Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Fresh Prince Goes Gangster.

Flipping through my channels last night I stopped at one of my all time favorite movies. Not only was I ecstatic to catch Bad Boys 2 on TV but I turned it on just as my favorite scene was about to start. In this scene, Reggie, a 15 year old kid is coming to pick up Marcus' daughter for a date. Marcus, a police officer, and his partner Mike (Will Smith) decide to have some fun with Reggie.

Now I've seen this movie a hundred times and watched this scene over and over. I've never seen it like this though. Through the eyes of a sociologist, this is a very intriguing scene. Mike, who throughout the rest of the film was well spoken and charming, begins playing a character he invented on the spot, who was recently released from prison. He attempts to intimidate Reggie with a deeper voice, and slang speech of a "thug" and uses increased profanity and the word "nigga" excessively. He also drinks from a bottle on cognac and casually swings around a pistol.

While a successful vehicle for a humorous scene, one must wonder how these stereotypes Mike is exploiting for comedy come across to a younger generation. Does this tell youth that in order to gain respect and be intimidating you must go to prison and carry a weapon?

In the scene, Mike and Marcus' change of language is accidentally a commentary on what is expected if you want to be a movie star, and what is expected if you want to make it in the streets. It's so funny to the viewer, because its so unexpected in a Hollywood movie. Very rarely would a producer be so cavalier to let such language that would be "offensive" to the masses into a blockbuster.

The message most would get from this scene is that Reggie should be scared, because Mike is a gangster. But is that the message we want to give to America's youth, particularly America's black youth that may look up to Will Smith as a role model? The stigma that black people are scary and "gangster" is already a stereotype that too many buy into. While this scene is hilarious, I'd say it definitely toes the line of good taste.

Besides, I'd be more nervous if I was picking up a date and a cop answered the door.

         -Eric Lucier

Shooting For The Stars

The crime in Philadelphia needs to stop the police brutality and the homicides.There have been 302 homicides in Philadelphia this year already surpassing last years mark of 282 and there is still a month left in 2011. All of the stop the violence campaigns and the "Put It Down" campaigns seem to be going unheard in the streets. Something more needs to be done. There is youth killing other youth over the dumbest things some things that were solved by a simple fist fight back in the day have now turned into an automatic call for a shootout. This is partially the medias fight but about 90% is due to the environment that the kids grow up in.if you grow up seeing people getting killed, hearing shootouts and seeing people wave guns at every person they have a problem with your mindset will more than likely point you in that direction.

All these campaigns are focusing on getting guns off the streets when in actuality guns are not the problem. People are the problem. have you ever seen a gun walk up and kill someone? NO! There has always been guns on the streets that hasn't changed the mindset of the people has changed. If you want to make a solid difference you need to get to the people that have the mindset of "I'm going to kill everyone that looks at me wrong" and try to see why they think that way. Lives are way to precious to be taken away at the hands of an idiot with a gun over the smallest things like money, someone mouthing off or even someone talking to a certain female or male. It's all about the mind set of the people some people just flat out don't care but some just are pressured into committing a homicide or some feel forced into it.

No matter how you look t it guns are and will be a problem for years to come until you can sit down and get within the minds of these people and change their views. Education is the number one key some people feel trapped in poverty therefore they will do what they have to do to live even if that means taking another persons life. If i was president i'd do 3 things and i guarantee you'd see a decrease in homicides 1) lower the cost of things slightly 2) create more jobs and 3) make higher education more affordable. these 3 things would get people off the streets, working, learning and make things more affordable. Hopefully one day someone will see things my way and make a change but until that day i can only pray that i'll live to see tomorrow. 

-Aaron Johnson

The Expense of Healthy Living

Why is being healthy so expensive?
By Jordan DesJardins

Earlier this week in class we discussed the matter of healthcare and our social status. Generally speaking, healthcare is generally better for those with a better financial and social status. But what about trying to be healthy even when you aren’t sick? Is that a privilege of social status as well?

The United States is fighting a losing battle against a major health crisis; obesity. In a world where there are people starving every day with next to nothing to eat, there are plenty of American’s gorging themselves on junk food out of boredom. We are living in a country where we worship things like “Epic Meal Time” (although that series is based in Canada) and have foods like the “Double Down” (a sandwich that has replaced the bread with fried chicken breasts, filled with bacon and cheese). While I can’t vouch for everyone, that scares the hell out of me. But the real question we have to ask is, whose fault is it?

Recently, I’ve been trying to get into a healthier physical shape with a combination of diet and exercise, cutting junk food and fast food from my diet and working out when I can. Luckily I have the option of the free gym here on CCP Campus, but what about everyone who doesn’t? I looked into signing up for a gym membership recently and no matter what gym I went to, they wanted an atrociously large sum of money just to sign up to go there, not to mention the monthly membership fees. Should it be a privilege of social status and financial standing to be able to get into shape? The cheapest gym I could find to sign up for was Planet Fitness, who wanted $80 to sign up on top of a $20 a month membership fee. While I make a modest living working for my job, I’m still a broke-ass college student, and don’t really have that kind of extra money just sitting around when I have bills to pay.

The real problem lyes in the food we’re eating. I tried to shop healthy the last time I went to the grocery store, buying lots of fresh fruits and veggies and dropping junk food to try and have a properly balanced diet, and my bill ended up being almost double the usual amount! I think that explains a lot about the health condition of the country. If someone doesn’t have a lot of money and needs to eat, are they going to get the $4.99 salad or the $.99 double cheeseburger from McDonalds? We eat what we can afford, and what has been made available and affordable to the majority of us as a nation is killing us slowly with obesity.

Are there alternatives? Sure! You could always go the old fashioned route and just exercise by jogging or doing sit ups, push ups and crunches! If you can afford it, spend that little extra on the healthy alternative, it could very well save your life later.

Poverty in front of our eyes

By: Kardia Rowe

When we hear the word poverty, we think of the countries oversea where people have no food, living in tents, drinking from dirty water and walking around without cloths. There are many people who think that there is no poverty in there state or city they live in. poverty is not just about the kids we see on TV, walking around without any shoes and are food deprived.

            In Philadelphia, there is more poverty around us than anyone could think. When we walk on the street we see a lot of homeless people begging for money or food because people won’t give them a chance at a job. According to the U.S census, 29 percent of residents in Philadelphia 1st Congressional District live in poverty. Out of the 10 largest cities in the country, Philadelphia is the poorest. Philadelphia also contains the largest number of children who are living in poverty. Parents have to go days without eating so their children could eat. They also have to decide on whether they have to buy food or pay the rent.

  A mother should never have to let their child go to school hungry. Hearing a child complaining that they are hungry is a mother’s fear. I knew poverty was around me in my city, but I never knew it was this bad. Even though it has gotten worst since the fall of the economy, but it was basically passed down from one generation to the next.

Rethinking Religion

by: Michelle Kasprzak

          Religion has been the cause of many disputes for thousands of years. In today's society, the ethnocentrism displayed by Christians causes conflict between them and other religious groups residing in America- especially Muslims. Muslims are a sub-culture to the more popular group of Christians, but does that mean that they are all terrorists or inclined to violence?
          Recently, Christians have had a hard time adjusting to the fact that Muslims are becoming increasingly more dominant especially in some regions of the U.S. Christians in areas densely populated with Muslims have spoken out about their difficulty adjusting to the appearance of mosques in their neighborhood and do not like the prayer call that is played. In the episode of '30 Days' we watched in class, people were saying that when they thought of Muslims they thought of terrorists, violence, Aladdin's flying carpet and 9/11. Perhaps if Muslims, and other religions, were portrayed in the media with a more reputable manner there would be less misconception.
            I will admit I was a bit shocked when I saw this. I took this picture on my phone because when people noticed it they were being very rude by laughing, staring and making churlish remarks. I couldn't understand why it was such a controversy, yet no one sees a problem when a Christian blesses themselves when they hear an ambulance. Until people accept other religions and cultures and all religions are portrayed positively in the media there will be religious inequality.


by Jessica Vazquez

   I work at CVS/pharmacy were being a normal cashier is out of the question.  Self checkouts have taken over, and become a major part of our everyday life. They are in your local grocery store, and now “for your convince”, at your local pharmacy. They are an alternative way to get you the customer in and out of the store more quickly. In the economy that we have today, is self checkouts really what’s best? On a regular day at work I get at least four to six complaints about them. Not because it is not functioning correctly, but because the customers feel like the self checkouts are putting people out of jobs. As a cashier there, I really never seem to mind them much. It gives me a chance to do other task throughout my day, also allows me not to have to interact with nasty customers. What I had to ask myself was is that really standing up to having true customer service? Not at all, some people including myself believe that the one on one interaction with the customers seem to make a difference. Something else I had to think about was that instead of having four cashiers on that shift with the self checkout all they need is one. In my opinion the shelf checkout only benefits the retailer. The retailers save money on reducing the number of staff they have.

                Karl Marx’s had a theory which they now call Marxism.  He believed that are social economy was ruled by the wealthy upper class simply for their own benefits. Marx’s brought socialism to the light. Socialism is having the social owner ship of a production or management.  Self checkouts are only benefited by the corporate enterprises.  A machine is taking the place of a job that a human being may need to support their selves or family. So, does replacing a person’s job with a machine really make it more convent for the customer or the company?

A Lil Something Called SEX =)

By Charnay Wilson
Sex is something that is supposed to happen. Although sex is considered “natural” there is a right way, and a wrong way. God created man and woman so that they can populate the earth. Sex is something that is supposed to be sacred, but with the help of the media and the lack of sex education from the parents and schools, sex is something that can kill you. Sex is everywhere, TV, radio, movies, and even in books. Everything that children have free access to contains sex.
Today children are exposed to many things that they shouldn’t be exposed to. Especially in the urban community, and low income families. Personally I blame the parents. Children only see and do what their parents allow them to do. Even if the child sneak and do something that they know that they shouldn’t, at least they have enough respect and common sense and not let their parents or other grownups find out.  
Today children are growing up with the wrong idea about sex. They believe that is just all about fun, they really don’t understand the negative effects that come with sex. That’s why there is a high rate of STD‘s and STI‘s among teens and young adults. They are not informed on how to protect themselves. It’s sad because there are young men and women out here with HIV, and there are some women as young as 13 who are having children and will never have a real chance to enjoy their childhood. There should be more programs available to teach young people the dos and don’ts. It is a shame that these children are losing their lives and their childhood all because of something called SEX.  

"Bystander Effect on Septa"

By: Charnise Gillis

Thanksgiving holiday weekend was one of the first times in a long time I have encountered a Bystander Effect. A Bystander Effect refers to a phenomenon of when the greater the number of people present, the less likely an individual will help a person in distress. A person is more likely to help out in an emergency situation if there are no other observers around. That is totally insane. Why is this statement true? Studies have shown that the presence of other people creates a diffusion of responsibility. This is when people are less likely to take action or feel a sense of responsibility in the presence of a large group of people. If there are other observers during an emergency situation, then many individuals do not feel the pressure to help the person in need. Some people do not take need of action because when other people do not react on the situation then the individual may feel that the response is not needed or appropriate. Also, individuals do not feel the need to intervene on a situation if it is ambiguous.
One night my friend and I decided to travel on the bus and we noticed a man leaned over in his seat. A young lady said that he has been on the bus for two whole hours and have not awakened. I asked, “Did you try to wake him or feel his pulse”, she said calmly, “No”. I told the bus driver and he just seem like he didn’t care and proceeded to drive his regular bus route. A man shouted out, “He must be dead!” Eventually, my friend and I stop came up and I felt so ashamed and sad. Questions raced through my mind asking, “Charnise, Why didn’t you do anything?” My response was because I am always running to someone’s rescue during an emergency situation, and just once I wanted to give someone else a chance to save a life.
What would you have done?

AIDS......still here.

by: Erich B.Coppersmith

Tomorrow is World AIDS day and I sit here with so many thoughts and emotions swirling around in my brain like a tornado. Trying to organize my thoughts so that they are coherent is proving rather difficult.

 The issue of HIV/AIDS is very close to home for me. Being born in the 1960's made my coming of age coincide exactly with the discovery of HIV/AIDS. Just as I was beginning to come to terms with my own sexuality, despite viscious verbal and physical attacks at school and at home ; I remember watching in horror the stories on the television news about the "gay cancer" and with the  little information there was available I became absolutely terrified. No one knew for sure how you got "it" but it seemed that if you were gay you  were going to get it.

The images splashed all over the television and the papers of people, mostly gay men, completely stripped of their dignity lying in their death beds covered in sores some weighing in at only 80 pounds; will forever be burned into my mind. The vehemence with which  the religious right-wing  and the conservatives attacked the dying was absolutely disgusting. Even the President of The United States of America, Ronald Reagan, was in denial  regarding the epidemic. People , hundreds, thousands were getting sick and dying and our government officials did not seem to care.

 Since those afflicted were marginalized citizens from the fringes of society and deemed by the ecclesiastes and conservatives as perverts and sinners, it was what they deserved. This was the message I received as a teenage boy trying to become a man. Now with this new "gay cancer" would I ever even get to become a man? The conservative climate of the 1980's made it very difficult to "come out" to begin with but with the introduction of HIV/AIDS a lot of young men felt the only  choice was between two wooden boxes , a coffin or a closet. Many of those not yet dying  quietly crawled back into their closets and nailed the door shut some taking another decade or more to reveal their true selves.

Looking back now it seemed almost as soon as I found out about HIV/AIDS I got a very grave phone call from a friend of a friend. Immediately I knew by the tone of his voice what the nature of this call was. He said it was Ricky, I gasped  and dropped the phone. With tears welling up in my eyes and choking on my every word I asked if I could see one of the first friends I made as an adult. We went to visit Ricky where he lived  in a very fashionable part of town. We entered  his beautifully decorated apartment now dark and lifeless with all the curtains drawn and in silence , slowly walked to the living room where he was laid out like some silent film star on a giant red velvet chaise lounge. The bed in his bedroom was too high off the ground for him to safely get in and out. Looking like a withered caricature of his once handsome and vibrant self, I knelt beside him a little afraid to touch him at first and after a moment I could no longer hold back the flood of emotion I burst into tears as I held his hand. He pulled me close and told me that he had lived a wonderful life and that his dying wish was for his "gay family" to do the same and not be sad for him. Two weeks later Ricky died. The first adult gay friend I ever had also became the first person I knew to die of AIDS. Very sadly Ricky was not the last person in my life I was to lose, there were many more.

 I soon became determined to not die in a box from this disease or be sequestered in the closet. I got involved in ACT UP,PFLAG, The Youth Attic and a few other oranizations dedicated to the survival of PWA's and the education of those  who were not infected. I marched on Washington, D.C. three times with hunreds of thousands of other like mined people. I delivered food with MANNA. I tried to make a difference, to make it easier for someone else to live with or die from AIDS.

 Being involved with HIV/AIDS from the very beginning has given me a long range perspective on the epidemic. I feel that HIV/AIDS  has not been given the amount of  focus in the last 10 years that it truly needs, this is a GLOBAL EPIDEMIC!! This disease is still here! It is not over yet!We can NEVER do enough to help those afflicted and stigmatized. We MUST  do all we can to educate those in our lives and around the world. Get tested, know your status. Be safe, educate others.
 As long as anyone has AIDS.... we all do.

In Loving Memory of  Ricky Mercado (1956-1987)


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Melanie Hines- Health Blog

  During my routine Saturday morning trip to target, I ended up in fresh produce section picking up grapes and bananas for my three year old daughter. While pushing my cart towards the next isle, My train of thought was interrupted when I suddenly became head on with an oncoming cart, after sharing an apologetic smile with the young lady steering, I couldn't help but notice the infant that was staring up at me from a car seat. She was adorable, dressed in all pink except for the white and purple polka dot bib around her neck covered in bright orange smears of cheese. To my surprise this infant was chomping on a cheese puff. After making my own assumption that this baby was no older than nine months, I cooed over her and asked " how old is she?" The young lady pushing the cart replied with a huge smile. "Shes just six months, and she weighs 22 pounds already! She eats everything!!" My initial thought was well I'm sure you GIVE her everything to eat. I couldn't help thinking about this all day, then suddenly it hit me that it was the perfect idea for a health blog.

At six months of life, an infants intake should be restricted to milk (breast/formula), water, and sometimes a serving of rice cereal depending on the digestive system. In no scenario should an infant have cheese puffs, chips,or anything of that matter as a snack. Not only was this snack high in sodium, but dairy products are harsh on adults digestive systems, I can only imagine the affect it would have on an infant. I pondered all day on the fact that someone would even make that choice for their child. I always look at infants and think of how they are like a blank book, just waiting to pages to be filled with knowledge, manners, habits that all come from people that care for them. If you make a choice to pacify your baby with food, and unhealthy snacks then these are the eating habits they will have throughout their lives. I was astonished that this lady not only seemed entertained by the fact that her child was morbidly overweight, but she still had the nerve to show the world how the baby became that way by feeding her junk food in the middle of the store. I assume she will not be happy with what the end results of these behaviors include; heart disease, diabetes, asthma, insomnia, and depression are all side effects of obesity. 12.5 million children in America are obese. Also, when one parent is obese there is a fifty percent chance the children will be as well.

Changing eating habits isnt the easiest thing to do, but it would be the smartest choice to make. If not for ourselves we need to set positive examples for children, ours or even the ones we run into at target. A proper diet and daily exercise is the key to healthiness. I have made the decision to eat to live, rather than livng to eat, and i feel better already.


By Iqmat Adediran:

Sports can have a great impact on people and society. Watching sports such as Olympic Games and the soccer/football World Cup inspires people with excitement. Playing sports can give people joy. Some people work as professional players, and some people work in areas which are related to sports. Besides these positive and well-known effects of sports on people and society, sports play very important roles in social change in many areas of the world in many aspects, for instance, peace building, health promotion, educating youth, social inclusion, promotion of living condition. Sports have also helped to promote the fight against racism all over the world. 

An organization called "Homeless World Cup" in UK changes living conditions of homeless people through soccer. They started World Cup for homeless people in 2003 with 5 national teams. In 2007, number of participating countries grew into 48 from all over the world, such as USA, France, China, Norway, and Cameroon. Members of each team have been selected through trial in each country. It is estimated that about more than 25000 homeless people have access to trainings or trials. Statistics shows that the activity has brought great changes to their life. After World Cup in 2006, 92% have a new motivation for life (342 players), 89% have improved social relations (331 players), 35% have secured regular employment (130 players), 44% have improved their housing situation (164 players), 39% chose to pursue education (145 players), etc. Soccer gave them motivations and opportunities to improve their life and living conditions. Sports are also used as a tool for promoting human health. 

Many researches have resulted that common health problems and diseases such as obesity, mental illness, cancers, diabetes, can be prevented or risk of getting them can be lowered by experiencing proper amount of physical activities. In addition to this, especially in developing countries, sports provide opportunities for health education. As it is well-known, spread of AIDS is very serious issue which is likely resulted because of the lack of proper health education. Many organizations gather youth and they play some sports together. Sports help people to develop close relationship very quickly which makes easier for them to talk about serious issues such as how to protect themselves and others from AIDS. In this case, sports provide people opportunity of physical fitness and health education. Sports can have positive impacts in society. What have to be considered is how to utilize sports and for whom and in what situation we are trying to make changes. By doing so, perhaps it is possible to foster a better society through the power of sports and expand the impact of sports on people and society.

Does Our Social Class Depend On Our Health Insurance?

 By: Johnnylee Benitez

     The first health insurance plan was brought up on the Civil War (1861-1865). The coverage was accidents with travel with rail or steamboats. As the years went by more and more policies past. Later in the 1940's and 1950's the employee benefits plan came about. Their was coverage for just about anything, until in the 1990's Clinton purpose that all Americans get health care; but Congress opposed because of cost. (Northern California Neurosurgery Medical Group).
     Now in 2011, our health insurance as skyrocketed. It has become unequal for the rest of our society who are not while or middle-class living in suburban areas, also known as the "Conflict Theory". In Chapter 14, of the textbook they have listed the inequalities in health insurance. (page.358)
  • Unequal distribution of health care by race-ethnicity, social class, or gender.
  • Unequal distribution of health care by region.
  • Inadequate health education of inner-city and rural parents.           
     To answer the question , yes your social class does matter to whether or not availability is in order for health services. "In the United States, social class has a pronounced effect on health and the availability of health services. The lower the social class status of the person or family, the less access they have to adequate health care (Jacobs and Morone,2004)." (Textbook,page 360) It's written in black ink that your social class determines how good your health care is that you receive.  


Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas vs Xmas

By: Aleshia Satterthwaite

With Christmas approaching many people have begun shopping and preparing for the wonderful day. The toy stores are busy with frustrated parents trying to find that must have toy. As the department stores become crowded, shoppers will become ruder as the day draws near. Credit cards are being max out by people who will later regret how they spent and will complain about interest rates.  Some people are actually dreading Christmas, because they believe the holidays are stressful and overwhelming.  It appears Christmas has become a commercial holiday. Society looks at it as a way to stimulate the economy. Society has taken the Christ out of Christmas. What is the true meaning of Christmas?



Do not let Christmas become a hassle.   Christmas is a holy day celebrated by Christian around the world. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Jesus is the ultimate Gift given by God to a virgin named Mary.
Some have taken the Christ out of Christmas, by writing or speaking Xmas. Do not take the Christ out of Christmas. Instead, celebrate Christmas by smiling at someone. Feeding someone that is hungry. Provide shelter for someone that sleeps under the stars. Christmas is a season of giving.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Public Schooling by Chavelle Carter

It is believed here in the United States that "schooling" makes each person a good citizen, and most of us accept these goals in one form or another as a decent definition of public education. We have been taught to believe that "schooling" is synonymous with "success". Public schools train children to be employees and consumers and not leaders. Public schools train children to establish fixed habits of reacting to authority. Public schools train children to conform because conformity is predictable. Pubic schools are meant to determine each childs role in society and once their role is determined they are sorted and trained for that role, and mandatory public schooling is experimentation on young minds to conform childrens habits and attitudes to what society demands. If the underclass children are divided by subject, by age-grading, by constant ranking on test, and separated in childhood it is unlikely that the ingnorant mass of mankind will ever reintergrate. It is believed that a small group of children (Cognative Elite) will be taught to manage the deliberately dumbed down population so that the goverment  might proceed unchanged and unchallenged. Their is a road block in the broken public school education system with it's ineffecent and forced confinement of students. The working class and the poor are denied the same opportunities as the upper class. What do you think about "Public Schooling"? 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Public School Education by Kardia Rowe

            While browsing through a web site call This week in education, I came upon this cartoon. It catches my attention because of what is said on it, “The end of public education is near”. This is saying that the kids who are in public schools will now be going to another school that is not public. everyone is just giving up on the public school system when it’s not the school itself, it’s the kids that are in the school who don’t have any respect and don’t want to get an education. Even if they do want an education, there are others who are trying to mess it up for them. Over the past couple of years graduation rate in public schools has risen around the nation but let’s take one city for example. In Philadelphia, it has been raised to more than 60% over the past 6 years.

            At the bottom of the cartoon, it says “would that be such a bad thing?” the thing that some people need to get is that it would be a bad thing for low income parents. Parents don’t just send their child to public school because they want to some parents send them because they can’t a better education for their child. Another thing is that most of the good teachers are put in some of the best schools, while there are teachers who don’t want to teacher are left in public school, so the students don’t want to learn anything.

In conclusion, at the end of the day, public education is what most parents have to rely on, especially when there is no other chose. Every child had heard the key phrase, “Education is the key to success”. No matter what they want to be in life but sometimes it’s not just the parents that needs to push them, they also needs help from the teachers,

RIP Middle Class by Johnny Perez

The middle class are usually the people who are living pretty well in life. They’re not rich and they are not poor. To be considered middle class you make enough money to pay off your bills and living expenses but at the same time be able to save money. I think determining who is in middle class and isn’t is sometimes hard to determine. As are economy is getting worst I have recently read that little by little are middle class will be disappearing and will no longer exist there will just be an upper and lower class.The reason for this is because Americans sense of direction has become worst as years have gone bye. Not only is are economy becoming worst but are citizens are becoming bad citizens. Many Americans today have no culture, no heritage, and no real activities besides going to their jobs and doing personal things. Americans aren’t really aware about whats going on because many are caught up in their own lives. The education system continues to fail which makes things even worst.

    The upper class will continue to become richer and are lower class will  never be able to upgrade themselves to middle class citizens because are middle class will be wiped out soon.  As we loose more and more jobs, this will begin to effect are middle class. The cost of living is becoming high and soon job cuts will get to are middle class. Middle class citizens will soon have to downgrade and become part of the lower class citizens.
At this rate  America will have 2 classes the 2 percent who are really rich truly the upper middle class. Then the other 95 percent percent who will become to wonder if they have enough money to buy something that is worth having.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


By: Diomassi Sissoko

Black Friday is the day people have being waiting for many months. It is the day in which people in United States spend millions and millions of dollars. Many people start their holiday shopping in Black Friday especially gifts for Christmas

According to Orange County Register, in 2010, 212 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 195 million in 2009. Total spending last Black Friday reached an estimated $45 billion. The number of people who began their Black Friday shopping at midnight tripled in 2010 from 3.3 percent to 9.5 percent . In last Black Friday By 4 am., nearly one-fourth (24%) of Black Friday shoppers were already at the stores. Thanksgiving Day shopping – both online and in stores  has doubled over the past five years, from 10.3 million in 2005 to 22.3 million in 2010

Many people spend hours and hour sat the doors of stores so they can buy what they need in cheaper prices


Like you can see in this video, people are going crazy so they can have what they need.

This year, stores like Target, Best Buy, Kohl, and Walmart are opening their doors at 12:00 am in Black Friday.

To conclude, this year many people may not have the time to enjoy their Thanksgiving dine if they want to have best deals in Black Friday because many stores will open at 12:00 am in Black Friday.


There are many instances in which our justice system has failed us. There are many people accused of a crime they did not commit, but are imprisoned anyway. There are times when people who are simply walking down the street are pulled aside by police and are forced to undergo a search just because of their race. How about the numerous times the police pull a car aside just because it has tinted windows, or even because the person simply "looks" suspicious? It is sad to think we can't even trust the justice system in our country. To think that many leave their own country to escape the unfairness of their government when our own is simply the sneakier version of what they escaped.

An example of the corruption of our justice system would be the case of Dewey Bozella. This man was accused of murdering a 92 year old woman. However, Dewey was far from the crime. Two convicts were told that if they testified against Bozella they would be able to obtain their freedom. Justice? I don't think so. It does not stop here though. All evidence in favor of Bozella was destroyed by the police. When a suspect came and confessed to the crime nothing was done about it. I cringe when I think about our justice system. Bozella was imprisoned for 26 years, and he was given several "opportunities" to be a free man. He was given the option to confess. However, he stated he would rather die than confess to a crime he did not commit. He stayed in prison and never backed down. He didn't let his situation take him down though. He got his GED in prison and began boxing. He sent letters to the Innocent Project until they finally took up his case. They uncovered a file that proved his innocence and was finally a free man after 26 years.

This is only one of the many cases the justice system has failed to do its job. How can they call it the justice system when they constantly frame a person for something he/she didn't do? The definition of justice is to act or treat justly or with fairness. Dewey's case was far from it. The very sad thing about the justice system is that it seems to get worse. How can we stop corruption in this world if the justice system itself seems to be corrupt?


Keila Olmo

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wrinkles Are Things To Be Ashamed Of

By Linda Spector

What I am going to tell you is a family secret. In my family nobody knows how old my mother is. I am not exactly sure, but for the past five or six years my mother has told everybody that she is 49 years old. My mother is terrified of aging, so she decided to freeze her age. Many women in our society are frightened of getting older because the media and society have decided that women are less attractive and less productive as they get older.

Today we can see in the media how women are discriminated against as they get older. We see older actresses and models that look exactly the same as when they were twenty years old. My mother thinks that if she reveals her real age she is going to be discriminated against, and people are going to see that she has lost her youth. Many women today get surgeries and take rejuvenation pill to stop the aging process; my mother stopped celebrating her birthday. For many years I thought that my mother was acting irrational, but today I understand her fear.

Our society has decided to devalue women as they get older, and the media and advertisement companies have taken advantage of this fear to enrich their pockets. Society also is destroying elderly women’s self-esteem, because gray hair, sagging tummies and wrinkles are things to be ashamed of.    

Sunday, November 20, 2011

FOOTBALL AND LINGERIE: What more could a man want?

When speaking about gender roles and how we display our gender, sports sometimes present a conflict. For example, in the NFL, there are no women on any team. I went on various question sites to try to find out why people thought this was so and they all seemed to present the same answer; women are generally weaker than the men on professional football teams, therefore, having both men and women on the same team could result in the women being seriously injured. Valid point. So then what does this have to do with women being actually interested in the sport? A stereotype that is very widespread about football and many other sports is that women are not, or should not be interested in sports. It isn’t considered the “norm”. For a woman to be a die hard football fan, some people would assume she was gay, that she was raised in a family with all men, or that she was trying to fit in with the guys. It seems that some sort of excuse has to be made for a woman who doesn’t fit into the mold a man puts her in. I don’t mean to insinuate that all men are this way, but in my experience, many men react in a similar fashion. Many men seems surprised when a woman knows a good amount about sports, but heaven forbid a woman actually try to play the sport… unless of course she’s half naked.

This then brings to me to my next point. Men are expected to be the villains and the heroes in movies, do the handy work and play sports. These are roles woman are not expected to do and they aren't handled very well until they have on little to no clothing. Then it becomes more acceptable. Why it is so difficult to tolerate a woman doing a man's job until she wears something "sexy"? Its such a double standard. A woman should be able to stand next to a man, do the same things he does, and not have to subject herself to being seen as a sexual object. Man have to stop doing it and women have to stop letting it happen.

Ashley Rivera

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Christmas Word

Idalis Burgos

                                                        THE CHRISTMAS WORD

Idalis Burgos
The Word Christmas
Just the other day I came across an e-mail in my inbox that caught my attention.  The topic of the article is a direct reaction to the White house calling a Christmas Tree a “Holiday Tree” this year.  This reminded me of the situation that I’d often thought about since last year’s “Christams Village” dilemma.  It happened last year around mid to the end of December.  In case you’re unaware, there was a problem with an atheist woman and many others wanting the word “Christmas” to be taken out of the sign, “Christmas Village” in Center City because they found it offensive.  Needless to say, there was a big controversy about this throughout the holiday season.  The word Christmas was taken down until Mayor Nutter stepped in and had the “Christmas” sign put back up that is in fact what it is.   
I personally don’t find it offensive or threatening when I walk passed a building and see a large Menorah and a sign that reads “Happy Hanukkah”.  I was brought up in a Christian family and I was raised to respect the religion of others.  Having grown up in the Philadelphia School District whom observes many of the Jewish holidays as well, I understand that the Menorah is a symbol of Hanukkah just as the Christmas Tree is one of many symbols of Christmas.  They educated us on most religious holidays to help soften the clashes between cultures.  The colliding of cultures from time to time is inevitable, but as a society we must remain respectful.  Christmas is to Christians as Ramadan is to Muslims.  To ask either one to change the name of a symbol of ANY religious holiday to sound less Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. in order not offend anyone would be like taking away from their religious identity; and all I the name of politeness? 
This is what Ben Stein had to say about the Christmas Tree situation:

Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year which prompted CBS presenter, Ben Stein, to present this piece which I would like to share with you. I think it applies just as much to many countries as it does to America .
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every  single one of my ancestors was Jewish.  And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.  I don't feel threatened.  I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me.  I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto.  In fact, I kind of like it.  It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu .  If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me  as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.  I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.  I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.  I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God?  I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too.  But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different:  This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's  intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina)..   Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.  She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.  And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out.  How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.  I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.  Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.  The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.  And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide).  We said an expert should know what he's talking about.  And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.  I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.  Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.  Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail  and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages  regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.  Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace,  but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and  workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

My Best Regards,   Honestly and respectfully,


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Globalization: What does it mean to you?

Erich B. Coppersmith
What is globalization? Well that would depend on who you talk to. Some people would say that it is about world markets merging. Some might say that it is the shrinking of the globe by the speed of communication. While there still are others that would say that it is the blurring of the cultural lines among nations. Globalization could indeed be any and all of these things. The term has taken on many meanings to different people.
Some people blame globalization for the loss of jobs due to outsourcing while others rejoice at the new found employment opportunities brought to them.
 While some people  become mobilized to stand guard against the rising tide of globalization in fear that it will erode their national  identities as borders are blurred; others will look upon the new found wealth of culture available to them.
The point here is that the world is full of people, many different kinds of people and the resources available should be available to everyone. We have the technology now to monitor and distribute vast quantities of data and goods to all corners of the globe. In order for the world to become a more fair and equitable place we must use these tools to their best advantage.
I propose a new concept in Globalization. Education needs to graduate to the next level. I envision a whole new way to teach and learn. A “Global Education”  consisting of top of the line ,completely scalable and upgradable digital classrooms for the 21st century.  If teachers and students have the very best equipment available to them at all times in all classrooms a transparency is created that students will encounter when they go out into the world of the modern job seeker.
 The actual world and everything in it is becoming more and more intertwined in its  virtual counterpart. This needs to be considered if future students are to be expected to make a seamless move into the modern job market. Theses aforementioned considerations should not be limited to post-secondary education. These ideas should be implemented all across the board, from primary education all the way up to create a 21st century baseline equality in education. I believe that with these elements in place colleges will become more free to offer even more specialized programs, which would in turn create more demand for educators in the post secondary sector.
 Everyone in today’s world can see that through technology and communication the world is getting smaller and much more easily accessible. As time goes by we see small steps toward more truth in world history, not just the wildly varying and overtly nationalist views that we currently find. So why not take education to the next level?  Our constantly expanding world view and broader perspective on world history  needs to be incorporated into educational curriculum, as well as daily life. We must , as a nation turn out global citizens in order to be truly competitive in the next century. A large number of American graduates, particularly those from expensive, private academies can find the “real world” quite overwhelming compared to what school actually prepared them for. Anyone who has been on a fabulous vacation or trip knows the value of being exposed to other cultures and customs. This is a must for American children in particular who often do not have a very strong understanding of the world’s cultural geography With the implementation of a digital education on a global scale students of all ages in all locations on the planet would have access to a standardized , high quality education that could be started, stopped and resumed anywhere at anytime. This is my vision of what Globalization could mean.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Did it break?

By Anna Petrovsky 

         A female: expected to play with dolls as a child, wear make-up and dress girly in the early life (teenager), and as she becomes older be the main caretaker of the household.
A male: expected to play with trucks and soldiers as a child, dress like a boy and play manly sports, and when hitting the adult hood work to support his family.

Shouldn’t sex define the whole female or male objective? We all know with what body parts we are born with, so why do we have to be categorized into a gender.  Is there really a right and wrong way of doing gender?
 When people see a female or male they expect for them to be dressed in their own clothing (male= suit, female=feminine clothing). What will people start to think if they see someone breaking the norm of the gender code (a male in make-up, a female with sweats on)?

Someone will get the mixed messages because it all seems wrong.
This isn’t a way to define someone’s gender.  Gender is based on a person’s behavior, or look on life. If you have a girl raised by male, and a boy raised by female; what are the chances that it won’t affect their thinking. The girl could come out to be more tough and rugged, as for the boy he could be gentler.
Is this really a mores, the girl grew up with male figures and they only know one aspect, same goes for the boy.
Just because society for many generations has categorized the males and the females, does it mean we really have to be that way?
I don’t see nothing wrong with being a female and wanting to do other things then clean or play with some dolls.
What is gender? Define it as you define yourself. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Boy/Girl Gender Roles

By: Debbie Langford

     Gender is not valued or weighed by an individuals genitalia or sexuality but is constructed by what our culture labels us and how one should act or carry themselves according to your gender.
     Our social institution is what shapes us into who we are, how we are suppose to dress, act, eat, walk the toys a boy or girl is suppose to play with and even down to what jobs are compatible for your gender.
   In this Disney Cartoon video girls are taught to be soft spoken, kind, weak, sensitive, pretty, submissive  and to stay at home and take care of the children. While boys are taught to be strong, manly, tough, leaders, aggressive and also the bread-winner of the household.

    Society should let an individual decide for themselves how we want to carry ourselves in our western society and not be constructed to what they considered to be the norm for  a boy or girl.  We all have our own minds and we have a sense of  what we can or candle not handle be it a job, profession or just being head of the household.  Gender socialization is the way society wants to try and control the way we think and that's basically  through the media, schools, home and rap videos.

Invisible Privileges

By: Michelle Kasprzak

          'Invisible privileges' are unfair advantages given only to a dominant group. Whites, males, Christians, heterosexuals and attractive people are just a few of the groups popularly thought of to receive invisible privilege. For example, a White woman who forgot to pack concealer for vacation can easily run to a drug store and find a cover up that will match her skin color, where as Blacks and Latinos would probably have a much harder time unless they went to a department store and paid a lot more money. Because Whites are a dominant group they don't have to deal with as much nonsense as minority groups. Lets be clear though that invisible privileges are not the fault of an individual but the result of society's belief that dominant groups are the norm. Invisible privileges are systematic and institutionalized and therefore we cannot blame anybody for invisible privilege.
           I work at a restaurant where all of the servers are at least second-generation Americans whose first languages are English. However the majority of the kitchen and maintenance staff are from Mexico or Africa. The other day I was talking to one of these 'back of house' people and he said how he felt he worked too much and didn't make enough money and he was jealous of how much money the servers make. Without thinking I said something along the lines of "Well, you can't serve you don't speak English." We were clearly speaking in English (although he has a thick accent) but I just didn't think anything of it. The next day the guy told me that what I said had hurt his feelings. I told him I didn't mean for it to be hurtful and that I personally wouldn't mind if he was a server but managers and customers would probably not be too fond of the idea due to his accent. This made me think of the invisible privileges that native English speakers in America have. This example clearly relates to job opportunities however we can also ask for direction without being asked to repeat ourselves a few times, we can show up at school and expect our professors to speak our language and the list goes on.

          I'm sure this is not the first time someone with an accent has felt left out or uncomfortable in the dominant group of  English speakers in America, it probably won't be the last either. Not until our institutions are remodeled in order to break down the concept of invisible privilege, for example I had not learned in depth about invisible privilege until college, if things like this were taught at an earlier level of schooling it would be easier for people to acknowledge and try to avoid abusing their unearned"privileges".


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Color Blind

By: Dudlene Jean Pierre

Growing up racism was something I really didn't understand because I was always taught to treat people with kindness and respect. When I think about racism I see slavery, civil rights movement,  the kkk, and many more. When I list all of these things I feel pain because a lot of people have dead and suffered through those trying times. In my sociology class we spoke about  the invisible ways that racism plays out. Even though we as nation have come very far but racism still does exist and a lot of work still needs to be done. It’s sad that Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics can not be equal. I read an article called “The Mark of a Criminal Record” (Patricia and Peter Alder 2007) , in this article it showed that white males with criminal background got more phones calls for a job    then a black male without a criminal background. How sad is that???  We live in a society where it shows that everyone is equal but the truth is that we are not equal.  What’s the difference between a criminal and a non criminal? Why should it be based on the color of a persons skin? . I would love to live in a world where racism didn't exist but the reality is that it dose exist ! Changing the way we think and feel about one another has to start with ourselves.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Black Men Vs. Media

By: Teairah Tate

    Black men get a alot of bad rap from society. Stereotyping, and racial profiling are some conflicts they have to come in contact with on an everyday basis. They say its hard being a black men in America. The so-called facts on these black men are only half way true and the media does everything they can to portray a stupid naive thug as a black man. However, sometimes the black man don’t make it easy on himself when he acts ignorant in public and they capture it on camera, or saying things like the white man is holding him back from moving forward in life. One big issue and stereotype that I would like to clear up is the whole “there are black males in jails then college classrooms”. BS. Lets check the facts.

Correction:  According to the Justice Department,  there are more college-aged black men in prison than enrolled in college.  This does not suggest that black men are not college able or ready, but rather points to a structural problem with the justice system.  If black men are a smaller proportion of the population, why are they incarcerated at a higher rate compared to their other male counterparts?  What's more, what does this say about the educational system and the opportunities they are afforded?   

-There are more Black Males in Colleges than in Jails, Prisons, Private Corrections, Military Jails and Institutions for the Criminally Insane combined(1,236,443 in College/841,000 Incarcerates – regardless of age) National Center for Education Statistics: iPeds data set, March 2011 – reporting Scholastic Year 2009”

-6.3%: Black Males (age 18-55+) enroll in College at a higher rate by sex than White Males and Hispanic Males and are surpassed only by Asian Males Bureau of Justice Statistics: Prison and Inmates at Midyear 2009 – June 2010)”

-25.1% of Black Males (age 25 or over) have either an Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Professional, or Doctoral Degree. (2,519,000 with Degrees/10,018,000 Total) US Census Bureau: American Community Survey: Table 1. Enrollment Status of the Population 3 Years Old and Over, by Sex, Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, Foreign Born, and Foreign-Born Parentage:  October 2009”
    I became interested in this topic because of my Sociology class lesson on Social Construction of Race. We watched how black men are viewed in America. More specifically 50 cent and President Barack Obama. Even though I don’t feel like they should not even be talked about in the same category, I saw where the theme was going. I personally think black men should be entitle to their swagger and not be judge as a thug or gangster. There are plenty of educated males who speak correct English and others who just don’t have a clue, notice I didn’t say college educated. A person does not have to be college educated to speak with intelligence. The moral to the story is, black men should not be stigmatized for  just being BLACK!
Heres one news station, catching a black man in a ghetto rage to find his sister's perpetrator. In relation, he didnt have to put himself out there for people to stigmatize him as ghetto. Even one comment on this video was "he set us back 25 years" meaning he set black people back to a time where more open racism was going on.

Heres and educated black men speaking out on media. In fact he does so in a way that points the finger at whites and make them the perpetrator for setting the black man back 25 years.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


By: Jaime Green

Ethnicity is a group of people whose members identify with each other through a common heritage, language, culture and most times, religion that stresses their common ancestry.

My blog is about ethnicity, which in my sociology class I'm learning, there are quite a few worldwide. Some ethnicities are obvious just by looking at a person, and some are not so obvious. When people think about ethnicity we tend to go with the obvious (i.e. skin color, the shape of one's face or eyes, hair texture) but the more I learn in class, the more I'm starting to NOT be so quick to form a personal opinion.
I used to think when I saw a black person with light eyes or even light skin, they had to be mixed with something.

An African American baby with blue eyes
 But upon some research and a little of broadening my perceptions, I'm realizing that its not true. I used to think that all people who, just by appearances, looked Hispanic, was Hispanic, but after talking to them, was told that they are in fact, not Hispanic. As much as I hate to admit it, I also thought that all white people were simply white. I never even bothered to take the time to consider what "white" was. I was just going by their skin color never taking into consideration that they could be German, Jewish or even Italian. Ignorance also plays a role in our perception of how we view different ethnicities!! Depending on what we have been taught and the things we have decided to hold onto through adult-hood will also mold and shape our perceptions of others based their ethnic backgrounds!

In closing, thanks to sociology I've humbled myself to accept AND acknowledge races of all kinds. I'm learning to not be so quick to judge people outside of my comfortable "race"! We are all created the same and we definitely bleed and basically die the same. We ALL live here on planet earth and are existing together as a human race. Everyone accepting one's race without bias would be spectacular in a perfect world, but just opening YOUR eyes with acceptance the next time you see a person with a different ethnic background, will suffice for now because hey, we all have to start somewhere, why not start with yourself!!!!!