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

This weeks Thursday class was pretty intense. I had never thought of things from that perspective. I hope people felt someway about that lecture. I think that Sam made some really great points about seeing things from their perspective. I touched on something similar in my last blog post when I talked about video games form a different perspective. As a minority its easy for me to be naive and think that I can identify with any other minority. I find that it is more realistic to instead focus on trying to understand other perspectives and relate where I can but it is obvious that no one can truly understand another’s experience from an outsider perspective. You can hear about someone’s experience through personal account, by reading it, or by seeing a reenactment but that still doesn’t allow you to truly understand. It’ll get you close but unless one person can experience another person’s life they can never understand.
That’s why it’s so important to try to get as close as you can to understanding other perspectives! Because if you don’t you make ill-informed decisions like the ones our country is making now. It really scares me how good our government has become about doing things that are evil and shady without our consent or our knowledge and making it look like it’s a good idea and even that we are the good guys. How can the average American stand for sending troops oversees for oil? This is seriously messed up. I can’t believe that it took coming to college for the majority of the people in class to even hear that perspective.
I am totally against war. I think that violence in general is wrong. I’ve thought that way since as long as I can remember. But I’ve always held a condition on that. I’ve always said, ”I’m a lover not a fighter, but if you f***k with my family I’m gonna kick your ass”. I can’t blame the militias and civilians for fighting back against American soldiers. I would do the same thing in their position.
It’s really interesting to use this flip of perspective and apply it to other situations. It’s changing the way I think about a lot of stuff. I wonder if out soldiers ever think about things in that way. If they did how can they keep fighting. Wouldn’t they just think it was all a waste of life? I can understand defending one’s country but what is there in the Middle East that we are defending against now? I don’t get it. Maybe its time to stop simply following orders and start thinking. I support our soldiers one hundred percent but I don’t support them going over seas simply for oil.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - This is totally off th... · 0 replies · +1 points

During this segment the issue of first person shooter killing games was brought up. I am not going to comment on the rape game because it is obvious that the general consensus is that the game is terrible. What I want to blog about is how terrible games simulating war are. On Wednesday the topic was brought up in discussion and some students argued that because it wasn’t real it wasn’t the same and that chess was similar to call of duty because it still simulated war. My argument is that there is a huge difference between exploring strategy in a board game and playing a first person shooter game in which the goal is to murder other human avatars. I just don’t understand why people want to kill other people even in a game. What is satisfaction of being the best at killing someone most often with a bullet? Especially in a world where guns end innocent lives everyday. Every single war that has taken place is a bruise for humanity. Why would we celebrate these horrible events with a video game? I see no benefit in recreating war for entertainment. These are things we as a world population should be ashamed of not proud to spread and boast about. The winner of any war is always the one who looses the least. These games celebrate loss of precious human life.
Take notice to the fact that most of the games American youth play, are written from the point of the winning side. If someone were to create a game in which the point was to shoot up a café of civilians or blow up a school bus full of children or even fly an airplane into the world trade center towers people would campaign and rally and demand for its recall. How do you think Japanese Americans feel about WWII games? Why don’t we make a game in which the point is to march groups of Native Americans to their deaths; we could call it Proud Pioneers or Call of Duty Westward Expansion.
Taking the life of another human being should not be practiced or celebrated even in a game and it saddens me greatly to think about how the future generations of children are being exposed to this and even encouraged to perpetuate it.
What kind of message does that send to our children? People wonder why teenagers are showing more aggression and developing depression, anxiety and attention deficit disorders at an alarming rate. Its because we as a society are feeding them tons of sugar and showing them lots of violent images on the television and in these video games. This isn’t just some opinion of a naïve college student. There are actual studies that prove these games cause mental problems for young people. You don’t have to look that hard to find them. Google it.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Flip the Script for a ... · 0 replies · +1 points

I am totally on board with questioning everything I think I know. But I’m also scared. I’m scared because I don’t know if I have “woken up” yet. I think that I have definitely been shocked enough by the things I’ve learned hear at Penn state but sometimes I feel like I haven’t really woken up just yet. When I really think about I wonder if it relates back to that whole idea of enlightenment. I wonder if we don’t ever really wake up until we are dead but simply awake unto another clearer closer vision of reality. I feel like that’s a pretty wild idea, to think of this class’s objective as allowing us to see the clarity before we die. Because after you die everything has got seem so obvious; what a great perspective. Don’t think I have some awkward fixation with death I am simply speculating.

Reading this post makes me think about when people say “that makes people uncomfortable so we shouldn’t say it or talk about it.” But I definitely agree with sam when he says that we should think and talk about it especially if it makes us uncomfortable. I am so tired of hearing people complain about being uncomfortable in certain situations. GET OVER IT ALREADY!!! Life is way to short to care about something like language and controversial topics making you uncomfortable.

Handshakes are a prime example of people creating uncomfortable situations around a perfectly normal activity. Why is every so afraid to hug? Its not going to kill you and you are only on this earth for so long. So why not hug every single person you can? What’s the worst that can happen? I was a raised in a family where to go without touching every person in the family in an affectionate matter (hugs or basic cordial contact) for one day meant something was wrong. Hugs don’t cost you a thing and they give everlasting warmth and comfort. I understand that some people have personal space issues and I can respect that but then I have to ask, what is it that bothers you about coming in contact with other people? For me there is something about connecting through physical contact that I just cant get enough of. In every single one of my environments I try to squeeze in as many hugs and elbow squeezes and even back rubs as I can. It just feels right to connect to the people around me. What do we have to loose? People, no matter what they look like or act like, are still people. We are all human beings and we share that basic need of contact

It is my professional opinion as member of the Tribe that these walls people create are responsible for holding us back and that until we destroy them we will constantly be functioning under capacity as a species.

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

In class on Tuesday Sam made a killer point and I totally agree with him. He said that the reason we cant talk about the menstrual cycle is because of the hegemonic ideology overlaying our society surrounding women. Women are told that there is something wrong with their bodies and so they are constantly trying to change them to be better. A period is a natural process and yes some people think blood is gross but its still just as natural. Its so sad that our male dominant society uses negative body image against women and the worst part of it is that many women don’t even realize that they are being oppressed through their own self image. Every human body is beautiful and every human being should be respected and in turn respect their body.
Ancient cultures looked at a women’s first menstruation as a time for celebration. It was a sign of fertility and a gift to be able to menstruate. They sang songs about. But now women are encouraged to hide it and keep it to themselves.
Before spring break I saw the vagina monologues here at penn state and it blew my mind. Some women don’t even look at their vaginas. I see my member every day and I cant imagine going one day without looking at it. How can we live in a society that directly teaches its female population to hate an essential part of their body?
The cruelty of this thought of hating something about yourself that you cannot change is that there is no cure. Women cannot simply change their vagina to be anything else without major surgery and if they do that it is considered deviant. It’s a horrible malicious form of catch-22.
But the answer to fixing this oppression is not to change the women. The answer to fixing this oppression is to fix the men. Open their eyes and their minds. Men have to realize that first of all a woman is not an object of sexual fascination. A woman is a human being. Second they need to realize that if they want to have sex with a woman they should learn to respect her vagina as a part of her body and respect it just as much as they respect her as a person. I know this sounds weird coming from a gay man but whom do you think women turn to when they don’t want to talk to their boyfriend? So in respecting a woman’s vagina as a part of her as a whole they must also respect everything that comes with it just as they respect her quirks and her nagging and her beauty. And maybe just maybe when men learn to respect and appreciate every single element of a woman, maybe then men can worry about actually giving a woman a real orgasm instead of simply getting theirs.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - What to do about "whit... · 0 replies · +1 points

I absolutely this question. What if we did change the history books? That’s a tough question because no nation wants to come across as looking like the bad guy when it comes to history. Every individual group makes themselves look like the hero because people are more likely to feel pride for their group or country or whatever because everybody wants to be on the right side. I feel like this can be attributed to the fact that the majority of people have difficulty admitting that they are wrong. Imagine what the world history would be like if the scribes of this earth kept accurate histories! We wouldn’t have to worry so much about white guilt because people would be raised to understand and appreciate what actually happened. It makes me wonder what the most famous history book of all time, the bible, actually contains that is truthful. If you think about it why wouldn’t jesus’s followers want him to look really good, or why wouldn’t they want to include their own beliefs and ideals. I am not saying that Jesus wasn’t amazing or anything im just asking people to consider that maybe he did not actually do or say some of those things, or that maybe he wasn’t quoted correctly. It is so hard for people dealing with monumental events to be completely objective. Thinking of that if you look at all of the large battles and world changing events we’ll never actually know what happened because the winners always right the history and those that try to say otherwise get squashed because they are part of the minority anyway. We have a basic idea of what happened to Native Americans and after this class all of us know that what we were originally taught was not correct but there are an infinite number of other examples. Think of it this way, if you are given a set education and one single aspect is false or a lie why wouldn’t you challenge everything you learned? That’s why I don’t get why people still follow organized religions, if you believe in something because of what people have told you and it turns out that parts of what you were told were flawed how can people continue to follow that religion. I get that faith is the ultimate answer but I would think that flawed information would make you challenge you faith, especially if you are using it as a guide to live your life.
So in regards to white guilt and thinking of history I think that everyone should reflect and challenge. Think outside of the box man. Check out other options, here the other guys point of view, and actively seek out other sides of these issues. Peace.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Prom or No Prom: Just... · 0 replies · +1 points

oops submitted by accident.

Something needs to be done to fix this lack of acceptance and support in the public school system. The children are our future and by teaching intolerance we are creating a future that does not look good for the human race.

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - Prom or No Prom: Just... · 0 replies · +1 points

I read through a lot of the responses to this and every one disagrees with happened as do I. I think this represents a bruise for the school district that will be a long time in healing and I think that how they work this out will be very crucial in deciding the future of the current school board and the future of the district. This issue hits very close to home for me because I was not able to take my high school sweetheart to prom for fear of being harassed. Its not that we were banned from going together but more so that we were afraid of the reactions. The teacher's comment to McMillen that she should "remember where she is" is ironic because no matter where we are there are gay people. Someone will definitely end up getting fired for this because once the ACLU gets involved the ensuing lawsuit will most likely cripple the school district.

The board's comment about hoping that "private citizens will organise an event for the juniors and seniors" instead opens up a window for the community to respond to this in one of two ways. The first being that of exclusion in which they continue on with the intent of the school board and host a private event in which McMillen and her partner are still banned from the event. Or they could do the right thing and support these girls. As McMillen is one of their own the local community could rally around her and raise the money to throw a wonderful prom for all of the students, one of inclusion and acceptance where students can wear clothing that is not gender specific and can bring whoever they want. In fact if parents got together and organized the prom it would probably be better than anything the school would do anyways. I know this is all wishful thinking but wouldn't it be great for the community to present that image? It would let their children know that even though the school won't support you your community will.

I give props to this girl for being strong and standing up for herself. What saddens me is that many young people find themselves in similar situations every year in high schools all over the country. Schools are supposed to be a positive affirming environment for students as they are at crucial development points in their life and need that reinforcement. Nationally only 22% of high schools have an LGBT focused group in their school and PA rates at less than half that according to GLSEN.

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

People are getting so caught up in this whole issue over guilt. I don't think sam is trying to get us to feel guilty. There really is no point in that. Like really if you think about it what positive thinking can come from making us feel guilty. I think what he is trying to do is what he talked about at the very beginning of this class. He is trying to get us to open our minds and think differently about our lives and what we hold to be true. The truth about what happened to the native peoples of this country is terrible. It is also a huge shock because it totally rocks the current image we all have about the history of our country. After hearing about this we should not feel guilty. We should be really upset. Whether it is sorrow or anger we all should be disturbed by this information. I do not feel guilty about it because there is nothing I could have done to fix it. It is simply not an issue of guilt. So then people ask ok if we are not supposed to feel guilty then what are we supposed to do? You are supposed to think differently. Challenge what you hear and what you have been taught. Next thanks giving instead of just stuffing your face take time to educate someone about the real history of our nation and have a moment of silence for all of the wrong that has been done to the indigenous people of the Americas. Make it not a holiday of sorrow but one of remembrance and respect. And if you are so moved that you want to make bigger changes take steps to advocate for the rights of Native Americans. Push for changes in education to teach the true history. Question your own way of thinking. Pressure sports teams to pick new mascots. Go to reservations and see what life is like for someone who is less fortunate. Make a change somewhere in your life. And if you are simply doing things to relieve any guilt you feel then you are totally missing the point.

This idea of guilt comes up in a lot of the facts and views that sam presents to us. Im asking people to stop thinking that they are somehow being attacked or accused and instead reflect on the information and adjust accordingly. I know people don't like change and maybe thats why they take the easy route of guilt. As a human being you cannot ignore what happens in the rest of the world. Sam presents us with all of these crazy violations of human beings everywhere and i don't think anyone is expected to leave class and become a huge activist but we all should change the way we think and acknowledge and respect the many peoples of the world because we all breathe the same air and bleed the same color.

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

Ok so the simple solution to this is to just come up with a new name. To create some kind of bonding, committal ceremony that mirrors a marriage. Prior attempts at this give us the commitment ceremony or the civil union which are simply mediocre substitutes for marriage. So lets say we actually create something that gives same sex couples equal rights as compared to couples that are married? That doesn't solve the problem of the dreamers. What about those little boys and girls that spend their whole lives dreaming about the day they can get married, with a big wedding in a church with all of their closest family and friends? Those people will never be able to have that! Sure they can still have a ceremony but not a wedding and not in a church. Not unless its like a Unitarian church. That is so bogus! It is scary how close that rings to separate but equal. Havent we already fought that battle for equal rights? I do not think we should have a different word for same sex unions. The meanings of our words and our language are constantly changing. Instead of creating a new word for same sex unions I think we should alter the meaning of marriage. Take it out of a religious context. Marriage should simply be a union between two people that is dependent on their trust and faith in each other not in a higher power.
MSNBC released a report about what legalizing gay marriage would do for our country. The influx of revenue for small businesses in America would create a muliti BILLION dollar stimulus package that would most likely help to jump start our failing economy. Imagine that! A stimulus package that does not cost the government any money, or the tax payers for that matter. I find it ironic that people talk about gay marriage threatening the small business owners when in reality it would save many businesses that are currently going out or will soon be going out of business.
The worst argument against gay marriage in my opinion is the whole preserving the sanctity of marriage. What sanctity? Divorce rates are so high marriage has become a joke in the united states. Same sex marriage could not make things worse. Marriage as an institution has nothing lose. In fact legalizing gay marriage would mostly likely create a stronger image as gay couples are more likely to stay together because it has been so difficult to get to the point were they can even get married.
So my idea is that we make religious institutions change. I mean come on they spend all of their time trying to change us why not flip the game on em?

12 years ago @ Race Relations Project - The XXX Bible? Who Wo... · 0 replies · +1 points

I absolutely loved this article. I think it is completely necessary to make the point that this book, and thats all it is is a book, was written by humans who whether or not were inspired by a higher power wrote their own words. That idea in itself is shows a major flaw in the bible. Human eyewitness accounts are rarely ever correct and here you have accounts that were made most likely several days if not weeks after the actual event occurred. I once had a teacher in High School who used the Bible as a "historical" text. How historical is it? two people witnessing the same event can give completely different descriptions. Not to mention the majority of these accounts are told by white men. And although they may be accurate still only tell from the perspective of a man. There are aspects of these events that have mostly gone ignored that are more than likely crucial to our understanding of the life and times of Jesus Christ. I am confident in saying that because I can claim inaccuracy just as fairly as someone can claim that this book is a complete exact depiction of any one event. There are so many discrepancies in language translation alone. The excerpts I have read from the bible have never been that interesting but I like way the article shed new light on some different passages. It makes me wonder if their are not more subtle things that those few men that wrote this book have left behind as clues as to what is intended for us to read. Like maybe they were telling us to embrace that inner sexual being and let go of socialy constructed norms. Maybe the real insight they were given was that in the future when people read this book they would be confined to false ideas of what is normal and natural and maybe this book is a guide to how we are supposed to fix everything that is wrong in our society. If it is we've been doing it all wrong. Look at how bad things have gotten..
I think it is such a shame that instead of embracing these erotic sexually explorative roots our reining clerics push to subdue ideas of explorative sexuality and instead encourage abstinence. Which is also ironic because some cultures believe that making love brings you closer to god. I feel like that constrictive stance on sexuality and sex is holding us back form progressing to a utopia. There would be so mcuh less depression and war if people were more closely in touch with their inner sexual being. If you don't believe me try denying that you feel better after having sex. And i dont mean like sloppy wasteful casual sex. I mean real love making. we are all physical beings and the sooner we realize that and embrace it the sooner we will become a happier, healthy race :)