It wasn’t until I found myself in Le Marais over spring break, engrossed in a three-hour heart-to-heart over strong Parisian coffee, that I realized how fulfilled I was. There were no meetings to run to, no career plans to lose sleep over, and no seemingly endless to-do list to check off. Being a spontaneous tourist was a refreshing change from stretching myself thin with overcommitments and my own unrealistic expectations.
During the spring of my senior year in high school, I remember making a series of pro/con lists as I tried to decide where I should spend the next four years of my life. On each of the various drafts of my list, I remember writing “diversity” as a pro for Princeton. I felt, and still do feel, that one of the most valuable opportunities offered to college students is the chance to meet people from a variety of different backgrounds. I wanted to go somewhere where I could find people whose lives had been different from mine. According to the University’s website, Princeton offers this opportunity. A 2013 report by the Trustee Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity states, “Princeton places a policy of diversity and inclusion at the core of our educational mission.” However while Princeton students are diverse in many ways, from our ethnicities to our academic interests to our hometowns, the Princeton community is also a surprisingly homogeneous one in that the majority of us come from a background of privilege.
Lupita Nyong’o. The name of the Kenyan-born actress is on everybody’s lips after she won a well-deserved Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress last night. Nyong’o plays the physically and verbally abused slave Patsey in Twelve Years A Slave, and her acceptance speech reflected the grace, intelligence, and humility that she has demonstrated throughout the awards season. Her performance as Patsey is gripping and formidable, one that leaves you still reeling as you leave the theater. Continue reading
In our education system, students are not given an appropriate education in history. When they learn American history, much of the semester or year is spent learning about wars, presidents, and economic failure. They get a few days at the beginning of the course learning about the different Native American cultures and history, and about a week (or less) focusing on the Civil Rights Movement. Then the curriculum goes right back to “American” History. Continue reading
I was not surprised when I learned that Michael Dunn hadn’t been charged with first-degree murder. He may have racked up a lifetime in prison, but the jurors refused to attribute any of that time to the murder of Jordan Davis. After all, it was just last year that a jury acquitted George Zimmermann of Trayvon Martin’s murder. And that wasn’t surprising because prior to the Martin incident, black men had been consistent and deliberate targets of violence for hundreds of years in this country. Continue reading
In an article in The Daily Princetonian back in November, Ben Dinovelli wrote about “forgetting” his Asian identity. As a person of Asian descent adopted by White parents in the US, Dinovelli talks about how integration into campus culture is difficult because he feels the need to either embrace his Asian heritage or be part of a larger White society at Princeton. He seems to feel as if he is an outsider to both cultures and is actively trying to decide in which culture he’d be more comfortable. Dinovelli is dealing with a question that Asian Americans on campus often have: how does being an active member of the Asian community at Princeton affect you? Continue reading
I recently came across numbers from the Pew Research Center indicating that nearly 40% of Asian American women marry out of their race, in comparison to the national average of about 14.5% for both sexes. Continue reading
Since I began working to develop The Stripes, searching for contributors to help foster our campus’s racial and cultural discourse, I have become familiar with a certain type of dissenter.
This person is not like those who most need The Stripes, neither ignorant nor contemptuous in his stance against advancing racial relations. Instead, this type of person, usually a minority himself, and well aware of the conditions that face his community, holds resolute indifference towards the struggle that activists engage. Continue reading
Nelson Mandela’s memorial service earlier this month met an outpouring of kind words in commemoration. Dignitaries from Barack Obama to Ban ki-Moon to Raúl Castro struggled to convey the significance of his life while still capturing a glimpse of his humanity along the way. Countless others around the globe offered tributes upon learning of his death. Heads of state and an infinite reel of media voices honored his passing, entirely unsurprising for a man so loved by so many. Some spoke from grief, some in celebration of his life. A few politicians casually treated his death as a cheap political opportunity (see Rick Santorum comparing the liberation struggle against apartheid to the liberation struggle against the Affordable Care Act). Other voices, however, were even more perverse. Continue reading
My generation was raised using the internet. During various phases of our lives, we have experimented with education, entertainment, media, relationships, and communications online. The internet was the tool through which we researched and applied to college, and now in college it is increasingly becoming our primary way to approach our assignments, research, and routine activities. Seeing as we use the internet on average for more than 25 hours per week, I could confidently say that we know the internet pretty well. Just as we recognize the shortcomings of any person that we have come to know, we cannot pretend that we do not also recognize the faults of the internet. And it turns out, the internet is racist. Continue reading