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439 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - Isn't migration c... · 1 reply · +1 points

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.

439 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - South the h... · 0 replies · +1 points

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!

439 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - What about people who ... · 0 replies · +1 points

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.

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

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.

441 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - Want to Learn Chinese ... · 0 replies · +1 points

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.

441 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - Is This Guy a Bigot, a... · 0 replies · +1 points

I guess this gentleman is just expressing the opinion he is entitled to express. I cannot help to sympathize with his on a few of his points. Unfortunately, his idea of: “walling up the country and defending it from within,” is a little wacky. Perhaps he is failing to recognize the strategic military advantage that the United States holds because of its foothold in locations throughout the world. I agree that the government should work harder to scale down the number of illegal immigrants in the country. I am uncertain on how exactly the born citizenship rule works in the United States, but it seems as if it may need a little tweaking if a child who is born to illegal immigrants is automatically a citizen of the United States. I guess if someone is on vacation here from Germany and they give birth that the child has dual-citizenship? Seems kind of odd.

441 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - Isn't a person's quali... · 0 replies · +1 points

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.

441 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - A simple first step so... · 0 replies · +1 points

Well, I am glad you have decided not to grow for the rest of your life, or shrink for that matter. I guess we could stop buying slave made clothes. I am thinking of a lot of your classmates are going to want to get professional jobs when they graduate, so they are going to need to look professional. They are probably going to need to buy some clothes. That is great that you gave all your clothes away. Sitting in a classroom at the university, it is pretty simple to give away 98% of your clothes and have it have little or no impact on your life. You may also want to stop buying dope. That supports slavery too, dude.

441 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - Why'd you eat the... · 0 replies · +1 points

At first, I was hesitant to eat the second piece of chocolate because the video of the slavery did cause me to have some disgust at the torture, violence, and pain that goes into the cultivation of cocoa beans. After some examination of the facts followed by some words by Sam, I was able to make my decision - I gobbled up the chocolate. First off, just because Sam and Bales claim that every single piece of chocolate is somewhat linked to slavery does not make it true. So many people are believing this fact merely because a sociologist told them. If you attend class regularly, then you already know how Sam always points out that he is not trying to tell you how you should think or feel about a particular issue. Rather, he is simply just trying to simply make you think about it. Therefore, Same often presents issues in a controversial light merely to strike feelings and interests within the students of Soc 119. I certainly do not disagree that the “flesh” of these slaves does go into making chocolate. But, when Sam claims that Bales has discovered that every single morsel of chocolate can be connected to slave labor my response is: show me the data! This is one of those instances where I just cannot believe that EVERY single ounce of chocolate has the flesh of slaves in unless I learn more about the chocolate making process from square one, or Sam can show me the cold, hard facts. Secondly, I decided to eat the chocolate based on what Sam said: “If you cannot promise that you will never eat another piece of chocolate in your entire life, then just eat the second piece.” I cannot make that promise, so I ate the chocolate. This chick that spouted off at the mouth for this wall post disgusts me. She is a simple. She is a liar. She is full of shit. Perhaps, she will never eat another piece of chocolate again because she has some allergy which prevents her from doing so because chocolate makes her break out into hives or something; and therefore, she can legitimately promise to never eat chocolate again. But, I bet she has a cell phone made with slave made parts, or I bet she wears clothes made by slaves, or I bet she goes to a school (Penn State) that profits and supports from slavery. To criticize the everyone else for eating the second piece of chocolate, her words and ideas are so immature and illegitimate that she should save her breath. Finally, I would like to say that I thought the gentleman who posed the question: why do we blame countries like the United States and England for the slavery when the governments of the countries in which the slavery is taking place are seeming to take no action, or make any effort, to stop the slavery? Great point.

442 weeks ago @ Race Relations Project - How Can We Ever "Win"? · 0 replies · +1 points

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.