Minorities are the Borg

A great disadvantage of being a member of a minority is constantly being seen as only a part of a collective. For example, European-Americans are regarded as individuals, while a minority is just seen as a member of the racial or religious group to which he or she belongs. If John is EA, his actions are only seen as a representation of himself, and he is not expected to conform to any racial standard. However, as a minority, his every action would be evaluated on how closely he fit into a stereotypical mold, and if he did not, he would just be deemed an exception. I call this perception of minorities the "Borg Effect." We aren't expected to have our own voice, and the actions of a few are seen as the responsibility of all.

I saw the Borg Effect at work today after reading Sarah Palin's objections to a mosque being built two blocks away from Ground Zero. She tweets:
Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing
First, it's interesting that she addresses them as "peace-seeking," as if they by nature they are uncharacteristic. She must distinguish good Muslims from the supposed normal, violent Muslims. Secondly, she, and apparently many Americans, expect all Muslims to take responsibility for the attacks of 9/11. As one narrator said:
On Sept. 11, they declared war against us. And to celebrate that murder of 3,000 Americans [as if Muslims aren't Americans too and none were victims of 9/11], they want to build a monstrous 13-story mosque at ground zero.
So, the responsibility of 9/11 does not rest on the suicide boomers head, or on the terrorist organizations, but on every single one of the one billion Muslims of the world. By this logic, should we forbid any European-Americans from operating near the location where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed? Lovely.

The Colour of Beauty

I can't say that I was surprised by anything in this documentary, but there are interesting things that I would like to note.

"We want white girls dipped in chocolate"
I appreciate that they were honest and frank about that matter. There was no need to hide such an obvious truth. However, what got me was how the man described African features compared to European ones. To him ours are harsh, while Europeans' are "elegant." It was if the discrimination against African decent models was understandable because we are not naturally as lovely as European decent models. It is the discrimination against African decent models with European features that is the shame! Throughout the media, we have seen that AA women are accepted on the condition that we show our African ancestry to only a limited degree. If you don't pass the paper bag test, you aren't let through the door. This conditional permitted isn't true acceptance at all, and is designed to maintain the facade of diversity. We should not mistaken it as such. We also should not embrace tokenism. As one woman said, you see the same minority women over and over in the fashion industry. This is not progress, although the media attempts to use it to delude us into thinking that it is such.

We have to give 110%
My mother always told me that I have two strikes against me. 1. I am African-American. 2. I am a woman. Therefore, I have to do better than everyone else. This video pointed this principle out once again. As the models said, Euro women can make due with a few flaws, but Afro women have to be absolutely flawless to get a job. I think this is an important lesson that our community must keep in mind. Since we face greater opposition, working half-heartedly isn't acceptable. We can't simply be good or adequate. We must strive to be better.

How to end the discrimination?
The objective of any documentary is to bring attention to a problem so we can find a solution. The best way, I believe, that we can open doors for our sisters in the fashion industry is to be the leaders of it ourselves. We have to be the producers, directors, and the casting agents--the one's making decisions. If we were, we wouldn't have to beg the European-Americans to give us a chance.

It is not enough that she draws her morality from a book that contradicts itself a 1,000 times on basic moral concepts (Matthew 26:52; 1 Samuel 15:3) and over half of which some how doesn't count anymore, she feels as if she has the duty to force everyone else to share these beliefs as well. Why must Christians incessantly impose their personal beliefs on others? If you fell that it is wrong to be a homosexual, fine, but what gives you the right to dictate to others what their lives should be? People think that by just claiming that God mandates that something wrong, they are justified in denying people the right to make own choices. However, a nation cannot be run on people's opinions on what is the word of God.

What if the United States was suddenly a country made predominately of Jews and Muslims? What if Christians were the minority? Both of the previous religions believe that God commanded that they do not eat pork; however, Christians still do eat pork readily. Would the Jewish and Muslim majorities have the right to make the sale and consumption of pork illegal in the United States on the basis that "God said so?"

There are almost 40,000 denominations and countless of independent religions all serving as emissaries, telling us different messages of what God says. However, until God actually comes and gives an order himself, God's word remains man's opinion, and therefore cannot be forced upon rothers.

Should We Celebrate African-Americans' Independence Day?

Growing up, Independence Day was never a holiday that I was really able to get into. In the back of my mind, I always felt a bit foolish commemorating a holiday that celebrated my supposed freedom when I would have been enslaved and not even recognized as human at the time. The Fourth of July always left me feeling a bit left out.

Today, I am rather disappointed that the freedom of African-Americans is not celebrated. It's unfortunate that America still does not recognize the day when all Americans were officially declared free on December 6th, and I know that many people would censure the holiday as merely an attempt to placate African-Americans. However, the thirteenth amendment was a major civil rights victory that helped to end many atrocities in our country and brought us a major step forward to the dream where liberty and justice are available to all citizens, the dream that nation claimed to stand for. In short, because the thirteenth amendment was a triumph for human rights, I hope it would be seen as a holiday for all Americans as the 4th is now. Of course, considering the climate of our country right now, I think we are a bit away for that happening, but I wish that at least that we would recognize the day, if no one else does.