Let's Stop Focusing on Race

Let's Stop Focusing on Race

Because it is about so much more.

It's time we stop playing the race game. It's time we stop labeling each other white or black, but instead as Americans. We need to learn to actually get over the past. At what point do we actually choose to leave the past behind us? At what point do we say, "I forgive you", even though every human being alive today has nothing to do with slavery. If this were the case, why aren't we still criticizing the Germans for their attempted extermination of the Jewish people that happened less than 80 years ago? People condemn the American flag for symbolizing slavery when we were one of the first countries to get rid of slavery entirely, even with countries today still participating in such acts. India and Chine are the top two countries that still have millions forced into labor and considered property. India has over six times more slaves than China, making it the country with the highest percentage of its population being slaves.

The movement for social acceptance of every race, religion, and culture is systematically flawed. Movements like Black Lives Matter, the huge women's march that took place right after Trump's inauguration, and basically all anti-Trump rallies parade behind a false narrative that we can all get along with no war, no financial burdens and no social contingencies. Such movements lack factual evidence where such mentalities have led to a perfect society, and the answer to that is none. Before Obama's presidency, the ideas of white privilege, gay marriage, refugee acceptance, and women's rights (even though there is no right that a man has that a woman doesn't have) were never seen as an importance. They were not seen as a necessity for society to operate efficiently. But during Obama's terms as president, it now seems that the utmost importance for America is not to maintain an effective foreign policy but to embrace all religions regardless of what they think of western culture. Not to create a competitive business environment, but instead, focus on accepting those who may be disenfranchised by society not taking into account of how that may hurt a business. Not to move on from our historically evil past of slavery, but to keep digressing by bringing it up as some form of justification of racist acts. Not to take advantage of a free market, but to constantly remind ourselves that others are not given such opportunities and we should therefore be ashamed of ourselves for having such opportunities. Seeing how such a perspective can be such a setback to advances in society, we need to learn that not everyone gets what they want, and just because I, a white male, got into college and is pursing a career DOES NOT mean I do not care for the black individual who does not have such an opportunity. Instead of simply focusing on that, we need to focus on the betterment of society and learn why people of all ethnicities reach rock bottom. Yes, some of it is because of our system, but most of the time, it is the personal choices we have made that led us to were we are or are going to be.

To play off the famous words of renowned television channel MTV, dear black people, learn that no one is special for their skin tone, and that America is the best chance you've got. Realize there is a problem within the black community when black children are born out of wedlock by upwards of 64 percent. Compare that to only 18percent for white children. Blacks also disproportionately commit over 50 percent of the nation's crimes. Learn and understand the problems within black culture before accusing whites for being the problem. Do not degrade and demonize a nation that allowed you to get an education, pursue a career, have a family, and even become president. Yes, you are a minority. That does not mean you are disenfranchised solely on that basis. Do not succumb to the liberal notion that since you are black, you are automatically at a disadvantage. Prove them wrong. and show them you are not held to a lower standard of living as they seem to assume. This should infuriate you. This should entice you to go above and beyond your ancestors, but most importantly, it should teach to, seriously, get over it.

Cover Image Credit: 1839 Mag

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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.

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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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?


This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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