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12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Letter from an Inmate · 0 replies · +1 points

To begin with, I would have never guessed this was written by someone in jail without a high school education. It was well written.
I think that everyday people stereotype other people and it is wrong. It is something that is hard not to do. For instance, the first impression you have of someone, the first time you see this person before any words are spoken, usually changes after you get to know them. So what is it about us humans to have to prejudge someone else? This occurrence is an everyday event that will go on forever. How many times have you asked a really tall person, do you play basketball?
As far as prisoners having compassion, why wouldn’t they? They are human beings. I guess that lifer’s have been stereotyped as aggressive, dangerous people that are killers, and are not to be trusted. This may be true for a few of them. I always say there are “assholes” everywhere. By “assholes” I mean people that do not respect other people, and basically have no compassion for anyone. This pretty much holds true for large populations of people anywhere, there are assholes everywhere. Just go out to a local pub and take notice to the room. I’m sure if you watch the crowd for a little period of time you will be able to pick out a few assholes. They are the type of people that bump into you and do not say excuse me, or blatantly push people out of their way, or like the man in the Collegian today who assaulted and raped a Penn State student.
I think that all people change over time, even prisoners too. It sounds like this guy in particular has changed, or maybe not. Maybe he was a really nice guy on the outside before his crime, and just happened to do something he did not intend to. I think that premeditated murder and spontaneous murder are completely different. Sometimes people are not always in control of their minds. For instance is someone was on acid, LSD, and killed someone, possibly not even remembering it. Should they be sentenced the same as someone who carefully planned out how they were going to kill someone? Personally I do not think they should.
I really liked this letter. I have never had the chance of seeing through the eyes of a “lifer”. It seems to me that this guy feels remorse for his actions especially since he has sought victim offender reconciliation. It is like I feel bad for this guy, but on the other hand he did commit murder. Like they say, “Do the crime, do the time”.
I really enjoyed this class. I like how Sam opened some people’s eyes to the real world. Being an adult student, I have experienced a lot of what Sam spoke about, but he even opened my eyes to some new topics that I would have never thought about if I had not taken this class.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Christian Invaders - t... · 0 replies · +1 points

I never thought of the war in Iraq as a Christian Invasive, but why would I? It is not my country that is being invaded. Today’s class was sort of an eye opening experience for me. I never really had looked at the war as a religious war. I have always looked at the war in Iraq as a war over oil. Maybe president Bush was trying to shift the focus of why we invaded Iraq in the first place to religion instead of oil. I have thought of Muslims as being the people who would fight religious wars, not Americans. I just never looked at the United States invading Iraq as a holy war, or as a Christian Invasion. But I am not in Iraq, and I have no idea of what the Iraqis people think. A question that comes to mind is, Were the people of Iraq happy with their government before the United States intervened?
If another country were to invade the United States, I would not like that one bit. Remember the movie “Red Dawn”? That is what I would do. I would get all the weapons I could find, a shitload of ammunition, and a supply of food and head to the hills. So I can say that I can understand how propaganda can be spread so easily. I can also understand how such a hatred towards a specific group of people can grow.
So what can be done? How can we all just get along? There are many people in this world that don’t want us to get along. This is because many people are becoming quite wealth because of this war in Iraq. The people associated with the oil industry all are lining their pockets. That is quite apparent when the oil companies make record profits year after year. It goes back to President Bush, the second one. He should not have even been the president. They had to recount the votes out of Florida, who just happened to be the last state that voted, and who was the governor? Jeb Bush, George Bush’s brother. Makes you wonder what went on. Anyways, President Bush had to make sure that the corporations that funded his campaign were taken care of.
Today in class when Sam showed the slide of the amount of money spent on the military throughout the world, I was a little shocked. I knew that the United States spent a lot on the military, but I never thought it was as much as the rest of the world. Something seems a little weird about that. I would have expected China to have spent as much as the United States. So why does the United States have to spend that much on the military? Shouldn’t we leave the policing of the world up to the United Nations.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Those Dolls Say Alot A... · 3 replies · +1 points

I am surprised of the few comments about this video. I know Sam said that we all would be shocked after watching the video, but he always says shit like that. I was definitely shocked after watching the video. So what shocked me? I think when one of the young children of color was asked which doll was nice and she chose the white one. That shocked me. I think my mouth hit the floor. Then she was asked which doll was bad and she chose the black doll. Again I was shocked. Then she was asked which doll was like her and she chose the black doll. That was a very sad moment. The look on her face after picking the black doll, seemed like she was almost ashamed to be black at such an early age. That was messed up. I was shocked that children are being taught by society to be considered unequal at such an early age, and that white is the “nice” color and black is the “bad” color. There is something so wrong about that statement. So what can be done about this? I think that the media is directly to blame for occurrences like this. In part, the education process may be somewhat to blame as well. I’m not sure how old these children were, but I know that they were young. Much younger than when I thought color would be interpreted as “good” or “bad”. So what can be done? Can anything be done? That may be a better question. To start, parents need to take a direct role in the lives of their children. I think that parents should screen what their children our watching on TV. This may help, but are there any programs that do not put whiteness up on a pedestal? I think that media is the #1 problem associated with this type of behavior. For instance, when the word beauty is googled, and most of the pictures are of white women. I believe that is wrong, but how can I change that? So what is so beautiful about being white? For many women who are white, I mean really white, they are feeling the same as these young children of color. They are feeling that some other color than what they are is more beautiful, so they go to tanning salons and risk skin cancer in order to make themselves the color that they interpret as beautiful. What a messed up society. People of color want to be white, and white people want to be tan. Risking your life to try to fit into this “niche” of what is beautiful is just wrong. Who knows what these whitening creams do to the skin of people with color. It is disturbing that people will do almost anything not to be themselves.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - What to do about "whit... · 1 reply · +1 points

White guilt and history. I think that the United States should have a standard of education that all the states must follow in order to receive Federal funding. What I mean is that everyone should be taught the same information. For example the Civil War is now being taught differently depending on if you live in the North or the South. The South’s term for the Civil War is “The War of Northern Aggression”. I think that this country needs to come up with strict guidelines that especially Elementary Schools need to follow. I think this would unite our country instead of dividing it. As much as I hate standardized tests, I think we should integrate them into Elementary Schools. Each student across the United States should have to take the same exact test in order to move up to the next grade level. This should be implemented through grade twelve. This would ensure that every student in the United States would receive a well rounded basic education. This would get students used to taking important tests early in their lives, so when they are taking college entrance exams they might do better because of the familiarity of taking tests to move up grade levels. This would also allow students the option to test out of a grade, making skipping grades a much easier process.
I think that by teaching students in the south “The War of Northern Aggression” it creates a sense of hatred towards people living in the north. This transcends into prejudice against “Yankees” or people that live in the few northern states involved in this war. I don’t understand why this happens, I just know that it does. I was not even aware that “This Civil War” , as I know it, was being taught to be “The War of Northern Aggression”, until a friend of mine moved to Virginia, and began teaching there. She had to teach her students, I think 5th grade, about The War of Northern Aggression.
There are other key events about the history of the United States that differ depending on where you live. That is why I think there should be more of a standardized education system implemented throughout the United States especially the Elementary Schools. I don’t think different sides should be portrayed when teaching history, just the facts about what happened and why. Each person should be able to choose what they think is right or wrong. I have a friend who recently moved to Florida. He moved there from Pennsylvania. He is having problems fitting into the community, finding employment, and making friends because he is a “Yankee”. Maybe if southern people were not education to dislike northern people, and vice versa, there would be less hatred in the US.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Why Is This Racist? R... · 0 replies · +1 points

I do not think an all white basketball league is acceptable and I will not support this league in anyway. I will not watch it or attend any games. I do not think this league is going to last very long either. To be eligible to play both parents have to be Caucasian. So what exactly is Caucasian? I’m pretty sure that most people who consider themselves Caucasian have some black or brown ancestry. If starting an all white basketball league doesn’t seem racist, just listen to the following quotation of Don “Moose” Lewis:
“With players on other professional teams carrying guns, attacking fans in the stands, and going through the motions of playing the game, fundamentally sound [W]hite players are a vanishing species…Fans have spoken to the AABA asking to restore on court sanity to the game of basketball. Their pleas are our mission. Only players that are natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league.”
This makes it sound like white people do no wrong. By having all white players, sanity will be restored on the court. That is insane. Where are the fans that want to see a slow paced game with average or below average players?
I think that professional players should be just that. They should be professionals. For example professional basketball players should the best players not the whitest or blackest or brownest, but the best player. At least that is my opinion. If I were going to pay to see someone play basketball, I would want to see someone who can play better than I can. The main reason people flocked to see Michael Jordan play basketball was because he was really good at it, maybe the best player ever, not because of his color.
I guess starting an all white league should be legal, but I do not find it appealing in any way. I can’t imagine people jumping on this bandwagon. Well, I can’t see any educated people backing an all white league. I’m sure there are white racist people who think an all white basketball league is just what this country needs.
Lewis says that this league will put people in the seats. I would bet that this league is going to fail. I mean how appealing is it to watch white men who aren’t good enough to play in the NBA play basketball? If this league does happen is ESPN going to give it any airtime? I still question why anyone would think this is a good idea. I don’t watch many NBA games, but when the Lakers are playing the Magic, I’ll watch. I like watching the best players play, not mediocre players.
Maybe ABC could televise these events before the next Bachelor show.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Native Americans, Oil,... · 0 replies · +1 points

I think that this is a blessing for these three Indian tribes. No other race of people deserves this more. The treatment of the Native Americans was horrific. It was bad enough to take their land, but to murder mass numbers of Native Americans was totally unjust. Europeans would take covers that were used by people infected with smallpox and trade them with the Indians. Then the Indians would get infected with smallpox sometimes wiping out entire tribes. This was a re-occurring practice that killed many Indians. I was never taught this in Elementary of High School. Why is this kept quiet? I blame the schools for not really teaching the truth.
It reminds me of a similar subject, the Civil War. The schools in the south call the Civil War, the War of Northern Aggression. It relates to what Sam was going over today in class. Us white people ignore what happened to the Native Americans in the past and for the most part no one is taught about the massacres that took place. I am sure that on the Indian reservations they are taught of how the white people took their land and killed anyone who would resist. So there is definitely hatred towards white people. Just as the southern states are still pissed about the Civil War, or The War of Northern Aggression, depending on where you come from. The people living in the north have no idea the south is still pissed, that is until we visit the southern states and hear the words Yankee.
The fact that there is a ton of oil on the land the Native Americans were forced to settle on may be very beneficial to the three affiliated tribes. It may be harmful to them as well. I think that building an oil refinery on the Indian reservation would be detrimental to the Native American’s health, groundwater, and over time community. If an oil refinery would be built on the reservation sure it would bring jobs to the reservation and even wealth, but at what cost? There is a lot more to life than just money.
It is almost humorous to me that no area of the United States wants an oil refinery because of the pollution long lasting environmental hazards association with an oil refinery, but they want to build one on an Indian reservation. Haven’t these people suffered enough? Sure there is lots of oil there, and there would not be minimum transportation costs to get the oil to the refinery, but it could destroy the land and drinking water. I guess it would be great for the tribes in Canada to have a refinery built in North Dakota because the massive pollution would not affect them. A question I had was is the money from the oil distributed to all the tribes or just the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation tribe. I do not think they should build the oil refinery there.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Why Is the Conversatio... · 0 replies · +1 points

I agree that conversations about race relations end up with black and white. I come from a small town that is basically all white. It seems that the older generations are more racist than the younger generations. I think this happens because the older people are set in their ways and do not want to change. The morals that they have were taught to them 60 or 70 years ago. So in order to understand the older generation’s point of view, one must go back in time to see what the social conditions were when this generation was being educated.
I can see a change in my community is just in just the past 10 years. Today there are a few black families that live in my small town. For the most part they are accepted, but there are still a few people that do not accept them as equals. This is unfair and unjust treatment. I do not share these beliefs. I truly believe that everyone is equal. Black people did not choose to be black, and white people did not choose to be white. So why punish someone or a collective group of people for something beyond their control?
I think that some people in my community have never experienced any type of cultural diversity, but they are still racist. These people are ignorant. They have hatred towards any that is different. It is kind of like the way some people think about the breed of dog “pitbulls”. The media perceives pitbulls as being a very aggressive dog that is dangerous and may attack people, a threat to the community. They think all of them are fighting dogs breed to kill other dogs. But has any of these people been around a pitbull that was raised properly? I think not. Pitbulls in general are very good pets. They are very intelligent dogs. They are good with children and are easy to train.
People act the same way about race and the color of skin. They show prejudice for no apparent reason. Why can’t we all just get along?
The thought of black and white is even worse in the southern states than it is in the Northeast. The Civil War is called the War of Northern Aggression. A friend of mine lived in Virginia for a few years, and I would travel to visit a few times each year. There were still places that were segregated. In a small town in Virginia, there was a bar where the black people went and a bar where the white people would go. I was shocked to hear about this. How could places like this still exist? It kinda blows my mind.
I hope that in the future it will not be black and white anymore. I think that education will play a vital role in the end of racism as we know it today in the United States.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Animals vs. Humans vs.... · 0 replies · +1 points

I am still in shock. I can’t believe that a politician would refer to welfare recipients as animals. He should not be in office. Hopefully he will get voted out of office. I’m not sure how or why these ignorant politicians get into office in the first place.
I used to have a different opinion about welfare before my accident. Don’t get me wrong, many people still abuse the system, but there are people out there that need help and get denied.
Almost two years ago I suffered a fall from about 30 feet. I was taken to the hospital via helicopter because I suffered a spinal cord injury. I did not have medical insurance. Someone at the hospital helped me apply for medical disability. I was at that hospital for two weeks. I was then transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. That hospital again helped me apply for medical disability. I guess the hospitals knew that the only way I would be able to afford the stay was if I was granted medical disability. At last I was accepted and now had obtained what they call an Access Card. This is basically health insurance from PA Medicaid. I didn’t really care either way at the time because I was still in shock from my accident. I was paralyzed from the waist down. I did not really care how much my hospital bill was and I didn’t really care how I was going to pay it.
I was finally released from the rehab hospital after seven weeks there. So in total I was in care for 63 days. My hospital bill for the first hospital was $238,000. The bill for the rehab hospital was $253,000. I only had to pay $100 total. I can’t even imagine what I would have done if I would have been denied the Access Card.
Along with medical benefits I also qualified for food stamps. I receive social security but not very much. If I didn’t get food stamps I’m not sure how I would be able to afford to eat. I did not try to paralyze myself at work, it was an accident. I do not want to be on welfare, but I do not have many options. I don’t feel like less of a man because I am on welfare.
It offends me to be called an animal because of something beyond my control. If I lived in South Carolina I would make it a point not to vote for this ass.
I don’t think drug testing people on welfare is right either. I believe that is a violation of our rights. I could see trying to educate people that are on welfare. I am trying to educate myself so that I do not have to be on welfare for the rest of my life. Maybe if there were more opportunities for free job training less people would be on welfare for extended periods.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - The Enlightened "West"... · 0 replies · +1 points

I think it is wrong what France is trying to do. Muslim women should be allowed to wear these gowns if they like. To begin with I do not fully understand the culture of these women. I do not personally know any women who wear an “abeyya” or “niqab”. Although it seems odd for women to wear such articles of clothing, they should have to opportunity to do so.
The only reason I can think of why these women would not be allowed to wear this type of clothing is because it masks the identity of whoever is wearing this “abeyya”. A question that comes to mind is,
Have there been any crimes associated with someone wearing an “abeyya”. If people kept robbing banks masked by an “abeyya”, I could see some sort of substance behind this article. To my knowledge there has not been a string of robberies tied to this type of dress.
It is hard to imagine this type of oppression. What I don’t understand is that some of these women wear “abeyya” when their husbands do not want them to. I guess it is just my ignorance to the culture of these women. This area of Pennsylvania has a very small population of Muslim if any at all. I have seen some Muslim women wearing “abeyya” but I did not take offense to it. I just thought that this was the custom that these women were used to so it did not bother me one bit.
If this legislation passes and women are not allowed to wear “abeyya” in public settings, what will be next? I have heard of clothing optional beaches in France. So it is acceptable for people to wear nothing, but it is unacceptable for women to cover themselves from head to toe except for a strip across their eyes.
I think that governments should worry about more severe problems that their country’s are facing. Problems like homelessness, crime, slavery, healthcare, and so on. Freedom is something that is taken for granted on a daily basis. Here is the good ole United States people are allowed to wear pretty much anything that they want. The KKK wears white robes that cover themselves, although for a different reason, but are allowed to do so. Is the U.S. going to start fining members of the KKK for how they dress. I am not saying the KKK is good, I personally think that the KKK is a joke, but it is and should be up to the individual to decide what to wear, not the country.
I hope that France does not pass this ridiculous law that is totally against human rights. I think that in these times people should be able to dress how they want, not how the government says they should.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Racism Looks Pretty Mi... · 0 replies · +1 points

This was the first time I have seen this video. I was shocked at what the coach was caught saying on tape. I’m sure the coach’s salary is a considerable amount and he was only fined $5000. Lebron James kicked a water bottle and was fined $25,000. We live in a world that is so technologically advanced, we should make these fans accountable for their actions. If fans are caught throwing bananas on the field they should be arrested and not allowed to attend anymore FIFA events. I believe that alcohol could play a role to some of the behavior, but throwing bananas onto the field would almost have to be a premeditated action. Not everyone just carries around bananas for no apparent reason.
Why would fans of the team make racial slurs to a player that is on the team? That is just insane. If you like a team and spend money to support and watch them, then why would you harass someone on the team?
I think that more sponsors should have advertisements like Nike. I think that education and awareness is a start in the right direction. Many people are not aware of this problem, at least many people from the United States are not aware of this problem. Soccer is not the most popular sport in the United States like it is pretty much everywhere else in the world. I do know that if these types of actions happened in the United States people would be outraged.
It would be very hard to play for a soccer team in a country that hated you and that were racist against you. I’m not sure how FIFA works, but what if you were traded to a team where this type of racist hatred existed towards you? It would be bad enough just playing one game in a stadium where this type of outrage exists let alone playing a season there.
What are the European schools teaching their children? Are they teaching them to be racist? For the most part here in the United States most people that are racist are considered to be uneducated. I’m sure that the percentage of college graduates that are racist is lower than the percentage of high school drop outs that are racist. At least here in the United States.
I think the soccer players should not be treated this way. FIFA needs to come up with some solutions quickly because obviously there is a problem. Where are they going to draw the line with the actions of soccer fans? Is it going to take someone dying before more FIFA makes a stand against this type of behavior? I know that this type of behavior would not be tolerated at an NFL game or MLB game so it should not be tolerated at a FIFA game.