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533 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - What about health care? · 0 replies · +1 points

What a sticky situation to be in. I feel like immigration is such a difficult topic to talk about. But I do think that it is impossible for a country who is founded on immigration to take a stance that is against immigration. Immigration is fundamental to our economy. I think when people hear the word immigration they automatically think of illegal's crossing the border to our south and forget about the other kinds of immigration. I think immigration is one of the least understood concepts because as with everything, there are a few people who cross the line and ruin everything. Because really the majority of people who come into this country are good people who are just trying to make a living and are coming to this country for the right reasons.
I think a good way of thinking about immigration is by putting yourself in the immigrants shoes, so to say. Let's take a second to think about this. Let's assume for argument sake that you are living in Mexico and you have done so for your entire life. You are moderately poor and you work hard every day to feed your family and yourself. Now I realize that this isn't a story that is extremely common but some variation on it where your country is incredibly poor and to vastly improve your quality of life all you have to do is walk north. I don't know about you but I think that this is a reasonable decision to make and many of us if not all of us would make a very similar decision. Really I think that these people are very hard working and hold jobs that many of the citizens of this country who say they steal our jobs would never want to hold. I mean they aren't here stealing jobs from the business, medical, or political fields.
As far as health care goes I think that of course immigrants should be afforded treatment. I mean if the United States did not offer healthcare to all peoples in their country I think that it would create a very slippery slope in the fact that when we go overseas we expect to be treated. I think that not offering care to injured people is just ridiculous. But they don't pay taxes right? Yeah but neither do children or congressman does that mean we shouldn't treat them? Now I realize that these two things are not the same but still the principle applies. Immigration definitely needs reform and probably some more oversight. This change will not come overnight and will definitely not be easy but I think that if we educate people about the situation real progress can be made.

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

This class was pretty awesome. You can definitely see when Sam is on a role he was pretty animate and really trying drive a point across and really I think there have been very few classes that he has had this same level of intensity so it was pretty cool to see Sam actually care about us, which he loves to constantly claim he doesn't. So along with Sam's overall attitude I think the points he had and the things he had to say made a lot of sense, at least to me they did.
Now I wouldn't say that I am for the war in Iraq I actually have no idea how I feel. The only thing I know is that I keep the troops in my mind a lot if there was one thing I could say it is that I wish the troops especially the ridiculous amount of family members and friends I have overseas would be safe and come home soon. I think the whole situation is just fucked up. There are so many reports of corruption, and terrible things that happen, and really all this blame just sits there no one is willing to take the blame. You know it's always someone else's fault. I mean there has always been jokes about politicians but really I think one of the biggest problems is there continued obsession with diverting the blame to someone else. I understand that no one ever wants to be wrong and that it sucks to be put under the spotlight, however I think that people especially our heads of state need to start taking responsibility. Also we as a people need to remember that it is an admirable quality to take responsibility for your own actions. Also it is really just being a stand up citizen to say oh yeah that was my bad I am really sorry what can I do to make it better. Because really it is not about the blame but really the apology which puts things back on track and makes people able to forgive.
I think one last idea was that I found was that I had really never thought about the situation from the other point of view. And this absolutely blows me away that I have really never taken the time to think about such an important situation that really has defined our generation. I mean how could I have bought in to the fact that these people are bad and they know that we are trying to help why are they trying to kill us. Really it boils down to just about everything in the world, there are crazy people and there are intelligent people. there are far more intelligent, and kind people in the world, but it is the crazy ones who ruin this beautiful place for the rest of us.

535 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - I really want to know ... · 0 replies · +1 points

I think that it takes a pretty close minded person to sit in a class all semester and not absorb anything. Weather it changes your opinion or not at least it should make you think differently or perhaps see a situation from a different view. I really want to know how you can think that our country can import goods made by slave labor or did that not have any change on your opinion.
So what you are telling all of us is that not once this year Sam has not made a single statement that has made a change in how you think. What do you do during class? I think that if you actually pay attention Sam will defiantly have an effect on ones opinion. Your opinion doesn't have to change to the opposite end of the spectrum. If you fundamentally completely disagree with what Sam is saying then maybe it should change your opinion by strengthening it?
Sam has certainly made me think differently on several occasions. First of all I think that he made a really good point and continues to make me see things differently in relation to native Americans. I never even thought about the extent of what our ancestors did to the people who originally populated this country. Or even the incredible amount of racism and inequality that takes place still today. Native Americans were forced off their land and today are among the poorest in our country yet they are the last people that we hear about needing help. When we turn on the news we see stories about welfare or charities helping the homeless or reviving inner-city schools, but when do you see a story about the American Indians and the extreme poverty they live in. Why are there no initiatives to supply better education for them.
If you notice none of these solutions were addressed by Sam because I think he tries to show you his point but rarely offers solutions because solutions are influenced by personnel values and beliefs and I think Sam does a pretty good job of making us the individuals question, explore, and use our own values rather than his. This doesn't mean however that Sam has always towed the line because as with everything it is hard to keep emotion out of everything you talk about. But even when I disagree with Sam I can still see where he is coming from and saying that he has had no effect on you after almost an entire semester is hard to believe. People that you meat for five minutes can have an effect on you and make you think. So really I think that as long as you open up and try and pull something out of the class you can.

536 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - What if we got rid of ... · 0 replies · 0 points

When we talk about welfare we need to remember that it has a place and has necessity in our social structure. We have been talking all year about this idea of the starting line in a race, that we call life, and how not everyone starts at the same place. Welfare at its most fundamental point is used to attempt to even that starting line as most people on welfare are children. Welfare was originally introduced into our country in the 1930's starting with New York City handing out payment to the poor and underprivileged. The city of New York was attempting to enhance the American dream and make it possible for everyone to achieve their own dream. So welfare is not new to this country as it is almost 80 years old and before this the ancient Greeks even had a sort of welfare system. So clearly societies across the ages have seen a need for a sort of net to prevent their citizens from falling into poverty, which intern leads to crime, anarchy, and all around things detrimental to society. So really it would be irresponsible to remove welfare totally. Countries that are suffering from civil war, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and all around social unrest have the highest differences between the upper class and lower class. The USA and other countries have stopped this from happening by creating a social structure that has greater ease to move between classes than these other countries.
However welfare is not the second coming, and is certainly not a panacea. There are loop holes, con artists, and people just looking for a hand out. But at the bottom of all this are people who need the money and help, and the majority of people on welfare are not con artists. It does need work, reform, or maybe it needs to become something completely different. Perhaps welfare should become a supplemental income to accompany the jobs one already has. We should erase the possibility of welfare paying better than a minimum wage job or else there is no incentive to get off of welfare. We should really judge the effectiveness of welfare be how many people are able to move off of the payroll and get their own jobs. But how can we do this? It is a tough question to answer because it feels like for every solution there is a significant down side. Right now in the united states the poverty line is a family of four collecting less than 20,000 dollars per year. Now what if this is to high and we decide to lower the poverty line hence reducing the number of people who are eligible for welfare. Well this creates a disincentive to move up out of that income bracket and instead continue to collect welfare. The same for razing the poverty line because 20,000 dollars is a ridiculously low amount of money for a family of four. But if we raise it welfare becomes a more expensive government program requiring more oversight.
Really welfare is a large black hole of sorts that politicians have always and will continue to struggle with. Perhaps we have to boil it down to a necessary evil. However it can be improved but really doesn't it depend on our priorities?

537 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - In Her Own Words · 0 replies · +1 points

So I think that this discussion of women's time of the month, period, menstrual cycle, bleeding, or whatever you want to call it is clearly a small point in an overwhelmingly larger issue and that is equality of women. This topic has been on my mind for a very long time as I grew up with sisters. There is no room for an argument that it is equal today or that men have it just as hard as women because we don't, our lives are made easier simply by the ability to pee while standing up (which by the way is totally awesome, we don't have to wait in those ridiculous lines at the bathroom) and it is a true injustice that women have been treated unfairly for centuries and still today experience inequality. However I poses a radical idea and if you give me a few minutes I think I can explain how men do not have an easy street to walk down either.
Now let me preface this argument with two points. Women posses two key trump cards that I can not formulate an argument or have a situation in which to compare to . These are giving birth and the afore mentioned menstrual cycle. Men will never understand the pain or stress or all around inconvenience of carrying around essentially a very large parasite for nine months and then give birth to it. I cannot believe my mother's strength to have 3 children all natural weighing upwards of 9 pounds each, and having a dome as big as mine (seriously finding hats is a problem). I firmly believe my mother to this day could kick the shit out of all six foot four inches 260 pounds of me. Next the menstrual cycle I have heard the argument that getting hit in the balls is just as bad and it happens quite often, but this does not incapacitate us or change our mood except being pissed that we just got hit in the balls. So yes I admit women have a much harder time than men, and any man who says these aren't that bad is an idiot.
Now if we could excuse these variables and take them out of the equation for just a second we will see that women hold a lot more power than it seems, especially in the relationship field and really men are not so much more powerful. Let's use an example I am supremely fond of. Especially because in my house you know who wears the pants and it is not my father. Women poses something men do not and that is inherent beauty not matter there external appearance. Women are some of the most beautiful creatures to walk the earth and I believe that it is possible to find something beautiful in each and every one of them. So what does this do well this controls men like no other men have done crazy shit to get the attention of women. If you are in a relationship and your girlfriend tells you to do something you do it because you want to be rewarded (if you know what I mean). yes we are animals women are smarter, they can resist bodily urges, I am still a 5 and a half years old women are far more mature. Through this small example we can see women's superiority. So why such a difference in power? I feel that many women want equality but only when it is convenient. Women have the right to vote and fully disserve it I am not arguing against it, but they do not have to register for the draft. And if someday they were made to there would be a massive uproar.
I understand that these are two small examples in a very complex issue and if I had more time I would outline my entire argument which I have formulated since I was a sophomore in high school but i don't have the time and i don't think you want to read 100 pages of this if anyone does actually read these. So women just know that you hold a lot more power than you think and have my undying respect.

538 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - I Reckon She Can Hit · 0 replies · +1 points

Natalie Randolph is the perfect choice to have the title of “Head Football Coach” at Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington D.C. She is perfect because no one could better shatter the traditional stereotype of what that title usually means. Generally, a head football coach in a high school or college is the epitome of a dominant male attack machine, a cunning aggressor, an invader, and a threat to the very identity of any opposition.
Natalie is a lady who challenges us to rethink what it should mean to be a “coach.” She presents herself as a woman with a sense of personal identity, one who knows who she is and what she wants to accomplish. She seems to know what is important. Her goals are in place, and with an unassuming demeanor, her determination to succeed is clear. When Campbell Brown seemed enthusiastic to hype the “historic significance” and the obstacles and challenges Natalie surely must have overcome, Natalie replied modestly that teaching was more challenging than coaching. Wow! More challenging because more important? Was Natalie gently enticing Campbell to get her priorities straight? Does Natalie the Coach actually think the academic mission of a high school trumps the goals of the physical education department? True, the traditional coach is often thought to be the most important person in a high school. And sometimes the coach even becomes the principal. (“Most important” is what the word “principal” means.) But even Campbell should at least appreciate that some teachers think that teaching is important. Natalie will make a great principal teacher.
Washington D.C. graduates only 48% of the children who enter first grade! The other 52% are failed (or, as those responsible for educating the little ones like to say, the children are the ones who fail). Nationwide, the catastrophe that is public education (as Colin Powell describes it) graduates from high school only half of all black children and Latinos, and two-thirds of all students. A high-school dropout is eight times more likely to spend some part of his/her life in prison. Apparently, Natalie’s larger purpose is to make a difference in the lives of teen-agers, a difference greater than just winning a few football games.
When Campbell Brown said, “I am assuming that somewhere in your career, people treated you differently because you’re a woman,” Natalie replied with understatement, “It has not been an insurmountable goal.” Then at least perhaps, thought Campbell, “Did you have to work harder?” Natalie: “I work hard anyway. I don’t set out to prove people wrong. I have a lot to prove for myself. I hold very high expectations for myself. I focus on that – and then opportunities come.” If Natalie the Educator can communicate that message to her students on the football field and in the classroom, she is a winner regardless of how many football games she wins.

542 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - LGBT Class - Question ... · 0 replies · +1 points

So. It’s not my contention that I know a whole hell of a lot about the bible. But I was raised in a church-going Christian family. In fact, my father graduated from Seminary. I’ve memorized my share of bible verses and would say I have a good foundation in the Christian religion. But I cannot advocate for throwing bible quotes at people to attempt to prove a point. Original thought is always more genuine and therefore far more persuasive. But since you’ve already started with the bible-flinging. I think it would be beneficial if you looked at some of my bible quotes. Exodus 21:7 "If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do. If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. If he selects her for his son, he must! grant her the rights of a daughter. If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money." Interesting! My father is 73 years old. He’s recently retired from a public school in inner-city Philadelphia. And? Well, their retirement package isn't so hot. With your knowledge of the bible could you please point me to a verse that would give my father an idea of a fair price for my older sister? Next: Exodus 35:2 "Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death." I think Barack Obama insists on working on the Sabbath. Does the whole country stone him or is it just the Secret Service’s obligation? The words we use to define our gods and our beliefs are only valuable in that we assign them worth. The bible has been calculatingly misused by the controlling race, class, and gender, to justify every civil rights violation in history. The bible has been trumpeted righteously and with vengeance, on both sides of any war. It’s been called into service to suppress every unwelcome change to conventional principle. The gay rights argument is just the latest in a long history of harmful biblical interpretation by ignorant or intolerant people. Even if the bible does demonize homosexuality (and it doesn’t, unless you’re hanging out with Ted Haggard). This is America. Last I checked, our country is not governed by faith. Freedom of religion should translate into freedom from religion. Opposition to gay rights based on religious interpretation is simply un-American.

544 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - Avatar and the White M... · 0 replies · +1 points

However in order for this to happen theses tribes have a profound effect on both our heroes so really who is doing the saving? Originally the indigenous people of the western United States save Costner and show him "the error of his ways" same thing in Avatar. So instead of the "white messiah" it should be the indigenous messiah because didn't they have it right the entire time? Then yes the tables are turned and the white man becomes the liberator. At the end though the movies are over done and easy to make because it makes everyone feel good, and I don't think they are inherently racist but rather have good aspects and poor aspects like every film.

544 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - Avatar and the White M... · 0 replies · +1 points

For example in Dances With Wolves Kevin Costner (who is one of the worst actors next to Nicholas Cage and Keanu Reeves) is sent to explore and hold down a far west fort, and is under the impression that the "Indians" are savages, and live to scalp white men. So originally he carries his rifle everywhere he goes and is very cautious much like in Avatar where our heroic marine is attempting to infiltrate the tribe and feed information to the mining operation. Both men serve originally as partitas and eventually become expatriates but not because they stumble upon some great enlightenment in the middle of the night. Both movies show their transformation from military men on a mission to adopted members of the tribe.

544 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - Avatar and the White M... · 0 replies · +1 points

So I thought that what brooks had to say was really interesting. I have seen Avatar and noticed the incredible similarity to other movies, essentially this movie was Dances With Wolves only instead of a civil war veteran and American Indians it was a former marine and blue giant cat people. I thought this movie was awesome for pretty much one reason and that was the sensory overload I experienced during the "3D IMAX Experience", this was most likely due to the altered state I was in when I watched this movie. I mean but other than that I don't think the movie is worth seeing, and if anyone else had directed this movie there would be no "buzz" around this movie. I remember the first time I saw the trailer there were more screen shots of "JAMES CAMERON" emblazoned across the screen than actual movie footage. I worry more about the fact that any film James Cameron puts his name on can win an Oscar than the white messiah. I mean I can appreciate how some people may get offended that a white male is always the protagonist in these types of movies but, but I do think there something to say about the metamorphosis that every protagonist experiences in these movies.