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The Spotlight. (None) 1980-201?, March 16, 2012, Image 4

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LightSkin Versus DarkSkin... Again? SierraStokes WmwmWSim “I Like A Long Haired Thick Redbone” turned in a large crowd as everyone gathered to discuss the all too common is sue that plagues black society. While note taking at the event, the continuous discussion of “light skin versus dark skin” be gan to marinate in my mind, causing me to grow concerned with the state of my people. To think that in the AUC there are constant panel discussions about skin complexion when we have so many more prevalent issues is disheartening... even frightening. Politics, global warming, the state of Spelman are just a few topics that seem worthy of discussion, but why are they hard ly talked about? Having an intelligent panel ponder problems that will ultimately impact this generation as well as genera tions to come lives are more important, but for some reason there seems to be a stand still on dead matters. This is not to say that colorism should not be addressed, but how often should it be done? Taking the time to replace the typical panel discussion with one that will elevate the mind is the goal. As Spelman women, it is unacceptable that we even continue to entertain such idiotic talk. The fact that a week later another panel discussion was held reiterating the same matter is redundant. Often times, we have panel discussions without professionals in the particular field causing the validity of the argument to be questionable. The Panel discussions turn into screaming matches between the audience and the crowd and often times disrespect is being shown to those who volunteer to actually do the panels. Being a native of North Carolina, I have been able to visit great schools, such as Duke University and UNC Chapel hill, Valentines Day: “Margaret! Marrrrrrrrrr-ggggarettttttttttt! They wanna sing to you, come see! Go inside! It’s you!!” I was mortified. In the midst of my Valentine-less day, ecstatic Spelman sisters summoned me into Alma Upshaw Dining Hall to be serenaded by some members of Morehouse College Glee Club in the most romantic way a woman would want to be honored: In front of EVERYONE. As the men crooned the knickers off of a roomful of ladies, I sat there in confusion wondering why I was the target ot this affection. I had no Valentine, and the card given to me was from “my Nigerian prince”. As the story materialized, my heart sank and I realized this gesture was definitely for a Margaret, but not Margaret West. To say the least, I felt alone. Even though I had a great day, amazing friends and family who love me, I felt reduced to my relationship/Valentine status. People told me I should be grateful regardless of who the gift was intended for, but I couldn’t help but feel as if the whole monstrosity was a fla- for panel discussions. At these discussions, certi fied people are invited to speak on relevant matters and the audience is there to be receptive of what is being taught. Unfortunately, this cannot be said for any panel discussions I have covered in the AUC. The mere thought of an audience member yelling out while someone is speaking on a panel is utterly frightening to the host of these events at predomi nantly white schools, but when it happens in the AUC it causes laughter and further uproar. Junior Class President Sheryl Means was another attendee at the “I Like A Long Haired Thick Red Bone” panel discussion who expressed concerned about the event. When asked her opinion of the overall affair Means said, “I always have a problem with these AUC panel discussions, because I feel like there is not a focus on what is going on and secondly there is no actual follow up. You talk about it, you talk about it, you talk about it, but what is solved? People say they are coming in with an open mind, but are they really ready to accept that change?” In addition, selecting panelists who are able to iden-| tify with the crowd and make sense of the discus sion at hand is imperative. “I have a problem with the panelist that was strictly up there to entertain. Towards the end of the dis- of Lhe Crop. Claiming this title means we should represent cussion, that is when he [Renaldo Nehemiah] really started to ourselves as the ladies we are, at all times, and the allowance focus on the issue, but that was only after he was called out by of such behavior on our campus should never be tolerated, an audience member,” added Means. Furthermore, as educated women it is time to expand our As Spelman women we like to consider ourselves “The Cream topics of relevancy to national and global issues. Photo Courtesy oflynndove.wordpress.com grant reminder of being single. We all know what Valentine’s Day means at Spelman: An overloaded mail center full of girls brimming with excitement and angry sisters glaring at the exchange from parcel to pres ent. A spectrum of intensified emotions and their displays sounds like bliss for some and chaos tor others. Dates and gifts are in a commercial exchange, dinners are had, and love is expressed. Hours later, flowers are on their way to wilting and chocolates are gone. The mail center is back to normal, and romance is stale in the air. So if there is only a twenty- four hour span where love appears to be on crack, why do women (single or committed) determine their self-worth by the measurements of gifts, texts, and I Love Yous? I’ve been guilty of it myself, as a woman who is confused why I’m single. But what I’ve done is realize that sometimes, the days following Valentine’s Day, cupid’s arrow returns to sender. Most of the time, we assume that the girl with the biggest teddy bear and the tallest Edible Arrangements has the great est love. But honestly, do we acknowledge how many people have a VALENTINE, and not a BOYFRIEND? Society prods women into believing that on February 14, if you’re not being showered with gifts and affection, you’re lonely. More people are concerned about having someone to share their day with than having someone to share their life with, making for false displays of what everyone thinks they should have. When the right man comes along, love will always be in the air. Self-love is the most important love. Regardless of our rela tionship status, we’ve got to understand not to covet someone else’s blessing because there’s plenty more where they came from. When a good man recognizes that you don’t do it for the men because they never notice (courtesy of Drake), he’ll know he’s pursuing a whole woman to compliment him and not a half who needs completion. So next Valentine’s day, don’t look for a Valentine. Pursue healthy love year round instead of a quick fix for February 14. oooooooooooooc NBA: Noosing Black Athletes Lexi Williams: For many young African American boys, the sports industry represents the dream of being acknowledged and having it all which is a model of social mobility. Black boys look up to black athletes and strive to be them. The National Basketball association has especially become an avenue that has become an inspiration for young black boys because of the number of blacks that are apart of it. This makes the dream of becoming a sports superstar even more attainable. What people don’t know is that the NBA still models a struc ture where black men are meant to be dominated. The noose which was used to kill black men is now a symbol that our progression has still been masked by systems which work to undermine the acheivements of blacks. No one seems to be asking questions like why was Allen Iversion considered such a bad boy? Is the dream of being an NBA star really everything that it seems? In many ways it is a false reality being that the chances of becoming a sports pro fessional are very slim and the repercussions of being a Black athlete due to white domination through coaches and highly- focused media attention on mistakes is seldom discussed. Although there is no question that Black male athletes benefit economically, many other people also benefit from the com modification of their talents. The male athlete subtly appears as the boy, who with training and structure by rules, can be made into a “proper” man. Since most of the coaches, own ers, and even fans of the National Basketball association are mostly white, black men are fastened with the belt of white standards. This not only forces them to answer and their white superiors but it also limits them as a result. Since the NBA consist mostly of black players there is an underlying as sumption that they have come from bad neighborhoods and lack father figures which shapes their behavior. In an article from ABC news called “Why So Many NBA Players Get in Trouble”, it states “Many of today’s NBA stars came from urban America, where basketball is seen as an inexpensive ticket to fame and fortune. In some cities, the image of streetwise “gangsters” is celebrated and emulated. And that can carry over into young adulthood” (Redeker). This shows that there is an idea that black people want to be gangsters and of course in a white middle class world, where their NBA players dare to step into, that is unacceptable and has to be erased. This explains some of the reason Allen Iver son was labeled as a bad boy. His cornrolls and connection with his old friends made opposed the alteration which made him unruly. The need for discipline of these Black players arises because they need to know how to leave their culture off of the stadium floors. For this reason coaches take on the “father roles” and unavoidably reenact the race script where Black males are subjected to white con trol. NBA practices constantly show that the Black boys need the help of white authoritative figures to transform into better men. Although this is apparent in the NBA because of the proportions of black players to white coaches and authority, it is not only the NBA that faces this problem. A recent Acura advertisement featuring a black NFL athlete reinforced this same idea when he was stripped of his uniform and placed in elegant formal attire as the voice-over concludes “Aggression in its most elegant form”. Not only is his aggression being tamed, but a closer look reveals that this make-over is done with white hands. This commercial symbolizes the message that the sports industry has been sending out, black athletes have to be renovated. The term renovation not only signifies that these males are objects but also that there is a need to repair their behavioral impotence. In order to ensure that Black athletes are subjugated, the law and the media work to makes example of Black ath letes who do not follow the rules. Although there have been incidents with athletes from an array of ethnic backgrounds, there seems to be a highly disproportionate level of Black athletes in trouble with the law in the media even for many would consider minor offenses. However, although athletes may have economic advantages, they still cannot escape their place in society it seems. Even when Black athletes do things that seem minor, there are major consequences that they have to face. When Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons was con victed of dog fighting not only did he face consequence with the law but even his career suffered and he was released as quarterback. Being that he was seen as the leader of his team, it seems that by punishing him so severely, it was a message that put Black athletes in their place. Hopefully in due time black athletes will gain the respect they deserve and help to make a difference in the community so we can ensure our black men and boys aren’t reliving the horror of the noose. Ja