I want to kind of connect my passion post this week with what I’ve been focusing my Civic Issues blogs on: Issues of race and diversity.
As you all probably know, Baby Kimyesus is upon us. The baby that will try and probably fail to top adorable Blue Ivy. This child will probably be born with a leather diaper, 5 gold chains and stilettos no matter what the gender is. At least we still have a few months to prepare before the arrival of Kim Kardashian’s child (Am I the only one still amazed that she is actually having a child??). As we all know the father of Kim’s baby is none other than rap superstar Kanye West. Kim was asked during an interview if she would be prepared to raise a bi-racial baby seeing as she is Armenian and white and Kanye is Black. Kim’s response was, “the way I want to raise my children is to not see color”.
I can see where Kim’s good intentions lie. It’s difficult to be bi-racial in this world, especially in a country where everyone obsesses over what race they are and how they’re 177th % this or that. It will be hard for Kim and Kanye to teach their child that discrimination exists for people of mixed races and that there will be inevitable struggles down the road for their child. However, the solution to these problems is not to just pretend that race or racism does not exist. For one it is impossible. If their child won’t learn it at home they will soon be made aware of their race by the outside world. Also the implications of teaching your child to ignore color can be detrimental.
For one, if Kim does not show her child what race is she will be denying the cultures that herself and Kanye both come from. Cultures that have gone through tremendous hardship but also are beautiful and rich in culture. Raising someone to be “color blind” makes them just that, blind to influence of race on a person. Your heritage, culture, and language shapes their past, present, and future and this is a lesson that no one should be denied of.
I consider myself proud to know my heritage and how my race overcame and went through struggles and still is beautiful. Even though I did struggle with identity when it comes to my culture at times I can say that I’m glad that someone took the time to sit me down and tell me of where I came from and the experiences of others like me. I hope that Kim and Kanye come to the realization that denying race does no good, even with the best of intentions.
Comment below with your thoughts!Read More
In my previous post I examined how diversity plays out across the nation on various types of college campuses. I explained the differences between Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly White Colleges and how the different experiences that a student might have at each type of school would affect their life past college. Now, I want to examine how diversity plays out on an international scale. Do other countries value diversity and consider it an issue as we do here in the states? How diverse are other countries compared to America? On a scale where diversity is measured in the difference in ethnicity language, and religion America gains a very high rank while countries such as South Korea are described as ethnically homogeneous and those who are not Korean are discriminated against or shunned. .
In America and other countries such as Canada and England, there are organizations that work to promote diversity not only in everyday life but also the workplace. Foundations such as Global Diversity (The company and the organization). These organizations believe that diverse societies are the only way that people can truly express themselves in a society. How is diversity seen in places such as third world countries? There are countries where there simply is no word for diversity due to the fact that on the grand scale of issues, diversity does not rank so high. It sounds harsh but in a place where food and water are not always guaranteed I don’t think the citizens are going to be too focused on how high their country ranks on the diversity index. It seems that the view of diversity as a cultural issue is something that only first world countries deal with.
If we as a society are to come to terms with how diversity is looked at and dealt with it seems that first there should be a recognized, worldwide view on what exactly a fundamental right is. We need to gauge if by “diversity” some countries mean in terms of gender, race, or other terms. There also needs to be a re-examination of how important diversity is in other cultures. In some parts of Europe, diversity is sometimes an illegal issue to talk about and not at all discussed like it is here By doing this we can then begin to address the various problems that come along with diversity.
After reading various articles on the subject of diversity on a global scale, I feel that the issue should be kept on more of a regional scale. For instance, each country or state should choose how they want to deal with diversity. The reason for this is that because there can really be no way to move forward in terms of diversity if not everyone views the issue the same way which I mentioned is the case with third world countries.
“The Face” is a new modeling show on the Oxygen network that tries to find, well, the new face of modeling. I don’t pay much attention to the show but it comes on after Bad Girls Club (which I love!) and so I’ve seen snippets of it from time to time. What happened on this week’s episode has everyone up in arms. The girl pictured above is a model on the show named Devyn. During a deliberation with guest judge Wendy Williams, Devyn was asked if it is hard to be a black girl model and Devyn’s response shocked all of the judges. Devyn responded that she does not see herself as a black girl model because she is fair skinned with an “international” look. World famous supermodel judge Naomi Campbell said in an outrage that Devyn is black and that it’s a disgrace for her to claim otherwise.
Devyn’s comment’s on the show bring up a lot of sentiments of women of color and the modeling world. Most modeling campaigns feature either fair skinned white women and if there are black models they are extremely light skinned. Go on to your favorite clothing website and look at the different models; How many are black? Hispanic? Asian? It is no secret that the fashion industry is incredibly and blatantly racist. Is it a surprise that Devyn chooses not to identify with a race that is continuously ignored? Even though Devyn does not identify herself as a black girl model, others will and that is a problem that she will undoubtedly face during her career. Perhaps Devyn should have a sit down with Naomi Campbell who made a living and a name as a dark skinned black model.
What do you all think? Is the problem with Devyn’s comments or the fashion industry that creates the racism? Comment below what you think!
Teenagers do not care about daily news and current events. It is a simple fact evident in not only in statistics concerning the issue but also in the major gap between teenagers and current events. As a college student I can see firsthand how disenfranchised we students can be about the things that are happening in our world. I would be a hypocrite if I did not admit that I am at times a part of the generational system that ignores national and international events, no matter how important. I would just like to be apart of a generation that is not clueless of where certain countries are on the map or who the speaker of the house is. Everyone should have at least a general knowledge of the world in which they live in no matter their age. Being knowledgeable in daily news events is not a detriment to anyone. There exists an empathy gap between teenagers and the issues of the world surrounding them. They have no interest in the media due to the fact that they are not directly affected by most national and international issues. Ultimately, I argue that this “empathy gap” that exists in our generation today can be attributed to factors such as the rise of social media and reluctance to hard hitting stories about topics such as the war.
Defining the Empathy Gap
I will explain what the empathy gap and how it relates to young teenagers but also in part relates to us as Americans in a country where we do not have to deal with war and bombings in our backyards.
I will quote author Teju Cole on his definition of the empathy gap and what he does to increase awareness of international events even though they may not affect Americans directly
Teenagers and the Media
Rapid paced social media provides an opportunity to “customize” exactly what type of information they consume daily. Whether it be Facebook or Twitter, the invention of the customiz-able dashboard has allowed us to ignore the more important although at times less interesting news stories
– Addition of statistics about age groups and there involvement in the media
What to do now
-There should be a nationwide implementation of education that heavily infuses current events into the curriculum of all schools. This should be done in a way that has a lasting impact on teenagers and not just an assignment they can hand in; there should be a change in how they view news events.
– Those who will argue that it is not the fault of teenagers that they are not involved in today’s current events
– Education does not adeptly prepare students to become interested in the media
– Youth feel that if they cannot change this world than there is no point in becoming interested in its issues (Apathy)
Like most of my classmates, I have no idea what I’m going to write about for my persuasive essay or for my advocacy project. But I’ve been brainstorming some ideas and even though nothing’s concrete, here’s what I’ve come up with.
1.) I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of our generation and how many of us are not exactly politically minded or even interested in things such as current events. I would love to write a persuasive essay that would focus on students just like me getting more involved in the world they live in. I don’t know exactly how I would go about this but I’ve been pondering that topic for a little bit since the online deliberation project which made me want to participate in issues such as that
2.) My specific audience would be college students who honestly do not know or care about what’s going on in the news. I would also to take this further in the advocacy project and maybe conduct interviews and get to the root of the reason for this disinterest in the news and the world
3.) I would hope that anyone who reads my essay thinks long and hard about the state of our generation. I think it’s really sad that a lot of people didn’t know that we were getting a new pope or care enough to watch even 5 minutes of the news everyday.
4.) I would like to think that my research will come from interviewing my peers and also statistics about youth and their society. Also, there was an article I read on something called the “empathy gap” which I think will be really relevant to this topic
1.) Yes, because this issue is so relevant to not only the youth of today but the adults as well it is very urgent. It’s not life threatening or anything but it is still a pressing issue.
2.) I would need to do some more research on this issue to answer this question. Off the top of my head I can’t think of any groups who would be against this issue.
I think that I will be using this topic for my advocacy project if everything goes right.Read More