11 Dec
Posted by Obiora Nnamdi Anekwe

The December issue of GQ Magazine has named Colin Kaepernick 2017 Citizen of the Year. He is recognized as a prolific example and role model in to how one should meet indifference with moral and ethical courage. In today’s culture, many people are afraid to stand up for visible injustice because they fear monetary retribution or social ostracization for their moral stance. Most public figures would ride the wave and not shake the boat if they were met with an ethical concern that needed to be discussed and debated. As a highly gifted NFL quarterback, Kaepernick decided to kneel during the National Anthem before each football game in order to protest against the shootings of black men and women by police officers in America. He purposefully used the act of kneeling to show respect for his nation while visibly shedding light on injustice perpetrated against vulnerable populations. This tactic is historically familiar in that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights icons used the nonviolent tactic of kneeling as a means of protesting injustice. By kneeling, these men and women showed respect to others who disagreed with them, while also displaying self-dignity.

Read More
28 Dec
Posted by Obiora Nnamdi Anekwe

Respect and value for both genders is not always the same in every culture. In Afghanistan, boys are valued more than girls because of an economic need, social pressure to have sons, and a tribal custom where only boys inherit the father’s wealth in order to pass down the family’s name. Therefore, when families have a girl, oftentimes they are “dressed up as a boy”, in order to assimilate within a male dominated culture.

This form of gender assimilation, as I would like to call it, is known as “bacha posh.” Children who are “bacha posh” are referred to as neither “daughter “ nor “son” in conversations with their parents. The practice of dressing up as a boy reaches across all sectors of class education, ethnicity, and geography in Afghanistan. The origins of bacha posh comes from the act of women dressed in men’s clothing standing guard at King Habibullah’s harem. These women stood guard dressed as men because the harem’s women could not be protected by men, who might pose a threat to these women, but they could not technically be watched over by women either.

Read More
28 Dec
Posted by Obiora Nnamdi Anekwe

Before leaving the White House as the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama conducted an interview with famed entertainment executive Oprah Winfrey. In the interview, the First Lady argued that people, including herself, must “act out” their ethics and principles. Her comments came in response to negative and false labels promoted against her character in which she has been labeled an “angry black woman”. As she noted, these insulting descriptions about her, often laced in racially-tinged accusations of resentment, are based on deep seated fears. Although negative images have been perpetrated by the press, such as the New Yorker’s cover image of Michelle Obama sporting an afro and toting a gun and the President depicted as a Muslim terrorist, Mrs. Obama still encourages people to “act out” their ethics and principles. When I listened to her comments, I found her words to be simple, but highly profound.

Read More