The Gazette is Iowa’s independent, employee-owned source for local, state, and national news coverage.
Nichole Shaw is a 2021-2022 editorial fellow for The Gazette. She writes two columns a month, facilitating her keen interest in issues of social and racial justice, particularly as it concerns diversity, equity and inclusion in the state of Iowa.
In order to reduce the poverty level in the state of Iowa and the United States at large, there needs to be investment in public infrastructure and social welfare systems that streamlines assistance and aid to those in need. Part of that is because the American mentality posits welfare as something to be demonized, painting a false narrative that these people in critical times of need are actually lazy and just want handouts. The reality of the situation is that many of these people struggle to make ends meet because the social system of the United States works against them, clouded by inherent bias, racism, classism and other things they cannot control.
Greek life is resistant to reform, deeply devoted to archaic and harmful practices because they are “tradition.” However, calls to abolish all of Greek life take away from those institutions that popped up as a result of exclusionary racist, sexist and homophobic practices…
So, when you say “Abolish All Greek life,” think about those institutions that historically provided people who experienced life-threatening discrimination with a safe space for success. Perhaps the way forward is not by abolishing a broken system but reforming it, starting with the upheaval of archaic rules and traditions that put women and people of color at risk.
Black-white biracial individuals are discriminated against by both whites and “dark-skinned” Blacks. To some, we are Black, and therefore still belong to that group of “lazy coons” that have existed since 1865. To others, we are privileged and don’t understand the true effects of racism, referring to us as “high yellows” or “redbones” (Huffington Post).
Despite the consistent media coverage and available resources, medicine and technology available to protect Iowans and Americans at large, members of the public — about half of the population in Iowa — have still not gotten vaccinated, refusing to not only protect themselves, but also to protect others from infection and the very real possibility of death.
To succumb to the crippling pressure of white institutions and placate white sensibilities for the comfort of the privileged and the discomfort of the marginalized would be harmful to the entire future of media and would limit the narratives that get told to influence the people of America.
The past year, we’ve been in the thick of an intense culture war rife with identity politics. Perhaps the way that Iowans can honor July 4 this year is by reflecting on what it truly means to be an American, to unpack what independence from tyranny and oppression really is, and apply it to their life and policy moving forward.
Policymakers are targeting economic safeholds for disadvantaged individuals like the unemployed, who still struggle to get back on their feet after a grueling pandemic which almost obliterated the economy.
Pride month is upon us with the beginning of June, and I can’t wait to see what kind of plastic representation companies engage in this year to “show their support” for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
This year has been identified as the worst year in recent history for legislative attacks against LGBTQ+ identifying individuals and groups at the state level, with 17 anti-LGBTQ+ bills enacted into law, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Reports from the ACLU and CNN corroborate this statement, too. And 2021 is not even halfway done.
Iowa Nice. It’s the slogan for the state, a marker of the camaraderie and neighborly kindness that supposedly permeates the region…It’s a cultural label of the Hawkeye state based on the perceived stereotypical behaviors of agreeableness and friendliness, similar to that of Southern hospitality…While the sentiment is nice, and there are plenty of people in Iowa that are nice, the label is a superficial one that does not actually reflect the true conditions of the state.