A Very Inspiring Story With Very little Attention

Humans of New York is a very popular blog that gives you a more intimate look into the lives of everyday New Yorkers. Recently the man behind it all has been working with a young man, Vidal, to raise money for his school: Mott Hall Bridges Academy. They have raised over a million dollars in donations so that over the summer the students will be able to take a tour of Harvard University. The principal, Ms. Lopez, has big ideas for her students at this school. Instead of suspending kids for messing up, or just not dealing with the problems in her school she would make them spend a day with a mentor or talk to them about why they are having trouble. Ms. Lopez, Vidal, and all the teachers at Mott Hall Bridges Academy are some of the most inspiring people I have heard of.

Recently, Vidal has been on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and was invited to meet with the president. Since the beginning of this whole project, I have seen very little news coverage on this. I’ve been wondering, why have we not been talking about? This project is a big deal. Anyone who has donated or supported this project in any way is showing these kids that there is more to life than where they are. This project is showing these kids what kind of future they can have, and there is very little media coverage over this.

This project is an example of what we should be covering on the news. Instead of reporting on how some white cop shot a black kid, but we don’t really know if it was self-defense or not because the black did have a knife but witnesses say that he wasn’t going to harm the cop but were not really sure because he does have record but he really was a good kid and he doesn’t do drugs because people say so but they have picture showing that he did and it was in his bloodstream but he really didn’t ever make trouble.

My point is that instead of showing the bad, we should show the good. The stuff like this project that is giving these kids another chance, things that show how far we’ve come as a society and how far we will eventually go. All of this media coverage is doing nothing but holding us back from moving forward.

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Stereotypes are good, people are bad.

Stereotypes are annoying and sometimes offensive. They can present the wrong idea about people and cause many problems, but are stereotypes actually the root problem to racism or sexism? Many people might think so, but there is a lot more to them than you think.

Stereotypes are actually, in most cases, good. Stereotypes are our brains way of being able to make split second decisions. Without stereotypes, we would hardly be able to make decisions or survive like we do. You may not believe me quite yet, but lets look at some situations where stereotypes are good and bad, but you have to remember stereotypes are oversimplified generalizations about someone or something.

Soda can Gen

Here we have blank cans. Now I ask you, what  are these cans used for?

 

Many of you might go for the seemingly obvious answer, “To hold drinks”, but what if I told you that is not in fact what they are being used for in this picture? They could be being used to hold soup, or dangerous chemicals, or as a vase for hand-picked flowers, but how would you know that just by looking at the outside of the cans? Now, if you saw a picture of a beaker with a mysterious liquid inside, you might say that it was being used to hold dangerous chemicals. All of these assumptions are mostly made by past experiences and you make general assumptions about these objects, i.e. the cans hold a drinkable liquid, while the beaker holds dangerous chemicals. These assumptions are oversimplified generalizations of an object. What is a different word for oversimplified generalizations? I can’t seem to think of one, but its on the tip of my tongue… Oh, wait! I think I remember, it starts with a S I think… Sterilize? Stereo? Oh, I remember now, stereotype. Now apply these situations with the beaker and the cans to real life situations and you might just get the point I’m making.

Although stereotypes can be good(see above), they can be bad. You can assume that the girl you saw wearing an oversize sweater and drinking Starbucks is dumb or “basic”, when she may very well be a rocket scientist. The black guy applying for a job that is wearing Jordan’s and has his pants sagging could be at the top of his class, graduating valedictorian.

Stereotypes are not bad, they are in fact good. It is how you use them that really matters.

#AllLivesMatter

Police brutality and abuse of power is a problem. Police brutality and abuse of power against a specific race is also a problem. You know what else is a problem? Its a problem that when an officer approaches you (and you’re black) you automatically assume that they think you’re up to no good, when most of the time they were called out there by someone who thought you were being suspicious. That means that they are doing their job. When you are found actually doing something illegal, and then you resist arrest because you think they only approached you because you are black, THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT ALRIGHT. Racism is still a problem with some people, but it goes both ways. When a police officer asks you what your name is and what you’re doing, just tell them. Why would you resist and get defensive if you’re not doing anything wrong? 

Now, I know some people are going to say something like,”Well, if i’m not doing anything wrong, and they don’t think I’m doing anything, then why did they even come over here?” Well, for starters, it could be completely random, someone could have asked them to stop you, maybe you fit the description of someone caught on camera and they are just making sure. I have been stopped and stared at by the cops, even when I was doing absolutely nothing. Yeah, it made me feel weird and like I was doing something wrong, but when they did stop me and ask me what I was doing, I told them. No problem, no confrontations, everything ended up okay. I had friends who were black that had the same thing happened to them and again they had no problems and no confrontations.

The reality is, cops do abuse their power, but sometimes when something happens, they were provoked. There are two ways, that I can think of, to fix this:

1. All cops should have to wear a camera on their uniforms. and,

2. People should stop acting like the cop is stopping them because of their race or gender, and just comply with the officers questions.

The video in this article shows you that some cops are just doing their job, and even they think the situation is ridiculous.

#AllLivesMatter

Ferguson: “Black Lives Don’t Matter”

Police Car Set On Fire By Ferguson Protesters

Police Car Set On Fire By Ferguson Protesters

 

It is 2 a.m. and i’m currently sitting on my couch watching CNN (because its the only news channel i could find), and all I can do is think about how destructive these people are being. After only watching this for about 5 minutes these are the events I have heard about:

  • At least a dozen buildings set on fire.
  • At least 150 shots fired (in one place).
  • 29 arrests, so far.
  • An elderly man was carjacked and then ran over.
  • Multiple guns have seized from people.
  • An used car lot was set on fire, but the firemen could not get to it because of the gunfire.
  • The National Guard is having to be brought in.
Protesters In Ferguson

Protesters In Ferguson

These are just to name a few of the things going on in Ferguson and surrounding towns. Not only is this happening is Ferguson, but there are multiple more (peaceful) protests going on across America. Michael Brown’s parents did not want this. This is not they way to react to a shooting of a young man. As the chief of police said, “Change is created through our voice; not the destruction of our community.” Most importantly, if you think that “black lives don’t matter” then you need a reality check. Everyone knows a life is a life regardless of color, and if you think this, but you are going around setting businesses on fire, saying Darren Wilson should die, and overall acting like a raging fucktard, then you really need to grow up and get a grip. And acting like this is not making the case better for people in any way or form, all it is doing is making these people look worse than you guys already think people see you.

Hypocrisy is all I hear when these people talk. I’m not saying that some of these people aren’t out there for the right reasons but most of them are not. These people need to stop trying to make a point, or make history, because most of them are not doing it for the right reason.

#STOPTHEVIOLENCE

Social Media in an Antisocial World

I remember when i was about 8 or 9 and all the neighborhood kids would meet up and go exploring in the “forest” behind the house, or play hide-and-seek or tag the span of four different houses, but what about now, only 5 years later? Whenever I go outside, I hardly see anyone. I pass by house after house only to see the outside mostly undisturbed except for maybe a few holiday decorations or yard gnomes, which from a different perspective can be great, but its all about the why. Why are our kids no longer going outside to play? Why are we as people no longer enjoying the quiet, peacefulness of just being outside?

We have become a nation of couch-potatoes to put it simply. We sit down on our recliners with our microwaved food, and turn on the television to relax some. But don’t forget to keep your phone close just in case a friend texts you! Oh, and the laptop, don’t forget that either, you’ll need that to look up something, or get on Facebook to keep up with your social life… right? How have we become a society so focused on social media and keeping up with the latest trends, that we forgot to actually go outside and be social? Hardly do I ever see strangers strike up a conversation in public. Not that people don’t want to, but seriously, how easy is it to approach someone who has their head down staring into a small rectangle of light, oblivious to the outside world. Maybe their not oblivious, but we have turned into a society where it is weird or wrong to be out by yourself without friends, so when you are alone a lot of people feel the need to fiddle with their phone to avoid looking like a “loser”.

I’m here to tell you that it is OK to be by yourself, to be able to sit and think about what is going on in the world, stretch your attention span and just observe the outside world. Next time when you’re sitting in Starbucks, or at the park or even the mall, try reflecting and observing the world around you instead of analyzing every single detail about that picture or status someone just posted and how it was definitely not “on fleek”.

On a side note, fleek is not even a word so stop using it and looking like an illiterate douche.

Blame Barbie All You Want, The Real Problem Is You

woman-looking-in-mirror

Barbies, models, and even Disney princesses are being adjusted by some people to show what they would look like with a “realistic waistline”. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that the proportions on these things are so far away from being realistic, but with Disney princesses and Barbies there should be no reason to have to change the waistline, or size of the cartoons legs for young girls to understand that that is not what a normal human being looks like. Models on the other hand, they are almost always photo-shopped to hide the cellulite or the creases or the “ugly, fat parts”.

Models, being that most people perceive them as looking perfect, must look perfect in their pictures. Have you ever noticed that when, in their pictures, they are leaning backwards they have no back fat? How about the way their legs seem to be perfectly shaven and smooth? Or how they always have the perfect tan? That, my friends, is called photo-shop. None of these girls actually look like that, and that is exactly what these people are trying to achieve by showing people that these cartoons and toys are not realistic in proportion. Well here’s the only problem i see with that: young girls are not going to pay attention to the waistline on the princess or that Barbie doll you bought her. What most girls are going to pay attention to is the movie that the princess is playing in and how shes getting all her dreams come true, along with a Prince Charming. And Barbies? Well, I don’t necessarily like Barbies and never have, but if a young girl is paying more attention to the waistline on the Barbie than actually playing with it, then you should talk to her about self-image, and how she perceives herself.

Now, to counter what i just said about most young girls not paying attention to how they look, what happens when they do? Do we blame the creators of the said cartoon/toy? Or maybe we should take away the toy so they can’t see it? Oh, no! I forgot about models, now she will starve herself to look like them! Maybe we should blame the people who edit the photos! Or even better, we can just show her all the overweight models, so she thinks being skinny is bad! Wow, can you feel my sarcasm radiating off the screen yet?

The problem with society is that we blame everyone else for our children’s self-image issues. “Well, maybe if she wasn’t exposed to this or that…” Is all I hear when people talk about self-image issues. Everyone is so scared of being a bad parent/person and being blamed for something, that they put it off on something that may or may not even be the real problem. When your child, student, brother, sister, or even friend comes up to you and talks about how she doesn’t like the way they look, TALK to them about why that is. If they say that it IS because of these unrealistic cartoons and toys, then explain to them that these company’s are NOT wanting to show you what the “perfect girl” looks like, but instead, are just making a cartoon/toy for them enjoy. But most of the time, it comes from a lack of self-confidence. So when they say something about it, make sure to point out all the great things about them. Make sure to tell them that everyone is beautiful, no matter how they look. But most importantly, just talk to them. Be open and honest, tell them if that scarf looks bad or not, or if that color makes them look green. When you are honest, and nice, about these kinds of things they will be able to handle judgement and criticism better, later on in life and they won’t perceive themselves as “ugly” or “too fat” because they will know that they are perfectly fine the way they are. And when everyone finally accepts that we can’t all look the same, and that the problem isn’t these companies its society as a whole, everyone will be much happier being themselves.