So, this doesn’t really have to do with this post at all, but I missed Tuesday’s lecture because I went on a field trip with my roommate’s criminal justice class to Pennsylvania’s State Correctional Institution at Rockview. What an eye opener! We entered the prison and walked through the yard and literally brushed shoulders with prisoners as we headed toward A Block. We entered the block and walked around with prisoners. It was nothing like the prisons I had seen in the movies or on TV. The cells doors hung wide open and prisoners mingled at tables in common areas outside the cells. It was an odd feeling being so close to prisoners convicted of rape, armed robbery, and murder without a barrier or anything physical object separating us. Most of the prisoners are pretty friendly which I contribute to the rare occasions when they get to interact with individuals from the “outside” world. We entered the block which housed sex offenders. I noticed that this block housed a greater percentage of white inmates. The females in our group were sexually harassed as we walked through the block side-by-side with rapists and child molesters. At the end of our tour, we got to spend an hour with two lifers - Henry Smolarski and Scott Dougherty. They told us the story of their crime, their conviction, and the years they have already spent in prison. Smolarski murdered a innocent bystander with a kitchen knife in South Philadelphia after Smolarski was mugged for $500 which he planned to use to buy hard drugs. He explained to us how he had changed and he did not deserve to spend the rest of his life in prison. As he the tears rolled down his cheeks, he told us how he felt deep regret and guilt for murdering the innocent young man and that he did everything twice - once for himself and once for his vicitim. Scott Dougherty was also a murdered who was spending the rest of his life behind bars. Dougherty felt that he should not have to spend the rest of his life in prison because of the great changes and progress he has made throughout his 26 years in prison. He claimed to have drawn the blue prints for the Forestry Building at Rockview and belonged to the Lifers’ Association which supports groups such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters. The way I see it, the lives these two murderers have taken are never going to come back. Why do they feel they should get a second chance? An eye for an eye. These guys are murderers. They should of gave them the chair. They have taken innocent lives. I am sorry that tax payers have to pay to keep these murderers alive.
I think South Park is hilarious. South Park is a cartoon. When you start getting bent out of shape because of a cartoon that is humorous because it treads a thin controversial line, you need to get a life. It airs on COMEDY CENTRAL! South Park isn’t trying to harm anyone. It is supposed to make us laugh. If you don’t find it funny, then don’t watch the show. How hard is it? This is America. You are free to make your own decisions. No one is Clockwork Oranging your ass and making forcing you to watch. Get over it!
I think immigrants need to do things legally. Yes, hard work is going to be involved. I realize that individuals born into a rich family would certainly not have to work as hard to have a good life, but that is simply not the reality for the majority of the world. Why should any person in the United States who had to work hard to get where they are have to pay for an immigrant to have a better life if they are unwilling to work just as hard? Immigrants who enter the country legally and work hard to get to where they want to be are more than welcomed in this country in my eyes.
The Christian Invaders lecture was probably one of Sam’s most emotional and intense lectures. I thought he did a really good job of creating an environment in which the audience in the class could see things from an average Arab or Muslim’s point of view. On the other hand, I am sure Sam has embellished some of his points for dramatic effect as well. He attempted to label the entire war and occupation as a holy war. I suppose when you some up all of the supposed reasons for going to war with terror cells throughout the Middle East the ultimate reason for war would ultimately point to religion. Whether it be the Weapons of Mass Destruction, oil, or an megalomaniac dictator, religious differences can ultimately be tied to each of these potential sub-causes. The difference between the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan; and the people of the United States in regards to religious extremism is: VIOLENCE. Acts of war against these Middle Eastern countries are performed by the United States military under strict guidance by the rules of engagement set by the Geneva Convention. There are laws and penalties put into place if these laws are violated. There is no adherence to rules by these extreme terrorists. Taking the life of a civilian or soldier is an equal accomplishment. While civilians have been killed in U.S. military attacks, civilians have never been their primary target. Civilians, you and I, have been these terrorists primary targets. They are heartless. They laughed, sang, and rejoiced when the towers of the World Trade Center fell to the ground. I do not wish to kill innocent Iraqi civilians. I do wish death to the terrorists of the Middle East who seek to take innocent lives at the hand of the United States Military and the Coalition Forces. I can see what Sam is trying to do, and while I do not totally agree with him, I can see the good in his ways. He sympathizes with the innocent citizens of these terror ridden Middle Eastern countries - as do I. But to try and convince the class that it is okay to kill an American - that simply is not the answer. I guess Sam wanted to reach out and touch the minds of the class and shed light on the fact that it may be up to our generation to create peace. Maybe we can connect with Middle Easterners like us, who wish for peace and an end to this terrorist activity. Let us weed out our own extremists who seek out to harm the lives of the innocent, and let them do the same. I guess we could start with a few conversations.
I cannot help but to feel as if I am sitting in the book 1984 and am being crushed by communism. With that feeling aside, I would love to be able to fluently speak a second language. I can understand Spanish relatively well. Chinese, on the other hand, seems like an extremely daunting task. I have a hard time even beginning to imagine how to draw each and every one of their symbols - much less understand their meaning. It does seem to make one almost indispensable in today’s workplace with the acquisition of a second language to their repertoire. I do not think high schools should do away with teaching foreign languages, they should just adapt their instruction in a more constructive way.
I pretty much agree with this guy. I am not sure how diversifying an environment like the health care industry is helping anyone. If the best person for the job happens to be a person of color or a woman, then I fully support them getting the position. But if the best person for the job happens to be a white male, how the hell can you give it to a less qualified individual citing affirmative action? Sounds like we are trying to cover up our lousy history of discrimination by rewarding the ancestors of the discriminated instead of accepting them as equals.
I agree with what Sam says in his little commentary before the clips about the LL Bean catalog. I think that individuals should try to identify with what moves them as well. If a black guy wants to dress up in a suit and tie or a polo and jeans because that is the world he lives in, then fine. The same goes for a white teenager who listens to rap music and wears baggy jeans, a bandana, and an extra large t-shirt. The images may seem to stray from the norm, but this is how these individuals see themselves in the world.
First, I thought it was kind of amusing that an individual who is of Honduran descent, both parents, considers himself an African American? How the hell does that work? Last time I checked, Honduras was in Central America. I can somewhat understand his disgust at the use of the word: Negro. The word does not necessarily need to be a derogatory term towards the man’s own ancestry for him to feel some kind of feeling towards its use. On another note, I could also see true African Americans getting somewhat upset with this gentleman’s identification as an African American. True African Americans who can trace their lineage back to slavery in the United States have a far different ancestral history and background than this gentleman’s Honduran ancestry. Then again, maybe this gentleman is thinking about the term African American in a different light than I am. I suppose that there was probably some kind of slavery going on in the area that is Honduras in its early colonial periods. When the Spanish, and then later the British, colonized the area, they would have been involved in the African Slave trade. It is possible that this gentleman’s ancestry derives from somewhere in Africa, and that he has ancestors who were once African slaves living in Honduras. Being that Honduras is located in Central America, I would have to agree that this technically makes him an African American. He is undoubtedly an African American in a much different sense than most white Americans living in the United States would commonly think. So when the census asks individuals if they are African American, Black, or Negro, it lumps individuals who identify with each of these categories together. The funny thing is that many of these individuals are worlds apart. But then again, they may only appear worlds apart to the uninformed. At first glance, a black woman who could identify as an African American because she is a citizen of the United States and her ancestors derive their lineage from Africa who were brought over to the United States to be slaves would certainly identify as African American. A United States’ Citizen whose parents are Honduran, but derive their ancestral lineage to Africa, could also be an African American. Perhaps the individuals who made up the census were thinking of this. I would like to think that they are because I think that is just great. At this point, it appears that we are moving towards a category of just “Black.” As the ladies pointed out in the CNN clip, they only have the option of choosing “white.” Not German American, or Irish White, or English American. We are just white. Soon, blacks will be just blacks as whites are just whites. I think that is a step towards equality.
I really cannot get a good grasp on what this means exactly. It seems that the majority of births from any one single group in the United States is still held by whites. I guess this is a good indicator of a continuing trends towards the fall of white dominance in the United States. What are the possible implications of a shrinking white population percentage in this country? Is it white peoples’ response to recession and bleak economy? Is this some form of social selection that whites are adapting to in an involuntary effort to maintain dominance? Or are the whites best days behind them?
I am not really sure what I think about the whole menstruation thing. I guess I am cool with it. I have had sex with girls who were menstruating at the time. I would rather have done it while they were not menstruating, but that didn’t stop me from doing it again, and I will do it again in the future. I have been in relationships with women and they were pretty open about the whole thing. It did not necessarily bother me. If I was attracted to the girl, then knowing that she was menstruating really didn’t affect that attraction at all. I can think of this one instance when a girl told me she was menstruating turned me off, but I wasn’t really attracted to her in the first place (she had bad breath.)