5 Reasons why Black Lives Matter

5 Reasons why Black Lives Matter

The racism in America is still prevalent
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You would have thought after the Civil Rights Movement African Americans would have more rights in America. However, in the past years, it seems that those rights and simpler than that equality have flown out of the window.

As an African American in America, I have seen this discrimination first hand. The older I get, the worse it has gotten. It brings tears to my eyes to see people like me, especially people my age and younger, getting their lives and opportunities stripped from them. They will never have the chance to make their voices heard because they have either been sentenced to life or are looking down from heaven watching their people continue to suffer.

As the years go by, our lives will never be easier. So, here are 5 reasons why I believe it’s hard to be black in America.

1. We are always the target

There seems to be an endless list of names of African American men who have been either killed or imprisoned due to some form of police involvement. Every day in the news there is either a mug shot of a black man, awaiting 10 to life or a story about yet another one of our men being shot in the streets for being considered a “threat.” As African Americans, some policemen have put an imaginary red dot on our chest and during any sign of movement, they tend to shoot. Hands Up, Don't Shoot has become a regularly used term here in the African American community.

Whenever the reports are presented, the policemen make the allegation of seeing the person as a "potential threat" or they were simply "scared for their life.” But this question must be asked: Isn’t the African American standing before you just as scared for their life?

2. We are always fighting

Ever since the times of slavery, African Americans have always been fighting for their right to live, for their constitutional rights, and better yet, success in America. The oppression will never cease and therefore neither will the fight. The NAACP works endlessly to ensure the preservation of African American rights. But, sometimes that isn’t enough. The government, no matter how hard we try, continues to stunt our growth. It has been so poor that even here at Winthrop University we are fighting. Organizations such as the NAACP and Visible have joined together with others on campus to have a “die-in” for change. We are making our voices heard in order to get the name of Tillman Hall—named after the man –changed.

3. Racism is at an all-time high

By simply changing the name from Black Lives Matter to “All” Lives Matter is racism in and of itself. The allegation of “All” lives matter is simply pushing African Americans back into oppression. If all lives mattered, why are African Americans still having to fight for theirs? With social media platforms, racism has increased. Whether it is a Facebook post with a racial slur or a meme put on Tumblr, racist comments are spread across the world. These platforms further enable racism to exist not only towards African Americans but blacks across the world.

4. We have become more of a statistic than we were

America expects the worse from us. We are stereotyped as gang bangers and drug dealers, people who will never do more than society expects of us. From our social injustice, our statistics have increased. NAACP stays that jails are comprised of 43% of African Americans. African Americans are also 6 times more likely to be jailed than a white person in America. The more that America chooses to discriminate us and essentially deny us of our Constitutional right to a "fair trial," the more we are disabled to succeed in America. The increase of police brutality against African-Americans further decreases our chances of advancing at the same rate as the majority in America

5. Less representation in the government

Although there may be 48 African Americans in the House, there are only 2 that hold Senate seats according to the Congressional Research Service. That means that only 50 out of the 541, 9.2% of Congress is representative of African Americans. This truly is not enough to represent the 12.2% of African Americans that live in the United States. The minority in America is slowly but surely becoming the majority. Not having the representation causes police brutality to get overlooked. Even at the local level, African American’s needs and pleeds are being overlooked. It shouldn’t take a crying girl like Zianna Oliphant in a city council meeting for them to realize the problems at hand.

There will never be a solution to this pressing matter unless America acknowledges one important concept: Black Lives do Matter. As an African American woman in America, I strongly agree that our voices need to be heard.

The more that our governments at the local and national level refuse to acknowledge the prominent problems in our community, no change will occur. It will remain as it has: black families grieving being publicized across the country awaiting their justice that will never be bestowed upon them. American must acknowledge that we are humans, not monkeys or shooting targets.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.snopes.com/tag/black-lives-matter/

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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It's 2019, And I Can Confirm One Size Does Not Fit All, At All

I'll take feeling good over meeting your standards. Thank you.

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We live in a society where being yourself and expressing who you truly are is something that is becoming more and more accepted and is actually trendy. Left and right, people are coming forward and declaring who they are and want to be in life and there is a crowd of people there to cheer them on.

There is also always that small percent sitting in the corner, ready to throw derogatory comments and taint the self-love, respect, and acceptance that's flowing.

Every single time this happens, the internet breaks and feuds form in the comment sections. How many times does this fight have to be had before people just mind their own business? How someone looks is frankly none of your concern. Whether you think the person is too fat, too skinny, too girly, too rough, too whatever, it's none of your business.

I'm a firm believer that one should focus on their own life instead of living to tear others down. You should be more concerned with feeling good in your own body than wasting your energy trying to make people ashamed of theirs. It's not your place to comment on someone's appearance.

We should work on building up confidence and feeling good in our skin. Exercising, working on your mental health, and surrounding yourself with good energy will improve your life exponentially. DO NOT do this to achieve an aesthetic or try to look like an Instagram model. Only do it to feel good about yourself internally. What you look like on the outside should only matter to you.

I would be lying if I said I didn't fall victim to countless beautiful women who post their swimsuit photos looking like they stepped out of Vogue magazine. I would be lying if I said I didn't struggle with my own body image and have to remind myself daily that it's okay to not fit their mold. I won't lie to you. We live in a world that feels the need to comment on every inch of our skin rather than focus on more important issues. Shut off the noise and ignore the words that are given in hate. You have better things to do than focus on their negativity.

Make your own mold.

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