Listen to my Roar…looking down the Ivory Tower.
What’s good? What it is…? What’s up…? Can a [lady] just keep [it real]?” As I exhibit the evidence of my Southern upbringing by sampling Trillville’s “Some Cut” (Warning: do not look up original lyrics. I urge you), allow me to formally introduce myself and match the setting of the collegiate institution I currently attend. My name is (WAIT STRANGER DANGER, I can’t give my government name away), an unbothered, carefree and young Black woman at the Universal School of (pseudo-liberal) Californians who studies Communication and Media. I have an independent, student-run podcast — location is confidential and for the sake of this being my first blog post, I will keep the link to my podcast confidential. It will be confidential until I grow a stronger relationship with this domain of expression and celebration of individual free thought.
Where was I? Right, my formal introduction…I tend to go on tangents…so get ready for those…I will try to reel it back in…or, better yet, try to not go off on tangents, period. I need to keep the reader’s (YOU!) attention. (Not gonna lie, when I typed that “you” in parentheses, I immediately pictured the 3D image of Uncle Sam from the film “Across the Universe”, which is unfortunate because Uncle Sam never really did much for American citizens, especially it’s ethnic minority citizens who fought in the Vietnam War an — -another tangent.) *sighs*
I transferred to the Universal School of (Pseudo-Liberal) Californians (let’s say US[PL]C for short) the Fall semester of 2015 in the wake of the summer’s key moments, such as the growing movement of #BlackLivesMatter, the death (murder) of Sandra Bland, the Supreme Court decision on Marriage Equality and many other groundbreaking events. When I transferred I was hoping to be around like-minded students who were aware of the vast issues surrounding us and having poignant discourses in this rigorous realm of academia. Oh Lord have Mercy, was I disappointed to the umpteenth degree. Rather than seeing my peers discuss what was occurring, observing the problems, and analyzing where steps of change could be made, I walked into the Crystal Palace (let’s even say the Ivory Tower, shoutout to Durkheim) of higher learning while spotting the cracks covered by the Sun’s harsh light. I was a member of the “upper echelon” scholars, holding my flute of sparkling libations, disillusioned and watching the glass shatter before me (mind you this was week 1 of my first semester at US[PL]C).
Students were keen of the social issues…
But only on the social issues that appeased their desire of remaining in their bliss, or safety net, of ignorance to more pressing matters, which is why I say “pseudo-liberal” Californians. Citizens of the Gold Rush state pride themselves in being a safe haven for the misunderstood, the free spirited wind on the island of misfit toys, when in reality they are “liberal” for socially acceptable marginalized groups (i.e. LGBT community, and white women’s rights — like equal pay) but fail to integrate with the people, who live with additional tiers (i.e. Black women, Latinx women, and etc. of different socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, and/or religious practices). When the LGBT communities and allies celebrated the marriage equality decision across the nation, many Black Americans with LGBTQIA identities could not holistically bask in the jubilance because unarmed Black men, women, and children, alike, are still being brutalized and murdered with no justice following their death. Instead, critics of the #BlackLivesMatter (pseudo-liberals fall into this category) were implementing excuses and respectability politics* to justify the corrupt police officers’ (also known as the homicidal murders of victims to police brutality) actions. Not realizing that in doing so not only doesn’t bring the slain victims back, but they’re discrediting a history of the Black experience that has BEEN occurring in this nation’s history since the police/law enforcement institution was ever created (Note: Police officers were originally created to hunt slaves without their identification papers).
*Respectability Politics is the discourse of telling Black people to act or dress a certain way to avoid unwanted attention and harassment.
When the cracks of US[PL]C’s Ivory Tower were evident, pseudo-liberals continued to discredit the Black Experience, and there was an absence of a safe space for candid conversation for Black students, I was driven to start my podcast. I toiled for months observing interactions and discourses (and lack of discord) around campus. From my observations, race and police brutality was either skirted away or never mentioned at all. I was the fly on the wall taking notes of what was wrong and aimed to amend it. My podcast is not only a safe place for positive media representation of Black bodies, which stands absent in mainstream corporate media, but the foundational premise of my podcast is to stand as vocal outlet that pushes the Black perspective to the forefront. The podcast lives as a media domain that is made by us, for us, and circulated within us, steering clear of all these trolls, censorship, and white feelings.
With that being said…this blog will live as an extension of the podcast.