Before I write anything it needs to be said that I have it relatively good in these academic streets. I’m a cis Black man who’s at a top Sociology PhD program with funding and advisors who support me and allow me to do the kind of research I want. My biggest personal fears in academe is being rendered as a token or getting my research and … Continue reading #TheseAcademicHands and Higher Ed’s White Supremacy Problem
~Part of the Black in the Revolution Series~
As the first post of my series, Black in the Revolution, I figured it would be good to start with the most obvious and most visible political moment and space we have today which would be the Occupy Movement. This movement was birth as an American manifestation of the spirit that gave rise to the Arab Spring that overthrew the Egyptian and Tunisian dictatorships (I still have questions about Syria and Libya…ya’ll already know my stance on that one) that sought to bring the pro-democracy spirit to America in its own way. The main slogans of the Occupy Movement are things like “Occupy Everything” and “We are the 99%”. These slogans manifested themselves quite literally in the hundreds of occupations of public parks, buildings, and central spaces across America, the rest of the western hemisphere, and even in parts of Europe and Asia that are going on as we speak. They organize without leaders, using consensus democratic processes in most places, and seek to create the basis for equalizing the wealth of this nation between ALL its citizens. Continue reading “The 99% Isn’t Me: Being the Minority in the 99%”
We are often inundated with this idea that men have naturally aggressive sex drives. That men can’t help themselves. That men are victims of pornography and sex addiction. That men have to have sex on a consistent basis, otherwise their balls will shrivel up. Men are easily swayed by short skirt, a stray bra strap and a wink. That we cannot, nor should not blame men when they commit acts of sexual violence, or stray in their marriage, because they were tempted, because they ‘lost control,’ because their biology deems them as less than capable creatures.
When we talk about rebel researchers we are referring to individuals or groups who have chosen to use their professional skills whether its in sociology, graphic design, law, social work, or dance to contribute to the furthering of justice in our society. They are rebels because they go against the grain of what society expects them to use their education and skills for, which is often power and profit. Today I … Continue reading Rebel Researchers: VENT Mag
Part of our blog’s purpose is to highlight struggles for liberation and freedom going on around the world and do what we can to let everyone know about them. On that note I had the pleasure some time ago to talk with Satori Ananda, an activist and organizer working with an organization called Friends of the Congo. Their organization’s goal is to highlight the abuses, outside influences, and internal conflicts that is tearing the Congolese people apart. Their main organizing effort in this capacity is an event called Congo Week which was October 14-20th last year. They also have a speaker tour which also spreads their message across different communities. Below is an email interview done with Satori about conditions in the Congo, her organization’s involvement, and what you can do to support their efforts.
The social sciences as they have developed in the western world has it as it’s goal to develop, catalog, understand, and organize human behavior. Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, Philosophy, Anthropology, Communications, and all the other social sciences seek to make sense of the social world human beings have created for themselves over the past million years of our existence. For myself, I chose to study Sociology, the study of human interactions. Much like many of the other social sciences, it has it’s roots (in the western world, other societies have their own forms of all these fields hundreds or thousands of year before Europe) in the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. Because the period that Sociology came into being along with other social sciences it’s focus was on Europe and interactions between European people, to the detriment of other societies and groups of people.
Europe’s barbanistic and imperialistic interactions with the rest of the world over the intervening 200 years influenced the social sciences in a way that is classist, sexist, and racist in both their theories as well as the professional practice of these fields. Examples of racism for instance infecting these fields is the “culture of poverty”, eugenics, functionalism (or at least some applications of said approach), the entire field of Anthropology, and Democratic Peace Theory.
Although in recent years, the influence of the Civil Rights/Black Power, Women’s Rights, LGBT*, Anti-Colonial, and Anti-Capitalist movements have influenced a new generation of social scientists who have not been as influenced by these oppressive circumstances, problems still remain. I can only speak for myself as an African in Sociology, but there are still great and many barriers to having the oppressed voices heard in the social sciences. especially for those of us who are practitioners of those social sciences like myself. One of the most important and basic of these barriers is what I would like to call the “Assumption of Oppression Bias”. Continue reading “Oppression Bias and Why It Sucks to be a Black Sociologist”