The Critical Role that the United States Schools’ Plays in Indoctrination & Systematic Racism

Black or White?

I spent a lot of time convincing myself that if I did not react if I did not respond if I remained silent, complacent than I was better then all of them. More evolved.

I was wrong.

My silence was their victory. Their ability to make me believe that I was fighting against the status quo simply because I refused to engage in the conversation; simply because I was raised to think the problem with racism and equity in this country was because we spent too much time talking and not enough time moving forward.

Then I applied that same sort of thinking to something my husband has done to upset me. Whether a wound now that still fester or one that’s eventually scared over, I asked myself if I was ever able to move forward by merely ignoring my feelings. Was I ever okay when my grievances were dismissed without any regard?

The answer to that question, is of course, no.

So I had to ask myself, why is it then that I thought it would be a simple thing for my fellow brothers and sisters to do the same?

I was born in another country, but I was raised in this one. I started school in the United States at the age of 5, Kindergarten until grade 12– my senior year of high school.

The Constitution of the United States reads, “For liberty and justice for all,” but we all know talk is cheap and that is all Black people have experienced thus far in this nation, TALK.

The system taught me to believe that my silence was better than the ones crying out and protesting in the street. I was the better citizen because, contrary to what they taught, I was not the one in the trenches making a scene, causing a fuss, so I was better. I had outgrown “our ape” ways. I was not the thug, the hoodlum, or the uneducated Black woman causing a scene because I felt entitled; entitled to more than this country has paid.

Newsflash: I am entitled.

For the sweat, the tears, the blood that my ancestors that felt the sting of rejection, of hate. Ancestors, not all that far removed, like my Dad, born in 1958. A mere four years AFTER the United States government decided segregating White and Black children in schools was unconstitutional.

So before you try to invalidate your Black friends’ fears and their anger. Before you try to tell them that slavery and racism were so many years go.

STOP.

Because it wasn’t that long ago, and it hasn’t stopped. Built into the very fabric of our society. It is on us now, to fully, utterly, and without prejudice, dismantle a system that still finds success by stepping on the backs of others.

We are not asking for handouts. We are not asking to be paid for the crimes of this country’s people; we are merely asking that we receive what was promised to us all those years ago: justice and equity, a platform, a place for us to finally be heard.

Our President ran on the platform of making America great again but for Black people America has never been great. For us, America just is.

The United States of America preaches against the indoctrination of an individual’s beliefs over another’s, and yet, from Kindergarten through 12th grade, my teachers taught me to believe Black people should be feared. Not overtly nor outright, but quietly, in ways that no one even knew was happening. I suspect the teachers did not know either.

I learned to fear my own race.

Let that sink in for a bit. Permeate your mind, so you have a better understanding of just how fucked up all this is.

Tolerate but fear.

This was the mantra I learned day in and day out. The way Black people are portrayed on television, unstable, angry, and prone to violence.

Now, here I am today, 34 years old, realizing it has taken me over two decades to embrace who I am. It has taken me even longer to embrace my community because I had learned to be ashamed of the color of my skin. I learned to be ashamed of them.

NO MORE.

My name is Angie, and I proclaim proudly and loudly that I am African-American with roots tracing back to Mali, Nigeria, and Cameroon, Congo, and Bantu.

There will be no more tolerance. There will be no more fear. Not for my fellow brothers and sisters, fighting the same fight, dreaming the same dreams.

Instead, where there was confusion there will now be clarity, understanding, and a woman who can finally say, after nearly 35 years of life:

I will no longer feel beholden to chose between my African-American heritage and my Filipino one.

I am me.

Take me for what I am and if you can’t?

There’s the door. Don’t let it hit you on your way out.

Why Changes Should Be 1 of the 7 Deadly Sins

Leaves

You know it’s funny. I started this blog to try to find a way to transition into a new life, which in case you were wondering, I have not successfully done yet. EVER. But I figure I still have quite a bit of life left to keep trying, so I’ll give it my best until that life’s out.

That said, my attempts to transition have been mediocre at best. I mean, I could factor in COVID-19, which admittedly, hasn’t helped, but in fairness, I gave up. A lot of that is in direct correlation with the events of COVID-19, I mean losing my job certainly didn’t help, okay, no— losing my job devastated me. All the plans, as underdeveloped as they were— thrown, haphazardly, into the bin, careless. And so was I, as I started to realize any progress I seem to make, any plans I create is always tempered by something— feelings, people, events, actions.

The time is never right NOW.

One step forward, two steps back.

It’s funny, I used to always type that as, “two steps forward, one step back”.

I wonder when that changed.

I wonder when I changed.

Stylized Paragraphs

Recently I’ve decided that setting my paragraphs apart by using CSS, specifically selectors and the property attribute makes it that much cooler. I mean it’s possible it doesn’t, and I’m just full of myself, but I guess I’m willing to take that chance.

Now what I use presently on my blog is a DROP CAP, NOT the first-letter selector or text-indent property. I may decide I’ll cover drop caps in depth at a later point, but today we are aiming to start small and then work our way up.

There are two ways that you can stylize your paragraph that are both simple and easily doable; meaning copy paste code and throw it into your stylesheet without have to think about it.

The two ways to alter your paragraphs is by using indents and also by altering the way the first letter in a paragraph looks, known as first-letter. I felt that it adds a bit of uniqueness to posts and it makes it easier for readers to discern where a paragraph ends and starts.

Since styling my paragraphs, I’ve actually gotten a fair a number of requests asking how to do it. I’m going to go out on a limb and just assume that Google is down for these people or their keyboard is failing or, and really the only valid excuse, they’ve lost all ability to use their hands. Otherwise, GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND.

Anyway, despite my annoyance at people’s refusal to use the powerful Google search, which I’ll point out, I didn’t have as a reference when I started to learn how to code; I figured I’d be nice and let you in on my little secret.

Lesson 1: The text-indent Property

First off, if you’re not familiar with CSS or coding in general, do yourself a favor and learn. You don’t necessarily need to become a guru but at least get familiar with the basics. As much as I’d love (not really) to teach it to you, I simply do not have the time nor the patience to invest in something that is quite easily learned through some research.

If you are however familiar with CSS, let’s get started! 😀

The first thing you’ll want to do is add an indent to your paragraph by using the paragraph tag or in this case <p>. Once you’ve done that, you want to style it by adding the property text-indent. Similar to this:

p {
     text-indent: 25px;
 } 

This code will add an indent to the beginning of each of your paragraphs that looks like this:

No idea. Just do what I do: hold tight and pretend it’s a plan. Yes, well, it’s a brilliant noise. I love that noise. There’s something that doesn’t make sense. Let’s go and poke it with a stick.11. Added italics to separate the example from the post content.

Lesson 2: The first-letter Selector

Now, if you want to get a bit more in-depth, and you’d like to stylize the first letter of each paragraph to further discern endings and beginnings, you’ll want to add a class selector to your CSS, using the pseudo element p:first-letter and style appropriately.

I set the example below to:

p:first-letter { 
font-family: Cherry Swash;
font-size:120%;
color:#ED7130; } 

Coupled with my text indent, this will output the following for each paragraph:

People assume that time is a strict progression of cause-and-effect… but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly… timey-wimey… stuff.21. Added italics to separate the example from the post content.

Now if you want it so it ONLY affects your entries and not your comments, you’ll have to target the class associated with your entries. In my case I have it set up as:

.entry-content p:first-letter {
font-family: Cherry Swash;
font-size:200%;
color:#ED7130;
}

So there you have it, my not so secret way to style paragraphs! I’d tell you to leave any questions you have in the comments or e-mail them to me, but it’s likely my response will be GOOGLE IT, so it’s probably best you not bother. 😏

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

I recently picked up Tom Clancy’s Division 2 and have spent more than a few hours plugging away at the game. Admittedly, I never played The Division so I’m not really able to compare it to its predecessor, however, I’ve got more than enough experience playing MMO type games and this game, in my opinion, very much falls into that category. There are obviously some things I absolutely love and some things which serve as an annoyance, though not so much that it has prevented me from continuing to play.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the game, there are plenty of posts out there that exist for that reason only. Instead I’m just going to give you a list of pros and cons and you can choose to use it as a basis for whether or not the game is something you’d like to pick up. Again, I’d suggest you research for more thorough reviews if you want something a little more in depth.

Pros

Let’s start with the good.

  • The graphics are AMAZING. I have to especially point out the rendering done with the weather because it’s probably one of the best I’ve ever seen.
  • Leveling isn’t tiresome or repetitive which tends to be the case with a lot of games that have a leveling system. I can honestly say I haven’t felt the need to stare at my XP bar, wondering when I’ll level next. It happens naturally as you play the game which is definitely a huge bonus for me.
  • Characters are not restricted to a specific weapon type which means you can change guns on the fly without worry that you’ve been pigeon-holed into one weapon type.
  • Haven’t run out of content so far, it seems there are a lot of “extras” you can do beyond the main missions.
  • Building up the settlements and seeing the improvements is satisfying rather than tiresome and redundant.
  • Enemies encounters aren’t predictable, there were instances where I’d turn a corner and run into a group and just as I finished that group off, more would come. In short, it doesn’t feel routine as is the case with so many other games in the same category.
  • Fast travel is available to you once you’ve unlocked/visited a site because fuck running everywhere.

Now on to the most glaring annoyances for me.

Cons

  • Unless you’ve done some research, you’ll be confused as to how the Skill system works, particularly as to what Skill Power is, and how you acquire it.
  •  The inability to cap out your inventory until level 30 is shit. But why? How does having more inventory space at a lower level impact gameplay? Yeah, I’m still trying to figure that out too.
  • Controls can be somewhat unresponsive. For instance, if I press space to take cover and then press space almost immediately after to move out from cover, more often than not, the game won’t register it.
  • The game gives you all of the skills but, you’re regulated to 2 skills and one signature skill. Presumably, this is with the expectation that most players will play in groups, but I am not most players and dislike that I’m being penalized because I like to play alone.
  • Paying for a pass to unlock additional content. The standard edition of the game is $60, and now we’re expected to fork over even more money, precisely $40 for more content? HARD PASS.
  • Parts of the UI are clunky. Having to click into multiple menus to add a modification to a weapon or skill is counter-intuitive, especially when there’s a good chance an enemy will happen upon you while you’re in the character menus and not in a safe house/control point.
  • Inability to share resources– this is stupid. I can share loot like weapons, armor, etc., but not resources? That makes total sense. NOT.
  • No replayability, unless you’re cool making a new character and doing the exact same missions, side missions, etc. all over again.

I am quite positive there are other pros and cons I have missed, but these are the ones that stuck out the most to me. I do enjoy the game, and I’m willing to tolerate the annoyances, but I suspect that once I’ve reached the level cap and complete the main missions, the game will sit on a shelf because I’m not willing to pay for DLC. There’s always a chance I could be wrong. I have yet to reach the level cap, so maybe, maybe it’ll surprise me, but to be honest?

I’m not holding my breath.