Monday, March 25, 2013

Racism v. Diversity

Racism v. Diversity?
To the average citizen these two topics may appear far in between.
Isn't diversity, well, the solution to racism?
Is it simply being used as grounds for racism?

In an all perfect world: cultures would mingle endlessly, there may not even be single races as they would have merged time and time again. But we don't exactly live in that perfect world do we? As a melting pot country, one would assume America would be the closes resemblance to this fictional image... but we're not. The diversity of our nation does little but create more racial prejudices, and ensure those with past ideals hold their opinions closer to heart.
One could say diversity invited racism over for dinner?

It's one thing to see another race on say television, in novels, it's a whole 'nother to be surrounded by that race. Suddenly the ideal pops up that they are a threat, whether it be physically (ie. fear of African American males doing one harm) or to one's social standing (ie. African Americans may feel out of place in an mainly Caucasian setting) or even to one's economic standing (ie. Latinos are "stealing" all of the jobs). And when something or someone becomes a threat, it's human instinct to want to rid oneself of this precieved threat. At this point racial prejudices are acted upon and find themselves transformed to racist actions.

Democrat and Chronicle blogger Dick Moss recently proposed a couple encounters one may or may not consider racism in his post "Ok, so what do you think racism is?", leading me to ponder a few of the situations. As all of which peaked my interest are a direct result of the diversity this nation is undergoing.. and not handling well. However, you will soon realize the answers may differ based on one's point of view, background, morals, and simply opinion. No two people have the exact same opinion, so don't you dare bite my head of for expressing mine.

Is it racist for the Border Patrol to target populations that are clearly Latino in its search for immigrants without proper documentation?

Oh, oh, oh the turns this question can take. Take a moment to ignore the reference to a specific race, and simply view the question proposed through an investigative lens. If one is looking for a suspect, does one not first check the suspect's home? Neighborhood? Family members' homes? And this is purely where I can see this question going. As a first generation child of an immigrant family, I only see the logic of this statement. When one comes from another country entirely they prefer to surround themselves with other immigrants, someone whose culture is the same as their own. You go to a new place? Do you or do you not first ask yourself "Are there others, like me?" So how in what way would this be an act of racism? To look for illegal immigrants in a place they would most likely call home?
And if I do recall, home is where one's family is.

Is it racist for a school district’s staff to not reflect the diversity of its student body?

Here lies a proposed scenario purely based on encouraging diversity, yet a root of possible racism or at least racial prejudice. The only thing a school district should be requires to do is have a staff that reflects an strong educational body. Just because the school strives for diversity of its student body, doesn't mean it should just start handing out jobs to all races for parallelism. However, on that note, those who are qualified should be considered, therefore it only becomes an act of racism if a certain race is declined a job purely based on race. This is outrageous no matter the job field, whether it be teaching position or researcher or politician. 

Point blank, what one may see as an act of racism, once dissected simply becomes an act of diversity that one felt the need to give racist light to. By living in America you agree to the Terms and Conditions 
We are a country of the free. We are a melting pot. And we are diverse in nature.

Just because something becomes more diverse than one prefers, does not give any right to be made racist or encourage racial prejudices. Because guess what?

Diversity did NOT invite racism to dinner.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Horrific Holocaust

The Holocaust, was the mass murdering of Jews under the Nazi regime during the period of 1941-45. However, mistreatment of Jews as scapegoats has been a occurrence throughout history, Adolf Hitler simply brought it to a larger scale upon his rise to power. Despite popular belief The Holocaust was not simply a 4 year event starting from the first death, however it took place beginning on January 30, 1933 when Hitler first rose to power - to May 8, 1945 when the war in Europe officially ended.. With the power he recieved as chancellor, Hitler unleashed a barrage of orders putting the cruelty of Jews, The Holocaust, in motion till his death in 1945.

These events are as followed: 

The Holocaust, the word "holocaust" being a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire", truly originated in Hitler's youth. As a young man he applied to the Vienna Academy of Art only to be rejected; convinced that it was a Jewish professor that had rejected his artwork. This assumption coupled with his belief that a Jewish doctor had been responsible for his mother's death, as well as jealousy of the luxurious lifestyle Jews lived. It was at this stage in his life - about 1908 - that he developed a hatred of Jews, Anti-Semitism. Upon his rise to power he spread these Anti-Semitic views, to the level of associating it with German national pride. Soon minds were corrupted with propaganda, or simply pressured and Anti-Semitic views lead to a strong dislike of Jews from elderly to youth followers; inciting bullying, vandalizing, discrimination, etc. 

Once Hitler had enough individuals on his side the cruelty began, Jews were forced to identify themselves as such only to be rounded up and forced into cramped, dirty neighborhoods known as ghettos; the richer managing to flee Europe all together for their freedom. Kristallnacht, was the turning point in the Holocaust, as it was a night of organized extreme violence as Jews, it marked the point of no return. As Hitler noticed he could get away with more and more he finally initiated the deportation, of Jews to work camps, to be worked to death. Little by little he did more and more till he initiated concentration camps there Jews would be either killed upon arrival or worked till their group's turn came. The genocide only increased going from attempted cover up to full-blown gathered and shot to death. In the ending of the war, the genocide only got worse as Nazi sought to hide evidence of their treatment by  attempting to kill all witnesses, which included even Jew in Germany.

Finally this period of horror ended as US troops and Soviet troops closed in on Germany, resulting in several suicides of Nazi officials including the very own Adolf Hitler, as well as attempts to cover up the treatment of Jews. In the end their were survivors of concentration camps, mainly men, as well as survivors on the outside who had managed to elude collection. These individuals are slowly dying off one by one taking their knowledge of what truly happened with them, despite documentation and interviews. To this day there is still a common belief that the Holocaust never happened, or happened by was extremely exaggerated, despite obvious proof. We can only do as much as to learn from past history, and ensure that nothing like the Holocaust or even slightly resembling happens again.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thou Shall Not Murder

"Thou Shall Not Kill."
 The Sixth Commandment of the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God, on Mt. Sinai; states that one shall not kill a fellow human being. This simple commandment of respecting the life given to another by God's grace, has been broadened to comprise of several situations; as well as to validate the wrong doings of another.  The ideal that God granted another human with the right to live, and only he is to decide when that life is taken away, is pretty standard even in those who do not believe in an God/Goddess as they still will debate what right it is for someone of equal humanity to take the life of another. In today's society the thought of a full-blown murder of another human being is enough to make one cringe, yet when the same ideals are applied to other situations such as abortion, capital punishment, suidcide, and so forth things become complicated. At what point does one human have the right to take the life of another, whether it be their own child, for justice, or to stop suffering of a loved one?

Abortion has become an widely debated topic from simple communities to presidential issues of interest. The debate being at what point is an human being truly created, conception? Birth? Personally, the belief that one is "living" till birth to me, is completely idiotic to state. Upon conception, fertilization of the egg by the sperm, there is now a creature with it's own genetic blue print and functioning cells, a living being. No matter what approach one attempts to take to validate abortion it will always be the killing of another human being, with a soul similar to our very own. Now that has been established there's the argument of not being able to provide for the child, thereby it should be aborted. Stop. Pause. Hault. You can't provide for the child, so it would be better of dead? Millions of couples worldwide desire a family, but can not achieve one due to problems of either the male or female. They would gladly love to provide for that child who you're killing. Here's an idea.. give them that child. The argument that if one can provide for the child becomes invalid right there, if you can't. Some else can. Then there's the argument of a child being the product of a rape, the woman should not have to endure carrying that child to term while dealing with the mental traumas of the event; and may not even bear the sight of the child because of who fathered it. So you had something taken from you so your response it to take something from someone else? It truly shouldn't matter who fathered the child, it's not their fault, they don't deserve to have their life taken from them. There's so many other choices like simply giving the child up. Plus, you never know upon the birth of that child you will have such an connection with it, it won't matter who the father is cause they're yours someone who will love you with no boundaries.

Capital punishment is an give and take circumstance when it comes to the Sixth Commandment, to what extent does the government have to take the life of another? There's several situations that it would appear completely acceptable, such as an life for an life, whether it be another human life, or a child's innocence. Suddenly we're a bunch of savages with pitchforks and torches.
Most do not take into account how worse off the criminal will be spending life in prison, than if we killed them and let them off easy. The torture of spending life in prison with the guilt of what they did, and knowing that this is all they will ever have is far more punishing. Death is an physical punishment, but life in prison is an mental, physical, and emotional punishment; it will take way more of a toll on one's well-being. As well as the fact that victims and family of the victims will have the pleasure of knowing their assaulter is rotting in a prison cell enduring physical and mental abuses than having the pleasure of being dead. Capital punishment is truly unneccessary, as the desired effect can be accomplished ten-folds without even taking another human's life.

Suicide is truly an complex debate, cause it wholly focuses on how much control does one have on their own life? Personally I believe that one has control of their own life, and choice to do with as they will. But suicide is 9 times out of 10, an long-term solution to an short-term problem. The power to take away your own life is truly up to the individual, but the fact that in killing themselves they are in turn disturbing not only their own families, communities but their world-wide connected destiny. One may believe they can do what they want cause it's theirs but you have to take into consideration those around you, others felling the same way, and even your soul mate somewhere out in the world. One death doesn't just affect one community it takes away someone in the world meant to do something, whether it be that one vote that turns an election, running that one stop sign that makes another car stop and in turn avoid an collision with another car, that one smile that gives a person committed to killing themselve hope, and so forth. To believe that your death will result in no more than a couple sad individuals is truly self-fish. You wouldn't have been born if you weren't meant to contribute to the universal course of events; that only should convince one not to kill themselves. Not to murder another human being is an commandment for a reason, every living creature is part of something bigger than themselves, and in killing themselves they are affecting every single living being on the planet.

My personal views on these three topics of abortion, capital punishment, and suicide, are just those personal views. I take the Sixth Commandment to heart and believe that upon conception you become something far bigger than yourself. Being part of this universal connections makes one obligated to cherish not only their own lives as well as others, because one does not know how that one life being taken can effect the entire universe.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Don't Shoot Me, I Only Have Skittles!

Do you know who Trayvon Martin is? Have you heard the story of the Florida shooting of an 140 pound 17 year old boy by an 250 pound 28 year old? A 28 year who initiated the confrontation between himself whom was armed and an unarmed young boy and then proceeded to hide behind the Stand Your Ground Law?

On February 26, 2012, a 17-year old African American named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida. The shooter was George Zimmerman, a 28-year old white man. Zimmerman admits killing Martin, but claims he was acting in self defense. In Florida under the Stand Your Ground Law, a person may use deadly force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of a threat, without an obligation to retreat first. Due to this law Zimmerman remains free, despite his admittance to the murder. This is where the case begins, did Zimmerman truly have a reason to fear for his life?

While staying in Florida with his father and  the father's fiance, Trayvon walked to the grocery store and purchased ice tea and a bag of skittles for his little brother. However, on the way home he was followed by The Neighborhood Watch on duty, George Zimmerman, while on the phone with his girlfriend he told herr how he believed George to be following him, she then told him to run which he rejected the idea of and instead pulled over his hood(it was in fact raining after all) and walked at a faster pace. Meanwhile, George Zimmerman proceeded to call the police and inform them of Trayvon's "suspicious" behavior, to which the 911 operator told Zimmerman not to follow the boy and stay in his car. None of which he followed. Now feeling more on edgy Trayvon began to run from his pursuer, only for Zimmerman to state to the operator "These as----es, they always get away." and proceed to follow on foot. Once Zimmerman managed to corner Trayvon, all his girlfriend heard was ""What are you following me for?" by Trayvon, and "What are you doing here?" by Zimmerman and shuffles of an physical confrontation before the line went dead.

How can the Stand Your Ground Law even be put into effect in this circumstance if Zimmerman followed and confronted Trayvon, while Trayvon was the one fleeing for his life? Stand Your Ground Law implies Trayvon came to confront Zimmerman, who in turn felt threatened. Contorting the law in this way it would give right for someone to chase down someone they didn't like and kill them during the altercation, with no threat of consequence. It is at this point where the case is still being questioned, and the 911 calls being analyzed, to determine who really was the one in danger?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spread The Word To End The Word

Mostly everyone has said the "R-Word" before, we've all heard it being used in a certain context.
 But how many of you have resisted saying this term? How many of you let your friends say it? 
How many of you know someone who has an intellectual disability? Would you ever say that term around them? To their family? To their face?

Growing up the words "retard",  "retarded", "re-re", etc. were the norm insults, they were on the same level as stupid and dumb. There was no differentiation, there was no understanding of what those words meant. I may have even been in the same class as those with intellectual disabilities, but was too young to tell the difference. I learned what the term actually meant in about middle school, but by that time it was already etched in my brain. From that point on it became simply odd to hear the term, and much awkwarder to have it escape my lips. it wasn't till I actually met a peer with noticeable intellectual disabilities that it truly hit me. That just wasn't an appropriate word. So far in my life I've known several peers with intellectual disabilities, and I don't see it as a problem. Their "disability" isn't what defines them as a person, or as a friend.

 Everyone is on different levels socially, intellectually, athletically, etc. so where does the comparison start? What is the norm? Average? There can be someone who's missing a leg and still be faster than a "normal" person. Someone who has intellectual disabilities and still be smarter than a "normal" person. Frankly their "disabilities" aren't even that, they're advantages. Those who struggle put more effort into doing something, there's more passion and commitment, because they want to prove that no matter the difference they can keep up with everyone else. Then there's "normal" people who don't even bother because there's no obstacles, they live their whole life with the mentality that, "if the path is easy why put more effort than necessary?". Just taking what they have for granted, when there's those that need it and could put it to better use. People talk down on these individuals, pity them, separate them from their peers and force them to feel different. To look upon the rest of the world with jealousy or mourn their differences. When instead they're stronger than we'll ever be. Those individuals wake up everyday willing to fight another obstacle, time after time again; they know what it truly means to be strong when odd's are against them.
"Normal" people have no idea. 

As far as I'm concerned the "R-Word" is on the same level as racial slurs, and if it's a general conception that those are inappropriate then why not the "R-Word"? Every single time someone says that word or words that stem from it, they're enforcing the misconception that these individuals, that had no choice in the matter what so ever, are lower than everyone else. Every time you say that word, you're tearing down millions of people who spend every living second building themselves back up. Babies, toddlers, kids, teenagers, adults, and elderly. All souls that have to endure another second of the world's stigma on disabled individuals, who fight for their right in the world harder than anyone else. Every time your friends say that word they're spreading the hate, allowing it to bloom to reach future generations. Every time you don't stop this word from being said, you're letting it reach millions who feel these insults stronger than bullets. Every time you don't spread the word of to end these words, some of these individuals are faced with thoughts of suicide, because you're allowing the stereotype that they will never amount to anything to spread to their ears. The "R-Word" is murder, for self-esteem and lives alike. 


Monday, February 6, 2012

Do You Kiss Your Mother With That Mouth!?

Don't want to see it? Don't do it!

Remember that time you stubbed your toe? What was your first reaction? Did you say that out loud? Or maybe you just thought it? No biggie right? It's just a word. Everyone says it! For a society that has no problem censoring every media outlet, our society is pretty attached to foul words aren't we?

In today's day and age cursing is everywhere, the television, radio, books, etc. although censored, some words are not bleeped or cut off till half way through when the audience already knows what was said. Even when censored half way through human minds' have the tendency to finish the word if enough is implied. So why even bother? Some live shows have slip ups on curse words that aren't corrected till the second time it is played, the first viewers have already been exposed. So why even bother? Media is one of the main sources that curse words are picked up on, when younger we see the word being said over and over again and our impressionable minds absorb it as the norm. Although some households have a tighter censoring on the shows teenagers and children are allowed to watch, so where do they learn it from? Some children leave home with those words part of their mental vocabulary, and possibly no moral lesson from their parents not to use that word, when around their friends those words come out more regularly, and children exposed see this as "cool" or "everyone else is doing it" and have the tendency to curse more often around that group of kids than elsewhere. Cursing is everywhere. So why even bother?

Once we accept that children will pick up on and possibly use curse words, we should instead teach proper etiquette on when that language is absolutely not acceptable. Such as around adults, in any school setting( especially social media sites that are visible to any school faculty), during school-related events, church or other proper environments. Once we teach them when it is is not acceptable at a young age, it will be already on their minds as they become teenagers and have to truly know when it is appropriate, or risk losing jobs or  college acceptances due to foul language on social media sites or in person. I believe a different approach is needed to teach the problems of curse words to younger kids, so it will be with them as they grow and are exposed to peer pressure by others. Such as I am weary to curse do my parents teaching me at an impressionable age that it was a matter of class, and how you want to be viewed by others. Not just bad words. To me curse words shouldn't even be bothered with anymore, words more like "stupid", "hate", "retard", ect. are words that should be censored and taught as bad words to children, instead of having cartoons full of that language. Curse word exposure is inevitable, but language like that has the capability to be halted.

As for cursing on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, ect. it technically fits into the category as around friends. HOWEVER, if a teacher has visibility to those posts, or colleges/jobs that look you up to see how you behave outside of a proper environment. Why would you use that language? Frankly it's pretty disrespectful if you have teachers as friends or following you and you don't think twice about using that type of language, it's pretty much a slap in the face. You're only showing them that you have absolutely no morals or manners and you are completely disregarding them as who they are and putting them on the level of your peers. If your vocabulary is worst than a sailors, and you don't attempt to control that publicly, it's only ruining your image it's telling teachers, parents, jobs, and colleges alike that you have no morals. It becomes your fault if they now view you on a lesser level, or don't want you in their environment, because you obviously don't know how to act. 

Just keep it to yourself. Curse like a sailor to your heart's content. Just don't do it around me!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Resolutions We Could Have Been Doing All Along

New Year.
New Slate.
What will you do different?

Many are known to participate in the fad of New Year's resolutions, renewing themselves for the year to come by making a list of actions they wish to accomplish. Such popular ones include: getting in shape, spend more time with friends and family, quitting smoking, enjoy life more, ect. However, there are those that find no need to participate in such overrated acts, believing that if one truly wanted to change themselves they wouldn't need a holiday to do it. This may be due to the assumption that most resolutions will be forgotten once the holiday happiness fades, only to be evoked next new year only to fall victim to the same fate. But that doesn't stop people worldwide from desiring to change for the better, in this clean slate of a new year.

What could the world do differently?

Sadly if there was anyone who needed a renewal with the new year upon us, it would be the same world we find ourselves in at this very moment. Every action taking place around us whether locally or across the globe. The world could do with a new approach.

1. Peace
So many different voices worldwide no matter the culture, religion, race want an end to the wars. The desperation is not limited to one country but is so widespread that countries come together for this specific reason. To keep things under control. So much effort put into place to keep things regulated, control over unnecessary wars. Keep track of unnecessary deaths. Families begging for their loved ones back. Pride in protecting a country , that has no need to be under attack. We're all humans yet we find faults in one another, based on their culture, race, background. Frankly, our superiority complex is unbelievable. Wars will never end for the simple fact that there will always be one human who will desire the property of another, to make themselves superior. That won't stop the voices from screaming.

2. Cleanse
Simply ridding the world of all it's corruption, all the incredible amounts of hate. You could argue that for their to be love their must be hate.. but there's a limit. When a person can hate, for no reason whatsoever, it makes you stop and unbelievable that we live in this kind of world. That we survive. Frankly it's quite astonishing that we haven't wiped ourselves out. There's no need for all this hate, such pathetic acts of human error. So many flawed mindsets, desiring to be better than one another. Media fueled discrimination, ideology of how one must look or act. Dense, thick-headed individuals in power, fueling the hate. Just stop it.

3. Neighbors
We are not the only ones on this planet. Point-blank. We weren't the first ones here either. If this is understood, then someone please explain why our species feels the need to wipe out everything in sight. News flash, those forests you insist on tearing down for your own personal needs are alive. Our species are generally omnivores, so it's acceptable that we must kill to survive, it's the basic lesson of an regulated natural society. However, when we kill in such mass amounts, when our food is raised in factories, birthed and raised simply to be a meal, with no ability to put up a fight whatsoever, is not natural. The fact that one goes out and acquires licenses to go out and kill for fun, is simply sickening. When protecting the environment, the living world around us, is seen as a fad, something to be done for the fact of being seen as a good person, not for the actual desire for the world to be healthy, is saddening. So many animals have fallen victim to extinction due to our presence, an uncounted for variety of plant life as well, simply because humans perceive themselves to be the greatest of them all. Why must co-habituating be so difficult?

The world could be so different if more humans simply looked beyond themselves, and saw how much simpler the world would be if these simple errors were took into account, and changed. These few changes may be hard to enforce but once everyone got the routine of it all, the world would be a better place for generations to come. Simple New Year's resolutions given thought, is all it takes. One second to stop and see how much better things could be, one second for the desire to grow. One second for the passion to burn in hearts worldwide, an unstoppable force pushing for change. 
A new year for all.
A clean slate for every human.