Let’s Stop Pretending Like 'Equal Opportunity' Exists

Let’s Stop Pretending Like 'Equal Opportunity' Exists

Who are you trying to convince: me or you?

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Right now I'm sitting in the Milwaukee airport waiting patiently to get on the plane to go home to see my family for Easter. Like many people, I really hate the airport but not for the reasons you may think. My complete and utter dislike is due to the treatment that I have unfortunately become accustomed to between security and getting on the plane.

When it comes to security, you would be appalled by the number of times I've been stopped for a "hair search." "I'm sorry, but your bun is really big." Yeah…but what would I be hiding in my hair? The metal detector didn't even go off, yet they feel the need to stop me and check my hair…it's absurd. Other passengers get to breeze through security while I'm stopped, searched, and have to rush to my gate with a now crooked bun.

For this trip to save money, I decided to fly basic economy, which means that I have a guaranteed seat on the flight but have to wait until I get to the airport for an assigned seat. Even though I arrived early to get the best possible seat, I was told conflicting information by Delta personnel. I said to one employee, "Hi I am looking to get a seat assignment, and I'm flying…" and the woman rudely cut me off saying, "you're way too early. Come back in forty minutes." This was the third person I had spoken to about getting a seat assignment, so I was starting to get a tad frustrated. I was told that this was supposed to be a quick and easy process, but it was anything but that. A white woman only a few years older than me was in line behind me. When I heard her ask the same question, the now friendly Delta worker said: "I will be assigning seats shortly."

Because I no longer trusted the information I was receiving, I sat near the desk and saw the difference between how I was treated and spoken to and how others were being treated. When they made the announcement that they were ready to assign seats, I was the first person in line but was again given the cold shoulder. When they finally gave me a seat, it was in the last row of the plane in the middle seat. While I was happy to just be able to finally go home, I realized that the White woman from earlier wasn't anywhere near where I was sitting. She wasn't in the last row in the middle seat. Even though I was in line and given a seat assignment well before her, she was quite a few rows ahead of me.

People are so quick to say equal opportunity exists, but I can't even get on a plane to see my family for Easter without running into issues of prejudice. I can't go to the mall without getting stopped or followed. I can't start a semester without students acting surprised that I thoroughly understand the course material. I can't walk around my college campus without the campus police looking at me like I don't belong and must not go to school here. So the next time you claim that "Black women are angry," maybe consider our day to day experiences. The next time you say to a minority "equal opportunity exists," remember this article. And the next time you say "people need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps," maybe you should look at your new Gucci boots and reevaluate because at the end of the day, you could be talking to someone who is wearing hand-me-downs or don't have boots, to begin with, and no real equal opportunity to improve that situation. At the end of the day, I am a very calm person and typically refuse to let microaggressions affect me. However, these "coincidences" add up, and sometimes I think it's imperative to bring them to light.

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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9 Things To Do In Nashville If You Have No Idea What To Do

Trust me, I was just as lost as you are.

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Nashville is a great place packed full of lots of really cool smaller great places that all offer their own unique take on the city. If you're like me, though, and have a hard time ~planning ahead~, then this list is exactly what you need. I went around and got lost and tried all the coolest hidden gems in Nashville so you don't have to. Here are some of my faves.

1. Milk & Honey Nashville

Located in the Gulch, Milk & Honey is the coffee shop/cafe from my dreams. It's decorated perfectly for any cute insta story and y'all when I say their coffee is amazing I mean it. Try it. It's so worth it, and pretty easy to find, too! You can browse their menus here.

2. Frothy Monkey Coffee Shop

While we're on the topic of coffee shops, Frothy Monkey is a MUST try. Trust me, I've drunk A LOT of coffee in my lifetime, and theirs is up in the top 10 of the best. They have other good things too, but if you're a coffee person like me, this place is heaven, I promise. It's right off 12th Avenue and within walking distance of lots of other funky little shops.

3. Two Old Hippies

This is the coolest little shop you will ever go into. Tucked away in the Gulch, it's within walking distance of Milk & Honey, so stop by after you grab a coffee and browse. They have everything from handmade clothes to cool books to refrigerator magnets. This is one of my all time favorites and I know you'll love it too.

4. Baked on 8th

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I fell in love the second I saw the cute sign. Baked on 8th has a great atmosphere and even better little pastries, cookies, and cakes. Their cookies were so good it took every ounce of self-control I had to not go back and order 2 dozen. 12/10 would recommend if you're into Instagrammable locations and bomb sugar-filled desserts.

5. Burger Republic

I get it, you've gotta eat more than just cookies and coffee. As far as restaurants go, this place is home to the best burger I've ever eaten, plus the atmosphere is pretty laid back and great, and it's an awesome place to go and watch pretty much any sporting event happening anywhere relatively close to Nashville. Browse the menu so you can know exactly what to order before you even get there here.

6. Fido

In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a HUGE fan of coffee shops and cafes. Fido was the most perfect little spot. It boasts about its gourmet coffee and great food, and rightfully so. It's also got the coolest funky vibe that makes you just want to sit and stay all day, and it's in a great location and decently close to Vanderbilt.

7. Go see some murals

Nashville is FULL of these bad boys. I know y'all have all seen the countless pictures of those people with big butterfly wings. Well, there's more and they're all around the city and on the side of pretty much every building. It's cliche, but tbh it's also kind of a must do while you're there.

8. Walk around Centennial Park and the Parthenon

This is a really nice place to visit if you're looking to spend a couple of hours away from the concrete of the city, and the Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the one in Greece.

9. Ride one of those little scooters around and explore

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I'm not gonna lie to y'all. I did not ride the scooters. They seem kind of dangerous and I know without a doubt that if I tried to get on one it would not end well for me, the scooter, or anyone within a 3-mile radius. With that being said, though, I did see a lot of people riding them and it looked pretty fun, plus it's a great way to see the city without walking too much. So if you just want to explore, hop on one of these bad boys and pray.

Nashville is a great city full of tons of tourist attractions and amazing musical history, but if you find yourself stuck with nothing to do for a couple of hours before your next walking tour, you're sure to find something on this list that you'll love. So, you're welcome.

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