With the rise of online criticism of conservative beliefs, figures, and news outlets has come a new form of “activism” that extends these criticisms into a mockery of red states. Even more, this has formed a new belief that red states and the people who inhabit them deserve to be the punchline of all “jokes” because of who the majority of people in those states vote for; this discounts the minority communities in each of these states that not only suffer because of their states’ legislators, but now are placed in a position where they are forced to hear about how everyone in their state deserves the lot they receive in life. It disregards the blatant voter suppression that these states imposed on marginalized voters and fails to recognize that not everyone living in a red state aligns with conservative beliefs. Making online jokes surrounding the unfortunate circumstances of red states was a common practice after Florida was declared a red state in the 2020 presidential election, which placed the state at the mercy of various hurricane and natural disaster jokes, and is now becoming commonplace following the spike in Texas winter storms and record freezing temperatures.
“It’s the AAVE for me,” “Chile, anyways,” “We been knew,” “Finna,” “Periodt, “No cap,” Well, aside from being ingrained in “Internet culture” and often incorrectly referred to as “Gen Z slang,” “internet lingo” or “stan language,” they’re all rooted in AAVE – African American Ventricular English. AAVE is an established, recognized system of linguistics and a dialect of English natively spoken by Black communities, notably in the United States and Canada.
WRITTEN BY: Cil
Burnout is often a result of work-induced stress, and for Gen. Z students, this fact is constantly applicable. Although work is a huge factor of burnout for adults over the age of twenty-four, teens and young adults often find that their source of burnout stems from school. Oftentimes, students are forced to prioritize homework, classes, and Zoom calls over their mental health. To provide mental clarity, one should always prioritize mental health above any assigned work.
The cultural influences of the African American community have not only shaped American culture, but rather the entire world; with influences ranging from fashion, the arts, to even agriculture, African Americans rarely receive recognition for their contributions that are all stored in the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In what is known to be a ‘universal language’ that unites individuals of all demographics, music has historically been a symbol of hope and integrity for African Americans. From what began as a way to bond with fellow slaves while easing the drudgery of their lives, music has flourished into a pivotal component of America’s overall cultural heritage. Their dance tunes, religious music, and hip hop influences makes it nearly impossible to envision America without African American influence.
Black History Month started at a Chicago festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of the emancipation of enslaved people. Carter Woodson observed this festival, and opened up a Black history booth during the 3 week duration of the celebration. Soon after the festival ended, he decided to form the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (Now changed to Association for the Study of African American Life and History).
In a fiery spoken-word piece performed by Joy Buolamwini, she asks artificial intelligence a simple question: “Often forgetting to deal with// Gender, race, and class, again I ask Ain’t I a Woman?” This sentiment rings true as visuals play of multiple high profile black women, such as Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Serena Williams, being misidentified by various facial recognition software. The AI jumps to the conclusion that they are all men. This situation is evidence of underlying racial bias, and it’s not an isolated incident; racial bias is persistent in AI.
WRITTEN BY: Lucy Damachi
Gen-Z is a generation that is utterly obsessed with our phones and screens. We are a part of a generation that was born into the unknown and pushed into the abyss of the internet. Our developing years were spent having to choose between living in the moment and getting lost in our technology. We turned out fine though, right?
4.5% of adults in the US identify as LGBTQIA+ as of 2017. 39% of those people suffer from mental health issues – that is 5.8 million people. It is really important to know that identifying as LGBTQIA+ is NOT a mental illness or disorder. Everyone has a sexual orientation and gender identity. People who identify differently than the majority of the population fall under the term LGBTQIA+. Although being LGBTQIA+ is absolutely not a mental illness, more LGBTQIA+ people experience mental health problems than their “straight” counterparts. This is mostly due to the shame, fear, discimination, and traumatic events they have to face due to how they identify. Discrimination against LGBTQ+ persons has been associated with high rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and suicide. Many people who identify as LGBTQIA+ are also part of other marginalized communities. This adds the potential for xenophobia, racism, ableism, ageism, sexism, and much more to homophobia or transphobia they already have to face.
WRITTEN BY: Eliza Cline
Video games have been around since 1958, and as the years go by with improved technology, playing video games has become a very popular hobby or leisure activity amongst everybody, no matter the age or generation. As of October 2020, there have been 3.07 billion active video gamers worldwide on many different platforms such as computers, consoles, mobile phones, TVs and others.
WRITTEN BY: Emily Yeap
Social movements are increasingly realizing the importance of intersectionality – the understanding that every person’s different identities (their race, gender, class, sexuality, etc.) work together to define their unique experience in society. Until the importance of intersectionality was acknowledged, activists believed that a win for a marginalized group meant a win for everyone in that group, regardless of their other identities that might work against them gaining equal benefits. However, despite increasingly intersectional discourse, even current social movements fail to include all identities successfully.
WRITTEN BY: Elisabeth Mahilini Hoole