Why Am I Here?

A question seemingly impossible to answer, brings light to so many aspects of my life. Its vagueness asserts that you answer a question with a question, declaring that I must first ask myself who am “I,” and then where is “here?” Spirituality might lead me to answer that I am a child of God, and that I am on earth, temporarily. My mentality might compel me to feel that I am more than the average Joe, and that I am on Earth to make a difference. But my history, my history motivates me to conceive that I am destined to be great. That what you see is just the tip of the iceberg. That my roots di333_Why_Am_I_Hereg deep. And I am on a path toward my empire. I know that to answer this question I must not exclude any one of this triad of contributors. And because of that I will elaborate on how this tri-archy brings conciseness to this Iliad of answers.

God. The subject is all too touchy. Many feelings and obligations are wrapped around the thought, but in all honesty it is so simple to understand why he put me here on his Earth. Purpose. God put me here for a purpose, and that purpose is to live for him and experience the joy of his presence every day. Whether my purpose is to become a doctor and help keep people alive and well, or to be an officer and keep the harmful away from the harmless, there is a purpose that I am meant to fulfill. Only with his grace am I here, on Earth, living out my destiny.

The human mind, in my opinion, has to be the most powerful tool in the natural world. Capable of accomplishing so many great things, it is literally too complex for its own self. It allows me to eat, sleep, laugh, cry, think, and believe. My mind has created a drive to be better than the average student, the average basketball player, and the average person. And because of that I feel accountable for making a difference. Thinking back on destiny and purpose, I have been granted intellect with the purpose in mind that I will use it to better my community. To better my “here.” The world I live in.

“There is a reason it used to be a crime in the Confederate states to teach a slave to read: literacy is power.” Without these words, and this mind what would I be? Nothing but a bare-backed nigga as dumb as a door knob. Just the thought of the journey my people have taken to get me where I am gives me obligation to fulfill their dreams. I can sit here and believe that “as an American I have the right to an education,” but if I did I would be discrediting all the works of every civil rights activist that fought for me to even be an American. I don’t hold my nose high, because I know that “I” did not earn this. It was passed down to me to do with what I please. I have chosen to take full advantage of every opportunity my history has granted me.

I am not here for you. I am not here me. I am here for the greater good. For righteousness. To achieve more than I came with. I am here for everything, everything that belongs to me. I am here to take. I am here to give. But most importantly, I am here.

The Color Purple in Comparison to Contemporary Black America

A dynamic novel chock-full of twists and turns, Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple,” boldly illustrates the ideas of love, spirituality, racism, and sexism. The story of the main character Celie is told through a collection of letters between Celie and God. In reflection, I find that the book delineates the lives and misfortunes of contemporary African-American women. Reading this novel, I found it difficult to place myself in the 1930s due to the fact that the experiences that Celie suffered through are so distinguishable in my current culture. The topics of rape, domestic abuse, and the degradation of African-American women still linger at the top of today’s hierarchy of issues.

After reading the first few pages of the book in which Celie was characterized, there is no way any person cannot have an overwhelming feeling of pity. These feelings were similar to the ones I feel when I see single mothers having to struggle with their children, fight to make ends meet, and deal with the tango of the life imposed on them by American society.

Black women are truly the mules of this world, and “The Color Purple” brings meaning to that statement. They are forced to carry the load of everyone they encounter. Celie was a maid to her father and husband, a babysitter, a farmer, a seamstress, a sex toy, and a chef. It was her job everyday to take on the load of all the people around her. Celie is no different from the black mother in America today. She is no different from the mother that is stifled with bills, ridiculed by her boss, and beaten by her significant other.

Sexism in this novel is probably the biggest theme. Usually a controversial topic, sexuality plays a big part in understanding Celie and the experiences she has been through. Her homosexual encounters speak volume to the abasement all the men in her life have inflicted on her. Raping her, murdering her child, and limiting her intelligence all directly correlate to the reason Celie hates men and begins to form sexual attractions toward women. Celie even goes as far as neglecting God under the assumption that he is a white MAN. The object in question now is does this have anything to do with the reason the LGBT community in the 21st century is growing so rapidly? Are black women becoming gay because they cannot deal with the pain that comes from dating men? Based on Celie’s hate for Mr.____ and her love for Shug Avery, I feel that this phenomenon of “switching sides” is prompted by resentment of the opposite sex.

The themes presented are untimely, and this book is a classic. “The Color Purple” is a great read and is sure to captivate anyone who embarks on it.

People of Paradox

Probably the most prominent of all civil rights activists ever, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., left one of the most memorable speeches in American history within his legacy. On August 28, 1963, King imparted a message unto thousands of bystanders, both black and white. His “I Have A Dream” speech will forever resonate in the minds of African-Americans. This speech single-handedly epitomized King’s perspective of racial-inequality in America. King dreamed of righteousness, love, and unity. But it seems that now, over 40 years later, his dream has yet to come to fruition. In 2007 Aaron Mcgruder, creator of the show “The Boondocks,” gives us his perspective on the effect of King’s speech in his parody “The Return of the King.” In the episode, “King” gives a follow-up speech and he TRULY expresses his thoughts of the contemporary nigga.
It is no secret that black people are self-hating. In fact, black people may be the most segregated race of people within themselves. I have personally witnessed blacks committing hate crimes against one another. And in the beginning of Aaron Mcgruder’s episode, we see just how bad the conflict between blacks is. Punching each other, throwing chairs, and swearing at each other are all expressed vividly. The ruckus is only put to a halt when King screams, “will you ignorant niggas please shut the hell up?” Which subtly proves that blacks can’t be civil. In most scenarios, blacks won’t cooperate under any circumstance due to a sense of pride that disables their logical thinking.
Can black people fulfill the goals within Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech? I think so, but I also think it is going to take the effort of every black person alive. Black people have yet to realize that we are a team. The greatest teams win it all because they understand the goal, what it’s going to take to get there, and what everybody’s role on the team is. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech was mistaken by the African-American community. I feel that the majority of the blame dates back to Willie Lynch, and his infamous breaking process of slaves. Separating enslaved Africans by hues of melanin, gender, and intelligence have all contributed to the multitude of teams within the black league. Ironically enough, as much separation as there is, all blacks will always belong to the same league.

To Feel The Pain

peaceandjustice

Pain (n) – physical and mental suffering or discomfort

Look at all of your black peers, colleagues, co-workers, and neighbors. The first thing you might notice are some big lips, maybe a wide nose, or even some nappy ass hair. Now look closer, paying attention to their face, and tell me what you see in common with all of these black people. You might agree that you looked into that person’s eyes and saw wear and tear that you never noticed before. The pain that they have been put through from the time they were born, until this very second. And now you can’t help but notice, because even when they are smiling and laughing, their expression exhibits a dark underlying truth that is somewhat uncomfortable. That pain that you see, that we all see, is called racism.

Lately it seems police brutality has become a hot commodity in specific areas of the United States, if we can even call it “United.” Racism is an unfortunate and cruel reality that black people have to face every single day. And it seems with all of the controversial acts of police brutality, that we may be leaping into the beginning of a racial revolution. Photographs like the one above, pay homage to the underlying issue of all of this racial tension. Blacks cannot find peace or justice in a country that promises it in its constitution.

White people with political power claim that we live in a post-racial United States. What exactly does that mean? Are you saying that you (white) people have now looked passed our skin color and appreciate who we are as human beings? I dare to say that the majority of “you people” still cannot. That you judge us by the content of our character? Or is it all a part of your deceptive plan to make us feel comfortable enough for you to play with us like pawns? Not that I am a conspiracy theorist or anything, but it seems checkmate is soon to be called. Consider the colors of chess pieces.

Growing up, my mother always told me that one of her biggest fears would be to have to bury one of her children. She said, “you should be burying me boy, not the other way around.” As simple as her words were, they spoke volume to the experience that so many mothers have had to go through in the last few months. It’s not by coincidence that she had this to say to me. Since the media decides exactly what they want to be publicized, many people are thinking that this endemic is something new. These police lashings have been dealt out for years and are just beginning to get public recognition. The question is why now? After all this time, why wait until blacks are actively protesting and tearing up the place to give it attention. In my opinion, the media has been waiting for the right moment to scandalize black people. They want to create the worst image of us possible, and what a better scapegoat to do it on than the Ferguson rebellion. Let’s face it, we ALL watch the tv and talk about how grotesquely the black people on the news reports make black people look. This is the exact perspective white people want us to have. They want us to be portrayed as tongue slurred, chicken eating, greasy-skinned slobs. If you ask me, it builds onto the pain that we have to deal with on a daily basis.

Politicians Stifling ?

It is no secret that American politics are corrupt. From races as large as presidential elections to those as small as middle school student government campaigns, political fraud wiggles its way into the seams of the suits and ties of the candidates. Politicians manipulate the thoughts of a population to believe what they deem to be politically correct. In his speech, Michael Bloomberg discusses how universities have been censoring the ideas of organizations in order to withhold the integrity of their institutions.

Speaking hypothetically, the university is like the politician. They have an image to sustain, and in order to do that they must manipulate the minds of their advocates. By suppressing the socially unacceptable ideas of their students, who are direct representatives of the institution, they are able to stay in society’s safe zone. Universities are supposed to be safe havens for people to splurge their ideas, but instead they have become mental bear traps, crippling us by cutting off our ideas.

Additionally, I believe that under no circumstance, that a system which claims its intent is to give us knowledge that will allow us to lead a successful independent life, should paralyze us from the neck up by stifling our thoughts. Students within the education system are suffering due to political corruptness. Young minds that have the potential to be the next Galileo Galilei or Wright Brothers, have been bound to the limited information in their text books. I picture it like a eukaryotic cell. Each cell is supplied with the specific materials needed to carry out its function. The nucleus, which contains all of the information a cell will need throughout its life, reminds me of the information we are exposed to. The cell is restrained from all of the possible functions it is capable of, because of its narrow amount of information. This is done with the purpose of maintaining human anatomy, but is at the expense that humans will never unlock their true potential.

In closing, students cannot unlock their true potential if they have their right to free expression censored. The thoughts of the members of our society shouldn’t be limited for the sake of keeping everyone “politically correct.” Thoughts should be colorful, words should be profane, and the glass should be half full.

Summary of “That Word Black”

“That Word Black” is an allusion to the bad reputation Blacks Have been given. It was the evening time and Jesse B. Semple felt inspired to talk about the word “black”. He starts by saying that white people have given the word black a bad reputation.thumbs_down_thumbs_up Everything that they deem to be bad, just so happens to be described as black. Then, he gives examples of words that have been manipulated by the word black specifically to give the word a negative connotation. Some examples of these words include black-balled, blackmailed, black market, and black magic. After that he expresses how they call everything that is bad black, including people, black people. Because he is so outraged and exhausted of this, he says he is going to call everything that is bad “white”. In the end, he talks about how black is really beautiful and only has a bad reputation because white people manipulated it.

A Tweet A Day Keeps The Brain Cells Away

Social Media has undoubtedly become one of the world’s most valuable resources. It benefits us by helping us reconnect with our loved ones, provide jobs for those who are technology savvy, and even help the police incriminate those who are bold enough to post all about their criminal endeavors. Social media offers a multiplex of opportunities to anyone that has access to the internet. But as much as the internet pandemics Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have to offer, they are all still bad for us. They bring meaning to the phrase, “too much of a good thing is bad for you.” If we slice deeper into the heart of social media, we find just how bad they can get.

Correspondingly, we often neglect the fact that social networking is bad for us because we do not want to believe it. How can something so entertaining, so informative, and so accessible, be harmful? There is no skepticism about whether people use social media as a medium for them to gain confidence. On Instagram for instance, users upload pictures of anything they choose and allow others to comment on and like their posts. The only problem here is that Instagram has no dislike button. This simple fact supports Andrew Santella’s notion, writer and editor whose work has appeared in GQ and The New York Times magazine, that the use of social media encourages narcissistic behavior. Social Media Narcissists are those who find the utmost importance of what their followers think of them. They find meaning and value in the number of followers they have or likes they get under their picture. This quantitative assurance feeds into the user’s narcissistic need to feel unique twitter-dead-croppedand superior.

Additionally, social media is exactly what its name defines it as. It is media that responds to trends in our current society. This in itself is not a bad thing, but when it is coupled with the fact that trends change faster than dirty underwear, it becomes catastrophic to the mind. The information on social media is sporadic. Ideas are scattered all over the place, and it causes our minds to do the same thing. It prohibits us from thinking about a single idea for any longer than it takes us to read a tweet. It is training our minds to comprehend concepts on a small scale. I think of it like this. We are training our brains to read condensed information. Within a few sentences the concept of a topic is understood and the idea is thrown somewhere into the depths our consciousness. This is damaging because when a reader attempts to understand a concept within a text using the length of an entire paragraph or two, they will become disengaged due to the length of the text. In other words, a short attention span. They are expecting to get a quick synopsis similar to the ones they experience on social media. Yes your timeline may seem as long as a Harry Potter novel, but each post is as minute as a single sentence on each page.

In Closing, social media is not all its cracked up to be. It’s used daily as a medium to stroke our egos and live a false life. It has the potential to cause personality disorders such as narcissism and change a person’s life for the worst. The mental affects are more of a concern when you consider the significance of your education. Having a short attention span can be detrimental to a college student reading 20 pages from their textbook, that they need to discuss in class the next day. Let’s stay away from social media.