Tag Archives: race

Could You Not Touch It? A Mixed Girl’s Hair Intervention

by Giselle Moreau, ’16

My entire life I’ve been defined by my hair. In fact, people describe me by it, praise me for it, locate me by it—it has been the go to for people of all ethnicities and backgrounds to approach and interact with me. I even wrote my college essay on how I “was” my hair.

Last night I started pondering getting a hair cut. I was only looking to get my ends trimmed, but then my thoughts expanded and began asking me questions: what if you really cut your hair? What if you cut it short? What if you cut it all off?

7-1 Giselle

Hair isn’t a joke.

Continue reading

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On the Merit of Blurred Lines

by Surabhi Nirkhe, ’13

I am tired of discourse that divides brown from white, the oppressed from the oppressors, students of color from white students, and the underprivileged from the privileged. Tracing and retracing these lines prevents us from creating identities that are much more complex, often in the spaces where these lines blur.

In her recent STATIC article, Holly Fetter ended with a powerful statement that resonated with me: “unless we confront our fears and make active changes to educate ourselves about the perspectives and experiences of those in other communities, we’ll never be able to see past the illusion of isolation”. To me, the recent mixer held between Sanskriti, the South Asian student organization, and the Stanford Israel Alliance represents just that. I did not attend the mixer, but I have been a part of similar events at Stanford, and I can honestly say that experiences which have pushed me to interact with individuals from outside my community have been some of the most valuable.

I do not mean to say that I don’t hold opinions; I do and I hold on to them very strongly. Continue reading

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Facing the Shadows: Mental Health and the API Community

by Sunli Kim, ’15

Mental_HealthDuring May, API (Asian Pacific Islander) Heritage Month, the Stanford Asian American Activism Committee (SAAAC) will be hosting a month-long issues series on mental health in the API community context, titled Facing the Shadows: Mental Health and the API Community. The workshops are open to all interested students, regardless of ethnic background. Not only will we be covering specific issues within the realm of mental health, but also we hope to raise overall campus awareness of Stanford’s available resources and evaluate the effectiveness of those resources to accommodate minorities’ narratives and cultural differences.

Mental health has been and continues to be an understated, unaddressed issue. We seek not only to raise awareness and critically analyze the root causes of mental health issues, but also to encourage our communities to directly confront these issues by exploring how an individual’s cultural context and larger institutional systems, such as education and law, influence mental health and promote a culture of stigma and silence. Continue reading

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The Illusion of Isolation

by Holly Fetter, ‘13

This piece focuses on a post written by Jason Lupatkin for The Stanford Review, entitled “Why You Cannot Vote for SOCC.”  (The uncensored version is here, the updated version is here, and you can read a comparison of the two versions here).

The “Duck Syndrome” metaphor isn’t just for stress and health — we should use it to talk about race, too.

Sometimes, it’s easy to pretend that we’re a bunch of differently-hued ducks, floating peacefully in a multicultural pond of joy. We have FACES during NSO, “Crossing the Line” as awkward frosh, and we’re good to go.

But then the Jason Lupatkin ducks come along, and write blog posts like this one, and remind us that our diverse world isn’t so calm after all — there’s a lot of turbulence and chaos below the surface that’s rarely exposed.

If there’s one thing I appreciate about Lupatkin’s post, it’s that he had the courage to say what he said. Continue reading

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On the SOCC Debacle

by Eme Williams-Blake, ’13

This piece focuses on a post written by Jason Lupatkin for The Stanford Review, entitled “Why You Cannot Vote for SOCC.”  (The uncensored version is herethe updated version is here, and you can read a comparison of the two versions here).

The broader outlook: The response to backlash of the opinion piece “Why You Cannot Vote for SOCC” was problematic to say the very least, beginning with the  way in which The Stanford Review chose to handle the negative publicity. An opinion piece was posted on their website. It was widely circulated and generated negative feedback and they chose to censor the article by removing it entirely from their website. To add insult to injury, The Stanford Review, for reasons unknown, chose to repost the article under the same title, but with major changes to the wording, omitting and rephrasing statements. These changes were made without any indication on the article’s page that these edits were made: a major breach in journalism ethics. Continue reading

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Continue Engaging: Reflections from Listen to the Silence 2013

by Van Anh Tran, ‘13 + Healy Ko, ‘13

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On February 2, 2013,  Stanford’s Asian American Students’ Association (AASA) held its 17th annual Listen to the Silence (LTS) conference, an Asian American issues conference that aims to empower students and community members to take action towards achieving social change. This year’s theme, “Click, Connect, Engage: From Social Media to Social Justice,” focused on the rise of social media as a force for achieving change within our communities.

This year’s conference was the largest Listen to the Silence in Stanford history with over 600 registrants, 22 workshops, 2 keynote speakers, and a high-profile Asian American artist. Through the workshops, LTS provided a space for students to learn about important issues affecting their community — from Asian American feminism to ethnic biases in public radio. Continue reading

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How I Came to Co-Produce ‘Trying to Find Chinatown’

by Leow Hui Min Annabeth, ’16

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On the dropdown menu on the New Student Orientation survey, I was asked for my ethnicity.

“Asian American/Pacific Islander?” I’d only been in California for two weeks; over my dead body would I let myself be counted as U.S. American.

“International?” …no, Stanford, that’s not an ethnicity.

* * *

My pink identity card, issued by the Republic of Singapore—it says so in amiably bold sans serif—reads, under the column labelled “Race,” “Chinese.” The census, last taken two years ago, prefers the term “ethnicity,” and defines “Chinese” as “persons of Chinese origin such as Hokkiens, Teochews, Cantonese, Hakkas, Hainanese, Hockchias, Foochows, Henghuas, Shanghainese etc.,” which is on a certain level tautological.

Here in America, where “Asian” is a race all to itself, I always dither over the “East Asian” and “Southeast Asian” checkboxes, especially when “Chinese/Japanese/Korean” are helpfully enclosed in parentheses beside the term “East Asian.” Continue reading

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White Fetish

by Janani Balasubramanian, ’12

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A failing of the word ‘activism’ is its designation of certain activities as political engagement and the rest of our lives as some other floaty and apolitical space.  In reality, we are always enacting and interacting with the structures of power and social positions each of us inhabit.  My friend Alok and I were at a queer conference this weekend in Atlanta to facilitate the same workshop that we’re presenting tonight: ‘Because You’re Brown Honey Gurl!: A Dialogue about Race and Desire’.  Our intention was to bring to bear a conversation on spaces where desire, sex, and romance circulate as political spaces.  The project of queer liberation isn’t limited to our policy engagements or our organizing work — it is also about considering how we desire and are desired in white supremacist realities.

We use the term ‘sexual racism’ to describe the ways that racism and racist traumas inflect our romantic and sexual relations. Continue reading

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The Trouble with Environmentalism

by Christina Ospina, ’12


Being “green” is one of the sexiest trends that has arisen in the past several years, made popular largely by increasing concerns over Climate Change.  People want to buy clothes made from organic cotton, use biodegradable laundry detergent, eat free-range chicken, invest in solar energy, and protest to save polar bears.  But we must ask: who are the people behind this movement?  Realistically, someone struggling to pay rent might not feel compelled to invest in solar power to avoid using electricity generated from coal-fired plants.  Today, the American environmentalist movement’s biggest challenge isn’t Climate Change, it isn’t over-fishing, it’s not rainforest degradation, and it’s not it industrialized agriculture; the main obstacle the environmentalism faces is transforming into a movement for all socio-economic levels.  Environmentalism shouldn’t be a movement for the privileged, it should be integrated in all levels and all communities that comprise the American population.

Historically, lower classes and minorities have been left out or overlooked in American environmental and conservation movements.  Just look back at the emergence of conservation with the Romantic movement in the mid 1800s, with influential figures such as Roosevelt,  Muir and Thoreau, who evoked imagery of the sublime in their writing and praised the powerful beauty of wilderness. Continue reading

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