Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Why I hate A&F

Why I hate Abercrombie & Fitch

If the author had a thesis I believe it would be, “Its desire to produce and play on the consumer’s desire for white, “good looking” world where one can “get away from it all,” and to sell that idea as the “good life” in the context of a racist society, only redeploys and rein scribes the fundamental logic of white supremancy which, at bottom, makes such a marketing strategy possible and even appealing in the first place” (87). Mcbride is explaining why Abercrombie & Fitch is a problem to him, which is because it keeps the racial thinking in the world by showing and saying that only white attractive people can wear these clothes.
In the article “Why I hate Abercrombie & Fitch” McBride is stating some of the arguments he does not agree with. McBride’s basic argument is Abercrombie & Fitch is radicalized for white good-looking men, who have a certain white clean rich look to them. McBride states, “Abercrombie & Fitch has devised a very clear marketing and advertising strategy that celebrates whiteness-a particularly privileged and leisure-class whiteness-and makes use of it as a lifestyle that it commodities to sell otherwise extremely dull, uninspiring, and ordinary clothing. I am not, by the way, the first commentator to recognize this fact about the clothes themselves” (66). What McBride is saying is the clothes make a statement that is only towards white people and that is discriminating against other people in the world. Abercrombie & Fitch says this about their clothing line, “ Our brand is natural, classic and current, with and employment on style. This is what a Brand Representative must be; this is what a Brand Representative must represent in order to fulfill the conditions of employment” (67). Abercrombie & Fitch also only hires and used certain people to display and work at the clothing store, which is another issue McBride has with Abercrombie & Fitch. If you do not look a certain way they will not hire you to work at the store because they want to keep this certain image that only people who look a certain way wear Abercrombie.
Abercrombie & Fitch has a certain look and only portrays to certain people, which is discriminating and racist. Another argument that McBride states Abercrombie & Fitch is more than a clothing store it is a lifestyle. The lifestyle it displays is rich, white, American, preppy, privileged, and powerful. People who walk into the store and do not fit that profile feel uncomfortable and looked down upon. They fell unworthy and oppressed, and like they do not belong. These people that do not fit the profile of A&F are radicalized and discriminated against. McBride states, “Thumb rings signify alternative lifestyles at best and queer at worst. No gold chains for men? Who has been over identified or even stereotyped with these in the popular imagination more than black men-from Mr. T. to any number of rap artists and balers more generally? In either case, the signifier gold chain demarcates potential employees of A&F in coded ways along race and class lines” (71). What McBride is saying here is there is a certain look to A&F and those who do not display that are looked at as the different ones. There are many other looks in the world like rappers looks and they are not seen as high up as Abercrombie. A&F has made itself to be seen as a high class and high privileged look that it is seen as discriminating and racist. The argument here is why does it keep giving off feeling to people that they are not worthy? People who walk in the store who are not defined with the look still feel different and out of place.
I agree with McBride’s argument that Abercrombie & Fitch is discriminating and racist. It shows which person is in which class and makes others feel oppressed. I feel that if A&F would stop only hiring people that have the look it would be looked at differently. I feel that Abercrombie & Fitch will not change, they had a lawsuit against then and they did not understand why. The people involved with A&F do not see what is wrong with it and see it just like every other store.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Takaki chp 7 Quest

Takaki Ch. 7 “Foreigners in their native land: Manifest Destiny in the Southwest.”

1. How did this group come to be in the U.S.? How much of this was “by choice” and how much as a result of pressure or force? Identify drivers or motivations for coming to be in the U.S.
The Irish had been pushed from their homeland by British colonialism and here they found themselves becoming Americans by participating in the conquest of the Southwest. Most was not by choice since they were pushed out of their homeland but it was for the better when it comes down to the end. Drives or motivation for coming to the US was more jobs that paid. A place to live and be somewhat free and much more opportunity. The government promised the colonist equipment and food. It was a better way of living for the immigrants that came to the US.

2. What is the significance of the title of the chapter?
The Significance of the title of the chapter is meaning people who are going to a land they are not used too. They are not from the country and on new land as well hence foreigners in their native land. Coming to a different place and living a new adventure.

3. What mechanisms of social construction are discussed in the chapter?
What mechanisms of social construction are discussed in the chapter are the way the immigrants and the Americans have an understanding of respect for each other, some not all. They communicate and understand they way each other wants to be treated and understood. Socially that helps stop confrontation and other issues that could be raised.

4. How did these groups resist discrimination and racialization?
I believe these groups resist discrimination and racialization because they do not give the people with higher power a hard time. They do what was told and they are benefited from it in the end. The higher powered treat them well and give them all they need and that takes away fighting. They had respect and got respect in return.

5. Give one example in the chapter of “race” and one example of “ethnicity.” What is the difference between the two as they are discussed here?
One example of ethnicity would be, “Stephen Austin urged his countrymen to “Americanize” Texas and bring the territory under the U.S. flag” (173). This is an example of ethnicity because it states that he wants Texas to be American and that is ethnic and part of a culture. Its about where you come form and what culture you are not color or gender.
An example of race would be, “Mexican farm labor can be utilized in the culture as well during the picking season. These workers also cleared the lands for planting “Grubbing brush” many Anglos said, “Is a Mexican job” (185). This is racist because it is taking someone for their color or type of culture and personally treating them different.

Monday, October 29, 2007

In Class Post

I think the quote means that as a minority he feels that he is being looked at differnetly by others. He feels different everywhere except with his family or other people that are in the same minority as him. He is explaining how differnet he feels in the world becasue he is a minority and because of that people treat him differently.

We do want our differences to be seen and acceptable but we do not want race and people treating others badly.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Comic Strip Blog
Dare Devil
The comic strip I Choose to write about was titled Dare Devil. The comic strip has a heading of “Extra-Play “Slap The Jap” excited new game inside! It also has a Japanese looking man who is the largest picture, and he is holding a knife, which seems to be cutting a picture of planes. Behind the man cutting the plane picture there are other Japanese soldiers behind him who are little and seem to be scared of what is going on. They also seem to be stabbing themselves with a knife. The large Japanese man has a huge mouth that is open in a very dramatic way, his eyes come to a point at the end and his nostrils seem to be flaring. The large man seems very angry and not happy. This seems to be mocking the war that went on the Japanese. I feel like the main man who is cutting the picture of the planes is towards the enemies and he is showing the anger they hard towards them. The other men in the picture are showing what happened to all the solders in the war and how many dies and some probably wanted to kill themselves.
The Japanese immigrated to the Americans to have a better life for themselves. As Takaki states, “Unlike the Irish, the Japanese went east to America” (246). But they, too, were pushed here by external influences. During the nineteenth century, America’s expansionist thrust reached all the way across the Pacific Ocean. After all the troubles the Japanese were faced with they wanted a better life for themselves and this comic strip is showing this not in a racial way but in a very blunt way. The comic shows a side of the Japanese that was not usually thought of the seemed demanding and wanting revenge from the main character. Takaki stated, “In December 1919, the Japanese Federation of Labor and the Filipino Federation of Labor submitted separate demands to Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association. The workers wanted higher wages, an eight-hour day, an insurance found for retired employees, and paid maternity leaves” (259). The Japanese were much smarter and strong then many people saw them as. After getting out of troubled areas and coming to America it opened a lot more positive opportunities for the Japanese culture. The comic strip is not racist but it is an example of how the Japanese were treated and portrayed. Then men in the back show weakness, and the main man in the front shows how the Japanese really felt they were mad, pissed off, treated poorly, and seen as weak.
I feel like the comic strip is a mixture of how people saw Japanese and how the Japanese saw themselves. I do not think the comic strip is racial at all. But I do think the comic strip mocks a lot of things and ways people think of the Japanese people. The men in the back are the weak ones because it seems as thought they are killing themselves by stabbing themselves. The main man in the picture is taking a picture of airplanes and cutting it up in a very strong, mad, furious way. I feel that is how the felt towards what was going on and they wanted people to see how they felt when they were getting treated poorly. I think the comic strip is a good example of two sides to explain what was going on at the time, and how the two sides were portrayed and how the Japanese really felt.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Brodkin Reading

How Jews Became White Folks and What
That says about Race in America

In the reading the thesis is, “The record is very clear. Instead of seizing the opportunity to end institutionalized racism, the federal government did its level best to shut double-seal the postwar window of opportunity in African Americans faces. It consistently refused to combat segregation in the social institutions that were key to upward mobility in education, housing, and employment”(49). What I believe was going on in this reading was that immigrants came and were looked at differently until much time later.
The reading starts off with talking about how in the olden day when the immigrants came to America they where not thought of as white. Brokin states, “It is clear that Kenith Roberts did not think of my ancestors as white, like him” (38). Immigrants where thought of as biologically different because they came from a different area and may have spoke a different language so they did not have the privileges as the other white folks did, even though they and the same skin color as them. Brodkin stated, “It is certainly true that the United States has a history of anti-Semitism and of beliefs that Jews are members of an inferior race” (39). Meaning in the United States there was belief that Jews were not a part of the inferior race. The reading went on talking about how Jews and other immigrants were treats differently then others and did not have the same privileges as others did because they came from a different place. Brodkin stated, “Racism in general, and anti-Semitism in particular, flourished in higher education. Jews were the first of the Euro-immigrant groups to enter college in significant numbers, so it was not surprising that they faced the brunt of discrimination there” (41). All immigrants and other races were discriminated against.
Brodkin stated, “How we interpret Jewish social mobility in this milieu depends on whom we compare them to. Compared with others immigrants, Jews were upwardly mobile. But compares with nonimmigrant whites, that mobility was very limited and circumscribed. The existence of anit-immigrant, racist, and anti-Semitic barriers kept the Jewish middle class confined to a small number of occupations” (42). He was saying how Jews and immigrants were compared with others and worked differently than others did. As time passed Jews and other immigrants were considered white. “By the time I was an adolescent, Jews were just as white as the next white person” states Brodkin. They became one and all their separation from school and work places were different and seen as one. Race and privilege took over in the beginning when the immigration first started; people from different places around the world were looked at as different when they had the same skin color as white people did. Later on that was changes and immigrants were know and called white, they joined in the same school, power and privileges. Brodkin stated, “The myth that Jews pulled themselves up by their bootstraps ignores the face that it took federal programs to create the conditions whereby the abilities of Jews and other European immigrants could be recognized and rewarded rather than denigrated and denied” (49).
I thought this reading was interesting and I learned a lot from it. I enjoyed this reading because it taught me a lot and it was very informative. I liked how it wasn’t long and it flowed. This reading is a good reading and will be useful to me in the future.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Zinn Chapter 9

Zinn Chapter 9

In Zinn’s article I believe the thesis would be “With slavery abolished by order of the government-true, a government pushed hard to do so, by blacks, free and slave, and by white abolitionists-its end could be orchestrated so as to set limits to emancipation” (129). Which I believe he is saying that with slavery abolished the governments have to work hard to get both sides expectations met.
In Zinn’s article he stars talking about slavery and how it benefits many different groups of people. White and black people would sometimes work together. For example “This helps explain the stern police measures against whites who fraternized with blacks. In return, blacks helped whites in need. One black runaway told of a slave woman who had received fifty lashes of the whip for giving food to a white neighbor who was poor and sick” (132). This explains how black and white people can and sometimes work together. Zinn also talks about how slaves tried many times to change the system and rise up against the government. He argues how slavery destroyed black families and they would do anything to try to stop it in some cases. In the article Zinn stated “Blacks had to struggle constantly with the unconscious racism of white abolitionists” (137). Then he talks about how they had to use their own independent voice. Zinn states how he thought that free blacks were the ones who started the abolition movement.
In the article Zinn states “Certain black women faced the triple hurdle of being abolitionists in a slave society, of being black among white reformers, and of being women in a reform movement dominated by men” (138). That is an example of the abolition movement. The union eventually gave slaves the freedom to fight on their side of the battles that took place, and they became a part of something important. Zinn stated, “The importance of the new capitalism in overturning what black power existed in the postwar South is affirmed by Horace Mann Bond’s study of Alabama Reconstruction. It was an age of coal and power, and northern Alabama had both. “The bankers in Philadelphia and New York and even London and Paris, had known this for almost two decades” (152). State how blacks had stared to gain some power. In the article it went back and forth with going abolishing slavery and keeping slavery, defending blacks and supporting blacks. There are many opinions and arguments but in the end it the government decided to go against slavery, “The culmination of this mood came in the decision of 1896, when the Court ruled that a railroad could segregate black and white if the segregated facilities were equal. Slavery was being put away and the people were trying to compromise and the Court was trying to enforce equality.
I thought this reading was interesting and provided me with a lot of information that I did not know about. The abolishment movement and the different sides of slavery. I still believe that people are always going to have their opinions no matter what and how ever we try to inforce something there will always be people who disagree.

Monday, October 8, 2007



In the book Kindred the thesis would be, “A black women named Dana was celebrating her twenty six birthday with her husband when she was taken back into time from California to the south on a plantation, while her and her husband were in the past they experienced and had to do things that they were not used to.”
Kindred is about a modern black woman named Dana, who lived in California in 1976 with her husband named Kevin Franklin who was white. Dana was an intelligent black woman who is a writer as well as her husband. Dana was taken from her home in 1976 and was brought back into time in the south in the 1800’s. Dana’s experience in the south was very different from what she was used to. Dana experienced working in the kitchen on the plantation, and doing other slave work. Her husband traveled with her once to Maryland in the 1800’s and did very different work than she did. Since he was a white male he taught the plantation owner’s son how to write and read. While Dana was just as educated as her husband since she was a black woman she had to work as a slave. Although she was a black woman, Dana and Rufus the plantation owner Tom’s son had a special bond with each other. Dana taught Rufus how to read and write, and she would read to him as well.
In the time of Kindred, which was between the 1800’s and 1976 times were completely different and the black woman named Dana shows how she experienced the differences with race, privilege, gender, and power issues. Because Dana was a black woman in the time of the 1800’s she was automatically looked at as a slave, no matter what her education level was. She was not used to the power the plantation owners had over her, and it was difficult for her to have someone always telling her what she could and could not do. All of these issues took place in Kindred but the most common issue in the book delt with race. For example in the book Kevin said to Dana, “ I’m not sure its possible for a lone black woman or even a black man to be protected in that place” (47). In this quote Dana and her white husband are talking about how scared they are for Dana because she is a black woman in 1800’s and they are treated very differently from the time they are used too. In the quote they also mention how it isn’t easy for a black man either which all leads to the issues of race. Although Dana was not used to nor did not like acting the way of a black slave woman had to act in that period of time she felt herself doing exactly what was expected of her because she felt that there was no other way to act without being severely hurt or possibly killed. In the book another issue that was brought up a few times was privilege. Dana’s husband Kevin was a while male and during the time of the 1800’s he did not have any problems with traveling back in time. His life was fairly the same as it was in 1976, but his wife’s on the other hand was extremely different. On the plantation Kevin was a teacher and taught the plantation owners son how to read and write, but Dana had some privilege with Kevin as well. When Kevin was around he would stick up for Dana is some situations. She also had the privilege of reading and writing, which at that time no slave knew how to read or write and Dana wrote and read better then the plantation owners, and they used her to help them learn more, so she had special privileges other slaves did not. Through this book we learned that from one period to another times where very different and when someone goes from one time period to the next it is a change but they get used to things and adapt to the atmosphere. These issues are like the issues that are going on today, society says something towards power, privilege, or race and some believe that is how or world is supposed to be. Race and ethnicity are a part of or culture and we don’t do anything to try to change it, and Dana shows that in the book she goes from being free to being a slave and doesn’t fight it but excepts the way she was treated.
I really enjoyed reading Kindred the book was interesting and kept my attention. Some times I would get confused about the time changes but the book was overall good. It gave me a new perspective on race, power, privilege, and gender issues that I didn’t realize before because I read how someone transferred from one time to the other. I saw the issues in the book and how they relate to what we have discussed in class and it helped me look at issues differently.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Takaki Chp 3 "Giddy Multitude"

Takaki Chapter 3 “Giddy Multitude”

In chapter three the thesis would be Takaki states, “Driven by immediate economic interests and blinded by a short time horizon, the planters had not carefully thought through what they were doing to black people as well as American society and future generations” (76). I feel that this chapter talks about the beginning of slavery and how it got started. The lower class of servants, slaves, and landless men both black and white wanted to change order of constructed slavery.
In chapter three the argument was to change slavery. Takaki states, “Caliban, as described in the list of actors, was not only a “savage” but also a “deformed slave” (52). In this chapter Takakii listed many people during that time who were treated unfairly as servants and slaves he named Caliban, Indians, white, and black, and the play the Tempest. Each were treated unfairly and as an act of slavery. Takaki states, “All Indians, regardless of whether they were farmers or hunters, were subject to removal, even extermination, if they continued in their “barbarism” (53). Takaki even talked about some servants that were victims of the Irish “slave trade”. More and more slaves where brought over to Virginia colony from Germany, Ireland, England, and were to to work as slaves or servants. Sometimes the black and the white slaves and servants worked together in a partnership. Takaki stated, “Occasionally, perhaps often, whites and blacks ran away together. Court recorders indicated repeated instances of blacks and whites conspiring to escape together” (55). Virginia absolutely was against the way blacks and whites were working together were not accepting it. When blacks and whites were caught together they were both strongly punished for their actions. In order to keep the blacks as socially low as possible, they passed many laws restricted blacks from doing things such as voting, or having the freedom of assembly or movement. Blacks were treated differently then whites when they were being punished. The blacks were treated worse then the whites were.
Why was there slavery, and why did one servant or slave get treated differently from the other because the color of their skin was this fair at all? This is a big question to many people, why were human beings getting treated unfairly from other human beings? Takaki stated, “What worried Jefferson more than the threat of miscegenation was the danger of race and war” (75). He did not want race and slavery in our world anymore, he wanted peace. Takaki also stated, “In Jefferson’s view blacks were libidinous race. “They [the black men] are more ardent after their female,’ he clammed; “but love seems with them to be more an eager desire than a tender delicate mixture of sentiment and sensation” (74). This was explaining how black people are not as hard or mean as they are portrayed to be and that was used as an example. Takaki stated, “ Unless slavery was abolished, Jefferson feared, whites would continue to face the danger of servile insurrection. Commenting on the slave revolt in Santo Domingo” (75). What Jefferson was saying was unless slavery stops there will be rebellion against government and danger will continue. The world needs a change and slavery must stop or else people are going to rebel against our government and our world and people will be in danger.
I felt this chapter was long I liked the material that it gave and I definitely learned something from this reading. I agree with Jefferson and Takaki’s argument that slavery must stop and treating people differently was wrong. Trying to change the world and their views can be a difficult thing. But Takaki tried to explain the process and the possibilities in the chapter and even though it was a bit long and drug out I felt he made me understand what his argument was.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Chapter 8- Privilege, Power, and Difference

Chapter 8-Privilege, Power, and Difference

In this reading the thesis would be, Getting of the hook by denial, blaming the victim, and saying I’m one of the good ones. In the reading Johnson states, “But the more aware we are of all the ways there are to fool ourselves, the easier it is to wake up and make ourselves part of the solution” (108). What Johnson is saying is that the more ways we try to blow oppression and privilege off, the easier it is for us to pretend we are solving the problem.
Johnson’s argument in this reading is that people of the dominant groups have ways of getting around the problem of privilege and oppression. The use denial, blaming the victim, calling it something else, its better this way, it doesn’t count if you don’t mean it, I’m one of the good ones, and sick and tired. Each one is has some way to stay away from dealing with the problem, which is treating people unfairly. An example of denial Johnson states is, “Racism and sexism used to be problems, but they aren’t anymore” (108). This example is an example of how someone is saying racism and sexism don’t exist and there are no problems with them, when clearly they do still exist and still are problems. An example Johnson uses for blaming the victim is, “If blacks were smarter or worked harder or got an education, they’d be okay” (110). He is saying the person is blaming the victim for the weaknesses of the less dominant group, instead of looking at in a way of, they need to fix something about them self. People also do things like call the problem something else, and look at the problem, as it is better this way. Johnson states, “Trying to live off the hook puts members of privileged groups inside a tight little circle that cuts them off much of what it means to be alive” (124). Therefore, those who are privileged don’t really know how others feel in this world and don’t understand what really goes on.
What if groups were changed and those who are not dominant became dominant, and the dominant group became oppressive. They would get the gist of how the other group feels and would not have their privileged lives. For example, going to get a job, eating at a restaurant, and buying a house are all things that would be so different from what the dominant group is used to. Johnson states, “If being on the hook for privilege and oppression means being perpetually vulnerable to guilt and blame, then we shouldn’t, be surprised that people do whatever they can to get off it. But according to my dictionary, on the hook also means being “committed,” obligated,” and involved” (123). The problem is both groups don’t understand each other and if they were to switch places there would be a better understanding of the other group.
I liked the reading I felt like I had a connection to what Johnson was saying. I did not realize that the dominant group was so oblivious to what other people’s feelings were or to what was right and wrong. I don’t know if the world will ever change but if it does it would make a difference.

Chapter 6 "What It All Has to Do With Us

Chapter 6 “What It All Has to Do with Us”

The thesis Johnson states is, “To do something about the trouble surrounding privilege, power, and difference, we have to talk about it, but most of the time we don’t, because it feels too risky” (76).
The argument Johnson is trying to make is, the social system in the world works through privilege and oppression. Johnson states, “ what we experience as social life happens through a complex dynamic between systems-families, schools, workplaces, communities, entire societies-and the choices people make as they participate in them and help make them happen” (84). Johnson is saying that the way the would works is seen through the eyes of people as privileged, oppression, class and gender. There are good and bad outcomes of privilege and oppression. Some of the good things are money, organization, and power. The bad things are inequality, racism, and sexism. Johnson states, “As long as we participate in social systems, we don’t get to choose whether to be involved in the consequences they produce. We’re involved simply through the fact that we’re here. As such, we can only choose how to be involved, whether to be just part of the problem or also to be part of the solution. That’s where our power lies, and also our responsibility” (89). Johnson is saying that no matter what is happening this is where the power lies and this is the way our system works, and we are responsible for understanding this. The argument is our system has been working this way and if we try to change it, we have to understand the problems and solutions.
A question to ask about power and privilege is what about everyone else? Johnson states, “How do we see them in relation to privilege and oppression” (85)? What happens when we are put people into categories? Our society put people into groups and is that fair? We are looked at as privileged or oppressed; this is good for some and bad for others. Some get jobs easier because they are a particular gender or a particular color. Johnson states, Individualistic thinking also makes us blind to the very existence of privilege, because privilege; by definition, has nothing to do with individuals, only with the social categories we wind up in” (77). Johnson is saying, what about those who are closed out and treated unfairly? There is not much me can do about it if those who are uncomfortable stay out of the part of society that is so involved with privilege and oppression is their responsibility.
I liked this reading I believe Johnson is saying that there are so many issues with privilege and oppression, race and sexism what is there to do about it. People who absolutely hate the way our society works have to just be positive and stay away from those who are really involved in putting people in categories. Our capitalist system is so involved in making money that they treat others so unfairly. Some disagree with this system so much and disprove of the way our society works. I don’t know if our society will ever change but we can try.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chapter 3- Capitalism, Class, and the Matrix of Domination

Chapter 3- Capitalism, Class, and the Matrix of Domination

In the article the thesis is “If race is socially constructed and doesn’t exist otherwise, and if human beings don’t have to be afraid of one another, then where does racism come from” (41)?
I believe like the thesis the author’s argument is where does race, privilege, class, and domination come from. In the article the author talks about history of race. Johnson states, “First, white racism hasn’t been around very long-hardly more than several centuries and certainly not as long as peoples now considered “white” have been aware of other “races.” Second, its appearance in Europe and the Americas occurred right along with the expansion of capitalism as an economic system” (41). Johnson is basically saying that the white race has thought of as the only race and they were the ones who were around capitalism and the economic system. People have different ways of thinking about living the good life, an upper class family may have a refrigerator stocked with food and gets to choose what they are having for dinner, where a lower class family gets a loaf of bread and soup for dinner every night. The class and what the culture defines as good life, some may not have and are looked at differently. In the article Johnson talks about how capitalism works, which basically is to turn money into more money. Johnson states, “Capitalists employ workers to produce goods and services, paying them wages in exchange for their time. Capitalists then sell the goods and services that workers produce” (42). This means that for capitalists to make a living they have to get workers to produce and sell the goods. Which in the end works out because everyone is getting paid. But there are issues that come up like do the workers get paid enough, and do the people actually do the work when it comes to the tool and everything in the factory. Class is another issue that is brought up in the article because the people doing the hard labor are the lower class people. The article also talks about capitalism, difference and privilege, race and gender. Johnson states, “Capitalism direct connection to white racism has also operated in the acquisition of land and raw materials, which, like cheap labor, play a key role in the rapid growth of industry and wealth” (46). Which is saying that with capitalists come white power and are treating other races and classes differently.
A question to be asked is how can we change privilege, racism, sexism, and domination? How do we stop the oppressed culture treated differently than the privileged culture? We should respect everyone for who they are. Just because they are in the oppressed group doesn’t mean they cannot work. Johnson states, “Looking at privilege and domination in this way simplifies and clarifies things considerably. For example, once we see that each form of privilege exists in relation to all the rest, we can stop the fruitless habit of trying to figure out which is the worst or most oppressive” (52). So if we concentrate as being one instead of who has the most power and who is the wealthiest maybe we can change.
I thought this reading was interesting talking about privilege, race, sexism, and domination. The answer to the question can race and all the others be gone. I do not know if race and privilege will be completely gone, but I do believe in cases such as who gets the job and who can work and who cant that should not matter what so ever people should be treated equally not matter what color, sex, and class they are.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Blog 6-Power, Privilege, and Difference

Blog 6- Privilege, Oppression, and Difference

I believe the thesis is “The trouble that surrounds difference is really about privilege and power-the existence of privilege and the lopsided distribution of power that keeps it going” (12). This quote is saying that everyone is different and some are more privileged than others, and the power of those who are privileged is what is keeping privilege alive as well as race and discrimination.
Johnson’s argument is that difference is not a problem, we can start treating people equally no matter what privileges they have or what gender and race they are. Johnson states “Ignoring privilege keeps us in a state of unreality by promoting the illusion that difference by itself is the problem. In some ways, of course, it can be a problem when people try to work together across cultural divides that set groups up to think and do things their own way” (12). The quote is stating we ignore privilege because we sometimes don’t want to admit who has power, and when people work with people who are different from one another we want to do things our own way. We are not born with privilege, we are taught it. For example the diversity wheel describes what our race, age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, income, and occupation is. But as Johnson says “the wheel doesn’t say much about the unique individual you know yourself to be” (14). The wheel only shows the differences that we learned are the important ones. There is trouble with diversity and privilege Johnson states, “The trouble around diversity, then, isn’t just that people differ from one another. The trouble is produced by a world organized in ways that encourage people to use difference to include or exclude, reward or punish, credit or discredit, elevate or oppress, value or devalue, leave alone or harass” (16). This quote is saying we treat people differently based on what we learned is right or privileged not by the real person they are inside. In the article Johnson talks about race, whites, blacks, men, women, paradox, professions, heterosexuals, gender, and which ones are privileged. The ones who are not privileged are called oppressive. Johnson states, “Oppression results from the social relationship between privileged and oppressed categories, which makes it possible for individuals to vary in their personal experience of being oppressed” (38). He is saying when they are oppressed the people are kept down at a lower level and have their own ways of life that aren’t as high as privileged people. Which leads into the argument which is, can we change the way we look at people as privileged or oppressed and look at everyone equally?
Johnson argues, can we change the way we look at people? In the article Johnson states, “We routinely form quick impressions of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or disability status” (16). We were taught that certain categories were higher than others, we were not born with privileges or oppressions, but they were taught to us. Johnson states, “What makes socially constructive reality so powerful is that we rarely if ever experience it as that. We think the way our culture defines something like race or gender is simply the way things are in some objective sense” (20). This quote means that when our culture defines what is right and wrong or states this is the way things have to be, we usually follow and believe that is the right way. Everything we were taught will always sick on our heads and it will be hard to change what we have learned. The article talked about whites privilege, male privilege, sexual orientation, and paradox each have an opposite, which is named as the outsiders. Johnson states, “To have a privilege is to be allowed to move through your life without being marked in ways that identify you as an outsider, as exceptional or “other” to be excluded, or to be included but always with conditions” (33). The outsiders are women, blacks, homosexuals, and many others that are treated differently because they are not privileged. The argument is to change this other business and have everyone be the same status. Johnson is trying to argue that people should not be categorized as privileged and oppressed.
I thought the reading was very interesting and informative. I agree with Johnson very much so. I do not understand why we were taught that there are different groups and categories that certain people fall into. I agree that no one should be categorized as privileged or oppressed. I think that it was wrong to do that form the beginning and I think it should be changed, but since we were taught it, its in our heads know and others may disagree to change what we were taught. Treating people differently because of their gender, race, sexual preference, occupation, and religion is wrong. Everyone is special in their own way and I feel that Johnson is trying to get us to focus more on the positive difference instead of making

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Blog 4-Race: Power of an Illusion

Blog 4- Race: Power of an Illusion: The Difference Between Us

If there would be a thesis it would go something like this, Race is simply an external difference lead to a complex inside difference, the idea of race is a biological myth. In the video Race: Power of an Illusion: The Difference Between Us there was about five students that were all different races and ethnicities and they tested how different each others gene were from one another.
The argument of the film was does race make people different from each other, and do people who are a different race have different genes? In the film they discussed how individuals are different from one another by skin color, hair color, eye shape, and in this time by looking at the particular person, you can see what race they are. Race is simply external by skin color and hair texture, which leads to more complex internal difference. For example in the film they were discussing how different races are better at certain things like black’s are good at sports, and whites were good at music. They were trying to find something extremely different in an African American’s to prove they had something superior that made them better in sports. Race and biology are real. In the biology class the five different students were trying to find out who was similar to whom, and every student picked the closest to their skin color. The results where completely different, one of the African American girls was not similar to any one in the classroom including another African American girl.
The idea of race and biology is a myth. Who decides how many races there are? Genetically we are most similar then out of all the other species. Biology becomes an excuse for social differences. In the film they are trying to explain that even though we look different, come from different places, and act different, we are not that different. An African American can have the same or similar genes then a white American. So the question is we created the term race, now can we un create it? I believe this day and age race has gone down, but I still think race will be with us forever. It’s planted in our heads and even though there are tests that can prove we are not that much different from one another we still are going to think certain things.
We get our genes from our ancestors, and our race can be extremely different from our genes. I thought the film was very interesting, informative, and good. I learned a lot and it defiantly opened my eyes. I did not know that race and genes can come fome two different places, and how two people who look the most alike have such a different gene path. I understand how we made race and how some people think we can unmake it. But I don’t know if race will ever go away.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Blog 3-Drwing the Color Line

Blog 3- Drawing the Color Line

In this article Zinn’s thesis is “This unequal treatment, this developing combination of contempt and oppression, feeling and action, which we call “racism” –was this the result of a “natural” antipathy of white against black? If racism can’t be shown to be natural, then it is the result of certain conditions, and we are impelled to eliminate those conditions,” stated by Zinn.
Zinn’s argument was that since the English came to America and did not have enough people and equipment to get all the labor done they used the African Americas to do it for them. They were treated unfairly and as slaves. Zinn’s argument was it was wrong, why did it happen? The article talks about the horrible conditions the slaves had to be in, for example the article sated that the slaves were shipped in cages and stuffed in their like rats. Many of the slaves died before they even reached their destination by disease and fungus. Zinn stated “Slavery existed in the African states, and it was sometimes used by Europeans to justify their own slave trade. But, as Baasil Davidson points out in The African Slave Trade, the slaves of Africa were more like the surfs of Europe,” “African slavery lacked two elements that made American slavery the most cruel form of slavery in history: the frenzy for limitless profit that comes from capitalistic agriculture; the reduction of the slave to less than human status by the use of racial hatred, with that relentless clarity based on color, where white was mastewr, black slaves” (26).
Why did this happen? Well since the English needed labor to grow corn for substance, and grow tobacco for export they needed people to do the labor. The African Americans could not fight for themselves and they were also used as slaves in Africa so the English took advantage of them and used them for their own slaves. Zinn’s argument was against slavery. Why did they take and hurt innocent people. The African Americas died by the hundreds from being shipped to their owners and Zinn proposed the question will Americas and African Americas get along without hatred? I believe the two groups will always have their beliefs, but as for now we understand each other more, than we did back then.
I agree with Zinn’s argument because I feel that slavery is wrong. Treating people a harmful way cause they cannot fight back is just evil. I liked the reading it was very interesting and informative. Zinn did not show anything posotivve about the English in this article because he was trying to base it more on slavery and how the African Americans were treated bad, and differently from everyone else.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Blog 2-The "Tempest" In the wilderness

Blog 2- The “Tempest” In the wilderness

I believe the Authors thesis is “All Indians, regardless of whether they were farmers or hunters, were subject to removal, even extermination, if they continued in their “barbarism.” Should any tribe be foolhardy enough to take up the hatchet against the United States, the president wrote Governor Harrison, the federal government should seize the whole country of that tribe and drive them across the Mississippi as the only condition of peace. During a conflict between the United States and England in 1809, President Jefferson warned his Indian “children”: “If you love the land in which you were born, if you wish to inhabit the earth which covers the bones of your fathers, take up part in the war between the English and US…[T]he tribe which shall begin an unprovoked war against us, we will extirpate form the earth, or drive to such a distance as they shall never again be able to strike us” stated Takaki.
I believe Takaki’s argument is that throughout the time frame the English viewed Indians as savages and they were kicked out of their land and treated unfairly. The English wanted to take over. The Indians soon had nothing. The English thought of the Indians as inhuman. Takaki states, “Indians seemed to lack everything the English identified as civilized- Christianity, cities, letters, clothing, and swords” (31). In Virginia the initial encounters between the English and the Indians opened possibilities for friendship, but Indians began to doubt that two different people could live together in peace (33). I believe that Takaki is trying to state the facts about how the Indians where treated unfairly, and the reasons why.
The author’s argument how the Indians were kicked off land, treated unfairly and like savages is correct. The English invaded the Indians home, made them slaves, and killed their families. There is a lot to this chapter on how the war was going on between the US and the English and Jefferson warned the Indians to stay away form the war because he was trying to help them. The question is why were the Indians treated this way? In the reasoning there really isn’t anything that tells me why the English would treat the Indians so unfairly besides the land. What exactly did the English have against the Indians?
I thought the reading was very interesting. I agree with Takaki, I felt bad for the Indians at certain points in the reading. I thought that making them the savages because of their way of life was absolutely wrong! But I still don’t understand the reasoning behind it all. Why were the Indians the main target? Was it because they had land before others? I am still unclear about the reading it was confusing at points but I just know that the Indians were targeted a lot and treated unfairly.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Blog Number 1- A People’s History of the United States

The author’s thesis is “Behind invasion of the North America, behind their massacre of Indians, their deception, their brutality, was that special powerful drive born in civilization based on private property. It was a morally ambiguous drive; the need for space, for land, was a real human need. But in conditions of scarcity, in a barbarous epoch of history ruled by competition, this human need was transformed into the murder of whole peoples,” stated Zinn.
I believe Zinn’s argument was that Columbus and people in the world such as conquerors, masters, capitalists, dominators, race, and sex had more power over other’s and treated the conquerors, slaves, workers, dominated, race, and sex unfairly. Zinn used Columbus as an example by explaining how in America we celebrate Christopher Columbus day and thin that he is a hero, but important details are left behind, such as the enslavement and killing. Zinn said in his article that he would like the world to hear about the discovery of America through the viewpoint of the slaves and the people that were taken prisoners. In the article Zinn discusses the measures people will go to, to find land, gold, power, and power.
I understand what Zinn is saying but I wonder why he is proposing that America is doing such a bad thing. Back then slaves were common and I am not saying that is right but Zinn is trying to make Christopher Columbus and America look like the only ones who did it. Yes he mentions the Spaniards but there are many other places in the earth that certain people treated others unfairly. My question is why didn’t he mention how hard is to survive back then. Things where not easy and people had to take certain measures things to survive, so why didn’t Zinn mention that? So I believe Zinn is ignoring other important information that will make others opinions change.
I felt that the reading was interesting but as I was reading it I felt it was based on opinion, and a lot of facts where left out. I thought the reading was trying to make America and Christopher Columbus look bad by saying he was a mass murderer, but yet Zinn left out many details of why he killed those men. The reading taught me information that I did not know, but I felt the information was opinion based and I disagree with some of it. I do not think killing innocent people is right, but in certain circumstances there isn’t anything you can do about it. Zinn’s article was interesting but I disagree with his argument to the extant that killing is wrong and but killing to survive to find a place to live or for food is not.

About me

Hello, My name is Michelle Phillips. I am currently a sophmore at BGSU and my major is interpersonal communications. I like dogs i have a dog named Ginger. I love warm weather and laying out in the sun.