Pointing out racial discrepancies is how we find more ways to improve diversity

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Photo Credit — National Museum of African American History and Culture

I was watching as poll numbers began to show Reverend Raphael Warnock, now Senator-elect in the state of Georgia, rise to a commanding lead over Kelly Loeffler, his opponent and also incumbent.

Then the news started rolling in. Warnock was projected to win a seat in the Senate and the thing that stuck with me most is watching people across different news mediums announce that he would be the first, yes, the first Black Senator in the state of Georgia…ever.

I’m used to hearing first when it comes to Black people doing anything, especially when it involves a position of power, status, or leadership. The good ole boy system has some of its strongest roots deep in the heart of the South (I really don’t have to explain the obvious here) and it has infiltrated pretty much any systemic structure willing to have it locally, statewide, and nationally. …

Halloween meant one thing and one thing only — getting the Christmas decorations down from the attic and prepping for Thanksgiving plans

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As a child, I had a lot of things working against me when it came to Halloween. I can’t speak for other families, but as for mine, there wasn’t a chance in hell (see what I did there) that I was ever going to step foot on a strange doorstep to ask for some candy.

I didn’t even read my first Harry Potter book until I went to college.

I know. Gasp.

When you grow up in the South, for the most part, anything that had to do with the supernatural was witchcraft or demonic. It wasn’t until I started making some of my own life decisions that I felt comfortable venturing out into the unknown and even then, I was nervous. …

We’re not in a place where we want to see whether or not the COVID-19 vaccine works at our expense

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Black men being administered Syphilis during the Tuskegee experiments in

My spidey-senses are tingling again.

A vaccine for COVID-19 that hasn’t even finished trials yet is being fast tracked to be made available by the election. What an interesting time frame.

I am by no means an anti-vaxxer, but if you’ve been keeping track, the United States has a lot to gain by pushing out a vaccine, literally, and that just doesn’t sit right with me.

I’m apprehensive at best and I don’t have to be Miss Cleo to know that there are plenty of others in my community that feel the same way. There were already reports earlier this year that places were having a hard time getting Black people to sign up for vaccine trials.

The police have a critical and necessary job, but they are not messiahs

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Police officers face off with protesters on September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, NC. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

As a child, being the son of a police officer was the coolest.

My father was my literal hero; he could do no wrong in my eyes. His cop car excited me, and I got a thrill every time I could check out his guns and gadgets. I wanted to believe that every person who wore the same uniform worked in and served their community fairly, just like him.

There wasn’t a place I could visit in my small Alabama town where my dad didn’t know multitudes of people. …

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The year 2020 has been a doozy and this generation has never seen anything like it before. For a moment, it felt like the world actually stopped for a second and we were just moving in slow motion.

That may be true, but in the middle of all the hardship, 2020 has also been full of lessons. From the ashes, we’ve seen leaders rise up, we’ve seen people become advocates, we’ve seen people support causes they wouldn’t have been privy to otherwise, and people are changing and educating themselves to issues they traditionally overlooked.

I believe it’s because we are all learning. I can’t truly speak for others, but I can speak for myself. If it wasn’t for this season in life, we wouldn’t have been in a place where we had to face our reflection in the mirror. Quarantine forced me to ask myself…

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It started with a comment on my Facebook.

“They’re repealing $600 from that CARES Act? Good because I’m tired of going to work and seeing these lazy [expletive] make more money than me. About time. They need to get a job.”

I sat there watching that person climb up on their high horse and denounce everything about unemployment. They were uninformed and spoke as if people were somehow lesser humans for not being able to work during a global pandemic where millions have been laid off from nearly every industry.

It’s sad to see people who are blessed to work during this time get excited that unemployment benefits are being scaled back, if not cut off, for those who have no source of income right now. If minimum wage isn’t livable, how in the world is standard, temporary unemployment sustainable? It’s not and this has been a much needed boost necessary for survival. …

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Photo credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus

I’m almost at a loss for words at this point watching the United States remain divided over something as simple as wearing a mask. I’m not kidding you when I say that an abnormal amount of people have drawn a line in the sand on this issue and have chosen this, of all things, to be the hill they die on. Meanwhile, people everywhere are not only getting sick and experiencing long term internal damage, but we’re seeing deaths rise from COVID-19 daily.

Somehow mandating masks has become the ultimate infringement of civil liberties. I’m not surprised though. I’m not quite sure anyone should be. Just look at how people react to systemic racism and racial equity, or LGBTQ+ rights, or healthcare. Equality and access to proper medical care are seen as less important than the ability to carry and use a gun and spew hate speech towards someone. …

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Regina King as Angela Abar/Sister Night in HBO’s Watchmen

It’s simple, we need more Black women in leading superhero roles.

I’m not saying this because it’s trendy to make diversity moves. I’m saying this because until we keep asking for equity across all mediums, we’ll never see representation in its truest form. That starts with finally giving Black women the spotlight they’ve been robbed of for years.

Chances are, you can’t even name a serious Black woman superhero lead right now. Not one that you’d say was provided with the right backing to succeed. …

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David Horsey — Seattle Times Cartoon (2018)

2020 has been both hard and uniquely challenging and I know why.

The true nature of the United States is on full display and the silent majority isn’t hiding anymore. Between the groupthink and tribalism being pushed from places of power (looking at you POTUS and Co.), we’ve entered into an age where patriotism and hate appear to be nearly indistinguishable and garner national praise, even when it’s at the expense of other people. We’re knee-deep in a pandemic and over our heads in a cesspool of racism with no end in sight for either.

I’ve come to the realization that in the midst of what’s going on, a large portion of society in the U.S. has been conditioned to look at everything with cognitive dissonance, to defer from the issues at hand and their real-world implications, to seek peace and quiet rather than peace and justice, and to oppose anything that affects comfort. …

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Oak Valley Plantation, Louisiana

I’ve never understood the fantasy of a plantation wedding. I still don’t.

Maybe it’s because when I see plantations, there’s nothing in me that yearns to celebrate an intimate moment of my life there. Not after what’s been done.

I see pain in so many different forms. I see billions of dollars generated from countless, mistreated Black individuals who would build great things in terror and would never get to see a dime from their labor. The anger and disgust I have towards plantations is palpable to me because they’re monuments epitomizing the worst of humanity.

These were places of torture and experimentation. They were burial grounds. They were prison farms of forced labor and they reek of death and despair. Those are things nobody can’t restore no matter how they’re dressed up and used in an effort to change or deny what they stand for. They’re too far beyond repair. …


Joshua Dairen

A creative writer, PR manager, and singer-songwriter. Words found on Medium’s Level. Thoughts started at @JoshuaDairen on Twitter and Instagram.

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