Team AOC or Team Pelosi? Also, #Trump’s-a-Racist

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Last week saw yet another round of attacks against 4 recently elected congresspersons, all women of color. While these members of the so-called “squad” — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley — have all been attacked by Donald Trump before (e.g., on Twitter, at rallies, in press interviews, etc.), this most recent incident has been widely condemned as “racist” in no uncertain terms by much of the mainstream media (see Trump’s tweets below). This marks a shift of sorts from previous media coverage of “the squad,” especially AOC and Ilhan Omar, where similar allegations of race baiting, misogyny, and xenophobia at the hands of the President were overshadowed by semantic arguments on the meaning of language that they had used–e.g.,  Omar’s critique of AIPAC  (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) , and AOC’s characterization of detention centers on the south border as “concentration camps.” Despite Trump’s more overt and strategic use of bigoted language, however, attacks against these two congresspersons have come just as frequently from within the Democratic Party, as younger, racialized, “progressive” representatives are routinely pitted against older, mainstream, “establishment” figures such as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Continue reading “Team AOC or Team Pelosi? Also, #Trump’s-a-Racist”

Social Media Is Out of (Your) Control, So Is Life

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Liking a post and favoriting a tweet serve as excellent examples of the complexity of life that is out of our control in ways that we often don’t realize. The meaning of liking, favoriting, etc., clearly shifts depending on the context. Sometimes clicking the star or thumbs up literally means that I like something; sometimes I want to say that I hear you, acknowledging someone’s comment or post. This varied meaning is true throughout language. Words and symbols have a range of meanings that also can shift radically over time and place (a computer used to mean “one who computes;” a Swastika is a positive symbol in multiple cultures today). That simple click (like other forms of communication) has other complexities, too, that illustrate the lack of control that any of us have.
Continue reading “Social Media Is Out of (Your) Control, So Is Life”

The Edge Makes a Class Visit!

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 8.44.51 AMThe Edge’s Monica MIller (pictured right) visited Prof. Richard Newton‘s REL 170 Signifying Religion: An African American Worldivew course at Elizabethtown College this morning via skype. After seeing her blog post “What Gang Do You Claim?“, Prof. Newton invited Miller to skype with his class to analyze the category of “religion” and theorize about the idea of African American religion(s) and identity formation using her blog post as a primary example.

As we’ve seen on Twitter, the class visit was a huge success! A big thanks to Prof. Newton for bringing the Edge to class!

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For more information about Class Visits with Culture on the Edge, click here.