May I have your attention?

This title probably draws readers in, but how do I make them continue reading instead of just scrolling away?  Usually, I just write whatever flows to my mind, but as I get more serious about writing, I want to employ a true writing style.  To create an effective introduction, I must first analyze its components, from which I will draw on Michelle Alexander’s, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”.  Many people have praised this book for its captivity and ability to engage many readers into a more profound discussion of racist rhetoric, so what better piece of literature to draw on?

Her very first paragraph is an anecdote that is written in choppy sentences.  The anecdote itself showed just how related the Old Jim Crow is to the New Jim Crow.  To me, the choppy sentences symbolize just how simple the concept is to understand…if one chooses to listen.  She goes into more detail for those who don’t quite grasp the concept from the first paragraph, but then she connects it with a personal story.  Alexander describes how she did not even understand the concept when it was presented to her, but how she had to learn and develop her own understanding by working around the system for a bit.  This makes it more relatable for the reader…by “it”, I mean the notion of a continuously evolving system.  Activists tend to reminisce about our “coming to social consciousness” journeys, and because this personal account of Alexander’s “coming to social consciousness” was laid out, we [activists] do not tend to feel as pressured to engage in competition with who became “woke” first.  As this book was made for activists (among other communities) to read, it serves to remind us that social awakening is a process, not a one-stop-shop.

Alexander engages the reader after this by carefully slipping in her thesis: “Mass incarceration in the United States had, in fact, emerged as a stunningly comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social control that functions in a manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow.”  This is only reached on page four, yet to me, this also signals the urgency of the issue.  It is so forthright that the reader is left yearning for more because we want to see if she can handle and prove such bold accusations.  Also, from the perspective of an activist, I agree with her statement, but before reading her argument, I did not know how to exactly lay out the argument for the opposition.  I am much better prepared to relay the urgency of recognizing this problematic system after reading the facts that support this thesis.  Page thirteen is where Alexander begins her persuasion that the reader has the capacity to address the issue by initiating a conversations around the language of caste.  She compares this framework of language to that of Number 45.  Most of the readers, I assume, can make the connection between the two because we have all been affected by it, and activists have been analyzing how Number 45 actually acquired the most coveted position of power.  This shows the readers our own capacity to fight against the rhetoric of Number 45 by educating those brainwashed by it; if we understand it and can analyze it, we can expose its contradictions to society.

Although she calls into questions some activists’ way of fighting on the front line, what are we doing if we never question ourselves?  Yes, it is imperative to be confident, but if we are too blinded by our confidence to keep ourselves challenged, there would be no such thing as learning.  Without learning, the concept of improvement would have never been conceived.  Some activists may interpret this as Alexander’s way of alienating them, but they could look at it as a way to draw closer to other activists for more support.  To provide a holistic view of the problem without making it seem hard to solve, Alexander writes that the goal is to “cultivate an ethic of genuine care, compassion, and concern for ever human being — of every class, race, and nationality — within our nation’s borders” because if that does not happen, the collapse of mass incarceration will not equate to the death of racial caste in the United States.  Basically, if we do not dismantle the system already in place, we will be stuck feeding it until we die.  We, as activists, just have to find a way to squeeze the lemonade out of those lemons and ignite the revolution.

Unity in Diversity?

Why is “Unity in Diversity” all over this blog?  Simply put, it’s my mantra. I was placed into a language immersion school when I was five years old, so I can speak, read, write, and understand Spanish fluently.  Being in a heavily diverse environment started developing my fascination with other cultures.  For example, I began to learn Arabic a year and a half ago and now  I dedicate a lot of my time to mastering both Arabic and Italian because language serves as a way to bridge gaps. That being said, diversity is important to me because engaging in conversations with people from different backgrounds than myself helps to keep me grounded.  Approaching our global society with multiple perspectives is important because we can learn to be more compassionate and empathetic through education.  I was fortunate to have been exposed to people from all walks of life at a young age, so I learned to embrace it; however, the education system in the United States prevents a lot of children from being exposed to an assorted range of viewpoints.  Implicit bias and institutionalized racism work together to obscure the minority perspective, especially in our education system.

Americans are seen in many countries as obnoxiously ignorant.  Although this perturbs me greatly, I acknowledge that their opinions stem from truth.  I aspire to become a diplomat for the United Nations so that I may help to bridge that gap. A key part of being involved in a network for international relations is understanding the dynamics of  specific relationships.  My goals for my career are to urge international governments to invest in self-sustainable education systems and reconstruct the domestic education system.  Mahatma Gandhi once voiced, “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” Devoted to the notion of a better America, I strive to break the United States’ shackles of oblivion and incapacity to spawn a new era for the world’s rehabilitated superpower.  Although for the past three years I have avoided reading and writing due to insecurities, I have had an epiphany that made me realize how important those two skills are.  In my writing, the flow of words makes sense to me, but most people think it is incoherent.  I have faith that this Writing for Social Change class will help me improve my rhetoric so that one day I can move mountains with the

As of right now, I have a few creative initiatives that I am working on to present around the DMV area to advocate for social justice. Furthermore, I am a member of the NAACP, and I work at the Multicultural Student Services Center.  Through those two organizations, I have been able to participate in multiple projects spreading advocating for social justice.  Although for the past three years I have avoided reading and writing due to insecurities, I have had an epiphany that made me realize how important those two skills are.  In my writing, the flow of words makes sense to me, but most people think it is incoherent.  I have faith that this Writing for Social Change class will help me improve my rhetoric so that one day I can use my words to instill the values of diversity, equity, and community engagement into the youth of the United States.