The Hawk's Eye

Learning While Black | How Everyday Racism Impacts Black Students

Ahmaud Arbery

On February 23, a young black man was running in the Brunswick, Georgia neighborhood near his home while two white men followed him on his route by truck. As the black man continued to run, the white men tried to cut him off in a truck two times, but he simply ran around it. Then, the truck pulled in front of the black man a third time, so he tried to go around it again. As he ran around the truck, he was met by an armed man who proceeded to let off multiple shotgun shots, killing the black man. 

The victim of this incident was 25 year-old Ahmaud Arbery, a name almost everyone in America knows at this point. But for over two months, Arbery’s murder was not brought to the general public’s attention. Not only did it not get the national press that should have been immediate, but the men who committed the crime were not charged until more than two months after the incident occurred. 

The men charged with Arbery’s death have been identified as father and son Gregory and Travis McMicheal, who said that they did not know Arbery and “did not see him do anything other than run down the road but knew instinctively he was a criminal” (S. Lee Merritt) Even after police arrived on the scene and assessed the situation, the McMicheals were free to go on about their lives. It was only after the video of Arbery’s murder spread across social media that the two men were arrested. 

As much as social media is condemned for its sometimes trivial content, the way it was used to bring attention to a situation that was unknown outside of South Georgia is exactly what it should be used for. All within the same hour, Instagram user’s timelines were flooded with posts mourning Arbery’s death. Celebrities such as LeBron James, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart and many more began posting about the tragedy, which eventually led to the case being brought to a grand jury and the McMichaels being taken into custody. As of June 4th, the McMichaels are participating in a probable cause hearing, which revealed that according to defendant William Bryan Jr, the man who recorded the video, “Travis McMichael declared “F****** n*****” as he stood over the body of Ahmaud Arbery” (S. Lee Merritt), making it more likely that the McMichaels may be charged with a hate crime. 

What is craziest to me about this whole situation is the reasoning why the McMichaels felt obligated to murder Arbery: because he “fit the description” of a neighborhood burglar. Not because they had proof or they had seen him commit such a crime, but because they thought he looked suspicious. Because he fit the description of someone who would commit a crime in America: a black man. 

Rest in peace

Ahmaud Arbery 

1996-2020

George Floyd

1974-2020

Breonna Taylor

1994-2020

and every other innocent black person killed at the hands of racism and police brutality in America. 

How Does Biden’s VP Pick Affect his Candidacy?

In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, many Americans have forgotten that the 2020 Presidential Election is less than 6 months away. With Bernie Sanders dropping out of the race last month, Joe Biden has become the presumptive Democratic nominee and has begun the vetting process for a vice president. Ever since he pledged that his running mate will be a woman, several names have been floated, and multiple reports claim that he has a shortlist of about a dozen candidates. He needs a well-liked and experienced vice president to solidify his candidacy, and his choice could make or break his chances of defeating Donald Trump in November.

One of Biden’s biggest priorities is getting progressives on board with his campaign. Many have openly expressed their concerns about  Biden, citing his vote for the Iraq War and his previous opposition to Social Security, among other things. To attract the progressive vote, he could choose Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Senator and former Presidential Candidate, to be his VP. In many ways, choosing Warren makes a lot of sense. She is progressive, well-known, and has a compelling personal story. However, Warren is far from a perfect candidate. She is 70 years old, and with Biden being 77, many advocate for a younger person to be selected. Additionally, she is not a person of color and would not racially diversify Biden’s ticket. Lastly, she is a somewhat controversial figure within the progressive movement, as many believe her decision not to drop out and support Bernie Sanders before Super Tuesday was fatal to his campaign. 

Another priority that Biden must address is his issues with minority voters. In the primaries, Latinx voters overwhelmingly backed Bernie Sanders, so if Biden wants to make states like Arizona and Texas competitive, he needs to increase their turnout. To do so, he could select Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. On paper, she seems like an ideal candidate; she is Latina, from a swing state, and young. The only problem is that she is not well-known nationally. 

Biden must also convince African Americans to turnout in large numbers. While they overwhelmingly backed him in the primaries, they failed to turn out for Hillary Clinton in 2016 the same way they turned out for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, so Biden could decide to nominate an African American in order to inspire a large turnout. Many believe that his current top choice is California Senator Kamala Harris. Simply put, Harris checks the most boxes of any choice; she is black (and Indian), is somewhat progressive, has experience as a Senator and Attorney General, and is well-known nationally. Biden could also pick Stacey Abrams of Georgia or Val Demmings of Florida to attempt to tilt those competitive states in his favor. 

Lastly, Biden would benefit from convincing some moderate, “Never Trump”
Republicans in competitive states to vote for him instead of voting for a third party candidate or sitting out the election entirely. He could increase his odds of doing so by choosing Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is ideologically very similar to Biden and has a track record of winning races in a competitive state. He could also choose Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whose response to the Covid-19 outbreak in her state propelled herself into the national spotlight. Both of these picks would make logical sense, but would fail to racially diversify his ticket. 

Ultimately, Biden can go in many directions with his VP pick. It remains to be seen, though, whether his choice will be the difference-maker in what many are calling the most important election of our generation.

*Note: Since the time this article was written, Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has withdrawn her name from consideration to be Joe Biden’s vice president.

GOA Catalyst for Change

For the past two months, sophomores history students conducted research on a long-standing social injustice in the United States. They picked an issue that interested them, researched the history of the issue, the current iteration of the problem, and possible solutions on micro and macro levels. 

For the final step of the project, each student created a webpage that was featured in the fifth annual Catalyst Conference, hosted by Global Online Academy (GOA). The conference was live from April 23-27 and featured more than 400 projects produced by students from 76 GOA sponsored schools. Throughout the conference, students were able to view projects from students all over the U.S. and around the world and provide feedback.  

All projects are reviewed by a panel of experts who then award projects that stand out among the others. This year, GOA citations were awarded to 83 projects that best aligned with the goals of the conference: raising awareness and promoting grassroots action and institutional change. Students can also be awarded the Audience Award, which was awarded to four students last year including two from the School. This award is given to projects that highly engaged their audience and prompted participation from their peers in the conference. The final award that students can receive is the Catalyst for Change Prize, which is awarded to the students with the best tangible solutions with the ability to facilitate change. 

See some examples of web pages from the students below.

The Racial Wealth Gap  – Madison Harvey

Animal WelfareSoraya Katzev 

Money in PoliticsJack Chin 

Chicken Breast Recipe

Chicken+Breast+Recipe

Chicken breasts are delicious and easy, I recommend adding lemon, basil, red pepper or garlic for extra flavor. The following recipe is from AllRecipes.

Ingredients

4 boneless chicken breast halves with skin

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, rosemary) (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil 

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 tablespoon chicken broth (or water), if needed to thin sauce

Instructions

  1. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer. Place chicken breasts in skillet skin side down. Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Do not disturb the breasts until the skin side sears, 5 or 6 minutes. Turn chicken.
  3. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and butter to the pan with chicken. Shake pan gently until butter melts and the internal temperature of chicken reaches 160 to 165 degrees F, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add a splash of chicken broth or water if sauce needs to be thinned.

White Fish Recipe

White+Fish+Recipe

Fish is always a good meal, and for pescetarians like my brother it’s a must. This simple white fish recipe is perfect for lunch and dinner.

Ingredients

4 tilapia (or similar white fish) fillets

4 eggs

scallions

2 tablespoons butter

Paprika

Salt and pepper

Hot sauce of choice (optional)

 

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350. Melt butter and add to a large glass baking dish. Place tilapia fillets in a dish leaving room in between for eggs. Crack eggs and add to pan between fillets
  2. Season everything with salt, pepper and paprika. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until eggs are at your preferred consistency. 
  3. Slice scallions and top the eggs and fillets once plated. Add hot sauce if desired.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Spaghetti+and+Meatballs+Recipe

Pasta is a delicious and quick dinner meal that you can add your own personal touch to. Whether it be tomato sauce and meatballs, pesto and cherry tomatoes, or just butter and parmesan cheese, pasta is a perfect dinner to make at home.

Ingredients

1-2 boxes of your favorite pasta 

Salt and pepper to taste

 (For Spaghetti with Meatballs)

One jar tomato paste or store-bought tomato sauce

Basil Leaves

½-1 Pound Turkey/Beef

½ cup Breadcrumbs

1 Clove Garlic

1 Egg

 

Instructions 

  1. Place a full pot of water on the stove and add in salt and a bit of pepper, then leave it to boil
  2. Once water is boiling, add in noodles and check the box for required boiling time
  3. To make meatballs: Place turkey/beef in a large bowl and add in garlic, breadcrumbs and egg along with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Combine meat and other ingredients until fully integrated, make sure there are no lumps
  5. Heat a frying pan and add a small amount of olive oil to the pan, sear meatballs until browned on all sides
  6. In a separate pot, heat up tomato sauce and add in basil, garlic and salt.
  7. Add in meatballs, leave sauce to boil
  8. Once sauce is boiling, remove from heat and pour over pasta. Serve immediately

Mediterranean Salad Recipe

Mediterranean+Salad+Recipe

This mediterranean salad is amazing and just as easy as chopping vegetables.

The following recipe is from food blog Weekly Wonderful


Ingredients

1 English Cucumber

1 Red Onion

3-4 Vine Ripe Tomatoes

(Optional) Green + Kalamata Olives

Fresh Parsley

Garlic

Dried Italian Seasoning (Rosemary, oregano, thyme and basil)

Crumbled Feta

Olive Oil

Red or White Wine Vinegar

 

Instructions

  1. Chop cucumber, tomatoes, and onion into bite sized pieces
  2. Combine garlic, parsley, seasoning, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl to make the dressing
  3. Pour dressing over chopped vegetables and crumble feta over salad
  4. Serve immediately

Hash Brown Recipe

Hash+Brown+Recipe

Ingredients

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or 6 tablespoons 

3 russet potatoes (about 1½ pounds), peeled

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt, may need extra

 

Instructions

  1. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until foamy, about 3 minutes. Don’t let butter brown; reduce heat if needed. Skim off solids; discard. Using the coarse grater disk on a food processor or the largest holes on a box grater, shred potatoes. Transfer immediately to a large bowl of cold water; stir until water is cloudy. Drain and rinse potatoes well under cold running water to remove any excess starch, which can make hash browns gummy.
  2. Transfer to a large kitchen towel. Gather together ends of towel and twist over sink, squeezing firmly to wring out as much liquid as possible (another step that ensures crisp results). Open towel and toss potatoes to loosen. Gather up towels and wring out potatoes once more. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl and toss with pepper, cayenne, and 1 tsp. salt (make sure seasonings are evenly distributed).
  3. Heat 4 Tbsp. clarified butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add potatoes and cook, undisturbed, until a deep golden crust forms on bottom, about 5 minutes. Break up potatoes with a heatproof rubber spatula and continue to cook, turning occasionally with spatula and adding 1–2 Tbsp. clarified butter or ghee if the pan becomes dry or potatoes start to stick, until crisped and browned all over, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; season with salt.

Hash Browns, courtesy of Bon Appetit

Omlet Recipe

Omlet+Recipe

Ingredients (One Omelet)

3 eggs, warmed in hot water for 5 minutes

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon room temperature butter, plus 1/2 teaspoon for finishing omelet

1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped chives

 

Instructions

  1. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add salt, and blend with a fork. 
  2. Heat a 10-inch nonstick aluminum pan over medium-high heat. 
  3. Once the pan is hot, add the butter and brush around the surface of the pan. 
  4. Pour the eggs into the center of the pan and stir vigorously with a rubber spatula for 5 seconds. As soon as a semi-solid mass begins to form, lift the pan and move it around until the excess liquid pours off into the pan. Using your spatula, move it around the edge of the egg mixture to help shape into a round and loosen the edge. Let the omelet sit in the pan for 10 seconds without touching.
  5. Shake the pan to loosen from the pan. Lift up the far edge of the pan and snap it back toward you. Using your spatula, fold over one-third of the omelet. Slide the omelet onto a plate and fold over so that the omelet is a tri-fold. Coat with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the chives. Serve immediately.

Omelet, recipe from the Food Network

Pancake Recipe

Pancake+Recipe

Pancakes are a staple of a classic breakfast, and they’re super simple to make! You can also spice them up with a variety of additions. I recommend cinnamon, bananas, strawberries, or if you really want a festive pancake, vanilla extract and chocolate chips. The following recipe is from Martha Stewart, and I really enjoy it.

Ingredients

1 Cup Flour

2 Tablespoons Sugar

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Milk

2 Tablespoons Melted Butter

1 Large Egg

1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees; have a baking sheet or heatproof platter ready to keep cooked pancakes warm in the oven. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, butter (or oil), and egg. Add dry ingredients to milk mixture; whisk until just moistened (do not overmix; a few small lumps are fine).
  3. Heat a large skillet (nonstick or cast-iron) or griddle over medium. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, and moisten with oil; carefully rub the skillet with an oiled paper towel.
  4. For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto the skillet, using the back of the spoon to spread batter into a round (you should be able to fit 2 to 3 in a large skillet).
  5. Cook until the surface of the pancakes have some bubbles and a few have burst, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm in the oven. Continue with more oil and remaining batter. (You’ll have 12 to 15 pancakes.) 

Poem #6

Poem+%236

it’s funny 

        how we went from  

choosing the ply in our toilet paper

         to hunting any one down

at 6am

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