Education Reporter, Laura Onyeneho

Critical Race Theory threat to academic freedom

I’ll never fully be able to wrap my head around the concept of “Critical Race Theory (CRT)” has become a threat to right-wing politicians all of a sudden. 

Growing up, learning about where and when America has failed to live up to its statement of “all men are created equal” and how racism is deeply embedded within this country’s history, and way of life was certainly a part of the curriculum. 

It helped students, including white folk gain an understanding of their unconscious biases and to learn about the experiences of marginalized people in society and how they can use their privilege to solve the complex issues that young people will face in the future. 

Not one time did my classmates feel threatened about understanding the inequitable status quo that impacts Black people daily. 

In Texas, we are watching in real-time how the Texas Lt. Governor’s push to ban CRT is now impacting tenured educators. What happened to freedom of speech? Why is it okay to consider infringing on a teacher’s academic freedom? Why is our history so threatening to these folks? 

Tinder Swindler: Treatment of Romance scam victims

I’m sure everyone is still coming off of their high on Valentine’s Day, especially after Netflix hit the documentary Tinder Swindler. 

Social media didn’t waste time giving its two cents about how they feel about the victims of romance scams on the documentary. These comments insulted their intelligence, called them gold diggers, and went as far as to say that they deserved everything for their lack of common sense in the situation. Much of the chats on social media seem to dismiss the fraud that the main character committed instead of viewing him as a predator. Romance Fraud involves a level of grooming and manipulation and psychological harm that will cause the victim to make rash decisions in a distorted reality they believed to be real. Similar to grooming during domestic abuse. Is it easy for the victim to pack and go? The red signs are blaring but why do they choose to stay?

You can never consider something like this won’t happen to you until it does. It can be committed by anyone, friends, family, or acquaintances. 

Keke Wyatt and Black Maternity Health

A few months back I have had a conversation with a Black woman who worked in healthcare and planning to have a child. She was 38 and had struggled to conceive. She kept her process under wraps because the constant disappointment was too unbearable for her and society’s pressure to have children at a certain age. I remember when she told me she still had faith in the process because of women like R&B singer Keke Wyatt. Just recently, Wyatt announced that she’ll be having her 11th child at the age of 39. For years, womb watchers have criticized the singer and her choices for having too many children when it should be a blessing to have the ability to carry healthy children with no medical alternatives like IVF or surrogacy. Wyatt’s baby announcement is just another reminder about the challenges of Black maternity health and the disturbing double standards that exist within our culture. 

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...