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.