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March 28, 2007

Living in Color

I found our conversation in class on Monday to be very interesting about races and how much race is impacted in our every day lives. For instance, the institutional forms of discrimination are still present today in media. It was more difficult to think of examples, but the book had mentioned some which aren’t in existence today. I found it appalling that blacks weren’t allowed to be managers, presidents, and weren’t capable of having a steady job. And on the other hand, I thought that the inferential overt racism even more interesting.
In class, we were to come up with known facts about different races and notice that we don’t mean harm by saying them. A few examples that our group came up with were that Jews were rich, Middle Eastern owned gas stations, Asians are good at math, and that men are bad drivers. The curious thing about this is that these are funny when the same race says these to each other, but when another race makes a comment about these; it comes off as offensive and racial. And the question is where the line is drawn.
I don’t exactly know why everything seems so racial simply when a race says a joke about another race, but it’s ok when the same race jokes about themselves. It doesn’t make sense. I believe that some races don’t feel comfortable around others, and immediately think that they’re being made fun of and it’s not a funny joke anymore. Races need to become more secure and lighten up because I don’t think that these inferential discrimination jokes are meant to mean any harm because there are many worse racist things that can be said.

March 19, 2007

People like us

After watching the “People Like Us? movie, the one person that influenced me the most was the mother of three boys who was clearly living below poverty. She said that she grew up poor, and that she knew that she was never going to go anywhere in life, and that she said she couldn’t change how her life played out. I completely disagree with her statement about how she lived her life. People are able to change for the better and that their family histories shouldn’t affect how someone should live out their own lives. For example, her own son knew that he wanted to go somewhere far in life because he couldn’t handle how he was growing up. He said that he was planning on going to college and got plenty of awards in school. He has ambitions to become better unlike his mother.
Another example of someone who changed social classes is my father. He grew up without a father, and had to grow up in a small one bedroom house with his mother and his grandparents. Although his living conditions weren’t the greatest, he still managed to get scholarships to college and is very successful today. He said that he didn’t want to grow up and do nothing in life. He took responsibility for his actions and changed his life. He didn’t let anyone get him down like the lady did in the movie.