How many more times?

After the attack in America last week. A mass shooting, killing dozens of innocent people. I had so many thoughts. So many thoughts about how people react to situations like these. It’s obvious that we need to think about the victims and others effected. But I have a few questions that I’d like to challenge concerning this whole affair whilst it’s still current.

I watched an interview where a woman had actually witnessed the attack. She said that we need to focus on people’s mental health problems to stop these attacks from happening. She was right. However when questioned about gun control in America, she was quick to be defensive and point out that she wasn’t a ‘politician’. She said that individuals are to blame for attacks like this instead of guns. Which made me think, everyone is so stubborn and caught up in these silly debates. People are worrying about what label they will get given instead of tackling the problem head on. In this instance, she was opposed to the thought of being labelled as a politician. Maybe things aren’t as black and white as we think. Maybe we need to tackle both sides of the problem. Mental health problems need to be tackled, yes. It is also very clear that the law concerning guns in America also needs to be re assessed. America has had so many mass shootings because guns are so easily available for people to  legally buy. It’s not a matter of which problem needs to be sorted. We need to look at the bigger picture. Sorting out only one of the two problems is like plugging your phone in to charge it without turning the switch on. It simply won’t do it’s job.

I also thought about the way that the media portrayed the murderer to be ‘Grandad’ or ‘lone wolf’ instead of simply just a ‘mass murderer’. It seems wrong that when a Asian, Muslim man has done something similar in support of extremism, there seems to be a whole different narrative that is sent out to the public. The acts of this mass murderer aren’t any less deviant than any other terrorist. So I wondered why the mainstream media almost sympathised with the man by saying that he’s never committed a crime before or that he was a Grandfather. They also jumped to the conclusion that he might have had mental health problems. Likely. But when similar Asian, Muslim suicide bombers kill others in the name of what they call their ‘religion’, the media don’t mention anything about that individuals mental health problems. They don’t mention their family or lack of previous criminal activity. They’re just named as ‘evil’. White American men are a bigger domestic terrorist threat than Muslim foreigners, perusing more attacks (And that’s a fact, there are statistics so support it) . Can we not just admit that Asian, Muslim and White men are all able to have mental health problems, they are all able too kill maliciously? And more importantly, they need help.

And finally, you hear people say “another attack” or “pray for _____” so many times. Too many times. Attacks like these seem to be normal now and it’s not right. We are so used to seeing terrorist attacks happen in Western society and it doesn’t make any sense. It’s clear that something needs to change. The government, people in power need to change laws and crack down on this wave of terrorism. Gun laws in America. The freedom of use on the internet. Everything needs to be analysed. We’re tired of praying for the world.

As for the title of this post. How many more times do terrorist attacks need to happen before they are normalised? How many more times will people get murdered by white men with guns before the media realise that not only Muslim extremists are a threat to society? How many more times do people need to get killed by guns before the laws in America change?

Advertisements

A Short Summary of the Colorism in the Media

I always feel that people will be reading my posts which are similar to this and be thinking, “Wow, he’s brave for speaking about this topic” or something along those lines. And when you think about it, it’s kind of true. But, i’m not writing about nonsense. What I’m writing about, isn’t just me waffling on about rubbish. Let’s be open minded.

Colorism sounds like a silly little thing. Unfortunately not. It’s a big problem in society that most are blind to. Colorism has certainly effected me in my short lifetime so far. I was unaware of it too. Problems like this tend to effect people without them even noticing it.

So, what  is colorism? Colorism is a form of prejudice or discrimination in which people are treated differently based on skin tone or shade. Racism is a different mater so let’s not get the two confused. It’s definitely not about disliking black people. A lot of it is actually about black people discriminating against other black people.

I think that today in 2017, colorism is demonstrated the most in the media so that’s what I’m going to talk about. The media influences the ways that we think about each other. Whether that be about race, gender or religion.

In the matter of colorism, I think that it’s fair to say that people of colour are increasingly being represented more in the media which is great. However, the majority of coloured people being used in advertisement are light skinned. They might be black, but they’re of a lighter shade compared to the average black person. It happens a lot in modelling for be clothes or makeup.

The message that the media sends to us is that, us dark skinned kids aren’t pretty enough to be the face of a clothing line or makeup brand. The light skinned kids are the pretty ones.

Representation of darker skinned black women is getting better with examples of Beyoncé’s Ivy Park collection and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty release. Both include models from all shades and colours from white to black, Asian to European and so on. But let’s not be dependant on black businesswomen to include a fair representation of coloured people in advertisement. Especially those who’s profession is to actually sing. We need representation to happen across the board

As a summary, colorism basically makes dark skinned people feel alienated and not worthy and the media fuels this ideology massively.

Beyoncé, the conscientious social activist.

Let’s put it out there, I’m a huge Beyoncé fan. However, her music is only a small factor as to why I am in awe of her. Of course, I was initially gripped by her music but that’s not a good enough reason to really respect her for who she is. An artist can make amazing music but still be a complete idiot. Chris Brown, Miley Cyrus and Azalea Banks are only a few examples. Even, Ed Sheeran has had his moments.

Beyoncé is a hard working independent woman who is always actively reaching out for equality. Mrs Carter is a true feminist and she has proven that to us by making songs like ‘If I Were A Boy’ and ‘Flawless’. She was a supporter of the Women’s March back in January and is an organiser for the Chime For Change campaign.

Other charity work includes her BeyGood organisation. This month, Beyoncé has demonstrated how she can raise money through this organisation for those effected by the hurricane in her home town, Houston. This is on top of donating a mass amount of money herself. Beyoncé simply has a heart of gold and does so much for the black community too.

Lemonade was a whole visual album that helped appreciate black women’s beauty, talent and achievements. Black excellence was shown throughout the whole of the visuals incorporated in the album film. In her Ivy Park clothing collection, she includes women and men of many ethnic minority backgrounds and which sends an inclusive message to all.

Beyoncé also openly supports the LGBT community. I’m not sure that I know of any other artist that is determined to make an overall social change as much as her. As well as being a social activist that uses her power and status to channel her messages. Beyoncé is hard working. Someone that I feel all young women should look up to. The way in which she has carried herself throughout her 20 year old career has been magnificent. From managing herself, to now owning her own entertainment company, Parkwood Entertainment. The work ethic of Beyoncé is something that is rare in the music industry today.

Whilst having so many great personality traits, Beyoncé really is a legend. Not many artists can say that they have 6 solo platinum albums, 22 Grammy’s and a net worth of $350M. Beyoncé is a perfectionist and arguable the best performer of all time. Consequently, that is why I love Beyoncé.

Please feel free to read my other blog posts here 🙂

When you walk into a room, do you bring light or darkness? (Part 2)

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about this topic. This is part two. However, before you read this, please read part one here.

Assuming that you’ve read part one, I spoke about how we shouldn’t worry too much about what others think about us. However, at the same time, we should maybe reflect on what energy we might bring into a room with us.

After going back to sixth form just a week and a half ago, it made me think about this again. On the first few days back at school, it’s clear that everyone wants to make a good impression to other students and teachers. They make an effort into the way they look, the way they dress etc. We’re all guilty for it in some way or another. I think it’s nice to see people do this. It shows that they care. They want to make an effort.

Did everyone bring light into school? Yes, the majority did. But for those people that you don’t automatically ‘warm to’. Maybe, they find it difficult to be open and make conversation with others. I mean… I think that I could be one of those people myself. Sometimes, I’m actually really shy. Believe it or not, I am. Especially when meeting new people. I’m the type to sit back and gather as much information about someone by watching them (not in a creepy way) rather than just ask them simple questions to get to know them. I’m clearly wrong for doing this but it comes back to the fact that everyone is different. Introvert or extrovert, none us are the same.

If there’s anything that I want people to take from this post, it would be to avoid judging people that you’ve never met before. As difficult as it may be, you never know what the person sat in front might be thinking of you.

Toxic people

‘Toxic’ is a very strong word to describe someone. However, the term ‘toxic people’ or ‘toxic friends’ is being used quite a lot recently so let’s just go along with it.

So what makes someone ‘toxic’?

From what I’ve gathered, toxic people are those that fundamentally make you feel like sh*t. For the majority of the time, you probably won’t even realise it until you take a step back. You’ll realise that that one ‘friend’ of yours isn’t benefiting you in any way, shape or form.

You know those random friends that you had when you were fifteen in your science class. The ones that compared their grades to yours. The self obsessed type that has a sort of bad presence but keeps you on your toes. Almost like that crush that keeps you chasing after them. They’re a little toxic. They’ll at least make you laugh for half of the lesson until the jokes go too far and begin to get disrespectful.

The real toxic people are on another level. They’re are selfish, they point out your insecurities and then say ‘”but it doesn’t matter” straight after, in their patronising voice. They’ll have you guessing what ‘version’ of them you’ll be faced with on that day. They never apologies for their mistakes. But that’s because they don’t have to. You’ve been manipulated to thinking that they’re superior. Your toxic friend is judgemental. You’ll always know when they don’t like something that you’ve done/said today. Sharing is unheard of to them. Oh and there’s no point in arguing with them because they’re always right.

It makes you wonder why we hang around with these people. A lot of the time, you won’t even realise it until you’ve escaped them. But if you do realise, it’s definitely worth cutting them off. You’ll no longer have to compromise yourself for them.

Understanding others

I’m just going to spill some thoughts on understanding others actions. This post has no planned direction by the way.

We often hear about underachieving children in working class areas, those people that have awful opinions on serious matters or those who make awfully wrong decisions at the worst times.

We know that everyone is different. However, we need to understand why everyone is different. I think that people struggle to understand the factors that influence other opinions, choice and actions in life. People’s opinions on matters will vary due to many different things such as life experiences. Think about the way that you have been brought up in your family. Your parents are likely to be your biggest influences in life along with your peers.

People often do the wrong things in life because of bad life experience or because of the information that their parents have drilled into them from a young age. That’s not to say that bad decisions and intolerable opinions are acceptable. We just need to challenge things at the root to avoid problems in the future. It’s all a learning curve.

We have to take into consideration people’s backgrounds, where they’ve grown up. Their struggles life, whether that be mental health, financial problems or living in society as a minority.

Being able to acknowledge wrong is easy. But being able to understand the reasons why is difficult. It’s a skill. Some people are too stuck in their ways and others too sympathetic. Everyone is different.

Be open minded. People change right? Never judge a person from one of their Facebook status’ in 2008. (well, unless they’re a Neo-Nazi)

Everything that you experience in life moulds you into the person that you are today.

(Don’t look into this post too deeply and miss the main message. Let’s take the worst case scenario, murder. I know that murder is unacceptable. I think that it’s interesting to find out the reasons why someone might have committed a murder and understand others without jumping to conclusions.)

Being a teenager in 2017

Before I get into this one, I would just like to say that I hope everyone got the grades that they wanted today on their A level results day. If you didn’t get what you hoped for then please there are still many things that you can do to maybe improve those grades or take an alternative route that could be just as beneficial in the end.

 

“You lot have it easy these days”

That’s what the adults of our generation repeatedly say to us as we silently build up frustration within ourselves.

Our teenagers don’t have it as easy as you may think. Yes, we might get more pocket money, have better gadgets and get more holidays abroad. But maybe, just maybe it isn’t all that simple.

With the rise of social media and the use of apps like Instagram and Snapchat, young people feel more pressured to fit in with others. Feeling like they have to wear the same clothes, makeup and have that perfect ‘summer body’. We have role models like Kim Kardashian along with the latest stars from Love Island. Boys feel like they have to go the gym and girls, have to get the new Kylie Jenner lip kit. And if you don’t have an Instagram account then… well that’s another matter within itself. Our peers and role models undeniably cause teenagers to feel less worthy. It’s almost like life is becoming a competition of materialism.

When it comes to academics, teenagers are pushed to excel in ways that only a few did 30 years ago. With the expectation of good GCSE grades leading onto A levels and university further down the line, young people have to constantly worry about their futures at an incredibly young age. University was virtually unheard of in working class backgrounds but now it’s becoming the ‘standard’. It often makes me wonder if all of this pressure is doing us any good?

A thing that teenagers find frustrating is that we are often expected to be ‘adult like’. We’re encouraged to taker responsibility for things despite being treated like children. Confusing. A lot of the time when speaking to adults, you’re made to think that your opinions aren’t valid simply because of your age despite you having more/better qualifications than them. Yes, life experiences teach you a lot but allowing teenagers to form their own opinions on things won’t cause any harm.

Teenagers often understand the struggles that adults had as teenagers. I think that teenagers would like adults to understand theirs too. At the end of the day, disregarding problems won’t solve anything.