Author Archives: Evelyn

About Evelyn

Hi, my name is Evelyn and I love to spend time with my family and friends whenever school isn't killing me.

Cultural Appropriation is Bullshit?

McWhorter, John. “You can’t ‘Steal’ a Cultural: In a Defense of Cultural Appropriation” theDailyBeast., 15 July 2015. web. 11 August 2015.

There is a difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation, but is cultural appropriation a big deal? In the article “You can’t ‘Steal’ a Cultural: In Defense of Cultural Appropriation” by John McWhorter, he explains how it is not possible to “steal” a culture. I find that argument weak and ignorant.

McWhorter gives an example on why cultural appropriation is not actually “stealing” by describing the situation between white gay men and black women. He is stating that white gay men are not stealing their identities or making them any less of a black women by imitating their gestures and expressions arguing with gay white men and black women, for example, it’s not as if the black women are being left without their culture after the “theft,” or as if gay white men are somehow out there “out-blacking” the women they “stole” from”. Although, the example is true about not really stealing the identity of the women, it is disrespectful. A culture is not something to use because someone thinks it’s fun to “imitate”. A culture is something sacred to a group of people and by “stealing” it, they are taking advantage and mocking a culture for their own entertainment purposes.

McWhorter describes how America has the reputation for being influenced by minority culture, and it is normal for white men and women to use it for themselves. He argues that culture has always been shared by using Elvis Presley as an example. Elvis Presley was influenced by African american music and became an american icon. McWhorter writes “But beware any idea that stories like that mean that whites imitating brown people is, fundamentally, wrong and that whites’ job is to somehow pass by minority cultures with some form of what is sometimes termed “respect,” whatever that would mean in practice” which is stating that white people should not have to give respect to minorities if they want to imitate their culture, because he does not think it is a big deal. His argument is ignorant in the fact that minorities are already oppressed and by not respecting their culture the oppression is deepened. Credit needs to be given where credit is due and if it has influenced, whether it be in the media or an art form culture is a way of life to a group of people not for more minority oppression.

The article helped me realize that people can be very ignorant when it comes to culture appropriation. The person who wrote this is clearly taking this lightly, because he thinks culture appropriation is not stealing a person’s identity or who they are. McWorter is not seeing the issue on minority oppression that still comes with culture appropriation.

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Do the Grammys Have a Race Problem?

Cepeda, Raquel. “Do the Grammys Have a Race Problem?” RollingStone, 05 February 2015. web. 03 August 2015.

The media has always portrayed double standards when it comes to race whether it be music awards or casting roles for movies the dilemma is present in all types of media outlets. In the article, “Do the Grammys Have a  Race Problem?”, journalist for RollingStone magazine, Raquel Cepeda writes about the racism surrounding the Grammy awards. Cepeda writes on the issue of the white supremacy and double standards in the 2014 Grammy nominations which is related to my topic on double standards between colored and white artists in the media.

RollingStone Magazine has been around since 1967 and focuses on popular culture. The magazine can go from politics to pop culture, but it is mainly known for its music coverage. RollingStone focuses on the youth but it could be for the older generation considering it  is a mixture of different coverage. Raquel Cepeda is an award winning journalist and culture activist who has an inside on culture aspects which makes her creditable for this racial topic. She is from Dominican parents and has written a book called Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina which is about what it’s like being a Latina today. Cepeda is well educated in cultural issues making her article in RollingStone creditable and insightful to my topic.

Cepeda describes how the 2014 Grammy nominations are mostly, if not all, are white artists. She explains how the rap/hip-hop categorizes are a third white artists, which is very ironic,  when she states ” Expect the Grammys to get it wrong, at least in those few categories artists of color are expected to reign in….”. Cepeda does not hold back on the flat-out racism the grammys display by writing “On what planet did voters with the most basic knowledge of hip-hop culture and rap music think when Macklemore beat out Lamar for Best New Artist last year?” Cepeda argues that it is outrageous for a white rapper like Macklemore to be the winner of a Grammy in a rap category, which only emphasizes the double standards with race in the music industry. The world of music and media has its dark sides, but racism is one that mostly is pushed under the covers, when Cepeda describes the success of Iggy Azalea’s, a white Australian rapper. ” Her act is an inauthentic recreation of urban life that ridicules it, music’s answer to revanchist gentrification, one that desecrates the culture and the people who Azalea claims to have been inspired by.” argues Cepeda describing how Azalea’s culture appropriation is not seen as an act of racism but culture “inspired”.  Cepeda is pointing out how the Grammys are white-washed and are a double standard between white and colored artists.

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Nicki’s Stance

Minaj, Nicki(Nick Minaj). “When the “other” girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination.”. 21 July 2015, 12:23 PM. Tweet.

The controversy I chose is the double standards between women of color and white women in the media. The source I decided to use as an example for this controversy is the “feud” between rapper Nicki Minaj and singer Taylor Swift on Twitter. The feud is about Nicki Minaj’s tweets on her stating that she released a groundbreaking video but didn’t get nominated for MTV video of the year award. Nicki Minaj points out the racism in the media, but is seen as the “angry black woman” when most people thought she was attacking Taylor Swift even though Minaj was not talking about her but the media in general. This Twitter feud is related to my controversy, because it is the perfect example how there is white privilege and double standards regarding women in the media.

Nicki Minaj has always stood for women, especially women of color. She encourages women to stay in school and become independent. Nicki Minaj was actually courageous enough to speak about the issue, in a very popular social website, of racism in the music industry knowing she will get backlash from the media as “the angry black woman” stereotype. Nicki Minaj has been in the rapping industry for years now and has the experience enough to know it’s a man’s game. Although, she has said before “I do not see myself as a female rapper anymore. I see myself as a rapper”. She is making a stance for women, especially women of color, in rap and media.

Nicki Minaj started her tweets by expressing how black women don’t get recognized in the media when she didn’t get nominated for her “Anaconda” music video but Taylor Swift got nominated even though Minaj’s video also broke records. She shows she is tired of the same injustice when she tweets “I’m not always confident. Just tired. Black women influence pop culture so much but are rarely rewarded for it”. Minaj is speaking up about how women of color, in this case black women, are robbed of the influences they provide in the media. She is not attacking Taylor Swift but attacking the media when she tweets “Huh? U must not be reading my tweets. Didn’t say a word about u. I love u just as much. But u speack on this”.Minaj knows the influence Swift has on the media and pop culture which is why she asks her to speak on the double standard issue. Nicki Minaj is a hip hop icon and knows the dark side of the media which makes her argument with Taylor Swift a great source for the double standard controversy.


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My Communities

The communities I belong to are being Latina and a feminist. Being Latina means I am from a very family orientated background and am taught that family is the strongest bond we are born with. Although, it also means that the woman are supposed to be the ones who cook, clean, and take care of the house while the man is supposed to be the “bread winner”. This is where I decided to became a feminist, because being a feminist means wanting woman and man to be equal and end the stereotype about woman being the “house maid”, especially in my culture.

The stereotype I faced is actually in my own culture. I have two brothers, being the only female, and I was born the responsibility of cooking and cleaning for them.  I always complained to my mother on why I had to be the one to make them breakfast and clean after them, and she always responded with “because you’re the girl”. I would respond but “So? They got two good arms and legs, they could do it themselves”, but it would enter one ear and out the other. I also saw this predicament with my aunt. Even though my uncle and aunt both worked, she had to be the one to cook and clean for him after she came back from work. I would always question them about that. It would annoy my uncle, because he said I was too young to understand. I thought they were too old to understand.

beyonce-vma-feminist-fabiane-secchesBeing a feminist, I get the stereotype that I’m a “man hater”, but it has nothing to do with hating men. Feminist is wanting women to be seen equal as men. Being female means having less pay than men, asking “what was she wearing” when a woman gets raped, having male politicians have the say when it comes to abortion laws, and so on. There is so much meaning to the term feminist than is first implied, even famous artists are feminists like Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, and others. Being a feminist means believing  women are not superior or inferior to men but equal.

I am interested in the organization University Democrats. They promote democratic views and raise awareness for democrat campaigns which is the political party I am with. They don’t have much in their description, but it was the only democrat organization I could find. The second organization I am interested in is UT Sciences Toastmasters. This organization helps people improve their speaking and communication skills. I want to be involved in politics in the future, so I feel this organization can help me with my public speaking skills.

UT Sciences Toastmasters:

University Democrast:


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Legal marijuana: Should you be very afraid?

Anonymous. “Legal Marijuana: Should you be very Afraid?”. Northwest Asian Weekly, 29 March 2014, 19 July 2015.

The legalization of marijuana has its good and bad qualities, at least that’s what an anonymous writer, has to say about it. This anonymous writer from The Northwest Asian Weekly, who I will be referring to as AW, states that the biggest concerns for the legalization of marijuana is the “gateway theory”, fear of it being addictive, and health hazards which can be traced back to the person instead of the actual plant.

AW express that marijuana is only a gateway drug, because people acquire it illegally. Drug dealers, more than half of the time, have more dangerous drugs with them, as AW describes “The local, legal pot store clerk’s product will not only be regulated, without mystery ingredients, he won’t be trying to upgrade you to his cocaine special the next shelf over”. AW argues that if you remove the criminal involvement with marijuana there will be a less chance person will move on to harder drugs compared to buying marijuana at your local store clerk, where there will be no heroine, meth, and other illegal drugs. Overall, AW is basically stating drug dealers hold a big factor for a marijuana user moving on to more dangerous and addictive drugs.

According to AW, the addiction risk for marijuana use is less than caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and so on. AW states that research from science boards have calculated the addiction rate to nine percent from people who’ve tried it and twenty to thirty percent from people who smoke it on a regular basis. AW points out people who become addictive to marijuana are already prone to become an addict when AW claims “Ultimately, pot will most likely carry the highest risk of addiction for people who become addicted to things anyway because they are simply addictive people”. In general, AW is describing that the addictive risk for marijuana, is not the plant itself, but is depended on the people who smoke it.

The health issue for marijuana use is not as dangerous as other substances as AW asserts “Health-wise, it’s only logical to assume that inhaling smoke is detrimental, especially if followed by the ingestion of an entire bag of Cheetos”. Compared to the side effects tobacco and drinking can have on the body, marijuana is not as dangerous especially how AW compares a person who is stoned to one who is drunk. AW gives an example of a person who is drunk and driving over seventy miles an hour with aggressive behavior, compared to a person, who is stoned and calm driving, about twenty miles per hour making the difference in behavior drastic. AW is trying to make a statement that it’s up to the person to be responsible, because alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana, but it’s still a legal substance. AW declares “Just because something is bad for you doesn’t mean it should be illegal. Tobacco, alcohol, unprotected sex, potato chips, soda, touching dead birds, mining for coal, driving cars, and licking frozen flagpoles are all bad for you, but perfectly legal”, meaning marijuana does have it’s minor side effects, but it does not mean it’s a dangerous item to one’s health or choices as AW describes it.

This anonymous writer reports that marijuana is not as dangerous as most claim it is, and the side effects to smoking it, is depended on the person. I found this article helpful, because it helps with my point of view on marijuana. The side effects and aftermath of marijuana is depended on the person, because like AW states, marijuana is for the most part, harmless. This article summarizes the conspiracies surrounding marijuana and points out the actual reality of it.

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