Tag Archives: race

What is a Disenfranchised Student?

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So, with this whole scandal and debate about college students and admissions, it has got me thinking a lot about my time in college, both in undergrad, and now as a grad student.

On top of that, because of the scandal, I’m hearing a lot of the “White privilege” argument. So it’s got me asking myself a lot about my time in school – This article is not going to try to say that white privilege doesn’t exist, because it does.

This article is actually about me asking, What is a first generation student?

Who deserves resources?

What groups are being forgotten?

Let me explain my situation with college. I am not the first generation of my family to go to college. My parents were the first (which is rather normal in America, so I’m going to make this about my parents being “first gen” or anything)

I am, however, the first in my family to go to what I’m going to call ‘real college’. My parents went to the local university in my hometown. This university is what’s considered a “not ranked” school. Meaning, it’s not competitive and it lets anyone in. Your ACT and SAT scores don’t matter, they don’t require any essays to be written, no recommendation letters – nothing. This university will even have billboards up during the first week of classes that saying things like “Classes have only just begun! You can still enroll! Call now!” 

Students and tourists rest in lawn chairs in Harvard Yard, the open old heart of Harvard University campus

Back when my parents were in school, college was also much different. They paid their way through full-time school with their part-time jobs – Something that can’t be done today. They both lived at home as they attended school (as many in my hometown do) and after graduating, their part-time jobs turned to full-time and so they never had to deal with internships and applying to jobs “within their field” and all of that.

In recent years, this particular school admits tons of low-income and minority students. To make sure that these students don’t drop out, the university has instated a massive grading curve. So a B- student becomes an A+ student leading the class.

So, my point is this: Yes, may parents wen to “college”. But they had never gone to anything that resembles what Americans think colleges are.

I was the first in my family to have to save up for college while in high school. I was the first to take an ACT test. I was the first to write admissions essays. The first to need letters of recommendation. The first to leave my hometown. The first to live in a dorm on campus. The first to compete for internships. And now, the first to attend graduate school.

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I had no help or guidance on these things, because nobody in my family had ever done any of it before. So, am I a first generation student? 

And if not, what am I?

I think of all the mistakes I made while in school. All the things I didn’t know. I went from being harassed for being gay every single day in my hometown by my peers, to suddenly living in a building with hundreds of them. My parents had never had an internship before and had no idea what and internship actually consisted of. I didn’t know what entering a job market looked like. There’s so much I didn’t know. So much I didn’t understand. And so much I did wrong, out of ignorance.

But because I’m a white male who’s parents technically attended college, nobody ever paid a single ounce of attention to me. There was no help. No resources. No programs. No groups.

Nothing.

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And it’s still hard. It’s hard that in this 2019 environment, anytime I open my mouth about a difficulty I’ve been through, everyone just moans and groans, and gives you this “UGH, ANOTHER WHITE PERSON WHO THINKS THEY HAVE PROBLEMS….”

So, the question becomes: Are we still forgetting about students? 

Is there a group of young people out there that society is assuming is doing fine, but is actually lost? Are there people out who need help but don’t know where to go, and feel as though they have no options?

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I think we can all admit that my college situation is very different from Felicity Huffman’s daughter. So why is it just assumed that all white people are the same?

Our society needs to focus on race. We needed affirmative action to get people of color into schools and jobs. We need groups for minority students who are disenfranchised. We need funded programs for first gen students, I am in no way saying that needs to stop. 

What I am saying though, is that there are disenfranchised white people too. Liberalism and #Wokeness has seemed to become just as blinded by anger against whites as the racists they claim to hate. The world isn’t as clear and simple as “White people get everything, colored people get nothing.” We won’t solve real problems that way.

Oppression comes in various forms for different people. Oppression, discrimination, domination can come in forms beyond race – there’s age, wealth, sexuality, gender, history of abuse, mental illness, religion, and more. It’s complex. It’s messy. It’s shitty.

But it’s reality. 

Harvard campus with brilliant fall foliage

So, I pose this question to the world.

What do we do?

How do we ensure that we’re helping all people who need it. How do we help prevent people from falling through the cracks of society?

How do we help make things better?

 

~ The Dark Horse

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The Macarena: The Most Diverse Music Video Ever

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Step aside all you obnoxious millennials who think you invented diversity. If you’re looking for the true trailblazer, you’ll need to go back… back to the 90’s. 

It was the summer of 1996. Independence Day was booming in the box office, The Craft had just been released that May, and Neve Campbell was about to be launched into an even further fame that December with Scream.

It was then, that an unsuspecting nation was introduced to the Macarena. Macarena fever hit hard. So hard in fact that even the DNC of that year was hit a Macarena outbreak.

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Since then, and this is embracing to admit…actually no it’s not, fuck all of you – I love the Macarena! It’s so damn catchy and so damn 90’s, it’s fuckin amazing.

So the other day, I was rewatching the Macarena music video (because yes, I do that. Got a problem? Call my agent!) and I was totally blown away.  I was like…

THIS WAS MADE IN THE 90s?

 

This music video is the very definition of diversity. And all of you 2019-ers should be ashamed of yourselves for not knowing about this important moment in music history.

Let’s meet our diverse cast:

 

The Singers

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The song is sung by Los Del Rio, a duo from Spain.  But look at this – How many hit music videos can you think of by men in their 50’s or 60’s dominating the charts? The Macarena directly combats agism!

 

The Brunette 

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Sure, blondes have more fun…but according to blondes! No matter what your hair color (or horrendous wardrobe choices…) all are welcomed to dance the Macarena!

 

The Indian Girl

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A study by PBS found that out of all the actors in Hollywood, only 4.2% are “Other”….yeah, that’s how disproportionate the number of Indian actors in Hollywood are. They’re categorized under “Other”, which would combine them with various Arab/Desi/Pacific Islanders/Indigenous peoples/and so forth…all to make up less than 5%.

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So the true numbers of Indian actors will never be known.  What we do know that is that being Indian in the entertainment business can’t be easy. And being a woman in any job isn’t easy, so for an Indian woman to be featured in such a high-profile music video is huge!

This Girl… 

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I don’t what she is, or what the story behind the hair, the lips, and the outfit are…but here’s how I’m taking it – It’s all about being yourself.  She is the embodiment of body positivity, dressing how you want, and not giving a fuck.  Let’s all raise a glass and have a cheers to that cotton-candy wig!

The Latina

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Rocking out a satin pantsuit. That’s right – SATIN PANTSUIT –  A pantsuit so elegant, I can only imagine it would make Diane Keaton jealous. Our Latina (or Latinx, because I’m not here to assume genders) is surely ready for her night at the club where she will cheat on her boyfriend… you know… he one who’s name is Victorino.

But don’t worry,

She didn’t want him

She couldn’t stand him

He was no good so….

The Black Girl

(Can I still say ‘black’? I don’t want to say African American, because what if she isn’t from America?)

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Regardless of whatever the PC term is, one thing is for sure, I love this girl . That 90’s outfit, that Amazing 90’s hair. Everything. Pure perfection. Also, in the music video she competes to be the lead. Going head-to-head with…

 

The Asian Girl

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That shirt. That hair. That everything.  Oh man, 90’s perfection. This image isn’t too clear, but she’s also got on purple lipstick.  Daring and bold makeup choices…. UGHHHHHH THE 90s!!!! COME BACK!!!!!

 

The White Blonde Girl

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I know, I can hear you groaning. You’re probably saying something like #OscarsSoWhite, and then I’ll be like, that Oscars hashtag is from 2015. OMG get with it!  But in reality, diversity and inclusion means everyone…even white blonde women

(at least she’s not a man…am I right, ladies?????…crickets.)

Will that fabulous feather jacket help make it better?  Fit for a hooker, I say!

 

The Mom From ‘Blackish’

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The mom from Blackish denies being in the music video (yes, this got widespread enough  to where she had to respond) But, Macarena conspiracy theorists continue to insist that it’s her. And how could you not believe Macarena conspiracy theorists??????

The Scandinavian

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Had ABBA gotten famous in the 90’s they would have looked just like our Swedish girl in the music video. Plastic pants. Plastic shirt. And a plastic winter hat.  I have a feeling this was surely the most uncomfortbale outfit in the entire music video. But pain is beauty! 

 

The Jan

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Yes, that’s right. This music video is so diverse that it even has the forgotten middle child. Jan is so forgotten that I couldn’t even find a good image of this girl.  She’s literally hidden in ever single frame!

See, look!

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Let’s try again….

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Poor Jan. We can’t all be center stage though, I suppose.  I’m sure she has a great personality and is probably very smart.  Maybe she’s a lawyer now and making more than anyone else in the music video?

 

There you have it! The most diverse music video in the world! Now, put that song, and blast it loud!!! HEY MACARENA!!!!!

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Dance on my friends! Dance on!

 

~ The Dark Horse