Instead of going into depth about this class, I thought it would be more effective to include the reflections I did and the journal I kept about the content of the course. Here are a few of may thoughts on race and inequality in America:
September 10, 2016
Muslims vs. Americans
I watched a social experiment on Facebook the other day called “American vs Muslim Bag”. The premise of the experiment was an American-looking woman asking strangers to watch her bag for a minute, Afterwards, it followed up with a woman in full Muslim Jilbab and hijab asking the same question. Every person the American asked in a local park to watch her bag accepted and allowed her to leave the bag next to them. In the same park, the Muslim-American asked various individuals on park benches to hold the same bag. Every person said no, stating that they were leaving the area in a minute, or not feeling well.
A man actually attacked the Muslim woman, threatening to call the cops because she looked like a terrorist. It wasn’t until then that a few people stood to defend her. The craziest part of the experiment to me personally is I don’t think I would even bat an eye. I am so used to trying to be a good community member and trying to be helpful, I don’t think I would even hesitate. It is extremely sad that the culture and media presence in America has made it normal to question such a simple social interaction.
YouTube Link to Experiment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0dMkFxIe4Y
September 15, 2016
Beauty Queens and Race Relations
While the Miss USA pageant system is highly regarded, a few scandals have recently tainted the organizations reputation. Miss Teen USA winner, Karlie Hay, is facing removal of her crown after controversial media was found on her Twitter account. More than 4 tweets were found on her Twitter using the N word. Not only was the word used, but it was used an obnoxious amount. People are outraged by the ordeal considering the Miss USA organization takes great pride in the position of a role model these women are given.
Though Miss Teen USA has apologized for her previous behavior, she is still facing back lash. No action has been taken against Karlie Hay in regards to the innocent, however, many people believe a lack of action would be a disservice to American communities and society. Though she was young, I still believe a certain level of disciplinary action must be taken to prove a point in regards to racial equality. We as a society must uphold the ideal that all men are equal and language that is destructive to the wellbeing of others won’t be tolerated.
October 31, 2016
I am shocked by the things I see on social media these days. It is in such bad taste when some people post the things they do. The talk of the world today is in regards to a Michigan State student who used her social media to racially attack an athlete from her rival high school. This is what she posted:
Now, the player she is mocking is a female football player; the best kicker in her conference. This girls name is Reyna Muck and since posting this picture has been removed from her sorority at MSU and many are calling for her to be expelled from the university. On top of her disgusting post, she tweeted other comments provoking the conversation and proving she has no class or good character. It continues to shock me how young adults feel it is okay to post whatever they please on social media and believe there will not be backlash. I have always been taught, 1. To respect others, and 2. To be aware of what I post, because it will affect my ability to get jobs later. This girl needs a lesson in both.
October 31, 2016
What makes you a racist?
I don’t believe the true definition of racist is understood by most people. The word meaning, the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. What I hear/see most from people trying to defend their position is, “I’m not racist; I have friends who are black.” “I’m not racist; I hired a black guy.”
Referring back to my last entry about Reyna Muck, this is how she defended her innocence on twitter after her racist post regarding a black female football player.
This post was obviously meant as sarcasm, but proves my point that just because you may have black friends and family, doesn’t mean you don’t harbor racist ideals. This girl has proven her prejudice by posting this after becoming aware of the consequences of her actions. Reyna Muck does not get to defend her position by showing us that she loves black people just because she has a couple pictures.
November 20, 2016
I really enjoyed doing this journal, because it got me thinking about topics and stories I would have only glazed over if I hadn’t needed to think about them. There were so many insistences in my daily life that could have been topics of this journal, which is sad. I want to get to a point where I don’t have to be aware of the color of my skin and others don’t have to be aware of their sexuality, religion, of ethnicity. All of the issues I have discussed are very close to my heart because almost all of them I have a personal investment in.
I am a woman. I am black. I am the daughter of two women. I don’t have a relationship with my father. I am privileged. The last statement is one of the revelations I’ve been, not only from doing this journal but also with the outcome of this election. I once saw a saying that said, “If you don’t have to think about it, it’s a privileged.” There are so many people who have it worse off than me and with this presidential election and just forcing myself to be more aware of the plights of society, I’ve come to see that my small grievances in life are nothing compared to others. I wouldn’t say this semester was the first time I worried about the societal effects on other people, but I definitely have thought about it a lot more than I ever have. I am sad for those people who cannot feel secure in their own bodies or their own minds. I’m sad for the people who truly believe there is a hierarchy for human life, and that being different makes you lower on that hierarchy.
I talked about race issues and inequality issues a lot this semester with my mom, my peers, and my friends. I surround myself with people I believe exhibit the morals and ideals I hold dear to myself, so many of the people I talked with had similar opinions as me. I did however discuss with individuals who didn’t, mainly involving Trump. I try to be very understanding of everyone’s varying opinions, but that was one I just couldn’t justify. I never spoke ill of these people, but I will admit I lost some respect. I don’t believe he displays the image and ideals of America and definitely not myself. I think this was a good experience for many Americans though. For the first time for many white and/or privileged Americans they were seeing what it is like to be a minority or an outcast. Many people got a wakeup call to the issues in society, and I would like to believe this is and will be a step in the right direction now that everyone has gotten the opportunity to see the inequality in society.
I have learned a lot throughout this process and this class. I never knew much about the Muslim culture until now and I find it so interesting. Because they are such a high profile group in society these days it is important to know at least the fundamentals of the culture so you can create accurate opinions. I also learned a lot in regards to my own culture during my time researching Black Lives Matter. I have a very limited exposure due to my hometown location, so it was good for me to hear and research the concept from others. Realistically, I learned something new about every culture or group we discussed. They were topics most people don’t take the time to understand because we think it doesn’t affect our daily lives. However, hate crimes are real and happening, Native American oppression happened and it isn’t okay for our society to cover it up. Muslims are generally a very peaceful group and are important to American society. All of these people play a role in our society and our life and it is a disservice for us to dismiss this education as unessential. I believe I am a better person because of taking this class and giving myself chance to really listen and learn from hat others have to teach me. I would suggest everyone try to do some kind of journal like this as reflection or education. It gave me the chance to express my opinions in a healthy way and reflect on what those opinions mean to my life.
**I took this in place of HDF 110**