Tuesday, March 11, 2014

take me to court

A man from colorado is suing the divers who saved him from a submerged car.  Roy Ortiz filed an intent to sue for $500,000 dollars due to the fact that the road he flew off of should've been closed back in september due to its washed-out road.  Roy was submerged for two hours underwater trapped in his car surviving off a tiny air bubble that was located in the back seat area.  He has raced up $40,000 in medical bills and the decision of whether or not the law suit will follow through depends on what doctors say.  Now if we were to travel to Pennsylvania we have two teenage girls the ages of 13 and 14.  They are suing their school for suspending them from class on breast cancer awareness day for wearing the ever popular "I Heart Boobies" bracelets to rise awareness.  The principle asked the girls to remove them since they are vulgar and cause disruption in a learning environment.  So on one hand you have a man with an intent to sue the very people who saved his life for basically neglecting to prevent the accident that happened, and then you have two girls suing a school board for being punished because they wanted to wear a bracket that said "boobies" on it.  These stories share similarities in the sense that we have individuals who believe they could've avoided either being submerged in a car or suspended from school if people in charge where more aware of whats important.  In contrast, we have an individual who could've been driving recklessly and is looking to get some money out of the rescue team to avoid paying his medical bill.  we also have a couple of teenage girls who could've just been wearing the bracelets to provoke those at their school.  By knowing their rights, these people have pushed the boundaries of what is considered appropriate to sue someone over.  on one hand you have a man putting its state in the spot light for negligence and in the other you have two girls putting their school board on the spot for being too conservative.  overall its pretty astonishing what we can take people to court over, it seems as though you can wiggle you way into any situation that can be turned into you favor and come out of it a richer and more important person.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

post week 13

The prison industrial complex in my words is a business that makes profits from creating a racial caste system, which is a method of colorblind racism.  By imprisoning people of color at a higher rate than those prisoners who are white, we create a racial caste system.  Therefore stripping people of color the rights they once had that made them equals to whites in many perspectives, leading to the reconstruct of the racial hierarchy statue which goes hand in hand with colorblind racism.  The business aspect of this complex is that people/ companies can outsource inmates for cheap labor, saving the company lots of money and brining in an income for the prison.  Our tax money also goes to these industrial complexes in order to keep them up and running.  We believe that our hard earned tax money is going towards these prisons in order to keep ourselves protected from bad people.  If we take into consideration that, yes our tax money keeps the jails running and bad people off the street, but these prison industrial complexes are owned or ran by rich right wing conservative white men, we can connect the dots that prison is a structure in itself that holds in inmates of color, but then segregates them from society once they are released by taking away their right to vote and also having to check that box on applications saying that you have been arrested.  We justify how this by saying “hey you can do your time, but when you get back into the real world, we will make it very difficult for you to be considered an accountable citizen.  People of color who come out of prison, not having to be for a federal crime, are put back into the racial hierarchy roll that gives white people more power and privileges that they do.  The statistic about how 50% of African- American’s have been put in jail for one crime or another is astounding!  Imagine if we took the rights away from half of the white population and made it very difficult for them to find a job in order to try and establish their place in the world as an equal, that would completely change how the world would be running right now.  A question I want to present is, if we all understand that this is truly happening and we consider this thought process as norm, why don’t we do something, on a large scale, about it?

word count

Saturday, November 3, 2012

pre reading week 11

I am a major fan of hip-hop and rap and all things associated with it.  i feel like typically we see a masculine male black MC spitting his lyrics about bitches and hoes and money and drugs, this leads the world to create stigmas of what black people act like.  hip-hop is a genre of music that is entertaining and but i also believe that its main agenda is to show the world of the struggles people go through who aren't as privileged as others.  when you have rappers singing about how the law is trying to put the black man down and how you have to hussel drugs and prostitutes in order to survive, they are trying to show the rest of the population how they have to struggle in order to achieve anything.  For the most part we see black rappers and hip-hop artists.  i few observations that i can make is that rap songs and hip-hop songs tend to be about struggles and hardships and situations that most people can relate to, which leads me to connect how black communities tend to have a more rough upbringing in ghetto places.  gang affiliation also plays a role in these genres of music.  when you imagine a gang you imagine a group of minorities who stick together and cause problems in order to skew the power that is usually held by white people.  in a sense, its a way to challenge the system of racial hierarchy.  hip-hop is viewed as problematic, but at the same time it is popular with its catchy beats and skillful hooks and deep message of oppression, love, hate, rage, lust, and so many other things.  people can listen to an Eminem song and just bob their head to the beat or feel how he hates his ex-wife and loves his daughter.  he is also the only hip-hop artist to never use the "n" word in any of his sings.  its about respecting the artist for conveying a personal tough story to tell through a song where they can make millions of dollars off of.  also the rise of the female hip-hop artist is really tickling my fancy.  artists such as nicki minaj and azealia banks are on the top of my hip-hop list.  female MC's weren't around in the height of the hip-hop era but are making a stance for what women have to deal with in accordance to their male counterparts.  one thing that also draws attention to the hip-hop scene is what they refer to as "beef" or an altercation between one artist and another.  for example iggy azealia and azealia banks are two new artists on the scene,iggy is nothing compared to ms. banks, who have beef over who is a better artist.  beef like this keeps artists alive and motivated to crush their competition.

word count: 447

Friday, October 26, 2012

race, education, and disability post reading

I have found the material about learning disabilities, emotional disturbance and mental retardation really interesting. Going over how schools, in particular teachers have the power to determine if a student has a learning disability. Also I am glad to be aware of how we tend to think of disablitly as a physical set back and not as a problem “within” a person. After reviewing how standardized tests are what help determin if a studen has a learning disabiliy or not, I am upset about the fact that some students have special needs that arent met, whch can lead to a misdiagnosis. For example we can take a student whos first language could be something other english and has difficulties understanding questions on the standardized test, leading to them aswering questions wrong. Just like when we had the guest speaker talking about domestic violence in class, when she handed out those slips with questions on them in defferent languages, most of us couldnt answer them. If we were to apply that concept to these student and put ourselves in their shoes, most of us would have been labeld as learning disabled. Another point that I thought was interesting was the point of learning at the “normal” level. Since we are in college and enrolled in non-special education classes we can be considered a normal learning student. A great point is who is to say that we are the norm. I would like to challenge that in comparison to other people we can be considered “slower.” Lets take student who really excell in school and go to colleges such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, NYU and are considered “genius',” what if we were to consider those incredibly smart students as the norm because of their test scores, we who may have scored lower and werent able to get into said colleges may be thought of as learning disabled. To make my point, this ideology of what the normal learning rate is, can be skewed in either direction, placing some people in a lower rank or higher rank dependning on where that normal area falls. To incorperate how race, class and gender play into this roll, we can take into account that most diagnosis are determined by white female teachers in grades k-12, who are typically in a middle class rank and believe that their point of view of what normal is applies to everyone. Factors arent considered when you take a lower class asian student who's first language was chinese for example, and can understand whats going on in class, but may have difficulty writing and reading. I feel as though those two subjects are what can hold a student of color back from achieveing what is considered the normal learning process. Unlike math, which is a universal language, writing and reading in a different language than what you are used to, can weigh heavily on how you respond to questions. If a teacher cannot realize that student of color may need more help on these subjects in order to advance in their studies, they may be placed in a special education program which can be difficult to get out of, therefore not allowing the chance to prove thie capability of learning at the same rate as “normal” students.   

Saturday, October 20, 2012

week 8 pre reading

A learning disability is, “a condition giving rise to difficulties in acquiring knowledge and skill to the normal level expected to those of the same age.” To be mentally retarded is to be mentally delayed, like having the brain of a two month old in a ten year old body. Also to be emotionally disturbed means to be any mental disorder not caused by detectable organic abnormalities of the brain and in which a major disturbance of emotions is predominant. These categories are specialized towards people with special needs who are behind on where they need to be mentally, therefore being put into special programs at school. These programs consist of students who would fall under the three categories and are put together in one classroom where a teacher of sorts attends to their special needs. To explain how people of color are over-represented in special needs programs is difficult. They way I look at it, we can refer back to privileges, or in this case lack there of. Lets say we have a poor lower class asian family living in a rural area where it is douced with radiation, or infestation and you have a pregnant young girl living in these conditions. Malnutrition to the baby can lead to serious implications. In relating these learning disablities in people, we have to go back to as early as the person bing developed in the mothers whomb. We can take into account the people of color are generally living in bad conditions where environmental factors can lead to a learning disablity or due to low income and high demand for providing for the family, we can include the lack of being able to provide necessary things that are beneficial to the development of a normal baby to the equation. I also find it interesting on how some people who dont necessarily know how to speak, read and write english have to take a test in english to prove they are “normal.” Just like when we had the guest speaker this past wendsday hand out questionairs in differnet languages that most of us could'nt understand and decided to either not answer or take a wild guess at what it was trying to ask us. This scenario is very realistic to many and can determin how their lives will proceed in the case of being placed in a special needs program or not. Thats just crazy! We need to put ourselves in their shoes in that sort of situation more often to realize how we tend to assume that because you are poor or an immigrant and dont speak great english or have access to basic neccesties, doesn't mean you are less of a person than what the normal is.

Word count:461 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

post week 5

Besides being hilarious, the video “Shit white girls say to black girls” is a comedic take on unmasking colorblind racism.  In the video we see a black girl depicting a white girl using colorblind towards her imaginary black girlfriend.  I could compare this video to one of the scenarios we read out loud in class that said, “I can’t be a racist, I have a black boyfriend.”  This insinuates that just because a white person is in contact with a person of color regularly that the said white person is relieved of all things that can lead so someone believing they can be racists.  It’s a sort of outlet that some white people use in order to avoid being labeled as a racist.  When in reality those white people still use colorblind racism.  In the video we see the “white” girl talking to her black friend addressing a lot of underlying assumptions about black people.  For example she asks if black face is still a thing and uses words like ghetto and nappy in order to come off as relatable to a black person, when in reality it’s just stereotyping.  I believe that this video was made to exemplify how white people think their justification of having a black friend allows them to be colorblind racists with no official title of being racists, due to their one black friend. 

                To be a colorblind racist is to be an undercover racist.  These undercover racists are to gain from this outlet.  They are able to keep the power behind their racial hierarchy structure by using colorblind racism.  Like in the video mentioned above, white people are able to have an excuse to be racist by associating themselves with people of color in order to disguise and stray away their label of being racist.  The way we can rebuttal this is by becoming aware and educated on how often this occurs in our everyday lives.  I can say that just from this past week of learning about colorblind racism, I have noticed more than ever how it does exist everywhere.  Just last night I went out for a drink at Q Bar in the Castro and noticed an African-American man waiting by the bar for 5min to purchase a drink as he kept getting ignored by the white bartenders to attend to a group of three white guys.  Finally the only Latino bartender attended to the black man.  An example of what the white bartender could’ve said in order to avoid being labeled racist and use colorblind racism to his advantage could be “sorry I didn’t see you standing there, it’s just so dark in here.”  Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.  I believe that by having a black president, we are moving towards a more educated and accepting country where racism and discrimination is diminishing.  That makes me happy.   

Word count:478 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

post week 4

In the cartoon “White Lies a ‘Top Ten’ List,” characters are depicted as white people justifying their reason for racism.  This animation lists 10 things white people say in order to avoid being seen as a racist.  Some of these listing go as such; “whites are the only group left that it’s still ok to criticize,” “we’re liberals, so we can’t be racist,” and my favorite “to be fair, we should be talking about racism against whites, too.”  This makes it clear to the reader that the white population is trying to justify their reason to be a racist.  Going back to the census and having some people identify as white to avoid such harsh discrimination, we can come to the conclusion that white is a standard and that people of color are subject to discrimination/racism.  The connection to white privilege is that people of color are automatically considered less than whites, therefore making it more difficult to achieve privileges that white people have easy accessibility to. 

                I fully agree with the McIntosh quote.  We do try to mask this realization of racism in order to keep things the way they are, by having whites and males on top of the privileged latter.  I can make another reference to our past to present presidents of the United States. Before we had Barak Obama as our president and role model, we had white male presidents setting a standard that, to be white and a man means you will have all the power.  To this day we are trying to preserve this idea, by limiting the power and privileges that people of color have.  By having Obama as a president we are finally taking a peek under the mask in order to diminish discrimination/racism against people of color.   

                In John Scalzi’s post, the video game analogy, a way to explain how privileges work to white males without upsetting them, makes it useful for us to understand structural privilege.  He goes into how if we where to put ourselves into a video game, some of us would be able to start on the easy difficulty and others with less privileges can only start at a medium or hard difficulty.  In this case the white males are the ones who have the option of starting on an easy difficulty, whereas to people of color have only medium or hard as an option for difficulty.  Word count:402