Black Girl, Grad School

an amalgamation of personal politics, and my life as a Ph.D. candidate

Posts from the “politics” Category

Liberal Democracy has already Failed Refugees, Right-Wing Populism would have them Killed.

Posted on 2019-05-16

Please Note: I originally wrote this in November of 2018 As people bemoan the abhorrent views of the Trump administration towards refugees and migrants, liberal democracies have always had abhorrent contradictions within them when it comes to refugees (and immigrants). On Sunday November 25th the United States— in an attempt to deny Central American migrants their legal right to claim asylum on its border—shut down the San Isidro port of entry for migrants, between San Diego and Tijuana. Migrants that still attempted to reach the U.S. border in order to lay their claims for asylum, were met with tear gas by heavily armed U.S. troops that were sent to act as an accompanying police force for U.S. border patrol. Not only was the tear…

Venezuela: The Continuation of U.S. foreign policy in “America’s backyard”

Posted on 2019-03-22

On January 23rd2019, President Trump and his administration decided to “officially recognize” the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as the interim President of Venezuela. Four months prior to this official recognition of Guaido as the interim President in Venezuela by the Trump administration; right-wing Christian fundamentalist, Jair Bolsanaro, had won the elections in Brazil. Bolsanaro’s win was celebrated as a victory for the people of Brazil by the Trump administration, and Bolsanaro’s rise to the presidency was celebrated as a partner to the U.S. in the region. Two months after Bolsanaro’s win, and one month prior to Trump’s declaration of Guaido as the interim President of Venezuela, the government in Guyana (located to the east of Venezuela) fell, due to a…

Knock Down the House: A Review

Posted on 2019-03-15

Please note that my review may include some spoilers. In terms of my recommendations, I give this documentary a 10/10– thus a “must see.” On March 6th I attended a viewing of “Knock Down the House” as part of the Miami Film Festival (#MFF) at Spotlight Cinema in Downtown Miami. Knock Down the House is a documentary written and directed by Rachel Lears, which follows the 2018 primary campaigns of four working class women who present challenges to politicians benefiting from the unfair structure of money in politics within their districts/state. Those women are Cori Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paula Jean Swearengin, and Amy Vilela all three of whom were backed by progressive organizations like Justice Democrats. The documentary itself feels very authentic and raw.…

Socialism 2018

Posted on 2018-07-10

On Wednesday, July 4th, myself (Vice Secretary) and the Vice chair of YDSA FIU were able to attend the Socialism 2018 conference in Chicago. None of this would have been possible for us, had it not been for the South Florida International Socialist Organization (SF ISO). SF ISO informed YDSA FIU about the conference in April of the Spring 2018 semester, and then secured our flights to and from Miami and Chicago for us. So, what is Socialism 2018? Much as the name suggests, it’s a gathering of 2,000+ socialists who believe that human beings should come before profit. The annual Socialism Conference “has brought together revolutionaries and activists to exchange and debate ideas to advance our struggles” for more than two decades. To…

Safeguarding the Fragile Male Ego in Academia

Posted on 2018-06-11

‘Hey, I think you should do it this way…not because what you have is wrong, but maybe it’d read easier like this.’  I found myself saying this to a male colleague last semester, instead of outrightly saying: ‘what you wrote makes no sense to me, no matter how much I re-read it.’ I said the former because I knew that if I said what the exact problem was he (1) would not believe me and (2) tell people just how much of a bitch Tamanisha always is.  Unsurprisingly, he had other males read what he wrote too, and I do believe that they told him the exact problem without any fluff.  These men would never be subjected to number 2—however, as a trusted female…

“Freedom Is Still More Expansive Than Civil Rights”

Posted on 2018-04-30

This past week, I was given the opportunity to present at the 19th Annual SALISES conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The theme of the conference was “Sustainable Futures for the Caribbean: Critical Interventions and the 2030 Agenda.” I learned a great deal from that conference and was able to see a lot of great presentations and take-in a lot of knowledge from those presentations… However, that is not what this blog post is about. That information simply sets the stage for my leisure reading that I was able to do on my way to Jamaica and whilst in Jamaica. I decided to take the book Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angel Y. Davis with a…

Tennessee Fails to Condemn Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, and the Alt-Right…because to do so would be “Divisive”

Posted on 2018-03-16

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but presently, we live in a world where morality and ethics are increasingly seen as solely relative. This has allowed pleas for morality when it comes to our interactions with each other to simply be ‘liberal buzzwords’ and ‘emotional pleas,’ from those who fight for human rights and legislative decency and/or justice. No longer is this a debate amongst philosophers, but apparently, the debate has ended. This is troubling. I cannot think of any instance, where the persecution of someone based on race, for instance, is morally ‘relative’ versus ‘universal.’ Can you? In this climate, to question the morality of a white supremacist is considered ‘bashing.’ Therefore, it is implied that we must take…

Why Guns in Schools to Prevent Mass Shootings Does Not Work

Posted on 2018-02-25

Only in the U.S. could one propose more guns in schools to curb mass shootings. I wish that I was kidding, but I’m not. Early last week, I wrote a post about the Parkland shooting which occurred on Valentine’s day in Florida. After the massacre, 17 students and adults were left dead. In spite of their deaths, two days later, Florida legislatures tried to sneakily relax gun laws in the state by hiding it in an agricultural bill. Thankfully, that bill was put on hold once major Florida news outlets picked the story up. I ended my post early last week stating: What matters are those who died when they did not have to. What matters is recognizing the hurt and pain students (survivors),…

NRA + GOP: Thoughts & Prayers Do Not Stop Gun Massacres in the U.S.

Posted on 2018-02-19

On Valentine’s Day 2018, Nikolas Cruz walked in to his old high school in Parkland, Florida and massacred 17 students, teachers, and adults. As with many cases of mass shootings in the U.S., many people were quick to send their “thoughts and prayers.” Republicans and their supported decried “politicizing” the issue—or in other words, bringing up gun reform and control in light of the 18th mass shooting in the U.S. for the year. Unsurprisingly, most politicians in South Florida are beholden to the National Rifle Association (NRA), receiving large sums of money from the association. Needless to say, despite the massacre hitting home, most South Florida representatives were in the “not politicizing” camp. However, let me be very clear: the South Florida shooting did…

Preparing for Comps, Grad School

Posted on 2018-01-25

This semester, I have one class and am doing comps prep (preparing for my comprehensive examinations). I am in an International Relations PhD program at FIU, where I focus on foreign policy and security—with a broad concentration on International Relations and the Caribbean. My Comprehensive Exams will consist of 5 questions— 2 belonging to core IR theory, 2 on my 2 major focuses: foreign policy + security, and 1 on my minor concentration: Caribbean politics. The good thing is, that I have read many of these books before and have taken extensive notes on them. I have highlighted material that I am confident with below. The bad thing is, at face value, the whole preparation aspect of it can seem daunting. I am just…