Sunday, October 30, 2011

Poor/Underclass


The poor and the underclass are similar, but different in many ways, Being poor and having no money, can't compare to having a house with little money. The government has failed so many fellow Americans by spending more on wars and less in urban neighborhoods. The estimated cost for the war in Iraq was said to cost 3.3 trillion dollars. If everyone just contributed a small amount of their earnings, then there would be enough to provide food, shelter, and medical care to every American. Not only should we give in monetary value, but we need to start writing our politicians that we put in office, and demand that funds be released to increase government assistance. To this day, there hasn’t been any government that has given enough aid that could ultimately have those suffering from poverty to survive for more than a few days. Which made me think of the old saying “give a man a fish he will eat for a day, but teach a man how to fish and he will eat a lifetime”.  If the government continues to fail us there will be no underclass or middle class. In the future their will only be poor and the rich.


In this video shows how the whole world is affected by poverty not just the United States its becoming worldwide. But However America is the richest country in the world and it shows how our goverment has failed us deeply.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Children of the Poor

By Linda Spector

I remember that when I was a kid I couldn’t wait to celebrate Christmas. I remember that my favorite part of Christmas was opening the presents that “Santa Clause” left the night before in my house. I also remember my mom’s smile looking at me while I was opening all the gifts. In a couple of months Christmas will come again, and for many kids in America the only gift that they are going to get is a big, bitter winter, far away from a home, and the smiles of their mothers will be erased by the cruel reality of being poor. In America the number of poor single mothers is growing and with them many kids have been added to this growing under-class group.
The media has created the myth that the reasons for this growth are that these mothers have been irresponsible, lazy, and promiscuous. The media has ignored many other reasons that have caused their misfortune like having low wage jobs, the death of their partner, domestic violence and the difficult economic situation that the country is experiencing. The media and politicians as agents of socialization have sold the concept that anybody in America can achieve the American dream, and if a person doesn’t reach the American dream it is because she or he hasn’t worked hard enough. Some people in the media have said that single mothers and the elderly don’t want to work hard because they want to live at the expense of the government.

According to the media and some politicians, the poor are deviants in America, because, the poor are breaking the values and norms of hard work. It is common to hear people from higher economic classes say that the poor want to be poor, that they don’t want to work hard and that they ought to have to live with the consequences of being poor. Also, lately some media has been saying that there is no such thing as poor or underclass in the United States because most of the poor families have refrigerators and microwaves, and some have a television or video game system. Even politicians that are running for the presidency are saying that if a person is poor, they should “blame themselves,” because they don’t want to work or they don’t’ work hard enough.

The reality is that many single women have jobs that pay less than the minimum wage and that make it difficult for them to afford a house, health care and a good education for their children. For some upper class Americans and some in the media, it is easy to judge the poor by saying that they are poor because of their lack of education and social morality. It is easy for some politicians to take benefits, security, and schools from the poor, because they think that being poor is a choice or a lifestyle.
The truth is that poor kids and single mothers have fewer opportunities than upper class American families. Poor families are less likely to move up the social hierarchy because they lack opportunities, education and support from the government and society. It is easy to punish the poor for being poor, instead of trying to make programs that could help single mothers to get better jobs with better wages, and programs that bring education and support to the children.

Christmas is coming soon and many poor mothers have to deal with the cruel reality that they are alone; that no matter how hard they work most of them will never be able to have a home or an opportunity to provide an education and a better future for their children. This Christmas many kids are going to learn that not only does Santa Claus not give presents to naughty children; he also doesn’t leave presents for the children of the poor.

Poverty


Poverty
America is considered tobe one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet statistics proven during 2008,2009, and 2010 that poverty has increased dramatically. In 2008 17 million households or 14.6% of households, approximately 1 in 7 were food insecure. The highest number ever recorded in the United States. Food insecure is a condition that arises from a lack of enough income and other resources for food. Most single parents suffer from food insecurity.
Why is it that a country which donates so much to social programs such as charities to help provide food clothing and shelter for others allows millions of citizens to go to bed without food? Is it that people are not seeking assistance or the public is not aware of the existence of these social programs? Should charitable organizations make it easier for the public to receive assistance or should the government remove structural barriers which help to ease impoverished living.
Research done by the ERS. and others, has shown that states with higher rates of food insecurity generally have these characteristics: higher than average unemployment rates, high cost of housing and utilities relative to income, and higher than average poverty rates.
Why does a country with such vast resources have such high numbers of citizens suffering from food insecurity? Do people feel ashamed to ask for help because they don’t want to feel devalued, and why is it that when applying for government assistance so much personal information is required that people feel ashamed and resist requesting help? Most minorities suffer from food insecurity.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Working Class

By: Rachel Morris


Karl Marx defined the working class as “Individuals who sell their labor power for wages and who do not own the means of production.” In today’s hierarchical structure of the class system, the working class tends to fall into one of the many different levels of what is known as the middle class. At one time a fairly easy description of the majority of the American people, the middle class now has a more complex depiction with its own internal hierarchical system which consists of upper middle, middle, or lower middle.

According to our textbook, the working class falls into the lower middle class section and consists of blue-collar and service workers. I suppose I have always had an idea in my mind of what jobs consisted of the working class, but to my surprise the textbook listed policemen and firefighters as being among the working class. Although they definitely fall into the category of service I guess I was taken aback by the idea of the men and women who are on the streets protecting us are one “class ladder rung” away from being part of the lower class in our society; being part of the displaced and poor. I guess it made me think of where our priorities are when it comes to defining class and its many different distinctions.
  
These days an appropriate face of the working class can be found camped out just a few blocks away at our very own City Hall. The Occupy Philadelphia Demonstration is full of working class people who are desperately trying to get their voices heard, mostly in order to gain better wages and benefits. Take a walk around the protest and you can probably count on one hand how many doctors, lawyers, and CEOs are participating. The people involved are mostly middle class, working class, people who in this economic downfall, need help to better their situations. They are people who work hourly jobs, do not have health care, nor have much in the way of a security net if something where to go wrong. Again, the textbook mentions that many people in the working class are barely hanging on to that spot in the class structure as it is. I myself fall into the working class category so it is scary to think how short of a fall it is down the ladder. 



Middle Class Is Disappearing?

Has anyone thought about the social class lately? It is said that the middle-class is disappearing because now there’s really just either Lower-class, lower-middle, and Upper-class. There aren’t many that are in between, which is hard to believe. It could be that many who were middle-class lost their jobs and now work for minimum wage just to survive or going through financial issues they cannot handle. And while they are struggling to get by, many aren't able to get financial help like Welfare. According to Huffington Posts’ topic about the shrinking middle class, the poor are getting the poorer and the rich are getting richer. I knew this was happening, but I never expected that the middle class would be minimizing. But if you think about it, how every state has been trying to create drastic budgets and increasing unemployment, it’s no wonder that of the middle-class become part of the lower-class. Families have been dealing with certain struggles like college fees for their children, paying debts,  With the economy consistently going down, you don’t know what to expect. Now, you might've already know that the middle class depends on Occupy Wall Street since it could save them and other people in a different class.

There's even an article about the share of the nation's income is shrinking... The wealthy aren't affected in this. Mainly, it's the working, lower, and of course the middle class who are suffering from this. The article here focuses more on the middle class, as this partially gives explanation to the disappearing class. A man who used to be a car saleman, featured in it, used to make $90,000 a few years ago and as the economy dropped, so did his income. He ended up making $30,000 and his company was bankrupt.



"The lower share of income is a way of saying income inequality is growing in the middle," says Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center, who has studied the shift. "The vast middle has less of the pie than it had before."

Here's the article for reference : 
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-10-25/middle-class-disappearing/50914822/1
And another resource: http://rt.com/usa/news/workers-usa-middle-class/

21st Century Upper Class Innovator "Steve Jobs"

By: Charnise Gillis


In the United States, the upper class owns the major share of corporate and personal wealth. Only a very small few proportion of people actually constitute the upper class, but still control vast amounts of wealth and power in society.  One of the greatest innovators in the upper class of the 21st century is Steve Jobs.
Jobs and his company Apple were a world beating technological combination, with products like the IPhone, IPod, and IPad. Many believe that it was Jobs skills that set apart Apple’s products from the rest. He is perceived as one of America’s legendary business promoters. Steve jobs started his enterprise in a spare room of his parent’s home. He is known to starting the first PC that is suitable for day to day usage.
In 1986 Jobs decided to buy Pixar. He made many hits such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo while in command of Pixar. Thereafter, he sold Pixar to Disney for a substantial $7.4 Billion in Disney stock, which made him the biggest stockholder of Disney with in excess of $4.2 billion shares.
Then, Steve came back to Apple and bought out the IPod and ITunes that transformed the music business. The release of the IPhone changed cell phones that individuals use today. The publishing trends of the world also have changed since the IPhone was created. Individuals of society feel that the use of IPhones is more convient to use with its touch screen technology and advance Microsoft. Steve jobs noticeably transformed society’s way of life nowadays.
 Many analysts believe the company is well-positioned for the future, but his death still leaves many questions. The stock moved little when Jobs announced in August that he was stepping down as CEO, and it moved little after the announcement of his death on October 5, 2011.
I believe Apple products was one of the first technical devices I actually fell in love with and feel I always have to have it. It makes my scheduling and multitasking easier than any phone I have ever owned. I wonder what will happen to Apple after the death of Jobs. Apple has so much power and status over all Microsoft and cellular phone companies and I wouldn’t want to see it go to waste. I personally do not believe Apple will be the same. No one else is capable of having the skills and leadership to replace the role of the entrepreneur Steve Jobs.
What will happen to the company he created? Do you think Apple products will have the same affect on society after Steve Jobs death?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Organic by Devin Barnes

 Saturday night i was sitting with a friend eating Lorenzo's pizza parked up south street a cop put his lights on asked what we were doing as i was biting my pizza i said what does it look like i am eating he asked where do i live before asking my name, what does that matter i asked he said answer my f$#%ing question i said when you answer mines so he said license n reg you look suspicious . i gave it to him my friend said I thought this was a free country the cop said no its not!!!! My friend said last i checked we fought for our country as well as those before us for that right to freedom.. So he walks around my jeep sees the marine corps stickers asked who is a marine i replied i was he said semper fi and have a good night i said when you saw two black men you thoughtwe were criminals but now u know im a marine and he is army you change your toon that is just wrong

I AM THE 99%

 By Charnay Wilson

I am living though a time when major events that will probably be in my daughter text books are taking place. Around the world there are many people protesting about the issues that they have with the 99% and 1% ratio. They are camping out in major places around the United States, hoping that it will make a change. They believe that the 99% (Upper Middle, Middle, Working, Working Poor, and Underclass) should have the same abilities and wealth of the 1%(Upper Upper, and Lower Upper Class).
The Upper Class people have lots of money, and everybody knows that with money comes respect and power.  The 1% has very strong political power and if they are living the way that they want to live then they are not going to sacrifice their living circumstances for other people.  That’s simply the picture that they have painted and will continue to paint for the years to come.
When it comes to certain situations the Upper Class always have the upper hand. They have the resources and the power to get out of most situations legally and financially. Most people in classes under them despite them and the things that they stand for. I personally believe that the Upper Class are all for themselves. Most of them believe that they worked hard for what they have, and some of them fail to realize that the wealth that they obtain was handed down to them. They may work hard to keep what they have, but they did not come from rock bottom and work as hard as the 99% that are trying to make it there.    

Jobs Lost to Mc Donaldization

Mc Donald's has been a successful business because of it's effiency and predicability. Mc Donaldization is a substition of non-human technology. Behavior of the customers and workers in Mc Donald's is reduced to a series of machinelike actions. Ultimately, efficient technologies will replace much of the work that humans once perfored. Self-checkout lines in the supermarket are a prime example of this. The cashiers with their machinelike actions are being replaced with efficient non-human technologies. What other jobs can you think of that can be replaced that easy?

How do YOU show your religious identity ?

BY: Gabrielle Cecala

Whether you are atheist, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic or Hindu, we all have a religious identity. Some people reveal their religion through words, practices, clothing, tattoos, jewelry statues, figurines, paintings and even the way that they carry themselves s a person. 



Through our clothing we show what we believe. In Islam hijabs and jilbabs are worn for modesty. You may often see Muslim men with a beard wearing long robes and a kufi to display their religious identity.  Half of my family is Muslim and I, too one day will take my shahada, insha'allah. Many religions use pictures, statues, and ornaments to express faith in their homes. Islam is one religion that does NOT use statues or replicas of Allah or the prophet Mohammed. (صلى الله عليه وآله) Sometimes, henna is worn on the arms and feet of newly engaged and married women. In Hinduism saris are worn. Something similar to the hijab, but hair is still shown. Bindis are usually worn on the heads of married folks, but in certain occasions children wear it as well. An ignorant term that people usually call " a dot. " The real word is a bindi. Many Buddhists show their faith by jade bracelets and statues of Buddha and incense with offerings of fresh fruits. In Catholicism, crosses are usually worn as jewelry. Another popular trend that I have been seeing for a while now is people wearing rosaries. Many catholics and Christians get tattoos of crosses on their bodies to express their religious identity. Many of these religious are similar in a way. in almost all of these religions, everything that is bad for you is against that particular religion.


Some people are scared to defend and show their faith, for the fear of being judged. In almost every religion, if you are fearful of what others may think of you for defending or showing your religion, that is a sin. I, myself am not scared to show the world who I am. The world is one big place. We are all unique and different from each other. We are all our own individuals. There is no need to worry about what others think of you, as long as you are proud of who and what you are. Ever since 9/11, I must say that as an Arab-American, it is very hard to display religious identity without other judging you. Religion is supposed to bring peace to ones self and to others, whether they follow the same practices or not.

Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love or City of Bad Images?

By Diomassi Sissoko



Philadelphia is one of the biggest city in United States. It is full of histories of our nation. Starting by Liberty Belt to the Declaration of Independence. Philadelphia is the home of many heroes of the world; like Benjamin Francklin, Betsy Ross and many other people who worked hard to make United States a great country. Today Philadelphia is more than the city of brotherly love. A city that is consider as one of the poorest, dirtiest and crime city in the United States.

Philadelphia is the second dirtiest city in the U.S. Any where you are in the city, you can see trash in the floor. People are standing next to the trash cans, but they prefer troy trash in the floor.

Philadelphians or any other people are scare to be out at late night at Philadelphia because they don`t want to be victims of any type of crimes. Last summer many people did want to come to our city because of flash mob. For example, one day I was watching the news and a store was robbed and when they interviewed a woman from that city, she said that she was surprised to see a negative thing like this in her city. She said that she usually see bad thing like this in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is consider as one of the city with the highest rate of welfare especially food stamp. In the beginning of the school of this year, Philadelphia Mayor, Michael Nutter was obliged to go to Harrisburg, so the city can have more money for the education budget.

In conclusion, Philadelphia deserves more than being a city with negative images. We, Philadelphians need to work hard and take care of our city, so it can keep the image of the City of Brotherly Love and become one of the richest city in the United States. This are some links where you can find more negative things about Philadelphia:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/youve-damaged-your-own-race-philly-mayor-blasts-teens-flash-mobs/
http://cleanupphilly.blogspot.com/


Sunday, October 23, 2011

To Dread or Not To Dread......Is It REALLY a Question by Jaime Green









As u can see, my moms dreadlocks are down her back
Since Dreadheads, also known as people with dreadlocks are in a subculture of their own, I have decided to make my blog about them. But first, let me give you a little background: my mother has had dreadlocks for more than 10 years now. I can remember when i was younger her hair being very dry and I also remember those days where she would complain about her hair being un-tameable. She never seemed to like the outcome of getting it professionally styled and when she did, the style only lasted a few days. It never seemed to grow and looking back, she never, ever had a lot of hair. It was never long and in my personal opinion, was never pretty and full of life. So one day she came home with these little squiggly things in her hair and told me that she was starting dreadlocks. I didn't understand exactly what they were then, but, my my my what a difference a few years make.


Over the years, I have struggled with my 3 year old daughters hair. It is very, very dry. I'm not talking about dry but more like the Sahara Desert dry. Dry like 'who does this kid belong to dry' because surely she's not mine, I have curly, pretty, shiny hair. I have tried different hair greases, pomades, lotions, miracle creams and dare I say it, a texturizer in her hair!! I have tried putting it in little pony tails so that I could see where the grease was going & staying. Nothing seemed to work to combat her dryness plus I was having a problem making it grow!!     



My 3year old with a texturizer
My 3year old with her little pony tails
                                                                                I said to my mother one day, "I don't understand why all my children have nice hair and Carieamore's (my 3 year old) is un-manageable". She simply stated "chile she got hair like me so u better learn how to manage it, deal with it and make it work for you and her"!!!!!!!!!!
So on that day, wayyyyy back in June I started dreadlocks and I must admit, just like the style worked for my mother, it has also worked for both me and my daughter. Gone are the days of dryness, crying because I'm pulling it too tight and lord knows I save a bunch of money not having to buy hair grease and lotions. The best part is it looks healthy and is starting to grow.

a very, very close-up of Carieamore's hair

Every now and again I will get someone who stops me and asks me why did I decide to dreadlock my daughters hair?? And my answer is: To Dread or Not To Dread was NEVER really a question.....it just seemed like the right thing to do!!!!!




Collective vs. Individual Thinking

By: Clarence Parler

 For some time there has been a debate whether collective thinking has the potential to be more beneficial than individual thinking. Some would argue that collective thinking has the advantage of utilizing the skill sets of all of its members, while others would argue that individual thinking is a tool that can be used to promote personal expression and creative ability. Is there any possibility that we can overcome societal demands and become individualistic in our approach? There are those that will argue that one is not better than the other.  It is rational to accept the fact that it is all about personal preference. One may be better for an individual. I personally learn better and get things done quicker through solitary thinking. Others may benefit from social interaction and sharing new ideas. On a personal level, thinking is very private. Independent thinking is the desire and ability to convince ourselves that the information being presented is true or reasonable. Independent thinkers have the need to make sense of the world based on personal observations and experiences rather than just going along with the thoughts of others. While dependent thinkers uncritically accept whatever they are taught and don’t find the need to question information or ask themselves if the information really makes sense. Individuals think what they want. We as individuals can be as submissive or as aggressive as we choose to be within the confines of our own heads. There it is safe to think absolutely anything, because no one else knows.

Collective thinking is a hindrance to an individual’s personal growth and achievement potential. Individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking are compromised when group cohesiveness is placed at the forefront. Members of collective thinking groups are likely to avoid promoting their own point of views. There are several reasons for this. Many members within a group tend to avoid singling themselves out for fear of being viewed as foolish. They also may have a desire to avoid embarrassing or angering the other members of the group.  The Asch Experiment is one of many experiments conducted to measure the effect peer pressure could have on the thinking of an individual. According to Martyn Shuttleworth, “The Asch experiment showed that one voice can make a difference amongst many.”  In other words, it only takes one difference of opinion to cause the rest of the group to conform. Group thinking drastically alters the ability to think independently. Especially in instances such as the groups we are most closely associated with. The society in which  we grow up in has great influence on the person we become. If it is not carefully managed, humans have the tendency to take on the traits of those around them. They act and do as those around them act and do. Sociology is just one science that primarily focuses on social behavior and human groups. It studies social relationships and how those relationships influence people’s behavior. Richard T. Schaefer asserts, “A society is the largest form of human group. It consists of people who share a common heritage and culture. Member of this culture learn and transmit it from one generation to the next."  With that being said, it is safe to assume that we as humans are products of our surroundings. A good example of the adverse affects of collectivism would be the media. The underlying message that comes through media outlets is another form of group thinking that causes conformity to slogan thinking. We live in a society that depends on communication and information to keep moving in the “right” direction. We are exposed to it so much that it affects our everyday lives. The media basically shapes our beliefs, values, and decisions.  We are constantly exposed to images of violence, advertisements, sex, and much more. The media makes billions of dollars with advertising they sell and that we are exposed to. After seeing thousands of advertisements, we buy according to what we are told to be good. We make our buying decisions based on what we saw on TV, newspapers or magazines to be a product we can trust.

Dont  want to be confusing or contradictory, but I also dont want to be accused of being ethnocentric either. It can be argued that collective thinking is of great benefit to the member involved in the group. Group thinking allows you to draw on each group member’s knowledge and different perspectives. Groups are great for motivation as well. They force you to be responsible to others, allowing you to do more and better work on a project than you can do when only responsible for yourself.  Group thinking is effective at problem solving by incorporating the collective effort of the entire group. Gerard M Blair, author of “Groups that Work” asserts that “there is an added incentive that through belonging to a group each can participate in achievements well beyond his/her own individual potential.” This simply means each member of the team has their own unique abilities and expertise which enables them to collectively combine ideas and surpass the ability of an individual. Some of our greatest achievements in history have been made by a group of people. As one person has an idea, another person can add to it, until it is the best idea it can be. Everyone has strong points and weak points. By being in a group atmosphere, your weak points can be strengthened, and your strong points can be shared.

At the end of the day there is no clear cut winner. There are only those that prefer one or another.
You decide.
  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Would you be ok with a stranger holding your hands?

By: Rachel Morris

A discussion regarding norms is almost unavoidable when it comes to sociology. The possibilities of the discussion seem to be endless in regards to what topic brought it up. Someone could have been speaking of a co-worker who walks around the office barefoot or maybe they saw a tourist acting in a way that seemed so odd and out of place. In class we had discussed the unfortunate example of when the plane crashed in the mountains and the passengers had to resort to cannibalism to survive. I believe this is a perfect example of norms and how they can change in the blink of an eye to fit a specific situation.
This idea became abundantly clear to me this afternoon while in the nail salon. For those of you who have never had a manicure before, it is an extremely relaxing and enjoyable experience but at the same time it can be a very personal one as well. Basically you sit at a table across from a person whom you have never met and they cut, clean, file, and paint your nails; all the while they are holding your hands. I wondered in how many situations this would be acceptable. If this random person came up to me in the street and did the exact same thing would I be ok with it? Probably not, in fact I would think they were nuts. This realization became even more apparent when, at the end of the manicure you sit and wait for your freshly painted nails to dry, the same person who has been holding your hands for the past half hour begins to give you a back massage. One is rarely ever asked or even warned about the massage. Most of the time they have begun before you even know it is happening.  That being said however, I can honestly say that I have never once heard someone turn down the massage.  

Why is it ok for a perfect stranger to hold your hands and give you a massage in a nail salon, but completely inappropriate in just about every other situation? The only thing I can think of is the fact that from situation to situation norms change. They can change with time, place, person, and culture. What is normal in one instance might not be so in another.
This is an awareness that I hope to keep with me in the future. I believe it will help me to take the time to understand why people act the way they do in certain situations and hopefully because of this, I will not jump to conclusions because something does not seem “normal” to me.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Shades of Black ♪♫

-Brittni Green

   Internal racism is based on ignorance and low self esteem.  Its when a person is discriminatory against THERE OWN RACE.  This is very common in the black race.  Most black people whether they admit it or not view beauty in a girl as being light skinned, light eyes, straight hair..basically the farther she is from actually looking black the more beautiful she is.  I'll never forget the time when I was over my friends house we were both very cute little girls and were playing "wedding".  I did not want to be the groom but I ALWAYS was!! One day I asked her why I had to always be the groom and NEVER the bride.  She said because I was darker than her. I was sad for about 5 minutes then began to play again.  We are still close friends and she is so embarrassed whenever I bring it up.  Now looking back on it I try to wonder where she got her reasoning from and who or what was teaching her these things.
  
   Even more common is most black people refuse to ever want to be 100% black .  Most will say they are mixed with some type of Indian, white, Spanish, etc.  This is really sad however internal or internalized racism is often unconscious.  And a lot of the way African Americans  think in this country comes from the music, Rap music in particular.  A great example of a Rap artist who relentlessly lashes out at his own race is Lil Wayne.  I'm not saying he is the only one for all you Lil Wayne fanatics out there SO RELAX.  I'm just using him as an example.  So anyway he knowingly reinforces stereotypes that long hindered blacks, and also teaches young black males that a thuggish stance is the proper response to a presumptively racist society.  His music retards black success.  But anyway back to what I was saying despite his own skin complexion, his mom's skin complexion, and his very own daughter's skin complex,  relentlessly instills in his listener's mind that women are only beautiful if they are lighter skinned and have "European like" hair.  A good example of this is in his song "Right Above" Wayne says.. "Beautiful Black woman, I bet that bi%*# would look BETTER red."..  For those of you who don't know what was meant by this the term red is short for red bone which refers to a female with lighter skin.  SO basically what he meant by this is that all black females would look better if they were lighter skinned.  It boggles my mind that all in 10 words he called black females out of their name and discriminated against them!! There are many many MANY more examples I could give about him and his internal racism.  He can certainly have his own opinion and preference but WHY PUT OTHERS DOWN?  Its almost as if he hates himself actually.

    In conclusion internal racism AND rap music is the epitome of what is wrong with the minds of millions, blacks look to degrading drug addict entertainers as if there God and believe EVERYTHING they say. Truthfully most rap artist are demoralizing the minds of youth. Its a subtle form of brain washing if you ask me. Thanks for your time . Be sure to comment this one. =)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

hollywood stars why don't they obey the law












Why do people in Hollywood think they are above the law? I believe its because they are given a pass because of there bank statements and status among society and race as well. Ms. Lohan is a perfect example of this, she gets chances after chances to do the right thing and she doesn't are they serious crimes no! but if she were another race besides white she would be sitting behind bars rotting while she thought about what it is that she had done. What are the reasons behind that i ask you?

Crime in Philadelphia not by citizens but by police

In Philadelphia we have a high crime rate and people say we don't respect police officers, some police officers dont respect citizens. in this video police committed a crime against a 20 yr old woman, this is seen as a misunderstanding because they are held on a higher level then the rest of us. This is just a small sample of the things that police get away with in Philadelphia but also over the country. If an officer is shot or harmed does it make there lives worth more because they are police? When a regular person is shot,stabbed etc. it takes the cops for ever to show up but they shut the city down and find who did the crime against a cop.When it comes to us they ask us to do their job and find the person for them, i was aked this same thing. Some would say they keep us safe i beg to differ i think they instill fear in most. I would like to hear your thoughts on this. By Devin Barnes

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Test Driving A Spouse

Idalis Burgos

I was listening to Elvis Duran radio show in the morning on my way to school a few days ago and the topic of that day was the 2 year renewable contract marriages in Mexico.  Surprisingly, many of the callers were opposed to this kind of marriage arrangement.  I have always heard of contract marriages, but what I didn’t know was that somewhere in the world this is actually about to become legal, or the norm even.  If passed, the law is said to help newlyweds avoid the hassle of the tedious process of divorce.  The couples can sign a marriage contract with a minimum of two years with the option to opt out of the marriage after two years.  And I quote, "’the proposal is, when the two-year period is up, if the relationship is not stable or harmonious, the contract simply ends,’ says the bill's co-author, Leonel Luna of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, Reuters reports.”  If a couple wishes not to renew their contract they can walk away scot free, no legal hassle, and no dragged out legal matters.  This makes me wonder what effect this will have on the constitution of marriage. 
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2011/09/mexico-city-lawmaker-propose-renewable-marriage-contracts/1#                                                                 
Growing up, I always imagined getting married to the person that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  The culture in which I was raised taught me that you marry for love and you spend the rest of your life fighting for that love.  Wedding vowels are to be recited to your partner before family and friends and most importantly, locked and sealed before God.  And you spend the rest of your life compromising and growing in love unless it becomes harmful, dangerous or unfaithful.  If the idea of a renewable marriage contract spreads, why would anyone feel the need to salvage a marriage when in just two years, they can opt out?  In other words, why fix something that can easily be replaced?  Some people already take marriage as a joke and this will only reinforce that kind of careless behavior. 
Now, I understand that life doesn’t always work out as planned.  But throughout the course of the radio show, I still could not understand the idea of going into a marriage without the intent of spending the rest of your life with that person.  It just seems like God is being taken out of everything and being replaced with the government and what’s convenient.  The constitution of marriage is based on love, faithfulness and endurance amongst other things.  It seems so superficial, like leasing a car with the option to buy.  In this case, test driving a spouse with the option to renew your marriage contract.  I don’t know.  What do you all think?

Tes

Prison or Buisiness?

By: Damon Allen
Over the years i heard terrifying and horrifying stories about prison. Over and over again I hear stories of inmates fearing for their life, getting no attention from correctional officers or wardens, and being taught nothing to rehabilitate their selves. And that’s when i ask myself isn't the reason for prisons is to help one rehabilitate their self? but instead of inmates being help they are being pushed away, which cause inmates to come right back to incarceration after their release in most cases.
 That’s when I ask myself is prison rehab or business? I think business, why else wouldn't prisons help inmates rehabilitate themselves and why is there more laws being created and prison time for certain times being increased, prison makes million or maybe even billions of dollars a year off of prisoners, their food, phone calls and more.
According to www.cnn.com. There are more than 2 million inmates serving time in the United States, and America has the world's highest incarceration rate, and the revolving door helps keep those prisons packed: A 2002 study by the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 52 percent of released convicts were back in jail within three years.
I think people in charge of prisons should focus more on helping inmates fit back in society. Or prisoners should take it upon their self to help one another in prison with their problems and start a rehabilitative tactic on their own to help start put an end to this so called business.

The power of status and religion....

By Olaitan Okusaga

Early today, my sister came to me and ask me to tell her more on stigmatization in out society and I use a short film on the torture and murder of child designated as witches by Pentecostal priests in Nigeria. This is a perfect illustration of the way assigning statuses is a source of power as such statuses can involve stigmatization and marginalization. The latest issue of Al-Jazeera’s People and Power shows that a similar issue is present in Benin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ya8PNxuhDS8#!



The root of this is the belief, perpetuated by religious leaders of all kinds, in the supernatural. This belief is based on the idea that natural events always have supernatural explanations. Natural causes are not considered.
The question is, of course, how is this different from this?

Fundamentalist Christianity is of the same nature as the belief in witchcraft (replace gays with witches and you have the preferred scapegoat): supernatural causes explain everything, especially adverse events. Some of the scenes of the video above are no different that faith healers shows and rituals.

Asian Race

By: Jennifer Keo
My topic is about race.  Race is a classification of human population, being put into a more sample (smaller category) population.  they are classify into different categories by specific charactertics based on their appearances, culture, ethnically, and where they live.  There are Americans, Europeans, Asians, etc., races out in the world based on the definition of race.  People stereotype each other races' because of their misconception of the medias or their own ideas of what the race showcase or should/would be to them.  For example, people generally believe that black people are loud and rude, asian people are smart, and white people are racist or rule the world.  Not all people think this, but there are those who do, however the fact of the matter is, not all of these people within these races are any of what some people think of.  Another example, is when a person wears a glasses, people think that they are automatically smart and they should copy their homework or test from them.  Right now my topic is going to be of one race, and that will be the Asians because I'm asian and in my opinion I'm pretty good and understanding the diversity of the Asian culture. 

My topic is based on my experience and others I know who have experience the same and different stereotypical comments when people associate food and asian people.  I thought of this when my mom asked me to help her make egg rolls, knowing full well that I hate them.  When I told her for the 100th time I don't eat egg rolls, she roll her eyes and said that your not asian if you don't like egg rolls, and so on like a good mother would.  By the way, I had to go eat at McDanolds that day because my mother said she won't be making anything else, so starve (lovely).  As I was helping her make the egg rolls I wondered to myself, where in the world did she came up with that concept that every asian person loves egg rolls (like herself).  

 Soon I realizes that many people even outside the asian culture have once in their lives heard of egg rolls and assume that every asian person likes to eat them.  Whenever there are parties for anything like school's the teachers will always ask us to make egg rolls for the party, never spaghetti or rice and beans.  Generally that's what people think, and come to accept that as a fact.  later that day I was complianing to my non-asian friends and their reactions was shock.  Surprise!!  They asked me, why in the world I don't and am I not asian.  For two seconds that made me questioned that as well, but then I realize that I am my own individual and I don't have to live to everyone's else assumption or expectation because of my race.

I now recogize that people will assume certain things "to be the way" based on what they believe or see to be the way things are perceived.  In conclusion, my topic was referring to how people expect certain things from people because of their race.  This can be true for other reasons, like for people who graduated high school or didn't.  People will assume people who graduate will succeed in life, rather than those who didn't graduate.

Life is beautiful !

By: Gabrielle Cecala




    Life is a wonderful thing that many of us take for granted. To be able to smell, hear, feel, taste and see is so amazing.  The senses by themselves are completely & utterly  beautiful ! Many people  are born with disabilities and are not able to to do some or if any of these things. Some people live in absolute poverty and are not able to smell a home cooked meal, let alone eat one. Now-A-Days, We often take food, friends, love and life all for granted. There are children in the world that will never get to experience a hearty meal nor a real hug from someone who truly loves them. I know that we all have our problems, but there are others that have it so much more worse than we do. 

    Poverty stricken families are not only in 3rd world countries, but also here were we live. We pass by homeless people every day. Do you ignore their cries for change or do you give to those in need? In order to become a group or a culture, one must start it and others must follow. I speak about the homeless and hungry people because I have  helped those people. When I was younger, a few years back actually, I volunteered for 3 years at Methodist Hospital just so I can help those who are less fortunate than I am. There are people in those hospital beds that are left there to die and have no one to talk to nor visit them. I didn't know any of them , but I still cared for them as if they were my own family. I know what it is like to not have anyone and it is a terrible, miserable feeling. I have been starving with no food in my kitchen. I have seen my mother steal cat food just to feed our animals. I have been there and done that. To those of you that laugh at that, shame on you. To those of you that understand where I am coming from and what it is like to be at the lowest of low, follow with me. We don't need to give millions of dollars to charity in order to make a change. A penny can go a long way. Pennies amount to dollars. It seems as if now a days the norm is to not give to the homeless. It saddens me to see this type of behavior from people who I know and also whom I don't. Although "it's a recession" is a popular reason for not giving, through my eyes it's just a poor excuse to not give to those who need money more than we do. Next time you see someone in need, give a little .. I promise that good deed will come back to you 10 times greater.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Rebel" Label

By: Charnise Gillis

Finding jobs for people with felonies can be one of the biggest challenges that a person may face after being released from prison. Most inmates leave prison or jail with no savings, no stable housing, no health or unemployment benefits, and very limited job possibilities

Many have mental health problems or serious medical conditions, including HIV, hepatitis, and tuberculosis.

I believe citizens should be encountered on what they are doing now, not their past. We are only humans and are suppose to make mistakes in order to learn from them. Who is society to give a person a bad label for the rest of their life? Everyone has performed some type of sin and should never look at any other sin more horrible then theirs. We wouldn’t be the beautiful person that we are without performing mistakes.

More than 50% of all convicts will return to prison within the next five years after their release.

Although society wishes not to live in the same community as felons, they do not have enough organizations to help correct the lifestyle of a criminal. Instead citizens label them as a “rebel” and can care less to give them a second chance to become a law abiding citizen. As a result, many felons are forced to repeat criminal activity in order to survive in society.

Do you think the government is doing enough to help ex- offenders stay off the streets?



Friday, October 7, 2011

Prison: A Change is Needed

By:Shante Hall


As I rode by the castle like building I recounted all the horrific stories that I had heard that went on behind the stone building. Which once symbolized a building where those who housed it would be rehabilitated and helped to fit back into society as an active and upstanding citizen, now is as brutal and dangerous as being on the streets. The lack of caring that the correctional officers, wardens, and those in power have leads the defenseless to experience gang rapes, endure brutal beatings, and die from vicious killings. Unfortunately the penal system now reflects the same places that more than half of the inmates had come from, causing a sense of comfort. With the comfort of knowing that your old friends, new friends and family will all be there once your processed or will be arriving shortly after, the fact that you will be fed and have a warm (not so comfortable) bed to sleep in every night is partially the reason why many aren’t afraid to revisit the horrific place; these "accomodations" cause the reentry into society to be extremely hard. Shortly after you’ve entered the jail-house mentality will quickly set in, the need to protect your self by any means necessary and the willingness to physically fight anyone tooth and nail for what you believe in is quickly embedded into prisoners.(causing the fights that are showen below)





The part that saddens me the most about the prison system is the wasted intelligence. The many chemists, business men, and philosophers with so much knowledge of the street life they could give classes to help other children who are also growing up in a rough environment realize there’s more to life than slinging crack rock. Barbers, lawyers, and inventors; can you imagine how intelligent the convict is who invented make shift clippers and needles for tattoos.  If those in power were to accurately assess and watch these inmates they’d to realize the intelligence they possess. And instead of investing in their downfall, more investment in there techniques  will began to take place causing a tremendous turn around in society. The investment into these inmates futures will give them a sense of hope, organizing recreational activities, more schooling oppurtuties and rewards for participation will show them a sense of self-worth, and giving the inmates a sense of responsibility will result in less time to commit "in-prison crimes."
The penal system should try harder to getting back to rehabilitation. Stop treating these inmates like caged in animals and understand that we as humans make mistakes. Give them something more to look forward to, make them choose a program once they enter the system. Assign advocates and counselors to the prisoners, there shouldn’t be an option not to get up, these inmates need structure. Because of where most of them come from structure is a virtue they lack, the feeling of someone caring and having a role model is often unheard of, so if prison is the place where they’ll get it than so be it. Prison shouldn’t be considered a place where you just serve time and receive “three hots and a cot”; it should be a much more structured environment where success is the only option. If there were more rules and regulations concerning success in the penile system the likelihood of over crowding, the brutal crimes I mentioned earlier, recidivism, and the lack of being able to fully function in the environment will be null and void.
A change is needed!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

To Rehabilitate or Not To Rehabilitate

 By Aleshia Satterthwaite
Prisoners should ask themselves the question when walking in the doors of prison. Should I walk the path of rehabilitation or not walk the path of rehabilitation. The justice system in America has changed over the centuries. We have gone from the 1800s using the guillotines and hanging a criminal for petty theft to so-called “rehabilitation” of criminals. Our prison systems are flawed and have failed to prevent prisoner from becoming repeat offenders. I do not blame the prison system for the offenders actions that cause their returning to a life of crime, that is a chose that individual made.  Repeat offenders became comfortable in prison, which is why they do not hesitate to return to jail. However I do fault the system for not developing programs in the prison that humanly teach prisoners how to enter back into society. Some prisoners sadly may never be able to function in society. There norm is the behavior they learn in the prison system, which is not accepted in society.
 Some have left the prisons with knowledge of how to become a smarter criminal. Their peers have taught them how not to be caught the next time they commit a crime. I do not think prisoners should have a choice how they spend their time in prison. I feel a prisoner should have to work hard educating themselves and walk the right path. They should not just be sitting waiting for their time to end. Prisoners that exit American jails have very little chance of starting a new life after serving time. There are no jobs, and sometimes they do not have the support of family members.  Society has already labeled ex-offenders as untrusted.  That is why some prisoners do not look forward to leaving jail.
  
America must to do a better job assisting inmates to walk the correct path by developing programs that are mandatory to pass in order to make parole. Some individuals do not want to be rehabilitated, they rather be institutionalized.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Deviate From The Norm

Take The Path Less Traveled-

As I sit here trying to think of what would best be considered 'deviant' to write about, it dawns on me that over the past few decades the line between 'deviancy' and 'the norm' has been so far obscured that it's almost impossible to tell what would actually fall into that category. In today's world, there are so many people from various different walks of life all living in the same space that what once may have been considered deviant behavior is now something you see every day on the streets. Whether we realize it or not, most of the people we meet deviate from what many consider to be 'the norm' at least a few times throughout their lives. Most of them probably even break 'the norm' on a daily basis. But what would really define 'normal' these days? In a major city like Philadelphia, deviancy has practically become the new norm. I can think of no better example than myself.



Believe it or not, I'm actually at work in this picture.
 
Looking back, I realize that whether I ever knew it before or not, I've consistently been deviating from what many would consider a 'normal life path' for the better part of the past decade. Even now, when people ask me what I do for a living, they often don't believe me because my job sounds so unrealistic and so outside of 'the norm' for someone my age (or anyone for that matter) that I must be making something up. What do I do you ask? I'm Editor in Chief for a major comic book website (Comicbooked.com). That’s right, my job is to read and write about comic books, and I do all of this while still working on my bachelors degree, all because I deviated from 'the norm' and quit my day job to follow my dreams.


My life was never necessarily easy in high school, and during my first few years I had to deal with the death of a parent as well as a highly debilitating illness (no worries, I've since gotten better) that prevented me from going to school on a regular basis. By the time I was sixteen, my grades were completely shot due to poor attendance, and any chance I had of getting into a good college went right out the window. By age seventeen I had completely dropped out of high school and had stopped doing a whole lot of anything with my life. I spent the better part of a year just hanging out with my friends, playing video games, playing guitar and reading comics; essentially living the teenage dream. Outside of my own father, no one really supported me in my decision to do any this, and the majority of the people in my life looked at me with a certain stigma because I wasn't doing what they considered the be the right thing or 'the norm'. I eventually figured out that I wanted more from life and took steps to go back and finish school of my own volition, graduating with top marks and moving on to college, where you can find me today. I honestly don't think I would have made it as far as I have in life if I didn't drop out of school for that year to figure out who I really was. Deviating from the usual path most people follow probably saved me from a life of misery and helped to catapult me into every geeks dream job.

So what is 'normal'? Who really decides what 'the norm' is and sets that standard? Society may have its standards that we’re all subliminally expected to live by, but as the world grows and society evolves, we're going to be seeing a lot less normalcy and a lot more deviation.


-Jordan DesJardins