A New Way To Fight Racism

A New Way To Fight Racism

Fighting racism requires a new framework, and calling out hypocrites like Hillary Clinton.
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It seems like you can't go anywhere these days without wading into some form of racism or something that fights racism (even if it's disbelief on Twitter). While it's anger-inducing to read about racism against blacks by the police, (for example) it's gratifying to know there's someone with a smartphone filming the latest injustice done to black citizens by police. Some of that is distilled in this Hell-on-Earth election, where Donald Trump started his campaign making disgusting comments about Mexicans, while Hillary Clinton puts in a lot of effort to show that she's against racism.

Of course, that's old news by now in regards to the election: frankly, and rightfully so, we're more appalled by the numerous accounts of Trump's behavior that's too disgusting to describe but will provide links to. And at this point, it's a foregone conclusion: unless if there's some act of Satan that turns everything on its head, Clinton will become our next President. But there's an inconvenient truth that we need to reckon with: Hillary Clinton is actually very racist.

Now, I know that the army of Hillary supporters would love to drown me with stories of Hillary's history with the Black and Latino communities in the United States. Well, apart from the instances where she actually used racism herself (like the infamous "superpredator" comment she made in the tough-on-crime 90s, which she only apologized for after being confronted about it years later), she's very racist for reasons in the United States that need to be addressed in depth.

One perfect example is fracking. She still supports it, as evidenced on one of the pages of her campaign website. However, evidence has shown that in California (one of the places where fracking takes place without specific regulations about how far they need to operate from places such as schools), fracking disproportionately affect schools and school districts with a greater percentage of minority students. Yes, practices like this is racism because it devalues the lives of other people enough to go through with them without caring about how they affect these people, in this case people of color. If Hillary wants to show that she still supports fracking, even with all her proposed regulations (space regulations from places like schools curiously not being one of them), she also needs to be explicitly clear about how she will make sure that fracking won't disproportionately affect, say, minority schoolchildren. If she doesn't, then we need to reckon with the fact that either she can't articulate this or she just doesn't care enough.

However, if we're going to talk about devaluing the lives of people of color, perhaps nothing compares to what Hillary Clinton has done to people in other countries. I've made this comment before, and I'll say it again: racism against people in other countries is still racism. On that front, when it comes to Hillary Clinton, the evidence is damning.

Three of the most prominent examples of Clinton's racism outside of the U.S. happened when she was Secretary of State. The first big one was Honduras. In 2009, Honduras underwent a coup against Manuel Zelaya, their democratically-elected President. However, instead of condemning the coup unequivocally, it appears that Clinton didn't want Zelaya returned to power. Her later actions regarding the coup have been complex but less than inspiring. Whatever role she played, the results of the coup have been horrifying. The country gernered the unenviable distinction of having the highest murder rate of any country in the world, but murders of LGBT people and women are particularly prominent. The last two are also deeply ironic, given that Clinton presents herself as being a champion for the rights of women and LGBT people. Her actions concerning Honduras amount to racism because she didn't take a committed stand against the coup in a Latin American country, and the results have been extremely violent. If Clinton really cares about fighting racism and such, why doesn't she condemn the coup? Her role in this event is disgraceful

Then, came the tragic circumstances involving Haiti. It turns out that when Haiti had an election when Clinton was Secretary of State, the U.S. interfered. In another twist dripping with irony, Haiti could've had their first woman president in Mirlande Manigat, who was also a first lady. However, as it panned out, the election got intense after the results showed that a musician named Michel Martelly, better known as Sweet Micky, just missed out on being in the runoff against Manigat. Exit polls showed a different reality, with Sweet Micky being ahead of Jude Cé

lestin, who was the candidate of the incumbent party at the time. Clinton took the low road by raising the possibility (or threat, depending on how you look at it) of having aid cut to Haiti because of the election results. (By the way, when measuring by GDP, Haiti is in the bottom third, and this is the same country that also just had a devastating earthquake.) Despite the accusations of corruption, the threat of cutting aid to Haiti because of their election results is a slap in the face to the idea of democracy. The same country that's the only country to arise after a successful slave revolt, a country that's overwhelmingly Black. In other words, Clinton's actions were both anti-democratic and racist.

Lastly, we have to talk about Libya. The New York Times published a long-read story about Clinton's role in Libya, and other news sources talked about how the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, instead of creating a new government, instead disintegrated and created room for terrorist groups like Daesh. There were a lot of criticisms against the attack on Libya, and her response to Libya is striking compared to her response to (as an example) Egypt with Hosni Mubarak. Of course, with Libya, there's perhaps one thing everyone associates with her now. Which is unfortunate, because as at least one commentator has noticed, she has a lot of involvement with Libya, and she shouldn't get away with it. It's her responsibility, and writing Libya off (a country in North Africa) is a profound act of racism.

I could go on. Her behavior in the Middle East, from Iraq (which she still hasn't fully apologized for because saying something is a mistake is different from actually saying the words "I'm sorry") to Syria (where it looks like she'll be more aggressive than Obama has been), is nothing short of stunning. One of Clinton's go-to lines regarding Donald Trump has been her dig about being baited with a tweet and connecting that with nuclear weapons. But her conduct that she has shown with foreign policy shouldn't escape scrutiny.

That's where Hillary Clinton shows herself to be a hypocrite of the highest order. Her devaluing the lives of people in other countries (notably ones with Brown and Black people) comes to also undercut her commitment to other issues. LGBT rights? The aftermath of the coup in Honduras saw an increase of murders of LGBT activists, yet she won't even call the coup for what it is, and somehow presents herself as an ally. Fighting terrorism? After deposing a dictator (who was, I'll say it again, sexually assaulted), the country fell into chaos, even giving rise to factions of Daesh, yet Clinton will probably forever waiver guilt about anything in Libya because of the overreaction with Benghazi. Integrity with democratic elections? This one is probably my favorite. With all the hysteria focused on how Russia might influence the election through hacking, and Trump's toying with not conceding if he loses, the fact that Clinton LITERALLY FLOATED THE POSSIBILITY/THREAT OF CUTTING AID FROM HAITI should be shoved in her face every time she utters something about democracy, Russia or Trump. She has literally no excuse to pontificate about the integrity of elections because of Haiti and Honduras.

The next time you hear Clinton talk about racism, keep her foreign policy in mind. This is why a Clinton presidency shouldn't be accepted at face value: if her treatment of people in other countries is any indication, we have to fight her every waking moment, and some of that will involve calling her a racist. Happy voting!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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