I speak Hindi, I am Hindu, and I’m an American: Fighting “Little Things”

Cultural ignorance slows the progress of social justice.

nikkis-photo.jpgGuest Contributor:  Nikita Srivastava, (’19)

As a minority woman in the United States, I am often defined by the color of skin. Although I take pride in my heritage, it is not the only thing that defines who I am. I find myself explaining who I am (or what defines me) more often than my white peers. Not only is this common in social settings, but professional settings as well. What makes matters worse is that my concerns about cultural ignorance are dismissed as “little things.”  Continue reading “I speak Hindi, I am Hindu, and I’m an American: Fighting “Little Things””

The Center for Closing the Health Gap: Fighting Indifference, Building Communities

Persistent systemic racism fuels the gap in health outcomes. One group’s strategy for fighting back.

renee-head-shot-e1382600016486By Guest Contributor Renee Mehaffey Harris

“The most difficult social problem in the matter of Negro health is the peculiar attitude of the nation toward the well-being of the race. There have . . . been few other cases in the history of civilized peoples where human suffering has been viewed with such peculiar indifference.”—W. E. B. Du Bois

The past few weeks have been a stark reminder as to why the Center for Closing Health Gap remains essential to Cincinnati.    Committed to raising awareness about and eliminating racial and health disparities across Greater Cincinnati, the Health Gap works collaboratively with hospitals, government offices, associations and businesses.  We educate, empower, and mobilize the community at every level.  But, recent media reports have cast a shadow on our work.  Continue reading “The Center for Closing the Health Gap: Fighting Indifference, Building Communities”

The Long Shadow of Race and the Legal Challenges to the Muslim Ban

The revised immigration Executive Order remains a ban on Muslims.

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By Guest Contributor, Nicholas Espiritu

By issuing a new travel ban reportedly framed to address constitutional concerns and avoid protests, the Trump Administration seeks to hit the “reset” button.  But, this executive order’s new language can’t hide the fact that it’s targeting Muslims, not terrorism. Continue reading “The Long Shadow of Race and the Legal Challenges to the Muslim Ban”

Black Feminist Futures Ahead

February 24 Symposium features Dr. Tanisha Ford and discussions about Black feminist theory in higher education, activism, and popular culture.

Building upon the voices of millions of women who, just about a month ago, made clear their opposition President Trump’s call to misogyny, racism, and xenophobia, UC Women’s Center hosts a symposium this coming Friday, February 24 at Tangeman University Center entitled:  Creating Black Feminist Futures.  The Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice proudly co-sponsors this event.  Continue reading “Black Feminist Futures Ahead”

Feminism, Whiteness, and the Women’s March

The Women’s March promises an inclusive feminist movement. Thank goodness.

ashton-tuckerGuest Contributor:  Ashton Tucker  (’18)

Suffragettes Frances E. Willard, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  21st century celebrities Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham.

What do these women have in common?

They’re all, inexplicably, feminist icons.  Maybe inexplicably is the wrong word.  Although each certainly has advanced or continues to advance womanhood in one way or another, their racism, either intentional or unintentional, often goes unnoticed.  They engage in white feminism – a form of feminism that operates as if the experience of white women is universal and that race and class are just added levels of oppression, as opposed to intermingling with gender.  The Women’s March on Washington has given me hope that women are embracing difference and inclusion in meaningful and powerful ways.  Continue reading “Feminism, Whiteness, and the Women’s March”

Rise Up!

Talking back to post-election hate speech.

I walked into my office one recent Monday, coffee mug in hand and noticed the red light signaling that a voicemail awaited me.

Has it started already? 

That morning, my op-ed about post-election acts of hate on college campuses appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer.  The piece discussed incidents at universities in Illinois, California, and Pennsylvania, complete with hypertext links,  and explained why, contrary to conservative pundits, student fears were based on reality and not a temper tantrum about Trump’s victory.  I praised institutions for taking action and argued that Mr. Trump’s campaign rhetoric gave license to  misconduct targeting people of color, Muslims, and frankly all the groups the candidate insulted and denigrated on his way to the White House.

Based on prior experiences, I was braced for negative responses from conservative readers in the comments section.  In truth, I had planned to avoid those like a Ted Nugent concert.  But, a voicemail?  Readers usually never called to complain. Maybe I was overreacting.  I decided to listen.

It started off innocuously enough.   Continue reading “Rise Up!”

We’ve Been Here Before!

What Academics Can Learn from Black Sociology’s Response to Jim Crow America.

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Guest Contributor: Earl Morris II, UC Africana Studies Professor

On November 8, 2016 Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America. Many Americans greeted this fact with trepidation Trump’s presidential campaign garnered the favor of groups including, but not limited to, the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis and other White supremacists. Trump became their candidate of choice because of his divisive rhetoric on such groups as Muslims, Mexican Americans, and African Americans. In the aftermath of an election where he won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote by nearly three million, this nation has witnessed a surge in hate crimes.

Trump’s shocking win dismayed not only by the groups mentioned above, but also by many academics experiencing unease and anxiety from campus environments altered in new, troubling ways since the election.  Conservative groups have launched an aggressive aggressive campaign that encourages college students to “out” liberal/progressive faculty. Essentially, encouraging and promoting a “hit list” of “unpatriotic” faculty, which places the lives of many faculty engaged in social justice work, whether in the class or via research, in jeopardy.

While events surrounding the 2016 presidential election are causing some to literally fear for the lives and livelihood of themselves and their family and friends, I would be remiss if I did not remind you that, “we’ve been here before!” What I suggest in this brief essay is that contemporary academics can learn from Black Sociology, or Jim Crow sociology, how to navigate this current era of “Trumperica.” Continue reading “We’ve Been Here Before!”