ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: social justice

Fighting for Liberation in the Midst of Oppression

I have been told that just because I don’t see results immediately doesn’t mean I should be quick to give up; that the results will come someday, and when that day comes, I will be thankful for my perseverance. I’ve held this belief with me in most things I do, and I’ve found it to be somewhat favorable in terms of my career, relationships, and self. Of course, I know when I’m at my limit and when it’s time for me to let go; but for the most part, this saying has helped me push through some of my darkest hours and allows me to maintain a glimpse of hope.  With this being said, it is becoming increasingly harder to maintain this hope as it pertains to activism and the… Read more »

American Individualism Will be The Detriment of Us All

Speaking from an American’s point of view, I think most of us can agree that 2020 has been a complete shit show. To try and even articulate the amount of BS that has occurred in this country, let alone across the globe, would require a mountain of words that I don’t have the energy to process at the moment. Like many others, I am drained out and need a serious break that I doubt any of us will be seeing anytime soon, which only adds to the frustration and exhaustion. However, as my mom has always told me: everything does come with its lesson, and in the year 2020, I’ve realized just how individualistic the American culture/society is.  Now, I’m not just waking up with this astute observation; deep down,… Read more »

White supremacy is on your campus. What next?

Systems of white supremacy lurk insidiously and are upheld daily in various institutions—higher education is no exception. Earlier this year, at my sizeable urban university in the deep South, there was an explosive unveiling of active white supremacists and nationalists on the university’s payroll. The controversy began with one man. Fliers produced by an unknown source were posted all over campus. They listed the man’s name, position, and evidence of his involvement with the noted hate group, Identity Evropa. Since then, two more people were exposed. The exposure has led to a more significant discussion about my university’s non-action and inability to disavow white supremacy. The Anti-Defamation League has noted that white nationalists and supremacists are increasingly targeting universities and colleges, with their materials appearing on campuses since 2016.  I remember when I… Read more »

Organizing Around Public Transportation

As school starts up, my attention has been turned towards public transportation. Since I am a college student without a car, that means I have to take the bus to school. Well, more like two busses to get there and two to get back. For my area, public transportation means the bus system, paratransit (for those with disabilities that prevent them from using typical routes), and a few trolleys covering the center of the city. Right now I’m navigating the city while living at the corner of “you need a job to get experience, but they won’t hire you without experience” and “you need a car to get a job, but you need a job to get a car.” So when I saw this video from Patriot Act about public transportation, it… Read more »

It Was Never A Secret

Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek has come under fire after an interview with Vogue where he insinuated that trans and plus-size models are not attractive enough to be a part of the “fantasy” of their brand. The brand has been met with criticism since his comments, and #boycottvictoriassecret was a trending topic on Twitter. But let’s be honest: even if you haven’t seen what the models look like in the annual fashion show, anyone with a passing familiarity with Victoria’s Secret knows the brand always has been a blatant catering to the white male gaze. Look back at the “Perfect Body” campaign from 2014 that showcased only one type of body. Or the many extreme uses of PhotoShop. Not to mention the many instances of cultural appropriation over… Read more »

What to Do When Your Fave is Problematic

There are certain celebrities who I simply don’t like for one reason or another. Maybe they said something once that completely changed the way I look at them. Maybe they just rub me the wrong way. Maybe I don’t even know why I don’t like them. But I have to admit I get the tiniest sense of satisfaction or joy whenever one of them gets called out for saying or doing something problematic. This works both ways though. There are celebrities who I love that are problematic. The most obvious is Taylor Swift. I’ve been a fan since her early days, since the first time I heard Tim McGraw. It’s been said time and time again in what ways she has been problematic, especially in recent years, so I won’t… Read more »

California’s Cruel Policy that Keeps Families in Poverty

At the end of last month SB 23 passed its first committee in the California Legislature.  For those of you who don’t know, SB 23 is a bill that seeks to repeal the CalWORKs Maximum Family Grant Rule (MFG) which bars families from receiving additional aid for any child born during the time that family is already receiving CalWORKs aid. A family receiving CalWORKs is a family who is struggling. How can a state say that they are not willing to provide assistance to any additional children knowing that children who grow up in poverty end up with poorer health, have behavioral and emotional problems, and are at higher risk of unintended pregnancy in their teen years? This is inhumane. What’s worse is that the rule applies to every member of… Read more »

Public Assistance is Reproductive Justice

Recently, my home state of Kansas passed a law that places several restrictions on the usage of benefits received from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), commonly referred to as welfare. Among other things, the bill prohibits TANF benefits from being used at swimming pools, movie theaters, cruise ships, and tattoo parlors. Also, the bill limits ATM withdrawals from the TANF account to $25 per day. On top of these new restrictions, Kansas also requires recipients of TANF benefits to be working or looking for work, and has instituted a drug testing policy for those who qualify. And Kansas isn’t the only state to be fighting this “problem” of the luxury of being poor. Missouri lawmakers have been pushing for a bill greatly restricting what type of groceries… Read more »