Just read an article over at Clutch Magazine written by Clara Wanjku entitled “What Does It Really Take to Be African.” When I read the title, I imagined the article would focus on the trials of being African in America or something of the sort. To my surprise, it was nothing like that.
In actuality, in the article Wanjku basically speaks to black Americans as if we’re stupid and don’t understand that Africa is not our home. I, along with many other commentators, were quite offended.
The article made it seem like the majority of black Americans have this desire to move back to Africa and assimilate into African culture. Now as much as we acknowledge where we come from, I don’t know one black American who actually wants to move to Africa and become “African”. I don’t mean that in a condescending way, but it’s the truth. As much as we complain about how racist America is, it’s our home; it’s all we know, and if I had to choose to live in a another continent, it would probably be Europe, not Africa (again, not to be condescending but it’s the truth).
Secondly, I personally don’t classify myself as “African-American”. African-American sounds like I was first African, and then became American. Only problem is, I was never African. Neither were my parents, or their parents, or their parents, and I think I’d be correct in saying that even my great great grandparents were not African. They were all American and therefore I am nothing but American. The term African-American, was coined in the 80’s as a way for America to be politically correct in addressing black people. Fortunately, I think the time has come where being called “black” is not offensive or incorrect. I actually prefer it, and take a sense of pride in it.
So to Clara Wanjku, I’m not exactly sure what type of black people you are hanging around, but please realize that in 2012, black people do not wish to take your African-ness and apply it to themselves. We don’t need your sympathy because we were uprooted from the motherland hundreds of years ago and brought to America. Clearly we have survived and thrived, without your help or the help of the motherland and we will continue to do so as black people. That is all. Not African, not wanna be Africans, not even African-Americans. Just black.
A lot of people who complain about welfare saying that it is pointless or that it makes people lazy need to look at the situation. People on welfare have children who need to eat. You may say that welfare teaches these kids not to have initiative or drive in life but have you ever tried working at your full potential when you’re starving? And by starving I mean the last meal you eat every day is the free lunch you got from school.
Instead of criticizing them, I volunteer at one of the at-risk schools in Lubbock twice a week and help the kids see that there is a better way, that they don’t have to take handouts all their life and that they can be successful.
But most people don’t do that. Most people just complain, complain, complain. Well perhaps if we stopped complaining and channeled that energy into being a part of the solution, things would get better: more kids would graduate from high school and not depend on welfare.
People also say that America was built on capatalism and on the belief that if you work hard enough, you can be successful. Why don’t those on welfare just work harder?
To that I say, the slaves worked hard, but they weren’t very successful…I mean considering they were living as slaves against their will and all. Point being, everyone did not start at the same place. It’s like we’re running a race but everyone didn’t start at the same time, at no fault of their own. So what are they supposed to do? Run harder? They might be running as hard as they can but if you started 200 years behind, it’s going to be near impossible to completely catch up. So I ask, is that fair?
No, but we have to live with it.
So, now we have to live with welfare. Get over it. ;)
Journalists are the watchdogs of government. Why do you think Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech or of the press? Why do you think that when the British colonies came to the America’s, the British government didn’t want them printing their own newspapers? Because they knew that if people found out about what the government was doing, and were able to share that information with others, there would be upheaval; there would be a revolution.
And there was.
And that is why freedom of the press is so important. Because it is a journalists job to keep an eye on the government: to tell the people when the government is not acting right. Our nation is a republic. Our nation was built upon democracy and the idea that power belongs to the people. This power is exercised through knowledge, bestowed on us by journalists.
On the other hand, journalists are gatekeepers: gatekeepers of the news. They’re gatekeepers because they get to decide what get’s published and what doesn’t. They decide what goes on the front page in bold letters and what gets buried within the publication. This is not a job to be taken lightly, for journalists - as gatekeepers- decide what people care about. It’s very important for journalists to be transparent and unbiased in their work. It is important to have the best interest of the nation at heart and not selfish interests.
In this Trayvon Martin case, we see both of these roles being played by journalists and the media. The journalists of America are reporting on an injustice in our country. Why? Because it’s their duty as journalists. Their job is to watch the government and when the government doesn’t act right or when the justice system fails to work properly, it is their duty to let the people know. However, we also see the media is playing gatekeeper in that it is meticulously deciding what information to highlight and what information to breeze over. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in the way they report the story but also when and how they report the story and when and how they report other stories. It is a long held belief that the mainstream media has a liberal bias. But as Dr. Robert Wernsman said in a principal of journalism class, liberal in its most basic since means freedom, and journalists should be free. Free of ties to third parties, free of ties to preconceived notions, free of anything that might get in the way of them reporting the truth - the facts.
So the question today is, has the media played up this Trayvon Martin case as one of it’s liberal ploys to make the government look like big, bad, racist people? Has the media turned a deaf ear to other stories, to other facts that don’t favor their point of view? Or has the media done it’s job as the watchdog of government by alerting the people when things don’t go as they should?
Just read this in an article about Trayvon Martin in the Washington Post. I had to stop reading and tumble it. Please. Somebody put me out of my misery.
"Zimmerman’s family has said he is not a racist and that he has black friends to prove it."
Dear racist people and people with racist tendencies: YOU ARE NOT CLEARED OF BEING RACIST JUST BECAUSE YOU MAKE FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE OF THAT COLOR!
Please get this through your heads and stop using that as an EXCUSE. GAH.
TSU has a 4-year graduation rate of 3 percent. That means out of all of their students, only 3% get out in 4-years! That is SO out of line. I mean I knew it was low, but that…that is just unacceptable. They have the worst graduation rate in the state. I really don’t even know what to say about that. I’m shocked that the state or their board of regents or somebody hasn’t done anything. There needs to be a campus-wide campaign to get graduation rates up. That is truly pathetic.
And I wonder what the student organizations there are doing to help the issue? At Texas Tech, there’s only about 1,000 black students out of 30,000 but I feel like the black student organizations do a good job at finding community issues and addressing them. How have the student organizations at TSU not pinpointed this issue and done something to fix it??? Wow. I am just flabergasted. There is no point of that school beinng open if they’re only graduating 3 percent of their students in 4-years. Those students can go ahead on to A&M (which has a 4-year graduation rate of 51%) and the other kids who CLEARLY go there for some other reason than getting a degree can stay at home and stop wasting people’s time.
Looking at that graduation rate, why would anybody even want to go there unless they had no intention of graduating?
I really don’t think there’s any one else to blame this on but the university and the university officials. I mean, I’m good for finding a way to blame the white man but there is no way out of this one. TSU needs to raise it’s standards and start graduating students. Point blank period. What is the point of your institution if you’re not graduating students?
Man, I truly hope they get that together.