by

May 17, 2022

 

Until Black Women are Free, None of Us Will Be Free

African-American women have been fighting for equal rights for forever now. They tend to be the leaders of these fights, but never recognized. It is time for Black women to be given the recognition they deserve. As you can see throughout history, Black people have been attacked unjustly and there haven’t been repercussions that have impacted America. As a counter to the treatment of Black people in America, we have decided to protest. It is our right to protest but they seem to be a place to incarcerate Black people who want equal rights. Black women should be credited as the leaders of these movements. As I stated before, they have been fighting for equal rights for some time now. Their efforts have been overshadowed by white women and Black men, while they are shoved behind the scenes. Even though they start the conversations and the race to equality they are silenced. They carry the burdens of the Black community on their back but never portrayed as heroes like the white men you always read about.


The connection between Patriotism and Sports

In the article, “Anthems, Protests, and Football” (McGraw Hill) I learned how the U.S. national anthem began its connections with sports. The relationship between patriotism and sports began on May 15, 1862, in Brooklyn, New York, dedicating the anthem to a new ballfield. During this year, patriotic songs were also popular by virtue of the Civil War. Throughout the rest of the 1800s, the anthem was sung only on the opening day of baseball games. During the World Series in 1918, the nation began to participate in World War I and used the national anthem to excite the crowd with energy. The public address system and engagement in the second world war helped spread the anthem to other sports, like football, and became the official national anthem in 1931.

Why is the connection between patriotism and sports important?


Women’s History Month: Equal Pay for U.S. Women’s Soccer Team

In the article, “Women’s History Month: Equal pay for U.S Women’s Soccer Team” (McGraw Hill) I learned that for many years women were upset of the fact that they get are getting paid thousands of dollar less than what men soccer players do ,even though they play at the same level. In 2016 and in 2019 some women soccer players sued the U.S Women’s National team for their unfairness in pay, however the U.S Soccer Federation responded by making comments that men should get higher pay because of the “superior speed and strength required to play men’s soccer” and this outraged many fans. As the federal judge dismissed the case in May 2020, they also responded by saying that women understood the pay gap that there was when they signed their contract, which is different from men’s because they are from different unions. Then after that several players on the women’s tea filled an appeal in July 2021 where their persistence paid off and the U.S Soccer agreed to a settlement. Which then allowed them to get all sorts of funds to support them, as well as getting equal pay.

I think this is amazing. After so many years of having to deal with this unfairness of equal pay, they finally got what they worked hard for. Women can work and play just as hard as a man can, therefore that should not prohibit them from getting the same amount of pay they deserve.

What do you think about Equal Pay?


Comparison between Malala Yousafzai and Shirley Chisholm

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani woman rights activist who started standing up against injustice from a very young age.  She got the peace nobel prize as a 17 year old in 2014. Shirley Chisholm was an American politician who was standing up for minimum wage, equal pay for women and against the vietnam war. She also was the first African American woman in congress. One of the similarities between Malala Yousafzai and Shirley Chisholm is that both fought for gender equality . When we compare Malala to Shirley it becomes clear that both of them had to fight against a lot of discrimination, for example sexism, throughout their lives. 

While Malala and Shirley are both very brave women, there are several differences between them, including that Shirley also fought racist injustice and injustice against minorities. The most noticeable difference is their age and the time period they live in, whereas Malala is a young woman and Shirley worked decades in the political system. They lived nearly 70 years separated from each other but still both fight for the same goals for women.  Additionally they live both in two completely different cultures and nations.  One difference is how Shirley uses the political way while Malala didn’t have this platform for the start. This is shown by the imagery of the videos. By comparing these to incredible women I learned how they both fought through a lot of sexism and injustice to make the world a better place even though they live in two different cultures and not even at the same time. 


Biden will travel to Europe next week for an extraordinary NATO meeting.

This article talked about Biden’s trip to Europe next week, including meetings with NATO and the European Union. Biden is visiting to reaffirm his firm support of Ukraine. Zelensky will also request that Congress send additional aid in a virtual address on Wednesday morning. The European Union and NATO should also discuss viable peace options at their meeting.

See my comments on this article: https://nowcomment.com/documents/308333


A guide to what Russia and Ukraine want from talks- and where the red lines are

This article talked about the demands of both sides in Ukraine-Russia negotiations. Russia demands a guarantee that Ukraine will never join NATO, and also would like Ukraine to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics as well as Crimea. Ukraine would like an immediate cease-fire and retreat of troops, and says it would take a long-term pause on future NATO membership if they got security guarantees from the United States and other countries. The establishment of humanitarian evacuation corridors still remains a contentious issue, as Russia promised to respect them but their soldiers still continue to shell and shoot, killing refugees in this area. Zelensky believes that the negotiations recently have gone well, signaling that an end to the war may come soon.

See my comments on this article: https://nowcomment.com/documents/308331


The Return of Containment: How the West Can Prevail Against the Kremlin

This article was about developing a new strategy for containing Russia and cutting them off from the West. It talked about how we need to deploy more NATO troops to the East, to protect those vulnerable nations, and how we must convince China to distance itself from Russia. It also talked about how we must step up our military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. 


The Kremlin’s Strange Victory: How Putin Exploits American Dysfunction and Fuels American Decline

This was a fascinating article I read in Foreign Affairs. It talks about the similarities in leadership styles between Putin and Trump. It also talks about how Trump looked up to strongman leaders and believed their narratives more than NATO or international organizations’ reports. It also briefly touches on the controversy of potential Russian interference in the 2016 election.


Phones are above us?

In the article “Are Smartphones Makings Us Stupid?” (Upfront) I learned that Eighty-one percent of Americans own a phone. Every human in the world has a phone that carries the entire day. Some people say Yes and others say No. The “Yes” part says “Phones make us more and more wrapped up in ourselves”. And the “No” part says “Never in history have we had so much access to information, ideas, and creativity”.

I think that both sides are correct. Technology makes our life easier and facilitates more things than before. And we need to contribute and don’t stay all day on the phones. No matter what phones it’s a big tool and makes easier your day.

What is your thinking?


Should Controversial Monuments be Removed.

Many people think yes, they should be removed,and others disagree. So much so that in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia an anti racism protest was killed by a white supesmissest, over the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. I believe that this should have never happened and no one should have died that day over a statue. I feel deeply for this lost life and their family. 

However I do not think that all of these statues should be destroyed like this. I think that these monuments show a part in our history that we should acknowledge and learn from. . “These memorials recognize critical figures and events in our nation’s history. Removing them would be like ignoring or hiding a chapter of the past.” ( you decide BTW). Some people think that people who do not like them should not have to look at them everyday as they go about their daily lives. To this I say that rather than being destroyed we should move the ones that can be seen as offensive into museums so that those who still wish to learn about our history can go and study them. “Offensive memorials would not have to be destroyed; rather, they can be relocated to private places such as museums, where people can choose to go and see them–and possibly learn more about the history of the events being presented”( you decide BTW).

I agree parts of our Country’s past are dark and should not have happened but we need to keep these reminders around not to cause trauma but to remember and learn from  our past so that nothing like that’ll ever happen again in our country’s future. We must learn and grow from our past, not hide  it and act like it never happened. What do you think would you like to see these statues be removed or would you visit them in a museum? 


Puerto Rico is or not a state?

In the article “Should Puerto Rico Become a State?” (Xavier Garcia) I learned that since 1898, Puerto Rico has been a U.S. territory, the island has 3.3 million people are American citizen and have their own governor. But something important is that they don’t have vote on the presidential election. This debate has long been about whether Puerto Rico should become a U.S. state or not. Most of the time the Congress don’t have on mind the opinion of all their residents and they make the decisions by themselves. When Monica Puig won a gold medal in women’s tennis at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, that why her victory make them proud and highlight that Puerto Rico has its own identity.

I think they need to have some of consideration and have on mind some of their decision because all their decisions can affect all the residents not just them if they like it. Some of the Puerto Ricans made protest based on all the debate and the fact that they don’t have rights to vote for their own president.

What do you think, should Puerto Rico become a state?


Protests In Kazakhstan

Protests against rising fuel prices began on January 2nd in Kazakhstan after the price cap for fuel was lifted. Or at least, that is what set off the protests. Kazakhstan citizens have been angry at the corruption in government, various economic and social issues, and the effects of the pandemic. Not to mention that the average salary of a Kazakhstan citizen is equivalent to $570 a month. These protests began as peaceful but became a riot on January 5th in Almaty where many fires were started. In response, the president of Kazakhstan asked Russia for help, Russia then sent 2,500 troops to aid the Kazakhstan troops. On January 7th the president issued a “shoot-to-kill” order on national television. The aftermath included 208 civilian deaths, 19 members of security forces dead, and over 9,900 people arrested. Those arrested included many peaceful protesters, even those who were merely posting online in support of the protests were detained. Some detainees, such as Muratbek Yesengazy, have reported being beaten in detention; others report being tortured as well.

It’s really disgusting that a “shoot-to-kill” order was issued by the president, so many people died in the span of 9 days. I had been following this news back in early January when it was happening and had heard that the government had also turned the internet off so many weren’t able to tell others what was occurring. In the aftermath the president referred to protesters as armed terrorists which just proves even more how terribly he is trying to frame his citizens and how ruthless he is willing to be. From what I have seen, many Kazakhstan citizens have been left angry and unsatisfied. I hope that they are able to keep fighting in whatever way that they can, I’m sure they must be terrified to take action after this.

I’m curious as to how Kazakhstan citizens are feeling currently. Did they even get anything they asked for? Is the change they received actually addressing their concerns or merely a way for the government to placate them?


Women Right’s Protest

In the article, “Women’s March Revisted”(BTW) I learned that around January 2018 one of the largest protests took place in the United States. This took place right after Donald’s Trump inauguration. This protest focused on women’s rights, immigration reform, the environment, healthcare reform, LGBTQ+ rights, rights of workers, and somewhat about Donald Trump’s inauguration but it was the focus at that moment. This protest was something that was happening worldwide. A year after another march was formed that focused on the same thing. Their goal was to make a statement and the woman to have a chance in office. President Trump Viewed these marches as a “celebration” but that was not the intention the protesters wanted was to be heard and know that their opinions matter.
I think what happened in 2018 was inspirational. States became united to protest about the “environment, women’s rights, immigration reform, the environment, healthcare reform, LGBTQ+ rights, and workers rights”. This protest was to show how exhausted women were of being less valued and given fewer opportunities than males. This protest was successful because it showed awareness of the many issues that were happening.

Do you think this March made an impact?


What are your thoughts on the NFL Protests?

In the article, “Should NFL Players be allowed to protest the national anthem?” I learned that Colin Kaepernick was the first NFL player to start kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality in the United States. Kaepernick publicly stated that he was refusing to stand in order to protest the incidents of unarmed African American deaths during police arrests. However, Kaepernick was publicly criticized by President Trump, suggesting that all NFL players that kneel during the national anthem should be fired.

I think that how President Trump chose to approach the fact that NFL players were silently protesting was terrible. He tried to take away their rights to protest and so this made the NFL community unite even more. Almost all NFL teams started to exercise their right to protest by kneeling, sitting on the bench and linking arms in their form of unity since the president’s disrespectful words toward them.


Should The Minimum Wage Be Raised?

In the article, “YOU DECIDE: Raising the Minimum Wage” (McGraw Hill) I read about the pros and cons of the hard decision of raising the minimum wage or keeping it as it is. For many current cases, people making the minimum wage of 7.25 struggle to find ways to live and for that reason it has come to the attention that a majority of low income working families protest against the current wage. The protests that people are making are beginning to catch the president’s attention as he and The Congress are considering raising the federal minimum wage. It is understandable that these people want more but have they considered what could happen after (if) it’s raised? 

I think that it is insane how many people are outside in the streets, having to live off asking people for money. Raising the minimum wage will dramatically change a lot of people’s lives but some for the better and some for the good. If it is ever raised to at least 15 dollars an hour, the good in this is that about 900,000 people will be raised out of poverty. 15 dollars an hour can be beneficial to a lot of families as it ensures a living wage to them. It will take time for this change to happen but President Biden is in full support of this and the slow increase by time will give the economy and the people to adjust to these living standards. Everyone would love a raise in their paycheck every weekend but have they considered the people who will actually lose their jobs because of it? Approximately 1.4 million Americans will be in danger of falling off the bracket and losing their jobs. Also, many states are beginning to raise the minimum wage so it will not be necessary and will just cause problems to the economy. If anything, the U.S is currently good at where it’s at. 


Mandatory Vaccine

As seen in many cases people have their yes and no with the COVID vaccine, which who can blame them?, the quick the virus spread and in less than a year they were able to create a vaccine. In the article “Should Covid Vaccines Be Mandatory?” it talks about some yes and no for making the COVID vaccine mandatory, but what reasons could be good enough for the vaccine to be or not mandatory? The vaccine can improve the immune system of people to be less likely to get the virus, which also they have been tested and made with no harmful formula. Something else is that using masks might become something from the past, people vaccinated would less likely be getting sick and reduce the spread of it. A no would be that not everyone is willing to take it and that it might have some side effects.

This vaccine has been taken by many people, in many they said that it had side effects and in other said that everything was fine. But, a person should not be mandated to take it. People might fear what could happen because of the quickness of scientist on making this vaccine in less than 2 years. Also, not everyone having the vaccine also affects others who do have it and try to still take care to not let the virus come back and stronger.


where i’m from

im from the city that never sleeps, im from where they ask you where you from and if you say the wrong thing you might get popped, now to got to keep a glock, but i’m also form the bright lights big city and this where i wanna be if you don’t belive me come and see


March: Book One

The first sections of March: Book One by John Lewis might leave a reader feeling happy because it’s about a movement to stop segregation between Black and White people. Many Black people protest by going to “whites” only bathrooms and disobeying these horrible laws back then.  An example of this is on page 96: “Our number swelled to over 200 students for our next sit in.” I’m happy because many Black men and women were participating in the movement, Many Black Men and women were changing America for the better.

 A person who participated in the movement that made an impact on America today is Rosa Parks, an African American woman, was arrested and fined for refusing to yield her bus seat to a white man. Many black people followed Rosa park footsteps.  Black men and women would sit-in a white- only restaurant counter and ask to be served,  people were inspired by her, and decided to join her. This opened a new phase in the Civil rights movement. 

After this part of the book, most readers probably will be looking forward to reading the March vol 2 because You can gain knowledge on many protests and be able to teach others. In March, Book Two, I predict that it’s going to be about another protest that has happened.


Why people are protesting and getting mad at the death of innocent Black people

Recently, I read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I appreciated this book. I say this because it really shows the world why people are protesting and getting mad at the death of innocent Black people.

The protagonist is Starr, her story is set in, modern time period specifically Garden Heights, an inner-city neighborhood in the southern part of the United States. The significance of the location setting is that it shows Starr and her family environment living in the hood with the gangs, drugs, etc. 

Starr faces certain forces and pressures. The main conflict in the story is that her childhood friend was killed right in front of her by a police officer and she chooses whether she wants to tell her story on the news about him and his gang-life and tell the world who’s the cop that killed him. She meets these forces and pressures by deciding to go on the news but blur her face so no one will know it’s her.

The tension rises when there’s a trial for the officer that killed him and he pleaded not guilty and that people were so mad  This might leave a reader feeling really angry because he killed an innocent black man and he gets no punishment for it at all

The book climaxes when the Black people of garden heights were mad so they had s big protest that exalted into something bigger.


The Impacts and Repercussions of Divisive Language Used by Politicians

    In the age of technology and widespread use of social media, the influence of people in power is greater than ever. With a platform to casually and impactfully address people around the world, a great responsibility is placed in the hands of those with political influence. And, as anyone with any presence on the internet in recent years could tell you, that responsibility has been squandered with unreliable US government officials spreading misinformation and divisive rhetoric. 

Political polarization is one specific issue that seems to have arisen from the remarks of politicians on social media, especially in the case of President Trump. On the campaign trail, NPR asserts that Trump was “notorious for saying anything about his opponents, for trying to smear them and paint them as radicals who seek to endanger the country. The way he does it is pretty striking and is certainly exceptional in how far he’ll go” (Bates). The remarks referred to here were used overwhelmingly against the President’s opponents from opposing political parties. When politicians attack the character of their opponents rather than addressing disagreements on policy, they undermine the core values of American Democracy and establish an “us-versus-them” mentality that seeks to divide Americans by party rather than bring them together for the common good. 

Also, the language used by a President and other government officials carries a certain weight. In the same piece from NPR, Princeton Professor Julian Zelizer asserts that “What a president says is often one of the things that has the biggest impact on our country […] The kinds of words he legitimated and normalized will be part of the record” (Bates). Zelizer is referring to the fact that the inability of President Trump to condemn white supremacy and his continued inciting of violence is indirectly tied to recent domestic terrorist attacks. When a leader seeks to divide the people they are meant to serve, violent consequences should be expected. In fact, when covering the incident in which Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, showed up at a demonstration in Kenosha and ultimately shot two protestors to death, NY Times stated that “Mr. Trump reposted a tweet in support of Mr. Rittenhouse over the weekend that called him “a good example of why I decided to vote for Trump” (Baker). So, the social media presence and language of America’s Commander-in-Chief has led indirectly to an incredible amount of hate and division because of his inability to control his language and social media presence, giving permission to commit violent acts against others simply because of a difference in beliefs and morality. 

After all this, one may be wondering, why is this still happening after so much backlash and so may consequences? In his book entitled Divisive Discourse, ISU professor Joe Zomppetti explains that negative political ads and rhetoric are still used so often because they are working. He states that “Although most Americans claim to dislike negative campaigns, many studies suggest that they are effective, […] people either mimic these behaviors or are completely shut off” (Lynch). Therefore, negative rhetoric draws attention to the candidate while simultaneously degrading their opponent using “buzzwords” to have the most immediate effect. Political officials are able to, ironically, unite people by dividing them from their peers and in turn cause further polarization among friend groups and family members. 

With the widespread nature of negative ads and misinformation in presidential tweets, it may seem like there is no end in sight for the demoralization of American politics. However, the solution to this problem remains with the divided American people. If we learn to change the way we discuss politics, if we make it about policy and laws rather than which party is worse, real change can occur. Instead of contributing to political gridlock by refusing to accept a perspective because of a person’s party affiliation, we could all be more open to learning from one another and eliminate superficial bickering. This can occur through first acknowledging that we are divided and consciously taking steps to fact check our sources, listening to policy opinions from other parties, and treating our peers like fellow Americans instead of enemies. 

Works Cited

Baker, Peter. “A Long History of Language That Incites and Demonizes.” The New York Times

The New York Times, 1 Sept. 2020, 

www.nytimes.com/2020/08/31/us/politics/trump-police-protests.html. 

Bates, Karen Grigsby. “Is Trump Really That Racist?” 21 Oct. 2020, 

www.npr.org/2020/10/19/925385389/is-trump-really-that-racist.

Lynch, Elizabeth & Combs, Mitch. “Divisive Rhetoric: The Political Messages Limiting Our 

Democracy.” 7 Nov. 2017, 

news.illinoisstate.edu/2017/11/divisive-rhetoric-political-messages-limiting-democracy/. 


Confederate Monuments, and the History That Should Be Kept

In a previous post I made, I tried to tackle the question of “what Confederate Monuments really are, and why should they be removed?” I wrote about that, while some of the monuments were erected with the intention of commemorating the fallen soldiers or the loss of the war, the vast majority of them were erected to fear monger and act as symbols of White Supremacy, and their use in modern times solidifies that fact for all confederate monuments. I also wrote about how, in the end, it is up to the local municipality and its community to choose whether or not to remove a monument in their area, not necessarily the state or federal governments.

In contrast to my first post, I found this article (which I annotated for ease), which showed me that there is another grouping of Confederate memorials I previously neglected; the graves of the fallen, and the battlefields where they fell. The article begins similarly to how the previous one went, discussing the tragedy of the Charlottesville Rally in 2017, and how the President asked if presidents and other, non-Confederate monuments will be defaced and removed, which has been shown to be true. Here, the President asks where the line should be drawn as to where the removals must stop, and the author retorts with the graves and battlefields, which illustrate the real history of this nation, unlike the average Confederate monument erected in a town center.

The author then goes in-depth on the history of Arlington National Cemetery, the graveyard for many of America’s war dead since the civil war. “Today, among the 400,000 graves at Arlington are those of approximately 500 Confederate soldiers, as well as a memorial to them.” These 500 graves, erected in circles so that no more could be added in their ranks, were a center of controversy all the way back to its creation in 1898 by President McKinley for Southern support for a treaty. Funnily enough, one of the groups who protested it most was the Daughters of the Confederacy, who wanted full control of Confederate memorialization in their effort for the abhorrent lies of the Lost Cause myth.

The author also writes on Civil War battlefields, since they are effectively graveyards of both Union and Confederate troops, and are populated by memorials of both sides of the conflict.  He argues that, like the graves of Arlington, these hallowed grounds should be left alone not just because they portray the real history of the Civil War, but to leave the dead in peace, no matter which side they fell and died for. He concludes this by saying that leaving these battlefields and graves along, while removing the false history that has plagued our nation for over a century now is the only way we may be able to move forward.

This article informs my initial inquiry that all Confederate monuments should be removed, in a newfound sense of morality and reverence, was ignorant of the monuments that illustrate our nation’s correct history. We most certainly must keep up the fight against the false narrative painted by generations of white supremacy and fear in our city centers and communal areas. However, we must also keep the real, bloody, and tragic history of our country alive as a memoriam for the dead, and a reminder of what bitter hatred and bigotry may cause, as a warning for the future generations of these United States, so that we may fix the damages we still face and never repeat the sins of our fathers.


Riot- Walter Dean Myers plot

Recently, I read  Riot, by Walter Dean Myers.  I appreciated and enjoyed this play. I appreciated being able to see from a first person narrative how Claire felt and what her experience was like being black during this certain period of time. I enjoyed that Claire and her family were safe and she’s slowly becoming comfortable in her skin again.

The protagonist is Claire. Her story is set in America 1863, specifically New York, Manhattan. The significance of the location setting is that it shows how it was being a person or color during this specific time and how dangerous it was with the riots and protests. The significance of the setting shifting from Claire’s hotel to other shops and places is that it shows how rioting and racism affected different locations and how different places had to recover. For example, an orphanage for young black kids was looted and destroyed, many of the kids were relocated and had to stay at an island. Another store was destroyed and looted, the store sold items so no one who owned it was hurt but a fight went on outside and many people along with the shops were hurt and damaged.

Claire faces certain forces and pressures. She faces her former friends joining protesters and being unsafe outside. Claire alone can’t solve these problems, but she is brave and works through them. You can see this in the book “We see CLAIRE look around quickly, and then push her way through the crowd. We see her jump to the ladder, scrambling desperately not to fall into the water as the boat pulls away.” On page 185. Claire pulls through and chooses to stay in New York no matter the circumstances.

The tension rises when Claire chooses to stay in New York and travels with her best friend during a fight between rioters and soldiers. This might leave a reader feeling scared and nervous while Claire and her friend are in danger. Claire goes through many unsafe situations but always manages to come out with minimum injuries.

The play climaxes when Claire encounters an old friend, and soldiers. “Liam, this is the darky lover who said I wasn’t good enough to work in her place.” Liam is an old friend of Claire and Maeve is his fiancé, Claire encounters them while they are looting and is put in danger by Maeve.

The falling action ultimately resolves the conflict. The riots die down and more black people are coming into New York after being freed. It’s a person versus society type of conflict that’s driving this story. Society puts down people of color and influences others to believe they are less than them, but no matter the situation they get stronger and they push through. It’s a very sad and unfortunate situation that still continues to this day when the color of your skin defines you, Claire doesn’t let this bring her down and grows as a person because of this. This play shows the perspective of Claire and how it was like to be in her situation. It was a good book to read and I would recommend it to others.


Riot by Walter Dean Myers

The book I am reading is called “Riot” by Walter Dean Myers. The book is in the form of a play and illustrates what the characters go through in 1863 as teenagers, some of color and some being men, drafted for the Civil War. 

The beginning couple of scenes of Riot by Walter Dean Myers might leave a reader feeling hooked, shocked, and enraged because the main character Claire who is a black female struggles to have her other black friend receive a Job and faces racist people. An example of this is on page 46 a young Irish female says “That’s how the coloreds are. They’ll work for nothing until they chase us out and we’ll be the beggars and street sweepers. It’s in the bible!”

We learn something interesting about one of the characters, Claire on page 44 where Claire says “He knows that.” In response to her mother saying “We’d hate to see you hurt, Liam. Wouldn’t we, Claire?” This is not typical of how this character acts in this play, so far. Claire often seems to be very relaxed and chill, so far she hasn’t been interested in any boy drama. From the quotes I can observe that Claire has a crush on Liam who has a fiance, this may cause more drama later.

After this part of the play, most readers probably will be looking forward to reading the rest of this play because we will be able to get more information on Liam. We’ll also be able to see more of Claire’s relationships with Liam, her friends, and others. What’s probably going to happen next is an argument or fight will happen. Liam is married to a girl named Maeve who was being racist on page 46 towards Claire and others. This is very important with all the riots and fighting going on and Claire would most likely have to stand up against Maeve even if it hurts Liam.


Confederate Monuments of America

The removal of Confederate monuments from our cities and gathering spots is necessary for our country to move forward into a new era, ditching a history of pain, anger, and hatred from the present and putting it right where it belongs. These monuments of the Civil War, no matter what their intended purpose may be, have become havens for the far-right, subjugation of minority groups, and false narratives of the truth of the Civil War. These monuments also tend to be the ground zero of many large, terrible protests and riots, such as the “At Ready” monument in Charlottesville, which hosted the “Unite the Right” rally, which became legal. While it is good to hold protest, and it is legal under our Constitution, the ultimate choice to remove said monuments is up to the local municipalities who own the area.

Going back to the “At Ready” statue of Charlottesville, Virginia, despite the protests against its removal several years ago, it was still elected (and paid for) by the city to me safely removed and transported to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation, a group which specializes in history. These institutions are where these monuments belong. Public grounds and parks are inappropriate to hold them due to their connotations and connections to the hatred and disgust our nation has faced, and continues facing through many forms of racism and bigotry. Personally, however, I can feel lenient to certain memorials towards the South, at least based on intention. From my understanding of the monument production of Confederate memorials in the south, there were two main groups that we still see today. The statues and memorials both paid and made by Confederate veterans soon after the war’s close. These tend to depict major generals, such as Robert E. Lee, and the intention was for memorial of the dead and fallen, or of the Triumphs of the generals. The other group consists of those made in later reconstruction, and in the 1920s, when the Ku Klux Klan was at its strongest. These monuments were paid for by foundations such as the Daughters of the Confederacy or other private means. These groups used the monuments as another front to push the absolute lies and treachery of “The Lost Cause,” a romanticization of the Confederacy during the Civil War. These monuments were also used as scare tactics against the segregated blacks of their communities, to keep them from power or voting. No matter which “group” they may belong to, nor their intention, modern times have twisted, corrupted, or continued these messages of hatred, and they must be stopped.


Desperate for Change

In the article “How Our World Changed”, Joe Bubar talks about the changes our country needs in order to advance in social justice. Bubar explains how the injustice and police brutality is not new to this country. He goes on by saying that this movement is a lot different from others, in the way that now we have so much people, diverse, of different color, joining in and fighting for what is right. Walter Wiggins, a civil rights activist says, “I was shocked to see so many white kids out here,… Back then, it was just Black folks.” With more and more people realizing what’s going on in our country, more actions have been taken. 

Personally I feel like there really does need to be a change or a few changes made to end or at least prevent racial injustice and brutality. I do agree with Bubar that as the younger generation we need to come together and fight this ‘war’ as one. One thing I really like that’s being done is the way professional sports are promoting their actions towards the movement. Specifically, the NBA Playoffs have been really inspiring to me because they stepped away and stopped playing some games regarding police brutality. They have also been very active and continue to remind people, rasing awareness towards the Black Lives Matter movement. I think as long as people don’t give up, we will see some change(s).

Do you think change in the U.S. system is necessary? Why or why not?


Why children shouldn’t be expected to save the whole world

(Or why child protests ain’t really the best)

The fact that children are protesting is not a problem, per se. The real issue comes in two parts: That adults aren’t, and that nothing is changing. The real issue comes in the fact that children have to be protesting, that this generation is so thoroughly disillusioned by the future that they can no longer be and act as children. The real issue is that children are exposed to so much stress all the time.

I care about this issue because I am a child, and I am stressed and worried and damn near hopeless about the future. I wish I did not have to be, but the facts are that the climate is being wrecked, facism is on the rise, the wage gap is becoming fully unsurmountable, and so, so, so many other things are all happening at once. How can we not protest? 

Children are impacted by this issue the most. On the surface level, the protests themselves take them out of school, halting their learning, possibly lowering their grades, thus making school a little harder and a little more stressful. But digging deeper, the need to protest, the constant stress of knowing that you should be out there doing something is driving more and more children to drugs, and to getting depression or anxiety. The future is scary, and unlike most children’s fear of growing up, we have evidence to back us up.

Depression is on the rise in teens. But why? According to US News & World Report, “this generation knows all too well the fear of terrorism. Whether it be a lone shooter or mass terrorist attack, our nation’s youth have come to know and live with violence in their lives.” This is just one of the reasons, others including a lack of sleep, overstimulation, and other uncertain times, but the fact that even this exists is madness. Children live in fear of random violence in the US, and so we protest. We protest Parkland, we remember columbine, and we march for our lives. “I should be writing my college essay, not my will”. (Washington Post). And this is just one of the so, so many issues facing youth today. And yet, things haven’t changed. “There are a number of states where new measures are being discussed or debated, but few have signed any such measures into law.” (ABC News). Only 4 states have passed anything. Florida, where Parkland occurred, Oregon and Washington, both of them liberal pacific northwest states which have had 5 and 14 mass shootings in the last 20 years respectively, and Rhode Island, the smallest state in the union. The rest are either still debating, or not doing anything at all. Its disillusioning to see all these people protest, and then nothing happens. Why must children protest for their own lives and then be ignored? Why can people not realize that the only acceptable amount of children shot to death at school is ZERO? Other people need to talk, people with more pull, more resources, more influence than children. Other people need to speak up and say that none of us should be dying. None.

The fact that this is a fairly new problem means there really haven’t been any solutions attempted on the macro scale. These problems, some new like climate change, and some old like facism, are all happening at once, and we can know about all of it due to the widespread info pile that is the internet. On smaller scales, the general concept of mental health days, trying to limit your exposure to the news, and other such things have been suggested, but there’s not been a coordinated effort to limit the amount of stress children are under.

My idea for a solution would just be getting people to realize how much, truly how much stress kids are under these days. School steals hours upon hours of your day, sometimes more than a standard workday if you include homework. Kids are getting less sleep, and then on top of those the whole world is slowly dying and social progress is being rolled back at an ever-increasing rate. Getting people to realize this, and then possibly trying to reduce it in the ways we can, by limiting exposure to news & lessening homework amounts, could honestly do wonders.

More research I would need to do to further my understanding of this topic would be to just read more news about child protests in all areas of protest, and to look at the change in laws both locally and worldwide to see if I can form a correlation between the protests and actual change.

Feel free to add to the discussion in the comments below 🙂


Using mascots

In my thoughts, this woman is trying to inform the world that using mascots means something bigger and its hurting her and her culture because in the image she said “ I  am a descendant of a warrior who survived genocide. Which mean that sports and other things are using these mascots for in a racist way and using hand sign the Indians used to do back in the old times. Using a human like they use animals as mascots make them think that they are less human and they don’t care about them and they use them as jokes.


Women protest

In my thoughts, I think these women are protesting how they don’t get treated equally as men. Because women don’t get paid the amount the same amount that the men do. In the news I saw something familiar like this protest, women left their jobs to protest that they are not getting paid enough and they don’t work a lot of hours. Women that work in nail salons,supermarkets,factories, etc. left their jobs to protest. According to newstateman.com, “In the spring of 1908, 15,000 women abandoned their cutting tables and sewing machines, taking to the streets to demand better pay and conditions. It was the start of what was once called International Working Women’s Day “. which that women want to get paid more and want to change the conditions that they work in.


China’s Big Secret

For a while now, I’ve always noticed that countries with totalitarian Governments like the Soviet Union and North Korea, have kept secrets.  We’ve all heard stories that in North Korea they do things like block out western culture, and starve their citizens. But something that very few people know about, are the well kept secrets of China.  What is their secret? Well, China has almost 30 concentration camps, where they keep millions of muslims in efforts to “re-educate them”.  Many people are calling this the largest mass incarceration of people in the world today, and the territories where these camps are in, span the size of Mexico.  

These internment camps are said to construct the detainees into “Prototypical Chinese Citizens.”  This may sound relatively harmless, but in fact it’s quite the contrary.  Some have said that “It echoes one of the worst human rights violations in history,” with an abundance of constant surveillance and brutal torture, it truly is sickening.  In the camps, the Islamic prisoners are subject to forcibly eat pork, drink alcohol, and the women are forced to marry Chinese men, without any consent. (Somethings that go against the Islamic faith)  Those who do not comply, are subject to whippings, solitary confinement, and are even starved.  

These prisoners are going to be subject to PTSD and psychological damage for years to come, and it’s up to us to stop these disgusting acts, and help these people live better, more fulfilling lives with the freedom of religion, and not be tortured or beaten due to what they believe in. 


NO violence

 While observing at the imagine i can say people are serious & standing up for what they want. They are protesting because they don’t want no more shooting going around their communities. I also see African-Americans making these protests because they are usually the first one that these incidents occur to.  This is America!

In the other imagine the message i think it’s sending:

  1. To stand up for what you want!
  2. Speak up for your believes
  3. Stop discrimination
  4. Stop violence 

Let it out!

While looking at the image, it shows a few people protesting about being a survivor of a genocide. By the title of the poster “I am a Descendant of warriors who survived Genocide , I am not a Mascot” i can say that they are a survivor of a horrible massacre and they need to let their anger out this way by protesting in the streets and trying to let the world know what have they been through and feel their pain.  


Woman Rights

   While looking at the image there’s a lot of message behind it. For example Woman power. All Woman look like they united and are protesting because of their facial expression and poster’s they are exhibiting. I predict they are protesting about women’s rights , which I believe they want everybody to be equal. Women should be treated equality , free, able to vote , able to get an education and freedom of speech.


Black Lives Matter

I find it pitiful that we can still see cases of racism till this day. You can still see people of color getting mistreated either by other people or by the police. I will always have respect for the Black Lives Matter movement. They continue to fight for equal treatment and less police brutality, but even though they keep getting rejected they will still keep their stand and fight.


My Opinion on Woman’s Rights Movement

I respect the women’s rights movement. They are trying to get their voices heard in a world that was once seen in a mans world. However, their presence in social media is not the best, you’ll see a lot of  crazy people posing to be a part of this real world problem, but you won’t see what the real protesters do. over all I have hope that these strong independant people accomplish their goals, and to change their presence in the media to a positive one.


Vape Ban

In recent months there have been many cases of lung disease that is believed to be caused by nicotine and thc vapes. President Trump quickly decided to ban flavored vapes. I think that they decided not to look into the situation and just make a quick decision. However, my view is that the FDA needs to regulate the ingredients in the product rather than the consumer. We are not going to make everyone not vape at all but we could work on that for the future. The problem right now is that people are getting sick, so they need to make sure their products are safe for the consumer. 

Another big issue on these is fake THC dab carts. Legalizing marijuana nationwide would help less deaths because people will find ways around laws to get high. Then, the FDA needs to test and regulate these products. In order to wipe these bootleg THC vapes off the streets we need to legalize weed sooner. Flavored vapes are also helping people who smoke cigarettes to quit nicotine On the other hand though, banning this could cause more teens to go back to smoking cigarettes. 570,000 middle school students and 3.05 million high school students were e-cig users in 2018. 

Vaping has been a very big issue recently and there have been many debates about what lung disease is coming from. My view on this is that people need to look more into situations than just act upon them without knowing information. Also, the FDA needs to look at the ingredients of the product before they look at the consumers because this is getting people sick. 


How Music Helps Us Define What it Means to be American

American culture is forever changing and music is the best way to explore this. This is evident through the works of Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, and many others making music that speaks out against the U.S.’s involvement in the Vietnam war, to more recently Kendrick Lamar, Lizzo, Post Malone, and many others speaking about modern problems like being successful and not finding happiness. Artists and the songs that they make can help us see many sides of American culture and what it means to be an American. People in rural Michigan and the Southside of Chicago live incredibly different lives, but through music they can understand each others’ experiences and hardships. Thanks to music, we have a complete and whole history of American culture, how it’s changed over time and how it’s used in different ways. To define what American culture is you need look no further then music. Through this essay music will be used to answer what it means to be an American.

One of the first  major hit songs to take a stance in modern American culture was “Strange Fruit” by the late great Billie Holiday. Coming out in 1939 and containing haunting lyrics such as, “blood on the leaves and blood at the roots, black bodies swinging in the summer breeze” this song was in response to lynchings going on in the south describing their gruesome nature in grave detail. This song was in the midst of the Jim Crow era, and it was made to show people who were ignoring the racist atrocities that were happening in the south what was happening. It told Americans to wake up and look at what was happening. This song was so influential to American culture that in 1999 it was named “song of the Century” by Time Magazine. Through this song we can see what American culture was to Billie Holiday and many other black americans, it was deep racism and gruesome expressions of that racism.

Fast forward twenty-six years and America was in the middle of the Vietnam war. Many Americans did not understand why we were at war and they voiced their dismay about it through music. For those who didn’t know the degree of what was going on in Vietnam, this music was conveying the gravity of what was happening. Among the many singers protesting the war the most prolific voices in the crowd belonged to Phil Ochs. With songs like ”Talking Vietnam” (1964), “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” (1965), “If You Love Your Uncle Sam, Bring ‘Em Home” (1966), Phil Ochs toured around the country singing these songs of protest and expressing his concern to bring American kids home. These protest songs gave way to one of the largest festivals in American history, Woodstock. Which was in and of itself a protest for peace and love. One of the stand out moments of the festival was Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Performed on an electric guitar, it gave it a distorted feel and was meant “as a reflection of the violence done in the name of the flag”  (Anne Meisenzahl and Roger Peace). To Americans across the country at this time, American culture was kids no older than eighteen or nineteen getting drafted to die for clashing political beliefs in a country thousands of miles away. 

Now we move to 1985, you’re a suburban white mom and from your daughter’s bedroom you hear the lyrics, “I knew a girl named Nikki I guess you could say she was a sex fiend, I met her in a hotel lobby masturbating with a magazine,” (Prince). You’re horrified and ask your daughter where she got this filth, when she tells you, you realize you bought it for her. This was a reality for Tipper Gore who after hearing “Darling Nikki” (1984) by Prince, “created the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) and launched a campaign to use ‘Parental Advisory’ labels to warn parents against music with explicit, or ‘obscene’ content,” (Crabtree). Soon after the group formed there was a congressional hearing where they invited musicians to come and testify. Frank Zappa was one of those musicians and argued that the PMRC was censorship he said, ”The PMRC proposal is an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children, and promises to keep the courts busy for years, dealing with the interpretational and enforcemental problems inherent in the proposal’s design”. Frank Zappa was not happy and many other artists weren’t either, because as soon as the parental advisory sticker went on your album Walmart who was the largest distributor of music at the time wouldn’t carry your record. This encouraged record labels  to force their artists tio make clean music, oppressing their artistic integrity. However on the other hand the PMRC thought they were doing a good deed to the youth of America by informing them when an Album was explicit. During this time to artist American culture was censorship and oppression, to concerned parents it was pornographic, satanic, and violent songs being broadcasted to their kids.   

238 million users, 175 million users, 60 million users, these are the numbers put up by the top streaming apps Spotify, Soundcloud, and Apple music respectively according to the most recent numbers put out by ExpandedRamblings.com and Forbes.com. The music industry is at its largest point ever and the mecca for that is the United States. Nine out of the top ten songs on the Billboard Hot one hundred belong to Americans, including the number one spot held by Lizzo for her song “Truth Hurts” (2019). A song about female empowerment, it is “an anti-commitment song, in which Lizzo speaks about how romantic commitment could hold her and her career down” (Gardenia24). This song has spent six weeks at the number one spot on the Billboard hot one hundred chart and twenty-two weeks all time on the chart qualifying it to be an American classic. To Lizzo American culture is having the freedom to pursue a career without a man holding her back.

Through modern American history music has played an integral role in popular culture  and reflecting America as a whole. Being American has no one static definition, it’s not just if you were born here or not. Being American is experiencing a shared culture. The best way to do that is through music.  Through music we are able to understand what it means to be American to different people during different times. It gives insight to what it meant to be American to people of color in the 1930’s. What it meant to be American to the families and friends of the young men who fought and died for their country in Vietnam. We know what it means to be American to concerned parents in the 1980’s and the artists of the time. And we know what it means to be American to the top artist in the world right now. Being American is being able to share a slice of yourself and having people understand your experiences and values through music. 

Atkins, Jamie. “Say It Loud: How Music Changes Society.” UDiscover Music, 1 Nov. 2018, https://www.udiscovermusic.com/in-depth-features/how-music-changes-society/.

Crabtree, Chloe-Rose. “The Dirty History of Parental Advisory Labels.” Culture Trip, The Culture Trip, 7 Aug. 2018, https://theculturetrip.com/europe/united-kingdom/england/london/articles/the-dirty-history-of-parental-advisory-labels/.

Kondrat, Matthew. “Does Culture Affect Music or Does Music Affect Culture?” Prezi.com, 16 June 2014, https://prezi.com/_ofmyns8lnua/does-culture-affect-music-or-does-music-affect-culture/.

McIntyre, Hugh. “The Top 10 Streaming Music Services By Number Of Users.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 29 May 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/hughmcintyre/2018/05/25/the-top-10-streaming-music-services-by-number-of-users/#6f53baf55178.

“Online Master of Music in Music Education.” Go to Kent State Online Master of Music in Music Education., 2019, https://musicedmasters.kent.edu/americas-pop-music-history/.

“Protest Music of the Vietnam War.” Peace History, http://peacehistory-usfp.org/protest-music-vietnam-war/.

Smith, Craig. “72 Interesting Spotify Statistics.” DMR, 23 Sept. 2019, https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/spotify-statistics/#targetText=Number of Spotify ad-supported users:&targetText=2018: 116 million,2016: 78 million.

“Top 200 Albums: Billboard 200 Chart.” Billboard, https://www.billboard.com/charts/billboard-200.

Zappa, Frank. “Frank Zappa: Statement To Congress, September 19, 1985.” Frank Zappa: Statement To Congress September 19, 1985, https://urbigenous.net/library/zappa.html.


The Planned Parenthood Project

Our digital activism project was to support Planned Parenthood clinics. Planned Parenthood is being  defunded because of their connection to abortions. Our plan was to raise awareness to this issue and potentially get people to donate to them since they were losing funds. Our project was not as successful as we would have liked but it was overall great learning experience for my group and I.

Our project was not successful and did not get as many views as we would have wanted. We would post on the blog consistently and we would promote our blog and petition on social media. However, we did not raise enough awareness to consider ourselves “successful”. For instance, in the span of three months, our petition only got 28 signatures. We promoted several times on our social media yet no one would signit. My group member Devin made several memes promoting the petition but, again, no one signed.

Another piece of evidence that shows that we did not raise awareness that our blog about Planned Parenthood didn’t get any views. The only views we got were from ourselves. Our most successful post was the post that introduced and welcomed people to our blog. That post got five views. One other post got 4 views and another got 3. The rest got one view, most likely from our teacher.

Due to our lack of view and signatures, it is safe to say that we did not contribute to raising awareness for Planned Parenthood. It was a learning experience though. We learned how to research using reputable sources and how to run a blog. This Planned Parenthood project could have been improved by promoting it more and making more mini projects like more presentations and uploading those and spreading them.


Time for Goodbye

Hi, my name is Hajar, me and my friends started this project to reduce the waste created by fracking to help save the animals and this planet. Not many people know about this topic but it’s very important. This planet is taken for granted but it’s getting destroyed and people are the cause of this destruction, if we don’t stop now and start making a change it might be too late to come back. The blog didn’t do that well and I believe that’s because not many people know what fracking is, and my goal to spread the word and shed more light on this topic.

This project was not that successful because our blog didn’t get that many views at all. We had like two other people view our blog and the third was the teacher. I don’t think our blog got many views because fracking isn’t common in blogging since whenever I would search it up a few articles would come up.

Even though our blog was not successful our Instagram account that we made for fracking got followers, likes and comments. I think Instagram got more attention because it’s more modern than blogging, and more people use it. Bigger accounts would tag us on a post about fracking and talk about it. The fact that bigger accounts found us and included us in what they were doing means we did something right, and got the attention of people who have more power to help.

In conclusion, the blog wasn’t successful but me and my friends spread some word around on Instagram. If I had the chance to change something about my topic I would relate to modern things so more people can understand and post more about the blog on social media since that got more attention than the blog.


Deportation

I have chosen to write about deportation because it has been an ongoing issue for a long time and it’s currently worst nowadays with our current president. It is an important issue for me because it may affect the families of people i know  and is affecting tons of families every day. It is a big issue that separates children from their parents and ends up destroying families by also not getting a chance to stay here in the U.S. for a better life. This issue impacts people because it separates immigrants from their families when they get deported and may ruin their lives. It is problematic because it is also a racial thing because immigration targets mostly hispanic people because they are seen as the people with no papers and illegal. When someone ends up getting deported they are forced to leave behind loved ones. Also in many cases the person that gets deported have to return to dangerous environments they were trying to get away from and most cases it results in rape, kidnapping, torture, or them getting murdered.It is necessary to take action because each year too many people get deported back to their country they were trying to get away from to seek a better future and not be in danger.

 

Our current president is trying to build a border wall to not let immigrants come in.A solution would not be to build a wall because everything is racism towards the hispanic people and they deserve to also be in this country. They should not be getting deported for just being in this country doing nothing wrong. My blog post is to set awareness of how deportation is a serious issue and the large amount of people that get deported every year causing family separations and sending them back to a dangerous life. There is a big amount of immigrants in this country and they are all looking for a better life and they don’t deserve getting deported for no reason.  It connects to the immigration things we have learned in class and all the political things that can relate to this.


Bias, Racism, and Death in U.S. Communities

Bias, Racism, and Death in U.S. Communities

Why is Police Brutality causing death? “It could have a lot to do with racism and just their bias about African-Americans”, says Kareem Marshal, Life Academy Middle School PE and Basketball coach and resident of Oakland, California. But, why bias and racism? There is still discrimination on colored people ever since slavery was abolished. Police have been using excessive force or police misconduct on African-Americans mostly! But, after the death of Trayvon Martin in February 26, 2012, something sparked the African-American community, saying enough is enough, and the #BlackLivesMatter Campaign began, but the #BLM protests, from 2012 to 2018, weren’t the first anti-police brutality protests, in 1992 in Los Angeles, there were the Rodney King Riots which started April 29 to May 4, 1992, protesting for justice for those killed by white police officers. And in Oakland, in 2009, there were the Oscar Grant Protests, which protested justice for Oscar Grant from 2009 to 2011 (1 year before the #BLM Campaign)! But as years past, as Kareem admitted, “There’s always protests, there’s always rallies, but, nothing seems to change”(Marshal). So, based on my evidence, Police Brutality impacts the communities of EVERY U.S. city and state because of excessive police misconduct and violence on COLORED people, which causes bias and racism and many deaths of innocent, unarmed African-Americans.

 

The reason why Police Brutality/Police Misconduct is impactful to communities is that the police are arresting community members based on their racial bias. Many years, colored communities have faced a lot of discrimination and racism from the police and not only the adults, but kids and students are also facing police misconduct, like Marshall when he was 12 years old and Ricardo Cruz, a Latino male from Oakland, when he was in 10th Grade. Adding to this, some major cities like San Francisco are facing an early plague of police brutality, which is worse for communities of color. To begin, a Vox article called “Why Having Police in Schools is a Problem, in 3 Charts” By Dara Lind, who published this on October 28, 2015, talked about how daily police enforcement in schools have impacted the students, school districts, and the school itself in 3 very surprising facts. One fact that looks important was when Lind acknowledged, “Interestingly, for schools where fewer than 75 percent of students qualify for reduced-price lunch, there isn’t a correlation between students’ class and the presence of security. But there is a correlation among all public schools between students’ race and the presence of an SRO or security guard. The more nonwhite students a school has, the more likely it is to have a full-time SRO or private security guard on campus”(Lind). These words stated by the senior reporter proves that police brutality/police misconduct impacts communities by putting more police enforcement in nonwhite schools and poor students’ schools. This shows that there are less police in the white/rich schools than in colored/mid/low schools! Addition to this, an article titled, “Police Brutality and misconduct plague San Francisco Bay Area” by Margaret Faust and Caroline Peacore, published in July 7, 2018, it stated that an early police misconduct situation appeared out of nowhere in the Bay Area, which shows antipathy for the colored communities, especially Latinos because Faust and Peacore stated, “A Latina woman sits with her boyfriend outside his parents’ house in San Jose, California. Two police officers approach the car and explain that there had been multiple car thefts in the neighborhood and the couple were suspects. While the boyfriend shows one officer his ID, the other comes to the woman and asks her to step out of the car. He then unlocks the door from the inside and handcuffs her. He pulls her out of the car, unzips her jacket and touches her breasts claiming he is looking for weapons. When more officers arrive on the scene, the original officer bashes her head into the hood of the car when she does not fully cooperate”(Faust And Peacore). This proves that police enforcement in colored schools and police misconduct in major cities like SF is very impacting to every colored citizen and every colored child in their life because they are most targeted by the bias and rumors of their race like saying ‘the police should target the colored people because they are violent’. These reporters chose these words to shows how bias on race has impacted the African-American and Latino communities between the U.S. police and it’s very absurd because of the more bias, the more violence the police use. The two sources are credible because Dara Lind is a senior Vox reporter who has covered stories based on immigration, justice, and police shootings, Margaret Faust is a rising senior in Piedmont High School and journalist who covers reports around social justice, and Caroline Peacore is an 11th Grade student and a journalist who also covers social justice. Some may argue that police violence is not based on bias, they would prove that the police are just doing their work and arresting violent people, but all of the above evidence and occurrences in our community show this is not true! In conclusion, the causes of police brutality in communities are the bias, discrimination, and disrespectful treatment of the police to innocent colored adults and children.

 

The last reason why Police Brutality/Police Misconduct impacts Oakland communities is that Police Brutality affects the families and neighbors with death and violence. This is true because police officers have been very biased to colored people and have killed many generations of adults and children and they are still killing innocent people right now, in 2018! First, the article titled, “POLICE KILLING OF BLACKS: Data for 2015, 2016, 2017, and the first half of 2018” by Todd Beer, published on March 1, 2018, updated on August 24, 2018, talked about how police brutality has impacted the U.S. by using data and graphs that support the evidence they collected from the Washington Post. One fact that heartbreaking was when Beer cited, “Data collected by the Washington Post on the use of lethal force by police officers since 2015 indicate that, relative to the portion of the population, Blacks are overrepresented among all those killed by police under all circumstances”(Beer). 

The key words of this quote was “Blacks are overrepresented” and this proves the point that police brutality is affecting the community with death and violence because when checking the website of the Washington Post, it states in a graph that 2015: 995 deaths, 2016: 963 deaths, 2017: 987 deaths, and 2018: 996 deaths!? The total would be 3,941 deaths in the U.S. based on police-involved incidents! This is very important to tell and Beer used this quote and evidence to show the world and the U.S. that many innocent colored people and children are dying and Oakland need to solve this heartbreaking topic. Additionally, the website called, “Mapping Police Violence” by Samuel Sinyangwe, published on May 13, 2018, updated on December 4, 2018, showed evidence based on the police brutality in the first and second halves of 2018 and where was it targeted/located. One shocking fact was when Sinyangwe explained, “13 of the 100 largest U.S. city police departments kill black men at HIGHER RATES than the U.S. Murder Rate”(Sinyangwe). The key words “kill black men at higher rates” shows those 13 U.S. city police departments (Reno, Santa Ana, Scottsdale, Oklahoma City, Hialeah, St. Louis, Spokane, Riverside, Albuquerque, Glendale, and Fremont) have killed more innocent colored people than other U.S. cities. The world and the U.S. must know about this fact and have to punish those police departments for killing unarmed, non-violent, colored citizens and the city have to be more hands on their departments. These sources are credible because Todd Beer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College in Chicago and Samuel Sinyangwe is a data scientist and policy analyst who works with communities of color to fight systemic racism through cutting-edge policies and strategies. Some may argue that these facts are fake and that our police departments are protecting our communities the way it should be, which they are protecting it from “violent” or “bloodthirsty” colored people. In conclusion, the effects of police brutality/police misconduct is that it brings a heartbreaking event and it takes away the life of a colored adult and child from a colored family.

 

The solutions for solving this topic would be to punish those who use force and violence in the communities OR have city officials, mayors, senators, governors, and the community itself to be very focused on their police departments and police officers. The community should not always protest, but also protect their families and residents by reporting any police misconduct/violence and have the city to be more stricter to the chiefs of every police department. To start with, in an interview, Life Academy College and Career Awareness Middle School Advisor Ricardo Cruz talked about the impact of police brutality and Cruz stated, “I think that there needs to be a push to either punish those people that use excessive force against African-Americans and anybody else.” and “I think that city officials need to do more in being hands on the training of the police departments, to make sure that those people are at least culturally competent enough to work in neighborhoods that are predominantly communities of color or African-Americans”(Cruz). The key word that Cruz used in his interview is amazing and clearly understandable that our cities must protect our people more by punishment and for the next years, to be more hands on the training that police departments are giving to their next group of police officers to be protectors, not violent and oppressive officers. This quote is fantastic because Rickey uses these words to show a procedure, a plan, a way that can lead to less bias and racism from our police, have fewer deaths and lives taken in the colored community/population, have less violence, and have peace. This source is credible because Ricardo Cruz is the school advisor that checks on middle school students, knows members of the community who are in gangs and is a friend to the class of 2022 and everyone in the school. But also the communities should be part of this, too because in another interview, Life Academy School Counselor, Rodrigo Sandoval-Perez was also interviewed about this topic and  he said that ”If you educate folks around bigotry, racism, prejudice…all of these, like social construct, to make sure that everyone knows that, ‘we’re actually the same and we’re not that different’, that would definitely lead to decreasing violence”(Sandoval-Perez). A reason Sandoval-Perez used these words is that he wanted to show how communities can fix this problem and how they have a voice to directly speak to the police and the city about the violence of police brutality. Also, this is important to tell the reader that they have a voice and they can always use that voice to impact a problem. Speaking about the city and the community, governors, and senators are also making some change to prevent this topic! In the article titled, Gov. Jerry Brown signs landmark laws that unwind decades of secrecy surrounding police misconduct, use of force” by Liam Dillon and Maya Lau, published in September 30, 2018, talked about how Governor Jerry Brown of California is signing two laws that let the public to have or view the incidents of police misconduct/police brutality to press the departments or known as “police the police” and to make body cams stricter by making the departments to use audio recording and body cams. One fact that was astonishing was when Dillon and Lau acknowledged that, “Lara Bazelon, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, said the measure could expose officer misconduct that was long withheld from defendants and could lead to numerous convictions being dismissed. “We are going to see a lot of skeletons falling out of the closets dating back years, if not decades. That means people who were convicted unjustly and unfairly will finally get a chance to be heard”(Dillon and Lau). This quote is very powerful because of the keywords that Lara Bazelon used are words that are true and show that other governors from other states should do the same to give the public a voice to stand up and step down. This is very clear of what the 2 laws are stating and how it can help the state in the next years and 2019 and to the next generations of citizens and Californians. This source is credible because Liam Dillon is an LA Times journalist who covers California state politics and policy that is based in Sacramento, CA and local politics in San Diego and Southwest Florida and Maya Lau is a reporter on the Metro desk covering the LA County Sheriff’s Department. Some may argue that there is still no change and that not all states are protecting their cities because of police brutality being unnoticed and unreported. In conclusion, the solutions for this topic is that the U.S. states with the Governors, Senators, city representatives, mayors, and citizens can work together to shape a better future to the next generation and for 2019.

 

In conclusion, Police Brutality impacts the communities of EVERY U.S. city and state by using Police misconduct, violence, and racism. It’s pointed out in the three paragraphs by showing bias on race, the deaths and life-taking events, and how states have to change with everyone to shape a better future, and it is shown with interviews, timelines, facts, and articles that prove one of the three claims. But now…it is 2019, police brutality impacted the U.S. from 1992 to 2018 with death and protests beginning, do you think this topic will happen again? Well, we will just have to wait….

 

Cites:

 

  • Cruz, Ricardo. “Interview with Ricardo Cruz.” 12 Dec. 2018. I interviewed with a Case Manager and resident and community member in the community of Oakland, CA. We talked about experience, police brutality, and politics. This source is credible because Ricardo Cruz is Life Academy Case Manager and College and Career Awareness Middle School Advisor.
  • Dillon, Liam, et al. “Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Landmark Laws That Unwind Decades of Secrecy Surrounding Police Misconduct, Use of Force.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sept. 2018, www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-police-misconduct-rules-changed-20180930-story.html. Liam and Mary reported that Governor Jerry Brown of California sign 2 laws that stated the public can record footage of police misconduct and police brutality to report it. This is credible because LA Times is a daily newspaper that reports out news and been publishing in LA since 1881.

 

  • Faust, Margaret. “Police Brutality and Misconduct Plague San Francisco Bay Area.” Lookout, 7 July 2018, lookout.newsroombythebaysites.com/708/features/police-brutality-and-misconduct-plagues-san-francisco-bay-area/. This article talks how police misconduct/police brutality is plaguing the San Francisco Bay Area which is a threat for colored folks and citizens of the Bay Area. This source is credible because Lookout is a student website of news and reports from the communities of the bay area.
  • Georgetown University Institutional Repository in Georgetown University Library. “Black Lives Matter Timeline.” Georgetown University Institutional Repository in Georgetown University Library, 2016. Georgetown University shows the timeline of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, from the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012, all the way to 2015, when BLM members disrupted a cyber activist convention. This source is credible because Georgetown University is a private research university in Washington D.C. which has a library of many reliable resources.
  • Greenlaw, Marshall. “The Oscar Grant (Oakland) Protests, 2009-2011.” Boley, Oklahoma (1903- ) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed, BlackPast.Org, blackpast.org/aaw/oscar-grant-oakland-protests-2009-2011. This article shows the timeline of the Oscar Grant Protests, protests that argue to punish the BART officer for killing Oscar Grant in an incident at Fruitvale BART Station in New Year’s Day 2009. This source is credible because Blackpast is a website that gives you stories and events based on the African American Past and history.
  • Lind, Dara. “Why Having Police in Schools Is a Problem, in 3 Charts.” Vox.com, Vox Media, 28 Oct. 2015, www.vox.com/2015/10/28/9626820/police-school-resource-officers. Dara reports that police are put in schools more and its a problem because of the assault, racism, bias, and police misconduct. This source is credible because Vox is a website of full explanatory journalism and reports American news.
  • Marshal, Kareem. “Interview with Kareem Marshal.” 12 Dec. 2018. I interviewed a resident of Oakland and a Middle School PE Coach and Basketball Coach from an OUSD school. We talked about politics, police brutality, and the deaths of African-Americans. this is credible because Kareem Marshal is Life Academy MS PE and Basketball coach and is a current resident in Oakland, CA.
  • Pages, The Society. “POLICE KILLING OF BLACKS: Data for 2015, 2016, 2017, and First Half of 2018 – Sociology Toolbox.” Sociological Images Racializing the Abortion Debate Comments, 1 Mar. 2018, thesocietypages.org/toolbox/police-killing-of-blacks/. The Society Pages and Associate Professor Todd Beer collected Police involved deaths based on race of 2015, 2016, and 2017. The rates show that there are more deaths on unarmed black citizens. This source is credible because The Society Pages is an open-access social science project headquartered in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. They do podcast and arguments based on topics of today.
  • Sinyangwe, Samuel. “Mapping Police Violence.” Mapping Police Violence, mappingpoliceviolence.org/. Mapping Police Violence is a website created by Samuel Sinyangwe that reports the FIRST HALF OF 2018’s Police Violence in the U.S. This source is credible because this website reports any report based on Police-involved violence.
  • Sandoval-Perez, Rodrigo. “Interview with Rodrigo Sandoval-Perez.” 11 Dec. 2018. I interviewed a Latino School Advisor and resident of Oakland, California about the topic of Police Brutality. Also, the topic of making change. This source is credible because Rodrigo Sandoval-Perez is Life Academy School Advisor and Part of the administration team and main office team.

Police Brutality Cause and Effect in Oakland

What is the cause of police brutality and how does it affect Oakland residents? Hillary Walker, a teacher at Life academy and an Oakland resident believes that police brutality is based on the way that people of privilege judge others by their image and value (Walker). Police cause brutality because they put communities, youth, and institutions in danger.

Effect In Oakland

What type of effect does police brutality have on Oakland residents? Especially those seen as non valuable? Luz Orozco an Oakland Resident and mother of 3 kids has a very strong opinion about police brutality and believes that the more brutality that is created by police against lower class people in Oakland could and will lead to communities losing trust in the people who are supposed to protect us. Oakland is supposed to be a highly diverse city but, when it comes to violence caused by police the people who are seen as non valuable are the ones targeted which is unfair because it’s rare when police use violence against people of higher class. The way that police oppress lower class humans makes police seem as non valuable themselves because instead of protecting us against violence, police cause extremely violent brutality when violence is a impediment that is meant to be broken. But, as long as police don’t see it as an impediment to a more peaceful world than the brutality will just continue to get worse and worse (Orozco).

 

Effect on Oakland youth

There is a lot of ways that police brutality is spread and it affects many people. But, are youth of lower class also the targeted by police brutality? Darwin BondGraham is a writer who specializes on news and social justice. In an article written By Darwin BondGraham he described the moment when a 14 year old-girl who lived with her parents and her infant brother became a victim of police brutality here in Oakland, California. The victim’s dad was in the middle of a discussion with and officer due to the fact that her father had an arrest warrant filed against him. The girl’s mother pulled up to her home in Oakland and left her 14 year-old daughter in the car watching over her infant son. A few minutes later Shaun Williams the father of the victim was arrested. A police officer ordered the 14 year old girl to exit the car but, the girl refused. “Due to plaintiff’s questions and in violation of the First Amendment, defendant Martinelli brutally punched Plaintiff in the face” (Bondgraham). Oppression has grown stronger throughout the years but the police as our protectors should influence people to create change instead of making the oppression we face grow stronger.  Not only are people of lower class being affected by Police brutality but our youth are also being lured into the unhealthy space that police create due to the fact that they believe that they have the power to hurt others. If police have the audacity to hurt youth in what other ways could police target people in Oakland.

Public Institutions Targeted by Police

Public institutions in Oakland have been used as battlegrounds for police and victims of police violence. Tom Head is a very credible historian that specializes in ethics and religion he has also written more than 25 books based on civil liberties. Tom Head created an article based on the story related to Oscar Grant’s death The Fruitvale Bart station was treated as a battle ground in the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant. Oscar Grant was an African American male who was shot and killed by police. As shown in a widely disseminated cell phone video of the shooting, Grant was restrained by two officers. A third, 27-year-old Johannes Mehserle, then drew his service revolver and shot Grant fatally in the back(Head). Public institutions like Fruitvale BART  have been places where people of color have been targeted and unfortunately killed. Oakland has been affected by this factor because police officers who protect the city and keep Americas laws intact end up breaking the laws and creating a serious reputation that makes police and Oakland seem as an unsafe place.

In Conclusion, police brutality is caused by the ignorance and disrespect by police officers.The effect in Oakland is negative because people don’t feel safe and can’t trust their ¨protectors¨ that are supposed to keep communities safe. How do police really want to be seen? As heros? Or Monsters?

Work Cited

Bondgraham, Darwin. Oakland to Pay $60,000 After Police Officer Slapped 14-Year-Old Girl. 4 Dec. 2018,    

 

Head, Tony. The Shooting Death of Oscar Grant: What You Need to Know. 28 Dec. 2017, www.thoughtco.com/shooting-death-of-oscar-grant-721526.

 

Orozco, Luz. “People of Lower Class and Police Brutality.” 16 Dec. 2018, pp. 1–2.

Walker, Hillary. “Hillary Walker and Police Brutality.” None, none, no. none, 16 Dec. 2018, pp. 1–2.

 


Justice for Emely Peguero

When I first heard about this case on the television (in the news), my hearts broke into millions of pieces. I couldn’t believe what was going on, and in my heart, I just was wishing everything was a game and that Emely would go back home safe. This case happen on August 24, 2017 in Dominican Republic, San Francisco de Macorís.

This case is about Emely Peguero a little princess who was 16 years old and 5 months pregnant when she went out and never came back home.

Her boyfriend and the father of the baby that she was about to have was Marlon Martinez a 19 years old boy. He and his mother, Marlin Martinez were the ones who killed her. They killed her because they wanted Emely to abort the baby.

When Marlin Martinez, the mother of Marlon Martinez got the news that Emely was going to have a baby of Marlon, she didn’t want that, so she got crazy and wanted her to have an abortion. She didn’t say anything to Emely’s mother or to Emely. They went and get Emely from her house and tell her that they were going to the hospital to go see what was the sex of the baby. At the hospital, those two criminal took her and killed her and her baby. They wanted to take out her baby, but instead they killed her and the baby. After they kill her, they put her in a bag and than put her in a suitcase and throw her in so many place. They had dumped her in a landfill close by, but when they searched the site, there was no sign of her body.

 

https://www.mamamia.com.au/emely-peguero-murder/

In a press conference recorded on August 24, 2017, 19-year-old Marlon Martínez said he had last seen his 16-year-old girlfriend, who was five months pregnant, the previous morning.

“We’ve had problems, but problems that are common to all couples,” he said. “We accepted her pregnancy. We said we’d continue forward. … I want to now make a public announcement: Emely, no matter where you are, please, we are waiting for you with open arms.”

His mother, Marlin, sitting next to him in a black suit jacket, added, “She was already a part of us.

“She was my son’s girlfriend,” she said, before repeating, “Is the girlfriend of my son. She was five months pregnant, and when we found out, we gave her our support.”

“Wherever you are, Emely, don’t make us suffer any more.”When the footage of the press conference was shared to YouTube, commenters immediately picked up on how Martínez’s mother had spoken almost exclusively in past tense.

Suspicion started to grow, and it was justified. Because there was a sinister aspect to the story of Marlon Martínez and his missing girlfriend, Emely Peguero, that locals were particularly attuned to.

Peguero’s pregnancy wasn’t your usual teenage pregnancy. She was just 15 when she discovered she was pregnant – still three years below the age of consent in the Dominican Republic – in a country where abortion is illegal.

 

The Dominican Republic is one of only six countries that bans abortion in all cases.

With suspicion following him closely after the press conference, Martínez went to visit Peguero’s family home. It was here that he handed himself into police, aware that they were likely to arrest and question him over his girlfriend’s disappearance.

Still, he maintained his innocence.

Then, on August 28, police located Peguero’s phone. It was in an apartment owned by Martínez’s mother, and when that apartment was searched, police found blood on a mattress.

 

Two days later, Marlin Martínez turned herself into police – a move her lawyer said was simply to ‘cooperate’ with the investigation. But later that day, police would hear a stunning confession.

 

Marlon Martínez admitted to killing his 16-year-old girlfriend.

He told police he had dumped her in a landfill close by, but when they searched the site, there was no sign of her body.

The following day, as the community expressed their anger in protests that stopped traffic, begging to know where Peguero’s body was hidden, the victim’s older brother started to receive a series of messages on WhatsApp. His sister’s body had been found, the messages said. In a town about one hour away. That night, at 8pm, the decomposing remains of Peguero, and her unborn child, were found inside a suitcase by the side of the road.

 

Peguero had suffered internal bleeding, believed to be the result of an abortion attempt. She had also suffered a blunt-force blow to her head.

According to the prosecution in the ongoing court proceedings over Peguero’s death, Martínez forced his young girlfriend to drink an “unknown liquid to induce an abortion”. When it didn’t seem to work, instead of going to hospital and facing charges for assisting in an abortion – a serious criminal offence in the Dominican Republic – he killed her.

 

Martínez’s lawyer maintains the 19-year-old should not be found guilty of murder. Instead, he simply participated in a failed abortion attempt.

The trial for both Marlon and Marlin Martínez is due to begin on June 11. Marlon faces up to 30 years in prison, while his mother faces 20 years for her role as an accomplice.

 

This is a injustices because still new these Two criminal who kill that little princess and her baby haven’t get a setence for what they did. They take her life and her baby life like nothing and they need to pay for what they did. Dominican Republic need Justice for Emely Peguero this murder can’t stay like that, like if nothing happens. WE NEED JUSTICE FOR EMELY PEGUERO. Rest In Peace little Princess.

 

When I first heard about this case on the Television (in the news), My hearts break in million of pieces, I couldn’t believe what was going on and in my heart I just was wishing everything was a game and that Emely would go back home safe. This case happen on August 24, 2017 in Dominican Republic, San Francisco de Macorís.

 

This case is about Emely Peguero a little princess who was 16 years old and 5 months pregnant when she went out and never came back home.

Her boyfriend and the father of the baby that she was about to have was Marlon Martinez a 19 years old Boy. He and He mother Marlin Martinez was the one who kill her, they kill her because they wanted Emely to abort the baby.

 

When Marlin Martinez the mother of Marlon Martinez got the news that Emely was going to have a baby of Marlon she didn’t want that, so she got crazy and want her to have a abortions but she didn’t say anything to Emely mother or to Emely. They went and get Emely from her house and tell her that they was going to the hospital to go see what was the sex of the baby. There those two criminal take her and kill her and her baby. They wanted to take out her baby but instead they kill her and the baby. After they kill her they put her in a bag and than put her in a suitcase and throw her in so many place. He had dumped her in a landfill close by, but when they searched the site, there was no sign of her body.

In a press conference recorded on August 24, 2017, 19-year-old Marlon Martínez said he had last seen his 16-year-old girlfriend, who was five months pregnant, the previous morning.

“We’ve had problems, but problems that are common to all couples,” he said. “We accepted her pregnancy. We said we’d continue forward. … I want to now make a public announcement: Emely, no matter where you are, please, we are waiting for you with open arms.”

His mother, Marlin, sitting next to him in a black suit jacket, added, “she was already a part of us”.

 

“She was my son’s girlfriend,” she said, before repeating, “is the girlfriend of my son. She was five months pregnant, and when we found out, we gave her our support.”

“Wherever you are, Emely, don’t make us suffer any more.”

When the footage of the press conference was shared to YouTube, commenters immediately picked up on how Martínez’s mother had spoken almost exclusively in past tense.

 

suspicion started to grow, and it was justified. Because there was a sinister aspect to the story of Marlon Martínez and his missing girlfriend, Emely Peguero, that locals were particularly attuned to.

Peguero’s pregnancy wasn’t your usual teenage pregnancy. She was just 15 when she discovered she was pregnant – still three years below the age of consent in the Dominican Republic – in a country where abortion is illegal.

 

The Dominican Republic is one of only six countries that bans abortion in all cases.

With suspicion following him closely after the press conference, Martínez went to visit Peguero’s family home. It was here that he handed himself into police, aware that they were likely to arrest and question him over his girlfriend’s disappearance.

Still, he maintained his innocence.

Then, on August 28, police located Peguero’s phone. It was in an apartment owned by Martínez’s mother, and when that apartment was searched, police found blood on a mattress.

 

Two days later, Marlin Martínez turned herself into police – a move her lawyer said was simply to ‘cooperate’ with the investigation. But later that day, police would hear a stunning confession.

 

Marlon Martínez admitted to killing his 16-year-old girlfriend.

He told police he had dumped her in a landfill close by, but when they searched the site, there was no sign of her body.

The following day, as the community expressed their anger in protests that stopped traffic, begging to know where Peguero’s body was hidden, the victim’s older brother started to receive a series of messages on WhatsApp. His sister’s body had been found, the messages said. In a town about one hour away. That night, at 8pm, the decomposing remains of Peguero, and her unborn child, were found inside a suitcase by the side of the road.

 

Peguero had suffered internal bleeding, believed to be the result of an abortion attempt. She had also suffered a blunt-force blow to her head.

According to the prosecution in the ongoing court proceedings over Peguero’s death, Martínez forced his young girlfriend to drink an “unknown liquid to induce an abortion”. When it didn’t seem to work, instead of going to hospital and facing charges for assisting in an abortion – a serious criminal offence in the Dominican Republic – he killed her.

 

Martínez’s lawyer maintains the 19-year-old should not be found guilty of murder. Instead, he simply participated in a failed abortion attempt.

The trial for both Marlon and Marlin Martínez is due to begin on June 11. Marlon faces up to 30 years in prison, while his mother faces 20 years for her role as an accomplice.

 

This is a injustices because still new these Two criminal who kill that little princess and her baby haven’t get a setence for what they did. They take her life and her baby life like nothing and they need to pay for what they did. Dominican Republic need Justice for Emely Peguero this murder can’t stay like that, like if nothing happens. WE NEED JUSTICE FOR EMELY PEGUERO. Rest In Peace little Princess.

 


Few Social Justice Issues in America


The Problem of Islamophobia

The issue that I will be discussing in this video is that of Islamophobia. There has been a rise in those against Muslims in recent years due to the attack on the twin towers in 2001. However, most of the crimes committed in the U.S. that qualify as terrorist attacks, have been committed by white men. This is one of the reasons I am so passionate about this issue. I have friends who are Muslim and they are some of the nicest people I know. I don’t know if they’ve ever been discriminated against, but if they have, it’s because the perpetrator knew nothing about my friends. There’s this prejudice surrounding Muslims due to the actions of others, and that’s due to a lack of misinformation, and the spread of the idea through media, that Muslims are generally not good people.

Before I really researched this topic, the one thing that I remember about it was the fact that Muslims are not the ones who have been harming the U.S. in the past couple years. In 2016, when Trump got elected, my history teacher printed out a handout detailing the most violent terrorist attacks that had been committed in recent years. What my classmates and I realized was that these terrorist attacks were committed by white men born in the U.S., with no ties to Islam. After doing more research, I realized just how widespread this issue is, with hundreds of crimes committed against Muslims in the year of 2016. I also discovered that Islam takes up the second largest percentage of the world’s population, at 24.1% in 2015, according to Pew Research. This made me realize just how important it was to make sure that people know how many innocent Muslims that are out there, and how many of them need our help, and that people must learn to stop discriminating against Muslims.


Racial Discrimination

My topic revolved around Racial Discrimination and through prior knowledge I know that it is a very serious topic. I picked up on this specific matter because I felt like the reasoning for this occurrence was very mindless and idiotic. Discriminating a certain people based on their color of skin seems very ignorant. The fact that these sort of instances are still going on in the world today shows how we still have a lot to progress to.

I didn’t know much about the topic, especially the specifics. All I knew was that it was a serious topic that is heavily controversial and talked about particularly in this day and age. I knew that there were a lot of people advocating for awareness about the situation and that there were a lot of issues especially concerning the police and their heavy brutality. There have been a lot of instances involving white cops and black victims who were suspected of a crime and were either arrested or beaten over accusations that were just speculation. This sparked outrage amongst the people and has led to several movements. I was also aware of the people who are enemies of reform. The most common being neo-nazis and even more obvious the Ku Klux Klan. They thrive on racial discrimination, it’s the basis of their organization. Both institutions have a strong hatred for basically everyone, blacks, whites, Christians, Muslims, Jews, the list goes on, and they are dead set on achieving their goals through any means necessary.

I now know that there are many types of discrimination that occur in the world, not just racial. There is direct discrimination where you’re treated differently and worse than someone else for certain reasons. There is also indirect discrimination where there is a practice, policy or rule which applies to everyone in the same way, but it has a worse effect on some people than others, because of race, age, etc. Additionally, there is victimization which is the action of singling someone out for cruel or unjust treatment, this ties in with racial discrimination and racism perfectly.

Photo by Johnny Silvercloud


“Free Speech” In Polling Places?

In the following video, I discuss the issues of polling places and how the US Supreme Court has decided it is constitutional to limit the amount and type of expression in polling places. In my brief video, I quickly go over some wording of cases that have proved influential to the issue. Many people have claimed that restriction speech (such as wearing political attire, buttons, or campaign material) in a polling place is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment. SC cases have decided against this, though, if there is a valid interest and the restriction fits the interest.

 

I decided to write about this because most of my knowledge was surface level: I knew there were cases that decided this and I knew that it should make sense, but I didn’t know why. Now, I understand that protection of voters is especially important because of the change in voters, with more minorities and the elderly taking actions within their government.

 


Students S(it)tanding Together

On March 14, 2018, students all across the country walked out of their schools at 10:00 AM in order to protest gun laws that are practiced in the USA. Students at Carman Ainsworth High School in Flint, MI decided to have a sit in at 10:00 instead of walking out of school due to rumors about the consequences. Of course, administrators thought that students weren’t going to protest and if we did they had radical views about what they thought would happen. But, their expectations didn’t meet reality. Students went and sat in the 100 Hall for 17 mins after 10:00 and it went peacefully. Some decided not to participate which was fine since it didn’t outweigh the number of students that did. It’s good to feel like you’ve “walked” with students all around the country all fighting for a great cause. “If we are to reach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with children,” Mahatma Gandhi. Students in today’s world are sick of the conservative ways of the USA and the change begins with us. You should never feel like you can’t organize an event in order to protest something you feel strong about. And never feel like people aren’t paying attention, because even if their opinions are negative, they still cared enough to comment on your actions. The time for youth is now, and there’s strength in numbers! Y(our) voices should be heard and they will be. The time is now for us to recreate history!


Teens Take A Stand For Gun Control

Gun control can be explained in many different ways but, teens speak everywhere across the United States saying why gun control is so important to them . “I’m here to make people hear my voice and make gun laws stricter. I march for the people in my city who have been killed, ” says Gaia Green from Houston Texas. “I want to feel safe in my own school and my own country, ” says, Sierra Herman from Ralston, New Jersey. We should care about gun control because me, personally, I shouldn’t have to worry about how quickly I get to safety within the school or, what high administration will kick me out of the school for protesting for what I feel is right. The next generations of our country need to take a stand in what we believe in and make our learning enviorment a better place, this change can start with us.  

Photo by 5chw4r7z


1984: Power Struggle

Orwell’s tone expressed in the book 1984 highlights symbolism and a Marxist perspective to show how through the eyes of Winston and Julia love for one another is giving them power over Big Brother.  For example, Winston and Julia went to a part of town where Big Brother and the TV’s were not present and enjoyed being away and enjoying each others company.  Winston’s thoughts following this exchange were representative in this quote, “In the old days, he thought, a man looked at a girl’s body and saw that it was desirable, and that was the end of the story.  But you could not have pure love or lust nowadays.  No emotion was pure because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred.  Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory.  It was a blow struck against the party.  It was a political act.” (126) Through the quote, Winston and Julia’s physical relationship symbolize that not everyone is afraid and there is a place for hope as their actions were that of pure affection and love.  Winston and Julia have power in this situation as they both care for each other and disobeyed the rules set upon them by Big Brother regarding sex as a reproductive function. As a result of their love for one another Big Brother loses power in the situation as he isn’t the most important thing in their lives making him lose control of both Winston and Julia.  The act of hate and fear are symbolic of the effect Big Brother has in people lives.  Whereas Winston and Julia see it as a thing involving pleasure and love taking away power from Big Brother as he’s not the most important thing in their worlds.  Through the quote, Orwell uses Symbolism to show how both Winston and Julia have power through love and how together they are rebelling against Big Brother’s oppression by caring for one another preventing Big Brother from controlling their lives.   


A Letter to the Policeman

My people don’t like you badge wearing knuckleheads,

that’s just where we at.

Screaming “ All lives matter “  is a protest against my protest,

what kind of” ish”“ is that?

 

I’m sorry you can never feel our life,

tryna have faith, but we never felt alright.

It’s very hard to elevate when this country is run by whites.

 

Young black men tryna find jobs but didn’t get calls back yet.

Now they gotta sell drugs to put food in their cabinet.

Yall wanna copy our slang and everything that we know.

Tryna steal Black culture and then make it’s your own.

We can’t even drive without cops tryna start ish.

 Were tired of the systematic racism bull-ish.

All you care about is a badge and power and

 being ugly and that’s the policeman within you.

 

Hatred all in your brain, it slowly starts to convince you,

Then you’ll teach it to your children, then the cycle continues.

 

I praise 2Pac like he was a ‘fuckin’ God

He was fighting for his life way before he “fuckin” died.

    

Can’t erase the scars with a bandage.

I’m hopin’ maybe we can come to an understandin’.

 

It’s like we livin’ in the same buildin’ but splittin’ into  two sides,

We still don’t like you,

But there’s two sides to every story and now you know mine.


Should the United States decriminalize Drugs?

The United States does not tolerate drugs at all, since Ronald Reagan started the war on drugs. If someone is using drugs they are not scared of the consequences from the federal government, they are just thinking of the best way to hide it from authorities. More people are being incarcerated for petty crimes that involve drugs, than any other crime combined. Almost 50% of inmates in federal prisons are in for drug offenses, and in state prisons 16% of inmates are in for drug offenses. That is about 207,000 inmates in federal prisons, and just about 1,400,000 inmates in state prisons. Putting these people in prisons is not doing anything to stop the drug issue in this country.

If the United States is to follow the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Italy in decriminalizing drugs, it would benefit us more than ever. People are being saved by special works in place that make sure no one overdoses on drugs. The country would be much safer with less violence. We would have more money to put toward much more important things, more space in prison, and no need to build new ones. The UN has partnered with many different organizations, including health groups, like the red cross and the American Public Health Association, which all have endorsed the decriminalization of  drugs. Why won’t the US government, stop looking at what will benefit them the greatest, instead of what will benefit the citizens of this nation the greatest.


Do We Have the Right to Die?

Assisted suicide is a very controversial topic in the viewpoints of many.  Before I get into this topic, I want to clarify that this is an end of life treatment that is available in some states for terminally ill patients who show no signs of improvement.  The patients that choose this route must pass a full mental competency exam and have their decision legally notarized by an attorney general.  Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill brain cancer patient was the woman who pioneered the first legalization in Oregon back in 2013. According to the article above, “doctors gave Maynard six months to live earlier this year after diagnosing her with a form of brain cancer. She publicly announced her intention to move to Oregon so she could undergo physician-assisted suicide under the state’s Death With Dignity Act.” Since then, legalization has been a slow and lengthy process and little has been done in some states to reform the laws restricting it. According to this article, “Physician-assisted suicide differs from euthanasia, which is defined as the act of assisting people with their death in order to end their suffering, but without the backing of a controlling legal authority.” This treatment allows patients to end terminal suffering in a dignified, peaceful manner on their own terms.  So if this is such a regulated treatment, then why is it only legally available in five of the fifty US states?

Many people may be skeptical about the process that physicians take to administer this treatment.  Technically this is not a treatment since it is ending the life of the patient, however it is offered my medical doctors to alleviate suffering and pain.  When a patient has undergone all of the prerequisite requirements to display both mental competency, and no promise of their illness getting better in the future, they will meet with a physician who will prescribe lethal doses of medication which can be picked up at a specialized pharmacy, usually only available in hospitals.  Depending on the condition of the patient, they may choose where to take the next final steps wether it be at home or in a hospital.  This offers patients an option to have a dignified death before their condition fully takes hold of their body.  This allows lucid thought process when departing with loved ones.

I believe that Death with Dignity should be an option for patients who meet the qualifications.  I have personally known terminally ill people and the struggle with allowing your illness to claim your life.  I believe this option leaved patients with a dignified choice on how they would like the last weeks of their life to look like.  I hope to do more research on this topic and hope to see it come up in congress in upcoming years.  I believe this is an important human right and that it should be made available to those who truly need it.


#MeToo

Recently, a stunning awareness to women’s sexual assault has taken over social media. At the Golden Globes this past Sunday, many people wore black to stand in solidarity against this problem, and have joined the #MeToo movement. This movement started on social media, when a young woman shared her sexual assault story, ending it with the hashtag “MeToo” and prompting other women to do the same, in order to provide a recognition of how dire the problem was. The phrase was spread “as part of an awareness campaign in order to reveal the ubiquity of the problem, tweeting: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” said Alyssa Milano, a prominent actress in the movement.

This spurred many people to post #MeToo on their social medias, showing how prominent and important this issue was.  The hashtag was used more than 500,000 times the first day it was found, and had been used by more than 4.7 million people within the first 24 hours. This issue has only grown. Due to it’s severity, the group Time’s Up was formed, which is  “is a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere. From movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike, we envision nationwide leadership that reflects the world in which we live.” Many prominent female figures in society have participated in the founding of this new group, such as Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon, among many others.

This issue has been around much longer than these women, yet only now is it being adressed. Our society has been disregarding women, and ignoring cries for help. This movement has unveiled a great problem in our society, and is one that needs to be changed. Women are not to be overlooked, or abused. This movement is one that will never die, or fade, and all we can do is fight for women’s rights, and equality.


What it Means to be American?

 

I believe what it means to be American is not to be so ignorant. We’ve been ignorant our whole lives even when President Thomas Jefferson said, “We need to change our ways and not be so ignorant.” I think President Jefferson was talking about all the slaveholders including himself because many of them considered African American as property. Even though Thomas Jefferson knew that slavery was wrong and that he was wrong in profiting from the institution, but he never freed his slaves.
According to the article Less than 20% of Americans say they’re living the American Dream, it says, “That fewer than one in five Americans feel like they’re living the American Dream. A complex concept that involves a variety of factors. The three most important elements in the American Dream is owning a home that you love, starting a family, and finding a fulfilling career. There are risks in the American Dream as well like consumers are in debt, lack of financial literacy, and stagnant wage growth.” On pg. 19 in the book Tribe, it says, “Modern society is afflicted with some of the highest rates of depression, schizophrenia, poor health, anxiety, and chronic loneliness.” Also on pg. 66 in Tribe, it says, “In every upheaval we rediscover humanity and regain freedoms.” In the documentary American Creed, Sonja Dillard asked, “Do we really know what it means to be American?” I honestly think that we don’t really know what it means to be American with everything that’s going on for example some people abuse their right of freedom of speech.
When I was reading the article: Less than 20% of Americans say they’re living the American Dream, I collected a bit of evidence from the article that says, “That fewer than one in five Americans feel like they’re living the American Dream.” Because it looks like we forgot what it means to mean to be American even the documentary American Creed Joan Blades says that. According to President Thomas Jefferson, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free…it expects what never was and never will be.” So it sounds like what’s happening right now because people are still ignorant and they will never change. According to Ronald Reagan, “If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, as Jefferson cautioned, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.” So Ronald Reagan basically agrees with Thomas Jefferson. Trump finally discovered he can’t force the feds to prosecute Clinton and he is not happy.
In the Amendment 1 (Speech and Press) Document 8, Thomas Jefferson said, “The tumults in America would have produced in Europe an unfavorable opinion of our political state. But has not.” The thought of chaos of our early democracy would cause Europe not to favor democracy, but it didn’t happen. He also said, “To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty.”
When I see the word in chaos, I automatically think of ignorance because people are rude, so we need to change. Being American doesn’t mean to be ignorant. We need to change that right now, but it won’t happen because we were born that way and nothing will change that even education because there are people who dropout of school or refuse to learn so when they grow older they would become selfish, rude and violent, compare to most people who actually graduate from school they wouldn’t have to depend on ignorance to get what they want because they would have good jobs.


The Time Is Now

We’ve all seen or heard of the NFL and NBA players kneeling, raising their fists, or etc during the national anthem. They immediately got the attention they wanted but in doing this they also received unwanted attention and people started to believe they were insulting our soldiers by kneeling or raising a fist during the N.A. You can tell that they got even more attention when our president tweeted about wanting to fire all the players who participated in this.

These people who are risking their jobs are trying to get the word out that they’re not happy with the things happening in our country and now is the time to act, not later, not never, not soon, Now is the time to act because if we don’t act now we never will until it’s too late.


Not Allowed To Fight For Our Rights?

I feel like the athletes that are kneeling during the national anthem are right as far as the motive but have the delivery. It’s very understandable that people feel like they’re trying to disrespect the military and people who have lost their lives for our country. One thing people are failing to realize that is that they aren’t trying to disrespect anyone, but they’re trying to bring attention and light to a nationwide problem that is being looked past way to easily. People don’t understand because they have never had an encounter with social injustice but they should still understand that people are getting killed by the very task force that is supposed to be protecting and serving us. If we can’t rely on the force that’s suppose to protect us then who do we go to when we need help?

Another problem with this crisis is that people are so quick to assume it’s bad or turn their heads because the situation doesn’t really affect them. People should care no matter whether it affects them or not because it’s just the right thing to do but instead, people are getting mad at kneeling athletes for trying to stop these racially motivated crimes and make sure all people of color get their rights as a U.S. citizen. social injustice is probably one of the top hidden problems in the U.S. right now and has been for generations and our athletes are just trying to help bring awareness and attention to that, nothing more nothing less.

 


Its Time To Be Heard !

The message that the NFL players are trying to send out has been token the wrong way. NFL players are protesting against police brutality, people or color and the criminal justice system. Do I believe that the players meant any harm or disrespect NO. There simply doing what they feel is right to them, people aren’t looking at the bigger picture. All they want is to be heard but the people are to blind to see.

 


My thoughts on In Dubious Battle

In Dubious Battle.

Summary:   

 

In the book, In Dubious Battle, the story takes place in the 1930s, in California. The main character is named Jim Nolan, who was once arrested for standing on a monument when he was trying a speech made in an area called Lincoln Square. Jim leaves his old apartment to work with a few men known as “sympathizers”, who help people cope with the harsh situation of the Great Depression. One of the most iconic sympathizers is Mac, who seems to act like a leader, but is not. After the first day of work, Mac asks Jim if he wanted to go with him to a place called Torgas Valley, where there is an apple farm. The purpose of going to the apple farm is to collect all the apples and then go on strike. After saying yes, Jim and Mac hitch a ride in a train car and have one of the most interesting conversations in the book. After reaching Torgas Valley, Jim and Mac ask for directions from a man named Alfred Anderson, who owns a diner called Al’s Lunch Wagon. Soon after, Jim and Mac find the apple farm, where they meet up with a bunch of men who were sitting around a bonfire. Jim and Mac meet a man named London, who is just as important to the book as Mac. By the next day, Jim and Mac start off their day finally picking apples with the apple farmers. After Jim finished dumping apples into a box to be loaded onto a truck, he meets an old man named Dan, who claims he is a “top-faller.” Jim listens to Dan’s story about why he hated the college boys (who were identified as “checkers”) and how he hates being old (he is 71 by the way). Soon, Jim and Dan meet up with Mac who came back from a discussion with London, saying that London was not against the idea of the strike. Mac says that they were going to London’s friend named Dakin to talk to him about the strike. Through the rest of the book, the manager and the checkers start to get worried about the apple farmers, seeing how the farmers were acting grouchy more than usual. As the story progresses, the apple farmers try to find new reasons why they should go on strike, and Mac encourages the men to be angry. However, ever since the strike on the orchard farm started, it became a lot more harder and a lot more worse for the men. Examples of such would include food supply running low, the strikers being arrested, and much worse. Even though I should never spoil the ending, I will say that it would surprise you as much as it surprised me (if you read the book, of course).

 

Thoughts on the book:

 

My thoughts toward the book is that the story has an interesting “catch.” What I mean is that In Dubious Battle really grabs my attention as a reader. Upon first thought, I asked myself, “I wonder what is so interesting about a bunch of apple farmers going on strike.” Sure enough, the first thing that hit me from the book was how vivid John Steinbeck wrote the book. Each and every character so far in the book has an interesting personality. The one character who seems to get the most spotlight, however, is the character Mac. Just a little reminder, Jim Nolan is the main character, not Mac. Mac’s story is interesting however. So far, Mac seemed to change his backstory a lot, basically lying about his past. However, Mac’s character is of a friend you wouldn’t mind hanging out with. Mac is a sympathetic man who does not hesitate to help. He is quick when thinking and works by pure luck. For the main character, Jim, you would notice that his past was not as good as you might think. Jim Nolan’s childhood was full of sadness.  

In the rest of the book, I notice that there is a lot of emotion for the characters. Most of the time, it’s anger. What I really love about John Steinbeck’s books is how he can paint a picture of every scene by making it descriptive. The best part is, it’s not overly descriptive, meaning that it is not a slow book. For the characters, John Steinbeck makes sure that you could at least relate to every character in the book, or at least feel sympathy towards them. Another thing I want to add is how Steinbeck writes so many twists in each chapter that grabs my attention. What I dislike about John Steinbeck’s writing is that he writes chapters way too long. He didn’t even consider marking a little “checkpoint” in the chapter like the Book Thief or Stephen King’s IT. I think maybe the reason why John Steinbeck writes so much in each chapter is to really express his thoughts in a form of literature. I also think that the reason why John Steinbeck made readers feel sympathy for the characters is to put you in a new perspective. Admittedly, I almost cried because of the ending. I really enjoyed the book and the only thing I wish is that In Dubious Battle should be read in all literature classes (except British Literature classes, of course). Other than that, I really enjoyed the book and I highly recommend it to young adults. 

I think the main idea of the book is really showing the harsh reality of the Great Depression. If you paid attention in US History, you would know that the Great Depression was caused by the many advancements in machinery and the stock market crashing. The Great Depression started on October 29, 1929, or “Black Tuesday.” Like many others, John Steinbeck hated the Great Depression, but what he hated more was the businesses or government or even Herbert Hoover doing nothing but cut down money. In response to the harsh time, John Steinbeck wrote books during the Great Depression. One of his most famous work at the time was Grapes of Wrath, which was about a farmer dealing with the problems of the “dust bowl.” The book I was reading, however, was In Dubious Battle, and if you read my summary of the book, I don’t have to say much on what it’s about. Just like many of John Steinbeck’s books, each chapter is very lengthy. Some might say, “he must really love to write.” What I think is that John Steinbeck is trying to communicate with his readers, like spreading out his message and using it as a lesson. John Steinbeck creates characters with a sad backstory and then later writes what would happen to them that could make you cry. It’s like he is trying to say, “life is not going to be as great as you think.” I think John Steinbeck wrote this book not to just say, “don’t go on strike,” but really, “this is what you could deal with.” I think John Steinbeck’s writing really speaks out and puts you in a new perspective of things. It’s like he was trying to make us see America in HIS eyes. Reading John Steinbeck’s books is like going to the past in the 1930s. Thank you for reading!

 

Steinbeck, John. In Dubious Battle. PENGUIN BOOKS, 1936.

Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.

King, Stephen. IT. A SIGNET BOOK, 1986.


Kneel Or Not To Kneel

You have the right to kneel if you want too. What people say about you shouldn’t matter. If you don’t  feel the United States are really “united” or “free” as much as the government says it is you have the right to protest. You have the right to protest peacefully. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Let’s get into these reasons.

First, if you feel as if the United States are “united” or “free” as much as the government wants us to think, you have the right to protest. There are many amendments that we don’t really get that are in the constitution.

 

Second, you have the right to protest as long as it is peaceful. If you don’t hurt anyone or like vandalize property, you’re okay. You have the right to protest. You have the right to free speech. You have more rights then they grant you.

 

Finally, everyone is entitled to your own opinion. Everyone has a right t o speak their mind. If you feel the U.S isn’t fair or justice, then protest. It is a peaceful protest and it doesn’t bother people. All it is is causing drama for the news. You can sit, stand, kneel, whatever you want during the pledge. That is your right.

In conclusion, it is their choice if they kneel sit whatever. You are protected by the first amendment. Freedom of speech and press. If it is peaceful, it’s fine. You have an opinion and a right to speak up for what you stand for.


For What Will You Stand?

“…O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

One of the most quoted lines Francis Scott Key wrote.  He probably did not think his poem “Defence of Fort M’Henry” would become a part of today’s National Anthem which is such an attribute in today’s society, centuries later.

Though, I do not typically participate in political disputes or politics for my own reasons, I do, like everyone else, have an opinion on this specific matter. As of late, there have been some athletes who are taking a knee during the National Anthem.  They feel as though they are taking a stand against the unfair treatment happening to African Americans and other minorities projected from police and other government officials within the United States.  Those that are against taking a knee during the National Anthem will say it is disrespectful to the men and women fighting for our country.

Football player, Colin Kaepernick, began a protest in his own way by not standing for the National Anthem.  In turn, many people tried to state that he was going against America.  He was displaying his own form of nationalism.  His message was to show he disagrees with the current state affairs in America. Kaepernick stated, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”  This was his way of trying to publicly announce that discrimination of any kind to anyone is inappropriate.

There are many possible ways for this protest to be resolved, yet the government is making all the wrong moves to solve this problem. If it were not for a stubborn president and other government officials, this protest could be stopped easily without adding more fuel to the fire. But nothing is that easy when it comes to the government and its laws. Trump tried to punish the athletes for not standing and that caused more of an outrage.  I feel as though Colin Kaepernick has every right to take a stand against the National Anthem at a time like this.

“…O’re the land of the free and the home of the brave” is meant for everyone to be treated as equals and to have a fair opportunity within the United States.

He is a public figure who has the voice to speak for the “Little Guy” who is mistreated as an American.  Since the game, there has been much slander as well as the termination of his contract.  I do not agree with this at all.  It is an act of unjust. Which again goes against the National Anthem.


Should we really take a knee?

America can only be great if people make it great, and not standing for the National Anthem is one mistake of many. Americans should be proud of the country that they live in, but most are not and their symbolism of not standing during the National Anthem shows it. As an American Football Player, you are a public figure in the spotlight and everyone is watching you. Make positive moves about and toward our country because you are representing it. A lot of debate has bee going on stating ” When one believes the United States is not living to its’ ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all, refusing to stand for the flag and the the National Anthem is appropriate and justified,” which some people may believe, but our soldiers who fight, die and risk their lives for the flag, and our freedom, should be respected and standing for the National Anthem shows that respect!


Is it because im black

I believe that it is our rights to not stand for the national anthem. our right to sit for the national anthem is starting to anger people. the anthem talks about freedom and black people still don’t have rights and being killed for no reason meanwhile the people that are killing us are being let free. people sit and kneel to show a peaceful, legal protest. while people try to blow it into something it isn’t it is just to show that the whole country needs to change together we can work towards becoming a better nation.


Your Choice

I sit During the national anthem because I believe it doesn’t pertain to me and its my opinion. I feel like national anthem never was my cup of tea. if it came to a respect thing then yes I would stand for it for the national sake of people. I usually see others just standing for it just to stand for it or look like they dont wanna stand for it. I dont like standing for it for many reasons for one, I dont get the cause of what Im standing for and I dont really wanna get deep down into it and wanna know. I dont see the moral relief into it really.Others may not relate or agree with me, but this is just how I feel and others still may feel the total opposite and thats okay because thats just how I feel and How they feel. One thing I do feel like it is serious for is the athletes because thats there career on the line and I believe that there coaches take it very serious but if I was an athlete I wouldn’t at all . Because that would just be my belief and how I would feel and nobody could make me feel any type of different way . There could also be many different reasons on why people dont stand for the national anthem you never know thats why I feel everyone should have there own belief and there own CHOICE.


NFL players take a knee during the national anthem

The shooting, the killing, the unfair treatment of minorities in the United States needs to stop.  As an African American female, I am frightened as to what my future may be. The government blind and mutes’ American citizens.  They will do anything it takes to make the bad look good and the good look evil.

#TakeAKnee is a movement that started with NFL players, coaches, and owners taking a knee during the National Anthem to protest against racial inequality and police brutality. This movement begin when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he took a knee during the national anthem at a football game. President Trump then responded by saying “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!” (People are using #TakeAKnee to support NFL players after Trump’s comments, usatoday.com). He viewed that by kneeling during the national anthem was disrespectful to the country and those who fought for it. President Trump tried to turn something positive into something negative. Do you view the #takeaknee movement as something positive or something negative?

 


Kneeling: Is There Really a Problem ?

Why is it that whenever we want to stand up for something, it’s ripped from up under us and we’re told ‘“that’s not acceptable.” How come it’s not acceptable?

Growing up, most of us are told to fight for what we want, go for it, take a stand, but when we try, they stop us and tell us we can’t do that. People tell us that we’re going about it all wrong, but is the honestly any right way to go about it?

This applies to the #TakeAKnee protest going on in the NFL. Most of these players are using their name, their voice, for the people who don’t have one to bring attention and awareness to something they feel so strongly about and yet they’re being told to stop.

These players are being benched, and even suspended from games all because they won’t stand for the national anthem. It’s a choice that they are choosing to make for themselves. If they don’t want to stand, they don’t have to. They shouldn’t be punished for standing up, in this case kneeling, for what they believe in.

Monday,  former NFL coach by the name of Mike Ditka made a statement that says players have no cause to kneel in protest of racial injustice towards African Americans because “there has been no oppression in the last 100 years.” Ditka also feels that everyone has the right to protest but if you’re a professional athlete, you have to have a sense of loyalty and respect the game.

Now if we’re being technical, he said respect the game, not the flag. You owe loyalty to the game, not a country or government who doesn’t give the same loyalty back. There’s a big difference between the two.

People have the right to represent whatever and however they please. There’s nothing wrong with standing, but there also is nothing wrong with sitting, kneeling or any other form of protest.

Let’s take the VP for example. Vice President, Mike Pence, walked out of the Indiana Colts game after witnessing 23 players from the 49ers kneel during the anthem. Our VP believes that everyone should stand for the anthem because to him, it’s a form of disrespect.

Most Veterans and Military alumni aren’t even seeing this protest as disrespectful like most people are. Some of them are actually for it.

People honestly are making a big deal out of nothing. People are going to stand for something, they’re going to protest. It’s up to us, to just suck it up, deal with it, and move on. Let people have their say in whatever they want. photo


Taking The Knee For What you Believe In

Protesting by taking a knee is necessary. Some players feel like they aren’t being heard , so they decided to take the knee during the National Anthem . You should be able to protest how you want to without anybody judging you . Not standing for the National Anthem is a peaceful protest & it’s not harming anyone. I know some people feel disrespected but the football players really don’t mean any disrespect , they just want to be heard.

Our president makes things no better , he honestly doesn’t think before he speaks. For him to be the president he says a lot of things that the president should not say. A lot of people are making to much out of this situation , I honestly think this is a distraction from the government . So we won’t pay attention to the serious things that is happening in our country.


A Knee on our Country

Protesting the National Anthem to shouldn’t be as serious as everyone has blew it up to be. Although, it is very essential to most people and athletes that are protesting, this really isn’t an effective way to approach the situation. So many people are saying Donald Trump shouldn’t have said what he said. Which is true, but come on now; let’s be real. That man has been having so many ignorant remarks to say since he figured out he’s got a voice.

Kneeling during the national anthem brings about so many sides, arguments, and opinions. We are all aware of the issue but in reality this stops so much from taking place that is probably a greater cause than kneeling during the anthem. Such as, money is not being made and that is a necessity to survival in this world.

Also, it is taking so much attention from the real issues in life; because so much is going on. There just needs to be a better way than bending down at a worldwide, well watched streamed game. As a singer who enjoys singing the national anthem, it would be rather annoying and disrespectful to be kneeling while trying to serenade everyone with song. Working so hard to practice for that song for players to kneel in your face. Not only singers but also people who fought for this country. The national anthem may be so sacred to them yet, players still kneel.

Saying all this to say this situation isn’t not important but it shouldn’t be as blown up as everyone has made it thus far. We need to focus on the greater issues. If all just came together and began to fight this system as one the world would be so much better off but hey, who am I to say that’ll ever happen.


America’s big issue

The current debate over kneeling and sitting has become a big issue in America. Everyone on this earth has their own beliefs, its like forcing Muslim to believe Buddhism. Kneeling is really over racial injustice and police brutality, They can’t completely stop it so there only way to show it’s a real problem is to kneel. Its not like the Government or president will step in and fight for people’s right, Donald Trump is clearly worried about another country than trying to clean his own country. Think about why they began to kneel anyway? What was the cause? Others say maybe there wouldn’t be a need for a protest if Americans came together and agreed for once how the NWBA does. When players kneel they put their hands over their heart which shows they still appreciate the flag when the national anthem plays. Travis Hancock a writer made it noticeable that doesnt not saying the whole national anthem disrespectful?
Kneeling is appropriate and people need to face it. It’ll show the world their serious about their issues. Everyone needs support in our world and we should start now. They’re more problems going on in the world. Think about the homeless veterans that fought for us that stand around outside every night and day we care so much about standing for them for the national anthem but cant stop to help them out.


How do i feel about the people refusingti stand forbthe national anthem?

I think people is taking this a little too far and i feel as if people dont stand then thats what they feel. We all bleed the same so whats the difference if we kneel? Nothing at all. All of this commotion is just because they are fanous and peoole watch them. If they think they are not free and they think they dont they have their rights then why stand? I really dont think it should be that big of a deal its not like they commited a crime they are just protesting on what thry believe in. As long as you kneel quietly and respectfully it shouldn’t matter.


Taking a Knee Is Pointless

I don’t see why the national protest is a big issue. Honestly, I don’t care about any part of it. If people want to take a knee during the national anthem, let them. if they want to stand let them. The main reason this is so pointless to me is because I honestly don’t think racism or police brutality will ever end. It’s just something we will have to get used to. Kneeling during the national anthem or not participating in it is not going to stop crimes against blacks and other minorities. All it’s going to do is spark up argument and anger. Then when people get angry that’s how more crimes against black people are committed. So in the end all of this is pointless.


Protest your Right!

rights protest photoEvery American citizen has the right to protest. Protesting is a freedom that is given to americans and is protected by the first amendment. The amendment gives us the right of freedom of speech which includes the right to protest. Today, there are issues with protest all around america. The NFL has received a lot of heat from the media of their players not standing, instead taking the knee and locking arms with other players during the national anthem. NFL players are not standing to protest racial injustice and police brutality in America. NFL team head coaches are getting involved by not letting their player taking a knee and to stand during the national anthem. Miami Dolphins head coach, Adam Gase, has his players wait in the locker room or tunnel during the national anthem if they are not going to stand. NFL players can get fired for not standing during the national anthem if the coach makes that decision. There are even people that their job is getting impacted of this protest. ESPN’s co-host, Jemele Hill, got suspended for two weeks after tweeting about the Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for not letting his players taking the knee during the national anthem. Jemele tweet violated the ESPN’s social media guidelines and it resulted in her getting suspended. Jemele is an american citizen that was violated of her freedom of speech. Today, there is a lot of Americans that get violated of their rights and we need to fight to protect our rights.   


Kneeling for What You Believe In

There’s nothing wrong with the football players kneeling down during the national anthem. They are not doing anything wrong. The football players as of Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, and Detroit Lions are protesting for a reason and it being about how they’re treated in the United States of America. People all around the world protest everyday because of a problem they’re enduring in their place they stay at. There’s no problem at all with what they’re doing. People are forgetting that protesting for what they believe in is not illegal. They also forgetting that many people don’t say the pledge of allegiance. Plus the pledge of allegiance is a big part of the  United States as the national anthem. People have to respect the football players call on the national anthem whether they like it or not. The football players won’t change their call until america take action on major problems that keep occurring nonstop with no care what so ever. I personally don’t sing the national anthem because of my religion as an Jehovah’s Witness. We as Jehovah’s Witnesses are not doing anything hurtful, it’s just part of our religion. In all, people should respect other people calls even if it bugs them. For decades people of all race been protesting in america. Why is it a problem now? In the article, Arian Foster, Marcus Peters among NFL players protesting during national anthem, Arian had something thoughtful to say. Arian Foster said, “ they are exercising the right.” To be completely honest Arian is right. The NFL players are enduring their right coming from the first commandment of the constitution. If people are upset by the protest, why have it in the first commandment in the first place? If people thought the NFl players were enough, think again. From the article, Tracking the Kaepernick Effect: The anthem protest are spreading, it had something interesting in it. The article followed up with, “ more athletes of all ages take a knee during the national anthem at sporting events, and there’s no indication they’ll stop anytime soon.” Another piece of interesting stuff was brought out in this article called, many young athletes joining Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest. This article said, “ Michael Walker retweeted a picture of the protest and said he has gotten no negative feedback.” I find the protest no harm what so ever. The football players are not hurting no one physically, they not yelling or starting riots; they’re just being peaceful as the people did on bloody sunday. All they asking for is a change, that’s all. It’s not about one skin color, it’s all skin colors. A little change is all they ask for like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted in the sixties. Every athlete wants things to get better so that the future is not what it is now. They won’t stop till Donald Trump take serious action and stop thinking about himself all the time. Can peace happen? That’s what the athletes are trying to test even if it is putting their job or even life at risk.


Take a knee with me

Kneeling during the star spangled banner should not be a problem. If the president or country is not loyal to one, then why be loyal to them? Kneeling is not rude nor disrespectful to the military. They have a choice to voice their opinion, but then again they don’t. They’re being controlled and that is what this all boils down to. According to Tom Zipper and Mike Prada (sb.com), the WNBA started this protest back in July, 2017…July 9th to be exact. They had pre-game conferences about justice and equality and also kneeled. They were fined $500 each for doing so. “We want to be able to use our platforms and our voices”, said by WNBA player, Tanisha Wright. I don’t think I could agree more. Under that statement an anonymous woman said “don’t tell us we have a voice and then fine us for using it.” When we have such strong support behind a worldwide problem we are told to shutup. Some may feel kneeling isn’t the answer, but if we don’t stand up for ourselves who will? Today’s generation is so simple minded and quick to give up. We need these big figures such as the NFL, WNBA, NBA to be our voice, our leaders. We have to not be controlled. History is slowly but surely repeating itself, we have to be stronger than our ancestors were and take advantage! Especially with the resources that we are provided with today.

Photo by LadyDragonflyCC – >;<


Kneeling Down, Rising Up

Standing for what you feel is in the best interest for everyone, is not only a selfless act, but it shows that a person wants to ultimately bring good to the world. Using a voice that not many others share, in order to reach a widespread audience on a common issue. Even if that means standing alone, showing those who mock what you feel in your heart is right can only be a test on if you really want the issue to be resolved. Cornering the issue of NFL players (and other entertainment corporations) taking a “stand” against the national anthem should not be a problem. If anything, those individuals are partaking in a peaceful protest. No violence or acts of disrespect have been done. They are only speaking out on the rising concerns of how our “united nation” deals with certain situations. Team members and even coaches of various sports teams have taken a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Also, as stated in the article from ESPN’s website “NFL players, coaches, owners lock arms, kneel during national anthem”, teams have stayed in the locker rooms until the game officially starts. As a result those individuals have been ridiculed by many naysayers and even the president. Stating that what they are doing is shameful and disrespectful to those who have fought for our country. The president stated on Twitter that he would like owners/coaches to punish anyone who does not participate in the national anthem. Colin Kaepernick was the first of many to kneel during national anthem. He constantly has hateful comments thrown his way by many, but he still continues to fight for what he feels needs to change in today’s system. Kaepernicks views were one sided, as others constantly argued back that they were “great officers” that didn’t need to be put behind bars. Police brutality could’ve have been stopped early on, instead officers were given a slap on the wrists. While others overlooked the issue, Kaepernick chose to raise his voice. He stated, “ African Americans were oppressed by the country’s leaders, who felt ashamed by their company”. We the people need to take a stand on the social injustices of this country before sides and fights corrupt the streets.

~ Jalyn Brown

 

 


Our Women Won’t Be Quiet

Women basketball players are catching the nation’s eye both negatively and positively by protesting at their games. According to sbnation website the girls have made shirts to protest while playing the game. Well of course some people disagree with this, and one of those people happens to be the president. Instead of worrying about world hunger, rape, gun violence, sex trafficking, he is instead focused on talent men and women protesting peacefully for something that they believe in. I thought protesting peacefully was allowed, according to the constitution of the united states. Maybe i was missed inform, but if this true why does the president have the right to silence these women? Yes , he is making so if any woman protest she will be fined and even the coach can be fined. Why is he trying to hush them? Maybe he is afraid of the outcome it will have, because as we know protesting have worked before. Or maybe he is just ignorant to what the nation really needs. The protesting is needed. Even if the president of the united states disagree. We as a nation have the right to protest any thing if we’re doing it peacefully.

Photo by Katie Tegtmeyer


Take A Knee For What Is Right

The government is making the #takeaknee movement and making into the something to cover up bigger problems that’s going on in the world. The football players are taking a knee for the things that is not right in the cities we live in and because they don’t feel like the flag has equality for all people. Police brutality is one of the major problems in cities we live in everyday. Trump is making it seem to the world that their disrespecting the flag, our country, and the soldiers that fought for our country. The picture on the ESPN article shows a player kneeling with his hand over his heart showing he respect the flag and the men and women that fought for our country but is taking a knee because he doesn’t agree with what the government is allowing and not doing nothing about it. On page 3 paragraph 10 in the ESPN article the football explains why he is not standing because he feel like the national anthem is not bringing equality for all people.football player photo


Peacefully Protesting in the NFL

Protesting in the NFL is completely necessary. As players, their voices are important and the decisions they make on and off the field can either make or break their football careers. The fact that so many Americans are angry about this is understandable because we were all taught to respect the flag and to stand and recite. Society has to understand that not everyone is okay with standing for words that don’t apply to them and their rights.

 

According to Maggie Astor in the article “How N.F.L. Sponsors Have Reacted to ‘Take a Knee’ Protests” , this debate has been simmering since last year when the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick knelt to protest police brutality boiled over last week when President Trump declared that players that protest this way should be fired. So just because they’re public figures they are being denied their right to freedom of speech ? And this is fair because it’s their job ?

 

We have all been told as citizens we must honor our flag. What if we don’t believe the words that are being recited as we stand ? These players respect the Veterans who fought for our country , but they simply disagree with the things we have to say because these players, like many others, don’t feel the National Anthem was written for the freedom of all people. The National Anthem is another way to make uneducated Americans think they are free. It is another way to pretend America is perfect.

 

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee in a New York Times article talks to reporters and explains how Trump “respects our country” but can’t seem to respect our country’s peace and how he could be setting us up for another war. The misuse of the Military is injustice to those who serve and according to “Unsilent Majority” on Twitter, we kneel to protect and honor the freedom of the Military as well. Trump mentions respect of veterans when he agrees with the immediate use of Military in situations where he feels violence is better than communication and he feels it’s okay to threaten other powerful countries putting our country at risk and throwing the Military on the lines to back up his threatening trash talk.

 

“We must act accordingly on the job”  they say. Meanwhile, our President is concerned about a peaceful protest and firing those involved when there are other things that need much more  attention.

 

If this longstanding tradition talked about the exercise of rights that were equally distributed among Americans there would be no problem for people to stand and find other things to protest against. This seems to be a big issue in today’s society because we are being taught the meaning of what we are saying and it just doesn’t quite fit the actions shown by authority and government.

Photo by kyle tsui


Is Taking A Knee Doing too Much?

independence.com, Donald Trump threatens to change tax law to penalize NFL over “take a knee protest.” The president has criticized NFL clubs for “disrespecting” their country. If we continue to kneel he will continue to threaten us with things that will hurt us now and also in the future. We can’t run away from the fact that he is our leader and he has a lot more power than us. As stated in newsweek.com, Kevin Seifert says “failure to be on the field by the start of the national anthem may pursuit in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of the draft choices for violations of the above, including first offenses.” Trump searched the NFL rule book to stop players from taking a knee and it worked. When you have power you can do whatever. Our best bet is to come together and find an approach that will help us not take us down.


Timing is Everything

The protests of the football players has gotten completely out of control ether through word of mouth or on the media such as the news, though a few reasons can explain why. The first reason for why it had gotten completely out of control is the timing that the protests happened, during the national anthem. During this time, trying to protest is not really effective as it could be any other time during the game, as they are protesting against police brutality and against the president. The national anthem, and its meaning as everyone stands for it is to be united as a nation, even if people do not think we are united or that if they are free or not, as people have fought for these freedoms and at least to be united as a nation. This meaning comes into play of people protesting as it does not seem like the right time to protest over these topics or even towards the president himself, as Espn had said that they were protesting against. Another reason on why this was not great is that, even if it’s a sports uniform, they are on the job, as Strawberry explained in his article. He explained how it is bad to be protesting while in uniform. As people have uniforms on are on the job, they have a responsibility being on duty to how you are portrayed, especially on the field being broadcasted to people all over the united states. On another website, Procon.org, explains it on both sides as well. They explain it well as it says it’s not just disrespecting the nation, but the millions of people who had risked their lives through the lifespan of the United States who had fought for the country we all call home. Also they become at risk to lose their jobs over these actions, despite knowing this they choose to do so, even when they can protest literally any other time where it’d be okay, as protesting is not wrong. It’s just when and how they chose to do so.


Would You Rather Stand Or Sit?

Do you stand or do you sit down when the national anthem comes on? Most don’t stand because the national anthem may not mean nothing to them it’s just words, they let come in one ear and go other the other. Some stand because they feel like that’s the right thing to do.The national anthem has a very important meaning. Most people don’t know that there is four stanzas to the national anthem. Why people don’t put they hand over they heart and stand when they hear the national anthem? When Francis Scott wrote it it was the first time that someone had put down in words there feelings about our country and the flag. Their was a lot of man that died just for fighting for our country so I feel like the least we could do is show them the respect that they deserve. Everyone has stood for the national anthem so why would you just stop standing now?If you already been standing for it don’t just stop now because we are having problems with our society. We all know that we have a lot of problems with our society today , but standing when the national anthem comes on is showing respect. If you think about it there is a lot of people that died fighting that war. We are always going to have problems in our society and every problem is not going to always get solved. If you go to a football game and when the national anthem comes on and you look around almost everybody stand up. Some people just stand because they feel like that’s the right thing to do.Some people don’t even stand up because it hurt for them to stand like elder people thats understanding. But if you just not standing because you following someone or is just lazy. Then thats a problem.


Be The Change You Want To See In The World

In an article by PROCON.org about the players who took a knee during the National Anthem, stated that the action was an ineffective and unprofessional way to promote a cause. “It’s not good to be a distraction to your team, nor is it good to use your team as your platform,” said the article. Furthermore, refusing to stand angers many and sows division in our country. Although many people may think it’s a sign of disrespect to the flag or to the veterans who’ve fought for our country, not standing for the National Anthem is actually an appropriate form of a peaceful protest! Kneeling, locking arms, and even sitting during the people have the right to freedom of opinion and expression. So why is it such a big issue?

By refusing to stand, the players were actually making a stand. You’re supposed to stand up for what you believe is right, and “sit” if it’s wrong, because you have the freedom to do so! If you do not believe in what the National Anthem stands for you should not be forced to participate. It’s supposed to represent respect to our soldiers who fought for our freedom, but are we free? No, we’re not. The National Anthem is like false advertisement; all talk, but nothing to back it up. It grants freedom and equality, but doesn’t guarantee it for us, in which it should. Yes, there will always be problems in the world, but those problems sometimes goes unnoticed when no one makes an effort to give those problems recognition. It’s a sign of power, pride, and confidence! Refusing to stand is a peaceful protest that has a possibility to make a big change in the world! It can make others with similar opinions get involved, and make them comfortable to voice how they feel too. It can form unity, and make people want to come together. If more people take a knee or protest, it will grab a lot of attention like it’s doing now! And those who are against this protest like Donald Trump, will only make the movement stronger. Don’t let what others say or think affect your beliefs, you could be the change you want to see in the world!


The National Anthem Is Racist

The National Anthem is racist, people shouldn’t stand for it. The National Anthem we sing today is edited. It has many racist lines that were taken out. One of the taken out lines that stood out to me was ” Their blood has wash’d out their foul footsteps pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave. From the terror of fight or the gloom of the grave..” (www.theroot.com). This line basically means the blood of all the former slaves and “hirelings” will wash away the pollution of the British invaders. (www.theroot.com). The previous line from the anthem is wrong is so many ways because it disrespects the African American soldiers who fought for our freedom.  People shouldn’t stand for a “fake’ anthem. These racist comments were taken out because people knew they were wrong. African Americans should do more research on the anthem so they can have a decent background on why they should boycott the anthem.flag photo

Photo by One Candle Photos

Photo by Always Shooting

Photo by IAN RANSLEY DESIGN + ILLUSTRATION


Should We Stand, Kneel, or Sit?

The questions is whether we should stand, kneel, or sit during the National Anthem. My thoughts are in the middle, I understand both views on the issue. Some say we should stand for the people fighting for our country. To stand for our flag and country. Others say they don’t want too due to not believing in what the anthem has to say and offer. Personally I stand for the people in my family who have fought for our country and the ones who continue to fight. We should be able to do what we feel is right. Whether you stand, sit, kneel, or whatever. Unless its harming you in a physical way don’t worry about it, you do you.

Photo by jnn1776


How NFL Players Express Themselves Politically

I think that NFL Players shouldn’t be banned from expressing themselves politically but, I think that there is a right way to do it and a wrong way. For example, the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals played on 9/26 and before the National Anthem all the players locked arms to symbolize unity and equality, then they stood up during the National Anthem. I think that is a great way to protest whatever you believe in. I think that the wrong way to express yourself is to take a knee during the National Anthem. The National Anthem represents the men and women that fight and have fought for our freedom every day. I think taking a knee during the National Anthem is disrespectful to the veterans and people who are serving for our country right now. Although that they fight for our right to protest how we please, I still think that it is disrespectful to them. The fire that sparked this whole thing was when Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem then other players started to do it also. This created a huge controversy and still is. No matter what side that you’re on whether you think the players should protest during the National Anthem you shouldn’t hate or discriminate anybody because of their opinion or choice.


Asian American Activism

High School textbooks don’t have anything on Asian Americans during the civil rights era. There were a lot of Asian activists in the mid to late twentieth century. All of them are not well known amongst most youth in America. So I decided to research some examples of Asian American activists. Two of the more interesting and complex figures that I had come across are Richard Aoki and Yuri Kochiyama.

Richard  Aoki was born in 1938 in San Leandro California as a third generation Japanese American. He spent a large part of his early life in the Topaz Internment Camp in western Utah. After the end of WWII, he and his family moved to Oakland California in a predominantly black neighborhood. As a young adult he enlisted into the army, but discharged shortly after as conflict rose in Vietnam. During his college years, he met Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. Seale and Newton would go on to form the Black Panthers Party and invited Aoki to join. As the group grew in popularity, Aoki become compelled to bring the same reform to his ethnic group and others. He separated from the Black Panthers and attended college at UC Berkeley. He would help organize many racial group for Asians, Latinos, and Native Americans. These groups would combine forces to protest at UC Berkeley for the creation of an American ethnic diversity program. In 1969, UC Berkeley gave into the demands of its students and created the Ethnic Studies Department. The department is still in effect today teaching students about the culture and perspective of minorities in America, while inspiring young adults to be loud in their political activism. Aoki would eventually become a counselor at Merrit College in California. He remained active in political and social reform until his death in 2009 at the age of 70.

Yuri Kochiyama was born in San Pedro California in 1921. She was a passionate student and a gifted writer. During her time at the Jerome Arkansas Internment Camp, she encouraged Japanese women to write letters to the GI’s of the 442nd (the United States Japanese battle regiment of WWII). After the camps, she married a Japanese GI and moved to New York City. She attended ethnic group classes and participated in many protests. After being arrested in a protest in 1963, Kochiyama and her felloe protesters were taken to a courthouse to be tried and sentenced. During the court hearing, Malcolm X came by to show his support for the activists. Kochiyama met Malcolm and was invited to his office to talk about his ideas and philosophies. Kochiyama was forever changed and became good friends with Malcolm X. She lent major support for civil rights activists by hosting meetings and providing housing for some of the most important leaders of Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity. She is famously known as the women who holds Malcolm X’s head, after he had been shot, in Life Magazines infamous photo. After the death of Malcolm X, Kochiyama went on to lead protests for African Americans, Puerto Ricans, women, and Asian Americans. She died at the ripe-old age of 93 in 2014.

Today, there are not many publicly known asian american activists, nor are there Asian Americans on the level of Martin Luther King, Ceasar Chavez, or even Malcolm X. In general, Asian Americans are not represented well in media. Activists like Richard Aoki and Yuri Kochiyama should be more well known in American society and Asian people should be more active in todays landscape.

Authors Note:

My name is Keaton Yoshinaga. I am an 18 year old Japanese American from Salt Lake City, Utah. My grandmother was an internee at the Colorado Internment camp, while my grandfather was an internee at the Arkansas Camp and served in the 442nd. Growing up, I had very few asian hero’s to look up to. When it came to Civil Rights Activists, I mainly looked up to Martin Luther King. The reason why I chose more radical activists, was because I thought that it would show a very interesting and unique look at Asian American activism. There were many Asian leaders who were supporters of Martin Luther King and believed in peaceful protests (I will leave it to the reader to research them), but I thought that it was be more fascinating to shed light on the radical asian movement. I do not believe in radical protest or reform; I was simply interested in learning more about the Asian Civil Rights Movement. I hope that asian american youths (Yonsei and Gosei) across the country will take a greater role in standing up for their culture and community. I will be doing the same.


NeoColonialism in Africa Video


FIghting for My Rights

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Photo by New York Public Library


The State of American Protest: Unhelpful Behavior

For those of us who wish to keep and protect every American’s First Amendment rights, there is an issue facing our country. The issue is how we have chosen to protest; to resist the things that we disagree with. It can no longer be blamed on one side or the other. Both sides (liberal and conservative) are to blame for violent actions that erupt in the midst of protests, marches, or gatherings. This can be seen in the recent Berkeley gatherings. Many of these protests, in which violence was used, come in the wake of the 2016 election. The main thing that people seem to resist are President Trump and the Right, or the Mainstream Media and the Left.

In these conflicts there seems to be a sense of panic. One side feels as though the other side would cause the end of the world if they have any political or social influence and vice versa. An example of this is when protesters at Berkeley attempted to stop a speaker representing the right from speaking at the university. The event escalated to the point of portable light poles being set on fire and bricks being thrown at people. This is a problem for three obvious reasons: People are getting hurt, property is being damaged, and some people are seeking to silence others.

First I would like to address the issue of people being hurt in the midst of the violence. It was Martin Luther King Jr. who said,

Violence solves no social problems; it merely creates new and more complicated ones. . . . If . . . victims of oppression succumb to the temptation of using violence in the struggle for justice, unborn generations will live in a desolate night of bitterness, and their chief legacy will be an endless reign of chaos. . . . First, this [nonviolence] is not a method for cowards; it does resist. The nonviolent resister is just as strongly opposed to the evil against which he protests as is the person who uses violence. . . . A second point is that nonviolent resistance does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding. . . . The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.”

We can take a substantial amount of knowledge from someone who has been through many protests and marches, and is renowned for his work to bring people together to create understanding, even if we disagree with his political or societal views. You may say that learning about Dr. King in school is a tired old way to teach children about civil rights issues, but I think it is too important not to teach, especially at the college level. We, as adults in America, need to act with more civility and nonviolent resistance.

The reason that Martin Luther King, Jr., gives for nonviolent resistance is “. . . the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.” If we give into the temptation of using violence as a means of resistance, then we create a situation that can easily be escalated to a point where nobody on either side is willing to reason with each other and create understanding.

Not only has violence been used to resist things that people disagree with, it is being used to silence the voices of those that they disagree with. The protests at Berkeley that I mentioned above is a prime example of how people were using violent action in an attempt to silence a speaker named Milo Yiannopoulos. This speech and the events surrounding it were the topic of a CNN opinion piece written by Jeffrey Herbst and Mitch Gelman. In this piece they say,

“But the protesters, whose actions led to the cancellation of his talk at Berkeley and elsewhere, have done a disservice to the First Amendment. . . . The fact that the violence at Berkeley caused windows to be broken at the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union is a vivid and sad symbol of how much respect for the First Amendment has declined in the United States. . . . That a building named for the great orator has been vandalized to prevent speech should be an indication that we have a serious problem on some college campuses — and across the country. In a hyper politicized country, it may not matter to a protester, convinced of the absolute evil of Yiannopoulos, that violating the very precepts that allow their campuses to function — and to be the envy of the world — is wrong. . . . Indeed, President Trump was quick to tweet in favor of Yiannopoulos, while criticizing Berkeley. Perhaps it does not matter to the protesters, but they have created a situation where President Trump is a stronger proponent of the First Amendment than many who claim that he is a danger to society. As a result, they are hurting no one’s cause but their own. . . . It would be better to let Yiannopoulos speak, calmly explain why he should not be listened to, and watch as his fame dims. The power to starve him and those like him of the oxygen of outrage is far more powerful, and keeping with our foundational rights, than the stones thrown at Berkeley.

I might not completely agree with their view of Mr. Yiannopoulos, but I whole-heartedly agree with them when they say that these protesters are doing a disservice to the First Amendment, the very amendment that gives them the right to protest. Not only are they doing a disservice to the First Amendment by stopping someone of an opposing viewpoint from speaking, but they had also taken to breaking the windows of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union Building. Herbst and Gelman sum that up perfectly by saying, “That a building named for the great orator has been vandalized to prevent speech should be an indication that we have a serious problem on some college campuses — and across the country.” This is not a mature way of responding to an opposing argument. Universities should allow people with opposing or even controversial views to speak, and we should at least listen because it creates understanding which makes having a reasonable dialogue possible.

As we reflect on Dr. King’s words reminding us that, “Violence solves no social problems.”  Does it seem like today’s protesters respect or follow his philosophy anymore? I for one don’t think that protesters who take violent action against people and property know what kind of damage they are doing. We must return to peaceful, nonviolent resistance in order to maintain a healthy democracy. We are not making progress when we destroy property and keep people from speaking, we are regressing into a dark age of anger and silence. Let’s keep free speech free, and create dialogue rather than destruction.

https://www.youthvoices.live/category/civic-engagement/protest/