Tag Archives: journalism

From Twerking at the VMAs to Twerking With Words: My Take on Racism

Whether it is middle-aged mothers verbalizing their utter shock at Miley Cyrus’ coming-of-age transformation, or Black 20-somethings jotting down every emotion perfectly describing the disgust they feel about displays of racism during Cyrus’ performance, many journalists have been blogging about the 2013 VMAs. I think it is absurd that Miley Cyrus’ name was the top hit on Google News while Syria is undergoing societal chaos and our President has been struggling to make a sound decision regarding assisting their country to find safety. But as we all know, sex (and racism) sells and apparently Miley displayed a lot of both.

Though I do question whether the infamous displays of twerking and butt-grabbing would receive this much negative attention if Miley Cyrus were a black female (I strongly believe it would not), I am not here to dissect Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs, as there are numerous articles you can find regarding that topic. I have, however, been tirelessly battling with the concept of modern-day racism in the U.S.

I am a biracial female, so I typically feel some sort of a personal conflict whenever the topic of racism comes up. Do I believe racism across all ethnic groups still exists today? Yes. Is it clear that Blacks struggle with feeling equal to other races, particularly Whites? Of course. But while reading the many articles dissing Miley for being “racist” and how Blacks often feel various forms of negative attention from Whites, I cannot seem to find personal solace with the lack of attention given to black-on-black racism.

I say this because ever since I was a young elementary school kid, I have personally experienced racism from all races. I would say that is the strangest funniest part about being biracial: the wide range of racial comments you receive and how others feel it is their job to decide for you which of your two races dominates the other.

My mother is White and my father is only half Black, so that leaves me at a whopping 25% non-White. However, my skin is significantly darker than my siblings and dark enough that, to the naked eye, most tend to categorize me as either half or full-Black.

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I’m currently watching the documentary #TwitterRevolution on CNBC and Jack Dorsey’s story is so inspiring.

I always find the undeniable power that Twitter possesses over the masses mind blowing no matter how long I spend trying to mentally dissect it. Whether it’s aiding in the discovery of the Boston bombers or journalists taking to the social media site to gain insight on breaking information, the #TwitterRevolution is here to stay. 

It always shocks me when I meet someone who doesn’t have a Twitter account. My boyfriend actually just made an account a few months ago, and I feel almost ashamed that he has sent out 0 tweets since creating it. As the documentary said, “Twitter is now home-base for the ‘who’s who’,” so if you don’t have an account yet, I highly suggest creating one.

Information is power, and Twitter users are given an unparalleled platform to dole out information to the masses. However, Twitter also enables internet trolls to freely express all negative thoughts they have on any given situation, which is clearly a deterrent for some. 

“When you share your opinions with your followers, they will share theirs with you.” Twitter users are (initially) unknowingly signing up for an open discussion of sorts wherein all of their fellow Twitter users can respond to whatever they post. Some people undoubtedly feel more courageous behind a keyboard, which of course contributes to the idea of digitized hate, but there are times when these internet haters don’t expect hateful responses back. 

The increased popularity Twitter has received in the past few years has created an idea that transcends the world living behind our computer and cell phone screens. Often Twitter users will rank social popularity based on their online followers. Now, I’m not above spitting out my number of followers when someone tries to use theirs against me, but this newfound way of valuing your self-worth (and how worthy others are of your time) seems a bit superficial at times. 

Nonetheless, everyone from employers to NBA players take to Twitter to check out what’s going on in the world and value it as a primary source for up-to-date information. It is a fascinating primary source unlike anything our world has experienced before.

Twitter’s seemingly organic integration into the world is slowly but surely changing young America and the way we live our lives. The 21st century youth think, act and handle situations differently than any other previous generation that has preceded us. It is changing the way the world receives the news and it is a primary focus of my own journalistic interests and future endeavors. Personally, I have loved Twitter since the minute I created my first account back in 2009. Sure, I felt as though I “had nothing to tweet about”, but once you get over that fear of lacking creativity, you learn that you possess all the originality in the world as your Twitter timeline is (usually) just that: your original thoughts, stream of consciousness, opinions and aspirations all in one convenient location. 

So go forth, young Twitter users, and start using Twitter to its utmost influential potential. Also, follow me @JeanOveralls to get more updates of what I’m thinking! 

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Letting It All Hang Out

I am a student at a college that, despite holding a fairly high position in the notorious Best Colleges rankings,  is often mistaken for other Universities in the area.  Similar to my school choice, I am pursuing a career that is equally overlooked and often mistaken for a life of “written bullshit” that leaves you poor and struggling: Journalism.

From trying to figure out how to get started (still doing that) to overcoming the numerous mini-heart attacks I get whenever thinking about my future, it has been quite the journey so far. The weird part? I love it. I enjoy directly challenging myself and pushing my limits, even if my perfectionist personality gets in the way 99% of the time. The hard part? Narrowing down what field of journalism I would ultimately like to spend the rest of my life happily frolicking in and blossoming into an awesome journalist.

I’m all about inspirational quotes, whether from the ubiquitous Pinterest pins my friends post or the unique encounters with people every day, so I’ll be sure to include them on this blog whenever I can!

Thanks for reading, and remember: “Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” -Nietzsche.

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