The Cycle Of Oppression

The Cycle Of Oppression

A white man's reflection on the sins of his history.

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The Last Question

Oppression it's a cycle

Think AI or Michael

We're Messi, haven't clean sheet in while. [1]

Dominate the stars

Drank Dom 'n ate caviar

But you hear the music? [2]

For it's time to pay the piper

Forefathers paid to pipe her.

Picked three hos and laughed (ho ho ho)

Like gas from a shaft

We spread danger in the chamber

And chained her to a stranger.

Swooped her to appease the creditor [3]

Wrote off a piece in super predator,

And when they saw the paper in crack

We criminalized black and called it their right state.

"Black men have no conscience our empathy and must be brought to heel"

But our conscience hung black men on empty trees to never heal. [4]

We played the hate trump but bs'd like a pres on tour

The house of cards is just about power more for evermore.

Thought we were getting pea nut better

But we still jam them in letter, [5]

Bound to band behind a Barretta

Left confused by their rights

That leaves them dead on sight

White Christ flashing red and blue lights. [6]


[1] - Oppression is a cycle, the oppressed rise up against the oppressors to turn the wheel of oppression. However, the oppression of black people has never stopped in the U.S. The white man has not been replaced as the oppressor. Think AI or Michael relates to two other cycles. AI, or artificial intelligence, has been said to be the next step in the cycle of consciousness. In particular "The Last Question", by Isaac Asimov, discusses what this cycle might look like. "AI" combined with "Michael" refers to Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan; the cycle of talent in sports. Records are always broken. The last line states that the cycle of oppression has not been in motion for awhile. It also refers to Lionel Messi scoring goals.

[2] - The first line "dominate the stars" refers to white people dominating most of the fame in the U.S. The next line expands on that thought. The final line "but you hear the music" refers to Hip Hop being created by black people and being the most popular music today. This also ties into the next line by referring to the Pied Piper. These two meanings are complete separate.

[3] - These lines represent the sins of white people in the past generations. The lines talk about slavery and the Holocaust.

[4] - These lines talk about past sins but not so long ago. They refer to Nixon's War on Drugs and Hillary Clinton saying that "Super Predators," which was just a made up word for young black men, "have no conscious or empathy … and we must bring them to heel" in defense of Bill Clinton's Three Strike rule. The last line juxtaposes what Hillary said with the lynching of young black men in the U.S.

[5] - The first line in this series talks about cards, President Trump, and hatred. "We played the hate trump" is saying that white people chose Trump out of hatred. "But we bs'd like a pres on tour" is saying white people actually lied about hating black people. It also refers to the lying president Trump did on his campaign. However, it also refers to a card game called BS, where you lie about what cards you play. We played our "hate trump" (best card) but it was really just a lie to win the game. "the house of cards is all about power more forever more" this line answers the question above which is if we aren't all racists, then why did we choose Trump? Because of power. It also refers to the show about politics, House of Cards, thus bringing both the political and card metaphors together. The last two lines refer to white people believing and saying "at least its getting better" in regards to the oppression of black, and Hispanic people. "We still jam them in letter" refers to the n word.

[6] - The last lines refer police violence. I'm not saying that black people are going to start killing cops, I'm just saying that white people should be grateful that they aren't. The "white Christ" symbolizes white oppression. James Cone wrote that the symbols of Christ need to change. Christ was a champion of the oppressed, not the triumphant: therefore, Christ needs to be identifiable to the oppressed not to the oppressors.

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Saying Goodbye To Freshman Year

"High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster."
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“High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster”, we’ve all heard it and probably all ignored it as well. I mean time is time. It moves at the same pace no matter what you’re doing right?

Nope.

High School is over, I’m now a freshman in college and it’s April. I’m sitting here in my dorm looking at all my clothes, and bins thinking, how in the hell will this all fit in my car again? It is crazy, I need to be thinking about all of this now because there is one month of my freshman year left, just one.

All I can keep thinking is how? Wasn’t it just last week that I moved into my cozy room at the end of the hall, or just yesterday that I ran home to two hundred beautiful new sisters? As much as it seems like yesterday, it wasn’t.

It was almost eight months ago that I stepped onto this campus as a freshman, now it is my last four weeks and they are jam-packed. From formal to finals I am in the home stretch of my first year of college. I just registered for my classes next semester, and can’t get it through my head that I will soon be a sophomore.

While walking around campus I still catch myself thinking, wow I am really here. I am a college student, at a school, I fall more in love with every day. So, how can I be a sophomore now when I feel like I just got here?

Yes, I still have three amazing years of college ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see what those years have in store in for me. But, I just can’t help but feel a little sad that I won’t be a freshman anymore. I won’t be the youngest in my sorority family, I won’t be coming back to a dorm every night.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am stoked to live in an apartment next year with my absolute best friends. And you definitely could have heard me saying “I am so over this whole dorm thing” once or twice this semester, but now I can’t help but see all the things I’ll miss.

Freshman year is just unique. You get this giant clean slate, a fresh start. And it is just waiting to see what you’ll do with it. It truly is a year of firsts. My first failure, the first time being on my own, my first time not knowing anyone in my classes. Yes, that can all be a lot to take on, I was terrified at the start of the school year. But before I knew it, I had a routine, I had friends, I had a life here.

And this life surpassed all my expectations. I have a home away from home. I have friends that I know will be my bridesmaids some day. I have experiences that I’ll never forget.

Now as I head back home for the summer I couldn’t be more excited to be with my friends there and my family. But, I also couldn’t be sadder to leave my friends here, even if it’s only for three months because they’ve become another kind of family.

Despite leaving freshman year behind, we have so many more memories to make whether it’s doing the Seminole chop in Doak, coordinating our Halloween costumes, or just chilling at the house. We’ve all come so far this year, and I can’t wait to see just how far we go. So bring it on Sophomore year, I’m ready for ya.

Cover Image Credit: Cameron Kira

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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