Category Archives: Social Issues

Fatal Attraction

by Vanessa Carter 

I don’t think he understands the hold he has on me, but then again no one does. And I don’t think he understands that the idea of me without him makes my stomach quiver uncontrollably, like the uncontrollable shudder your gut makes from what I imagine is your heart descending from its original position in your body.

I don’t think he can feel the void I feel from trying to fill him with my love and commitment, I thought–thought that if I could just show him what authenticity looks like and what devotion felt like–you see, I devoted myself to him and it wasn’t easy but with time I broke down my walls and barriers and chains. I let it all go with him.

He knows everything. Now I hate to sound cliché, but it was love at first sight with him. The kind of love that took my breath away with just a simple gaze into his perfect brown eyes.

I loved him.

At that very moment, he had me under his spell. It was a marked fatal attraction and I couldn’t get enough of his insatiable stare. I was hooked before we even touched. Before our bodies ever touched, I felt him inside of me,

He was a part of me and I, him. No matter how hard he tried to fight it, we were connected by something neither one of us understood and we couldn’t walk away

We tried.

I remember when I asked him how much he loved me and his response was: he would kill and die for me. That excited me, but why?

Attraction grew into addiction and addiction grew into obsession and he was all mine! Funny thing is, I loved him the way he did me and any time an enemy attacked our fort, I envisioned fatalities.

We were meant for each other, except one thing:

He never broke down his walls for me and he never exposed his demons under the confidentiality clause so it created a stagnant pause in our potential to grow, like how it was intended to be because he doesn’t understand all the good he has to offer underneath all his baggage.

I was willing to bear his burden, but he had a different idea of how he would release his pain and I would be the punching bag.

The first time felt like a dream, at least, that’s what I forced myself to believe because he loved me. We loved each other.

That gaze in his eyes was unrecognizable every time, so maybe I convinced myself that it wasn’t him. But rather, the demons in control because he didn’t trust me with them.

Now I know it sounds crazy, but I understood and could hear his cry for help with every blow. He needed me to live, even if it meant I wasn’t.

Ironically, I felt his pain when he inflicted that on me.

Breakdowns create breakthroughs and it felt like there was no alternative because I needed him to break through the constraints in his mind and finally let me in.

Fighting a battle alone can bring the worst out of the best people and unfortunately, an unnourished brain isn’t equipped to sustain the fight without destroying everyone else on the battlefield.

I don’t think he understands that this was a team thing because he fought me like I was the enemy and I thought–I thought I could just show him that I was ride or die.

I mean, the hood part of me screamed Bonnie and Clyde ‘til the end, but now the end feels nearer than I anticipated. So that’s what comes with fatal attraction. Someone has to die in the end, even if it’s just figuratively.

So just die. Let all of who you were die, and all of what you’ve been through establish a new foundation in life and take control of your destiny.

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They’re Dying: Here’s What We Can Do

Fact: Since the evolution of modern humans, the extinction of animal, plant, and insect species has increased at an alarming rate.

See: Humans increased species extinction rate by 1,000 times, new study …

The story is the same: climate change, deforestation, and poaching. These factors are key contributors to the extinction of dozens of species. Dozens more are critically endangered due to irresponsible use of land.

Recently, the last male White Rhino died, thereby sounding the irreversible death knell of that species. It’s heartbreaking, and even frustrating, to see disconcerting news like that. But for many people, it’ll be forgotten.


The blood of hundreds of species is on us. The White Rhino was only one species on the irreversible path to extinction.

Here are just a few critically endangered species:


The Vaquita is an adorable rare mammal. It’s the smallest porpoise in the world, and only thirty of them remain.  They’re quite small, but can reach up to 5 feet in length. Their habitat is in the Northern Gulf of California, where they face death by fishing nets. Only about 30 survive. Mexico has taken some strides in defending the endangered species,  but the threat of extinction still looms over this porpoise population.


The Far East Leopard has adapted to life in temperate, and mixed forests near Russia. Like the Vaquita, the Far East Leopard’s major threat are poachers, who are able to sell leopard to the highest bidder. In addition to poaching, the Far East Leopard’s habitat is also under threat by deforestation and dwindling prey.


The Hawkbill Turtle, have pointed beaks and a unique shell that makes them valuable to poachers. Sea turtles are some of the Earth’s oldest creatures. They’ve been steadily contributing to the ocean’s eco-system.


Sumatran Tigers are also critically endangered. They’re easily distinguishable by their vibrant orange coats with thick, black stripes. They reside in Indonesia’s forests, but are threatened by deforestation and poaching. In fact, 40 tigers die every year from poaching. Only about four hundred exist.

Deforestation remains a major threat to all wildlife. Destruction of natural habitats result in premature deaths of species, and their prey. We can stop deforestation. Here’s how:

Plant a tree! Seriously. You’ll feel good about yourself, and more importantly, you’ll be giving back to the Earth.

Go paperless! Again, seriously. We’re in the digital age now. We should have gone paperless years ago. If you can’t cut out ALL paper, then cut out A LOT. Recycle used paper.

If you’re choosing between two products, one is made from 100% recycled material, and the other is made from plastic, BUY RECYCLED. It makes a difference. Put pressure on big corporations, by buying only recycled material.

Be an advocate. Anyone can do this. Talk to you friends and family about the small things they can do. Not everyone can go out and protest deforestation by tying themselves to a tree, but you CAN buy smart.

For more reading on deforestation, visit:

Poaching is another serious threat to wildlife. Here’s a good article to help you make a difference:

For more information on other critically endangered species and what you can do to help, visit:



Mary Hansen

Blackface Ft. China

The Chinese New Year’s Gala is an extremely popular TV program that airs on the last day of each lunar year. I grew up watching it. It’s mostly made up of patriotic, revolution-nostalgic songs and operas. Pop singers sometimes get gigs on it. That’s all political. Comedy skits make up a huge chunk of the gala too.

I slowly lost interest in it over the years as my favorite comedian retired and I became harder to entertain. But this year’s gala caught my full attention. They had a skit where some actress put on fake breasts and a fake butt and painted her face black to act as a Kenyan woman.

This is an example of thoughtless, insensitive misrepresentation of a race, and I hope my country, and every country for that matter, would stop doing this.

My issue is this. A lot of people of African descent have not received any proper consideration when their image is being exploited on TV until fairly recently. The black image was used for unilateral amusement for far too long. There were human zoos with Africans in them at at the World Fair in the 20th century!

Many habits that we have in representing people of African descent, be it black Americans or Brits or modern day Africans, stem from this deplorable tradition of seeking out the spectacular, the abnormal, the surprising, the eye-catching. While this is just how the media operates, unknowing and/or unwilling people had their public image distorted for other people’s capital gains. This should be an obvious moral transgression and it bears resemblance to slavery. Instead of people’s labor and body being exploited unwillingly, people’s images are being exploited.

A spokesperson of the Foreign Affairs Office fired back at critics who called this skit racist and said that this is an attempt at sabotaging Sino-African relations. As my girlfriend put it, he is saying that China has African friends and is therefore exempt from all racist accusations. I am extremely disappointed in my country for tolerating, first, the shameless and ignorant skit and second, the excuse for tolerating it.

The spokesperson also said that China is through and through against any and all forms of racism. I very much doubt the credulity of that claim because China doesn’t seem to understand the history of the exploitation of the black image. Or perhaps, China doesn’t understand that public image is capital and there are economic strings and civil strings attached to the ends of it. Either way, judging by this spokesperson, China is not in a place to claim that it is against all forms of racism.






The featured image was taken from VOA News.