Every October around Indigenous Peoples’ Day — formerly Columbus Day — discourse around colonialism, historical revisionism, colonization and decolonization re-surface momentarily on the Internet and in the classroom. This discourse usually starts and ends with the consensus that Christopher Columbus’ violent crusade against Indigenous peoples was in fact not something to celebrate. Very seldom, however do we discuss the ways in which neo-colonialism still manifests itself in our society every day through Western imperialism, globalization and foreign aid projects.
Zoned out in my 10 a.m. ethics class, I was doodling with my pen until the professor said a phrase heard all too often: “This is your truth, and this is my truth.” As I recalibrated into the classroom discussion, I assumed this was mainly about being empathetic to different perspectives we may confront and generally thought it made sense. He repeated again, “The phrase this is your truth and this is my truth drives me absolutely bonkers.”
The Middle East is the global West’s favorite foreign policy puzzle. Endless commentators and journalists alike aim to fit narratives that the Middle East is weak, and that imperialist nations such as the United States have a duty to save the Arab World from itself. Fueling the political agenda, numerous politicians have honed in on efforts to “bring peace” to the Middle East, with the latest attempt being President Trump’s treaty.
On a Saturday night, after being encouraged by my SI 110 professor as well as — ironically enough — nearly all of my social media feeds, a couple friends and I decided to watch The Social Dilemma, Netflix’s acclaimed documentary centered around the meticulously manipulative aspects of social media.
If you know anything at all about musical theatre, you know all about the rise of ‘Hamilton: An American Musical’ in 2016. The musical, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and adapted from Ron Chernow’s book ‘Alexander Hamilton,’ debuted off-broadway in 2015 and since then, it has become the most popular musical in recent history. The show played in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles and now a recorded performance with the original cast is streaming on Disney+ for millions of streamers to watch in their own homes.
On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Michigan in Color would like to express our ongoing solidarity with Native Americans and the Indigenous struggle against the forces of settler-colonialism for their legitimate claim on this land.
A few years ago when the term “Black Girl Magic” became popularized by social media, as a way to celebrate the successes of black women, I immediately caught on and started referring to myself as having “Black Girl Magic.” I finally felt appreciated by the society that had rejected me for so long. In a world where Black women are stereotyped as unprofessional, unattractive, loud and angry, why shouldn’t we want to be considered magical?
We’ve all seen corny tweets by diaspora kids of various ethnicities and origins talking about being made fun of for having weird-smelling lunch by ignorant white kids, and we’ve all probably clowned them a little bit for it — I know I certainly have.
It took me a long time to realize I was a person of color, let alone to understand the significance of the term. In high school, these labels were not a part of any of my conversations. My closed community was diverse in identity but homogeneous in nature; everyone was competitive but didn’t seem to be overtly reflective on topics like race, gender and ethnicity. The words equity and inclusion reverberated here and there, but they meant little to me at the time.