Category Archives: Blog Post 2


“Stereotypes, they’re sensual, cultural weapons. That’s the way that we attack people. At an artistic level, stereotypes are terrible writing.” Judging people based on their color, religion and sex is not right because we don’t have the right to judge others. Society has categorized the types of people based on their attributes. Today I’m a Muslim and others have prejudiced me several times due to my religion. I have ignored these stereotypes because many people are not correctly informed about the ethics of Islam. In order to prevent these stereotypes from spreading rapidly I will have to do something about it. As a result the Muslim community is the community I belong to because I can make an impact by educating others about Islam. Another community I feel like I belong in is the south Asian community.

After the notorious event of 9/11 people were disgusted by Islam. Many people referred to it as “the terrorist group”, which agitated me because we were not a violent community. I later realized people were not educated on Islam and negative figures such as Osama Bin Laden left a bad connotation on Islam. It is ironic that many people perceive Islam as violent religion, because it is a religion of peace and submission. As an incoming freshman and Muslim at UT, I think the best community I will fit in is IMSA (Ismaili Muslim Student Association). I believe this community will try to convey the real message on Islam and will educate the people about my religion. Also this organization will help me meet new people who are from the same cultural background. The people I may meet through this organization could provide me with the right connections. Being with a group of Muslims with the same background story will make me feel comfortable because all of the people in this organization can relate to each other. Islam encourages unity and I will be united with my fellow Muslims.

My parents have dedicated their lives for me to become successful and go to college. This is important in the south Asian community because all of our parents have migrated from different countries. My parents have traveled across the world so I can have a better life. I believe being part of the south Asian community will give me drive to never stop giving up because my parents have sacrificed for me. Also I have noticed that many think that south Asians are pressured to become a doctor or engineer. In fact I was never pressured to any career choice. Many people always think this significant stereotype. Even if we are occasionally forced, our parents do it out of love. Encouraging those fields are not bad because in the long run they pay off. Finally the south Asian community will provide me that motivation and ambition.

Ultimately what people think should not matter to others. As the saying goes, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me”. People should ignore these stereotypes because they are insignificant. If one becomes involves in the communities he or she likes then it will give the individual more confidence. Lastly I think joining these different communities will shape my perspective and make my mindset more diverse.

1 Comment

Filed under Blog Post 2

My Communities

There are many communities that I can identify with, however, the two communities I identify most with are the African American community and the Christian community.

The first community I identify most with is pretty obvious, which is the African American community. I have grown up and lived my entire life thus far in the South where I always lived in areas that contained a large amount of African Americans. Growing up my parents would always tell me not to forget where I come from and to this day my mom and grandmother always tell me stories about what it like growing up being black.

Even today in the year 2015 when we as a country have supposedly come so far there is still a lot of stereotypes, discrimination, and racism that goes on. Growing up I have heard so many stereotypes about black people such as “black people are ghetto”, “black people are unattractive”, “black people hair can’t grow” and so many more. All these stereotypes are negative, not one is positive or makes black people feel good about themselves or in many cases just simply are not true.

When African Americans are portrayed on TV, what do you see? A rapper? An athlete? That’s about it. Being black you have to work twice as hard just to prove yourself and showcase your capabilities. Although I’ve never really experienced discrimination like others have or like the people you watch in the news, there are a few things people assume about me just because I’m black.

The other community I have chosen to discuss is the Christian community. Growing up, my family went to church every Sunday and my sister and I would attend Sunday School. This community is close to me because it’s something I became apart of as a kid. The Christian community and I share similar beliefs and there is one person that we all find most important to us and holds close to our hearts, and that person is God. We believe in growing your relationship with God and striving to be the best Christian that you can possibly be. These people that you see in the church or maybe outside the church becomes family. They will always be there for you along with God.

So when asked which two communities I identify most with I would have to say the African American community and the Christian community.

1 Comment

Filed under Blog Post 2

My Communities

The communities I strongly identify with are being Black and a Christian. I hold these communities close to my heart because without them I would feel lost and incomplete.

blacknessBeing Black is very important to my identity. Blackness is something  that I couldn’t neglect in adding to my communities because it is me; I am Blackness. From the way that I talk, to the way that I think; it is inherently Black. That isn’t meant to marginalize Black people and tout the ignorance that we all think alike,  because we don’t, but there is an underlining current of togetherness we share as a community. Looking at my community I find that our values system revolves around faith and camaraderie. There is a certain respect we hold for our parents, elders, and brethren alike. These values in my opinion were borne out of slavery, where we had to lean on one another for strength, hope, and fortitude. From something so horrific and tragic came the unification of one peoples.

It would be nice to say that I have never experienced racism or prejudice just because of the color of my skin, but that would be a lie. There have been times when I could just feel the hate because I was Black.   I remember a time in third grade where I was denied friendship because I was Black. In another instance I remember being called a Nigga by little boys at playground  across from where I lived. These occurrences left me feeling baffled and hurt. How dare someone categorize me, not see me for Topanga, but as just another Black person. Sometimes I don’t feel necessarily comfortable to really be myself in fear of feeding into the typical Black stereotype. Being loud or using slang has over time been consider “Black” or something for the lower class, and I reject that entirely. Being apart of community that is joyous and vibrant is what makes being Black beautiful . I will forever identify with this community and do my best to bring forth its richness.

Aside from identifying with the Black community, I identify as a Christian as well. My mother was raised Southern Baptist and my father was raised African Methodist, so believing was a big deal in  my household. To reflect on the things that compromise me as a person, Christianity is one of my foremost attributes. My faith dictates a lot in my life. The way I make decisions, how I carry myself as a young woman, is all connected to Christianity.One of the greatest feelings in my life was when I became a baptized Christian. It felt very affirming and a little scary to know that I had just dedicated myself to Jesus Christ, but it was a decision I haven’t come to regret.

black jesusBeing a Christian I have been taught to depend on the word of God, for He is my sustenance. Because of my faith I value certain things like family and caring for the needy. There are things that I will simply not do, because they don’t align with my beliefs.

Belonging to the world-wide community of  Christians gives me strength to know that there are people the same as me going through the trials and tribulations of being a Christian. I have  definitely felt stereotyped for being a Christian at times. There are people who disagree with my faith entirely and refuse to see the good in it. People believe that this way of believing is archaic and backwards, but all I can do keep the statutes that were handed down to me. I will never renounce my faith, just like being Black, it is inherently apart of who I am.

Upon researching the Hornslink database I found several organizations here on campus that are attuned with my communities.  Afrikan-American Affairs is organization promoting leadership and community for Black students at UT. This is definitely something that I will checking out in the fall, so that I can connect with people who share the same culture that I do. I also found a Christian organization called Access Christian Fellowship. This organization is all about developing a deeper relationship with Christ and taking the Gospel to the world, and those are two things I am interested in as a Christian.

1 Comment

Filed under Blog Post 2

The Most Meaningful Communities to Me

There are many words I could use to describe myself, of course, some more apparent than others. If I were to ask a stranger to choose a word they think best encompasses who I am, they would reply quickly with “blonde” or “white”— no hesitation. Although these are true, there are two words in particular that you would not be able to assume based on my appearance. In addition to being blonde and white, I am also Mexican and Mormon. These are the two communities I hold most dear.

Growing up in a dominantly Hispanic area, I grew accustomed to feeling like the black sheep in most situations. Although I was born in Mexico City and learned to speak Spanish before I did English, people walking by would not second guess calling me anything but Caucasian.

Mexicans are often stereotyped as uneducated and undocumented. “How are you Mexican? You’re smart…” and “So you’re illegal?” were among the list of ignorant questions I received when claiming my ethnicity. Intelligence knows no race. It is not about your background or where you come from; I think the amount of hard work and dedication we invest into something is what makes us successful at what we do. As a member of the Mexican community, I believe that to put an end to these stereotypes we must continue to work hard and learn to look past the negative words that are associated with our culture. I am proud to be a part of a culture that appreciates the things they worked so hard to acquire.

The second community I find myself most associated with is the Mormon community. Those who know little of our religion claim that we are not Christians or that we practice polygamy (which are both false stereotypes), so here is a short overview of what Mormons believe. (I’ll make it brief, I promise!)

  1. “Mormon” is the nickname given to the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or LDS for short.
  2. We believe God is our Heavenly Father and that He sent Jesus Christ, our Savior, to suffer for our sins. We also believe that we can return to live with God again someday.

Sound familiar? That’s because…

  1. Mormons are Christians. Our religion is completely centered around Christ and striving to become more like Him. We read the Bible in addition to the Book of Mormon (another record of scripture like the Bible).
  2. We do not practice polygamy or plural marriage. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), however, does. The FLDS church is not affiliated with the LDS church whatsoever, but because FLDS members also call themselves “mormons,” society does not recognize that those who practice polygamy are of a different denomination than those who do not.

Using the Hornslink database, I found that I would be interested in joining the Hispanic Student Association. Being that I am hispanic and I enjoy community service, I would like to be a part of this organization whose purpose is “to preserve, promote, and produce awareness and understanding of Hispanic culture.”


Filed under Blog Post 2

From Hip Hop to Conspiracies, Let’s Talk Communities

         *Quick Disclaimer: This post is super long and I laughed at myself writing this. So feel free to laugh at me while reading this.*

710441 When people initially look at me, they assume that I listen to Taylor Swift, go to Starbucks everyday, and am super rich. Why do people think this? To be honest, I’m still asking myself this everyday, because none of those assumptions are true. I hate Taylor Swift. I hate coffee and prefer tea without sugar. Let’s be honest, if I was rich, I would have started a company, like Paris Hilton did, and just get richer from there. I wouldn’t come to UT. (I’m not hating on UT, I love it here!) My name is Ashley Bedford and I belong to “typical” and “non-typical” communities.

hqdefaultIf someone were to go on my Spotify, they would find a bunch of Hip Hop and R&B music. Since I am African American, this music choice should be a given, right? Actually, no. When I was a young girl, I would go places with my friends in their parent’s car and when they turned on the radio, a hip hop song would come on. 102.3 The BEAT was the radio station of choice. I just started moving to the rhythm and fell in love with how upbeat the music was. I never paid any mind to the lyrics back then, but nowadays I try to be more attentive to it. Keyword, try. I also fell in love with Hip Hop music, because my friends and I could dance to it. Whenever I would sleep over at Haley’s house, my best friend, we would rant about our lives. Then, we’d turn on the jams and completely lose ourselves in the music by dancing. People look at me and think, “Oh, she’s too pure for Hip Hop music,” because of how proper I speak and act. I don’t ever understand the assumptions people come up with, but I just roll with the punches. Hip hop music is a pretty big part of my life. I listen to it when I’m doing homework, when I’m cleaning, when I’m mad, and when I’m bored. Without it, I would have many boring, uneventful days. Being African American does not limit my music taste. I listen to alternative rock, bandas, salsa, french, and remixed music. I’ll even play jazz and classical music sometimes. Race has nothing to do with music taste.

I also belong to the community of conservatives. Many people would not think that I’m a conservative person, at first, because I’m young. The general stereotype is that all young people are “young, wild, and free” liberals. In my case, only being young fits me.

Starting at the age of three, I was influenced by my father who worked tediously to instill core values and morals in me. To this day, I keep many of those values and morals dear to my heart. He taught me during car rides and at different restaurants, that God should be number one in my life and the world that we live in is reverting to evil, like Sodom and Gomorrah. This is going to sound super crazy to some people, but personally, I’ve found that most things my dad tells me are true. He would always give me bible lessons. Through those lessons, I would uncover truths about my life and the world around me that I would have never discovered, if it wasn’t for him showing me. I get a lot of my observing and picky tendencies from him. He always taught me about the power of observation and how shifts in our society lead back to the bible.


It all sounds like conspiracy theories to others, but it’s very real to me. My dad told me that our world is full of lies and deceitful behavior, which directly contributes to me being more conservative than liberal. I used to shrug him off, but one day I found evidence to backup his claims. It was pretty mind-blowing! For example, many people believe that most of the food we eat is acceptable for our bodies and couldn’t harm a fly. I discovered, through research, that the mass production of corn in our foods, GMOs, are not good for us and that there are various carcinogens in everything we eat. Basically, we are killing each other off (mainly businesses that manufacture these cancer causing items) and the medical industry is profiting on people who are getting cancer. It’s a repetitive vicious cycle, actually. People typically shrug me off, but if you look close enough, our world isn’t the “rainbows and sunshine” place that everyone makes it out to be.

I went to Golden Coral one day, paid to enter the building, got food, then sat down. Well when I got up to get more food, I took a minute or two to just observe my surroundings. I saw a bunch of people scarfing down food, like it was a “dog-eat-dog” environment.  This directly ties to the book of Revelations and the end of the world. Tying that back to the earlier example, carcinogens lie in that food. Too much of it could potentially lead you to a hospital bed. I worked on limiting my portions ever since.

Enough about my “crazy” conspiracies.

Just because I classify with the conservative group, does not mean that I don’t share anything with liberals. I’m pretty liberal about the death penalty issue. I think it should be abolished, because I’m all for emphasizing the importance of life and living. I’m also liberal about the environment and gun control issues. We should care about our environment, because we live here. We should also abolish guns for citizens, because I promote peace. There is power in our hands and what we put in it should matter. If you put a pencil in it, that hand has the power to write beautiful, uplifting words. If you put a gun in our hands, that gives us the power to end the lives of others by force. Lives are precious, not something to be toyed with. Of course, one could say, “words are powerful too and one could write bad words that could lead to someone’s death,” true, but a gun is more direct. If you pull the trigger, you could end a life, against their will,  right on the spot. If you write something harmful, it is up to that person to react positively or negatively.

Alcohol-Drugs-Sign-PKE-14463_150 I also haven’t experienced many things that society deems as bad to do, like smoking and drinking alcohol. It’s just a personal decision that I made to not participate in these things. I personally don’t think others should participate in them either, because they have seriously negative effects on our bodies and brains. Everyone can have a great time without a stimulant to aid them. I feel that the body is a very important part of us and we should treat it with care. This has a lot to do with how conservative I am as well.

Also, just because I have conservative views does not mean that I will keep these views forever. I have conflicting views sometimes, but recently I’ve been digging into the root of my beliefs and am starting to define them as they are now. Many people think I’m mature because I observe our world and respond differently than many other young people do. I take that as a compliment, but i’m still a work in progress, just like everyone else. I’m certain that Hip Hop music and God don’t match, judge me as you please. I’m certain that many of you have contradicting actions and values in you lives as well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARegarding hip hop music, I recently got into DJ-ing and have been looking into the Texas Electronic Music Club. There, I could learn how to take hip hop music and make catchy remixes from them, because I also love remixes too. I could find more experienced people who would be willing to show me the basics of DJ-ing, like how to make a loop. I’m sure that many students are talented in making remixes. To top it off, my dad used to DJ and make new beats. He gave up wanting to be a famous DJ in the nineties, but that’s a another story for another day.

I found a club called, “Young Conservatives of Texas – University Chapter”. It is a club I could go to and have people who believe in the same principles that I do. I could have a student to talk to you and relate to me on political issues. I could even have someone to debate with, because I share many liberal ideals as well, just not as many as conservative ideals. There I could formulate new opinions and aspects on different issues. I could also continually educate myself on “hot topics”.

– Blog Post 2 written by Ashley Bedford


Filed under Blog Post 2

Being Asian/ American

The two choices of community that I choose to talk about are the Asian community and Houston community because it is the the biggest part . I’m a Vietnamese that was born in America because way before the time I was born my parents decided to escape our communist country of Vietnam and look for a better life. This occur during the time when the North to South  of Vietnam was a battlefield drench in blood of American and Vietnamese people. Today there are still active mines located all over the jungle region of Vietnam.                                                                                                      

In the Asian community we are known to other as racist, strict, bad driver, smart, owner of most to all of the nail salons, hair salons, or dry cleaners. Most of these statement might be true, but it does not apply to everyone in the community. Majority of the time these stereotypes are apply to the older generation who first came to America. Even though these statement people assume Asian are, it is not as bad as those of other race. I, the younger generation of this Asian community, hadn’t known what our grandparents or parents has done for us to be where we are today. For that we owe it to them to be obedient to their strict crazy rules.

In addition to my Asian community, I’m also part of the Houston community. That part of me is pretty big too because I was born there. I was raised in Houston so my commitments lie in Houston. It is home so it is my root and my core. The community is so diverse and rich in different cultures that it rub off on me. It might not be everyone favorite place, but that is where my family and friends are. That was where I begin my journey and that also will probably be where my journey.

A organization that I will probably join is Vietnamese Students Association (VSA) because I’m looking forward to meeting some other Asian in UT and because my cousin is going to join the organization if I join. Plus I’ve heard that they do a lot of community services, so yeah to helping the community.

In addition to VSA, I will also join the University of Texas Mixed Martial Arts organization because I want to learn a little self-defense and self-discipline. Plus I think it will be a good way to stay healthy and strong.




Filed under Blog Post 2