While studying the wildlife in Qingha, China, renown biologist, George Beals Schaller collected a variety of plants. We are excited and grateful to be adding them to the #nybgherbarium. Schaller serves as a senior conservationist at the #bronxzoo Wildlife Conservation Society. These duck-like flowers belong to the plant, Pedicularis przewalskii Maxim. #nybg #flowers #pressedplants #botanicmonday #ducks (at The New York Botanical Garden)

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The Status That Everyone Ignored

So, in a recent Facebook status, I addressed my feelings about people reaching across the counter where I work to touch my hair. The same happened to my younger sister and I was livid. Of course people accused me of turning into “a race thing”, but I even said that I notice people don’t do that to the girls at work who are NOT Black. Anyway, just like with status about Mike Brown, I was “wrong”. I took an article from the NY Times and said my feelings on being touched and having my privacy invaded. NO ONE responded except my sister. Here’s what I said:

In regards to my status about not appreciating people touching me or my sister and our hair, this is why. People may find it “funny” or “not think its a big deal”, but to me it is. It’s shocking to think not much has changed in the way people think today than 100 years ago. I am a human being, not a side show attraction for people to oggle over and touch. It’s very funny to some people, but when you come from a history of abduction, bondage, enslavement, rape and segregation, my right to my personal space and my right to say no don’t touch me is no laughing matter. It is something I hold sacred and I don’t appreciate it when people violate it. If my comments about race make you uncomfortable, how uncomfortable do you think it makes me to live in a society where just because my hair is different, people feel entitled to reach across the counter in my place of employment and touch me like I am some sort of exotic animal. If someone ASKS me if they can touch my hair, I have no problem with that because you are respectful enough to :
1. ask for my permission and
2. acknowledge that we live in a world in which not everyone looks the same and you seek to know more about that with which you are unfamiliar

For those of you who find it “funny”, people thought that Ota Benga in the monkey exhibit at the Bronx zoo was hilarious in 1910. Would you laugh about that now? If that exhibit were still open, would you go? If not, then why do you feel it is appropriate to treat a person like a side show exhibit and touch them? You are not entitled to touch me. Keep you hands to yourself and keep it moving before you get the piss and vinegar smacked out of you……/…/06/nyregion/thecity/06zoo.html…