Race and journalism (though I don’t like to touch on race)

I used to be concerned with racial inequalities some time ago but, like feminism, I’ve kind of stigmatized the groups as too much complaining and not enough changing.

Until…

Someone asked me how I will bridge the gap between the African-American community and media. I initially rejected the inquiry and felt numb when researching this supposed “gap”.

I already had this thinking of, “Here we go, another ‘we can’t help ourselves’ rant,” but I changed my views- if only for a brief period of time.

That’s what I like about journalism. You can go in on a topic and expect to leave with what you thought you would, but you never really do. Journalism is supposed to be a career in which you are always covering something new, therefore, you never stop learning.

However, so many times we choose our stories and shop through sources so that our stories won’t fall flat. That’s not true journalism.

True journalism weaves it’s own path, like water. We don’t make a path for our stories to follow. That would be bad journalism. Real journalism is wild and unpredictable.

The best stories find us, and it’s when we adopt an open mind that we truly learn something new- even if we never set out to.

Race and journalism

I identify myself as an African-American journalist. That alone draws the strings of diversity in the media a little tighter.

 

In 2006, the growing range of races working in news media was stunted at 13.73 percent and has yet to push its way back up to that marker, according to the American Society of News Editors.

 

We can infer that African-Americans comprise an even smaller percentage, since 13.73 percent is representative of all minorities.

 

Receiving my degree in journalism may encourage others in our community to do the same, thus decreasing the race-employment disparity in the media.

 

Not only are there fewer of our demographic employed as journalists, but there are also fewer of our demographic- and an even smaller portion of our young adults- consuming news media.

 

People need someone they can identify with. Being able to have an association with who’s presenting the news generates this thought pattern of, “She’s black and she’s concerned, so maybe I should be, too.”

 

Furthermore, I’d be covering stories that are of importance to our population.

 

Part of the reason why we don’t consume news as much is because we’re not receiving equal representation when it comes to coverage in our community.

 

If we’re covering stories that make the consumer feel like it’s of significance to them then there’s this automatic interest in learning more, thus propelling our population to be more informed and more involved by engaging with the news.

 

There are so many stories that go untold in our community, but journalists are supposed to be giving a voice to the voiceless. I think it’s time that the media takes us off of mute.

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Where love has brought me, what love has taught me

I’ve yearned for true love, from a lack thereof, since I was little. Now, after abusive and un-monogamous relationships, I’ve come to terms with my depressing fate: I just cannot be in a relationship anymore. That means never getting serious, never getting too close to anyone. The thought first penetrated my mind prior to this past, miniscule-length relationship. I started acting in a manner that protected me from that, and then I was stupid enough to entertain the idea again. Now here I am: refusing proper nutrition and Carlo Rossi in hand- straight from its original container. It’s déjà vu. My progress has had its reset button pushed.

 

I yearn for love, but my Mother Theresa save-the-world ways has put me at a disadvantage yet again. I cannot go on continuing to attempt to please everyone. Something’s got to give. My selflessness is my own detriment. My selflessness, in a way, makes me a good person to one and a bad person to the other. It’s common sense, but it has just clicked to me that happiness and selfishness have some sort of correlation.

 

I can’t go on like this. My heartache leads me to make unhealthy decisions for myself. It starts this process of not eating, not being able to hold food if I did eat, popping Vicodin to numb the pain, sleepless nights, drinking so that I can sleep, keeping my mind busy by working multiple jobs and by partying to forget the fact that I’m lonely.

 

I was going through this process where I was okay, and I know no other way, I have to go through it again- this time completing it.

 

I dreamed of moving away from the dysfunctional family I was born into; running off with someone who was as engulfed in my world as I was theirs, having kids, never looking back- only to be there for my sisters and to fulfill the usual cliché of living happily ever after.

 

How naïve.

 

Ironic, though, that I see my ideals in you the most- and no I’m not just saying that because it’s where I am now.

 

You. You are:

  • Intelligent – even though it makes me feel inferior at times
  • Beautiful
  • Successful
  • Selfless- to an extent
  • Capable

 

Furthermore, unlike before, it’s a huge coincidence is that I don’t even have to beg you to run away with me. You’ve brought up the idea yourself.

 

But when raised without a healthy model of love, you kind of don’t know how to give it- or to take it for that matter. That’s probably why compliments make me feel uncomfortable.

 

Sometimes my mind knows what the ideal action would be, but my fear of rejection keeps me from doing it.

 

It’s sad that it has to be like this. The one of only two, top lifelong achievements I’ve strived to attain- and here I am: the incapable.

 

Life has a way of dangling a bone just out of your reach in hopes that you are foolish enough to be infinitely entertained by what it is that you want so bad. It throws these obstacles at you, when the metaphorical finish line is in sight and says, “Whatcha gonna do now, huh?” and when you work past that there’s always, “How about now,” “What about this,” and “Oops, one last thing.” I know, because I’ve been through it enough. Age-old philosophies say that it’s just when you are about to give up that your goals is within fingertip’s grasp. But why is it like that?

 

Why is it that just when I’ve adopted this “fuck love” philosophy someone who used to hate love all of the sudden has found the very thing they hate.

 

Fate is photographed in a positive light, but it really is sadistic- and I want no part in it.

 

Kind of like my family. My family who raised me without the skills to attain the one thing I wanted the most; the one thing that’s necessary for an infant to even survive. My lack of love has caused me to yearn for love but the very thing that has propelled me to aspire for what I am missing has caused me to have a deficiency in the tools I need to attain what I aspire towards.

 

Then there’s this cliff-jumping thing that people say to do, despite what you feel. Apparently it yields the most success, yet making the least logical sense- ironic because love isn’t supposed to make sense anyways.

 

Yes, you are the person that possesses a majority of the traits that I look for in an ideal lover, but if you pass a marked-point, you’ve done just that. I have this intuition- as much as I don’t want to. Ignoring it has led to serious trouble before. I have an intuition about my intuition and it says that I will ignore my intuition.

 

Sigh. I know what’s coming.

 

I’ve yearned for true love, from a lack thereof, since I was little. But the thing about being young and dumb is, well, that you’re young… and dumb. We simply enjoy each other’s company until it turns sour or one of us is forced to fade away. True love is but a fairytale I once read in a book. In a world with trending open relationships, one night stands, threesomes and infidelity, true love simply does not exist.

Line chart showing interest in threesomes

 

 

Line chart of interest in open relationships

Interesting how open relationships didn’t even become relevant until 2005.

 

Lessons from Giambattista Basile

Snake slithering

That weight-loss process? It’s back again.

Funny.

It seems that when I shed pounds, it’s almost always related to shedding the skins of a stale relationship.

We can be intact, but I feel.

Shaking loose the binds of love lost.

Breaking free from the past’s alimony.

I don’t feel new.

This recurring process is like that of a snake’s.

What a peculiar paramount.

On the way out

front door

There’s always a point I reach, in my more serious relationships, where I know I care. It used to be a good thing, but now it scares me. That’s what a few bad relationships can do to you I guess- for me it only took two.

I know I’ve lost control. I know I will be there, even when I shouldn’t. That used to be something I thought was valuable- the willingness to stick it out. But now, my not knowing when to cut-off is just outright unhealthy. And I know it!

My heart overpowers my mind. All the time. I just thought this time I had it under control for sure.

I do, to some extent now (thank God). It used to be that someone could physically cheat on me and I knew I wouldn’t leave. Someone could beat the crap out of me, and I’d stay.

I used to reason, “Well, that wasn’t as bad as my last.”

I never learned that just because it’s not as bad doesn’t mean it should be overlooked.

I find myself saying that today.

I find myself wanting to mirror your reactions.

I find myself confused about what the “right” thing is to do.

My open-minded logic has me debating internally. I let my organs to the fighting; I’m just the host suffering the blows.

I stood there knowing very well that it was wrong, but knowing very well that I’d let it go.

Because I’m not ready to let you go.

I know I crossed my boundaries. I can see me somewhat slipping from my own control.

I wondered why I had this split personality when I drank. Deep down I felt it: something doesn’t sit right.

Told myself, I’m being paranoid like before. Not noticing that before I was right.

I’m already trying to rationalize away the potholes in this foundation.

Boundaries.

I always needed evidence.

My therapist used to say, “Ninety-nine percent of the time, your intuition is evidence enough.”

That I can’t go on conducting investigations.

I’d worry,”What if my ‘intuition’ fell under that one percent and I was wrong?”

She never gave an answer I was satisfied with, so I understood her logic- I was just never satisfied with it.

I guess that’s why I slipped.

You’ve treated me the best.

Thus far

But like I said before, just because it’s better doesn’t mean it’s okay- that’s my unhealthy rationale kicking in again.

Sometimes better

Is just not

good

enough

Our lives are like this planet

Earth in the cat's eye

It’s so peculiar

How there are so many metaphors in and of our lives

We resemble the very planet that we live in

Earth

We constantly have our “world” turned

Upside down

Just as our actual planet rotates on its axis

The only difference is

It may not be every 24-hours

However, when we go through our “360”

It’s more rapidly

I guess nature intends for us to make up for lost time

Things come and go

Just as the sun and moon

Weaving its way in and out

Day in and out

A wise light in my life once told me,

“Change is necessary.

If you don’t initiate it for yourself then it’ll be forced upon you-

and it may not always be in the manner that you like,

so be constantly changing…”

It makes logical sense

I’m even inspired by it

Life has a way of making you grow

But my constant need for stability gets in the way

Like earth

Our bottom can becomes the means by which we get to the top

-If we go about it right-

And vice versa

Just like the ocean.

It’s amazing how

Nature is the law of gravity

But defies the laws of gravity at the same time

The water is weight

Yet evaporates

Our world turned upside down

The top a mirror of the bottom

Water above and below us

Constantly commuting back and forth

With an invisibility cloak

Evaporating and condensing.

Just like us,

When “heat” is applied

Causing pressure

We can expand and rise up.

To the occasion

If we have the right mindset.

When it gets hot

Water molecules expand and evaporate

It, too, rises under pressure

Nature is magic

This broken home

Foster kid drawing

Its nights like these

That I don’t mind staying up late

Even though I’m a morning person

Its nights like these

When you want to stray

I understand your burden

I love each and every one of you all

Different and the same

Even deep down within, when I recall

That you called me out my name

I love your wounds

Adore your flaws

The nature of your resilience leaves me in awe

I’m glad you finally see my passion-Gabby

I know it’s not fair but you’ll get there- Ashley

Kiana you wanna put this wall up

I’m just glad you’ve learned to like me before our time’s up

MaKayla don’t be concerned with all the boys

Even though your mom never gave you any of the attention you yearned to enjoy

Jenny don’t be in a rush to grow up so fast

You douse yourself in makeup and I hate when you make fun of my ass

Alecia, I barely see ya- cause you’re somewhat new

You’ve shown me respect from day one

There’s something different about you

Every time I’m just about done

I fall back into my passion for you

One

By

One.