The Vindicator - February 2018

Page 1

Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine

FEB 2018


generational divide


protesting throughout history

FEB 2 Want More? 3 Staff

5 Letter from the Editor 6 Calendar ARTS 7 Black Community v. Academy Awards 9 G et Out: A Cultural Analysis 11 Not Your Fantasy CULTURE 13 Why is There Still Slavery in 2018? 15 R espect AAVE 17 T he Dangerous Dishonesty of Drug Culture 19 You Are What You Eat FEATURE 21 Net Neutrality 23 B lack Studies at CSU 27 It’s Not Right, But That’s How It Is 35 Playlist: AfroLatinx SOCIAL 37 Stop the Selfies 39 Enemy in the Ranks 41 A Look into the Factory of Sadness POETRY 43 A Winter Day 44 Just a Girl 45 Resilience

29 A Look at Generations

How young Black activists today refuse to be compliant

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Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell


e heT am Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart


Arbela Capas

Andriana Akrap

Loren Schumaker

Holly Bland

Michella Dilworth


Art Director

Asst. Art Director

Managing Editor

Online Content Editor

Evan Prunty

Alexis Rosen

Multimedia Manager

Features Editor

Brenda CastaĂąeda Yupanqui Culture Editor

Alana Whelan

Benjamin Heacox

Arts Editor

Copy Editor

Dorothy Zhao

Imani Stephens

Junior Editor

Junior Editor



Nahomy Ortiz-Garcia

Chau Tang

Alana Whelan

Tyisha Blade

Michella Dilworth Alexia Carcelli

Grace Roberson

Jamia Richardson

Caitlin Cole

Brenda CastaĂąeda Yupanqui

Samantha Sanker

Greg Elek

Reshae Davenport

Logan Hammond

Imani Stephens

Dorothy Zhao

Austin DiLorenzo



Aliaa Elfadil

Disclaimer The content of the Vindicator does not necessarily represent the opinions of Cleveland State University, its students, faculty, or staff: nor does it represent the members of the Vindicator staff or our advisors unless otherwise stated. The editor reserves the right to comment on any issue that affects the student body in general as well as the multicultural community at large. Letters to the editors and other submissions are accepted, however they must have the authors name, address, major if applicable, and telephone number. All submissions become property of the Vindicator and the Vindicator reserves the right to edit submissions as deemed necessary. 2121 Euclid Ave, MC 471, Cleveland, OH 44115 216 687 2118 3 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2018



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y parents sacrificed so much

such as, “to have half of what they have

is wide.

for their children’s education.

you must work twice as hard.” The “talk”

I didn’t know how much my

consisted of the “proper way to act” when it

what I take pride in for I was created by

family struggled financially

Black love and Black femininity is

came to law enforcement, and it was a okay

a beautiful Black man and a fiesty Black

until I was older — but they made sure

to have white friends but to never get too

woman. Black femininity shaped the way

my childhood was amazing — I never

comfortable, because at any given moment

I saw the world and other women of all

wanted for anything. They sacrificed a way

they can leave you and go back to their

shapes and colors. They taught me to love

of living that they deserved to support

white world and your Black problems will

myself even though society taught me not

us and make sure we were afforded the

never affect them.

to. I was told my name was “too ghetto,”

same opportunities my white peers had.

For 22 years and 365 days a year I’ve

and I was “too light for the dark skin girls”

They went without to make sure we were

felt this. I weep for my fallen brothers and

and “too dark for the white girls” — but

successful. Not just a financial sacrifice,

sisters who have been executed by law

with age I learned that Black is Black.

but a loss in community as well. Education

enforcement. I’ve worked twice as hard as

correlates with wealth, and wealth was

I watch some of my white peers excel in

brothers and sisters, I love how creative

found in the suburbs where Black faces were

their mediocracy. For 365 days a year I am

we can be with the alphabet when it come

lost in white crowds.

reminded that I am a Black woman, and I

to our names. I love our swag, slang and

feel it everywhere I go. For 365 days a year

culture. Being Black has taught me to not

we participate in activities outside of the

I celebrate my Blackness because there is

only be strong, but be confident and that

suburbs that would give me and my siblings

nothing that I would rather be. And for 28

it’s okay to express myself in various

a good sense of who we are, and taught us

days of the year, people who judge me by the

forms — because there are various forms of

to love our Black selves. Knowing that this

color of my skin have to listen to me while

Blackness. Soon we will go from surviving

world was not created for Black boys and

I’m unapologetically Black. Like Kendrick

to thriving, this I promise! Happy Black

girls to thrive taught us survival skills.

Lamar, I celebrate February like its my

History Month!

Our talks consisted of old Black proverbs

birthday — my hair is nappy, and my nose

Never wanting to lose our Blackness,

I love all the shades of my Black



w h a t’s h a p p e n i n g i n

FEBRUARY 2.10 Teach-In

2018 Social Justice Teach-In The InterReligious Task Force on Central America (IRTF), together with Case Western Reserve University, will be hosting a social justice teach-in for people of all ages. To learn more about this event go to 10AM-3:30PM, 10900 EUCLID AVE



Now That’s Classy: A Formal Event

Wear your perfect glam gown or tux and come to this rare event happening at Now That’s Class. Participate in a costume contest that will be judged by special guests. Don’t get caught in casual attire - only ball gowns, black tie and bow ties are welcome. More information will be released as the event gets closer.


Speaker Event


The Mothership at Mahall’s

Invasive Plants: Beyond the Backyard In conjunction with the Watershed Volunteer Program (WVP), Invasive Plant Coordinator, Jennifer Hillmer will share stories of the weeds of the Cleveland Metroparks and what you can do to help control their spread. 6:30PM, 2277 WEST RIDGEWOOD DR


WCSB Presents: The Mothership at Mahall’s Get your funk on and make your way to the basement of Mahall’s to experience dancing like you never have before. Witness and explore various forms of dance, like funk and boogie, and be prepared to sweat. 9PM, 13200 MADISON AVE


Skip the usual gooshy Valentines Day plans and come laugh at the hilarious stories of Tinder dates gone awry. Clevelanders will tell their tales while you get to sit back and enjoy the wine and cheese plates available for purchase. 8PM, 2785 EUCLID HEIGHTS BLVD FEBRUARY 2018 | VINDICATOR 6



he Academy Awards, one of

going on for 90 years, that would mean that

Best Director, were all white nominees. Many

America’s most prestigious award

there have been over 2,000 winners and African

thought the reason why there wasn’t more

shows celebrating women and

American people have won only 38 times out of

diversity in the categories is due to the large

men in film, will celebrate its 90th

167 nominations.

amount of white males that form the members

anniversary in March. Although

of the Academy. The members of the Academy

African American people have been

mainstream film increasingly showcases

nominated in 17 categories out of 24. African

are the people who ultimately choose which

brilliant Black actors and creators, the Academy

American people are yet to be nominated in

films get nominated. When the nominees are

still continues to be called out for lack of

seven categories which are: Animated Feature

announced the Academy also get sent a ballot


Film, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and

to vote for who they think should win. Many

Hairstyling, Production Design, Best Short Film

think that this is a biased process due to its

times African American people have been

(Animated), Sound Editing, and Visual Effects.

members not embracing different cultures and

nominated throughout the 90 years that the

having tastes that no longer reflect our modern

Academy Awards have been running. This is

not counted in the 167 nominations) that the

society. An article from Variety pointed out

not looking specifically at how many actors

Academy gives out such as Humanitarian

that there are around 160 African American

or creators have been nominated, but instead

Awards and Honorary Awards. Most recently

members in the organization that is consisted

looking at the amount of times they have been

in 2015 the academy awarded an Academy

of 6,200 people.

nominated. Therefore, actors and creators

Honorary Award to African American

could have been nominated more than once.

filmmaker Spike Lee. The Special and Honorary

guilty of this. Just this year, Jada Pinkett-Smith

This article will be focusing on how many

There are also Special Awards (that were

The Academy Awards aren’t the only ones

Awards have been given out since 1927. The

decided to speak out about the Golden Globes

directors or other creators, African American

awards have been given out almost annually

2018 nominations. Pinkett-Smith was upset

people have been nominated 167 times. This

(No awards were given in 8 years throughout

that there were no nominations for the film

number may seem large, but when you look at

time) to a specific person or a film company

“Girls Trip” and she was specifically upset

the 90 years the Academy Awards have been

for over 10 decades. Only 7 African American

about her co-star in the film, Tiffany Haddish

running, the amount of categories - 24, and

people have won this award. Other than Spike

who wasn’t nominated. Pinkett-Smith said

the amount of people they nominate in each

Lee 6 African American people to have been

in a series of tweets, “Tiff was hands down

category, 167 is not a lot. Also, the nominations

awarded special awards were: James Baskett,

one of the funniest person on screen in 2017

tend to be the same people but in different

Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier, James Earl Jones,

and we couldn’t get eyes on the film or a press

years, therefore if we were to only count

Oprah Winfrey, and Harry Belafonte.

conference. How could a nom[ination] happen

each creator once instead of the number of

& how much more critical acclaim must a

nominations, the number of 167 nominations

criticism for many years over its lack of

movie have to simply get a screening?”.

will become lower.

diversity among nominations. Specifically the

Within each category, whether it be actors,

The Academy Awards have received

The most nominations out of any

For example, Pharrell Williams was

88th academy awards became the target of a

category are Best Music, Original Song with 32

nominated for Best Original Song in 2013 and

boycott, in which people were saying that the

nominations, but the most won Oscars out of

also later in 2016, he was nominated for Best

academy was biased and that it was all-white

any category are Best Actress in a Supporting

Picture, which would count as two times out

acting nominees.

Role with seven Academy Awards awarded to

of the 167. Many artists like Pharrell Williams,

African American women.

Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg

Jada Pinkett-Smith and Spike Lee decided to

and others have been nominated more than

boycott the ceremony in 2016. The hashtag

recognition to people of color in all of the seven


#OscarsSoWhite trended the week nominations

categories where not one African American

For the 88th Academy Awards, actors like

Overall, the Academy needs to give

came out and many Black actors were speaking

person has been nominated in 90 years.

winners (without counting that sometimes

out about the concurring issue of diversity.

Hopefully, in this upcoming 2018 Academy

there’s more than one winner in some

Awards there will be more diversity within

categories) and the Academy Awards have been

Awards such as Best Actor, Best Actress and

Calculating that every year there are 24


Within the top categories for the Academy

nominations and winners alike.

THE BALLOT The following are the number of nominations, plus the number of people who have won in each category.

Best Actor

Best Original Song

Best Director 4 nominations

32 nominations

0 African American wins

9 collective African American wins on 6 winning songs

Best Original Screenplay

Best Original Score

21 nominations

3 nominations

11 nominations

4 African American wins

0 African American wins

2 African American wins

Best Actress

Best Cinematography

Best Sound Mixing

11 nominations

2 nominations

9 nominations

1 African American win

0 African American wins

3 African American wins. *Russell Williams won twice.

Best Supporting Actor

Best Documentary Feature

Best Film Editing

17 nominations

10 nominations

2 nominations

5 African American wins

2 African American wins

0 African American wins

Best Supporting Actress

Best Documentary Short

Best Costume Design

21 nominations

2 nominations

4 nominations

7 African American wins

1 African American wins

0 African American wins

Best Picture

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Live Action Short

9 nominations

7 nominations

2 nominations

1 African American win

3 African American wins

0 African American wins







Best Supporting Actress. From this category came the first Academy Award ever awarded to a black person which was Hattie McDaniel. She received the award in 1939 for her performance in Gone with the Wind.

Best Lead Actress. Halle Berry is the only African American woman to win best actress in a leading role.

Best Picture. Steve McQueen was the first black producer to win Best Picture for the movie 12 Years a Slave.

Best Supporting Actor. Mahershala Ali became the first muslim to ever win an Academy Award.

GET OUT A CULTURAL ANALYSIS A look into Jordan Peele’s creation of a horror film that has a different kind of monster: the monster of systematic racism. // Alana Whelan


et Out, released on February

in America - one that epically depicts the

sues, Rose’s relatives all seem eager to meet

24, 2017, appeared to be just

issue of racism in a way that has never been

Chris, however their comments seem a bit

another cheesy horror film,

done before.

too purposeful — as if they are pointing out

like “Cabin in the Woods” directed by Drew Goddard, that

The movie begins with Chris (Daniel

that he’s black to achieve some sort of goal

Kaluuya) and his white girlfriend, Rose

for themselves. When an incident occurs

might scare viewers a little but would most

(Allison Williams), talking about Chris

with the black husband of one of Rose’s

likely make them feel like dozing off.

meeting Rose’s parents for the first time.

relatives, Chris shows a photo of the man to

While Chris worries what her parents will

his friend Rod, who recognizes him imme-

into the film, Chris, the main character’s

think because they are unaware Chris is

diately. This causes Chris to become ner-

story quickly encapsulates the viewer,

black, Rose insists they will accept him no

vous and he decides to ask Rose if they can

building suspense as the plot slowly un-

matter what. Upon arriving to her parent’s

leave, but there is more stopping him than

folds. It may come as a surprise that Jordan

house, everything seems normal, until little

he realizes. “Get Out” is a film that takes

Peele, of the famous comedy duo, Key &

details begin to creep in that Chris brushes

one of the most vital issues of our time to

Peele, both wrote and directed the film,

off for some time, but soon can’t ignore.

the forefront, and forces audience members

because it’s hard to grasp the reasoning

From a comment Rose’s dad makes about

to feel vulnerable and uncomfortable in the

behind a comedian writing what feels like

Obama running for a third term, two black

face of injustice.

a dark, surrealistic depiction of a problem

servants that seem a bit withdrawn, and

so prevalent in society today, yet so under

a pushy concern about Chris’s smoking

interview, was not certain what direction

the radar of many (white) American people.

habits, Rose’s parents make Chris question

he wanted the film to take when he first

What Peele had created was a satirical film

whether they really do accept him. When

began writing. He was sure he wanted it to

centered on the theme of systematic racism

the annual Armitage family’s reunion en-

be a film that black audiences didn’t have to

However, about a quarter of the way

Jordan Peele, as told in a

come away from feeling disappointed, but rather feeling some of their truest concerns when it comes to film, and specifically horror films, had been addressed. A popular belief in horror films is that the minority character is often the first to die - or no minority character even exists in the first place - so Peele set out to change that by making sure no white saviors were present at all. Instead, he made every white person the enemy, which pinpoints exactly that racism isn’t a problem that only existed before the twenty first century. In the postObama era we are currently living in, many have the presumption that racism is dying out — that younger generations are changing the negative perceptions of minority groups in America, and we only need to wait for those few old, southern racist men 9 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2018

fine. However, underlying racist tendencies are present at every turn in life, whether we acknowledge it or not. Peele uses some unique concepts to exemplify these tendencies, one of which is the sunken place. The sunken place is a metaphor for the state of marginalization that black people are often put in. For black audiences, “Get Out” was probably one of the first mainstream films in which they could identify with the lead character’s anxiety about white people’s subconscious, and often completely conscious, racism. In President Trump’s America, racism has unpleasantly taken a front seat. After Charlottesville, when the President failed to condemn the white supremacy and blatant racism it included until a few days after, many Americans were left feeling uneasy. The shooting at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston was another obvious and wrongful act of white supremacy and racism. Countless other acts of hate and violence toward minorities have unquestionably highlighted that racism is still — and even increasingly since President Trump was elected — a problem. With “Get Out”, Jordan Peele brought an extremely vital issue to the attention of people across PHOTO CREDIT: GET OUT FILM STILLS

the world in a way that only an artist could. He did it without assuming who would go see it — assuming that anyone could walk into a theater and put themselves in Chris’s shoes no matter what race or ethnicity they identify as. The way that many Americans perceived “Get Out” came under question after it was nominated for a Golden

versal submitted the film to be considered

Peele was able to portray the racism that has so long plagued our country in a way that allows all viewers to empathize

to die, and then everything will be perfectly

Globe in the Musical or Comedy category.

Jordan Peele wasn’t exactly pleased when he heard this news, but he accepted it,

knowing that the message he intended with the film goes much deeper than what a comedy could portray. There is no clear reason the film was nominated as a comedy, except for some people’s theory that Uni-

in the Musical or Comedy category because they wanted to give it a better chance at winning. Despite this, Peele hoped that the true message he intended could be a force for change in audience members, and that no matter what category it is placed in, the systematic racism it portrays is very palpable. The film’s placement in the Musical or Comedy category goes to show that African American pleas for equality are not being taken seriously, yet this film has still been a game-changer with a hard-hitting lesson: that this country still has a long way to go when it comes to racial equality. After its nomination Peele tweeted “‘Get Out’ is a documentary” in a seeming attempt to lighten up the situation. Nonetheless, it is important to question it’s placing in these light-hearted categories, as anyone who has seen the film can tell, its subject matter does not make it a comedy in the traditional sense. “Get Out” will undoubtedly be one of the most important films of our time. With it, Peele was able to portray the racism that has so long plagued our country in a way that allows all viewers to empathize with the main character. Peele also gave black audiences a character (Chris) who they could relate to and feel like some of their deepest concerns have finally been represented. Whether “Get Out” wins the award for best Musical or Comedy or not, the monster of systematic racism that it addresses is still what Jordan Peele intended to depict, and it is the message that people across the country should take into account. FEBRUARY 2018 | VINDICATOR 10

NOT YOUR FANTASY DISSECTING THE MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL Exploring the problematic trope that damages female representation in film. // Grace Roberson


’m impossible to forget, but I’m hard to

placed upon her well before her first scene.

Gordon-Levitt concluded that it’s not


She is expected to be charming, funny, cool,

healthy to fall in love with just the idea of a

understanding, spontaneous, and nothing

person, which is part of the problem when

the phrase “manic pixie dream girl” in

short of that. The moment she reveals that

male writer-directors create these female

his review of Cameron Crowe’s 2006

she has emotions and problems of her own,

characters for Kirsten Dunst, Zooey De-

film “Elizabethtown”, starring Orlando

the film’s plot shifts gears, as well as her

schannel, and Natalie Portman to bring to

Bloom. Kirsten Dunst played Bloom’s love

love interest. It’s not a healthy portrayal of

life. It creates unhealthy molds for real-life

interest, a stewardess named Claire who

romantic love, let alone women. This is a


helps Bloom’s character Will deal with the

selfish and one-sided narrative. Women are

death of his father and let go of his personal

multidimensional, and should not be dis-

essay for almost a decade after


credited or invalidated for the sake of Manic

his review of “Elizabethtown”, titled “I’m

Pixie Dream Girl characters.

Sorry for Coining the Phrase ‘Manic Pixie

In Rabin’s words, Dunst’s character falls under the following category, “The Manic Pixie Dream Girl exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” Over the past decade or so, starting with the recognition of Kirsten Dunst’s performance in “Elizabethtown”, more of these dream girls have appeared. More notable performances include Zooey Deschannel as Summer in “(500) Days of Summer” (2008), in addition to Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona in “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” (2010). But before Claire, Summer, and Ramona, and Nathan Rabin’s diagnosis, came Natalie Portman’s character Sam in “Garden State” (2004). Typically, these characters are white,

In a 2012 interview with Playboy, actor

In 2014, Nathan Rabin published an

Dream Girl’”. In this essay, Rabin explained

Not roles for just white women, but for all women — there needs to be representation across the spectrum.

In 2007, writer Nathan Rabin coined

straight, attractive upper middle class women whose personalities must have a certain “quirkiness” to them, or their

Joseph Gordon Levitt, who starred along-

that when he published his review of “Eliz-

beloved male protagonist finds something

side Zooey Deschannel in “(500) Days of

abethtown”, he didn’t realize how much it

about them that he latches onto. Needless

Summer”, provided his own analysis of his

would influence pop culture.

to say these women are often put on a ped-

character Tom, and how problematic his re-

estal, and once the male protagonist has an

lationship with Summer was. Although the

life-lover who cheers up a male sad-sack

epiphany or realizes that the object of his

film was a breakthrough for Gordon-Lev-

had existed in the culture for ages. But by

affection is more than the idea he built up

itt’s career, he was concerned about the way

giving an idea a name and a fuzzy defini-

around it, we never hear from Manic Pixie

his character would be viewed, especially by

tion, you apparently also give it power. And

Dream Girl again.

young people.

in my case, that power spun out of control.”

The concept of a Manic Pixie Dream

Gordon-Levitt comments about his

“The archetype of the free-spirited

The MPDG archetype extended beyond

Girl is part of the male gaze category, but

character, Tom, saying that “He develops a

the world of film and made its way into

it’s arguably much worse in actuality. It’s

mildly delusional obsession over a girl onto

young adult literature, and Rabin even re-

not just an actress appearing in a film on

whom he projects all these fantasies. He

called seeing a musical whose title was the

the basis of her physical attractiveness. It’s

thinks she’ll give his life meaning because

phrase he created. Although he coined the

a woman being created by men, for men; a

he doesn’t care about much else going on in

phrase originally, he credited the internet

woman who already has high expectations

his life.”

for its growing popularity.


To conclude his essay, Rabin wrote “Let’s all try to write better, more nuanced and multidimensional female characters: women with rich inner lives and complicated emotions and total autonomy.” Since the publication of Rabin’s apologetic essay, women in Hollywood have stepped up to the plate to create better roles for women to portray; some of them even doing the creative work themselves rather than leaving it to the men. One of the more prominent, recent examples would be Mindy Kaling from “The Office”, who created her own show, “The Mindy Project”, which ran for six seasons (2012-2017). “The Mindy Project” follows the life of Mindy Lahiri, a successful, Ivy-League educated OB/ GYN living in New York City. By creating a character who already established a career, Kaling made it possible for there to be more room to showcase Mindy Lahiri’s personality and her romantic adventures. While the character of Mindy Lahiri is quirky, spontaneous, and outspoken, none of those traits exist solely to form another MPDG character. The Mindy Project is a show created by a woman, starring a woman, who is unapologetic about being herself, regardless of the fact if there is a love interest present or not. Mindy Lahiri’s quirkiness isn’t the result of a hyper-fantasy created by brooding male writer-director types. Kaling created a woman with a rich inner life, complicated emotions, and total autonomy - which is what Nathan Rabin hoped to see more of in Hollywood, to spite the MPDG movement in pop culture. But “The Mindy Project” is a breakthrough not only because of its female-centric, girl-power attitude, but because it stars a woman of color - an Indian-American woman. The show is important because its content raises the question - why can’t women of color be the romantic leads, and why are we starting now? It’s 2018, and the time has come for there to be more strong female characters. Women who are bold and ambitious, and women who are just trying to find their way like so many of us are now. Not roles


for just white women, but for all women there needs to be representation across the spectrum. Down with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Let this be an era of new, revolutionary creating and storytelling. It’s time to roll up our sleeves, and start writing.



SLAVERY IN 2018? Slavery ended in the United States in 1863, but that doesn’t mean slavery ended // Imani Stephens


here are some things that

from inside the imprisonment chambers.

should never be repeated,

They spoke of being shot multiple times and

is still thriving in Libya, though to a much

though the phrase “history

tortured with hammers and knives. Many

greater degree with slavery. Humans were

repeats itself,” seems to echo

said the majority of the people being killed

not born to be held captive or to be slaves

loudly even in today’s day

while imprisoned in Libya were Black.

– but this crisis in Libya is leaving many

and age. Is something as old as slavery

“The father has guns, the mother has

Much like the United States, racism

questioning if people value the lives of

becoming a reality again? In Libya, people

guns, the children have guns – they all have

other people, especially Black people. It’s

are being taken from their families and

ammunition to threaten blacks,” said a CNN

hard to grapple with the idea of slavery and

being held hostage by smugglers – similar

rescuee Celestine Ike.

using another person’s body as a pawn,

to slavery in the United States and the not so distant past. Being abducted could happen by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The age of social media has made it incredibly easy to spread news to a wider range of people. Therefore, more people in the United States are knowledgeable about these kidnappings versus before, where a mask was put on the true injustices in the world. Ending this sense of obliviousness is vital. Libya is in need of allyship to solve these problems, and discovering who can

help is a greater task. Kidnapping and abduction are not the only forms of slavery. Many people use immigrants and minorities to do their work for less than what they deserve. According to a CNN article titled “They use black men as slaves: Migrants tell of brutality in Libya,” the first to post videos about this issue in Libya, a rescue boat operated by Proactiva Open Arms picked up 695 migrants from 27 countries during its first mission to Libya. Among those that have been rescued, only a few were willing to cooperate about what went on throughout their horrific journey, but the stories all had a recurring theme of Black men and women suffering. Some of the people rescued told stories 13 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2018

a tool for the advancement and pleasure of others, primarily for white people.

especially in 2018. An article on Time’s website titled “Libya’s Migrant Economy Is a Modern Day Slave Market” reports, “In 2000, more than 600 African migrants were killed at

Protesting should not have to be held every month with a new problem from the world not respecting another humans rights...

concentration camps in Austria in our

The Black body has always been seen as

the hands of Libyan mobs shouting ‘blacks must go.’” Innocent people are disrespected and their bodies are discarded like trash. Because of this, it seems that blacks are still seen as worthless, making it hard to see what else can be done to prove themselves. One can only hope that this doesn’t just become popular on Twitter and fade from our memories once again. Too often we see issues from around the globe stressed only on social media and never getting real news coverage. Everyone deserves equality; justice must be served. It is sickening to imagine inexplicable realities of slavery. Men being burned, shot, whipped to take away masculinity from their entire existence. Woman getting raped in front of their children, being viewed hypersexually and being sold into sex trafficking. Kids being put to work never knowing what it’s truly like to be free and suffering from seeing their families being torn apart. Similar to what occurred during the 1800’s with slavery in America, it’s hard to believe that this can happen in an instant.

The slavery in Europe upset numerous

into social media there are countless posts

people in Paris and the African Union. After

trying to spread awareness about various

the news spread, people began to protest.

issues, but injustice continues. The leaders

As a result France plans to accept 10,000

of Libyan slave trafficking should have

refugees in 2019 to help reduce the number

been put in jail or caught, yet they are still

of those captured. Nour Youseff, a writer

out there. These issues should be taken a

for the The New York Times, reports in his

little more seriously by those who actually

article, “Sale of Migrants as Slaves in Libya

have the authority and power to bring

Causes Outrage in Africa and Paris”,

justice. Yet, the same pattern continues:

that it was mostly Black people protesting

people just talk about slavery in hopes of it

in front of the Libyan Embassy in Paris.

changing and never actually being an agent

Protesters held up signs that said things

of change. Social media has a tendency of

like, “Put an end to the slavery and

posting a situation so much that it begins

concentration camps in Libya.”

to get normalized and often time forgotten

Photos all around the internet from CNN’s sources and photojournalism have surfaced of men being gathered into

about. Slavery will never be okay.

THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW The International Organization of Migration (IMO) says the journey to Europe from Libya is the world’s deadliest with more than 33,761 killed in the last 17 years. Smuggling slaves has been in the works in Libya since 2006 89 million people worldwide have experienced some form of modern slavery, whether for a few days or many years, since 2012.

bunches crying for help. On CNN’s Twitter, a video of slaves showed them freed in rescue boats, shaking and telling traumatic stories of being sold and escaping to freedom. These videos of these mortified people on have even reached people who all have power and status. Thousands of people across the world are wondering how they can help and what they can do to spread PHOTO CREDIT: GOOGLE IMAGES

more awareness of these issues. One of the most important things to remember is that these events do not just die off. They still continue to occur whether media covers them or not. Overall, the world should be worried

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP Hold those with higher job titles and high paid social media sites reliable Give money to all the anti slavery campaign possible When shopping buy products that weren’t made by slaves or immigrants who get paid little to nothing for the labor

about how to not let these issues fade and actually solve the problem. When checking FEBRUARY 2018 | VINDICATOR 14


E V A A Speakers of African American Vernacular English are facing language barriers in the classroom. // Reshae Davenport


ducation is often referred to as the “great equalizer” and for

who do not. If students speak another language

they embrace, and there are rules governing its use, just as there are rules governing

many acquiring a quality educa-

besides English, they are given special in-

the use of SAVE. Chelsea Easter gives an

tion it is the key to unlocking the

struction in Standard American English as

example of the social rules governing the

American Dream. Unfortunately,

a part of their education. However, because

use if SAVE in communities where AAVE is

African American students whose primary

African Americans are American born, and

spoken, “Just as the use of AAVE is of-

dialect is African American Vernacular En-

speak their own dialect of English, they are

ten considered wrong in most classroom

glish (AAVE) are at a disadvantage accord-

often viewed as poor English speakers.

settings, the use of SAVE is occasionally

ing to our education system.

Fromkin notes that, “Since the onset of the

considered inappropriate in the African

civil rights movement in the 1960s, AAE

American community.”

Victoria Fromkin defines American Vernacular English (AAVE) or (AAE) as “…

has been the focus of national attention.

Dialects of English spoken by some Amer-

Some critics attempt to equate its use with

glish” ignores history and culture, insults

icans of African descent, or by any per-

inferior genetic intelligence and cultur-

the African American community, and

son raised from infancy in a place where

al deprivation…” This perception is false.

allows for discrimination.

AAE is spoken” The dialect that is used

AAVE is a complex dialect with its own set

English teachers have only a limited

in academic setting is Standard American

of rules and its own unique origins. AAVE

number of hours per-week to teach chil-

Vernacular English (SAVE), and it is the

developed as a result of slavery.

dren grammar. As time goes on, traditional

prestige dialect in the United States. According to Fromkin the definition

Creoles often arose on slave planta-

Mislabeling AAVE as simply “bad En-

grammar is being taught less and less in

tions where Africans of many different

public schools. This is especially true due

of a prestige dialect is “The dialect usually

tribes spoke mutually incomprehensible

to standardized tests such as the OGT.

spoken by people in positions of power, and

African languages. One of the theories

Teachers are often forced to “teach to the

one deemed correct by perspective gram-

concerning the origins of African American

test”… or prioritize what they teach based

marians.” Any member of American society

English is that is derives from an earlier

on the areas that students will be tested

who wishes to advance their education,

English-based creole that developed when

on. Therefore, teachers have to find ways

must first master this “standard” dialect

African slaves had no common language

to incorporate bits and pieces of grammar

of English. A dialect which is considered

other than the English spoken by their

instruction into their lessons where they

standard only because those in power

colonial masters.

can. Tragically, It’s usually not as often as

labeled it as such, effectively privileging

Today AAVE is a part of African Ameri-

those communities that use it over those

cans’ cultural heritage. It’s something that


they’d like. Jackie Dickerson, an AP English teach-

er for 10th and 12th graders at Shaw High

but even with their best efforts they stress

“Poor whites tend to live in more afflu-

School, has over 17 years of teaching expe-

that there is a lot that is out of their con-

ent neighborhoods than do middle- class

rience. She said she’s noticed that students


blacks and Latinos, a situation that leaves

have become less and less connected with grammar over the years. In her opinion learning prescriptive

Essentially, teachers in communities

those minorities more likely to contend

where AAVE is commonly used have to

with weaker schools, higher crime and

teach students an entirely separate dialect

greater social problems…”.

grammar is very important because of the

of English in addition to the rest of their

prestige it carries with it. She said that,

curriculum. A task they are expected to ac-

viewed as ESL learners they could have the

“grammar is the first line of presentation.”

complish in the same amount of time that

extra instruction they need to succeed in

Her belief is that students will be more

is alloted to students who already learn and

the world of academia. Fromkin suggests

likely to have doors open for them if they

speak Standard English at home.

“Educational programs that respect the

She said that changes could benefit her students and grammar should be taught throughout school, instruction should be similar to the instruction given to ESL (English as a Second Language) students, and grammar should be included as a freshman class or elective. Although she recognizes that her students are disadvantaged, she only has a few hours to make changes. Some methods she uses are breaking down literature into small pieces, explaining vocabulary, creating personal connection between students and the material, and giving examples of literary terms. Mrs. Fiebig, a teacher from Early College High School, a top rated magnet school, explained that her students typically come from “better homes” and know how to code switch. She said since state exams typically start around 4th or 5th grade, many students don’t get much of grammar instruction after that point.

acquisition of a standard dialect. Ideally, the bidialectal method would also include

AAVE is a complex dialect with its own set of rules and its own unique origins.

She said that students, especially those with less exposure to Standard English, need multiple exposures to prescriptive grammar before they can apply it. She said that she found ways to teach grammar,

home language may better facilitate the

understand prescriptive grammar rules.

If students who spoke AAVE were

Students who speak AAVE are dis-

class discussion of the phonological and grammatical differences between the two dialects…” Such programs could give students the tools they need to pursue higher education. A student’s ability to adjust to college within the first two years is a huge predictor for their academic success. It is estimated that 40% of college students will leave higher education without getting a degree (Porter, 1990) with 75% percent of such students leaving within their first two years of college (Tinto, 1987). Freshman class attrition rates are typically greater than any other academic year and are commonly as high as 20-30% (Mallinckrodt & Sedlacek, 1987). (DeBerard 1) In the world of higher education Standard English is spoken by the professors, written into every textbook, and expected in every writing assignment. If students aren’t highly proficient in Standard English they will struggle to comprehend the material presented to them during lectures, they will struggle to read their textbooks fluently, and they will write papers the

and what methods are most effective, since

proportionately affected by the limited

same way that they speak (in AAVE). Ad-

students tend to struggle with diagram-

amount of grammar education in schools.

ditionally, they will be subjected to other

ming sentences.

For many students who come from families

people’s biases regarding AAVE.

What works best for her is showing

and communities where AAVE is the most

Easter elaborates on the issue in

students a PowerPoint and then creating

common dialect, the only time they have to

her own research by stating, “…like ESL

small grammar assignments as bell work.

practice Standard English is in a classroom

students, AAVE students are likely to have

Assignments are sometimes as simple

setting. Fromkin explains, “AAE is gener-

had negative experiences with writ-

as having students identify words and

ally used in casual and informal situations,

ing, and since academic success in many

phrases in sentences they create with the

and is much more common among work-

fields relies on writing in some form, may

book “Writers INC” as a reference. Or as

ing-class people”.

have negative attitudes about school and

creative as playing an educational CD about

Meanwhile, students from more afflu-

about themselves as students.” Unless

grammar called “Shakespeare is Hip-Hop”.

ent areas, with better schools, and commu-

the barriers to these students’ success are

She also dresses up with a wand and a

nities which tend to have a higher number

recognized, and they are provided with the

pointy hat, and gets into the character of

of white residents aren’t as affected. They

appropriate remedial instruction and ac-

the “Grammar Witch” to keep her students

are much more likely to be exposed to

commodation, it’s likely that such students

interested. Teachers have to work hard to

Standard English outside of the classroom.

will struggle during their first extremely

find creative ways to help their students,

This is supported by Fletchers report that

important years of college.



DRUG CULTURE What a young rapper’s death tells us about the culture of drugs in music. // Samantha Sanker


ddiction is most unglam-

he “remembers a happy brother who was

advantage or benefit from fame and money

orous and ugly. This can be

content on where his life was.”

when it’s convenient for them. Surrounding

seen in the life of Gustav Åhr,

The most insidious thing about drug

yourself with people who are only along

also known as Lil Peep, a boy

use is that people rarely get high with the

for the fun is a poor mental health decision

communicating that he needed

intention of becoming addicted, it just

when you’re vulnerable. Lil Peep’s circum-

help and who didn’t get it soon enough. He

happens regardless. The true extent of Lil

stance was so bad that he was left on a tour

built an entire image based around sadness,

Peep’s drug use is unknown to those who

bus for an extended period of time because

writing things like “When I die,You’ll love

were not around him, but many signs point

his friends thought he was only sleeping. Is

me” on his Instagram account. How did

to this being a case of a kid who trusted

there a worse way to leave this earth than

something this dire, go so overlooked?

somebody he should not have.

to be overlooked by those you think love

In any case, whoever supplied him

at the age of 21. The official cause is “fen-

with a heavily abused, highly addictive drug

tanyl overdose.” His bodily fluids tested

like the Xanax that was found in his sys-

positive for ten different drugs in addition

tem, should be held fully accountable and

to fentanyl, a narcotic analgesic that is 50x

responsible. Addicts need people who have

more potent than heroin and 100x more

only the best intentions for them. There are

potent than morphine according the CDC.

people who have no interest in helping you

Maybe a failure to understand chemical

love yourself or helping you grow and these

reactions is at fault here, or suicidal inten-

people are often careless with their friend-

tions are the culprit. There are people who

ships. In fairness, these loved ones are often

like to make his death a moral debate or a

mentally ill or addicts themselves. Whitney

just say no conversation, but this type of

Houston and Amy Winehouse would defi-

judgmental discourse is merely superficial

nitely still be alive today if not for the in-

to the real issue and only increases addic-

fluence of their partners, Blake Fielder-Civil

tion stigma.

and Bobby Brown, who were addicts them-

The focus of this discourse should be

selves. Sure, Whitney Houston and Amy

on mental health and the many friends

Winehouse were autonomous adults who

and family that remain complicit and allow

could make their own decisions, but they

this self-destructive behavior to continue

put their trust in their partners, who want-

in plain sight like a loud secret. However,

ed nothing but to lead these women down

there is a large probability that Lil Peep’s

the wrong path. For every celebrity over-

death was completely accidental and he

dose, there are countless loved ones who act

wasn’t as depressed or addicted as his social

shocked but enabled the behavior all along.

media presence made him out to be. In

Silence can be a strong statement.

publications like People Magazine, his older

Being a friend or partner means loving

brother Karl has said he doesn’t believe

the horrible and fantastic aspects of a per-

Lil Peep intended to overdose. He said that

son. Fair weather friends only seek to take


“ and care?

Being a friend or partner means loving the horrible and fantastic aspects of a person.

Lil Peep passed away on Nov. 15, 2017

The Culture

before. Some of them turned to chemical

Malone went so far as to get a tattoo of

“Mask off” and “XO TOUR Llif3” are great

dependence to escape pain and trauma

Peeps face. Bella Thorne, Peep’s ex-part-

songs, but they’re as dangerous as they

while others were influenced by fellow

ner, tweeted, “Life didn’t do your greatness

are catchy. Whether it’s Future mumbling

addicts that they trusted because “misery

justice.” Close friend and collaborator Lil

“Percocet, Molly, Percocet” or Lil Uzi Vert

loves company.” Maybe if these people had

Tracy pays homage to Peep through his art.

yelling “Xanny, make it go away. I’m com-

social media in their time, they would have

Fortunately, the conversation changed and

mitted, not addicted, but it keep control of

communicated similar sentiments of need

is still changing. The radio DJ’s and media

me,” high schoolers internalize this which

like Lil Peep did.

personalities have used their powerful plat-

leads to dangerous perceptions involving

It’s our duty as friends and family to take people seriously when they ask for

or Future specifically, but the culture that

help even if a social media post seems more

see an opportunity to exploit this story.

allows reckless promotion of dangerous

like a personal diary entry than a message

There have been memes made about Peeps

drugs to impressionable teenagers.

to others. Failure to treat situations with

passing. Making death jokes at the expense

seriousness can have awful consequences.

of a young man just to exploit some likes

radio, magazines or one specific fashion

Despite all this, this culture can have won-

and views is repulsive. Human life is more

brand. Teenagers are dancing and singing

derful pieces to it. Lil Peep himself spoke

precious and valuable than any social media

along to songs about Xanax, Molly and Per-

out against toxic masculinity, homophobia

validation and we need to recognize that.

cocet as if they are fun, happy drugs, fully

and violence against women. It’s imperative

This was a human being deserving of re-

blind to their insidious potential. It appears

to see past the flaws and celebrate the per-

spect and compassion. It’s time to question

to be all fun, games and hallucinations, but

son who did great things for the culture. He

who we think our friends are and check for

opioids are actually ending the lives of the

had the potential to do anything he wished.

our neglected friends who are calling out for

people who take them every day. Hopefully,

He lived a life outside of drugs and social

help. We also need to question what we are

this culture will change and instead pro-

media and had experiences that helped him

exposed to on social media and if it’s honest

mote self love and healthy social habits.

grow and develop into an adult just like

or not. The world does not want to hear or

anybody else.

see another story about a life lost too soon

This culture extends well beyond the

The interesting thing about Lil Peep is influences and made a name for himself in

Unfortunately, some people only

at the hands of drugs.

that he took goth, gangster emo and trap


forms to enlighten their audience.

drugs. The problem here is not Lil Uzi Vert

Respect for the Dead

music. He really resonated with the teenage

The tracks and videos “Benz Truck,”

angst crowd. His followers are members

“Awful Things” and “Beamer Boy” show

of the “Goth Boy Clique,” — think Edward

massive artistic promise. It’s always sad

Scissorhands meets Snoop Dogg meets the

when an artistic inspiration passes, espe-

early 2000’s. In regards to pop culture,

cially before they reach their prime. Peep

people like Kurt Cobain, Whitney Houston,

would have gone on to be an iconic vision-

Amy Winehouse and Jimi Hendrix have been

ary in his adult years. He could have been a

examples of what happens when addiction

creative director at Gucci or Versace or even

and fame combust. It’s like a re-run — we

a filmmaker. Many in the industry shared

have seen this episode too many times

love and condolences on social media. Post



YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT If we could stop hurting humans, animals, and the planet via factory farming, that’d be great. // Caitlin Cole


here are many wonderful

factory farms are “not all bad” because

and drugs are just a few of the unnatural

reasons to live in Ohio, but the

they are still providing the world’s popula-

elements within factory farm animal feed.

nation seems to focus on only

tion with food – which I feel to berong. To

The antibiotics, drugs and chemicals with-

one thing: our bitter winters.

make this complex and frightening topic

in the feed are eaten by the livestock and

This may be a painful, yearly

more understandable, I will break it up into

then carried over to the humans that eat

occurrence for Ohio residents but there is

three different sections: negative effect on

the animal’s meat. Some medicines used

so much more to remember the state for.

animals, humans, and our earth.

to make animals grow quicker or get rid

One overlooked aspect of living in Ohio is the importance of its agriculture. According to the most recent Census of Agriculture,

of parasites contain arsenic. To humans, Impact On Animals Imagine, standing in inches of your

a certain amount of arsenic can be fatal. Animals are meant to roam free and graze

there are approximately 2,109,303 farms

own filth, squished shoulder to shoulder

from earth’s food supply, not chemical-

in the state of Ohio. This makes Ohio the

with thousands of other humans, and no

ly enhanced food that makes them grow

seventh largest state for agriculture, which

access to fresh air. This is the life of factory

fatter at an accelerated rate.

is the human race’s main source for food.

farm livestock and this practice is increas-

Unfortunately, this also makes it suscep-

ing at an alarming rate.

tible to one of the nation’s biggest threats: factory farming.

I grew up on a small farm, which

Factory farms put thousands of livestock in small pens that give no space to move or access to natural water and food

placed me around livestock my whole life.

sources. The New York Times, Rolling Stone

I was taught about the importance of car-

Magazine, People for the Ethical Treat-

Webster as “a large industrialized farm;

ing for our livestock and giving them the

ment of Animals (PETA), and The Humane

especially a farm on which large numbers

opportunity to live their lives as intend-

Society have all published media exposing

of livestock are raised indoors in conditions

ed. The Organic Consumers Association,

these inhumane conditions these animals

intended to maximize production at mini-

a non-profit organization that supports

live in. While the images may be graphic

mal cost.” This definition does not scratch

organic agriculture, has researched what

and unpleasant to look at, it’s important

the surface of the disgusting and inhu-

factory farm animals are fed and the

that the world knows the truth of where

mane processes that factory farms use. It is

results are alarming. Plastic, diseased an-

their food comes from.

a common misconception that many think

imal meat, hair, skin, blood, animal feces,

A factory farm is defined by Merriam


Considering the amount of animals

often not cared for properly, which leads to poor living conditions. The Food and Water Watch, an organization that keeps corporations accountable for their actions related to the earth’s natural water and food sources, tracks the amount of factory farms and livestock within the nation. The most recent update stated that there are approximately 82,144 dairy cattle in Ohio,

The important thing is to know what is being fed to your body.

a thirty-three percent increase in only five years. Impact On Humans Putting farm animals in inhumane factory conditions can also cause harm to humans. One example is food poisoning caused by salmonella, a group of bacteria. According to, this bacteria may be present in some vegetables but is often found on poultry products, eggs, and dairy. Many salmonella outbreaks and other food recalls are due to conditions of factory farms. That one chicken will be covered in many different kinds of bacteria and will transport them wherever it goes.That one chicken comes into contact with thousands of other animals and eventually humans, causing them to be infected with illness. Most Americans have heard the phrase “you are what you eat” and this has never been more relevant to the nation’s health crisis. Many do not think about what they consume, which is the most dangerous part. Unregulated antibiotics are given to livestock through their food or shots and these antibiotics are then transferred to the humans that eat the livestock. According to a public health report published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, these antibiotics humans consume through their food is part of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance, a current public health crisis, is when bacteria learn to change and reduce a drug’s effectiveness at stopping or preventing infection. Families who make a living through


farming are also at risk because business goes to factory farms for their speed and ability to meet the nation’s high- demand for meat products. My uncle’s way of life and providing for his family is through his dairy farm but every year becomes harder. I’ve watched my father, uncle, and grandfather struggle with the upkeep for a small farm but I am beyond grateful that I was

in such a small place, these shelters are

raised to understand the importance of

the water. Cyanotoxins are released from

caring for the earth and livestock.

algal blooms and are the cause for humans

When I first moved to Cleveland, I had

becoming ill. It wasn’t until this year that I

to use the dining plan because I lived on

realized factory farming caused that algae

campus. This was one of the worst experi-

bloom and the panic that ensued in Toledo.

ences for me. I would feel sick after eating

There may be some confusion as to

the meat and I gained weight quickly. I

how manure can be so harmful because in

went from eating naturally raised live-

high school most learned about the nitro-

stock, vegetables and fruit to eating meat

gen cycle and why manure is such a good

of an unknown source. This was a huge

fertilizer. While this is true and important

wake-up call for me and I began to really

to those in the agriculture industry, factory

understand the severity of factory farming.

farms produce so much excess waste that leftover nitrogen and phosphorus contam-

Impact On Our Planet The more I educate myself, the more I

inate our water supply, the same ingredients that create algae blooms.

see that it not only directly harms live-

All of this information is overwhelm-

stock and humans, but it is also killing

ing and for those who are just now hearing

what holds us all together: our earth. The

about the issue of factory farms, it may

amount of animals at each factory farm is

seem impossible to fix but the ways to

not natural and is leading to unspeakable

make a difference are endless. If we all

amount of toxins and waste being dumped

start by buying locally sourced produce and

into our water supplies.

meat, we can keep local farms. The import-

The EPA states “agribusiness is the

ant thing is to know what is being fed to

leading cause of pollution for more than

your body. If we educate ourselves, friends,

145,000 miles of rivers and streams, 1

and family, we will stop consuming harm-

million acres of lakes, and 3,000 square

ful food and the number of factory farms

miles of bays and estuaries throughout

will diminish. We could all sign petitions,

the United States. Agricultural runoff — ei-

call our senators or those participating in

ther from manure or from fertilizer used

elections to start public discussions. To-

to grow animal feed — creates dead zones

gether, we can make these changes and end

that stretch across the country, from the

factory farming.

Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay.” In 2014, I visited friends in Toledo, while on a summer road trip. That weekend so happened to be the same time as the devastating algal bloom, which put Toledo in a state of emergency. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

WHERE TO BUY HUMANELY RAISED MEAT IN CLEVELAND: North Union Farmers Market Gateway 105 Farmer’s Market Heinen’s (with certified humane label) Select West Side Market Vendors

defines an algal bloom as “when colonies of algae — simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater — grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds.” Myself and many others became violently sick from just showering in

GROCERY STORE BRANDS THAT SELL HUMANELY RAISED MEAT: Applegate, Nolan Ranch, Organic Prairie, Strauss Brand, Bell and Evans, Coleman Organic, Murray’s FEBRUARY 2018 | VINDICATOR 20

PROJECT SAVE THE The freedom of the internet is at risk, and if we don’t change that, our daily lives will be drastically affected. // Chau Tang


he iternet is a tool we use to

to adopt historic net neutrality rules that

interact with each other, seek

keeps the internet free and open.” The

impact at Etsy, told CNBC, “If [small online

news and search anything we

FCC’s Republican majority chairman, Ajit

businesses’] traffic were slower compared

wanted on Google for educa-

Pai, has plans to remove net neutrality pro-

to a larger competitor, then our sellers

tion. It’s crucial in our lives

tections so the free internet is in danger.

would likely lose sales. And I think if you

because without it, we wouldn’t be able

Taking away net neutrality will affect

Althea Erickson, head of advocacy and

kind of expand that out, you see basically

to fact check so we would have to assume

society as a whole in a lot of ways. It will

small businesses and micro-business-

someone else is correct. Without net neu-

impact people who create content online

es being harmed at the expense of larger

trality, 3.2 billion people will not be able to

in different areas, such as having to pay

competitors and fewer of them starting and

use the internet the same way. According to

additional fees — causing free speech to be

growing over the long term.”

Time magazine, there are approximately 3.2

compromised. Small businesses that thrive

billion people who use the internet. When

on the internet will be affected because

communities such as LGBTQ+, people of

we go on the internet, we expect to see free

companies like AT&T, Comcast and Veri-

color, indigenous people and religious

speech, conversations, arguments and even

zon will be able to slow down their web-

minorities, they depend on the internet

sites such as Youtube and Netflix for enter-

site, which can cause a decrease in sales.

to educate society and clear up any mis-

For those members of marginalized

tainment and networking. Some people use

information. Media outlets may represent

the internet for resume building.

information about these communities and

If you are a journalism major then you might have a blog to refine your skills so you can show your employer one day. Or if you’re an artist or a photographer, you need the internet in order to showcase your work, even sell it. A Youtuber may upload content to entertain that can be relatable to viewers, as well as grow their connections. If free speech and free social media were to be taken away then websites could be blocked or controlled by companies such as AT&T. If websites were blocked and con-

Taking away net neutrality will affect society as a whole.

trolled, then facts and political views can

You might see the term “net neutrality” pop up on your social media and you wonder, “What is net neutrality?” Essen-

tion. If net neutrality were to be revoked, activists won’t be able to fight for certain groups, if they have unequal rights. Artists won’t be able to reveal their talent to the world, whether it be as drawing, dancing or singing. Since the internet has been free, people of color have shared their stories and organized for racial justice in profound ways. Online movements have been used as a way to share stories, make connections and provide assistant — such as organiza-

be deleted and people would lose certain important information and simple rights.

fight back against systematic discrimina-

tions having the ability to donate money for Companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon

children in need. The internet is also used

can slow down their competition’s content or

for entertainment purposes. According to

block political opinions they do not agree with.

News Week, If net neutrality were to be re-

According to CNBC, they interviewed

voked, consumers would need an extra $10

tially it prevents internet companies such as

a couple who runs a business on Etsy who

per month to gain access to social media.

AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from increasing

talk about the possible struggles they will

Also, since small businesses sell their items

or decreasing speed for services like Netflix

face. Kristi Haner and Alex Tiberio run their

online, it will become harder for them to

and Hulu, that can block any content, ap-

online shop, Gothic Mountain Jewelers,

compete with large corporations and they

plications or websites you wish to use.

where they sell handmade sterling silver

wouldn’t make much profit.

According to,

jewelry. Haner told CNBC, “if this actually

The First Amendment of the Unit-

“In 2015, millions of activists pressured

happens and pages take longer to load, that

ed States Constitution includes freedom

the Federal Communications Commission

will directly affect our sales.”

of speech, and in our modern world this


extends to speech online. Without net neu-

online and if the rules of net neutrality are

content such as this be hidden. There are

trality, the freedom of speech will be taken

not protected then it will be even more

other graphic designers and artists is in

away in an instant. If the Constitution up-

difficult for people to know and understand

contact with who have gained a portion of

holds this amendment then it should apply

issues and how they can fight against them.

their clients and income come from the in-

to the internet as well. The internet helps

Many people are angered that the FCC

ternet. Without net neutrality, there might

society become aware of politics, news, and

would even consider to remove net neu-

not be as many clients who will see their


trality; about 76% of people in the U.S. are

content nor will there be as many designers.

People use the internet as a resource


because it is convenient and not every-

fighting to keep it. According to Jane (we have changed

“Only those who can afford to pay the extra fees will be able to successfully work

one follows the news on TV. According to

her name for anonymity purposes), a CSU

to design a website or network,” Jane con-

Business Insider, a chart from Statista from

graphic design major, the internet is an

tinues. She’s not sure what this will mean

2016 shows the average person spends an

important place to network with oth-

for future internet use and technology, but

average of 170 minutes watching TV per day

er designers as well as potential clients.

those who cannot pay the extra fees, it will

and an average of 140 minutes per day on

She is constantly being prepared for new

also be a problem for students to do their

the internet. In 2018 those numbers were

mediums and new forms of technology in

schoolwork since so much of our education

almost identical. Not many people would

order to show her work online. “With net

is based on technology use. Without net

follow the news if it weren’t for the internet

neutrality potentially being taken away, it

neutrality graphic designers like Jane won’t

because if you follow Fox News or CNN on

decreases the amount of designers who are

be able to network with potential employ-

Facebook then you’d click the like button

able to do such things,” she said. Jane also

ers through the education she is receiving.

and you would have alerts to see what is

states, “Only those who can afford to pay

Instead, it will cause a concern for her when

going on not only around your location but

all the extra fees will be able to successfully

it comes to the web design aspect as well as

around the world.

work to design a website or be able to use

building her online portfolio.

Ironically, awareness of the net neu-

the resource for networking.” In turn, this

If the FCC approves to revoke net

trality issue was largely raised through

could lead to companies trying to capitalize

neutrality then it will go against most

Twitter. There were hundreds of people

on speech. It can become a form of censor-

of the people in society who want net

tweeting a picture with a price tag on social

ship because people can pay more to have

neutrality protected. Although this is a

media and websites such as, “Twitter:

certain sites not shown to certain demo-

consideration to revoke it, the fight for Net

$14.99/month, Snapchat: $9.99/month,


Neutrality is not over. There is a way to stop

Netflix: $9.99/per movie, and Google:

Social justice organizations such as

Congress from revoking it. You can go to

$1.99/per search. If you don’t want to pay

#BlackLivesMatter use social media to to put your informa-

extra for your favorite sites you need to be

spread awareness of issues such as police

tion in and to write Congress.

supporting #NetNeutrality.” This tweet

brutality and mass incarceration — issues

shows people coming together to fight

that are usually glossed over in mainstream

against an issue they do not want. This isn’t

media. This power to spread information

the first issue people have fought against

can be taken away if companies pay to have FEBRUARY 2018 | VINDICATOR 22


A journey through journalism and the history of the Black Studies Program. // Tyisha Blade

Photos courtesy of Cleveland State University Archives




have come across several differ-

acts against Blacks. She died in 1931 but her

Morehouse College while working on his

ent situations that have led me

legacy continued. In 1988, her five grand-

Ph.D. at Georgia State University before

to advance in journalism. When I

children started the Ida B. Wells Foundation

receiving a tenure-track teaching position

began my studies in journalism,

which is located in Holly Springs, Missis-

at Middle Tennessee State University. Dr.

Dr. Horowitz’s COM 224 course:

sippi. There is also an Ida B. Wells Museum

Bynum recently made the transition to

Foundations of Journalism and Promotional

dedicated to inspire and educate about the

Cleveland State in August 2017. The Black

Communications introduced me to a world

contributions of Ida B. Wells and other

Studies Program is a part of the Howard

that had been awaiting my arrival. Writing

historical Africans and African Americans.

A. Mims African American Cultural Center

for the Vindicator also opened many differ-

Wells was definitely a rare and extraordi-

which is in the Main Classroom building.

ent pathways and, with each day, I aspire

nary woman. She was kind, yet stern. She

The center is in honor the legacy of Howard

to feed my life with substance pertaining

was tenacious in her fight for justice. When

A. Mims, director of Black Studies from

to journalism. After studying the famous

I see ink as I write, I often think of her. The


bravery and courageous demeanor. The heroic qualities that she possessed inspired me to seek out ways to speak as a voice for underrepresented people, while also studying her legacy. An anti-lynching crusader, woman’s rights activist, journalist, teacher, civil rights pioneer, and one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Wells was a woman of many talents. She was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862. Her father was a carpenter and her mother was a famous cook. At age 16, she lost both of her parents and a younger brother to yellow fever. Her strength allowed her to assume

I felt as though I was unnecessarily missing a portion of my heritage.

the responsibilities of rearing her five younger siblings, and according to the Ida B. Wells Foundation website, she received her education at Shaw University and then

Black journalist Ida B. Wells, I admired her

became a teacher to earn more money for

way in which she used the power of the

her family.

pen to highlight misconduct and help an

[Cleveland State Black Studies Program]

After relocating to Memphis, Ten-

“What really stood out about the

oppressed people is honorable. I hope that

was the fact that we had a center. In my old

nessee, a life changing event happened

as I continue to learn more in journalism, I

institution, there was no center,” said Dr.

for Wells when she faced discrimination

can apply her legacy.

Bynum. “The fact that we have a phys-

while riding the train and was thrown off

Attending Dr. Horowitz’s class also in-

ical space where students can come talk

because of complaints from angry wom-

troduced me to the Black Studies Program.

about current issues and issues relating to

en passengers. She wrote an article about

Being a junior at Cleveland State and not

the Black community was exciting.” The

her experience.This experience led her to

being aware of the program, I felt as though

Howard A. Mims African American Cultur-

decide she wanted to become a journalist

I was unnecessarily missing a portion of my

al Center features a wonderful collection

instead of a teacher because she wanted to

heritage. Visiting the center, I encountered

of African art, as well as contemporary

speak up about injustices blacks faced in the

individuals with great passion for Black

and traditional works of African American

South. As a journalist, Wells wrote about

studies and commitment to advancement.

artists. It also features culture and history

the injustices Blacks faced in the South and

I have since worked with The Black Studies

of peoples of the African Diaspora. There

how lynching had become the main tactic

Program for other stories and attended oth-

is formal and informal colloquia, films,

in the strategy to terrorize Blacks. Friends

er events such as The Kuumba Arts Festival.

video recordings, and programs designed

of hers were lynched for opening a grocery

Former Director of the African Amer-

for student retention. The cultural center

store that was in direct competition of a

ican Studies Program at Middle Tennessee

environment is a tranquil place for students

white-owned grocery store. Her friends

State University Thomas Bynum Ph.D,

to relax, engage in meaningful discussions,

were charged with crimes they did not

joined Cleveland State University as Director

study, socialize, and receive tutoring.

commit, such as inciting riots. While im-

of Black Studies after residing in Tennes-

prisoned, the men were kidnapped from jail

see for 11 years. Succeeding Cleveland State

Program provides undergraduate students

and murdered. Wells used her pen to expose

Black Studies interim director, Dr. Donna

an opportunity to study the history, culture,

the truth in this and other discriminatory

Whyte, Dr. Bynum taught part-time at

socio-economic and political developments

Founded in 1969, the Black Studies


of people of African descent, and their con-

could have more course options to fulfill the

Dubois’ discussion of the “Talented Tenth.”

tributions to world civilizations. Students

requirements for the major.”

The Talented Tenth is a term designated

take courses in the College of Liberal Arts

According to the programs website, the

to the leadership class of African Ameri-

and Social Sciences and the Maxine Levin

ultimate goal of the faculty is to challenge

cans that should be responsible for using

College of Urban Affairs. The Black Studies

Black Studies majors and minors to achieve

their talents and education to instruct the

major currently requires completion of 36

their maximum potential as students and

masses. At the Umoja Roundtables, student

credit hours of Black Studies course work.

citizens of the world. Black Studies Program

led initiatives engage professionals about

majors and minors embody diverse profes-

different career fields. These professionals

posed change to the major requirements,

sions and occupations including education,

educate students on applying knowledge

becoming effective Fall 2018, that requires

journalism, law, business management,

taught in the classroom to professional

students to take only 30 credit hours for the

government, city planning, international

communities. Bridges to Africa discussions

major. “We did some restructuring of the

relations, psychology, public health, reli-

are academically inclined promoting aware-

major, so under the catalogue, as it stands

gion, visual and performing arts, and social

ness to the concerns of persons of African

now, we have two capstone classes. So what


decent and are inspired by the legacy of the

According to Dr. Bynum, there is a pro-

I did was say that we should do away with

The program also has several other

first Black president of South Africa, Nelson

the second capstone and create an intern-

student involved programming such as

Mandela. Kuumba Arts host events such as

ship class,” said Dr. Bynum. “We combined

Black Student Ambassadors, Umoja Round-

Black Studies Open House, Kuumba Arts

two categories (African Diaspora Social

tables, Bridges to Africa Panel Discussions,

Festival, the Truth Crush to Earth Solidarity

Thought and African Diaspora Religions)

and the Kuumba Arts Festival. The Black

Day, and Madam C. J. Walker Extravaganza.

into one category (African Diaspora Social

Studies Ambassadors are recruiters for

Thought and Religion) so that students

the program and are influenced by W.E.B

Upon my initial visit to the Black Studies department, I was welcomed with great sincerity. It was there that I met Prester Pickett, M.F.A., Coordinator of the Howard A. Mims African American Culture Center. Mr. Pickett, a mind of prestigious creativity cloaked in abundant wisdom, had such significant experience and I could see how this encounter was yet another in the forefront of my passion. He armed me with much needed knowledge in my quest and, after a brief yet fundamental conversation, introduced me to Sankofa Society president and Black Studies major, Erica Young. Young, a recent CSU graduate of Fall 2017, told me all about the wonderful Sankofa Society/ Black Studies Elite and several other Black student organizations. During an interview I did with her for the Annual Kuumba Arts Festival, we discussed some of the hardships of our people in the African Diaspora. She also thoroughly explained Nguzo Saba, the seven principles of Kwanzaa. With some guided information of hers, I recently attended my first Kwanzaa celebration and I was in awe. The celebration included education and symbolism of African culture. Kwanzaa is a week long celebration lasting from December 26 through January 1 created by scholar and activist, Maulana Karenga in 1966. The celebration incorporates Nguzo Saba principles. These principles are Umoja: unity, Kujichagulia: self-determination, Ujima: collective work and responsibility, Ujamaa: cooperative economics, Nia: purpose, Kuumba: creativity, and Imani: Faith. The terms are of the

BLACK STUDIES PROGRAM Carter G. Woodson Challenge & Madam C.J. Walker Extravaganza February 1. SC Atrium Dr. Wasson All Star Basketball Challenge Cleveland Police & Fire Department February 10. Recreation Center Mack Gym Ralph Pruitt Lecture, Arts, & Media Series with Keynote Speaker Dr. Lynn Itagaki February 20. MC 134/136 Ralph Pruitt Lecture, Arts, & Media

Black Studies Program and the origins of

to Cleveland State University, Mr. Beck-

African American heritage.

er knows everything! I spent some time

In addition to the academic and com-

and I was informed that the Vindicator’s

Studies Program, the Program has the Jazz

origin was, in part, due to some racially

Heritage Orchestra. The orchestra is a pro-

insensitive comments about the first Black

fessional 17-piece performance/education

homecoming queen, Barbara Lois Brown, in

ensemble. An affiliate of CSU Black Studies

1969. The Vindicator, originally a newspa-

Program, the orchestra is composed of out-

per publication, transitioned to a magazine

standingly talented jazz performers who are

in 1993. According to an article published

also highly competent music educators. The

by CSU Newspaper, The Cauldron, Brown

orchestra is available for concerts, educa-

states that when she had first heard of

tional seminars, clinics, master classes, and

her nomination, she wasn’t sure that the

workshops. As a music lover myself, I am

university was ready for a Black queen. Still,

excited to hear the orchestra and watching

she was chosen. The newspaper also reports

I am sure will be fantastic performances.

that she was dismayed by the number of

The jazz genre is specifically significant to

negative remarks from some students, but

African American history and a great addi-

not surprised. She added that the large

tion to the Black Studies Program. Finding

Series with Keynote Speaker

out about the Jazz Heritage Orchestra was

Dr. Nishani Frazier

fundamental in my quest as well. Before

March 8 at 6pm. MC 134/136

learning about the orchestra, I enrolled in

Truth Crushed to Earth Solidarity

State for the Spring 2018 semester. During

Day/Mannequin Challenge April 4. MC Auditorium Educational Excursion to Detroit African American Museum April 13-14 Life as a Black Cancer Survivor April 17 at 12pm. MC 137 Jazz Heritage Orchestra Spring Concert April 28 at 7pm. MC Auditorium

inquiring about the history of the Vindicator

munity engagement efforts of the Black

the Jazz technique dance class at Cleveland the research of Black Studies, several ‘light bulbs’ went off internally. Dance is one of my passions that I am slowly getting back into and I ambitiously await the opportunity to incorporate both jazz and dance. The orchestra has an upcoming concert April 28th at 7pm in the Main Classroom auditorium. The Black Studies Program also has a Black Studies radio station called “Images” hosted by Dr. Bynum, Mr. Pickett,

Equipped with this knowledge, a spark was ignited.


and other Black Studies staff. Images is a half-hour public affairs broadcast of discussions and conversations with local,

Swahili language origin. Each day is repre-

national, and international guests, accord-

sentative of a different term or principle.

ing to the Black Studies website. The radio

number of Black students who promoted

station pre-records the show “Images” in

her candidacy exemplified the growth of the

made to inform and unite Black communi-

the studio of the Cleveland State University

Black community on campus. I admire her

ties. Community meals are prepared, guest

Department of Instructional Media Services

bravery and strong spirit as well. She did

lecturers are welcomed, and children are

(IMS) by members of the IMS staff. The

not have to accept such a nomination, but

embraced. Coincidentally, I saw Mr. Pickett

talk show airs every Sunday at 10:00 am -

she did and she won.

on the first day of the Kwanzaa celebra-

WERE-AM/1490 and Wednesday at 12:30

tions. Though we only met briefly, it was

pm - WCSB/89.3 You can check out more

nalism, I have encountered and studied

great to see him and relate his suggestions

information at the website:

many individuals that have had significant

During the celebrations, efforts are

to the celebrations. During these events I

In my most recent occurrence involv-

During my progression toward jour-

influence in fundamental opportunities I’ve

encountered many community activists,

ing journalism, I made a personal discovery

had as a student journalist. Coursework in

judges, lawyers, and personnel in their at-

of the Cleveland State University Archives

journalism, historical value of the Black

tempts to unify with each other. With each

located on the third floor of the Rhodes

Studies Program and history of journalists

day of knowledge, I couldn’t wait for the

Tower in the Michael Schwartz Library. It

before me have had a tremendous impact in

next day’s lesson. Equipped with informa-

was there that I met with the CSU Archi-

providing direction to my path in writing.

tion, a spark was ignited. While satisfying

vist, William “Bill” Becker. Mr. Becker is

This is simply the beginning, and I can’t

advancement of my own personal knowl-

such a sensational person. He knows all

wait to see what’s next! Happy Black Histo-

edge, I was eager to let the world know my

about the history of Cleveland State. From

ry Month.

findings and provide substantial informa-

it’s time as YMCA Tech to Fenn College

tion to those who may be unaware of the FEBRUARY 2018 | VINDICATOR 26


BUT THAT’S HOW IT IS The mentality that bred this generation of political activists that refuse to be silent. // Jamia Richardson PHOTOS BY EVAN PRUNTY & HUNTER PRUNTY


he fight against oppression is

tect him and his family as well as end the

complexion. This feud of course streams

getting old. Patience is running

hate in the world, Lipford was never active

from slavery; slave owners had fetishes

thin and peaceful protests are

in the movement.

for biracial Black women so they had a

turning into riots and cries of pain. Interestingly enough, when riots

“We went to church with white people,

certain “special treatment,” and this was a

but church people were church people,

way to divide the Black community at the

do happen, many people like to quote Dr.

there was no discrimination there,” he

time. Their light skin and the bounce of the

Martin Luther King Jr. However they always


coals in their hair was appealing to them,

forget another famous quote, “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

both biracial men and women were kept

staple of the Black community as playing a

as house slaves while their darker skinned

key role in the civil rights movement. Seg-

brothers and sister worked outside. All the

cause of a war, but also gave birth to more

regation limited Black people’s abilities to

while ignoring that both dark skin folks

bigotry and hate. A fight against ignorance

socialize so in turn, the church became the

and light skin folks were slaves.

that has yet to end in the year 2018. A fight

main source of congregation. Church ser-

that should have been over but no one can

vices were once a source of sanctuary for

see the end. The “it’s not right but that’s how it is” mentality is not enough for millenials. And the saying “this ain’t your grandparents civil rights movement” has taken over the new era of political activism. This generation of young activists are called radical and outspoken. Believing in peaceful protest but not being as patient as their elders and definitely not willing to accept any disrespect like the ones that came before them. Technology has factored into this new wave of activism and social media is their weapon. With the election of the 45th president, Donald J. Trump, many argue that he has the power to take us back in history but this generation will not stand for it. With everything changing in this world equality and justice are at a standstill.

someone else’s job. They were rude to me

They made us know the difference in white and black.

The “correct” way to protest is a question that is always being asked and fuels debates

“I also faced discrimination at my job, they needed one black person for their program, I was a token, and I was told I took

Hundreds of years of slavery ended be-

Back then, the Black church was the

and it was blatant. They wanted me to feel uncomfortable,” Greene said. “As a Christian I believed with prayer everything would work itself out, I don’t see anything wrong with the protesting it does make a difference but I will leave that to the younger people.” Greene said. Herman Lipford’s son, Herman Leon Lipford Jr. has a different approach when it comes to activism. “I believe in prayer but I also believe in being active,” Lipford Jr. said. Upon graduating from Glenville High School, Lipford Jr. was among the first Black students to attend Princeton. A class of 20 Black males out of 800 white males, it was also the last all-male class. “The guidance counselors at Glenville

on news stations, radio programs and of

the Black community in various forms such

discouraged us from going. My whole life

course, social media.

as political activism and discussion. There

up until Princeton was Black and I was told

were numerous civil rights activist that

that I would be eating up if I went there,”


were also prominent in the church such as

Lipford Jr. said.

Herman Leon Lipford is sitting in his office

Rosa Parks. Unfortunately the Black church

he stepped onto campus, the educational

in his recliner chair watching the news.

has lost their pillar in the Black community

and economical divide was apparent.

Eager to tell his story, he sits up and pre-

and maybe this can come into play when

pares to share.

talking about the change in activism.

“I was born in Hensley, West Virginia

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and of course,

“The majority of the discrimination I

Lipford Jr. goes onto to say that once

“We were honors students at Glenville, but then we got to Princeton and they were working on calculus and that was foreign

in 1929. I was a coal miner for 3 ½ years.

faced is when I move to California,” Lip-

to me. We had the catch up with them,” he

Every few years they would put in a new

ford’s daughter, Beverly Greene said. “I’ve


machine and let go 30 or 40 people. We

never heard of this light skin versus blacks

loaded coal by hand and Black people were

skin. I’ve never thought I was better than

was no surprise that they were unprepared

the first to go” Lipford said.


for the level of higher learning Princeton

“I knew there was discrimination;

Thankfully, in 2018 the “light skin

Education correlates with wealth so it

had to offer.

Black people knew but basically I just

versus dark skin” debate has turned into

raised a family, worked, and went to

somewhat of a joke. For example, rapper

ton; the faculty supported us and soon we

church. I wasn’t out that much. I knew

Drake’s famous line from his song Child’s

were all caught up. And we even tutored

what we could do and what we couldn’t do,

Play, “say I’m acting light skinned.” But

the white students,” Lipford Jr. continued.

we minded our own business, It was safe

when it comes to more serious matters,

“There were some who didn’t want us

that way. They made us know the differ-

Black people who have a darker complexion

there. Sometimes there were fist fights and

ence in white and Black.”

still suffer more than those with a lighter

they told us to get out we even excluded

“I never regretted going to Prince-

Believing that his religion would proFEBRUARY 2018 | VINDICATOR 28

Campus racism is still relevant today

dent government. Many people don’t take into account that if minorities, especially

but not so blunt, instead it’s hidden by

Black students, were represented in the

anonymous users on Yik Yak or openly

Student Union there would not be a Black

racist users on Facebook. What happened

Student Union.

in Charlottesville is a great example of that

When talking about his own form

and how there were death threats and stu-

of activism, Lipford stated that there are

dents were afraid to go to class. Segregated

multiple ways to make a change specif-

study groups are a form of racism too; sep-

ically talking about how his own ideals

arating themselves into cliques using them

reflected Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s

to network with mentors to further a career

teachings. However Malcolm X and Martin

while their black peers are left behind.

Luther King’s teachings tend to be black

“We had our own organization on

and white, while very little grey area in

campus and we held a sit-in in the ad-

between. Arguably the new generation of

mission office because we did not like how

activists are stuck between the two.

Princeton was involved with Apartheid

“Everyone can’t march in the streets

in South Africa. It was about 10 hours,”

or riot there are many different ways to

Lipford said.

protest. It’s the person who doesn’t rec-

Unlike Black organizations now, Lipford Jr.’s club with his peers never seeked

ognize the issue is where it’s dangerous.” said Herman Lipford Jr.

recognition on campus. At predominately white institutions now there is a constant struggle to seek recognition on campus from faculty as well as support from stu-


BELOW Photos of Herman Lipford and family. Provided by Jamia Richardson.

I think it’s also good to keep in mind that things could’ve gone differently without the support of some people in the government, without the support of some white citizens.

ourselves at times.”

THE MILLENNIALS It’s 2018, people born roughly in the 1990s are entering the first stages of adulthood and are fed up with what has been the norm for years. More likely to be politically correct, millennials have no patience for islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and racism. Enough is enough for them. The political climate has pushed the majority of them to the left, with their support of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential campaign. With the subsequent election of America’s 45th president, Donald J. Trump, it has pushed them even further. Obviously there has been progress that has occured since the 20th century: racism is not as bold and minorities are not willing to accept the disrespect that their grandparents did. A famous Malcolm X quote speaks more candidly about progress that the United States has made. His quote reads, “If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven’t even pulled the knife out much less heal the wound.” “I think it’s also good to keep in mind that things could’ve gone differently without the support of some people in the government, without the support of some white citizens,” said Lipford Jr. Of course there were white supporters of the movement before but the best thing about the current movement is that there are more white people that are a part of the movement than ever. Back in 2016, after the outrage of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and its tone-deaf response #AllLi-

was the best outlet for her to take a stance. “I didn’t even pick my major, I met

said. Bland continues to talk about how her

vesMatter, the hashtag #BeAnAlly start-

with someone in the admissions depart-

and the editor-in-chief, Arbela Capas, be-

ed trending in hopes to influence white

ment and they asked my what I wanted to

gan to have these feelings over the summer

America to take a stand and wake up to the

do, and I said I like to write and they said

when Bland went to “abortion summer

systematic racism. Currently the hashtag

journalism and I was like okay,” Bland said.

camp.” Bland is a part of We Testify, an

is used to show support and to “be an ally”

Although the Vindicator gives oppor-

abortion storytelling program through

to anyone facing any discrimination or

tunities to all people interested in mag-

the National Network of Abortion Funds.

fighting for equality.

azine writing, as managing editor, Bland

Through this organization she met people

wanted the Vindicator to be more inclusive

from all over the United States and they

to Black students on campus.

discussed their roles in the fight for repro-

Holly Bland sits on her couch cuddled up with her dog, Rocko. She takes a sip of her wine and covers herself and Rocko up

“The Vindicator was a Black newspa-

ductive rights, which is where she became

in a blanket. Bland is a white millenni-

per as response to a racist cartoon in the

al woman passionate about reproductive

Cauldron. It was a space for Black people

rights and racial justice. After coming to

to write and feel like they had space. Then

ity and deals with issues like abortion, I

Cleveland State and becoming involved

further down the line we looked around

am concerned about intersectionality and

with the Vindicator Magazine, she found it

and there was an all white staff,” Bland

issues in regards to race, class and gen-

more hyper-aware of her white privilege. “As someone who advocates for equal-


der,” Bland said. “I already knew I was

ence. Not only is he an activist, but a poet

benefiting from white privilege but I could

who went viral in 2015 for his poem “Lost

definitely be doing more.”

Voices” with Scout Bostley. With cover-

At the retreat, she was one of only two

age from the Huffington Post and over 51

white people present. Bland said it was an

thousand views on YouTube under his arm,

eye opening experience and it showed her

Simpson was more than willing to talk

how she should be navigating the space.

about race and activism.

“I began to listen,” Bland said. It’s very easy for people to agree and believe that everyone deserves equality and basic rights. However, it’s another thing to humble oneself, put ego aside and listen. This is the first phase of helping people facing oppression. “I observed and listen[ed] and that’s what white people say they do but they don’t,” Bland said. She then started talking about what “white America” should be doing when it comes to social issues and protesting. She stated that as a white person in America, the revolution is not for them to lead but for them to listen, take a step back and support. White America’s role is not on the front lines when it comes to racial justice. It is their responsibility to use their privilege to make sure minorities have a voice and and are free from oppression. So, where does that leave minorities? Darius Simpson is a 25-year-old recent graduate from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor of science in political sci31 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2018

When was the first time you felt black / what makes you proud about your race? DARIUS: The first time I felt Black was in elementary school when one of the first Black kids came in that wasn’t there when I was in 2nd grade. I remember seeing a similarity and affinity to him and not knowing what to call it. Having attended a majority white school system most of my life “feeling Black” didn’t often come with positive connotation. I didn’t learn to take pride in my Blackness until high school with my involvement in My Brother My Sister. It’s tough to pinpoint a thing that makes me proud about my race but I’m honored to wear this skin daily and I love how we transcend. Our survival alone in contrast to how this world has tried, and in many ways is still trying, to take us out is a thing to marvel at. I’m proud every time every time I see a Black person bold enough to be joyful in this world.

What made you want to be an activist / when did you start? DARIUS:

I don’t think I ever wanted to or

planned to be an activist. My mother had been in my ear about race since I was a child insisting my skin meant something in situations I was shrugging off as coincidence. In my senior year I attended my first rally with her on behalf of a Black mother being charged for sending her kids to our school district. My freshman year in college Troy Davis was put to death even though all the witnesses which led him to being in the death chamber had since recanted or admitted foul play. That spring Trayvon Martin was murdered, I attended my first rally and realized how loud my voice was. This is the first time I heard “No Justice, No Peace!” and the first time I marched. In 2014 Mike Brown is murdered and the other Black “leaders” on campus met to figure out what we were going to do. One of the first statements was that it “wasn’t about race”. They also didn’t want to include the word “Black” in the t-shirt idea that was floating. This caused me to separate and figure out what it was I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to take action but didn’t know what that meant so I watched and listened to how Ferguson

was responding, and how people around

in the ways Twitter was utilized during the

permission of the body, person, people,

the globe and nation were taking action in

rebellion in Ferguson, but in the Egyptian

you are protesting then what you have is a

solidarity. The first protest I ever planned

Revolution. “Tweets from Tahrir” asserts

party, or parade. I can’t protest the police,

was die-in. From there the protests grew to

that the platform made the resistance, in

while asking them to walk alongside our

more disruptive, movement-based actions.

the ways it unfolded, possible. There are

march to protect us. Outside of that I think

Activism wasn’t so much a want as it was a

dangers of infiltration, even more with how

it is imperative that our freedom-fighting

need, something I felt I could no longer go

open the internet is, but there are ways

continue to be as multifaceted as the sys-

on without doing, a responsibility.

around that like using encrypted apps for

tems we are up against.


DARIUS: I’m not sure how I would classify my activism. I act in whatever way I feel is appropriate to deconstruct, disrupt, agitate, or change whatever (thing) is being acted against. I do believe that a protest with permission is a parade. I’m anti-police, pro-Black, and unafraid to stand on ten toes for these things.

There is always a misconception about who was active in the civil rights movement. Many people tend to believe that all African Americans were active when that is false. Do you believe in this day in age everyone regardless of race should be involved in what’s going on today? DARIUS: I believe any human who is able to take action and does not, is no less evil than the system enacting the wrong on the individuals involved. Any man who is not taking an active role to challenge his fellow men in their misogyny, any white person who is silent on issues of racism are as much at fault as men intentionally causing harm or cops pulling triggers. I don’t believe our liberation as a marginalized group lies in the hands of anyone except ourselves but I do believe the best folks can do from a position of privilege is to get out of our way. Help, sure, in the ways we decide you can be helpful, not the other way around. We find in this attempt to be helpful there’s a white savior narrative where the end to requires a knight in shining white skin to get their hands dirty and join us in the trenches. The truth is we would be a lot better off in this country is folks would challenge the people closest to them on their toxic beliefs and habits.

Social media activism is becoming a new trend, although social media makes it easier to be more vocal is it beneficial? DARIUS:

Social media is definitely a tool

for organizing in this day in as simple as information sharing. The proof is not only

As a young black male what do you want for the next generation?

DARIUS: I want the next generation to be further along in the fight than we are for

Many people don’t take into account that if minorities, especially Black students, were represented in the Student Union there would not be a Black Student Union.

What is your form of activism?

What is the “correct” way to protest or be an activist? DARIUS: The only persons who have a say

their freedom. I want them to love each other more, to laugh harder, to have the tools they need to build a better world. My hope in whatever job, city, school I occupy is that the Black youth who come behind me will not have to face the roadblocks that I did.

Do you think the media does a proper way of representing what protesting and what activist do? DARIUS: No. The proof is everywhere. I’ll keep it simple though. White people burn, pillage, and break property in New Hampshire at something called Pumpkinfest. For the sake of, you guessed it, pumpkins and being festive. CNN calls them an “unruly crowd”. Unarmed Black folks protest police shootings and defend themselves against military-grade weapons in the hands of local cops, and it’s called a riot.

The 45th president has made talking politics the new norm, what is your opinion? DARIUS: My opinion is that he is no different from many white men or women in this country, the proof is in the polling. Folks say he is unfit for the job when in reality he represents everything this country

in what the appropriate ways to protest

was built on. That’s why his friends have

are the people engaged in that specific

gotten a little bolder in their gathering and

struggle. There shouldn’t be a “right” way

in promotion of his campaign. 45 doesn’t

to protest. Different types of protests have

shock nor scare me, I’ve seen him all my

different targets, depending on the intend-

life. I see him in Starbucks every morning.

ed goal is, and only the organizers can say

I pass him on a sidewalk in a gentrified

what was or wasn’t accomplished. The call

neighborhood. I took his classes from

for compliant, silent, sidewalk-stepping,

elementary to high school. He is another

noise-cautious, ways Black folks are told

symptom of this greater corrupt system

to protest, is absolutely false and another

that we all must work daily to deconstruct.

form of white supremacy and oppression of voices. I do believe one overarching thing about protest which is that if you have the


Being a minority at a Predominately White Institution (PWI) can be hard. Whether people want to admit it or not, it’s human nature to feel more comfortable around people who look like you or you can identify yourself with. The best way to describe this is the book by Beverly Daniel Tatum “Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race.” Minorities at PWIs had tendency to exclude themselves willingly which is not beneficial. When you submerge yourself in a different culture there is the potential to lose oneself in that culture. However there is a difference in submerging and taking the time to expose oneself to a different culture, which can bring new experiences. A good friend doesn’t depend on skin color, but the content of their character. A good friend outside your race understands that as a minority, you face a different struggle than they do solely based on the color of your skin. Affirmative action does not mean minorities are accepted into college because they are minorities. Minorities are not taking scholarships and other opportunities away from white students, and minorities are not taking spots away from white applicants. According to The Oxford Handbook of Practical Ethics, “Affirmative action in the United States is a set of laws, policies, guidelines, and administrative practices intended to end and correct the effects of a specific form of discrimination. These include government-mandated, government-sanctioned, and voluntary private programs that tend to focus on access to education and employment, specifically granting special consideration to historically excluded groups such as racial minorities or women.” People who believe affirmative action takes opportunities away from white people rather than end and prevent discriminatory practices from occurring are ignorant about a lot of facts. They also tend not to want learn about racial issues and act as if they don’t exist. With these ideals it’s easier to express them anonymously, so they turn to Yik Yak and make racist statements there. As soon as minorities are able to get comfortable on campus they are reminded that they are studying with 33 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2018

... a good friend doesn’t depend on the color of their skin just the content of their character.


racist. Minorities, especially Black students, are less prepared for college and aren’t exposed to the resources that their white peers are exposed to. Without support from faculty they are playing a constant game of catch up.

LIGHT SKIN V DARK SKIN Jay Z released his thirteenth studio album “4:44” in the summer of 2017. The album received a Grammy Award nomination for Album of the Year, while the title track is nominated for Song of the Year and “The Story of O.J.” is nominated for Record of the Year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. The song talks about financial stability for Black people as well as being proud of your Blackness regardless of the shade. The lyrics of “The Story of O.J.” are explicit but it is a song that needs to be heard within

the Black community. Like most songs, the

sented in media. For example, the most

chorus is the most memorable, listing the

popular show with a Black cast on televi-

different types of Black people whilst still

sion “Black-ish.” There is only one main

reminding them that they are Black.

character on that show that can be con-

It’s a shame that in 2018 “Dark Skin

sidered dark skin, but the show is suppose

vs. Light Skin” is still a debate. It’s almost

to represent the modern Black family. The

laughable because a biracial Black person is

fashion industry is just if not more guilty

leading the second civil rights movement

of this as well. Favoring women that barely

by kneeling during the National Anthem.

past as Black and choosing them to make

Colorism streams from slavery and can

what they were promoting more diverse.

be even be seen in 20th century Black greek

Not to mention cultural appropriation but

life and the Civil Rights movement. When

that is a topic for another day.

speaking to Black folks today, the “Dark

Thankfully inclusion for darker skin

Skin vs. Light Skin” debate has a tendency

people have come a long way. With fashion,

to come off as a joke but it is very much

the recent launch of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty

alive. Black Americans who have fair skin

includes 40 different shades to cater to all

feel as if they have to fight for their Black-

skin tones. Also a “record” number of Black

ness while darker skinned Black Americans

models were featured in the 2017 Victo-

are likely to be demonized.

ria’s Secret Fashion Show, of the six, three

It’s also important to keep in mind

where dark skin. Dark skin Black males are

that although Black people are not as rep-

also being more included in media such as

resented in media as white people, darker

the cast of Academy Award winning film

skin people are not the last to be repre-

Moonlight as well as the television drama series “Queen Sugar.”

ness to police brutality against minorities. But protesting racial injustices all together are not the right way to protest. It’s almost as if the correct way to protest doesn’t actually exist is just what’s being protested makes people feel uncomfortable.

“IN CONCLUSION” “The host kills the virus, or the virus kills the host. Either way the result is the same: The virus dies.” This quote from the “Kingsman: Secret Service” is the best way to describe what’s going on in America today. Bigotry is that virus and Americans (the host) can kill it or bigotry itself will. To completely ignore and accept the way police officers address Black Americans is insensible. This logic stands when thinking about minorities as a whole and the oppression they face everyday in America. This culture disregards women for speaking up against sexual assault and demonizes a race of people who have only committed 4 out of the 19 mass shootings in America. It’s delusional to be so affected

THE “CORRECT” WAY T O P R O T E S T In 2016 former professional football player Colin Kaepernick started his National Anthem protest. In hopes to bring attention to police brutality against Black Americans and other people of color Kaepernick began these protests. However the message was lost and the protest became an argument about whether or not the protest disrespected veterans or current military members. White washing is an understatement when it comes to the National Anthem protest. Kaepernick said in 2016 exactly what he was protesting but instead racist disguised their bigatrory for patriotism and turned what Kaepernick was trying to do into him being anti-American as well as anyone who supported his protest. Soon the debate on “the correct way to protest” came about, but what is the correct way to protest? A protest is a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something. Protesting has a way of making people feel uncomfortable and racism is the most uncomfortable topic in America. In fact it’s America’s biggest shame and an issue no one wants to address. The Black Lives Matter movement wants to not only combat but bring aware-

by someone else’s sexuality or them not feeling comfortable in their own skin that you choose to hate them for it. Racism, sexism, islamophobia, transphobia, homophobia, rape culture — the list of injustices goes on and on. The hatred that is carried in people’s hearts based on learned behaviour needs to end. It begins with the mind, if a police officer approaches a black man with hatred and bigotry the end result will not be a good one. It begins with the mind. Hatred is a learned behaviour and it’s our job to stand up to hate and bigotry and there is more than one way to do so. Raising awareness about social issues and keeping it relevant in the news is just as helpful as protesting and hosting sit-ins. There is no correct way to protest, but to not have a stance on anything and to choose to stick your head in the sand is not okay but also against everything this country stands for. America stands for freedom, freedom to think for oneself, to be safe and live comfortably in ones skin. For now, if no one takes a stand, if no one makes a change, it only means freedom for some people.




here is this skewed perception of the Latinx person and what they should look like: European features and hypersexualized. It’s hard to move away from this vision of Latinx identity in our mind, especially because this is all that the media portrays. Our most celebrated and recognized Latin American celebrities fit this mold: Sofia Vergara, William Levy, Adriana Lima, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez—all of them white or white-passing Latinxs. As an identity, Afro-Latinidad is seriously misunderstood. To many outside and even within Latin America, anti-blackness is unseen and, at the same time, pervasive. It’s hard to explain how a culture simultaneously exploits and shames a community’s accomplishments and contributions to society, history, and arts. In my own experience, in my own country, Peruvian media and society is one of the most outwardly racist and oblivious—though most of the music we celebrate and most of our recognized singers and artists are Black, there is no hesitation in using blackface and racially charged language in weekly comedy shows. This may come as a shocking fact for those who believe anti-blackness is solely an issue in the United States. Just as we experience the appropriation and minimization of Black excellence in all its forms in the States, so does the rest of the world.To me, as a Latina, this is especially clear in our music, in the most popular and transcendent way that we all communicate. African and Black influences can be seen in any and all forms of self-identified and recognized Latin music. Sadly, these roots mostly go uncelebrated and overlooked. This, by all means, is not a complete compilation—but it does include some of my favorite artists, vocalists and musicians of all time, people whose music I’ve grown up listening to and those who are just getting started.

// Brenda Castañeda Yupanqui

LISTEN FOR YOURSELF Me Gritaron Negra Victoria Santa Cruz (Peruvian) Rebelión Joe Arroyo (Colombian) Almendra Rubén González (Cuban) Permiso Que Llego Los Van Van (Cuban) Negra Presuntuosa Susana Baca (Peruvian) A Mulher do Fim do Mundo Elza Soares (Brazilian) Te Busco Celia Cruz (Cuban) Bang Bang Joe Cuba (Puerto Rican) Saudade Songbook BROOKZILL! (Brazilian) Yanira Ibeyi (French-Cuban) Africana Los Rakas (Panamanian) Adorn Miguel (Afro-Mexican) Brujas Princess Nokia (Afro-Nuyorican) Lonely Lover Xenia Rubinos (Puerto Rican-Cuban) Las Caras Lindas Ismael Rivera (Puerto Rican) La Estrella Irregular Algodón Egipcio (Venezuelan) Lamento Jarocho Toña la Negra (Mexican) La Reina La Lupe (Cuban)


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STOP THE SELFIES THE WHITE SAVIOR COMPLEX Avoid acting like a white savior when volunteering overseas by following these simple steps. // Dorothy Zhao


oluntourism, selfies, and third

in their documentation of insistent kind-

White Savior Complex and a need for ethical

world countries — what do

ness. Looking at the pictures of how they

reform in volunteering. Although not every

all three have in common?

posed so happily with grateful islanders, I

volunteer makes their service all about

They all seem to ultimately

realized they had truly cast themselves into

themselves, the heavily-emphasized, prev-

conform to the White Savior

the white savior role, whether intention-

alent altruistic acts still seem gratuitous to

Complex. In today’s time of fervent social

ally or unintentionally. The white people

an extent. Even when examining Hollywood

media posting to satisfy expectations or

came with some form of aid, wanting to

plots and American social studies classes,

emotions, and in the past eras of coloniza-

improve the lives of these destitute peo-

the White Savior Complex is perpetuated

tion, intentions do matter when it comes

ple — and believing that they had — and

again and again. The more privileged col-

to volunteering in a foreign country, and

then abruptly left after a short time. What

lege students, the young and old travelers,

taking selfies with the starving children.

happened to these small, smiling chil-

and the determined do-gooders certainly

The White Savior Complex is a concept that

dren standing in a makeshift shack after

should not be discouraged from serving,

refers to a white person acting to help a

the volunteers left? Those impoverished

but — in the very least — they should stop

and unfortunate enough to remain on the

taking selfies that depict a beaming white

contexts, is self-serving. Instead of asking what voluntourism work we can do, we should ask how we can genuinely help poverty-stricken countries without exploiting the citizens of those countries and simplifying their plight? This means confronting the volunteers who are providing service to make a popular Instagram post to demonstrate their moral excellence, and that is just the beginning in resolving the White Savior Complex. In high school, I had a few white classmates who spent several weeks in countries like Haiti and Honduras — both of which had been affected by natural disasters and poverty. One of my closest friends taught art and distributed clothing and food in Haiti. When she returned she showed me many pictures of her instructing how to make crafts and she was proud to go on

How do we genuinely help poverty-stricken countries without exploiting the citizens of those countries and simplifying their plight?

non-white person, but the help, in some

behalf of her church and help those less fortunate. Another student, the salutatorian, missed school for a month to give

hurricane-impacted island or the war-torn

person holding a sickened child, standing in

aid to boys in Honduras during his senior

African country might as well have been

the center of the picture surrounded by poor

year. When the two came back from their

abandoned, or they would at least feel that

citizens of another country.

service trips they were lauded as excellent

way until another group of diligent volun-

role models. Despite their noble intentions,

teers arrived.

what skills did they really bring to aid in

The objections of such service trips —

It almost appears as though these service trips are simply self-fulfillment trips. By doing sometimes complex tasks that

improvement of a third world country?

the focus on the volunteer’s benefit, the

take away jobs from local citizens, volun-

What tools did they have at their disposal

actual impact of such short-term trips, the

teers are, at times, told the trip is all about

to create more permanent, long-lasting

promotion of a cycle of dependence, and

them. Organizations cater to the first world

benefits? Although both of my peers meant

the difference of skilled versus unskilled

Westerners who just want to feel better

well, it felt uncomfortable to act interested

help — all condense into the issue of the

about themselves by supposedly helping


destitute foreigners. Voluntourism is indeed

Volunteers visiting poverty-stricken

cans. Instead of settling for voluntourism,

a successful industry. According to the

areas are helping and trying their best,

travelers can first respect the people in

Wilson Quarterly, the industry is worth 173

true, but one must examine and do some

the countries they are visiting. America’s

billion dollars annually. Between the com-

research on the communities they’re

aggressive and money-hungry foreign

petition among nonprofit organizations,

traveling to. As Teju Cole writes in his “The

policy has created a myriad of negative

philanthropic goals, and commercialization,

White-Savior Industrial Complex” article

impacts in involved countries and areas. By

businesses must constantly balance money

of The Atlantic, “if we are going to interfere

interfering in a country’s issues under the

and mission. The “[problematic] commer-

in the lives of others, a little due diligence

guise of helping or bringing democracy,

cialization of charity” results in merely

is a minimum requirement.” Cole argues

the United States has simply made things

temporary solutions and band-aids to real

that Africa does not need any of these kinds

worse. Exploiting labor and resources in

issues that are multifaceted. To not promote

of volunteers; rather, the country needs a

poorer countries has caused these areas to

the White Savior Complex while traveling

“more equitable civil society, more robust

become further devastated. As a first-world

and helping abroad, one should be aware

democracy, and a fairer system of justice.”

country, however, America can still redeem

of several things: Know that these trips is

Cole has dug deeper and noticed the root

itself by keeping an open mind, doing its

about the people of the country or region.

of the problem — how the third world,

research, and working alongside strug-

Know their culture and history in order to

African countries appear so poor despite

gling nations. It is no longer acceptable to

be respectful. Instead of going on any trip

so many eager volunteers willing to help.

maintain a paternalistic attitude towards

at all, one could also donate the money

It is not that such help is unappreciated.

people of color. Much like colonization,

that would have gone to a trip to legitimate

Rather, the complex and local issues arise

condescension occurring on a service trip

organizations with skilled workers — the

from the government and the infrastructure

with its selfies, self-fulfillment, and blissful

likes of which include United Nations Chil-

of the country, and such problems cannot

ignorance must be a thing of the past.

dren’s Fund, Doctors Without Borders, and

be tackled simply with traveling Ameri-

Save the Children. However, do make sure to do research on nonprofit organizations before donating. Look towards groups and organizations that have goals of sustainable




ENEMY IN THE RANKS THE THREAT OF WHITE NATIONALISM White nationalism is an existential threat that can’t be ignored but it can be confusing to define, so I decided to find out. // Logan Hammond


hite nationalism is a

known to have published antiblack screeds

rising ideology that has

in the 1980s and ’90s, at his discussion


become an unfortunate


part of our military and

nationalists like Spencer believe? Well, we

political culture. The

In 2011, after moving from Washington

as the perfect candidate, a hero to the white With this in mind, what is it that white

D.C. to Whitefish, Montana, he began edit-

can look at the events of Charlottesville to

Military Times polled U.S. service members

ing and publishing the online magazine

help us understand. There is an infamous

one month after the white nationalist rally

Alternative Right, as well as taking over

video showing the white nationalists

in Charlottesville, Virginia, and they found

The National Policy Institute, a white

say they have seen examples of white nationalism among their fellow service members, and troops rate it as a larger national security threat than Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.” The Times also reported that “nearly 42 percent of non-white troops who responded to the survey said they have personally experienced examples of white nationalism in the military, versus about 18 percent of white service members.”

Some service members didn’t like the

questions, so they left comments expressing their discontent.

“White nationalism is not a terrorist

organization,” wrote one Navy commander, who declined to give his name.

“You do realize white nationalists

and racists are two totally different types of people?” wrote another anonymous Air Force staff sergeant. Both of these commenters are wrong–white nationalists are a threat and are in fact racists.

For the sake of simplicity, I will address

some of the more infamous white nationalist beliefs. The Atlantic writer Graeme Wood writes of Richard Spencer, one of the most well known white nationalists:

“In 2008, he began popularizing the

term alt-right. On Facebook, he posted images of himself with John Derbyshire–

marching with tiki torches chanting “You/ Jews will not replace us.” There is some

The total number of fatalities is about the same for far-right wing violent extremists and radical Islamist violent extremists.

that “nearly one in four troops polled

debate about what is being chanted; some people say they hear “you” while others hear “Jews.” However, it’s very likely both. This is a reference to a theory called either white genocide–or its more politically correct term, the great replacement. The great replacement is the bizzare theory that the Jews are secretly trying to destroy the white race by causing white people to stop having children and encouraging other races to migrate and have children. White people are so privileged that they have created the “nice” version of genocide. The idea of this theory, specifically the replacement part, is based on the ideas of French philosopher, Renaud Camus.

The nationalists at Charlottesville

also chanted “Blood and Soil,” an English translation of a Nazi slogan that the online news website Quartz explains as a belief “which held that ethnicity is based solely on blood descent and the territory one maintains.” Now, to these white nationalists, the superior blood is white blood, of course. White nationalists also seek to create a white ethnostate through “peaceful ethnic cleansing,” as Spencer puts it. How they plan to remove all non-white people from America is a mystery. They also don’t really have an answer for mixed race people who pass as white; will these white

a polymathic, often charming writer who

identity think-tank with little money, staff,

nationalists also have to do ancestry tests?

was fired from National Review in 2012

or notoriety. In fact, in 2015, Spencer was

Will they just ask and trust people to be

for racism–and Richard Lynn, an English

the only listed employee of the Institute.

honest? Who knows–they certainly haven’t

psychologist who has argued that East

But then, the 2016 election happened, and

thought that far ahead.

Spencer began to throw the weight of his

Asians are slightly smarter than whites, who are in turn much smarter than blacks. Spencer hosted Ron Paul, then not yet widely 39 VINDICATOR | FEBRUARY 2018

White nationalists have numerous

“alt-right” movement behind then candidate

symbols to indicate their beliefs as well such

Donald Trump. Spencer saw Donald Trump

as “14/88,” a code phrase that refers to the


neo-nazi slogan of fourteen words: “We

based on the ideologies admiration of

latter edging out the former by 119 to 106.

must secure the existence of our people and

strength and power as well as the idea that

The report also mentions that “41 percent of the deaths attributable to radical Islamist

a future for white children.” This slogan was

white nationalists are defending western

coined by a white nationalist terror group

culture from the “threats” of Islam, illegal

called the Order. The number 88 refers to

immigrants and liberals. White nationalism

the eighth letter of the alphabet, “H,” so it

obviously involves an extreme love of the

in 2016.”

translates into meaning HH – code for “Heil

homeland, something else that perhaps


attracts military veterans and active duty

security and moral threat to American

service members.

democracy. They are responsible for

But the white nationalists of the alt-

The White nationalist ideology of the

violent extremists occurred in a single event – an attack at an Orlando, Florida nightclub In the end, white nationalism is a

right have stranger and more subtle symbols

for their movement, such as Pepe the frog.

alt-right is a losers ideology, as it is a way

they ever find a way to gain influence in

numerous terror attacks and should

Created by Matt Furie in 2005, for the online

to blame every failure on the evil, white-

government, will destroy freedom of speech,

cartoon Boy’s Club. Most of the time Pepe

hating Jews and to avoid confronting

religion and assembly. Americans on both

isn’t used in a racist or bigoted way, the use

personal problems. It is a system that

sides of the aisle need to come together to

of Pepe as a racist meme is increasing in

worships “alpha males,” a term meaning

stop this terror threat.

use rather than decreasing according to the

the strongest and most aggressive males.

Anti-Defamation League.

This concept was popularized in a study of

wolves by biologist L. David Mech’s 1970

There are two basic forms of the racist

Pepe meme: one is Pepe depicted in ways

book, The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of

that look like bigoted stereotypes of Blacks,

an Endangered Species. However, in 1999,

Jews or Muslims and the second form is Pepe

Mech published another paper that revealed

dressed like a klansmen, nazi or President

that, in the wild, wolves are not led by

Donald Trump. This second form of the

the most aggressive or strong wolf -- but

meme depicts Pepe as a hero-type figure

instead by parents, meaning the venerated

while the first presents Pepe as a “bad”

alpha mentality of white nationalists only


exists in cages.

In an attempt to fight the more racist

An April 2017 report by the Government

uses of “Pepe”, Furie has begun suing many

Accountability Office (GAO) found “Of the

of the more popular alt-right figures who

85 violent extremist incidents that resulted

use it, such as Mike Cernovich.

in death since September 12, 2001, far-

right wing violent extremist groups were

A 2008 FBI study on white nationalism

states “extremist leaders have historically

responsible for 62 (73 percent) while radical

favored recruiting active and former

Islamist violent extremists were responsible

military personnel for their knowledge of

for 23 (27 percent).” That’s a margin of

firearms, explosives, and tactical skills and

almost three to one.

their access to weapons and intelligence

in preparation for an anticipated war

total number of fatalities is about the same

The report also points out that “the

against the federal government, Jews, and

for far-right wing violent extremists and

people of color.” White nationalism has a

radical Islamist violent extremists over the

certain appeal for service members perhaps

approximately 15-year period,” with the FEBRUARY 2018 | VINDICATOR 40

A LOOK INTO THE FACTORY OF SADNESS Browns Fans In Cleveland // Greg Elek


rom August until December every

I’m not going to bog you down with

can act as spoilers, meaning they can knock

year there’s always been one

the complaints you’ve already heard. We’ve

teams in the playoff hunt out. If you take a

constant in my life. Sundays in

all seen the infamous jersey with all of

look at just the last four games from each

this time frame I wake up with

the names of our quarterbacks since 1999

season since the Browns have returned

a special feeling in the pit of my

on the back. You’ve undoubtedly heard

they’ve won 18 games — when it mat-

stomach. One that makes me throw my

someone screaming about some stud that

ters the most the Browns have a winning

hands to the sky and ask what kind of God

we passed up on while watching an NFL

percentage of about 23.7%, and believe it or

would actually put anyone through this. It’s

game. You’ve already heard every single

not some of these years they were actually

weird to think that on these sublime days

reason why Hue Jackson should currently

in the playoff hunt.

there’s an entire community of people, who

be unemployed. Everyone loves to poke fun

against their best judgment, find a televi-

at our suffering on a surface level, but jokes

ally televised games because the entire

sion, and at the same time actually watch

on them, when taking a deep dive into more

nation is watching. If you take look at the

anywhere between thirty minutes and three

advanced stats about the Browns things

national non-cable games since the Browns

and a half hours of football.

look much, much worse. Since the Browns

have returned there have been 1,022. The

Of course I’m talking about Cleveland

Some will put more stock into nation-

were brought back in 1999 they’ve only

Browns have appeared in three, and lost all

Browns football (if you can even call it

won a measly 20 wins against a team with

of them. Over the last ten years not only do

football). My initial plan was to take a look

a winning record. The vast majority of their

the Browns have the worst point differential

at the fanbase of the Browns to figure out

wins are against teams that are essentially

(points scored vs. points given up) in the

why they still stick around, but as some-


NFL at -1,095, but they’re the only team

one who’s a member of that community I

Roughly 70% of their wins since

that has gotten consistently worse in this

quickly realized that I don’t think myself

coming back have come across teams with

timeframe. My keyboard is seasoned with

or anyone else would have an answer for

losing records. The last few weeks of the

my tears so I’m going to stop with all of my

that. So instead I figured it would be equally

NFL season is the most important, even

deep cut sad stats now, but the point I’m

interesting to take a deep dive into the

for losing teams. The best teams look to

trying to make is the Browns are just as bad

fanbase of our beloved Cleveland Browns,

put themselves in the best position in the

off if not worse than they appear.

as well as the organization as a whole. Bear

playoffs, the middle of the road teams hope

with me, this will get ugly.

to make the playoffs, and the bad teams


So what kind of a fanbase could possibly be breed from an atrocity of an

organization like this? I’d say a somewhat

over 70,000 meals, so I guess you can’t call

resilient one? The city of Cleveland is very

the Browns good for nothing. Charity seems

passionate about their football. When, he

to be a focal point to the Browns fanbase.

who must not be named, announced that

I’ve seen people throwing around the idea

his grubby little paws were moving the

of an event next year where with every win

team to the huge market of Baltimore, MD,

fans jump in the lake, and for each person

the fans started a grassroots movement to

jumping a certain amount of money will

get their team back. The NFL was getting

get donated to charity. This idea was born

flooded with so many calls and faxes (to

when Browns coach Hue Jackson promised

the points where their fax machines were

that the Browns wouldn’t lose 15 games in a

breaking) that not only did they announce

season twice, and then proceeded to lose 15

that Cleveland would be given an expansion

games in a row. In his defense he said they

team, but the team moving to Baltimore

wouldn’t go 1-15 again, and he was right,

wasn’t allowed to take any of the Browns

they went 0-16.

history with them. This was because Cleve-

If for some reason during football

land would be getting back the Browns.

season, you get the strange feeling that

Since then, the Baltimore Ravens won two

thousands of people are simultaneously

Super Bowls, and the Browns drafted Tim

crying out for help, don’t fret. It probably

Couch with the first overall pick of the 1999

just means the Browns are playing. It’s

draft so I’ll let you decide who won that

weird to think that this team has a fanbase


at all. The fans do actually show up during

The Browns fan base still has all of

the first few home games of the season

that passion today, we’ve just had to find

before they’re reminded of the team they’re

different ways to delegate it. For example,

rooting for. The one year I’ve experienced

I’m sure many of you reading this know

the Browns when they actually had a shot

that last year a “Perfect Season Parade”

at the playoffs was the most fun I ever had

was planned for if the Browns went 0-16.

watching football. It’s odd to envision what

The parade was spoiled last year when the

a winning Browns franchise would look

Browns won their second to last game of

like. I’m 21 years old so I’m not sure if I’ll

the season, and all of the money donated

live that long, but if we ever have a Browns

to the parade was donated to the Greater

team that can get a couple winning season

Cleveland Food Bank. When the Browns got

together it sure will be something.

off to a rough start again thus the plans for a “Perfect Season Parade 2.0” were born. At the Parade, fans raised $17,175 for the Greater Cleveland Foodbank. When you

The city of Cleveland is very passionate about their football.


include the food that was donated, that’s


A Winter’s Day By Aliaa Elfadil

Shakespearian beauty, endearing cheek Dressed up in black, with accessories in her favorite technique She made my heart reach its peak Yes, this is the woman I should seek I closed my eyes and knocked her door Cause I wanted this love to touch a shore “Would you marry me” was just the chore Of twenty-three years of marriage which I wished could be more. On a day with rain and clouds blare She was standing there, yes, with no hair Cancer took it off yet with no care But still bold and dare, She believed in the marry days in the heaven there. I just stood up and sat closer to her I hugged her tightly and smelled her rosy hair. “I know you’re sad, I know you’re bored But there’s something I should’ve told We were wrinkled, yes and old, But our emotions stood shining like gold Sheets of our book are about to fold Yet our love is the age’s killing sword” She was soft, but she was’nt okay Yes, swiftly her hand could sway Death is the price we should all pay Ladies and gentlemen yes this may Be the saddest story on a winter day


Just A Girl

By Chau Tang

I’m just a girl who enjoys breathing in oxygen

Just a girl who enjoys reading while being curled up in pjs

Just a girl who thinks life will work out in the end no matter how bad a tragedy strikes

Just a girl who’s never been in a relationship before and is sick of hearing

“You’re too beautiful to be alone” by strangers

Or the classic, “When are you going to date?” from relatives

I’m just a girl who’s trying to succeed in life and doesn’t need to hear,

”She’s focusing on her career for now but when she meets someone, she will end up dating.” The truth?

I’ve no idea.

Sure, I’ve had my fair shares of crushes and although I never pursued it any further

I don’t need to look for anyone right now.

It’s true, I may meet someone a month from now or even years later and my plans might derail to see where a relationship can form


I’m certainly not going to dwell on it

The line of suitors doesn’t define me

If there’s a line then of course I’d be flattered,

Who wouldn’t?

I’m sick of hearing people ask about my love life instead of hearing about my goals in



Resilence By Sidney Berry

I know floating black bodies Bring to the surface jokes that we can’t swim in deep waters I know better than to joke about Drowning when it has been my choice of death for the past six years Suicide be the killer Of black teens that no one protest against No picket signs next to grave stones Or outside of my bedroom Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory I imagine how much ill be worth then When I can only be remembered never embraced Some days I am afraid of death I see this as a healthy fear I hold my tongue like a switchblade In my mouth whenever someone ask Me How are you? How have you been ? And i say well i’m alive Some days all i am is alive and that too is a victory That to is a goal To stay To stay to stay to not die to not die That night I had visions of bodies hanging outside My window

Headline black teen girl commits suicide Caption Rest in peace Angel First comment She was good student Second comment Why are we sad she chose to kill herself Third comment depression is A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood a decrease in interest and energy that can often lead to suicidal feelings and result in unwarranted death Eulogy God took her too soon She took herself too soon didn’t give us time to prepare for mourning I have been guilt tripped into Not taking my own life so I don’t inconvenience others with my absence As well as asked to be silent so I don’t disturb them with my presence & I have been silent As quiet as death barely touching the surface


Of life Drowning The way black bodies Do when Depression Becomes the Ocean




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