Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Danger of Forcing the ‘Runaway’ Label on the Missing DC Girls

Double-digit numbers of young black and Latinx girls in the nation’s capital are missing and, as expected, there has yet to be a national outcry. Instead, within the past week, Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department and other social media outlets are now focused on emphatically underscoring the message that social media distorted the stories and numbers of those missing.

The effort to find a handful of missing teenagers is being used to illustrate how a community is supposedly lying. But what’s still abundantly clear is that young black girls are missing, and many don’t care. The lack of rage over these young girls reveals a troubling truth: Missing girls are oftentimes immediately thought of as “runaways” who are not being harmed by systems of exploitation and victimization.

This mindset allows black girls to experience harm and trauma, while the assumption that girls are runaways puts the blame on caregivers, removes the government’s role and implies that these girls got what they deserved for being “fast”—stereotypes of oftentimes physically, emotionally and psychologically abused girls.

Read the full article on The Root.

Why Grooming Habits for Men Need to be Normalized

I can remember it like it was yesterday. I sat in my bedroom watching the television screen, totally mesmerized by what I was looking at as time seemed to pass in slow motion: perfect spiral curls, with even blending of brown and blond and not a hair out of place, though it swayed effortlessly through the wind. No, I’m not talking about Beyoncé; I’m referring to Odell Beckham Jr., football’s favorite “carefree” star. Since his National Football League debut, his persona has challenged the hypermasculine NFL while inspiring a nation of young men to get more in tune with their grooming habits, fashion, and carefree spirit. However, like many men concerned with notions of beauty and how to indulge them, Beckham has met with accusations of being “effeminate” and homosexual throughout much of his career, as male beauty and how men access it is still very much a taboo subject in American culture.   The discussion of men’s grooming has primarily been centered around gender norms and conformity, with anything outside the context of getting a haircut seen as a threat to masculinity. Men typically aren’t allowed to explore the grooming habits that have been attributed to women without confronting some form of stigma and discrimination usually tied to sexuality.

Read the full article in Teen Vogue.

‘Get Out’ reminds us only we can save ourselves

In Get Out, his feature directorial film, Jordan Peele takes us on an intense, don’t-close-your-eyes, emotional rollercoaster. It’s a necessary film requiring close attention to fully understand the complexity — intentional or not — situated throughout the film.

There are many underlying themes: the potential dangers/fetishizations of interracial dating between black men and white women (because: history); understanding that white women can almost cause another’s peril and still survive; and how “nice racism” and white liberalism/progressivism, particularly due to its covert, microaggressive nature, are never to be trusted.

As viewers, we also bore witness to the development of each main character — except Georgina, who’s most intriguing because we literally know nothing about her; the erasure of black women in Hollywood and white women’s obsession, to be sure. Two weeks later, many of us are still connecting the dots and discovering gems from a film that many did not expect to be nuanced and layered.

Read the full article on The Grio.

Man Leads Day Without a Woman March to the White House

Preston Mitchum, a policy research analyst at the Center for Health and Gender Equity, rallied women at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. for a march to the White House during the Day Without a Woman strike on Wednesday afternoon.

The Day Without a Woman is an international strike in which women are to "refrain from paid and unpaid work" and "refrain from shopping in stores or online." The goal of the strike is to "highlight the economic power and significance that women have in the US and global economies, while calling attention to the economic injustices women and gender nonconforming people continue to face," according to the Women's March website.

"When abortion rights are under attack, what do we do?" Mitchum yelled through his megaphone to the crowd.

Read the full article in the Washington Free Beacon.

Get Out Proves That ‘Nice Racism’ and White Liberalism Are Never to Be Trusted

Last year was a difficult time for many black people in America. We saw now-President Donald Trump making his way to executive power through sheer racist, sexist vitriol. We witnessed the continued state of institutional violence against black bodies, such as those of Korryn GainesKeith Lamont Scott and Terence Crutcher. Black people saw the deaths of many beloved celebrities, like legends Prince and Muhammad Ali.

It was apparent that now more than ever, we needed something that spoke to our experiences, even if that outlet was in the form of a fictional film representation. But Get Out also spotlighted a pervasive problem in this country: “Nice” racism and white liberalism are never to be trusted.

In October 2016, Get Out released its official trailer of only two minutes and 33 seconds, and took the world by storm. Although I didn’t know the specifics, here is what I knew: The movie involved a black man (Chris), a possibly “progressive” white woman (Rose Armitage) and, for the first time I could remember, a black man publicly showing just how frightening it can be to trust white America.

Read the full article on The Root.