’re just here as a way for us to organize and act; as a way to help us get together and fight this oppressive system. I know, I know. This can be a lot to handle. I mean, as someone who has personally worked at an establishment that paid female employees less than male employees, it is immensely frustrating. Not only was I paid less hourly than my male counterparts ($2 less hourly than men who had the same job as… Read more »

Let’s Talk About the Problem of Frats

Last week, the UCLA chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon made headlines hosting what they deemed a “Kanye Western” party in which partygoers showed up in black face wearing chunky gold chains and fake grills. When black student activists showed up to protest the party, they were mocked by party-goers and the validity of their concerns were questioned by the broader campus community. 100 miles to the South, the University of California San Diego chapter of AEPi was publicly reprimanded for creating an official chapter t-shirt that featured a scantily-clad woman serving bread emblazoned with the words “AEPi, Making Women Challah Since 1913”. And that’s just what happened within the last week on two UC campuses. These incidents are not confined to the University of California campuses, either. Earlier this year, the… Read more »

Don’t call me exotic: terms to stop using that sexualize Latinas

It’s Hispanic heritage month which means American public schools will most likely just spend a little bit of time talking about Cinco de Mayo and white-wash history. It means kids will continue to grow up in America not learning about the history of beautiful and diverse cultures all year round. It also means this is a great time to bring up the sexualization of Latina women and some of the really terrible things society calls us instead of just terms like “pretty” or “beautiful” that white women receive. So buckle up everyone because we need to have a serious talk about the ways society “compliments” Latina women. One of my least favorites: exotic, for many reasons. Just for a little bit of background, exotic is most commonly used to describe… Read more »

Beauty and the Beast: Kalief Browder, Mental Illness and the Black Community

Mental illness. Depression. Schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder. Anxiety. Whatever one suffers from, mental illness has always been the elephant in the room, especially in the African-American community. It’s taboo, something to be brushed off, kept quiet, a simple “storm or phase” that a person is going through. But the African-American community has been caught in a vicious storm for as long as I can remember. Slavery was the beginning of a long history of mental abuse, with slave masters raping, killing, beating, and verbally and physically abusing African-Americans, which gave many Black the mentality not to show weakness and survive this inhumanity. This long suffering abuse (something which America tells us to simply ‘get over’ in various ways through the media and government treatment) did not go away when slavery was… Read more »