Category Archives: Politics

Obama reading Where the Wild Things Are

Kicking off Easter in presidential fashion at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, which the First Lady has turned into the hottest lawn-based activity since the Slip ‘n Slide, President Obama gets into character to deliver a reading of Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are, which has been an annual tradition there since 2009. Check out this absolutely adorable video below!

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R.I.P. Trayvon Benjamin Martin: 1995-2012

For a long time I’ve contemplated writing a post about the murder of Trayvon Martin. After reading a number of blogs, seeing numerous pictures on facebook, and attending a rally in Union Square (NYC), I have found myself conflicted. There have been many issues raised in relation to this shooting: the pervasiveness of racism in America, the reality of racial profiling, the response of Black America to this shooting, the response of rest of America to this shooting from the perspective of Black America,  the response of politicians and T.V. personalities to this shooting… and the list goes on.

However, one thing that is certain is that this young man died way before his time. Not only as a Black male who could have just as easily met the same fate, but as a human being who is appreciative for every second God has bestowed upon me, I say rest in peace to Trayvon Benjamin Martin. You died way before your time. My condolences to your family.

While I wish it was possible to conclude this blog post here, the implications of race are so ingrained that they are impossible to ignore. I can honestly say that I don’t know the best way to articulate all of my thoughts and feelings in clear and concise way, but I did come across an article in Time Magazine that drew my attention. I’m going to post the link below for anyone interested.

http://ideas.time.com/2012/03/21/how-to-talk-to-young-black-boys-about-trayvon-martin/

I don’t really have any words of comfort for anyone who has been affected by this crime in the same or more dramatic fashion as myself. But, these lyrics have been stuck in my head and heart from the time I was a child and have be resonating from my lips for the last few hours. I hope it helps.

Lift every voice and sing,
till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the
dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
let us march on till victory is won.

Love to learn and learn to love. Lest we forget where we have stepped.

The Silent Truth: Sexual Assault Against Women in the Military

Another morning of flipping through random video clips drew my heart to this one. This video clip tells the story of Private LaVena Lynn Johnson who died in Iraq. Initially the family was informed by the U.S. Military that Ms. Johnson had committed suicide. Since then, the story has become much more murky, raising questions of a cover-up by the military. Ms Johnson is now believe to have been physically assault, raped, shot in the head, and set on fire. Please see the video clip below.

I must say that I post this blog, not because Ms. Johnson was black, but because she, like many other women who risk their lives on the battlefield to defend our safety, has fallen victim to a system that boasts a high level of valor, respectability, and honor. This is not to assert that all members of the U.S. Military are attacking these women (my brother served in the military for 10 years and I be hard pressed to believe he could ever commit such an action), but the fact that incidents like these can persist in systems like these invokes in me a level of frustration that I cannot fully comprehend.

We often think of women as mothers, daughter, sisters, cousins, nieces, granddaughters, all of which come with a loving connotation. There are also the “not-so-nice” classifications of women: slut, ho, bitch, whore (which I’d like to point out are just as easily associated with men… just saying…). But we often forget that, above all else, women are human beings born with the right to feel secure in all walks of life, whether in supermarket or the Military. So I dedicate this post, not only to Private LaVena Lynn Johnson, but the various other women who have lost their lives in the battle against rape and sexual assault. May your spirits be at rest and the hearts of your families on day be at ease.

Aside

Ignorance is Bliss: The Plight of Race Based Affinity Groups in the 21st Century As a pre-frosh, I came to Williams with the intent to distance myself from black people. Having been born and raised in Brooklyn, NY around shady … Continue reading