Gentistas share experiences with microaggressions

 

Microaggressions: brief verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative insults. Typically, microaggressions are associated with subtle forms of racism, but they do go beyond race. For instance, “You throw like a girl,” is a verbal microaggression, and the action of a White individual clutching his/her bag because a Latino is approaching, is a behavioral microaggression.

Below, three Gentistas share microaggressions that they have experienced while at UCLA. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section, and check out the community microagressions board in Campbell Hall!

Campbell Hall

Campbell Hall 1

 

Read Gentista Bernadett Leggis’s article about microaggressions here: http://issuu.com/lagentenewsmag/docs/lg.winter.2013/18

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“THIS CAN BE  CALLED IMMIGRANT POETRY,” SAID THE PROFESSOR WHEN I SHARED MY POEM IN A WRITING WORKSHOP.

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AN OLDER WHITE WOMAN WAS SURPRISED THAT I, A BOYLE HEIGHTS NATIVE, WAS ATTENDING UCLA. “GOOD FOR YOU,” SHE SAID.

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A PROFESSOR WAS SURPRISED THAT I SPOKE ENGLISH SO WELL.

 

Share yours in the comments section below.

 

“Ghost Rapes” haunt colony in Bolivia

In 2009 nine men were convicted for raping more than 100 women and girls in a Mennonite community in Manitoba Colony, Bolivia. The men used a powerful sedative adapted from cow tranquilizers to drug entire households before carrying out the attacks. Initially, the colony did not believe the victims, who would have no recollection of the night before as they woke up in bloody sheets. Despite these convictions, however, the attacks continue.

Read more about the “Ghost Rapes” here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2385413/The-ghost-rapes-Bolivia-Mennonite-Manitoba-colony-drug-rapes.html

 http://www.vice.com/read/the-ghost-rapes-of-bolivia-000300-v20n8?Contentpage=1

 

45 years after a deadly UCLA shooting

January 17 marked the 45th anniversary of the deaths of two 1960’s Black Panther leaders. Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins were two powerful leaders within the Los Angeles branch of the Black Panther organization and movement. They also happened to be two High Potential program students at UCLA. It was at UCLA’s Campbell Hall, home of various ethnic organizations, where on January 17, 1969, both Carter and Huggins lost their lives, after an altercation took place with the rival black revolutionary organization US resulted in them being shot and killed. There were hundreds of Black students at this location for a meeting to develop a criteria for the formation and development of a African American Studies program at UCLA.

This altercation was a result of the ideological conflict and the power struggles between both organizations in reference to the vanguard of the revolution. This power struggle transferred over to the issue of which of the two organizations was going to have directorship and implement the criteria for the newly established African American Studies Program at UCLA for close to a year before the assassinations. Untitled2The commemoration of the 45th anniversary of Carter and Huggins death was put together by that Afrikan Student Union (ASU) and the Academic Advancement Program (AAP) inside Campbell Hall, as it has taken place since 2008. This event was less about talking about what occurred that unfaithful day to more about discussing what should be taken from their activism and what should be done to continue their legacy on campus. Two African American students shed their blood for something much bigger than themselves, and this calls for a commemoration but also for a time to reflect on the struggles that others have put forth before us so we could have what we do around this campus. Untitled3The panel included: Elaine Brown, the only female Black Panther Party leader, and the 2008 Green Party Presidential Candidate. Ericka Huggins, the widow and co-leader of the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther Party during the time of John Huggins’ death. Lamar Lyons, was UCLA’s Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC) President and Community Service Commissioner. He was also part of the High Potential Program during the assassination. Vara Bacoum, an Alum of UCLA ’13 who is committed to social justice and personal transformation.

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Too Black engaging the crowd through his spoken word

Their deaths may have resulted from a dispute over ideological differences and power struggles. Nonetheless, during this commemoration, their deaths seemed to be representing a struggle that goes beyond a power struggle for directorship over a program. To many minority students, their deaths represented the ever-rising need for equality and representation on prestigious universities like UCLA.

One of the major topics of the events was effective organizing strategies for community empowerment and Black Liberation. This in turn reminded many students of the need for an African American Studies Department. Many asked themselves and the attendees: How could it have been 45 years since the dispute over establishing a curriculum that reflected the history of the black community and addressed their interest and yet no African American Department had yet to be established?  They gave their lives for wanting to put together a curriculum for an African American studies program, and many present at the event believed that the least that we can do is rename Campbell Hall to Carter-Huggins Hall or Building.

The Afrikan Student Union ended the commemoration with the tea light candle lighting by the Carter-Huggins that is near the main entrance of the Campbell Hall where nearly 100 attendees sparked their candles and placed them by the stone in remembrance of these two young student leaders.

Untitled6Many students of different racial and ethnic background attended this event and came together to address the underrepresentation of minority communities at UCLA.  They called for the need for a campus that looked as diverse as that room of the event. Many others responded to the question raised by a student of “What should be the next step?” One of the most memorable response referred to the need of Brown and Black alliances on campus and in our communities because “at the end we may have different battles but we still have the same struggles,” as the Latino responder stated.

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Ericka Huggins paying tribute to her assassinated husband as she lights the tea candle of her family member

The ultimate response to this question was given by the ASU when they advertised a meeting that was to be held this Wednesday January 22 where they would discuss the Private Prison De-Investment Bill that is in the works right now as well as what will be the next step to remember and continue the legacy of two young men who stood for something greater than them.

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…“Educate to Liberate

DREAMERS are global, protest deportations in France

Students march down Avenue Daumesnil in Paris, France carrying signs and yelling: “L’expulsion c’est pas la solution,” expulsion is not the solution. In solidarity, they march for a specific community that the United States is no stranger to—undocumented students. Leonarda Dibrani and Khatchik Kachatryan are two students who were detained at their respective high schools, expelled, and later deported to Kosovo and Armenia because of their undocumented status.

Immigration is a global issue and DREAMERS are global citizens. DREAMERS are in almost every country, and in each country they face their own set of difficulties. I have friends who are DREAMERS; they are students, leaders, and activists fighting for an education, fighting for resources while at the same time living in fear of the unknown. I look at my friends and have admiration and respect. Yet, in all this time that I have known my friends I have never stopped to think about their counterparts throughout the world.

During my study abroad experience in Paris, I witnessed the three-day-long student protests, and learned about the issues affecting undocumented students in France through research and talking with Parisian citizens. I was amazed at the different obstacles facing DREAMERS in France versus those in the United States.

The United States is a country composed of differences. People have different religions, identities and races. The acknowledgment of differences allows for policies to be created that assist diverse American communities. Policies like DACA, California Dream Act, and the Trust Act assist undocumented immigrants. The obstacles affecting French dreamers are the lack of policies available to them.

French policymaking is complex because of its foundation, which is based on universal rights and equality. If all men are equal then differences do not exist. Through this ideal, French society ignores the existence of diverse communities, and does not acknowledge the struggles that these communities face. As a result, the creation of laws to help different communities do not exist.

While laws can be created in the United States to help DREAMERS, their French counterparts do not have this benefit. They live in fear, unknown to most. Not even school is a safe-haven, as the Leonarda Dibrani case demonstrates. She was detained on a school trip and deported with her family to Kosovo.

Undocumented students in France share struggles with undocumented students in the United States. However, those in the United States find themselves in a society that is more steerable.

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Photos by Mariana Orozco

Escribiendo pa’ La Gente desde 1971

On January 17, 2014, three members of La Gente’s original staff came to speak to the current staff members. Sam Paz, Josie Alavarez, and Laura “Woody” Rangel spoke of the past struggles and accomplishments of La Gente’s inception. Due to a lack of outlets for Latin@ sensitive articles, student activists created their own Latin@ newspaper, La Gente, in February of 1971. Paz, the first editor in chief, was surprised that it has lasted this long.

1971 Founder and First Editor in Chief Sam Paz

1971 Founder and First Editor in Chief Sam Paz

1971 La Gente Distributor Laura "Woody" Rangel

1971 La Gente Distributor Laura “Woody” Rangel

La Gente founders sharing wise words with present Gentistas

La Gente founders sharing wise words with present Gentistas

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1971 and 2013 Editors in Chief. Sam Paz and Helen Alonzo

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Current Gentistas with the founders in La Gente’s office

Sundance 2014 in images

 

Gentista Oscar Magallanes attended the first few days of the Sundance Film Festival. He captured his experiences with iPhone images, one of which was watching “Cesar’s Last Fast,” which captures moments from Cesar Chavez’s 36-day water-only hunger strike. Another was watching “Concerning Violence,” narrated by singer Lauryn Hill, which looks at the African liberation struggles of the 60s and 70s and that draws from Frantz Fanon’s anti-colonial text The Wretched of the Earth. Click the images for expanded views.