Colleges this year are said to be experiencing a “surge” in student organizing. According to a recent study from UCLA, more American college students participated in protests in 2015 than in any year in the past fifty. This moment of increased student activism has fostered a culture of competitive social consciousness. We trade in knowing…
The glaring exclusion of black actors from this year’s Oscars nominations has sparked a conversation about the whiteness of the nominating body and of the movie industry at large. The New Yorker’s Andrew Brody elaborates: “The underlying issue of the Academy’s failure to recognize black artists is the presumption that baseline experience is white experience…
The first few weeks of January on college campuses are full of syllabi, unrusting rusted bike locks, (broken) new year’s resolutions, and three-sentence conversations in dorm hallways and bookstore lines that always begin: “How was your break? How was home?”
It was powerful to witness and take part in this tide of collective consciousness. It was also easy to copy and paste, pat myself on the back, and forget about racial justice in the long term. Now that the news cycle is done with Mizzou, how can we, who declared our allyship last week, outlive the transience of hashtag activism?
San Francisco’s municipal election last week was a victory for developers and the gentrification they facilitate. As a good liberal, I oppose gentrification’s dislocation of low-income residents, who are disproportionately people of color. As a Stanford student who loves the Bay Area, I will hopefully use my degree to get a good job and will then want to live in a hip neighborhood that once belonged to deeper-rooted residents. In other words, I will be a gentrifier. Can gentrifiers earnestly oppose gentrification?
This practice began earlier this year at EBF’s Wednesday happy hour, with the intent of encouraging a “pro-consent community,” and has since spread to other parties. This was my first time seeing it in action. After defining consent, we were allowed to join the fun inside. A small line had accumulated behind us, and I held back for a minute to watch in happy disbelief as the next group of partygoers recited the pledge. A humble but important cultural shift was occurring in real time.
American debutante balls have served to introduce elite women to “society” since the 1950s. The tradition began in 18th century Britain, with the idea of matching young women with suitable husbands. Now, there’s an app for that. It’s called the League. Contrary to the Silicon Valley ethos in which the League was conceived, this app is not “disrupting” but rather reinforcing traditional notions of dating and marriage.
This time, I was at a “Vigil for Recently Murdered Israelis,” an event that refused to acknowledge Palestinian lives lost, excluded mainstream Jewish perspectives on the conflict, and branded Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) as anti-Semitic. I could not sing about shalom/salaam/peace in good faith at an event that leveraged Jewish identity to legitimize ongoing suffering and violence in Israel-Palestine.