Sunday, March 27, 2011

Separate and Unequal

This week’s post, is a not the typical we are assigned every week. This week we had to explore Brown vs. Board of Education, watch videos of Tim Wise’s thoughts on Racism and White denial in the age of Obama, and an article called “Separate and Unequal” by Bob Herbert. These pieces all have relationships and connections and discusses the change in education since Brown vs. Board of Education.
On the Brown vs. Board of Education website, fighting for school desegregation became part of broader movement for social justice while it led to include racial and ethnic minorities, women, people with disabilities, and other groups, each demanding equal opportunity. In Bob Herbert pieces, though school are now desegregated, schools itself doesn’t seem segregated today. It is resulted from residential patterns, social class and poverty. Low income students are going to school where they don’t learn much. Good teachers tend to stay away from school with a high population of low-income students. Herbert  says, “Long years of evidence show that poor kids of all ethnic backgrounds do better academically when they go to school with their more affluent - that is, middle class- peers.” Basically, I feel that the article says that race isn’t the issue. It is about the culture of poverty in which these children grow up, and the value system and hidden rules that they absorb from it.  Yet “We are nowhere near a post racial America”, says Tim Wise, author of Between Barack and a Hard Place.  Wise says, "6 out of 10 white folks admit to stereotyping by either perceiving blacks as less intelligent, more violent, less hardworking, less patriotic, live on welfare, and they do not work."For many people, the election of Barack Obama seemed to signify the end of racism as a pervasive social force in the United States. But is this true?  The answer to this is really dependent on how the people of America responded to the election and understanding the election to mean and what they understand it not to mean.  All of this relates to each other.
Question: Is America looking for segregation tomorrow? Why can’t we all just get along and learn from one another?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In The Service of What?

In the article, “In The Service Of What? The Politics of Service Learning” by Joseph Kahne and Joel Westheimer, it discusses two types of services. Kahne and Westheimer  discusses the difference between service for charity and service for change. The idea of service for charity is based upon the concept that a peerson volunteers his or her time to give back to the community, and to experience the pleasure of committing to this service. On the other hand, service for change, has a deeper meaning for a community and its volunteers. In the service for change, a community needs service which can aid the volunteers with knowledge to form relationships and help solve the problem together. Kahne and Westheimer believes service learning for change offers much more WINNING experiences for the community receiving the aid. Service for change concentrates more time on a WINNING plan rather than unconsciously volunteering time for the benefit of volunteering. Kahne and Westheimer wants the idea of service learning projects to individually provide different purposes and emphasize a variety of standards. The time that a volunteer spend working with students only provides real changes in their education when they are determined properly and repeatedly. If changes in their education are not being made, the time that he or she spends volunteering simply becomes a service for charity.

My question is, “What are we doing it for?”

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us and POWER RANGERS!!!

       In the article, “Unlearning the Myths That Bind Us, written by Linda Christensen, its discusses the issue of media influencing our youths.  She believes that our youths are persuaded to believe the media’s representation of specific stereotypes. Media is perceived as innocent but Christensen tries to prove a point that there is more than meets the eye. Children’s cartoon, shows, movies, and literature gives stereotypical messages to our young people before they can understand the meaning. Christensen points out that media gives off a secret education towards our youths. They enter the minds of children at a very early age. All children see is the pleasure that comes from within them.  She is blaming racism and stereotypes on media.   
       This article is a very enlightening piece that I have read in a while. Her argument was true and she had all the facts to prove it.  For example, she says, “Have you ever seen a black person, an Asian, a Hispanic in a cartoon? Did they have leading roles or were they a servant? What do you think this is doing to your child's mind? Women who aren't white begin to feel left out and ugly because they never get to play the princess” (131). I started thinking of every show I use to watch when I was little, to see if they sent a stereotypical message. Sure enough, there was one in particular. For example, the first season of Power Rangers. If any of you have been alive long enough to have seen the Power Rangers, you would have already figured out that there is something odd about the portrayal of the original cast. The black ranger is a black guy who break dances. How stereotypical. The yellow ranger is Asian. The white ranger is a white dude and also the mightiest of the rangers. The green ranger was Irish. The pink ranger is a preppy white girl. The blue ranger is another white guy. The red ranger is a redneck and he was the leader. That’s just my opinion. Why couldn’t they had cast an Asian as a leader. Despite that, this is still my favorite power ranger season. It was weird thinking after finishing this article. 

Here’s a clip about power rangers (Note: this is just a parody...not the originals)