What is Black Fishing?

This Teen Doesn't Seem To Understand What's Wrong With Cultural Appropriation

Instagram model Emma Hallberg has been accused of black-fishing, and her response is legendary in all the wrong ways.

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What the heck is black-fishing? To me, it sounds like a poker reference. However, listen up...because black-fishing is just the new, less blatant version of blackface.

The origins of blackface date back to the 1820s, when it emerged as a form of white racist entertainment in the initial minstrel shows. While blackface appropriates Black culture with the intent of mocking an entire race, black-fishing is done in an effort to profit off it.

To get technical, black-fishing is when a person who IS NOT Black pretends to be Black on his/her/their social media by culturally appropriating Black features in an attempt to gain "cough, cough"...that's right ATTENTION! Individuals engaging in black-fishing are mimicking Black features because in doing so, they acquire anything from notice to compliments to even money and endorsements.

Recently, nineteen-year-old, Swedish model Emma Hallberg was ROASTED, and I mean ROASTED for doing just that.

Based on her current social media accounts, Hallberg appears to be a light-skinned Black woman.

Hallberg Google Images

Prior to the recent controversy, many believed Hallberg was a woman of color. However, after a photo was leaked on Twitter comparing an old photo of Hallberg to a new one, people were quick to criticize the WHITE woman who has denied ever referring to herself as a person of color. She says everything about her is natural and suntanning is the only reason her skin is darker. Hallberg has continued portraying herself as Black and has continued allowing people to believe she is Black. All the while, she is making mad money off it. I'll just leave the picture below and you can see how you feel about it.

New vs. Old Photo of Hallberg Google Images

So, why is she doing it? Well, because she looks amazing. No denying she is a beautiful woman. However, Hallberg only began gaining followers and making money once she began photographing herself with Black features. And see, that's the thing: being Black is cooooooool now. Yeah, it's cool...until you get stopped by the police.

Even if I was to give Hallberg the benefit of the doubt and believe her when she says she has never intentionally altered her appearance to appear a certain way, there's still an issue with this. People of color today are either celebrating her beauty under the impression she is a POC, or they are aware she is a fraud and had to explain through historical context why cultural appropriation is NOT OKAY. Hallberg's actions may have been unintentional, but her refusal to acknowledge any wrongdoing makes the stunt all the more offensive.

I'm only going to say this once because I shouldn't have to say it at all. PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR EDUCATING WHITE PEOPLE ON ISSUES CONCERNING RACISM. This goes for issues of cultural appropriation, colorblindness, ignorance, microaggressions, etc. However, POC have and will continue to help spread awareness regarding racial injustices because their livelihood depends on it.

So if you or anyone you know is black-fishing...just stop.

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To The Professors Who Don't Put In Our Grades Until It's Too Late

Since you're not updating your grade book anyway, mine as well just forget about that D I got on last weeks exam

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Dear College Professors,

As finals are right around the corner, we are all wondering what we need to make in order to ace your class... or not fail your class. But how are we supposed to take the time to calculate this, when all we have is a single letter midterm grade? You may not realize but grades are the central focus of the school, and better yet, college. We strive to get an A and we study endless hours so we can achieve that goal. And for you to not be able to do us the simple favor of putting in that grade, is absurd.

Let's just say, Billy, with the purple hair who sits in the back corner, slacked the entire year and is assuming he has no better than a C in the class. We have a month left of school and he wanted to try to bring up his grade in creative writing, maybe not to an A, but he has come to the realization that he cannot fail the course because his parents cannot afford for him to retake the class. He recently was in the library writing his paper, and even missed the new episode of Game of Thrones episode, to make sure that his paper was golden.

Now it's been two weeks since he handed in that paper. Still no grade. The countdown is on, 10 days left of class and barely enough assignments to pull that grade up. He has 9 work shifts, 5 finals, 2 study guides, and 1 teacher that inputs all his grades. Poor Billy. With not a clue of what any of his grades are, and barely any time to go personally ask every professor for his grades, he's just going to strive to do the best he can on all of his finals.

Two weeks later...

Turns out Billy had a C+ in creative writing, but a D in logic, the class he assumed he was doing well in because he has only had a few assignments.

So points is, professors if you are not updating our grades regularly or at least a few times before and after midterms, we won't know what we are working with. Also being able to look at our grades directly, motivates us to want to fix a lacking grade or ultimately get the best grade possible. We become more determined when we see the number directly rather than when we're just guessing at it.

In high school, all my teachers always put our grades into the computer immediately, but now when school is more challenging and assignments are time-consuming and lengthy, THIS is when we're unable to see how we are doing. How is that fair?

So moral of the story, while we are studying for 5 exams, writing 2 papers and working a part-time job. Take a little stress off our backs and at least give us an estimate of where we are standing.

Thank you,

A frustrated student trying to raise her GPA

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Why Treating Myself to An iPad was a Capitalist Revolution

Anyone who knows me KNOWS that this was a hard decision for me, cue this rant.

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I don't want to make it a huge deal but I got an iPad, cue the applause. No? OK.

I have been putting off this purchase since the start of college because I felt that I needed to do something to "deserve" it, whatever that meant but I decided to YOLO it and here I am, happier than I've ever been.

I realize this makes me sound materialistic but whatever, now I am happier now so yes, maybe I am a little materialistic.

The iPad is perfect for the always-on-the-go lifestyle of a college student. I feel that my backpack has become so much lighter with this device.

With automatic backup to the Cloud, anything stored on the iPad can be saved on Apple's network and can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection; all those invaluable class notes and papers you typed will be saved and accessible online which is something that I really care about because an essay of mine deleted itself and I still have nightmares about that.

With how much I am praising their device, Apple should really hire me already.

Anyways, carrying on with the advantages, an iPad can snap a photo of a document, convert it to a PDF and email it faster than your campus copy machine ever could.

Apart from all these advantages and just how cool it looks, I do understand people who say that they don't think an iPad is worth it. That used to be me for a long time and I agree that it is not the device for everyone.

I'm not writing this article to tell you to buy an iPad. In fact, the opposite really. Sure, my iPad makes me happy and genuinely excited to go to class and take notes (I know right!?) but that's not what the iPad represents. For me, getting this iPad was a personal milestone because, for such a long time, I made myself refuse to buy it because I felt that I needed to become a perfect student - get perfect grades effortlessly and be productive always - to be able to even think about getting it.

It is a state that is experienced by every college student: the mentality is to hustle always 24/7 and if you aren't, you are lazy and not going to get that dream job and salary. We feel that we need to be working for things to deserve them otherwise we are unworthy of things that make us happy and content.

Ina P. said that "Perfection was the only possibility, anything else was failure" in her article "Capitalism Makes Me Sick" and I relate completely. It is the capitalist view that has poisoned all of us to think that we need to be perfect and grateful that we don't have it worse. Asking for something more than we "deserve" is not even a consideration we think about anymore.

I promised myself that I would get an iPad if I got the best grades and genuinely did something that I considered productive which was a high bar that kept on getting higher every time I came close to reaching it. So I worked harder, thinking it all might come true someday if I just tried one more time, did it better, put more into it. I was still entranced in the formula of capitalism: if you work hard enough you will earn happiness.

And then, for the first time in my life, I just let go. I stopped struggling against it. I stopped worrying about what it would mean with "treating myself." No more sacrificing to be part of the system, or to reform the system, or even to fight it.

We set aside our own selves and our dreams in a futile attempt to become people of value. We don't realize that we already are from the moment we're born.

We kill ourselves to achieve what is unachievable and blame ourselves and each other for failing.

So yes, to me, getting this iPad is not just about the advantages that it gives (which are numerous) but the fact that when I made this decision, it is in some small way trying to break the systematic process of capitalism.

Or maybe I just really wanted an iPad.

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