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Recent Events that shaped America: Essay Collection

The Power Structure of Race, Religion, Immigration, Economics, and all things Politics in America:

Recent Events that shaped America (The man in the mirror)

How Far Have We Come

A Collection of Essays

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Preface

This is a collection of essays that I have written about several topics within the past decade. I decided to publish this collection to allow others to see sharing your views and opinions is very American. Some things may not be politically correct and it is not meant to be. We all have a voice and sharing our opinions will allow for discourse between those with shared opinions and those who argue against it. You don’t have to be eloquent as long as your voice is heard.

Some of the essays may seem to be in direct contrast to others. Whether it is or not should not really matter because we are all walking contradictions and we all have the right to have complex views about complex situations. What should be taken from such a contradicting mind or set of beliefs is that we are not bound to one way of thinking or believing. We do not have to demonize somebody because of comments that they make. Instead we should be open to viewing both sides and opening ourselves up to the idea that a person can have a legitimate argument whether we disagree or not. We do not have to like him/her. We should actually take time whether we our views are skewed. We tend to be so tied and bounded by our own thoughts and beliefs that we are unable to see beyond them.

Also keep in mind that some of these articles are in retrospect. Meaning that the outcome of the topic or event are already disclosed. I decided to include them anyway to show the thinking process at that moment and time. I am fully aware that the articles also make me vulnerable to criticism because they demonstrate my vulnerabilities and inaccuracies. I’ve included several links and resources to give you, the reader, and opportunity to read the opinions of others regarding different topics.

RACE

Why race doesn’t matter:

The role of race in any society can hinder or uplift a group of people. Ask the average person should race matter and the typical response is an adamant “no, race shouldn’t matter.” Whether they honestly believe this is debatable but is the response itself accurate. Does race matter? Racial disparities are evident not only in America but worldwide. Unemployment has always been higher among racial minority groups. Crime ridden cities are those where racial minorities dwell. More blacks will die of preventable diseases. The poorest countries are in Africa. These social deviations have been attributed to many factors that either blame the victim or blame inequality in the system. Are we to believe that the problems facing blacks today or of their own destructive behavior or are we to conclude that it is due to a system that ignores their needs.

If it is, indeed, the result of blacks not taking responsibility for their actions we have to ask ourselves why. Why would a race of people sabotage their own future? Is it self-fulfilled prophecy? Do they accept mediocrity because they feel undeserving of a better life? Are they simply too lazy or too fearful to improve their circumstances. Or is it something innate that makes them intellectually inferior, making it less likely for blacks to succeed as a group regardless of the social climate or geographical location. Can the outcome of a group of people be predicted based on biological differences? While we may not have the answer to all of these questions, in fact, these very questions has been argued within the sociological community for years, we do know the answer to the latter.

According to a Washington University researcher race doesn’t matter. The study shows that, “while there is plenty of genetic variation in humans, most of the variation is individual variation.” The study goes on to say that scientifically race doesn’t matter because the variation between groups is too small to draw any significant correlation. While race does not matter from a biological standpoint, our society, and many others, makes race matter because of erroneous beliefs that causes one race to feel superior and treat others inferior. In other words, the social construction of race is to blame for racial inequalities. Other factors do play a role in what we see as differences because of cultural beliefs (some caused by poverty), lack of education, and attitudes held by all races. In the end, these race wars continue to be a detriment to any society because it does not allow everyone the equal opportunity to reach their full potential.

[+ http://wupa.wustl.edu/record_archive/1998/10-15-98/articles/races.html+]

Why race mattered in Newtown massacre

Most of the media attention given to the Newtown, Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza described him as awkward, strange, and a recluse who may have suffered from a mental illness. We never hear words such as demon, monster, or animal to describe him. Mental illness is a disease affecting millions of Americans and it does not discriminate among race, ethnicity, or sex. Mental illness including clinical depression, schizophrenia, and personality disorders is found in all races. Yet when minorities act violently due to mental illness their condition is a nonfactor. Instead, the public is outraged and blames the shooter not the mental illness. They are automatically called a monster and demonized in the court of public opinion. For example, Colin Ferguson, the N.Y. railway mass murderer clearly had a mental illness when he killed several subway riders. And perhaps many other blacks who committed such vicious acts suffered from mental illness as well. In fact, the number of blacks suffering from mental illness resembles those of whites. However, blacks do not receive adequate help, including medication to reduce their symptoms. These factors are rarely taken into consideration when blacks commit acts of violence.

The last three mass shooting that received media attention were the Denver, Colorado movie theatre massacre, the Phoenix, Arizona shooting which included Gabrielle Giffords as one of the victims, and the latest Newtown shooting at Sandy Hook School. All of these white shooters are believed to have some type of mental illness. So, America is outraged not at the shooters but at the laissez faire attitude toward gun control, mental illness, and violence in video games. They want to blame everything but the victim. They want to understand the shooter and why he felt the need to murder innocent children. It is hard for America to believe that this privileged young white man could be capable of cold blooded murder. Giving him an out allows white America to continue to believe that they simply do not raise monsters. In their minds, some of their children may be in need of professional help to prevent acts like these, but monsters they are not. So why aren’t minorities thought of this way. Is it that blacks are believed to be animals and violence is a part of who they are as a people? Are we then to believe that Whites are civilized and do not behave in this fashion, unless there is a pathological reason for it. Sometimes there are pathological explanations for violence in all racial groups. What is also true is that there are monsters in all racial groups as well. The job of the American people is look at each case on an individual basis. If you find yourself forming an opinion take the time to investigate all of the facts, including what is not being told on popular media outlets.

http://cases.laws.com/colin-ferguson

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44251/

[+ http://ideas.time.com/2012/12/21/sandy-hook-shooting-the-speculation-must-stop/+]

[+ http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/09/colorado-movie-massacre-suspect-mentally-ill/+]

[+ http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/20349976/2012/12/14/giffords-husband-responds-to-connecticut-shooting+]

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Why is it that so many black entertainers show unnecessary reverence and adulation towards Donald Trump? African Americans, who have already proven themselves successful in their respective field such as P. Diddy and Russel Simmons seemed to feel honored because they know Donald Trump in some minute capacity . On his brief reality show Russel Simmons made certain that a scene of him calling Donald Trump was injected into the script. P.Diddy made every effort to show that he and Donald were “partying” together in a past award show. There could be many reasons for this. It could be their form of networking with “big shots.” It may just be a media ploy to give their image a boost. Perhaps this is part of Hollywood that most of us will never understand. Or is it that being accepted by this white successful entrepreneur validates them. But what is troubling about this trend is the opinion that Donald Trump expressed about the black community. First, let’s keep in mind that he is a republican and conservative. His views do not differ much from Newt Gingrich when it comes to issues regarding African Americans. In fact, he agrees with controversial statements that Newt has said in the past. What is evident to anyone paying attention is that Donald Trump looks down on the black race (as a whole). He has consistently shown distain for the blacks especially those who live in poverty. Even on his show he has never endorsed a capable black contestant as a winner. No doubt, he will never blatantly make any derogatory comments about blacks. In fact, his response would more than likely be “I have very close friends who are black.” And he will undoubtedly spew off the names I mentioned above. So no one would dare call him a racist. It may be too strong of a word. Is it fair to assume that if he were successful at winning the presidency he would be another person who Kanye West can appropriately say “don’t care about black people.” Perhaps then these Trump lovers would have woken up to see his true ideals. But then again Eminem has made past racist remarks and entertainers as well as the majority of the black community still embrace him as their own. It is interesting and disheartening to observe how the race that is most degraded seems to love all other races except its own.

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Is Newt Gingrich Wrong? Newt Gingrich is no stranger to controversy. Clearly, when it comes to the race issue, particularly African Americans, Newt has made offensive comments. His latest comments seemed to have lit a fuse, igniting many to cry racism. What did he say that was so offensive? He stated that…” African American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.” Bill Cosby felt a backlash for making similar comments regarding the black community. The problem with this statement is that it seems to single out African Americans as lazy people who would prefer to stay at home and collect food stamps as opposed to work. In response to this comment many bloggers stated that “ALL” people should want to work instead of collecting food stamps. So why did Newt Gingrich feel the need to single out the African American when Caucasians, Hispanics, Latinos, Asians, you name it, are also receiving food stamps. It is the stereotype that continues to plague the African American community. However, statistics may show that proportionately there more African Americans are disproportionately on food stamps or welfare than other races.

If these statistics are true then we should ask ourselves why? Is it really that African Americans don’t want to work or is it that it continues to be difficult for them to find a stable source of income. Newt Gingrich suggests that the problem is that the black community lack role models who demonstrate a good work ethic. Anyone who has lived in a predominately African American community knows that this isn’t true. Role models come in many different ways and forms. Although many of these communities are largely poor and not without issues do not mean that hard working people do not reside within them. What most of the population outside of the African American community don’t realize is what it is really like to be an African American, black, colored, Negro, etc. living in America. It is easy for anyone on the sidelines, including Newt Gingrich, to claim to have an answer to the problems facing African Americans. But the remedy will not come from cynics; it will come from the black community. Blacks will have to find a way to place themselves in positions, like that of Newt Gingrich, in order to make real change. Real change must come from those who understand the plight of African Americans not from those so far removed that they fail to realize role models do exist within this community.

[+ http://news.yahoo.com/gingrichs-naacp-food-stamp-remarks-stir-controversy-123254081—abc-news.html+]

Bill Gates and Africa

Bill Gates appears to be quite generous when it comes to donating funds to Africa. But one particular cause that he is promoting and funding has alarmed the African American community. Bill Gates has been a strong proponent for the use of birth control in order to decrease the African population. He does not hide his agenda. In fact, anyone can find speeches where he discusses global concerns and what he believes to be solution-depopulation. Recently his wife, Melinda Gates, has joined him on the mission donating millions of dollars in an effort to promote various contraceptive methods. The Gates depopulation agenda may target other groups including poor Asians and Indians. Therefore, there is no evidence to suggest that Bill and Melinda Gates are specifically looking to decrease the African population. However, his mission to curtail births is undeniable.

Is there a need for birth control in Africa?

Because there is a lack of resources to properly take care of a child perhaps limiting the amount of births is an easy solution. Giving birth to a premature, unhealthy, or disease stricken child should be avoided. But there are moral and political underpinnings in this solution that cannot be ignored. People of African descent have one of the lowest mortality rates, coupled with lower life expectancy. Therefore, slowing down births in Africa without successfully improving life can have dire consequences. Many in the African American community believe that this can ultimately lead to a debilitating decline in the African population. It can appear quite ominous when someone tries to decrease the population of people who are already so vulnerable. The Gates should be aware that what they are promoting may raise eyebrows, especially since the “slowing down of life” doesn’t seem to be directed towards poor white people around the world. The Gates may not see these acts as a form of eugenics but many others do.

Without being properly informed, it is easy to understand why someone would be disturbed by the population reduction agenda. Skeptics may not know that the Gates has given money to other programs including agricultural and health initiatives. They should be recognized for these acts since it is not their responsibility to help improve the lives of other people. The Gates (or any other person in a position to invest funding) should continue creating or funding more programs that are geared toward balancing the playing field; making resources equally accessible to underserved populations so they (the underserved population), too, can have a better quality of life. Contraception methods should be available to Africans as a choice. But what needs to be considered is that a better quality of life can lead fewer children being born without this agenda. People make smarter choices when they are educated. With access to education Africans and other groups can decide whether their circumstances are conducive to having children.

Share any additional information that you have on the topic in the comment section below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUJMR3BUm2s

[+ http://www.gatesfoundation.org/global-development/Pages/overview.aspx+]

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The Relationship between Blacks and Asians.

Recently a controversial advertisement *]made headlines because of its racist implications. In the advertisement a woman puts a black man into the washer and adds laundry detergent. After the wash is complete a clean Chinese man appears. The overt racist and prejudices are clearly demonstrated to everyone except those responsible for the ad. The [*company responsible for the ad apologized, of course, and stated that they did not intend to hurt anyone with the ad and it was not meant to be racist. However, it is common knowledge that the Asian community has a strong disdain for anything black. For example, in Korea most women do not want to go outside during the summer without wearing sleeves to avoid getting darker. While this does not necessarily make them racist it does show that black skin in undesirable. Even more disturbing is that pregnant Korean women avoid drinking coffee (even decaf) or anything dark because they are afraid that their child will be dark skinned.

On the other hand, Korea is one of the top nations for plastic surgery. The most common plastic surgery is eye surgery so that their eyes can appear larger, in other words, more European. It’s a right of passage for many girls entering college. For graduation most parents will pay for their daughter’s surgery so that they can feel good about themselves when entering college. Although many embrace their Korean culture there is still a strong desire to look as European as possible. Perhaps this is so that they can be accepted into the European community as honorary Whites. It is not uncommon for any racial group to want to look like those who are in power. As a result, they feel the need to also adopt the ideologies of those who they revere. These ideologies include feeling superior to those with darker skin. With superiority comes discrimination and utter repulsion. The images that they have of blacks are mostly negative and due to media not just globally but within their own country. They do a great job at perpetuating the stereotypes of black people. Although they give high praise to Barack Obama, the feelings that they have towards the average black is the antithesis of their love for our president.

While their aversion towards blacks is clear, the peculiar thing is that you would think that in America their attitudes would be different. Many Korean owned businesses within urban areas including Spartanburg, Atlanta, L.A. and New York rely on blacks as their main customers. Korean own the majority of nail shops, beauty supply stores, and wig shops in these areas. Without Black women as their loyal customers most of these stores would go out of business.

A fascinating trend that is happening in Africa is the influx of Asian businessmen in Africa. The purpose, of course, is monetary. Realizing that Africa is filled with natural resources many businessmen from China, Korea, and other countries seek to capitalize on this. It is hard to fathom that these businessmen have any real respect for the African leaders within these countries. How can they when they hold such negative views of the Black people.

What they fail to understand or choose to ignore is that their distaste for blacks is really deep rooted self-hate that comes with being Asian. It’s not really blacks that they hate, but it’s the reality of not being fully embraced into the White community. When they see blacks they realize that yellow or even tanned skin is still not good enough. They may be accepted more in society, but they are still considered an oddity in the eyes of Europeans. They try to mimic the European culture, which makes it obvious that they are not comfortable in their own skin. This is a sad reality and a testament to how influential western society is in the world, not just economically, but psychologically as well.

Why blacks date outside of their race

It seems that the number of black and white couples is increasing. However, statistics demonstrate that the majority of blacks still date within their race. But for those black who choose to date and marry whites the reasons are numerous. In most cases black males often date whites more than black women do. Several studies seem to show that Black women were the least attractive race. Controversial as it may be the fact is that the world’s idea of beauty does not include blacks, unless they are biracial like Halle Berry. The stigma of slavery may be to blame. The power structure status quo system is in yet another reason. Africans have no control and no power over their own self –image. No power and negative stereotypes are unappealing attributes. The attitude of black women stereotyped as the loud mouthed and angry woman is considered an obvious turn off. So does this mean that if black women were more docile they will be more attractive to men of other races? They may become more liked if they lose the attitude, but the physical attractiveness will not change unless the world changes its view on the standard of beauty. This will never happen until or unless Blacks gain more power and control over what the media presents to the world.

Kobe Bryant, OJ Simpson, Tiger Woods, Reggie Bush just to name a few not only date outside of their race but seem to do so exclusively. Surprisingly enough many pro-black movers of the 70s such as Harry Belafonte and Bob Marley even chose to date white women. Furthermore, many of these men not only dated outside of their race but married as well. Is the idea of being with a white woman symbolic of success? Or do these men really take issue with the way black women conduct themselves? Or is it simply that African American women do not appeal to them? If so, why is this so? What makes a black man not attracted to a black woman to the point that they do not even consider them? After considering all of the reasons there is one reason that is rarely discussed in the black community. It is not about the black man not liking black women but it tells a deeper story. Black men want the power of the white man. Perhaps they want to be white. These men really give into the idea that they are less than a man, perhaps two thirds less. The only way for them to “get out” of their race is to procreate with a white woman.

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The Promotion of Interracial Couples

Everything is political. What seems to be the endless promotion of interracial marriages and biracial children is no exception. The plethora of black and white couples in commercials, sitcoms, and dramas such as Scandal is undeniable. But the reasons behind this agenda may not be so transparent. There could be either nefarious or innocuous implications behind the light-skinned black agenda. Let’s look at the more iniquitous explanations first.

Many people, mainly minorities, believe that the purpose of light-skinned black agenda is to slowly eliminate the dark-skinned, nappy haired, menacing African America. Steph Curry, although not technically biracial but still promotes the image, is less frightening to the public than a Richard Sherman. If there more Steph Curries and fewer Richard Shermans than the racial tension that has always plagued this country might somewhat be subdued. Perhaps the light-skinned black would be more accepted in a Caucasian powered society.

Naysayers would disagree and say that it isn’t the complexion that makes the difference but the attitude. They would argue that African Americans as a whole have a disruptive attitude that makes them a menace to society. Perhaps there are some Whites who are intimidated by blacks regardless of their skin color. However, if we are keeping it at just the image of the dark-skinned black and the light-skinned black most would agree that the light-skinned black is more preferable even if the attitude is the same.

What would a predominately light-skinned black society do for America. It would lighten the burden and make us a physical lighter society. However, it would make the black man extinct. If you look at the numbers it seems to be leading in that direction. Not only in America, but throughout the world, the number of blacks is diminishing to a proportion of that resembles Native American population. Is this the true agenda?

Let’s now look at a more acceptable reason behind the light-skinned black agenda. Perhaps this is the only solution that will save the black race from total extinction. Perhaps this will end the blatant racism that we see now. Perhaps if light-skinned blacks were treated better in society there would be more opportunities available for them to succeed. Maybe, just maybe, the light-skinned black agenda will work to the benefit and not the detriment of society. After all, slave owners had a reputation for treating their light-skinned slaves better than their dark-skinned ones. Why? Because they were related to them. What does this means in today’s society? The same as it meant back then. The idea is that by having Caucasian blood the light-skinned black is more easily accepted, which would lead to more tolerance and fair treatment in society. So the media’s attempt to make African Americans more acceptable by pairing them with Caucasians is a social experiment. We have yet to know the consequences.

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Pros and cons of interracial dating

With so much emphasis on diversity, equality, and multiculturalism, interracial dating should no longer be taboo. Most people would outwardly agree that there isn’t anything wrong with dating outside of one’s race. However, when it hits closer to home there are immediate shifts in attitude. A level of discomfort still exists within most families. While it is natural instinct to fear the unknown many people simply think it is wrong. Not my child, not my sister, or not my mother is the response that some family members will express. Although we have come to tolerate people of different races dating is still a touchy subject. There are both pros and cons of interracial dating that anyone considering dating outside their race should keep in mind.

Here are some pros of interracial dating. First, if you decide to interracially date someone you are taking a stand whether you intended to or not. If you are dating for the right reasons you are saying to your parents and community that you don’t care what they think. Of course, having the support of friends and family is important but when it doesn’t happen you are saying that you are strong enough to pursue your heart’s desire regardless. This stance could actually strengthen your relationship with your partner.

Another pro is that interracial dating is an opportunity for you to learn and understand about a culture different from your own. Different races often have a different way of life, culture, or even religion. If you are African American and decide to date an Asian, you have the opportunity to explore your differences. There is a lot that each of you can share about your experiences. More than likely you will gain a better understanding and respect for not only for a race of people but their culture and beliefs.

A third pro of interracial dating is that you may find the love of your life and marry someone despite racial differences. By dating outside of your race you are opening yourself up to dating others that are different from you. So you increase your dating pool and your opportunity to marry.

Of course, there are also cons of interracial dating. First, interracial dating may be frowned upon your community. The stares and racial comments expressed by others could become too much. There is also a chance that you may lose people you were close to in your life because they don’t agree with your decision. Depending on your family’s views and the race in which your partner belong there is a chance that friends and family will disapprove.

You should also be aware that during arguments the worse come out of people. Your boyfriend or girlfriend may say things, including racial slurs or derogatory comments out of anger that could hurt you and potentially end the relationship. Sometimes your relationship may be strong enough that you can overlook it, but if resorting to this behavior becomes a frequent event, you might want to consider if being with this person is truly worth it.

Not only during arguments can derogatory comments come out, but casual conversations may involve your partner making ignorant comments. There are times when they may even think that it is funny. Again, you might want to consider whether your partner’s reaction to racial differences is a sign of an ongoing concern. You should question whether his/her outlook will become a problem if the relationship becomes serious what potential problems could occur in your marriage and if you decide to have children. Sometimes the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to being with someone of another race.

Do blacks really commit more violent crimes?

Why aren’t corporate crimes that are committed against citizens considered violent crimes when they do just as much harm as putting a gun to someone’s head. The end result is usually death in most cases/scenarios.

You are misguided if you think that blacks commit more crimes than whites. You believe that street crimes/violent crimes are worse than the crimes committed by white establishments (corporations) who knowingly kill consumers (that means every day Americans, including whites) for the all mighty dollar. No, more people are killed every day because of corporate greed. But you think that it is okay and dismiss it because they don't have a gun to anybody's head. Consider millions of people who die of cancer because of unsafe products (BPA), unsafe drinking water, residential areas with high radiation, and let's not even get into the potentially fatal drugs that is "FDA approved." Want more, consider the effects that Enron and other corporations have on the quality of life of everyday people. There are so many more examples I could give you, but hopefully you see the point- don't believe the hype...look deeper. Corporations are made up of people-white people! This makes whites, white rich corporate men particularly, far more dangerous than the stereotypical black gang member.

Clearly the title thug, drug dealers, and murder belong to those who brainwashed minorities into believing that this is the way of life if you want power, money, and respect. This does not apply to all whites, but we cannot ignore that those who are in power are white. So when racists ask the question why do blacks murder, rape, and deal drugs the answer is that it is the American way.

Blacks contribution to America

If you look at media sources/outlets the public is lead to believe that Blacks contribute to society in three major ways; as consumers, as criminals, and as entertainers. Nearly % of products sold in America is to Black households. Yet Blacks are disproportionately living below the poverty line. Thus, if these statistics are true many Blacks are spending more than they can afford. The next question is, are these products a necessity. Is most of the money spent on food, shelter, etc.? In order for you to fulfill your wants and desires your basic needs must be met first then it is up to the person to decide if they want to/elect/choose to spend their money on instant gratification or in more responsible ways. Some people simply have different philosophies on life. If we ascribe/subscribe to the portrayal of Blacks through the media Blacks living in lower income neighborhood are spending their money on expensive rims for their cars, extravagant jewelry, and expensive clothing. This type of lifestyle is promoted in the media and has influenced the black community to a large extent. But this is not the norm. Most families living in these areas are not spending their money on these items simply because they cannot afford it. There is no need to try to hide the fact that blacks are indeed consumers and some may live beyond their means. However, why is it that Blacks are targeted for this behavior more than any other group. This is part of America’s society and Blacks are subject to the same temptations as everyone else. If blacks are indeed America’s biggest consumers is this help America but while destroying blacks.

We have heard over and over again that blacks commit more crime than any other race. As a result, the criminal justice system is a booming business. There is a need to employ more police, crime prevention programs are funded, and the jails are a place to gain access to free labor.

Perhaps Blacks existence hold more meaning than others want to believe. Anything that nature no longer needs are is not beneficial to nature, nature destroys. We do not see Neanderthals around because they could no longer sustain the works of nature. But somehow, through all the obstacles that this race faces they are still here. The tenacity that more powerful races used in its attempt to destroy this race, nature sought fit to preserve. Blacks do serve a purpose in all societies. One undeniable contribution to society that blacks have made, and have been immolated by other minority groups is the civil rights movement. The Civil Rights movement is a contribution that may be overlooked in a society that value technology over humanity. As we looked at the contributions we want clear signs that this is a viable contribution. But what the Civil Rights Movement did was open the door for other groups to take the same blueprint and use it to fight against their own discrimination. It gave hope to people globally that gave them a voice.

And what about the contributions that we cannot confirm. As slaves, many blacks developed innovative ways to make work easier but we will never hear or be able to confirm what these contributions are because they did not get credit for it. If it was a money making idea all they probably receive was ‘job well done’ compliment.

POLITICS

Social justice means many things to different people. Social justice is a broad concept seems self-defining but requires a great deal of attention, assessment, and readjusting. One way to define social justice is ways in which individuals take a stand to fight against prevailing social inequalities and injustices. Such injustices can be found in the education system, governing policies, and social practices. Social inequalities significantly impact a child’s education. For instance, racism, discrimination, environmental issues, and poverty influences the type of education a student receives, a student’s performance, classroom interactions, and the extent in which multicultural education will be employed. Therefore, in the realm of education we must recognize the importance of a just system in order to make a life-long impression on children’s lives and the choices they make. It is a vital component of teaching in the classroom and educating the community.

Social justice calls for teachers and administrators to become leaders in their community. The term each one teaches one is appropriate. In order for agents of change to fight against unfair social practices one must become aware of what constitutes equality. When someone engages in social justice she is making a commitment to serving the needs of the community. It requires that all agents for change commit to taking action by recognizing social injustices and determining measurable ways to resolve them. An example of social justice is the creation of Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls. By opening a school for girls in a community where education is not readily available for African girls, Oprah Winfrey has demonstrated that she is an agent for change. She recognized an injustice in society and took the necessary steps to fight against it. As a result, many women will see their dreams realized and have the opportunity to change their lives and impact their community.

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With the presidential election right around the corner there are many Americans whom are fearful of whom their next president might be. Donald Trump has raised more than a few eyebrows especially with minority groups concerned with the possibility of him winning the election. Having no formidable republican opponent the chances of Donald Trump becoming our nations next president is very real. Should we fear Donald Trump as a leader of our country. Ask most in the Hispanic and African American community and the answer is yes. However, where is this fear stemming from and is it a viable threat to the distinctive multicultural world that is America?

What is clear is that Donald Trump is a master at offending people. No one will argue that he is not the most politically correct person. His reaction to those who challenge him or convey disapproval of his tactics is liken to a spoiled brat who cannot accept the word 'no.' Immature-yes- but he may not be the monster that he appears to be. Looking at the other candidates, including  Hilary Clinton, what can we really say about his past that warrants such a negative image. Words are powerful, but what is far more powerful are the actions by other politicians that have destroyed and taken lives of the American people.

Let’s look some of the things that Donald Trump has said. He mentioned building a wall along the Mexico boarder to stop the influx of Mexicans into the country. Furthermore, he stated that the Mexico government will pay for it. The idea of building a wall has resonated with many Americans who ‘want their land back.’ The reality is that this will never happen and Donald Trump cognizant of this. He also mentioned that he would ban Muslims from coming into America. Again, the probability implementing this ban is unrealistic. Statements like these serves an undeniable purpose and his supporters are buying it hook, line, and sinker. the purpose is not in the act, but merely in the idea. It is the idea that we are Americans and we need to let others know that they are visitors in our fine country that propels his supporters.

Those who are afraid that the words will become action need to look at other candidates. Their actions speak louder than words. Donald Trump is a loud mouth. He is offensive. But we have yet to see if he is truly a racist. If you look other comments he has made in the past you will see that he is a walking contradiction. So what are we to believe. However, the other candidates have demonstrated who they are. We know that the other candidates are more concerned about the corporations backing them than they are about uniting the people. There is no guess work.

The argument can be made that once or if he is in office he will destroy this country and divide the American people based on race. Unfortunately, we are already a divided country. He cannot do anything that the American people do not allow. If he is racist he is a reflection of the majority of Americans. Yes, Donald Trump has brought out the worst in Americans. Will this lead to him winning the election? There is reason to believe otherwise. Perhaps Donald Trump knows that by being so polarizing he will not win the election in the end. Who will win? The person he has shown support for from the beginning, Hilary Clinton.

Another controversial comment that Trump has made involves him saying that a Mexican-American was biased against him because of his heritage (referring to a legal case against Trump University). Trump stated that the judge was incapable of being impartial because he has a Mexican heritage. His candid speaking may insult others. However, it does not mean that it should be automatically dismissed. Judges are supposed to be non-bias, this is true. As human beings we all know that having no bias is impossible. We see it every day. In fact, there are laws made because of this human characteristic. Judges will recuse him/herself, trials will be moved to another jurisdiction, we are supposed to be judged by a group of our peers. We cannot pretend that biases and prejudices do not exist, including among judges. They have the privilege of being called a judge for a reason. In this situation, Trump has a point. We should not be appalled by what he said. If we take an honest look into the mirror we know that we all judge people based on their appearance and their actions. On the other hand, if Donald Trump recognizes this to be true he also has to admit that having a white conservative judge will be to his benefit. ______________________________________________________________________________

With the possible reelection of Barak Obama, the first black president of the United States, many people, including African Americans, believe that this reflects a change in racial attitudes in America. This election somehow proves that racism no longer exists. And if it does it certainly is not as prevalent as it was through out history (during the civil rights era). This is however, an erroneous presumption. Indeed, electing a black president may not have been possible in the past but this does not change the conditions of many blacks who still live in poverty and are victims of housing, job, and legal discriminations due to racism. The very definition of racism demonstrates that this is not just a belief but a belief coupled with action.

The belief is what leads to discriminatory acts. These acts are still live and well in America. The reality is that not much has changed in terms of the condition of blacks as a whole. For example, more than any other race, blacks are far more likely to drop out of school, be put in prison, die of curable diseases, have children out of wed lock, etc. These conditions are a result of racism and should be recognized as such. How can we say that this is due to racism and not poverty as many suggest. Well when there is an overrepresentation of one race in all these categories racism is the only logical conclusion that we can draw from this. The correlation is too strong to ignore. And anyone who suggests that the condition is self-inflicted, i.e. blacks are to blame for their own condition, I would suggest that this is only partly true. Like any other race there are lazy, unmotivated, and criminal minded individuals within the black race. However, the only true fact is that racism does exist. This fact have put the black race so far behind the starting line that we will never know the true potential of black people.

Let’s look at yet another explanation given as to why the conditions of blacks have not shown a positive change. Many suggest that it is their own fault. They believe that there are many blacks who succeed. Indeed this is true. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule. Many blacks are more successful, powerful, and are in higher ranking positions than they have been in the past. We can look at the success of Oprah Winfrey, Micheal Jordan, and Condaleeza Rice as some examples of successful blacks. But let’s not get these extreme cases confused and apply them to everyday black Americans. Having a black president doesn’t mean that these conditions has changed for most black Americans. Politics is politics. Once you are a part of this machine there is not much more you can do but continue to operate the machine that is in place.

http://articles.cnn.com/keyword/racism

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/Obama/racism-obamas-america-year/story?id=9638178

Will Obama’s Reelection Bring Change

The outrage over President Barak Obama’s reelection continues to increase. Many states have joined Georgia in its request to secede from the union. As most news outlets have stated, this is a symbolic gesture used to demonstrate their disapproval of Obama’s reelection. But it also reveals how divided this country is becoming. The tension comes during a time of heightened social concerns that continue to impact American citizens. There are disagreements about how to handle the influx of immigrants, nation-wide health care, gay marriage, and unemployment. Of all these issues unemployment has had the biggest impact in forming negative views of the president. Unemployment has given birth to increased frustrations among Americans. With the possibility of reaching a fiscal cliff there isn’t encouraging news that will change these feelings.

Greek citizens continue to protest within the streets, but it has yet to bring about any significant change in government policies. As a result, Greek citizens are beginning to turn on each other. Several racially sparked violent attacks have been reported. These attacks have pinned citizen against citizen in an effort to release anger that should be directed toward the government. What is occurring in Greece could very well be an example of what can happen in America. In fact, everything that has led up to the fall of Greece’s economy is what economist project will happen here. Anyone who studies human nature would agree that the basic instinct of life is survival. When our means of survival is jeopardized, due to lack of resources, our first reaction is to attack the competition.

Obama has won his second term because of the number of minorities who voted for him. Many of those who are expressing their anger against Obama are forced to face their fears- America is changing. Some of these changes may seem to benefit minorities. As a result, they see minorities as a threat to their nation, to their jobs, and to status quo. In fact, there may be temporary solutions to some of the problems facing minority groups such as healthcare and immigration. However, without drastic changes in the political structure of America, status quo will remain intact. Should we believe that if political power were in the hands of minorities it will change the system? Will we see the end of a government that favors corporations instead of its citizens? Or will we simply see a change of corruption from a majority white- ruled society to a minority- ruled society? Is there a political group with the fortitude to resist the power of corporate greed and do what fair to its people? Neither republicans nor democrats (including President Obama) have been able to refuse backings from such companies as Goldman Sachs, PAC, and the Koch brothers in the past. There is no reason to believe that this modus operando will change. Therefore, Obama supporters need not celebrate for long. True power does not reside in the president. It is left up to everyday citizens to not allow those in office or those with power to control the masses. If our nation continues to divide Obama’s reelection will bring change, but not the kind of change that is good for America. Americans cannot survive the challenges we are faced with as a divided country. Greece should be a wake- up call to all Americans. Turning on each other does not solve anything. But refusing to not buy into the system can put the power back into the hands of the people.

Perhaps they see their power dwindling. And as they seek to gain control and make meaning of what’s to come the fear is that they are losing control. They do not like the direction that the country is headed and they fear for their children’s future…There is a fear of What would come of America if people were truly treated equally and if there were laws in place to ensure discrimination policies were not just on paper but were consistently enacted. Most would think that it would signify bring about a more balanced…but human nature does not want equality. One must have power over the other. As hopeful as this may appear to Obama supporters and as disappointing this may be for others, the fact remains that if minorities are looking to gain political power and create real change they have to be put in positions that are unfortunately is off limits. Political change will not occur until there is a change in corporate America’s role in current policies. Until there are political figures willing to stop the unethical practices of corporations. There will never be real change no matter who is in office or who our local politicians are. The structure remains the same there will always be the haves and the have not.

But isn’t our country better than that. We have overcome so much adversity and have makes great strides in addressing racial inequities. We were a nation divided many times throughout our history. Have we learned anything from it. America works better when we are working together or when there is a tragedy such as 9/11. Yet there is something different about the problems we are facing and that is the face that many have associated with our problems-President Barak Obama, a black man who brought the country to its mediocre state. So would Mitt Romney done any better than Barak Obama, we will never know. What we do know is that he is our president.

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Does Fox News impact Americans

Fox News has been a conservative outlet for voices such as Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. They have boasted claims of being the top rated news show on their slots reaching 12.0 Americans daily. They, therefore have an opportunity to influence their viewers when it comes to their self-interests, persuasions, and elections. If more Americans are watching Fox than the more liberal channels such as CNN and CNBC then why haven’t more conservatives voted during this presidential election. Is it that most Americans view cable news as a source of entertainment and not as a valid source of information. Or is it that those who watch Fox are do not necessarily subscribe to their rhetoric. The impact that Fox news have on Americans is still powerful. Many viewers believe the information that comes from this station. They also use it to form opinions about the world, society, their political beliefs and other people. They also do a good job at intensifying racially charged and bias opinions of other groups. But what they do most is increase the fear many Americans have about change. Yes, FOX news has the ability to influenced people’s decisions. But it does a more solid job at confirming the thoughts of the people that watch their programs. Apparently, they have power and is influential but as this year’s presidential election demonstrate it simply isn’t enough.

Many companies such as Pappa Johns Pizza and Apple Bee’s already plan to layoff employers or reduce their hours because of Obama’s healthcare plan. These companies realize that having to provide their employers with healthcare will cost their company. The bottom line is not in the best interest of the main reason why the company exist in the first place. Without loyal employees they company would not grow into million dollar industries. The power is actually in the employees’ hand and the hand of customers, not the company.

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The most discriminated group in America

There is much debate about who is the most discriminated group in America. New immigration laws which largely affects Mexicans and fear of another 9/11 attack by Islamic extremist has caused an increase in discriminatory acts on these groups. Our overall image of them has lead to negative attitudes and stereotypes. Many Arabs feel uncomfortable and are concerned about displaying their beliefs, through dress and prayer, in public. Not only do they feel that they are not welcomed in certain communities they also fear for their lives in certain situations. The recent death case of an Arabic woman in a California neighborhood has raised concerned in the Islamic community. It is undeniable that Middle Easterners have reason to believe they are the most discriminated group.

Others argue that Mexicans are the most discriminated group. The influx of Mexicans has been meant with negative views and discriminatory acts surfacing within new laws. Furthermore, other groups, including other minorities, express a sense of resentment towards this group because they feel that they are taking away their jobs. Many others believe that Mexicans can easily commit a crime against an American citizen and return to their home country without any consequences. As a result of these negative attitudes some Mexicans, including those who are here legally feel that they are the most discriminated against.

There is reason for many within the LGBT community to believe that they are the most discriminated group. Although President Barak Obama has recently supported same sex marriage many gays and lesbians feel that they have been discriminated against at work, in the military, and in their own neighborhoods. They have been victims of bullying in school and as a result, suicide is high within this community. Furthermore, they face rejection from their own family because of their sexual preference. Historically, discriminatory practices are common and are a real concern for LGBT.

There are other groups who feel that they have been discriminated against at some point as well, consider the Japanese American experience. Thus, it is difficult to determine which group is the most discriminated against, especially if you are a member of that group. Although many groups and races have experienced discrimination, the group most discriminated against seem to be those of African descent (blacks). Their discrimination is due to the long held beliefs, stereotypes, and prejudices that have plagued them throughout history. Because these negative beliefs have been embedded into the minds of all other groups and is the fabric of this country it is more likely to continue. Couple these facts with the power of television which makes their discrimination an international concern. Arabs and Mexicans could possibly change their image in the future which will determine how they will be treated. But changing the negative image of blacks is nearly impossible. Other groups simply have a difficult time shaking the image that they have of blacks off. When their personal experiences contradict the stereotype, their response is that “these blacks” are simply different-an exception to the rule.

[+ http://www.middleeastwindow.com/?q=iraqi-woman-attacked-california-home-dies+]

[+ http://news.change.org/stories/who-is-the-most-discriminated-group-in-america+]

[+ http://www.usariseup.com/latest-news/minority-racism-is-it-real-or-imagined-that-blacks-are-the-most-discriminated-against+]

[+ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/15/us/politics/poll-sees-obama-gay-marriage-support-motivated-by-politics.html+]

[+ http://www.examiner.com/article/georgia-s-illegal-immigration-laws+]

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The Consequences of Trayvon Martin Case

The Trayvon Martin case has brought much needed attention to the Stand Your Ground Law which is enacted in twenty states. The stand your ground law can be interpreted as self- defense mechanism that allows you to literally stand your ground. It basically means that you do not have to run in order to prevent a deadly altercation. Instead, it appears that you can act upon a perceived dangerous situation. This law makes it much easier to kill someone by stating you were in fear of your life. So how often have there been cases where a presumed victim has used the Stand Your Ground Law to kill someone. According to The Washington Post, the use of stand your ground law is increasing. And because of the attention it has received due to the death of Trayvon Martin there is valid reason to suspect that there will be even more cases involving this controversial law. In respect to the law it is not supposed to be meant as a license to kill.

The consequences that the stand your ground law can have on black men is frightening. Take for instance the recent developments in the Trayvon Martin Case. Photos have now been released showing that George Zimmerman had black eyes and cuts on his head. They appear to be more serious than previously thought, but they are by no means dangerous or life threatening injuries. However, because he suffered injuries while in a confrontation with Trayvon, it makes his case for self-defense more creditable. So does this law means that it okay to kill someone who more than likely could have been defending himself. Let’s remember George Zimmerman confronted Trayvon. Trayvon Martin was able to fend off his attacker by standing his ground. But the tables were turned when …pulled out his gun, shot and killed him. The situation could very well been that Trayvon died because he was in the process of successfully defending himself..

The implications of having such a law means that anyone with preconceived notions about a group of people can confront a person (from that group), trigger a fight, claim to be in fear of their life, and utilize self-defense through deadly force. As mentioned previously, the number of justifiable homicide cases has jumped because of the use of the stand your ground law as a defense. No question that many of these cases are legitimate. No one has the right to enter your home and threaten your household. But there is a thing called excessive force. If George Zimmerman is found not guilty as a result of this law it is basically giving any bigot or racist the right to kill, making young black men public enemy number one. It does not matter if Zimmerman is not considered Caucasian. Racist beliefs are prevalent in all races not just whites. Because most other racial groups judge young black and Hispanic men as criminals the stage is set for them to protect themselves from these criminals.

[+ http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/trayvon-martin-autopsy-zimmerman/2012/05/16/id/439262?s=al&promo_code=EEAE-1+]

[+ http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/stand-your-ground-laws-coincide-with-jump-in-justifiable-homicide-cases/2012/04/07/gIQAS2v51S_story.html+]

http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/94201019.html

[+ http://www.wrdw.com/crimeteam12/headlines/7343636.html+]

[+ http://www.ajc.com/news/stand-your-ground-law-1403011.html+]

[+ http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-government/lawsuit-challenges-georgias-stand-1411841.html+]

[+ http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2012/11/12/15-states-including-georgia-have-filed-a-petition-to-secede-from-the-united-states/+]

[+ http://www.newamerica.net/publications/articles/2010/could_the_us_end_up_like_greece_32078+]

[+ http://articles.cnn.com/2010-05-20/opinion/vorce.greece.crisis_1_greece-gdp-fiscal-deficit?_s=PM:OPINION+]

[+ http://www.kpbs.org/news/2009/nov/04/what-changes-have-been-made-obamas-election/+]

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/

Education

Several points have been made to support black teachers teaching black students including black teachers having a better understanding of how to teach black students; having a shared culture and and/or background allow them to relate to their students; the ease of establishing a rapport with parents and the community; and advocating for their education. These suppositions make a strong case. Black teachers are in an excellent position to reach black students, especially students living in the inner city. Black teachers can be a positive role model for these students, the school, and the community.

However, these are over generalized points that do not speak for all black teachers. While blacks have a shared culture, which should make them more understanding and connected to black students, this is not always the case. We are assuming that all blacks share a similar upbringing and therefore automatically relate to other blacks. If black students living in the ghetto have a black teacher raised in the suburbs under completely different circumstances, the black student may be faced with the same conflict he/she would if that teacher were white. As a result, this black teacher might be just as quick to send a misbehaved student to the office as a white teacher would. Therefore, black teachers who have similar experiences to the students they are teaching would be most beneficial to these students. Students who attend predominately white schools can also benefit from having black teachers. For these students, having someone that can relate to who is also in a respected position may give them a sense of comfort.

It is also important to consider teachers of other races and how they can compensate for their lack of understanding regarding their black students. If these teachers have a true passion to understand their black students they would want to build a relationship with the parents, become advocates for their education, and respect and learn about their culture. Since they do not share the same culture they can learn about it. They can have positive black images and books in their classroom, invite black speakers to talk to students, or get a black teacher’s perspective on how to address certain issues pertaining to black students. Although black teachers can be beneficial to their black students this does not guarantee the academic or long term success of black students.

[+ http://news.yahoo.com/gingrich-under-fire-race-freddie-mac-contracts-185348310.html+]

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Understanding cultural diversity in school

Multiculturalism promotes tolerance, respect, and understanding amongst various groups of people. Teachers can purposefully incorporate this idea into the classroom through lesson plans, selected material, and activities that teach about the differences between cultures. Multiculturalism gives teachers and students an opportunity to explore and discuss diversity and learn from those who look different or have different beliefs and lifestyles.

Inclusion is the act of including everyone within a group setting, especially those that represent a minority. Inclusion begins with awareness. For example, in many public schools across America the assumption is that everyone is Christian (because it is what the country supposed to be founded on). Therefore, we celebrate Christian holidays. Unfortunately, this celebration within the schools excludes other religions. Many teachers are not mindful of this or simply ignore this fact . As teachers, we must be mindful of these differences and sensitive to the needs of other students who represent a minority group. Inclusion means that we accept everyone as an equal and treat them fairly.

Diversity is having or adding variety in the classroom. Even if a classroom appears to be homogenous a good teacher will notice differences among her students and find ways to incorporate that into the classroom. For example, just because a teacher works in a Christian school for boys that is also all black doesn’t mean that the students are all the same. Through open dialog teachers can learn what makes her students different. Additionally, selecting culturally diverse learning material and bringing in guess speakers from different ethnic backgrounds should help students appreciate diversity.

School Culture is the way the school functions day- to-day. It is, essentially, the way of life for the people who make up the school including the administration, teachers, students, and other staff members. School culture is influenced by the way people are treated within the school. It can be a nurturing learning environment or it can be rigid and restricted. When the culture of the school is inclusive, diverse, and inviting then the school can feel like home-somewhere where everyone wants to be.

Students with illegal status

What will the future hold for students with illegal status in Georgia? According to an article published in the NY Times last year, Georgia school officials voted to ban illegal immigrants from attending college. These schools include Georgia’s most popular public college such as, University of Georgia and Georgia Institute of Technology. Georgia has followed the lead of South Carolina in becoming the second state to actually enact such policies. The ban became effective this year and has sparked heated debates throughout Georgia campuses. It gained national attention when Kennesaw State University student, Jessica Cototl, was allowed to complete her degree while receiving in-state tuition. What seems to be a contradiction in this ban is that while these students are allowed to attend high-school they are prevented from continuing their education even if they pay for their tuition out –of- pocket.

Allowing illegal immigrants to attend college has its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand it gives students the opportunity to get an education which would open doors for the student regardless if she remains in this country or decide to take her talents elsewhere. If the student obtains her visa and remains in the United States, this will give employers higher educated human resources to pull from. On the other hand United States citizens will have more competition in the job market which may cause tension among ethnic groups. This tension will surely be perpetuated by the media and various other sources with an agenda of their own. Students with illegal status choices are limited. They can rally against these bans, but ultimately the voice that matters will be those of legal citizens who can weigh the pros and cons in order to either support or oppose the education of illegal immigrants.

Banning illegal immigrants from school along with other potential laws that will permit law enforcement to randomly check the “legal status” of drivers demonstrates the active steps lawmakers are taking to significantly decrease the number of illegal immigrants in Georgia. But will these new laws solve the illegal immigration problem. Or will it simply push out illegal immigrants from this state and place them in others. Will other states then follow the lead that Georgia and South Carolina has taken in an effort to resolve their problem. While it is clear that something should be done about illegal immigrates in Georgia and nationwide what is unclear is how to do it.

Is it fair to single out a specific group of illegal aliens and allow others to get a pass? Those that argue against these policies feel that these laws are created to single out one specific group of people. What is obvious to these protestors is that the state of Georgia is focusing their attention on limiting the number of Mexicans entering and remaining in the state. From this perspective Georgia is resorting to unfair tactics which is nothing more than racial profiling people of Mexican descent.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/14/us/14georgia.html

[+ http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/14/college-student-ignites-immigration-debate/+]

[+ http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-politics-elections/new-georgia-law-targeting-993639.html+]

[+ http://articles.cnn.com/2011-05-13/us/georgia.immigration.law_1_illegal-immigration-immigration-status-law-enforcement-officers?_s=PM:US+]

Increasing black male college enrollment

Many colleges across the country have been faced with the challenge of increasing enrollment for young black men. Georgia, however, has been quite successful in this arena due to the African American Male Initiative (AAMI). In 2002, the University System of Georgia began a project that specifically focused on bringing more black men into Georgia colleges. This program also looked at ways to keep black male students in college once enrolled. The initiative started off with only three programs. With the support from grants generated by Lumina Foundation for Educations and others there has been a significant increase in enrollment of the black male population. According to kennesaw.edu almost nine years later the program has expanded across the state and has increase black male enrollment by roughly 67%. There has also been an increase in the number of graduates after the initiative was launched. Black men graduating from USG institutions with a bachelor’s degree increased with an additional 644 degrees.

USG has been dedicated to recruiting and retaining black males until they graduate from college. Furthermore, USG has demonstrated their commitment to ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity when it comes to education. Focusing on this particular group shows that with opportunity it is possible for many minority groups to succeed regardless of other challenges they have faced. This has also proven that black males are capable of achieving academic excellence. Unfortunately, for many black men they may not have enough guidance or financial support to get them to and through college. This obstacle is what one of the reasons that keep black men from entering into college. But with programs like the African American Male Initiative future black men will not only see that it is possible to obtain a college degree they will see it as a goal they want to achieve. There is no doubt that with a college degree more opportunities will be available to black men. Perhaps more black men will then look to achieve greater than their parents. If this holds true, not only will they be able to obtain a four- year college degree but they may seek to attain a post-graduate degree as well; making the future of black men more promising than ever. It is quite possible that future generations of men black will no longer need to rely on this initiative. But for now it forms the academic foundation that promising African American male students need. It is also setting an example for other colleges across the nation to follow.

http://www.kennesaw.edu/ur/pdf/aami_program.pdf

Black leadership in education

If standardized tests including CRCT, SAT, ACT, and the Iowa Standardized Test are designed and created by whites with white students in mind, and the curriculum is designed by white educators, again, with white students in mind, where does that leave black learners? This is what is meant by bias testing. This is why blacks are in a system that is unintentionally or intentionally designed for their failure. The only way to remedy this iniquitous practice is to call for more black education leaders to be a part of the design and implementation of standardized testing.

If not, then educators and policy-makers need to seriously look at other ways to assess students’ learning. An entire race of people is unable to live to their full potential because a nation that promotes education as a way out of poverty is stubborn in its inability to see that one size does not fit all. It doesn’t mean that African Americans cannot adapt and succeed, but they will only by subscribing to the idea that standardized testing is the only barometer to determine ones intelligence or ability to succeed in the next grade level. Many scholars question whether standardized testing should be used exclusively in this fashion. We need to continue to question this tradition and explore other options including, totally eliminating it.

Eliminating senior year and the impact it has in college

Across the nation many states are considering eliminating the twelfth grade from their high-schools. For example, Utah’s senator, Chris Buttars, has suggested that senior year be optional. Eligible students would be encouraged to transfer to college while others would have the option to complete their senior year. If the proposal is accepted it could save the state of Utah sixty million dollars.

So how important is senior year? How will this impact students’ college learning? A recent survey suggests that there are mixed opinions when this question is posed to students. Some students admitted that their senior year classes were filled with electives. While others felt that senior year is important but can be utilized more effectively. Many students who disagree with eliminating the twelfth grade also look at the social implications. Senior prom, football games, and simply hanging out with the senior class would be put to an end. In essence, eleventh grade would become the new twelfth grade. Another pole by CNN asked whether eliminating senior year is a good idea. The answers came from across the nation with most stating that it was not a good idea. There was concern that this would force students into adulthood too soon. The idea is that senior year should be time spent enjoying with classmates before entering into college.

Twelfth grade could be used as a transition period to better prepare students for college. Students who are academically challenged should be offered additional support in smaller classes. This will limit the chances of these students being set- up for failure (in college or a technical school). The focus for most seniors during high-school should be writing and reading college level texts. Most students are overwhelmed by the amount of reading and writing required throughout college. They are ill-prepared to hand in a well-written college paper to their professors. In order to become better writer students have to be able to think critically so they that can learn how to incorporate into their papers. There should be a strong emphasis on test preparation. It should be college- level tests particularly for students who are considering continuing their education. The tests do not have to be necessarily graded or factored into a student’s GPA. Instead, it should be used as means to pinpoint students’ strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, students who have excelled academically throughout their high school years should not be held back. Instead, they should be able to take some college courses as electives while also participating in senior events such as prom and graduation. Instead of eliminating the twelfth grade completely, high-schools should determine the best way to balance continuous relevant learning with social activities throughout the year.

References:

[+ http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/15/nation/la-na-utah-school15-2010feb15+]

[+ http://abcnews.go.com/WN/utah-mulls-eliminating-12th-grade/story?id=9853553+]

[+ http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-02-25-senioryear25foronline_st_N.htm+]

Is college really worth it?

For most high school students, college is the only hope to secure a better life for the future; at least this is what’s being told to them by both parents and teachers. The idea that college is an investment in the future has been engrained in them since elementary school. By investing their money in education, they expect to graduate and find a career in their chosen field. However, the majority of college graduates do not find work in their field. Furthermore, an undergraduate degree does not guarantee that you will even find a high-paying profession. There are some specialized skills that are in demand which will make it more likely to for you to find a job once you graduate; if your degree is in that field. For the millions of students who have graduated in other fields they may find nothing but disappointment. They will easily question whether taking out thousands of dollars in loans and spending hours studying for exams was really worth it.

If you are a college bound student ask yourself why do you want to go to college. Is it because parents and peers’ expectations, is it because you expect to have a career after graduating, or is it simply because of the desire to experience college life? Let’s look deeper into these reasons. If it is because your friends and family are telling you to go then your heart would not been in it and you are wasting your time and money. Ask yourself if paying for college really worth it. The pressure that parents and peers put on you is persuasive, but you have to be honest with yourself. You are bound for failure if you are going to college for this reason because the effort to succeed just won’t be there. Remember there are other avenues you can take. Know what you want to do before jumping into something. Often times finding work in an entry-level position will propel you to either go to college for something else or pursue additional training in the work you are already doing. Consider taking time to figure out what you really want to do and whether college is a necessary evil to achieving your goal.

If you are going to have the college experience and you can afford then it can be a very eye-opening experience. Attending a college or university will offer you an opportunity to explore career options, meet new people, and learn to think critically. It can even catapult you into finding your purpose in life. College can be a very rewarding experience, but it is very expensive as well. So, if this is your main reason for attending ask yourself is the experience really worth it. College does have an intrinsic value that may not reap any outward rewards. However, many students do not have the luxury of attending college for just the experience. Most students attend school for the sole purpose of finding a rewarding career. For these students completing college and not finding would feel like they wasted their time.

If you are a student attending school for this purpose a good idea is to do some research first. You can research to see if a certificate program or a two-year degree will get you started on your career path. Sometimes you can start at an entry-level position with a company and reach your ideal position sooner than you would have completing a four-year degree first. You will get a head start into the job market thus putting your knowledge to work sooner. But you must look to see whether the career you are seeking requires candidates possess a four-year degree or if there is some flexibility. It is important to remember that although completing college increases your chances of finding a career, nothing is guaranteed. Many schools are in the business of making money first and educating students second. Investigate the school to see whether it is reputable. Pay particular attention to for profit schools. They are becoming notorious for their high tuition with minimum satisfied customers.

Consequences of cheating

According to www.nocheating.org, over 75% of college students admit to cheating at least one time in school. Some get caught many do not. But why cheat your way through college. There are many reasons why students cheat. Some students just don’t apply themselves when it comes to college. They do not prepare themselves for assignments and frequently skip class. In other words they do not take college seriously. Even if they are not caught cheating they eventually drop out or flunk out of school anyway. Other students simply do not understand the material and feel it is the only way they can make a passing grade. Or students blame the professor for not explaining the material right. Then there are those who do it simply for the thrill of cheating. They have the mental capacity to understand the material but prefer to take the easy way out. Cheating students may not cheat in every class. They may cheat only when they feel that they have no other choice. Or they may decide to cheat if they feel the professor is easily fooled.

Professors can and do take plagiarism and cheating seriously. They can easily detect when someone is plagiarizing and is becoming more aware of how prevalent and advanced cheating methods via phone applications are. The consequences of resorting to such methods can be severe. Not only will you receive a failing grade for the assignment but further action can be pursued. You can receive an “F” for the class which can affect scholarships, such as HOPE, or others you may already have or would have been eligible for. The most severe penalty is that you can be suspended or expelled from school. In the end, it is not worth it to cheat or plagiarize. Getting away with it once or twice may give you a false sense of mastery but the consequences outweigh any perceived benefits. Aside from the consequences mentioned above consider the embarrassment you will feel if caught.

Instead of resorting to cheating learn to prepare appropriately for assignments. Give yourself enough time to plan for projects, tests, and essay papers. If you feel that you are not understanding the material speak with your professor. Remember, you are paying for your education. Your money pays for the professor’s salary. So don’t be afraid to speak with your professor about any problems you are having as soon as possible. Lastly, do not get into the habit of missing days. Even if your professor does not take attendance you may miss very important lessons, changes in the syllabus, and other issues that may arise. College courses can be challenging for some students. But getting a C or D on an assignment is better than resorting to cheating or plagiarizing. Even if you do get away with it, you are cheating yourself out of actually learning something.

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[+ http://www.higheredmorning.com/top-4-reasons-college-students-cheat+]

[+ http://education-portal.com/articles/Creative_Ways_College_Students_Cheat_in_School.html+]

If standardized tests including CRCTSAT, ACT, Regents and the Iowa Standardized Test are designed and created by whites with white students in mind, and the curriculum is designed by white educators, again, with white students in mind, where does that leave black learners? This is what is meant by bias testing. This is why blacks are in a system that is unintentionally or intentionally designed for their failure. The only way to remedy this iniquitous practice is to call for more [*black education *]leaders to be a part of the design and implementation of standardized testing.

If not, then educators and policy-makers need to seriously look at other ways to assess students’ learning. An entire race of people is unable to live to their full potential because a nation that promotes education as a way out of poverty is stubborn in its inability to see that one size do not fit all. It doesn’t mean that African Americans cannot adapt and succeed, but they will only by subscribing to the idea that standardized testing is the only barometer to determine ones intelligence or ability to succeed in the next grade level. Many scholars question whether standardized testing should be used exclusively in this fashion. We need to continue to question this tradition and explore other options including, totally eliminating it. These[* alternatives *]should be chosen as a way to not minimize but to maximize the learning ability of African American students and perhaps other minority groups as well.

This point should not be lost, African Americans may think differently and learn differently from their European counterparts. But being different does not mean inferior. Indeed blacks are equal and any differences need to be addressed and nurtured by those with intrinsic understanding of what it means to be black.

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When we look back in history it is hard to imagine that everyone did not always have access to education. Even when free education became a right for everyone in America the chances / most people did not complete high school and in many instances not even grade school. And college was only for the elite. Today while dropout rates remain high for this day and age, still most people complete high school. When compared to the past more people/students go on/attend college and about 30% receive a bachelor’s degree. Others complete their associate’s degree or enroll in a certificate program from a technical school or two-year college.

As hard as it is to imagine that education was not always easily accessible to everyone it is probably just as hard to imagine that we/our nation can go back to repeat history. With the cost of college increasing the future looks bleak for many lower and middle income families hoping to send their children to college. Whenever colleges suffer financially the students are the ones who pay the price through higher tuition. Today we may not look at this as a serious concern/overlook the impact that this will have on many households. However higher tuition in addition to fewer scholarships and changes to scholarships such as HOPE which makes receiving funding for college more difficult, it is realistic to assume that eventually we will see a decrease in student enrollment. We can also expect that changes will be made in the amount of loan money that students are allowed to borrow. All of these factors will make college exclusively for the elite, once again. Perhaps colleges was never meant for everyone or expected to be for people other than this group.


Recent Events that shaped America: Essay Collection

This is a collection of essays that I have written about several topics within the past decade. I decided to publish this collection to allow others to see sharing your views and opinions is very American. Some things may not be politically correct and it is not meant to be. We all have a voice and sharing our opinions will allow for discourse between those with shared opinions and those who argue against it. You don’t have to be eloquent as long as your voice is heard.

  • Author: Chy hunter
  • Published: 2016-07-04 20:50:38
  • Words: 13591
Recent Events that shaped America: Essay Collection Recent Events that shaped America: Essay Collection