In less than one week since the inauguration, Trump has taken action to repeal the Affordable Care Act, defund Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities, build a wall along the US-Mexico border, and approve the controversial Dakota Access and Keystone Pipelines. In the wake of one of the largest protests in recent history, Trump’s decisions serve as a complete slap in the face to the millions who protested over the weekend, and further proves that he is not a man who stands up for the people. Directly or indirectly fighting against such impending tyranny is exhausting. Maybe you live in a household or attend a school filled with Trump supporters. Maybe you demonstrated this weekend. Or maybe you just feel the weight of injustice on your shoulders because you are fully aware of what’s going on in the world. My friends, wherever you find yourselves, know that this fight, this revolution, this stand is only the beginning. It will be long and it will be dirty, so please take care of yourselves. Here are a few tips:
Nigerian girls missing, Ebola ravaging West African countries, ISIS terrorizing innocent civilians, Bubonic plague spreading throughout Madagascar, and hundreds of thousands of people losing the battle against social justice every. single. day. There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and I oftentimes feel angry, sad, confused, powerless, and just plain tired. Tired of the fighting. Tired of the hatred. Tired of the pain. Tired of the judgment. Tired of it all. When will it end? When will love finally drive out hate? When will darkness give way to light? When will we know justice and peace? When will we be the change we want to see in the world?
I interrupt the “Be a Team Player” series to bring you an important message…
Over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls chose to defy the odds and get an education to better their lives, country, and the world. But educating a girl means granting them with limitless power, and for some, that’s a scary thing. In an effort to showcase their disapproval and put an end to such “defiance,” Islamist militant group, Boko Haram kidnapped (likely assaulted, abused, and sold) these same Nigerian schoolgirls. And how did the Nigerian government and major American news outlets respond? Well…they didn’t. You could say that between the missing Malaysian Airline and the South Korean ferry incident, there’s just not enough room. And what about Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathon? Simply sending empty promises of comfort and peace with very little action. Therefore, millions of protesters took to social media sites in an effort to raise awareness of the issue by using the hashtag bring back our girls.
As a boarding school teacher, I’m required to wear different hats for various occasions and in various spaces. For instance, in the dorm, I can be a parental figure tucking them in and wishing them a goodnight’s sleep; in the classroom, I am their “faithful guide” helping them see beyond their text and make solid connections; and on the field, I am their biggest cheerleader coaching them through victorious wins and tough losses. There are a number of other roles I’m bound to play at a moment’s notice, and I constantly have to be on my toes ready to tackle whatever comes next—and this weekend would be no exception.
On a recent, restless, insomnia-filled late night, I randomly stumbled upon some old news out of Texas initially reported by the Huffington Post back in November of 2013. Richardson High School hired Christian motivational speaker and co-author of Christian dating books, Justin Lookadoo, to inspire and motivate its students. While Lookadoo did, in fact, inspire his captivated audience, I’m sure their response wasn’t what he imagined. You see, many of Lookadoo’s dating tips stem from a close-minded, misogynistic viewpoint. His books promote archaic conservative ideas like “datable girls know that guys need to be needed. A Datable girl isn’t Miss Independent” or “God made guys as leaders. Datable girls get that and let him do guy things, get a door, open a ketchup bottle. They relax and let guys be guys. Which means they don’t ask him out!!!” or my personal favorite, “Datable girls know how to shut up.”