Hope and Outrage: Put Kanye’s Stupidity to Good Use

May 10, 2018 12:00:00 AM


OUTRAGE: Having Black Skin Will Get You the Win

So if y’all haven’t heard, we’re witnessing the rebirth of “Hidden Figures” in a Black Girl Magic trio from Banneker High School in D.C. India Skinner, Mikayla Sharrieff and Bria Snell are finalists in NASA’s youth science competition for developing a method to purify lead-contaminated water in school drinking fountains. But just like in the movie, people tried to stop them from being great. In fact, a bunch of racist hackers launched a social media campaign to discourage people from voting for them. They “said that the Black community was voting for the teens only because of their race.” My response: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npUIUQbmeV8 Look, if NASA thought they were good enough to qualify for the finals then I’m taking their word over that of some average, racist dumbass. And considering that Flint still doesn’t have clean water and other cities have been discovered to have the same problems, it’s asinine that these girls’ method would be dismissed. And for me personally, since students of color tend to be victims of the belief gap, underrepresented and under-celebrated in these types of competitions, and also for the reasons stated above, they got my vote. Y’all have a choice here: Side with the people who want to destroy America with their ignorance and biases. Or side with the people who want to save America.

HOPE: Brother Kanye May Have A Point

Kanye definitely messed up last week. All in the name of getting attention for his upcoming album release. If you ask me, he would’ve done better coming out as pansexual like Janelle Monae did. Nonetheless, now that his latest self-generated media controversy has faded out…I’m gonna admit something. I’m actually glad he sparked this controversy because it’s definitely something to think about. Before y’all revoke my Black Card, hear me out. No, slavery was not a choice. But here’s the thing: thinking that the systems currently in place are going to allow people of color any type of freedom is. Especially when it comes to education. Think about it. We’ve been murdered, beaten and denied access and quality when it comes to education. We’ve had to build our own institutions, fight for integration and fight for the same opportunities and resources as our White counterparts. Have we gotten everything we’ve fought for? No. Are we still fighting? Yes. Sure, there have been some concessions. Some small gains. But overall, we’re still being cheated and left behind. Yes, we absolutely should be pissed off at Ye’s poor use of words and judgment and we should even take a moment to educate him. Especially when our kids can easily be misled by his statements because some schools don’t even teach an in-depth history of slavery. But my HOPE this week isn’t something that gives me optimism, instead it’s a hope I have that we will use this moment and energy to really think about and build our own systems so that we can truly free ourselves from the systemic oppression that has held us captive since the “abolishment” of slavery. My HOPE is that this is a wake-up call for Black America and not just another wave of being pissed that will pass with the next trending topic.

Tanesha Peeples

Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work—“If not me, then who?” As the former Deputy Director of Activist Development for brightbeam, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for change in the public education system. Her passion for community and relentless mission for justice and liberation drive her in uplifting and amplifying the voices and advocacy of those that are often ignored. Tanesha wholeheartedly believes that education is the foundation for success. Her grand vision is one where everyone—regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender or ZIP code—can have access to a comfortable quality of life and enjoy the freedoms and liberties promised to all Americans. And that's what she works towards every day.

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