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Although I wasn't there that night nor were any of us, I would bet that the guy who shot Trayvon had at least some preconceived notions around people of color. Sure the way Trayvon was dressed didn't help his case, but I think that even if he were wearing a nice suit there would have been some friction between him and night watchman. The confluence of circumstances of how Trayvon was dressed, racial prejudices against black people and getting caught up n the moment contributed to the end result. It's extremely easy to second guess decisions that are made days and weeks later and really hard for us to understand why a decision was made since logically the outcome didn't make sense. Although logically the outcome didn't make sense there are plenty of times that each of us have done something stupid in the moment that they regretted days later. The only problem here is the gravity of the decision that was made.
Overall I think that the case is being blown out of control when we really need to sit back and ponder why everything happened and what each person was thinking while in the moment.
A huge factor that we are also neglecting is that land changes hands and owners fairly frequently so what happens if the same people don't event own the land. The situations in reality are typically more complex than examples in class and thus making our decisions that much more difficult.
Now what if the person did show some compassion? It would be great to see the white owner or really any owner sharing with the original owner who is was stolen from, but the fundamental problem is that it's so hard to track ownership and lineages.
Since it's so difficult to actually understand and empathize with others we need to find news ways to allow that to happen. It's great to see how the internet is fueling this kind of free discussion and it's also amazing how societies have come together as a whole to make change. We are at an extremely exciting time in history where everything is changing so rapidly that it is extremely difficult to get to the top or innovate and with power of the crowd not only can we get the real story, but also we can collaborate on amazing projects.
I hope that others from the class took away that war isn't and will never be a simple black and white thing. Whenever you have people involved things always get a bit crazy and never go as planned.
Lets look at the church incident. Seems like a private organization has the right to allow or deny any person not only entrance and admittance, but also services that it might render. The church is not a public organization in the sense that we all pay for it and if they decide to not perform a service for a person than that is their prerogative. At the same time, it seems that the manner in which the priest conducted himself was rather poor. I think he should have been more respectful to the situation considering she had died and probably not put himself in the position to make a decision but superiors of the church.
A great example of demand changing supply is the explosion of Chinese and Asian cuisine restaurants in the State College area. In the past 5 years the number of students, professors, graduate students, etc with Chinese backgrounds has been expanding rapidly. As a white person, I really like seeing the diversity of dining options and also a community being served properly.
What is truly interesting is that it seems to be human nature for people to judge something before they really know it well. For example, the single most influential thing in getting people to download your app on Apple's app store is how the icon looks. Real research shows that the more well done and pretty the app logo and design the more likely it is to be downloaded, no matter how useful. More than ever the focus on how something looks correlates to the success of it. Websites, Apps, companies, etc are spending millions of dollars on making something pretty and not focusing on the utility of what their product or service does.
Apple is a prime example of this concept. Their product design, which entices and intrigues people is a huge focus for the company. Luckily, they also focus on the utility of their services and really create amazing products that have both aspects.
Back to race, what if companies started censoring names and gender of applications until they pass the first or so rounds of weeding out. This would allow for a lot of those biases to be circumvented since the first impression in neutral to your gender or ethnicity.
Some of the other major factors in ethnicity or how someone associates with a race could be based on ideological values, how they think, or even who they associate with. Most importantly though it comes down to how you feel and think. If you choose to be a certain way and have lived with that group or race then I think you could ostensibly argue that you are that race. Skin is only a very small part of what makes up the entire human body.
Although Sam wasn't raised muslim or middle eastern he could identify as one of them. This could be for a number of reasons, both in regards to time he has spent with them or how he feels he aligns with their way of life.
In summation, ethnicity extends beyond the boundaries of your physical appearance and goes into so many different internal nuances that make everyone unique.
Another huge takeaway from the situation was that those in leadership positions have no leadership. When the chips were down and thousands had amassed at Old Main after Paterno's firing, no one from the University was to be found. Not a single member of the board of trustees or administration had the guts to stand their and be responsible for their actions and the publics outcry for them leave. I can remember vividly chants of "fuck the trustees..." over and over again until the entire crowd went down town and rioted. This takeaway directly ties to my next, which is that no one had a plan. Nothing. No idea of even a plan.
Even the simplest thought that students might riot or be upset when you not only fired Joe Paterno, but also Graham Spanier apparently never crossed the minds of the board. Even the simplest of plans prior to that night would have saved the University thousands of dollars, not to mention cut down on the insanity that ensued after the firing. So next time you find yourself in charge of a $4Billion company try to have at least some sort of a plan.
Being a second generation son of a German immigrant it's very easy for me to point to these types of things as what my grandparents and parents worked for. They wanted a better life for us and worked hard to get it. The ideal of a merit based pay scheme is exactly what they learned and strived on. The harder they worked the better off we were.
As a second generation family member of immigrants, it's not so simple. I grew up with more luxuries than my parents did since I was able to benefit from their hard work. For me the American dream has changed, not disappeared and that whatever or where ever I end up I need to be providing society with social benefit. That means starting companies that are focused not just on making money, but are also social ventures in that they help the world do better.