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Telling Stephens to remember MLK, pointing at black exceptionalism like it means black people aren't generally oppressed, & claiming the "not all white people" argument. That's what I expected Lawrence to comment with & it sure did.
What I didn't expect people to do, however, is confuse socioeconomic status with white privilege. Or to assume it knows what being a black or mixed-black child to a white parent(s) feels like. That was certainly a leap in the more ignorant, self-important direction.
Joe Norgay, I hope you stay away from people of color in your line of work as you are definitely not fit to offer us anything whatsoever pertaining to our psychology. We have completely different worldviews from one another. As a psychologist, shame on you for thinking white assumptions about black worldviews were in any way accurate. As a clinical psychologist, shame on you for presuming you know what any black man needs in order to feel equal & human in this society. Shame on you for referring to MLK (or rather, the early MLK because Caleb resembles the late MLK that white-Americans choose to ignore). Just like every other white person, you pointed at your beloved, whitewashed iteration of MLK.
This is directed at everyone. The issue with always pointing at MLK is, does anyone who refers to MLK know any other black activists or revolutionaries? Can you name someone besides Malcolm X, MLK, and.....can you name 5 more? What makes any of you the experts on what protest, specifically black protest, looks like? Until you know more than MLK or the Obamas, why don't you just choose not to speak? You choosing to speak anyway is a form of your entitlement & privilege. I wouldn't speak about football because I don't know much about football. Using that example, you all sound like non-sport enthusiasts trying to narrate a football game, wherein your missteps results in very real injuries to others.
Be mindful. Take a step back.
Posted 29 October 2017, 10:41 p.m.
Ben Bahe- That is so true. I'm a researcher, so I frequently read analytical & factual articles like this. I always cringe because I just KNOW that a white & usually male person is going to excise privilege by speaking out & drawing simple narratives where such a distinction is impossible yet it bodes badly for POC. White-Americans don't realize that their racist attitude has real consequences outside of invoking replies on this article.
Our black, brown & red brothers & sisters are wasting in jail cells over this outdated privilege. We're denied equal pay- an American Indian/Alaskan Native such as myself makes 28% less per year than a white-American who has the same level of education completed (see NSF for data). We're denied equal access to clean water, nutritionally significant (see USDA data for “food deserts”), jobs, housing & financing. We think we're out of the Jim Crow period, but we've just entered a new one. Our black, brown & red brothers & sisters can't vote when they’re disproportionately targeted by the legal system; parole or jail sentences prevent voting privileges. Why is it that our black, brown & red brothers have “legal intervention” (clever word for police brutality, seen in CDC data) in their top 10 causes of death but it doesn’t appear on white-Americans top 10 causes of death? These are some questions that some of the commenters need to evaluate before speaking out against an institution that serves POC. While their comments are indeed something to talk about, they don’t belong here, they’re incredibly out of context when we consider reality outside of this newspaper website.
They need to think about why they speak even though POC grow up in their world; we already know what they're thinking because POC are held to those unchosen standards everyday. I knew previous to those statements that white-Americans don't think American Indians are very intelligent, or graduate often (& therefore have money to spend), because I've experienced those expectations. I've been held to those stereotypes & I've had to fight to prove I'm at neutral. I’ve had to explain to an acceptance board at KU that yes, I come from Haskell but that doesn’t mean my GPA is low or that I’m a bad student. Those attitudes are not unlike the ones presented here & I’m sick of those fanciful stereotypes ruining my life. To these people, they’ll probably forget that they made that comment in a matter of months at the most. I however have to deal with the stigma around my Native education and heritage for the rest of my life until society makes their necessary paradigm shift.
Think before you privileged ones speak. Ask yourself if it’s helping to stop oppression or if it’s continuing it. You may very well have something unique to say, but gauge whether you’re being a privileged, self-important, ignorant person before you type.
Posted 12 June 2016, 3:48 p.m.
Haskell has 700-900 students in any given semester, & their graduation numbers correlate positively. The university only offers 6 majors, so many students receive their general education credits there then transfer to another university to graduate with a different major. I almost did that, however I stayed & attained my B.S. in Environmental Science before going on to the Neuroscience PhD Program at KU. I am currently in my 2nd year of doctoral study.
Students at Haskell spend their money on apartments, groceries, entertainment & recreation the same as the other students in town who may attend a nearby community college, KU or simply take online courses. Students from Haskell worked local jobs like other students too. I have friends who work as baristas, secretaries & front cashier positions like other young adults do while in college.
The statements above about Haskell being a model for free education are not applicable or true. Haskell is not free to students nor are living expenses paid for. Many of the students’ tribal governments or traditions also require them to travel home for “X” amount of days/weeks in the year- I had friends while attending Haskell who worked & saved money just for going back home frequently, a stipulation that many non-Native students in the area do not have.
Haskell is the largest American Indian/Alaskan Native university & many students must travel a long ways for the basic education that others can easily get in their home state. My colleagues sometimes faced alienation from their tribes for being away for so long. Some of my colleagues weren’t able to withstand being forced into mainstream society after growing up on a reservation with concentrated poverty, police bias & the ramifications of genocide, relocation & assimilation. For some, the switch was inhumane. Haskell’s programs are doing a lot currently in the way of re-designing curriculum to fit these student’s needs, too.
So, the few Haskell students who do ‘drop out’ (& every school has a significant drop-out rate), it’s not so much for reasons that they were indecisive, incoherent or partying too much, like you’ll see at other schools, but because of culture clash, family values & personal lifelong goals.
If anyone is interested in more details about Native student attendance & graduation rates, I urge you to read Purdue University’s research on the subject. They actually look at all the variables, including generational trauma, cultural values (family & tribe over the self) & differing worldview (learning is life’s purpose, not a short span of one’s life between ages 18-22).
Posted 12 June 2016, 3:16 p.m.
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